So I ask this, is it really a stretch to make gold making a requirement to perfectly min/max? If the answer is yes, than where is the line drawn? Should the game be made so that each aspect can be readily and with no harm detached from another? Making zin'rokh an arch drop, was that ok?
My point being, logically, it sort of makes sense to say "Hey now people with gold can get an advantage, just like people who chose to play a better race, or have better professions." That being said, due to the uneven nature of server pops, and the RNG of the BMAH, I'd say no, it's a poor design. Allowing raid level pieces to be purchased is fine, but making pieces exclusive to BMAH, or making pieces drop from the last few bosses available on the BMAH is a bad design.
In addition, gold making isn't technically "playing the AH." There are plenty of ways to make gold through PVE, whether that be farming, running old instances, leveling, or the like. I'm not saying that makes it acceptable, I'm simply saying that gold making, like other raid related drudgery, isn't outside the realm of PVE.
Oh, another point. What about BOEs, whether crafted, trash drops, or world drops? These require large quantities of gold, and yet I rarely hear raiders complain. Granted, that is likely since these are often not BiS pieces, but I'd counter argue and say that a major upgrade like Relic at the start of an expac or tier can be far more beneficial than an upgrade from normal to BiS in another slot.
Personally, I'd like to be able to valor cap through ONLY raiding, I'm fine with racials/professions and their state of PVE impact, as well as consumables (Although IDK how many potions I've used, easily 2k this tier.) And with BOEs.
And last but not least, I have a question. Outside of personal enjoyment (whether just getting it all, or for ranking, etc), why does full BiS matter? If it doesn't impact progression, I don't see as much harm. I dislike not getting it (That damn belt never won it in DS...) but really, with no impact it doesn't really matter.
TL;DR, ONLY on BMAH is bad design. Items on BMAH are bad/good depending on how hard they are to get. Ultimately, I don't see full BiS happening anyway w/ thunderforge RNG, so it's rather moot.
---------- Post added 2013-03-05 at 12:08 AM ----------