Ever since it was announced, the Black Market Auction House was something in that many World of Warcraft players were interested in. This auction house at first glance just looks like a massive gold-sink to try and get those with a ridiculous amount of gold to spend their money. The BMAH lists randomly selected items, such as old mounts and Transmogrification gear, for players to bid on for high amounts of gold. Since I am not a player that desires either of those things, I never really cared for the BMAH. However, with the announcement that players will be able to purchase current tier Heroic raiding items, I began to pay more attention.
One of the things that makes an MMO such as WoW fun is the prestige that is felt by earning high end items. Players put a ton of time and effort into working for these items, and most do not want to see other players earn it by doing anything less then what they did. With the addition of Heroic raiding gear to the BMAH, players can basically buy the best gear in the game, without stepping foot into a raid. This upset many players in the raiding community, including myself, who feel that raid gear, especially heroic raiding gear, should be earned through raiding and nothing else.
I am not saying that making gold is easy and those players shouldn’t be rewarded. In fact, I have never had a ton of gold, so I understand making that much gold can be hard and I like the idea of rewarding those players who have that much gold. However, I do not believe that allowing these players to get Heroic level raiding gear is the right choice. Think of it this way, when players defeat a Heroic boss in Dragon Soul are they rewarded with Cataclysmic PvP gear? Of course not, PvPers would be outraged if players could earn the top end PvP gear without stepping foot in a PvP setting. So why should this be any different? Why should Blizzard reward those players with the most gold Heroic PvE gear?
What should be done about this? I believe the answer is simple. Reward players with a lot of guild with unique rewards. These rewards can be anything from Transmogrification gear, to pets, to mounts, both old and new. This ensures that every spectrum of the player base is happy. PvEers still get their prestigious gear, PvPers still get theres, and those who spend time farming gold or playing the auction house will be rewarded with their own set of prestigious awards.
Thankfully, Mists of Pandaria is still very much in Beta testing. This means that a lot can change with the BMAH. Though it will not by any means ruin the game if implemented as is, I believe, and I feel many people share my feelings, that rewarding players who simply have gold with the best items in the game is just a silly idea. Hopefully Blizzard realizes this and makes the necessary changes to the BMAH before the release of Mists of Pandaria.