In both 3.2 and 3.3, Blizzard has decided to revitalize the Heroic scene. I can completely understand the reasoning. If 10% of their player base is dedicated to raiding and 80% does heroics more than raids (The remaining 10% being chronic levelers) then it's good sense to focus on Heroics, add new ones, improve their rewards, and keep them relevant. If you can force the top 10% of players to do heroics, that even makes it better for the middle 80% because they can get carried. I'm assuming that getting carried, while not the best thing ever, is better than wiping repeatedly in dungeons. Just a guess.
Unfortunately, the way Blizzard has chosen to do this is excruciatingly painful for anyone who wants to absolutely maximize their performance in raids.
I am a raider in one of the top guilds worldwide. It's my goal to maintain the best possible gear I can, both because I want to be as good as I can be and because I don't want to let down my guild. All guild members are required to be proficient at all roles. So, I need to have an ICC level tanking set in addition to an ICC level DPS set. Furthering this, ICC heralds the release of Shadowmourne, a 2H legendary, which it's also in my best interest to get. Since I'm most likely not first or second in line for Shadowmourne, it would be prudent of me to get as many materials as I can for that myself.
Now, looking at it simply, that's:
(90 + 90 + 90 + 60 + 60) * 2 = 780 badges for each tier set (Need all 5 pieces for various sets).
23 * 25 = 575 badges for Shadowmourne
30 * 2 = 60 badges for Sigils
That's a minimum of 1,415 badges.
Presently, ICC gives you 8 per week. Done in 10 and 25, that's 16. 5 more for the raid weekly gives you 21 badges. Doing heroics nets 14 badges a week. Doing the daily heroic each day gives you almost as many badges as doing ICC 10 and 25. Daily heroics plus the raid weekly, which so far has been Naxxramas twice and Malygos once, is *definitely* more than ICC.
Even at max production rate from ICC (12 bosses * 2/boss * 2 runs) = 48 + 5 [Raid weekly] + 14 [Weekly heroics] + 14 [Heroics on an alt] + 5 [Raid weekly on an alt] Nets 86 badges per week, or 17 weeks of doing the heroic daily twice a day, full clearing ICC twice, a week, and doing the raid weekly twice a week.
I understand incentivizing heroics. I understand wanting to pull raiders down so they can help out newer/less-geared players. But putting forth something like this is soul draining. Of course, it has led to The Great Shadowmourne Project, which I'll talk about tomorrow, so it can't be all bad.