Couldnt they just make it up to 85, you could Bee in a guild for 1 month total once getting to lvl 85, then getting autokicked (switching guild at 15 days would leave you with 15 days left in the next guild), then they could have it so you could do 10 raid lockouts, 20 heroic dungeon lockouts, 30 normal dungeon runs (all at 85). And do as much group content as you wanted below lvl 85.
(Ofc all of this should be rised to 90 once MOP is out)
They could also make it so you once every time you log in, once every 30 min of play or something and every time you try to do something you arnt alowed to do, get a popup with "Do you like wow, go buy it here".
They could also have like a commersial banner like at the top of the screen in the client (Outside of the UI) with adds for all of their games.
Some mounts and stuff like that should also be so that you couldnt get them ofc.
They could do all kinds of things, but they are a company, not a charity group. They have to ask themselves if all of that programming and time will really get them more subscribers? Remember that (as stated by Blizzard) a very large number of accounts made never hit level cap. SO, if they were to allow you to go to level cap in a free trial, they just lost a VERY large chunk of income. I do agree, 1-20 is hardly experiencing the game, but they have to be very careful about how they promote the game in-game.
Some more thoughts on the black market AH: you say things will go to whoever happens to have the most gold. I suspect that for the rarest/coolest items, the closing price will be high enough that it goes to 'whoever happens to have the most gold' in the same way as it might have originally gone to whoever 'happens' to be a cutting-edge raider or gladiator-class PVP player or something. As others have said, it probably takes at least as much time, effort, and thought to raise that kind of gold as it does to faceroll your way through low-level content and get a lucky drop.
Whether or not the amount of effort is comparable, it's a fair point that it's a very different kind of effort, and it doesn't often involve, you know, playing World of Warcraft. I look at it two ways: as someone who has rare things that will probably show up, and as someone who is still missing those things, and wants them, and has a lot of gold.
Off the top of my head, there are actually a lot of things that have been removed from the game (and not even counting things that have been 99% removed, see Invincible and Mimiron's Head). Amani War Bear, Black/Plagued Proto-Drakes, the 10 and 25-man TOC reward mounts, all the old gladiator mounts, the original non-epic brewfest mount, Atiesh and all the other Naxx gear? Probably more. I have several such things. I'm proud of my war bear, or Invincible, but I know there are people who bought both when they were current. The thing is, I really don't think stuff like this, or Ashes of Al'ar, is going to show up very often. I'd be very surprised if there were more than a couple appearances per year of any single item in this class. The price will also probably go extremely high because of this. Therefore, the membership in the proud owners clubs for my cool stuff will be diluted by at most a few and probably zero random scrubs, and a few gold barons. That's fine. There are probably more phoenixes out there from random lucky drops at 85 than there ever will be from 'real' kills and black market sales combined, anyways - for the stuff that isn't completely removed, that's much more significant.
And then, as someone who has some of the cool stuff that's likely to show up, but not all of it, and is also a bit of a collector with lots of gold? Well, I'm stoked. I know which in-game accomplishments I've earned, and which I couldn't quite reach, I don't feel too bad about checking off the boxes for the rewards anyways this long after the fact.
One final thought: by the time this feature is mature and has been in game for a few years, there will be teenagers playing the game who might want some classic Naxx stuff, who were barely old enough to read (let alone play WoW) when it was current content.
I dont think the current implementation of the black market will work with how the goldcap works. If ashes of alar comes up if you just bid the max amount (gold cap) will you guarentee to get the item or would it go to the last person that bids goldcap. Then it will be more about sniping the last bid like on ebay.
I doubt the black market wont really affect gold sales since the amount of gold need to buy anything would translate into $1000+ so I don't think normal people will drop that much cash on a mount.
The biggest problem that I see with Legendaries are the ilvl and primary stats, what if the focus of the legendary were the secondary stats?What I mean is just keep the ilvl and primary stats of the legendary no higher than the highest ilvl of the current tier, instead make the secondary stats unique and attached to the legendary only. This way the legendary can still have some relevance and uniqueness, in game, but not be so OP that your raid becomes dependent upon it. Plus in some cases where it involves an evolving questline; such as the rogue legendary; the secondary stats, name, skin, and name color evolve and change with each leg of the quest completed but the ilvl and primary stats remain the same. Also, transmog has made me think of a solution to the problem of someone getting a legendary and then quitting a guild for some reason or another. Why not allow an individual to transmog, not only the look and name of a legendary, but also the secondary stats of a legendary and upgrade those stats to one tier lower than the current tier? This way previous legendaries won't overshadow the current one yet, however, it will give those legendaries some relevance in current content and it won't have as big an impact, mainly morale speaking wise, on a guild or raid group if they lose the individual who has the current tier legendary. Also allow the individual who accomplished getting a legendary have his own achievement and the guild that he belongs, or belonged to, have an achievement of aiding him in getting the legendary that remains with them even if he (she) does not. I know that my suggestions will not be able to solve all of the problems involving legendaries, but however maybe these suggestions could help relieve some of the major issues because I don't see Blizzard getting rid of legendaries anywhere in the future.
