The Impact of Badges

Badges: Tokens found on the bodies of dead bosses.  Can be exchanged with merchants in order to get newer gear.

The Progression

When badges were first introduced, I loved them.  L-O-V-E was in the air!  I was running heroics every day for upgrades already, and badges made it easier for me to get some choice pieces, replacing those items that I had crafted myself, but were a little short on the stat allotment.  Badges made sense to me — I could upgrade a piece of gear when I spent enough time killing baddies to earn it, not when it arbitrarily dropped off said baddie.

This trend continued when raiding in Northrend became available.  I was killing bigger, meaner, nastier baddies that required me to have more help.  The rewards were greater, but again, I got this nifty token, and if I spent enough time killing enough baddies, I could turn in a bushel of them for a great piece of gear instead of waiting for a random drop that may or may not be destined for my backpack.

Then, another rank of raid dungeons and another set of badges.  Again, the difficulty was harder, but the badges served the same purpose — giving me equivalent gear to the danger I was facing in order to get gear to fight the same said baddies.  Awesome!

And then comes the conundrum, the part I just fail to grasp in a non-ambivalent way — new badges, for better gear… at the earliest content level available.  Whaaaa? Continue reading