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What should and shouldn't be on the Black Market Auction House?

What should and shouldn't be on the BMAH
Perculia of Wowhead recently posted an update about undocumented changes and vanity items, which included some new information on what was and wasn't on the Black Market Auction House, as far as mounts, pets and items. Perculia's update included the Sun-Lute of the Phoenix King, as used by Sig Nicious of the Elite Tauren Chieftains, but also the Reins of the Plagued Proto-Drake, which was a reward for completing Glory of the Raider back in Wrath of the Lich King. If you were wondering what else is sold on the Black Market Auction House, you can check out Wowhead's full list.

While the "axe" is a fun item, the one likely to cause more of a stir is the Reins of the Plagued Proto-Drake. As Wowhead notes, this reward was removed from the game after the arrival of tier 8, and has therefore long been unavailable to players who didn't get the achievement before that time. So, since the arrival of Ulduar, that drake has been completely unavailable to new players until now.

This raises a question which has been, and no doubt will continue to be, a hot topic of conversation surrounding the Black Market Auction House. Should old items such as these, which were a trophy for completing a fairly tricky achievement when it was relevant, now be available to players on the Black Market Auction House?


I wrote a post back in July, discussing the community's reaction to the price increase of the Grand Expedition Yak, in which I wondered why some players reacted badly to the idea that a new item should be essentially end-game content for gold-makers. A lot of what I said still holds true for this situation, where a previously unobtainable item is newly available at a starting price of 80,000 gold. This could be seen as end-game content for gold-makers, and why shouldn't they have their shiny things to aim for?
What should and shouldn't be on the BMAH
But this particular drake opens another can of worms entirely. The difference between this and transmogrification gear which has a very low drop rate, or mounts like the Ashes of Al'ar, which has a very low drop rate, is that this mount is impossible to get without access to a time machine. On Wowhead's page for the mount, a commenter quotes a Blizzard Q&A, unfortunately without a source link, which asserts that the mount was "clearly" only available for a limited time. For such an item to return, particularly a mount which is a high-level and very visible trophy, could be seen as a negative by those who did manage to obtain it when it was current.

The Edge of Reason

Is this reasonable? It certainly seems to be, at first glance. That's simply because this was obtained via a not inconsiderable feat, and is also something of a badge of long service, as it was only available for a short time a few years back. It's not available from the trading card game or by any other means. And so it makes sense that those players who do have it would be disappointed at its return, especially so by its being on the Black Market Auction House.

On the other hand, to play devil's advocate with myself, if the mount is impossible to get, why should players who may not even have been playing at the time be excluded from owning it? Although the achievement associated with it was certainly difficult when it was current, it's still possible now, and others like it still award their mounts. Why should this one be any different?

Would players bemoaning its return be happier if the mount had to be obtained in the same way as it was when it first appeared in the game? Say, for example, if it was not exclusively on the Black Market Auction House, but also obtainable from completing the achievement? Would that be an improvement on the current situation? My opinion on this is that if Blizzard decides to reintroduce mounts like this to the Black Market Auction House, that's fine, but they should reintroduce them as a reward that can be achieved through play, too.

But in this instance, would that be alright? Would players who had it already be happy if every level 90 could get it? Should it be like the mounts obtainable from Firelands, that were revised to a very low drop rate, or should players have to complete the achievement at the relevant level, like you can in some older raids? What's your take on what should and shouldn't be sold on the Black Market Auction House?

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

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