Thinking about the in-game store

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.

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18 thoughts on “Thinking about the in-game store

  1. Where can you use the coins? LFR and the scaling raid thing they are also implementing?

    I’m pretty sure we heard the same kind of the-world-is-ending rants when they first introduced tokens during TBC. 3 expansions later and the world still hasn’t ended. This will be the same.
    I’m sure I could dig through some of your older posts where you have spoken out against people saying the exact sort of things you’re saying here about some other feature.

    That said everyone’s threshold is different. So you’ve reached yours. Eight years of one game isn’t a bad run really and after you stop playing (and others in the same position as you) there will still
    be several million people paying to play.

    They do need to do something about levelling though.
    For a new player having to go through 90 levels of mostly empty content has to be pretty daunting.

  2. I’m not feeling the same thing you are in terms of how this might affect the game. And if it’s received this negatively in the US there’s a good chance it will be put in another way [or not at all]. You may be right though, time will tell. I do remember people being upset over the pet store and mount store being the beginning of this process…. slippery slope was used a lot back then. And as you said, the implementation will matter.

    What I did want to say is that it would be neat if this elixir were attainable or ALSO attainable via the Quintet achievement or heck, add in one for all the classes! I was a little disappointed that I got no bonus anything when I hit 5 90s of different classes. I think a progressive account wide xp gain based on number of 90s/classes you have would be an interesting way to go…. and if you wanted to level slower, you could easily click a menu and turn it off.

  3. I think you’re overreacting here on multiple levels.

    First, I think Blizzard more wanted to see where the realm populations wound up after the transfers to see what they would need to do for virtual realms – I don’t think they were trying to rip anyone off (and there will have been, what, 3+ months between the transfer deal and virtual realms? Maybe more?).

    Second, buying lesser charms does NOT affect the balance between end game characters in any meaningful way – more on that here: http://balkothsword.blogspot.com/2013/07/enough-with-wow-p2w-hysteria.html

    Finally,

    “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.”

    Who expects you to use the elixir and when? Unless it’s the start of an expansion and you’re racing to the new max level, there’s no massive rush. Even then, there’s a reason you can’t even raid the first week, so you have a whole week to level without the elixir and then get some dungeon gear.

    Also, raiders have been expected to earn the coins each and every week since the beginning of the expansion. It was actually more important than Valor. So nothing is changing on that end, we simply have the option of paying for the charms instead of grinding them out.

  4. Heya Rakk, Tokens can be used at any level of the raid.
    It is not so much that the world is ending, it is that I think we are seeing the beginning of the transition away from a single sub cost. I like the idea of in-game store from a design perspective, just not when it provides a significant advantage via money which cannot be gained elsewhere.

    This “solution” to the leveling problem is fine if it can also be gained another way.

  5. Hi Askevar – I think the mounts are a good example, where some folks hit their tipping point when the account wide mounts were announced. To me that was basically trivial as it did not allow a player to skip any test, content, or barrier. The coins allow a skip which I can see many people doing frequently.

    I really like the suggestion that the Elixir is gained from that achievement or something similar. Nice. That rewards the participation of the current user base.

  6. Heya Balkoth,
    Yup, I’m probably overreacting a little. Don’t you think though it has the appearance of the thin edge of the wedge?

    I don’t accept that Blizzard would significantly change the design of the virtual merging of the realms because of behaviour in transfers. The cost in time to dev a system like that is significant, and I doubt any amount of transfers would change plans given they have years of data to draw from. It may change the implementation of that feature in terms of how many realms are bundled together. I have not seen details yet of exactly which realms are being merged so I can’t tell. If they have said it is by battlegroup+style or if a post has said what realm pop they are aiming for then I missed that.

    Charms do change the game, so lets agree to disagree. I have been a player who did not have enough charms and therefore didn’t have my extra rolls to maybe get extra gear. It did feel like a disadvantage, so then it is something I can see people buying.

    And why stop at charms? Your blog post’s argument is based on the low impact of this due to time. Well if Valor is also easy to get with a little time can I purchase Valor too then? And time is really all it takes to get the Legendary items, so I should really be able to get those too huh? They’d be expensive, but the principal is the same. Then we’re in the land of money gets gear, so why not just pin a price to a set of raid and pvp equipment and be done with it.

    Paying to avoid a grind is exactly why this sucks.

