Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
How much would you sell your badges of justice for?

Last night I sold 45 badges of justice for a total of 1080 gold, that is 24 gold per badge. Actually it started a few days ago when I noticed that Nether Vortex were selling on the auction house for over 300 gold, and you could now buy them for 15 badges of justice from the old badge loot vendor in Shattrath. I had 148 badges, and looking through the new badge loot I noticed that I wasn't really all that interested in it, except for maybe the trousers for 100 badges. The chest and boots *are* strictly better than my Karazhan epics, but not by a big amount. So I bought one Nether Vortex for 15 badges, and put it up on the AH for 330 gold, the price auctioneer told me, with no other Nether Vortexes for sale. It sold in less than half an hour. So I got another vortex and put it up for 350, again sold fast. So finally I got a third vortex, and put it up for 400 gold, and it sold again, albeit a bit slower.

I find this new option very interesting. From the very first Molten Core raid to the last day of patch 2.3, raiding was never a money maker, just the opposite. Yes, you had a chance to come out of a raid with new epic gear. But you nearly never got anything you could actually sell, as the epics are bind on pickup. So normally a raid meant cost for repairs and consumables, and no income. Even worse, once you got your shiny new epic you were expected to pay hundreds of gold to enchant it and put gems into it. So not only didn't you make any money on raid night, you also had to spend the non-raid nights farming gold to finance your raiding habit.

Now, if you can "sell" your badges of justice indirectly by buying nether vortexes with them (primal nethers have a less good exchange rate), or potentially soon by buying epic gems and selling those, you can actually make money by raiding. At my current exchange rate of 24 gold per badge, a complete clean-up run of Karazhan nets you 500 gold. That is serious money.

Now I'm wondering whether I buy the badge loot trousers for my remaining 100 badges, or whether I exchange them for 2400+ gold. I'm pretty certain that *most* people will go for the badge loot, but I'm not most people. I'm a casual raider, and getting the last tiny incremental increase to my stats isn't quite as important to me. Actually the reason why I sold those 45 badges was to finance enchantments with the money: Most of my epic gear isn't enchanted, except for the enchants you can buy from vendors or the AH. I'll get a bigger boost to my stats by putting proper enchants on everything than by upgrading from Karazhan epics to badge loot epics. I don't know about you, but I never bought one of those epics that are sold on the AH for thousands of gold. If I would see the badge loot trousers sold for 2400 gold on the AH, I wouldn't buy them, too expensive. So why would I spend 100 badges on them?

Of course whether selling your badges or using them to buy gear is the better option depends a lot on your situation. If you have the time to do 25 dailies every day and still go raiding, you don't need the money you could get for the badges. And it also depends on what you would spend the money if you sold the badges. One attraction for me is that the money can be transferred to my alts, while the badges are stuck on my priest. I would so love to buy badge loot for my tank with the badges of my priest, but I can't. What I can do is sell the badges and use the money for example to level up enchanting to 385 with my blood elf mage. And get his tailoring to 375 and buy the material for frozen shadowweave gear, thus effectively spending my priest's badges on epic gear for my mage.

One thing to think of is that The Burning Crusade will effectively end in about half a year, and the Wrath of the Lich King will begin. Whatever epics I get now will be replaced by WotLK green and blue gear of level 80. Having all my tradeskill maxed out has more lasting value, although spending money on recipes now might not have. Everybody is so excited about the new badge loot now, but is the stuff really worth it? Wouldn't lets say an epic flying mount be of longer lasting value than the chest and legs you can buy for 100 badges each? I think everyone has to decide that for himself, there is not one best solution for everyone. And of course the exchange rate between badges of justice and gold might vary with server and time. So how about you? How much would you sell your badges of justice for? Or do you prefer the badge loot?
The thing is, my main has about 200 badges, but also has some 5000 gold, so I don't need the money.

My Belf alt has about 12 badges, and is currently saving up for the flying mount, so effectively doesn't have any gold.
As one is Alliance and the other Horde, I can't easily transfer money from one to another.

Is the badge loot worth getting for my main? Probably. Yes, it will be out of date once Wrath comes out, but in the meantime it will make things easier for me in instances/raids.
I tend to err on the side of trade-skills/mounts than gear, to be honest.

I had a similar dilemma not too long ago. I had managed to stockpile a considerable amount of gold, enough for my epic flying mount, when the 2.4 tailoring recipes showed up on the PTR.

Now, my initial reaction was that I absolutely had to have the new robes and gloves. They were phenomenal, and the robes I could craft myself if I got the recipe.

The problem is, the recipe itself only drops from the 25-man Sunwell Plateau, which I was not going to see before Wrath blows in. My only hope was to check the AH constantly and hope that someone puts it up for sale (it was not, as far as I know, BOP). The price for that pattern, being near T6 quality, could have been anywhere from 2000 to 4000 gold, plus mats.