I wouldn't think anything except for maybe mimiron's head or the lichking mount could sell for goldcap. That amount of gold really requires some pretty consistent AH playing or high end guild run-selling (or resource botting / buying gold for rl money). Just looking at Lore's take of 'just go and do some dailies' you can make what? 400 gold a day from dailies? At that rate you'd have made ~200k since the start of Cata capping dailies every single day. I don't think if you had capped dailies every day since the start of Vanilla that you would have goldcap by now (on a single toon), so if things sold on the BMAH are rare enough to fetch that kind of price I don't see how there's much room for complaint.
Of course if they make the rate of release of rare items a constant the prices will vary wildly by server. The smart move would be to correlate the chance of an item showing up to the server population somehow but that might be too much work.
Yeah, you guys assume that these things will just go to whoever has the most money, but you have to remember, people who are at or anywhere near gold cap.... are VERY stingy with their money. So, yeah, i don't see anything ever going for the gold cap. I can't think of anybody who wants to blow months of ACTUAL time on ONE item, just to look a little cooler than everybody else. I know a guy who was playing the gem market for several months who got up to about 500k before he got tired of it. Getting that much money doesn't happen easily, and I don't see people casually bidding 2mil just for one item. Maybe there will be one guy here and there, but it will be few and far between.
I confess that I'm somewhat baffled by the BMAH kerfuffle. First off, all it really seems to be doing is providing a service that already exists in game: selling of rare items for gold. Guilds do this all the time. My guild can't kill heroic Deathwing, but if I really want to rock the Life-Binder's Handmaiden, I can buy it from any number of guilds. I'd hesitate to call acquiring the mount that way a mark of honor; it's not like I'd earn it. I imagine I'd die on the first platform, go fix a sandwich then make my purchase when the dust settles.
This sort of thing goes back to the Amani War Bear which I recall guilds couldn't sell fast enough. I distinctly remember during BC that it got to the point where you'd see a half dozen bears idling outside either bank in Shat. Were those guys part of the tight knit group that could beat the timer or where they some schlub who was told to wait at the instance entrance while 9 other folks did the hard work. Who knows?
All Blizzard is doing is providing an in-game service that already exists. Instead of it being player-to-player, it's a player-to-blizzard-goldsink. Instead of it being rare drops from current content, it's rare drops from trivial content. Does anyone really think someone riding Mim's head or Invincible is a bad-ass, hardcore player anymore? I see those mounts and think, "Oh someone got lucky this week. Good for them." I don't think it's a bad thing for Blizzard to provide an alternative means to get some of that rare stuff that doesn't involve farming out-dated content. It's one of things I liked about the goodie bag from the LFD call-to-arms incentive. I cracked eggs for two years, but finally got a green proto-drake from doing an 85 heroic. That's cool by me. I think buying loot from the AH isn't really fun, but if someone wants to avoid having to farm Tempest Keep every week or never got to complete their Tier3, this is a good thing for them.
I understand the appeal of showing off stuff that was hard to get. I still alternate between my level 60 pvp title and my level 70 raid title, and I distinctly remember the first time I saw Rivendare's mount, Ashes of Alar (the kid buzzed Shat constantly and did a great job of sucking the cool from the thing) and the Black Qiraji mount (my server's Scarab Lord never really epeened it, so it actually was cool to catch a glimpse of it while he went about his business). I did the soul-destroying wintersaber grind back in the day for a mount I still love and consider my favorite, but I don't begrudge anyone who gets it nowadays after a couple weeks of easy dailies. The same should apply to the stuff we'll likely see on the BMAH.
While I don't for a minute believe we'll see any legendarys (or the quest items necessary to construct them for that matter) on the BMAH, it does seem Blizzard is acknowledging the demand for items no longer in the game or come via tedious RNG. Personally I feel it's stupid to remove content from the game even it's being replaced by updated versions, so I totally understand folks who weren't around at the time wanting a shot at a Benediction or a Rhok'Delar or a Quel'Serrar, or even a Corrupted Ashbringer. I kinda feel like if you want those items, you should also get to (and want to) experience the story, quests and settings associated with where that stuff came from, even if the content is trivial. But that's just me. Some folks just want the shinies.
I think there will be a few cases where people will buy out the goldsellers to buy something off the BMAH but I don't think legitimate players are going to dump their entire supply on anything. When there are stories of people dropping $10k on some rare item on an obscure game I'm sure there will be some people with way too much RL money who will taint the BMAH but I doubt it will be very common. I've played the AH a bit over the last few months since DS released and made right at a goldcap worth of gold and I can't think of anything reasonable that I would spend all of that on, let alone that plus the gold I had accumulated previously.
Legendaries- Here is a concept, the top 5% of the progression guilds on each server that have made it through the last Heroic expansion boss at the time of 1st nerf are given the Legendary title. The top 5% are legendary and earned it, a title and T-mog for their weapons (each class has their own "legendary" skin) and a buff that they carry into the next expansion like 5% bonus on DPS and Healz......... The bottom 5% are legendary bad and do not get anything aside from the title and 5% buff. These guilds would be those that did not beat the final heroic boss with all nerfs before the release of the next teir. There would have to be some metrics to determine eligability in both cases, but there is a solution.