  7. “The cost in time to dev a system like that is significant, and I doubt any amount of transfers would change plans given they have years of data to draw from.”

    There are guilds on low population servers that transfer with deals like those – and if it’s a dead server with only one guild clearing normals or something, that might make them decided to combine extra realms with that one (so if previously they were going to combine realms A through E, then maybe they now combined A through H).

    I don’t know, but I don’t think they were ripping anyone off.

    “Well if Valor is also easy to get with a little time can I purchase Valor too then?”

    Given that it’s intended you get valor from EVERYTHING in PvE (dailies, scenarios, heroic dungeons, heroic scenarios, LFR, and raids) I wouldn’t see this as too awful. I’m already annoyed I don’t effectively get valor capped with a full clear of normal modes, so whatever.

    “And time is really all it takes to get the Legendary items, so I should really be able to get those too huh?”

    Well, I’d point out two main differences.

    One, legendary items are not stocked up on and then spent – they’re collected specifically for a quest.

    Two, the legendary is supposed to be a specific draw to keep people playing. People might play the whole expansion because they want the legendary, but they certainly don’t keep playing WoW because they want to collect Lesser Charms.

    “Then we’re in the land of money gets gear, so why not just pin a price to a set of raid and pvp equipment and be done with it.”

    Because that requires effort (raiding, at least, and most PvP). Dailies do not require effort, just time. I can auto attack mobs as a priest and still do dailies.

    “I have been a player who did not have enough charms and therefore didn’t have my extra rolls to maybe get extra gear. It did feel like a disadvantage, so then it is something I can see people buying.”

    Then, frankly, you screwed up. You can stock up on them in advance. You can get weeks ahead if needed.

    I’m saying this as someone who is currently 11/13H on two nights – I’ve never missed a week of charms since the beginning of the expansion. So maybe you view it as an unfair option to fix your screw-up when you don’t have the coins, but it means absolutely nothing to high end raiders. It saves us 30-60 minutes a week if we buy them and there is no other difference.

  8. On the guild transfer – yup. Does not change my point at all. The dev plans are set well in advance and made for the product as a whole, not the whims of a few months or a few players. Meaning that there will be people who are affected by the merge and transfer timing. If it was communicated well in advance with the planned server lists then I’d agree with your position. It was not.

    Blizzard need to see the variety of reactions to this change to understand how it will affect their players. That is why I’ve reacted in this way – to demonstrate that I think it is a bad idea, and in my case it is enough of one where if this starts a pattern of p2w in WoW then I’ll go elsewhere.

    The point is that:
    (a) this will be the first true “pay to advance” scheme that wow has introduced in a major way. As I said in the post – the manner of implementation is key, and the real issue I see is where this is the start of the change toward that system.

    (b) I don’t like being billed extra for shortcuts, especially where those shortcuts are half measures. If Blizzard want a pay to play to win model them they should move to it. This feels like double-dipping into wallets. Disagree all you want, but the post is based upon my dislike for this concept in World of Warcraft.

    “Because that requires effort (raiding, at least, and most PvP). Dailies do not require effort, just time. I can auto attack mobs as a priest and still do dailies.”

    No, Raids are just more time. I’ve seen enough pve raid content over the many years to know that almost anyone can kill a particular boss with enough attempts. It is just time. I’ve been a heroic raider in the past too, and that is just time as well. It takes far less time for a good player to become skilled in a particular encounter than a bad player.

    So if you choose to draw the line at a great vs good vs bad vs bot players, then more power to you.

    “Then, frankly, you screwed up….” + blah blah.

    I did and do stock up from time to time on lesser charms, the weekly mats from Barrens, and all sorts of other junk. I play irregular hours around my family, my work, overtime, and other hobbies. Some weeks I play 3-8 hours. Some weeks I play 12-14 hours. Sometimes that time is spent doing quests and dailies between interruptions from family and work, and other times it is spent “getting ahead” on quests. Rare times I go back and try to get the rare mounts and old items that I missed previously.

    I don’t believe that you do Heroic progression raids plus all that activity in two nights a week. No way. I can accept that you only raid two nights a week, but not that you see all the rest of the content in that time as well. Two nights at say ~4 hours each night = 8-ish hours of WoW play per week… and you get all the charms, valor, quests, etc done? If you do then good for you sir. You are the exception.

