I’ve seen a lot of posts about the Celestial Steed on the blogosphere, from “Oooh shiny” to “Slippery slope” to “Just for morons”, but I haven’t seen any recognition of the fact that with the for-cash pets and now this mount, Blizzard has stealthily set up a way for players to trade their real world money for gold.
(Note, not condoning this in any way) This is how it would work:
Bob, a hardworking Hunter with a good real life job and not a lot of play time, wants gold. Maybe he’s going on a GDKP run, maybe he wants some pieces crafted. Whatever. So he asks around in trade and finds XXArthaaasX, a DK with 40k in the bank and his mom’s credit card paying for his account. XXArthaaasX really wants the shiny pony, or the Lil’KT pet, so they agree that Bob will buy a pony code and trade it to XXArthaasX for, say, 20k gold. They do; neither Bob nor XXArthaaasX tries to cheat the other. Now Bob has gold and XXArthaaasX has a pony.
This is basically the “EVE model” of RMT. In EVE players can trade game-time codes for ISK, the EVE equivalent of gold. It’s built into the game and so there’s no risk to players of losing either their ISK or their code. In WoW, you’d obviously have to trust both members of the transaction to live up to their side of the bargain.