Tuesday, April 1, 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?

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