    We are at the point in these comments where you’re being a touch more hostile than I like to encourage, so lets stick to the start of the conversation where we agree to disagree. You indicate you are a heroic raider/player, fine you’re not like me, so it is obvious that we have different experiences and different allowances in terms of money, guild, time, etc.

  9. Yeah a friend of mine was really disappointed that there was no achievement or feat of strength for more than 5 different classes and frankly I kinda was too… even though I still have yet to level them all… [warrior, rogue and mage short atm]

    I was a bit bummed that there was no reward at all for maxing out that achievement… I mean it’s no easy feat nowadays with so much to do [especially up until the XP nerf] but something a lot of people would strive toward just for their own personal purposes [professions, pleasure, understanding classes].

    Do you think they may be considering putting in some of these things to counter the potential lost sales in character transfers they are likely facing? Seems like a possibility to me. Course, a lot of bloggers have joked for a long time about being willing to pay for more toon slots and bagspace if they offered it… so it may just be one of those things.

    I’m not as sold on the lesser charm boost… not sure I’m opposed to it… with the way I play I do have plenty, but not at all really concerned about the leveling elixir…. And I might consider buying it, depending on the price and whether it was account based or not and if it could be turned off or not… Am I correct in understanding its just for 85 plus?

    [Now to read the other replies where you have no doubt answered my questions lol

  10. Ha! Askevar you sneaky devil. Suggesting that they might ping us cash for extra bag space is brilliant. Get +10 slots in Bank and Bag for only $10. :) I have no idea if the Elixir is just 85+ but I think the intent is that level 1 to 90 is valid use. Giving a bump for 85-90 seems very shortsighted given the grind from 2-85 is far longer.

  11. “We are at the point in these comments where you’re being a touch more hostile than I like to encourage, so lets stick to the start of the conversation where we agree to disagree.”

    I apologize if you took offense at perceived hostility – I was attempting to be frank/blunt and can see how offense might be taken. There was no actual hostility on my part and I should have worded things differently.

    My concern with agree to disagree is that it does not seem to make sense in this situation. If you say you think blue is better and I think red is better, then we have no objective evidence regarding which of us is correct. In this case, however, you’re saying that you think buying Lesser Charms gives a competitive advantage while I am claiming it does not – which seems like a situation where one of us has to be right. Hence why I am attempting to get to the bottom of this.

    “(b) I don’t like being billed extra for shortcuts, especially where those shortcuts are half measures.”

    If I’m interpreting this correctly, then you’re fine with server transfers because you don’t see it as a half measure? So you prefer a situation where either you pay a lot of money to move a character completely or there’s no alternative – and a situation where you pay a small amount of money to speed up leveling a character (instead of paying for a full transfer which costs more) leaves a sour taste in your mouth?

    “I’ve seen enough pve raid content over the many years to know that almost anyone can kill a particular boss with enough attempts.”

    Let’s assume you’re correct and that anyone is good enough to do Heroic Lei Shen with enough attempts. However, different people will take wildly differing attempts – some may figure it out in 20 attempts, others might take 500. In other words, there is clearly a skill component involved as well which makes a drastic difference (thus, the more skill you have, the less time you need).

    Does this apply to dailies, however? Does anyone wipe doing dailies because they need to practice them a bunch (outside of specific things like the Golden Lotus Survival Ring)? It’s not like the average player needs to attempt a daily quest 15 times a day to finish it while a heroic raider takes 1-2 attempts, right?

    In other words, if time is effectively the only factor involved (call it Time Equals Reward, or T = R), then buying it from the cash shop would seem different than something which involves another factor such as skill (call it Time Times Skill Equals Reward, or T*S = R, meaning for a given reward R, increased skill requires less time).

    “Sometimes that time is spent doing quests and dailies between interruptions from family and work, and other times it is spent “getting ahead” on quests.”

    When you say “‘getting ahead’ on quests” are you referring to stocking up on Lesser Charms? If so, which dailies are you doing? The Golden Lotus dailies take less than half an hour and reward 26+ Lesser Charms, so if you can fit in an extra two sets of dailies during a given week then you’d be a full week ahead on Charms.

    “Two nights at say ~4 hours each night = 8-ish hours of WoW play per week… and you get all the charms, valor, quests, etc done?”

