A Reflection on Emblems per Minute

This is something I’ve written about before, but it seems that Cold Comfort has actually posted about an emblem per minute ratio. After reading over the post (and inspired by the new free-extra-loot changes to Oculus), I just thought I’d make my own observations. While I will concede that their calculations are a fantastic baseline upon which to base your own projected success, as the person who does the tanking and sets the pace, my milage varies, and if you end up getting queued with a tank like me, your milage will vary as well.

Ahn’Kahet the Old Kingdom: 25 minutes, 7 emblems (there are 5 bosses in this instance: Watcher, Prince, Fungal, Volunteer, Herald) = 3.6 (3.57 rounded up). When I run this instance, I skip the first boss, kill the prince because I have to, and go right to herald. 12 minutes, 4 emblems (2 bosses 2 from random) = 3MPE. I don’t skip the bosses because they are hard, but because they take time. The first boss could be killed to make it a 15m run for 5 emblems and preserving the ratio, but the spore and the volunteer have loads of trash in their way that is not aoe-friendly and can be very dangerous because of casters (shadowbolt/flamestrike) and they also heal.
Azjol-Nerub: nothing new to really add here. You can get it done in 8-10m if you have a group capable of “Watch Him Die” (that doesn’t wipe once he’s dead) and you exploit the Hadranox trash reset, resulting in 2 MPE. Unfortunately there is no way to spend less than 2:30 on Anub. In fact, we once DPS’d him so fast he spawned 2 waves of burrowed adds at once then never resurfaced. We were forced to wipe and redo the encounter. But on average 3 MPE is a good expectation.
CoT Culling of Stratholme: No matter how fast you go, it takes approximately 8 minutes from “hey i’m a human, wf!?” to “ok the first wave has spawned”. My fastest ever drake-run had 12 minutes left over (my average is between 8-10, 12 is pretty retarded, requiring lots of convenient spawn points and very, very high dps [full guild run, everyone on vent specifically aiming for “fastest time ever”] and pulling the entire gauntlet hallway in 2 minutes), which means I spent approximately 25 minutes inside the instance, 8 of which was waiting for the game to let me play. The average overgeared group is probably going to be inside the instance realistically more like 35 minutes making this a TERRIBLE emblem-per-minute instance in the grand scheme though the actual “dungeon” part of it only lasts about 25 minutes which makes it seem deceptively attractive because of the 7 emblems it awards. Realistically, this should be considered a 5 MPE instance not a 3.5.
Trial of the Champion: The Joust takes most of your time in this instance, and you can either add or subtract 2 minutes to your time based on whether you get the Paladin or the Confessor (and whether the champions glitch out and reset on the post-joust pull). 15m is still a good consideration baseline though. 5 Emblems = 3 MPE
Drak’Tharon Keep: This place depends entirely on your tank and healer. 20 Minutes is, I suppose, a good average, I find that I tend to run it between 12-16m depending on how my DPS is. Because of the changes to the Prophet only stealing flesh once that fight has been sped up tremendously. If you can get it done in 15 or slightly less, it’s a nice, rewarding 2.5 MPE.
Gundrak: Best. Instance. Ever. It’s all I’ve really got to say. If I have really bad dps, this place takes 20 minutes. If I have really good dps, it takes 10. It averages out to about 15m for me. If this dungeon takes longer than 15m, I start getting angry. 7 Emblems in 15m is the holy grail of 2.14 MPE.
Halls of Reflection: These new Lich King dungeons are awesome for a gameplay experience and the 232s they drop, but horrible for speed-farming. I’ve yet to make it out of this place in less than 25 minutes, and that’s with earning the speedy-escape achievement. I start OOMing pretty heavily by the last wave of the chase. 5 MPE is a pretty safe bet if you have a good group. Both main events are timed, so you really can’t go much slower without wiping.
Pit of Saron: Another long instance. This can be shortened by skipping lots and lots of trash to the west of the starting zone (but if you want to farm the Battered Hilt god help you it’ll take some time to clear them all out), but the pre and post-Ick trash can take awhile because of the difficulty of AoE’ing spread out casters and having to move out of slime pools. 30 minutes is probably a pretty good estimate so 6 MPE.
Forge of Souls: This instance kind of sucks since there are only 2 bosses and lots of slow-kill trash. 15-20m for 4 emblems is, at best, 4 MPE, and 5 MPE at worst. If you are not here for emblems but here for the loot, it’s not a bad place to be and has some nice upgrades, but from an emblem-farming perspective, it’s not worth bailing on, but you’re not going to have much to show for your time.
The Nexus: I don’t know what’s wrong with Cold Comfort writers, but the Nexus doesn’t take 25 minutes. It’s like Gundrak, but a little slower depending on how good your DPS is. Ideally I like to finish it in 12-15 minutes but sometimes it’ll take me as long as 20. So, at worst it’s 7 emblems in 20m for a 2.85 MPE, or 7 in 15m tying Gundrak’s nice ideal of 2.14 MPE, either way, this is another great instance for emblem efficiency.
The Oculus: Before, it was 6 emblems for approximately 20-30 minutes of work depending on how often people got lost or confused for a rather disappointing 4-5 MPE. But with the new changes it is now 8 emblems for 20-25m of work. The longest part of the whole instance for me is the first ring with the whelplings and any unfortunate time delays caused by DRAKES PULLING ON UNMOUNTED AND DEFENSELESS PLAYERS WIPING US FOR NO REASON (this really only has to happen once for you to fear it for the rest of your life, it’s that frustrating). So with the new changes since 3.3 dawned, everyone is getting “Make it Count” and doing the instance in about 20m for a nice, solid 2.5 MPE
Halls of Lightning: Unlike Gundrak, which I can’t run enough times in one day, the Halls of Lighting is someplace I seem to be constantly sent to and I get more sick of it each and every time. This was the first heroic I ever ran and Loken spanked me good and hard when I was still a newbie tank. Lightning Nova was one of the very first “you really should just get out of the way” mechanics an overgeared healer carried me through. It can be done relatively quickly if you have a good group, but 15m is a rarity for me, it tends to be closer to 20m. It all depends on how fast I can pull the first walkways and how quickly we kill the packs in the Planetarium. The nerf to Ionar’s disperse has cut at least 1 minute off the normal run time of this dungeon. 6 Emblems in 20 minutes for a 3.33 (repeating of course) MPE count.
Halls of Stone: As soon as I heard of people just doing Tribunal and going right to Sjonnir I started doing it too. The thing is, Maiden takes less than 1 minute and her trash is kind of short, and the stupid rock monster isn’t hard, but he does have trash in his way. The real bitch of this instance is the one boss you can’t skip (fucking Tribunal) which takes like 8 minutes to do because of its irritating trash and the length we have to just wait for Brann to start the event. If I just do Tribunal and Sjonnir, it takes about 15m to get 3 emblems for a crummy 5 MPE, if we do the other bosses, it takes about 20m for 4 emblems (Maiden) or 25m for 5 emblems (rock monster), so there really is just no winning in this instance. If your group is poor, you could be in here as long as 40 minutes with very little to show for it.
Utgarde Keep: This is a short dungeon with lots of trash. The fastest I’ve ever done this is around 11-12 minutes but 15-20 is more the average, even with skipping as much trash as I can. Maybe I should pull faster or something. Ingvar takes the longest because of his mandatory 30 second wait. 5 emblems in 15m seems a little generous on the time, but 3 MPE is a decent guess, but I think most people have it ending up closer to 4 MPE.
Utgarde Pinnacle: Like UK, can be done quickly (my personal best is pretty close to the 15m mark) but waiting on Ymmiron is a pain and Skaddi takes forever (3m is the speed kill =P). I’ve taken to killing the next 3 packs of trash then backtracking to the first boss while she does her dumb speech so we’re not losing too much time (the backtracking hurts a little, but not as much as waiting around). 20 minutes is a good average so 3.3 MPE sounds fairly accurate.