I decided to go for the epic mount instead. Like you, I figured that any gear I have would be completely replaced half-way through Wrath if not sooner, but the epic riding skill might prove useful beyond that. Same goes for any tradeskills; we know that Wrath will push the ceiling on those by at least another 75 points, which would be incrementally easier to swallow if you started at 375 and not lower.

That doesn't even consider the problem of material availability. As people move on to Northrend, the material components necessary for the 300-375 grind will become scarce commodities, much like the pre-BC enchanting mats are now. Leveling trades like enchanting or engineering is bad enough, I can't imagine trying to do it without a stable supplier chain to help.
On my server, Nether Vortex sells for about 190g. I'd go for the Badge Loot instead, because I'm able to do about 10-20 Dailies per day, which is enough for me.
In addition I expect the first instances of WotLK to be rather hard before they get nerfed later.
So especially for the fist character you want to level up, epic gear might come in handy.
I just wish there was a way to buy Badges of Justice, because as a run-of-the-mill DPS character, I'm never going to have more than the couple of badges I've been fortunate to get currently.

Blizzard has been keen to add ways for raiders/hardcore players to make money off of their endeavors to foot the bill for repair and prep costs. However, it has never been through the direct sale of goods, aside from some BoE epic belts and gloves from pre-TBC.

IMHO, BoJ should be tradeable. I understand the gold selling problem and how people could just "buy their way ahead". However, I'll argue that people already can buy their way ahead by just buying an account from someone... which can be done legally if the physical media is transfered.

Why not offer those of us that can do several dailies and build up a stock of gold, a way to buy BoJs and therefore upgrade our gear significantly and therefore get out of the "I'm only a baby level 70" rut.

Hell, I would love this as a hybrid as it would actually give me a REASON to respec my Shaman to Restoration and heal some heroics when I have time.
Ack, forgot to add that it annoys me that there is a way for hardcore players to cash-out through BoJs, but not a way for the "more casual players" to cash-in.
Heartless, Badges of Justice seem to be in about 50% of the bags you get as rewards from the Shattered Sun dailies. Sure, it will take longer to store up significant numbers of badges but it is an alternative to running the 10/25 man instances to get them.
10%, not 50%.
(As already mentioned by albatross) I was surprised to find a Badge of Justice in my Shattered Sun Supplies reward package last night. Now you have a 10% chance (as tracked by wowhead) at badges when you, say, fly to Nagrand and take six readings.
I suppose doing that quest 10 times is about as hard as downing a boss on heroic...?

With the new set of dailies, it's like gold is growing on trees!
For me, the 'difficulty' is the time spent traveling, and the competition for kills on the crowded Isle, rather than the actual quest or the actual mobs.
The economy on the AH is flourishing, and there seems to be a corresponding and predictable inflationary spiral.

But frankly, IMO, the most interesting 'drops' we've seen so far in patch 2.4 was when my wife and I turned in the daily fishing quest the first time:
She got the gator pet (Chuck's Bucket), and I got Truesilver Line for my fishing pole.
You can't get that stuff with Badges :)

Personally, I already have my epic flyer, so I don't really need more gold than I can get off dailies. I'd use BoJ on gear, mainly because it makes play easier. I can quickly blow through mobs that cause lesser-geared toons trouble, and PvP is more fun when you have decent gear.
Hmm. Well, you will notice that the quests that provide the Shattered Sun Supplies reward all require a bit of travel. It’s not so bad on an Epic Flyer, but on a normal Flyer I have been finding these to be a real pain in my arse. In fact, I’m only doing them for that 10% shot at the BoJ. My point here is that while they are easy to get, the time commitment involved in getting a single badge is significantly higher. It’s a nice incentive, but I don’t think it’s anything game altering. You would have to complete 100 of these dailys in order to earn just 10 badges.

You make an interesting point about the fishing quests. WoWGrrl picked up a +15 Stamina blue gem on the fishing daily. Personally, I have always found fishing to be the most insanely boring thing in the game. It’s the only meta game I don’t really get. How could anyone find it entertaining or do it for fun? The daily at least provides some purpose to it. Although it’s very telling that there has to be some loot reward before I even start to take an interest.
I guess I'm a hardcore non-raider. I do spend a lot of time playing, but I can't devote a 4 hour chunk of my time to the game without interruptions.

That being the case, I have 4 lvl70 chars all with gold coming out of their ears. 3 of them have epic flying mounts, and I can actually easily afford a 4th.