    8 hours of raiding (also gives at least 420 valor, more if I’m in for every boss)
    Golden Lotus dailies x2 at 25 minutes maximum for me = 50 minutes (also gives at least 130 valor)
    First Heroic Scenario of a day = 15 minutes maximum (150 valor)

    That’s 700 valor so far. Which means either I need to do three more Heroic Scenarios that day or two more as first of the day. Let’s assume I need to do 3 more which is another 45 minutes

    8 hours = 480 minutes
    50 minutes
    15 minutes
    45 minutes
    590 minutes total

    So that’s everything done in a maximum of 9 hours and 50 minutes each week. Round it up to 10 hours if you want. Anything else is leisure time (such as killing Onyxia for the mount or playing the AH a bit or playing an alt).

    ———-

    Regarding the competitive advantage, would you mind explaining the following to me?

    If you do your dailies and another player does his dailies, neither of you has an advantage, right?

    If you do your dailies and another player buys his charms, there is still no advantage, right?

    If you do NOT do your dailies and another player buys his charms, he has an advantage. But he also has that same advantage if you skip the dailies and he does them.

    To rephrase: buying charms gives no advantage to the other player unless you do NOT do your dailies – which makes me think you’re not so much concerned about a competitive advantage (since theoretically none should exist) as much as that you feel it’s unfair for him to pay money to skip chores you invested the time to do. Is that more or less correct? If so, can you articulate why you think him paying extra to avoid chores is unfair (since he’s not gaining any advantage unless you lapse on your end, and he’d have that advantage either way regardless if he buys the charms or does the quests)?

  12. heya Balkoth,

    “My concern with agree to disagree is that it does not seem to make sense in this situation. If you say you think blue is better and I think red is better, then we have no objective evidence regarding which of us is correct. In this case, however, you’re saying that you think buying Lesser Charms gives a competitive advantage while I am claiming it does not – which seems like a situation where one of us has to be right. Hence why I am attempting to get to the bottom of this.”

    Basically I think a shortcut to the regular method of achieving a goal purely by paying money grants an advantage. Essentially a richer player gains the choice to do something else with the time they have, instead of grinding. WoW has (or had) an ethos of grinding for benefit, and not allowing players to shortcut the hard work. This proposed system changes that. The player who pays to avoid that grind can achieve more in game with their time, or do whatever they choose outside of game.

    As much as it is slightly unhealthy, my mindset for the game is competitive (like I get a kick out of being good dps). I like to be as efficient as possible within the time I have, to do my best in whatever role, and I like to know that the people around me are operating on a level playing field.

    Current: To gain the /roll advantage we need to grind to gain 50 lesser charms per week. The charms are desirable as they give an opportunity for more gear, which adds power to the character. It used to be more lesser charms, but was reduced. Recently many more ways were also added to grant variety to the type of grinds available to players. I value and applaud that variety. It is still a time sink to get a reward.

    Proposed: If you prefer you may have the same reward by paying money, and do something else with your time.

    Because I value effort = reward I accept that a equally skilled but more casual player cannot get access to the same things that a more dedicated player can. When two players with equal skill try for the same reward, time investment becomes a major part of the who reaches the reward first, or even if the reward is actually achievable.

    I suppose I do not like an equally skilled player with less time but a buffed bank account buying their way through.

    e.g. Despite only taking a few items costing EPGP points from my guild’s loot drops in 10 mans since Pandaria’s launch I have remained within reasonable range of gear level with the regular raiders. As a time poor player this is a key measure I look at to see if I can still assist the raid team. As the patches have been rolled out I have managed to keep close to the pack. That sense of satisfaction is affected when another player can purchase 30-60 minutes worth of jump ahead. As a time poor player I think it makes more of a difference to me than somebody who plays 20+ hours a week.

    I do not like (personal opinion again) the idea that somebody can pay to avoid effort. It irks me a lot.

    I understand your point based upon the idea that I may or may not actually perform that grind each week, and in a week where I did not grind the 50 charms there was no real competition between the payer or the grinder. However for most of the weeks when I did do the grind, the paying player has jumped to something else. Both players are typically trying to do more than just that task. That is the advantage.