To follow on their example, it is true if you bail on an instance, your emblems per minute ratio is ALWAYS going to go down assuming you bail immediately. If you spend 15m in your assigned dungeon and pick up maybe 1 or 2 emblems in that time (7.5 MPE on average, but 3 MPE at best) before you drop, you are likely going to end up with a 10-15m wait in queue, pushing you to 2 emblems in 30m (15 MPE) and then you could get someplace else you don’t like. The issue people just somehow can’t accept as a quantifiable and legitimate instance-dropping reason has nothing to do with how difficult the instance is, how good or bad your group is, or what your MPE ends up being: YOU SIMPLY DO NOT WANT TO RUN THAT INSTANCE because your time can be better spent cutting your toenails, organizing your sock drawer, or lighting your cat on fire. All of those activities return 0 MPE and incur an additional 15m wait time (so 30m between first evil dungeon and your loading screen for the next one) which puts your BEST Gundrak run at 7 emblems in 45 minutes (6.4 MPE) but still wasn’t nearly as bad as having to spend 15 minutes in the halls of stone.
I disagree with the “either you’re a mercenary or you’re not” assessment as independent contractors have the freedom to refuse jobs no matter how little effort or how much the pay. As I said before, if I wasn’t going to join your Oculus pug when you advertised in trade, what makes you think I’m gonna join it when I get placed there by the Blizzard-hand-of-fate? I’ve never left a group for a strictly Emblem-Per-Minute reason, it was always for a “quality of life” reason. It is absolutely true that if someone is only in it for the emblems farming as quickly and efficiently as possible, it takes a special kind of terrible group to make it worth dropping an instance from a MPE-efficiency standpoint, but, to some, not having to spend time someplace they don’t like is worth all the extra time and inefficiency of waiting for whatever it is they need to purchase.

So, personal recap: Best MPE instances are
Azjol-Nerub = 2 MPE (if you cheat a little and have a great group)
Gundrak = 2.14 MPE (2.8 if you’re slow)
Nexus = 2.14 MPE (2.8 if you’re slow)
DTK = 2.5 MPE (3.3 if you’re slow)
Oculus = 2.5 MPE (3.75 if you’re slow)
Azjol-Nerub, Ahn’Kahet, and ToC = 3 MPE (4.0 if you’re slow)

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One Response to “A Reflection on Emblems per Minute”

  1. […] spoken at length of my desire to speed through heroics as quickly as possible and I get irritated from an Emblems per Minute perspective if the run takes longer than 15 minutes so I can instantly queue for a new dungeon as soon as my […]

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