In Legion, Blizzard is introducing a spider mount that costs two million gold. This naturally has the forums up in arms. To give an idea of the scale, the maximum amount of gold I've ever had at one time is about 50k.
Is this mount a good idea?
It's pretty clearly a reward for "goblin" players. Players who like money-making and playing the Auction House. That's a playstyle that a significant number of players enjoy.
But just because a significant number of players enjoy a playstyle, that does not necessarily make it one that should be encouraged or rewarded. After all, a significant number of players enjoy ganking lowbies. If Blizzard introduced a mount that you got for getting 1000 kills of players half your level or lower, that would be a horrific mistake.
So first, do goblins benefit the game? In general, they do. Goblins generally "smooth" out the market. The vast majority of them make money by buying cheap items and relisting them at the market equilibrium price. The presence of goblins means that normal players probably won't be able to find bargains on the AH, but there will always be a supply of items available for purchase. It's fairly unlikely that the AH will be sold out of anything entirely.
As well, it means that normal players can guarantee sales simply by listing the item at a discount from the market price. A goblin will pick it up and relist it. Sometimes it is more important to have liquid cash than wait for the best price.
Second, does the goblin playstyle require skill or dedication, some characteristic worth rewarding? I suppose it does. The factors that give me pause is that the risk is much lower than other playstyles. I mean at least in a game like Eve you can get shot down while transporting something. The other issue is that it is a playstyle which is heavily automated. There are mods which can do amazing things for you. Of course, you have to be fairly savvy to get the most out of those mods.
Third, can the requirements be gamed? The big element here is gold-sellers and gold buying. Legitimately, you can buy 10 WoW tokens a week. If we say it's 50k gold per token, that's 4 weeks and $1200 USD. I'm really not sure that introducing a mount that can be legitimately purchased for $1200 is a good idea.
There's also the illegal gold sellers. But in a way, because the amount needed is so high, the mount can act as bait. There should be relatively few sold, so examining each account that buys the mount for gold-buying can be viable.
Fourth, will the game be hurt by incentivizing this playstyle? Ironically, adding more goblins probably makes it harder on all of them, There are more people hunting the bargains, competition becomes fiercer, and profit margins become thinner. So overall, the AH experience for normal players should be even better.
Finally, is the playstyle already rewarded enough? In general, there isn't really a great advantage to having huge amounts of gold. The one exception is the Black Market Auction House. It is a bit unfair that the other playstyle rewards can be purchased for large amounts of gold, while the spider mount remains exclusive. But then again, I've never liked the BMAH. Honestly, I think Blizzard should take the opportunity of these new rewards to drop the BMAH entirely.
All in all, the two million gold spider will probably work out fine. Though Blizzard should increase the price to eight million, one million for each leg. That's a far more aesthetically pleasing price, and also increases the time required for purchase via WoW tokens and real money to four months.