Toblod (this guy is amazing) touched on an interesting topic: Trading in a Badge of Justice for a Nether Vortex and selling it off for gold. The thrust of his idea is that Badges for gear is simply a temporary reward because at some point everyone replaces gear. He points out that investing in something that is not temporary (like an Epic Flyer or Profession Skill) provides more long-term value for those hard won badges. He’s provided similar logic in the past for not buying the best enchants or gems.
It’s an interesting position to take and one that’s hard to argue over the long term. I know I spent considerable effort to equip myself in the best gear prior to Burning Crusade and then experienced a gear reset during the expansion that invalidated the effort.
But did it invalidate it? Not really. It may not have been relevant any longer, but it was relevant at the time I acquired it. In fact, much of the game that I experienced prior to BC would not have been available to me without that gear.
In fact, the Burning Crusade gear reset simply put the game in a better perspective for me. Prior to BC, I was very gear focused and overly “concerned” about loot rules and how loot should be distributed. Today, I have a much more laid back attitude. Gear drops all the time and eventually you’ll get yours. Do your part and you’ll be rewarded.
And here is the thing: that “epic” you were drooling over will sadly be sold to the Vendor when you get an upgrade. Oh maybe not right away, but certainly after it sits in your bank unused for a month and you are running out of space.
So from that perspective, Tobold has a great point. But the part that is missing from the equation is all the FUN you have during the interim. Oh sure, all my present day gear might be worthless when the next expansion comes out – but that might be another six months away! Meanwhile, maybe that Pant upgrade really helps my progression TODAY and helps fulfill my immediate enjoyment of the game.
And that’s what it is about, right? It’s not about worrying about my enjoyment two to six months away -- it’s about how much I can improve the quality of my gaming experience in the present day. Of course, if my enjoyment comes from crafting or flying around on an Epic Flyer, then Badges for Gold can certainly have an immediate value.