Update! This article is well-intended but the truth has been revealed, and I guessed wrong. More information in the article “Wrath Emblem Design Revealed”.
However, it kills me to delete text, so I’ll leave it here anyway. Also as a reminder to myself that design is opaque.
Only raid or instance once a week? Wondering what to do with those 25 or 30 emblems you’ve finally accumulated? Like real-life money, don’t let those shiny tokens burn a hole in your pocket.
“But, but, but how can I wait? Zomgepics!”
I know, I know. The siren call of zomgepics beckon us all.
The emblem gear will (in all likelihood) be refreshed when a higher tier of content comes out, just like the Badge of Justice system did in the Burning Crusade. This means that your Emblems will (in all likelihood) appreciate in value.
The item level (or ilevel) is the budget of goodies that roughly determines the strength of an item. In general, you’re going to be better at what you want to do if you have an item with a higher item level.
Right now (Feb 2009), the ilevel of the items you can buy with Emblems of Heroism are the same ilevel as those obtained from the final boss of a heroic instance or a Naxx10 raid, which is likely where you got the token in the first place. Basically, you’re buying entry-level raid gear that can be gotten through the diligent running of heroics and entry-level raids. Good deal.
So why wait?
Well, I’m assuming two things:
- You’re in late-Wrath quest gear and heroic instance blues, with perhaps a couple of pvp and raid/heroic/crafted epics mixed in.
- You aren’t gaining Emblems at a massive rate.
For the most part, the difference between your current blues and those introductory epics is not game changing… not with just one item. Upgrading all of them? Sure, that’s a big difference. But you’re not playing frequently enough to upgrade all of them. You’re looking for the one item that you’re spending your hard-saved tokens on to give you a notable change.
When the next level of content arrives, there will be new items for sale at the Emblem vendor. Those items will be the same ilevel as the new raid content. And guess what? Your Emblems, the ones you’re saving right now, will still be accepted there.
So why not wait until that day? Sure, it means passing on current Emblem gear. But if you can wait until then, you’ll have gone from a blue item to a zomgepic Ulduar-level item with the same currency you have now. That’s a notable change.
So when I look at my (humble) collection of Emblems, I don’t see one Naxx10 piece of gear right now, I see an as-yet-unreleased Ulduar-level item in the future.
(Of course, all of this is predicated on the Emblem vendors getting stock of better items, which is how it worked in TBC. I’ve read nothing to suggest that it won’t work this way in Wrath, as well.)