MMO-Champion has just reported that one of the Shattered Sun NPCs on the Isle of Quel’Danas (Shaani, the Jewelcrafting Supplies vendor in the Sun’s Reach Harbor) will now sell all the raw epic gems for 15 badges.
These gems are currently only available in Mount Hyjal (mined from gem nodes after the first or second boss) or Black Temple (from trash mobs). They sell for hundreds of gold on a typical Auction House. 2.4 was already going to reduce their value, by virtue of giving away a bagful of them with a number of pre-MH boss kills – Magtheridon will drop a bag of 3 of them, for instance.
However, selling them for badges means that almost everyone, except the truly solo player, can expect to get their hands on them – although not necessarily straight away, when you consider the fact that most people will want to lay out hundreds of badges on the new Tier 6-equivalent gear as well.
Furthermore, most of the recipes to cut them currently require Mount Hyjal faction, and the remaining recipes are BoP drops in Black Temple. All the existing epic gem cuts will now be accessible via Shattered Sun faction from Friendly to Exalted.
I’m very happy with these two changes. Anyone who knows me has heard me rant about how unreasonable it was of Blizzard to put the entire epic tier of a crafting profession in the hands of endgame raiders alone – I’m glad Blizzard’s doing something about that.
Now I can only hope that 25-man bosses will drop a reasonable number of badges, come 2.4, or we’re all going to be so starved for badges we’ll still be running Karazhan in 2009.