The problem is I have no idea what to spend money on. And since badges are harder to come by, it at least gives me something to aim for. I don't "need" to have a T6 equivalent item to do the content I currently play, but at least now I don't have to shelf a character once I've geared him up through 5-man dungeons because there isn't anything I can improve.
Learning raid encounters can be expensive. Farming raid encounters, however, is immensely profitable. Just look at the prices of epic gems and raid recipe drops on the auction house.

200-300g each, easily, with prices going up to 1000g for certain items and more.

It has always been this way, starting with BoE T1 epics from Molten Core.

Most successful raiding guilds are not hurting for money. In fact, most successful raiding guilds have tens (hundreds?) of thousands of gold stockpiled from selling their gains to finance their consumables and repair bills.
This is kind of off-topic, but since it came up...
On fishing:

I was pulled into fishing when I kept having to pass by pure water (essentially free motes of water) while grinding water elementals in the elemental plateau in Nagrand. My wife was (and still is) way ahead (350+ to my ~330). But the thing that made fishing somewhat interesting were the 2.3 patch improvements, especially the addition of the fishing tracker. Now I can fly around on an epic flyer and quickly spot nodes. Additionally, it dovetailed well with engineering, since the Zangarmarsh debris gives engineering mats (bolts and blasting powder). Finally, the fishing quest really is ridiculously easy when you have an epic flyer - you quickly go to the zone, cast two or three times, fly back, turn in, and you're done. The only one that took longer was the shrimp one, which took maybe a dozen casts - but it is the shortest flight, too. But I typically use up the rest of my 10 min. bauble, and skill up from 1-3 times. Since that is the one skill that is well below max, and I want to max it, it's a good incentive.

It's also an unlimited hunter pet food source if your pet will eat fish, and dovetails nicely with cooking (with some cooked fish selling quite well on the AH). Cooked fish gives a variety of nice buffs, and it works well with classes that need to eat a lot when soloing (such as warriors).

The reward bag has around 8 gold, usually some +100 fish hooks, and a random item ranging from vendor trash to a rare fishing pet or special fishing stuff. And apparently a chance at very rare items, too.
That is a really interesting idea that I hadn't thought of.

I only have one 70 (mage), and he's pretty geared up - all the good badge loot thus far and Karazhan epics...gemmed and enchanted to the hilt. My tradeskills are maxed, I've got the epic flying skill and I think close to 4k gold (not sure on the total, I have a bank alt). My bank alt is basically a pack mule filled with flasks, elixirs, potions and foods to last me til the next expansion.

So what I'm getting at is that I really have no need for money. I do maybe 5-10 dailies a week at the most - to basically cover up my repair expenses. I raid once a week and run a few dungeons so I've got some repair bills, but nothing too terrible. If I get new gear (had a great heroic Magisters run, got new shoulders and the snazzy robe) I'll run dailies to make up whatever gold I spent on gems and enchants.

Gear will get outdated, but it is nice to have. I have about 180 badges saved up and I can't wait for the vendor to open up on my server. My gear will eventually be replaced in the expansion - but in the meantime, my mage will ROCK. I have over 1000 spell damage already. I actually can't wait to replace my gear in the expansion, because if my mage is that strong now, just think about what it's going to be at level 75! As I don't need gold, I'm going for the gear :)

I think that if I didn't have the epic riding skill I would have a really different mindset. Running Karazhan once a week and selling vortexes would be a great way to get cash. I definitely agree that skills are a much better money investment than gear if you have to make a choice!
I really like this post. It really made me think a bit. At first I would say I would rather have the badge loot, but then I got thinking. Im not playing Wow as much as I used to, and that "may" change with WoTLK so an epic mount would have much more lasting value than some badge loot. I hate how slow the regular flying mount is so effectively quadrupling that would be very nice.
Let's put this into perspective for the expansion. The biggest money sink in WoW Classic was the Epic mount. The expansion kicked that money sink cost up roughly 5 times the land mount's cost so you could be flying in style.

While I'm only speculating, I would have to expect Lich King to have yet another high priced sink for level 80 players. Personally I would spend the next half year building up a little nest egg while just sticking to drops or pvp gear for the interim upgrades of regular play.
That sounds like the Loyalty Point Store in Eve. You get loyalty points from running NPC missions, and then you can trade the points in for many different things. On the two opposite ends of the spectrum of what you can buy are faction ammo (cheap) and faction battleships (expensive). The only other way to get them is from the player auctions. If you add up the numbers, you can actually get the ammo and sell it for money, then buy the faction ship from the auction and have a TON of extra money left over. Alot of players just save up points turn them in for the ship when they could have bought one much sooner. It comes down to whether you have money to spare or not. If for example, I had more money than I know what to do with and I notice that I have a ton of loyalty points I'm not spending on anything else, then I may as well get that big shiney ship with them. :)
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