Now that Blizzard has confirmed that beta keys from Blizzcon 07 and Worldwide Invitation 08 will be used to get into the Wrath of the Lich King test, they've become a pretty hot commodity. Sure they're for sale on eBay ranging from about $200 to $600, but what are they worth. I kind of wish I'd been able to go to one of those events to guarantee a spot in the beta. This same thing happened during the beta release of the Burning Crusade.
Cheesytacos of Dragonblight thinks it's unfair to folks who win the beta lottery that folks are selling their beta keys for profit. For those willing to part with their keys, the sale price is at least worth the price of admission. I have to admit, it's well, annoying that folks who went to Blizzard's little soirées are granted passes into the new content. We come across the issue of property ownership many times in WoW.
In general the assumption is that all things WoW are not actually the property of the players but of Blizzard. Are beta keys the property of the key holders to do with what they please until activation?
I think Blizzard is operating on the assumption that those who paid the price of admission are the most dedicated to the game, and therefore the most likely to give feedback. The opt-in keys will not be sellable, and some responders pointed out that the only way this affects someone's chances of getting in the beta is if they're willing to fork over the cash for a guaranteed key.
But is it really worth it? Iaroslav of Hellscscream pointed out that it's an awful lot to spend on characters that you won't get to keep. For me, the time investment in the beta is nearly participation prohibitive. There are some things I'll buy off eBay, and some things I won't. A shiny pink Bass guitar, yes. A beta key for Wrath with a limited guarantee of legitimacy, no. I'll trust my luck with the lottery. If I don't get in, so be it.
Would you be willing to venture to a Blizzard event in the future for a shot at beta testing any of their future endeavors?