However, the change that gets me the most is they will be eliminating Emblems of Heroism and Valor. Instead, wherever you would get a Heroism or Valor badge, you'll now get Emblems of Conquest. So those of us toiling away in 25 man Ulduar for 58 badges to buy a Tier 8.5 piece can now run a couple heroic 5 man dungeons to get the same badges. Or we can do a speed clear or Naxxramas and pick up quite a bit that way. Why let those of us who have spent countless hours in Ulduar 25 to earn the badges be the only ones to get great gear with them? Just give the Emblems of Conquest to everyone and everyone can have free, awesome upgrades!
Now, I somewhat understand why Blizzard is doing this. They basically brought this upon themselves by having so many different badges floating around in Northrend. With each new patch, they need to add new badges. With each new badge, you need new badge vendors. With each new badge, you need some way to incentivize people to run the older instances. This does it. However, it takes it a bit too far. Now if you were to eliminate heroism badges and replace them with Valor, I could see the logic in that. But eliminating both Heroism and Valor and replacing them with Conquest? That just makes it too easy to earn those badges.
Plus, you say you want Triumph badges, but don't have the time to raid? No problem, just do the daily normal and heroic 5 man quests. They'll reward you 2 and 1 badge respectively. Why even bother to raid any more? Let's just run 5-mans! We can get equivalent gear to people who put time and effort into raiding 25 man instances with little bother. Hell, I can run Violet Hold in 20 or 30 minutes. I'll take some Emblems of Triumph for that.
I heard rumors last night that the reason they have to make these drastic changes is to be more prepared for the patch after 3.2 - be it 3.3 or 4.0. Maybe that's true, but I think they've just taken it a bit too far. Why give Triumph for daily 5 man dungeons? Why give Conquest for running a 10 man speed Naxx run? It just dumbs everything down further and gives everyone who hasn't put the time or effort into running the bigger instances a chance at amazing gear. So here I sit, working my butt off for little gear pixels when all I have to do is take a 1 or 2 month break from raiding and I can come back, run some insanely easy 5 mans or Naxx runs and I'll be right back on par with those who ran 25 man Ulduar every week since the patch. It completely trivializes everything we're doing right now. Which is fine if that's what Blizzard really wants to do. But I have the feeling they don't, but they were just backed into a situation with so many badges and emblems that something drastic had to be done. Maybe a bit more forethought would have fixed this problem before it became a problem.
Oh yeah, don't forget this other change:
# The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
# New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.
This appears to be the first time ever that Blizzard is removing achievement points. Just last night I received 250 Emblems of Valor and I'm just a few emblems short of 500 Emblems of Heroism (I'll be sure to get it before the patch). But that's 110 achievement points that will be gone *poof* into thin air. Sure I'll get some worthless feats of strength for them, but it sets a dangerous precedent to start taking away achievements from people who have earned them.
They state that new achievements will be added for the new emblems, but at some point they have to go away too - right? Just like Heroism and Valor got assimilated, won't Conquest and Triumph give way to more powerful badges? Or do they not plan on adding any more badges before the next expansion? If they don't plan on adding any more badges, then you can leave the achievements in and force us to run countless heroic 5 mans to get the 1,000 Emblems of Conquest achievement. But if you plan on taking that away from us, let us know now so we don't work towards it, only to have our points taken away.
Edit: I guess I read it wrong, the new achievements will allow you to get ANY combination of emblems. So it'll just be "1000 Emblems" - it won't matter if they're Conquest, Triumph, or Emblems of Extreme Greatness from the next expansion. Either way, getting 1,000 combined emblems won't be too difficult, so maybe they'll go to 5,000 or 10,000. Who knows?