Naxxramas in Wrath of the Lich King
Naxxramas is planned to be more of an entry level raid dungeon in Wrath of the Lich King and not the hardest dungeon in the game, so things will be a little different this time around. We have not made a final decision on an attunement yet, we like having special quest lines available and such, but we also like having content be more available to players.
Item Design Information
Contrary to popular belief (?) designing a new item set does take a while. We usually use color shifts on the same designs to save time, the exception to that would be the arena sets where we want the items to specifically match the PvE counterparts. The choice to color shift is usually when an item isn't something that would benefit from having a unique model, usually a leveling item. In the case of the badge rewards I can see the reasoning to use color shifts for the level of investment taken to acquire them. Is buying an item with badges the same as clearing Black Temple? No, no not really. So, it isn't so horrible if a shift is used.
What I find odd is that in this particular case we seem to have gone against what would normally be shifted, which is the matching dungeon items, and instead shifted from a previous dungeon's/quest items. My only guess is that those shifts were already done, or the artists preferred them to the new design.
Now that the entirety of the art department's is focused completely on Lich King I don't find it surprising that their time spent invested on the badge items were color shifts. The level of quality of the environments, items, textures, models, etc. in the next expansion are far and above better than anything in the game thus far, so I definitely understand the desire to focus as much time of their time on them as possible.
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