It was going to happen. I don’t like at all what I’m reading. If you’re “pro” any side of these features then I’d warn you that I am not before you read on. I’m angry about this, and strong language follows.
What is it?
Two new options are planned for patch 5.4 to allow accelerated leveling (Enduring Elixir of Wisdom) and allow the skipping of dailies and grinding to get extra rolls on loot (buying lesser charms). I have no doubt that as details come out the things to be included down the road for real money purchase will expand. And yes, for the first time ever on this blog I’ll agree that WoW is taking a move against the ethic upon which it started. I hate saying that, but feel it is true.
The commercial side of the game is certainly driving this design choice far more than the dedicated gamer side. It feels wrong.
Buying a leveling tool is a shitty half measure from the logical end stage of this slide into pay-to-win. If Blizzard are going to allow this, then why not get to the end-stage now? Just buy a character at max level.
i.e. If I am so busy that 200% increase in leveling is viable, then paying $50USD for a level 90 character is just better for both the lazy player and the owning company.Bbetter that Blizzard get to the end stage sellout faster, then drag this out.
Heck for $100 you’d actually sell characters to players who are “ready to raid” and I think they’d make a small fortune. It will kill the “work for it” ethos, but that is slowly dying now anyway.
Aside – you think buying toons is not planned for the future? You silly fool.
Blizzard had a sale on server transfers just before announcing virtual server merging. That is a blatant way of getting cash from the pockets of the disaffected players, and then demonstrating just how little they give a fuck. It the server merge had been announced as planned 1 month prior then the last months worth of transfers might have waited.
Consider too the people who might be transferring to get away from another group or player, then to find that they are virtually back in the same place soon after. Sucks huh?
If it was a mistake then it is exactly the type of mistake that makes a fortune, and they’ll learn from it. They’ll learn that players will keep paying regardless.
Buying lesser charms is not cosmetic and affects the game balance between end level characters. That is a terrible idea. Do not have a subscription cost and also ping extra features at me for more money. It is insulting. I don’t care if somebody else purchased their character on ebay, but I really care when that dickhead can continue to spend money to get a leg up.
The store is not actually the problem, the products on sale are. There is nothing wrong with having the features that we purchase outside the game being made within the game. That is not the problem I have with this news at all. Having a mount shop, pet shop, or whatever sitting in Dalaran for hungry gamers to punch in purchases is fine in my opinion. The problem is that the pay-to-win aspect of these two new features, in how they affect the rest of the subscribers.
Oh, which subscribers? Initially just the “asian market” (their term, not mine) will have this option. Good. Keep it there. The current subscriber model for that region might be different enough anyway, but while I am paying a monthly fee for a game I expect that fee to enable EVERYTHING the game can offer.
Everything motherfucker. I meant it. Having additional widgets like this to nickle and dime subscribers is bloody insulting. Star Wars is doing it, and how is that community liking it? Yup, bingo.
Suggestion to Blizzard – That might mean that USA and EU servers get the level boost in a different way?That would be better – let the USA and EU earn the bonus. We like that.
Perhaps we buy it using Justice points like all the old Heirloom gear? Perhaps it is on the BMAH for a shite-ton of gold? I don’t care, just don’t bill my credit card for it. Let it be earnt another way.
Aside – Is this pay-to-win? To my understanding, yes this is. Strictly speaking it can be argued that it is not, but the ethos of spending real money to avoid a grind or get a jump on other players is essentially where I choose to draw the line. Previously buying a mount or a pet made no difference.
The recruit a friend accelerated advancement was half pay to win, and half about advancing along with the new person. It was the start of the slippery slope.
In this new case you’re paying to avoid a grind of leveling, or avoid the grind of minor tokens. P2W invoked. Moving on.
I’ll show my distaste for this option when it arrived on the USA servers by ramping up the whine-o-blog and probably going to another game which is fully free-to-play-to-pay-to-win. Yup, this shitty choice in design may well be the beginning of the end for me in World of Warcraft. Not now, but how this is implemented is very important.
Aside – But you don’t have to use it, so it’s ok? Balderdash and cornswallop! This is giving a player the jump on others for money.
I don’t have to use it anymore that I have to use heirlooms or enchants. Except that the expectation will be that we do use it. In the same manner that raiders expect to cap Valor each week, it will be expected that the coins will be earnt each week.
Happy killing, an angry TyphoonAndrew.
- Blizzard has confirmed that yes, an in-game microtransaction store is in the works for World of Warc (kotaku.com)
- Warcraft to test in-game payments (oddonion.com)
- World of Warcraft to sell experience buff and more in confirmed in-game store (polygon.com)
- World of Warcraft Confirms Microtransactions (escapistmagazine.com)
- World of Warcraft’s test cash store includes extra loot chances, XP buffs (gamesradar.com)
- Blizzard explains World of Warcraft in-game store (wired.co.uk)