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Badges unbound

Badges of Justice: I love them. It's brilliant that you can go to a raid, down a boss, and have everyone walk away with a piece of an epic (albeit a fairly small piece). It really cuts back on the angst of not having what you want drop, as well as giving Blizzard a way to provide for uncommon specs without too much loot table bloat. And with the relatively recent system that has all raid bosses dropping badges, and some pretty great new badge rewards, the system is now quite strong. However, in my view, they do have one defect: they're soulbound.

Now there's a strong argument to be put for the concept that if a character can't do a raid, they shouldn't get the reward. And I certainly agree that badges should not be salable on the AH. However, I do think we should be able to send them between alts. I have one character who needs very little in the way of badge gear, and correspondingly rakes in badges like nobody's business by tearing through Karazhan. My character that really needs the gear is typically not taken on raids, or not "A-group" raids anyway. It would be nice to be able to send all my badges over to that toon to get an undergeared character geared up, without being able to give them to just anybody on the AH.

As it turns out, Blizzard is thinking about implementing just such a system in Wrath with "Legacy" items. These will be items that are not BoP, but not freely tradable either – instead, they will be bound to your account, so you could mail them to your alts, but not to anyone else. Tom Chilton mentioned them specifically in the context of twinking: you might be in a raid and find a high-powered item that you could pass on to a lower-leveled alt. In my opinion, though, the Legacy system is perfect for badges.

And additionally as it turns out, there are some hints that Blizz may, in fact, be heading in this direction, before even reading my post about it. (I know, spooky!) Remember that it is beta, so these may just be bugs or omissions, but: in the beta, Badges of Justice seem to no longer be BoP; and there is a new currency, called Venture Coins, that are also not marked as BoP. These coins are obtained as a quest reward from various quests in the Grizzly Hills, and are also not marked as BoP. No word yet on what you can buy with them. My theory on both the coins and the beta badges is that they are going to be Legacy items, but those have not yet been implemented on the beta realms, so they have no binding category at present. I do think Legacy would be better than freely tradable, since I don't want to see whatever Wrath's badges are on the AH. That would be silly.

Update: Apparently (as several of you have pointed out) these were just tooltip/data bugs; BoJs and Venture Coins are both BoP in the beta. Still, it's nice to dream.

Filed under: Items, Raiding, Alts

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