I've said it before and will say it again. Nexon always mentions in their memos that they are pushing towards better game balance, while simultaneously doing the complete opposite. Removing something like this from the game while having older players keep it, is giving a permanent advantage to the older players. It's only creating imbalance if anything. I'd like to see the badges brought back, or as others said, make it so that you can starforce and pot the currently obtainable badges.
I don't perceive it as an advantage, because if you play and earn an in-game item, why should you lose it just because of game balance? You spent your time and perhaphs money on getting it, so you deserve it. Long time ago there was an event for beta-players, where they could acquire cool maple bandanas called "Mark of the beta". Would you give them to every new player even though the beta period is over? Another one example can be "Family system", where you could add to "family tree" a player and gain points for his progression, which could be then exchanged for 1.5 EXP coupons. The family system has been removed, and following your reasoning, we should downgrade those players who lvled up using 1.5 EXP coupons.
I observed that many players make their gameplay enjoyment dependent on items that boost their damage like there was nothing interesting to do beyond repetitive grinding. Quests have been forgotten and I guess nobody is doing regular quests anymore. As an advice to the Nexon team I would suggest to improve on quests and encourage players to play together and socialize through party quests. I think that the old MS was magical when it comes to playing together with others.