There are, as people have noticed, a small handful of very expensive items on vendors in Legion. This isn't anything fundamentally new - the original Kirin Tor Signet Ring cost a small fortune in relative terms when it first came out in Wrath, as did the Reins of the Grand Expedition Yak
When it comes to cosmetic items and convenience perks, they vary tremendously by source, both in terms of playstyle and degree of difficulty. Some are widely-earned rewards, some were simply a matter of being around at the right time (e.g. the Onyxian Whelpling
), others require tremendous skill (Gladiator mounts, Mythic raid mounts from current content), while others require a combination of persistence and luck (Reins of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake
, Elegon's mount, etc.). Some require you to engage in PvP, others require raiding, others require extensive outdoor gameplay, or profession use. And some require a sustained and concerted effort to accumulate a ton of gold.
Besides, think of it as a favor to all the arachnophobes out there - do you really want massive spiders skittering around everywhere?
Just to be clear, I agree that the Mad Merchant isn't going to serve as a very effective gold sink. But that's because he isn't intended to be one in any meaningful sense. Gold sinks, in an MMO economic sense, are primarily things like repair costs, the Auction House tariff, and a range of useful expensive items that still fall within the price range of many guild banks and gold-rich players. In this case, a handful of very wealthy players may dump a large portion of their gold reserves into this one vendor, but that's ultimately a blip in the grand scheme of the WoW economy.
If we wanted to drain as much gold as possible out of the economy using these items, we'd be pricing them differently. If the Bloodfang Cocoon
cost 200k, I'd wager that far more than 10x as many would be sold. Inflation is a concern, but that's a battle that will be waged on many other fronts. This is just a crazy merchant. The point of the items is to be ludicrously expensive, just as the point of something like the Reins of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake
is to be ludicrously rare (if you think about it, a multi-day respawn that shares a spawn point with a more common variant and has a zone-wide patrol is pretty insane...). Some of the vendor's details may be tweaked, and there's been very good feedback in the thread on the relative attractiveness of the different items, but the 2mil price tag for the mount is not likely to change.
This is starting to sum up the Legion expansion feedback in general.
"We appreciate the feedback given, but not a damn thing's gonna change. We're totally listening to you guys though!"