Ever since 3.3 dropped, pretty much every WoW-related online presence is filled with LFG stories and reasoning. There is one thing I fail to grasp: people complaining about other people in their group insisting on doing optional bosses. I mean, sure, I get it, there is this knee-jerk path of thinking that makes “heroics = good” into “more heroics = better”, but what if we slow down (I know, very unpopular thing to do in the WoW community, especially at this time) for a moment and ask ourselves, why we’re actually so keen on running as many heroics as possible, shall we?
Last time I checked, the main reason for running heroics were emblems. More specifically, Emblems of Triumph; if one is after Frost, chain-running is pointless, since Frost is awarded only for the first random – and the complaint stems mostly from people who tend to run upward of 5 heroics per day, regularly. Therefore we hereby consider established: heroics are run for Emblems of Triumph. Now, newsflash: those buggers drop from optional bosses as well. Of course I want to do that optional boss. I’m here, he’s here, all I need to do is clear these two rooms of trash, then bash my shield into him for a minute or so, et voilà, a highly optional and almost free emblem. Not even included in this consideration is that one might actually be so weird and derive fun from running a dungeon, in which case fighting an additional boss also results in additional fun. But that’s really bizarre territory, so let’s leave it there.
Instead, let’s consider a numeric example, for the sake of which we shall invoke Halls of Stone as our hypothetical dungeon. It’s a good choice for two reasons: firstly, it has two optional bosses, and secondly, it seems to be somewhat hated, for reasons I also fail to grasp. Thus it’s pretty much the standard case of most “ohmigosh, I was in HoS again [insert whine about how that person hates HoS and how the LFG tool picked HoS for them 5 times in a row on a single day – a problem I am strangely unfamiliar with, because I have yet to happen to run 5 random heroic dungeons on a single day, and, of the 3-4 we usually run, never had the same one twice either] and, can you imagine it, this noob actually insisted on doing the optional bosses” stories.
So, Halls of Stone. You can skip the Maiden of Grief as well as Krystallus and only do Tribunal of Ages and Sjonnir. In other words, you just left out a boss for whom the achievement is “kill her in under a minute”, and another one, for whom the tactic boils down to “when he knocks you back, just stay where you are for a couple of seconds”. Real roadblocks *sarcasm*. The most difficult thing you bypassed that way is the trash room on the way to the Maiden which has two groups of three dwarves, with casters in both. If that frightens you so much, you are not prepared.
Anyway, you skipped the optional bosses and got 2 emblems from the mandatory ones, as well as 2 more emblems as your random-reward, for a total of 4. In the meantime, the noob who insists on doing everything got 4 emblems from bosses and 2 more as random-reward, for a total of 6. But of course, you saved time! Means you can run more heroics than him! Bad news for you, the RNG only selects HoS today (that’s what you write when you complain about it anyway). Let’s be generous and say, in the time it takes the noob to run two HoS, you manage three HoS. Application of simple math derives: both of you have earned 12 emblems each. However, you had to do an additional run of your oh-so-beloved dungeon, while he had the luxury of less monotony through more boss-diversity. Of course, you walked away with 26 more gold for an additional completion, plus more reason to write how sick you are of Halls of Stone on whatever online presence it is you’re gracing with your contributions. Win-win, I guess.