    Both players probably have a long list of things to do each week, in no order, such as:

    - Kill Nalak and Oon
    - Complete daily heroic scenario, for loot and Valor
    - Consider heroic 5 man, or another scenario for Valor
    - Consider kill of Gal and Sha Fear
    - Kill the three summoned mini-bosses on the isle
    - Consider the 4x summoned mini-boss quest on isle
    - Cap 1000 Valor
    - Get 50+ lesser charms
    - Consider Barrens quests, for Bottled Essence and 200 Valor
    - Farm rare drops, mount, item, old legendary, etc
    - Help guildie gear up, achieve, etc
    - generate some gold on AH
    - consider an alt, for professions and leveling

    The buyer has an advantage because they get to move onto another task with zero effort. Effort = reward is something I like.

    So I can’t say that your opinion that it is no advantage is essentially more or less right than mine. That depends entirely on if you value the time and tasks, your personal context, and if you consider the tasks relating to effort and rewards you value. Some folk love pet battles, and more power to them.

    That is your opinion and I’m happy for you to have it. Just like I don’t really care which colour is better for you, or which political party is better for me.

    “So you prefer a situation where either you pay a lot of money to move a character completely or there’s no alternative?”

    No. That blanket statement is out of context. I was making a point that if the internal plan for the game is to nickle and dime the players then I’d rather they announce it now and do it soon and remove the subscription altogether.

    As I said in the initial post the method of implementation is important to my opinion on both the coins and the xp boost. If the same advantage is given with multiple ways to gain it, then that might change my opinion. If it suits the design ethos of the game then that counts. If I understand the technical reason for a change then I can get behind it. If it is communicated long in advance then I might concede fair warning was given.

    Options are great and cannot be set to a black or white choice. WoW the game I joined was played one way, it has slowly evolved and improved, and soon it might be something I don’t like. Of course I might actually come around to spending cash on the Elixir because my opinion changes and I want the XP boost; especially so if it can be gained another way. I’d grind up something like that happily, even if that was actually seen as a waste of “time” too. At a point I still also enjoy this game a a game, so some grinds do not feel like it. That changes according to too many factors to define as a ruleset.

    eg. I’m exalted with Hydraxian Waterlords, and only got that recently. Long after I have acquired Thunderfury and the Hand of Rag. Was it a waste of time? Was it inefficient for my main? yes, but I don’t care because the enjoyment factor changes the rules to be sideways & illogical.

    The details will decide that when they are implemented. And the context matters. Just like I hated the grind for Valor as it was too hard initially, I also still dislike the ease by which everyone can gain a Legendary item in Pandaria. I cannot say there is parity between what should be easy or hard, except on a case by case basis. I’ll still be getting my cloak soon, even if it is the easiest Legendary in the game so far.

    For a game where micro-transactions were in place from the start I’d care a lot less. I also care a little less when I’m not also paying a monthly subscription.

    “Let’s assume you’re correct and that anyone is good enough to do Heroic Lei Shen with enough attempts. However, different people will take wildly differing attempts – some may figure it out in 20 attempts, others might take 500. In other words, there is clearly a skill component involved as well which makes a drastic difference (thus, the more skill you have, the less time you need).

    Does this apply to dailies, however?”

    Yes it does.

    I’ve watched players take a long time to do regular quests and dailies, the learning curve is far more friendly but it is the same principal. Generally a player will get through daily quests without issue, but some players still have problems.

  13. Oh by the way Balkoth – I’m really enjoying this discussion now, and am all turned around on thinking you were having a go. Just occurred to me and thought I’d say thank you. :)

  14. Pingback: Suggested Reading: Of the in-game store, pay-to-win, statistics, weapons, legendaries, nostalgia, and warlock utility | Kor'kron 501st

  15. Appreciate you mentioning that, TA. Bit pressed for time at the moment, sorry, kept thinking I’d be able to respond but never found the opportunity. Will do so tomorrow or Monday at the latest.

  16. “Essentially a richer player gains the choice to do something else with the time they have, instead of grinding.”

    That’s a reasonable point with a major caveat – you can still only use 50 charms per week. Let’s say you could buy 50 charms for $5 or something similar (I seriously doubt they’d try to charge more than $10 at the absolute most for 50 charms – if they do I think most people will just laugh). As long as you can afford $5 a week to spend on charms, it doesn’t matter how rich you are. $5 is the most you can spend per week, doesn’t matter if your available spending money is $5 or $500.

    Obviously if more “convenience” things are introduced this may not hold true, but I think it’s a point worth considering. World of difference between paying able to buy 3 Elder Charms a week with money and being able to buy as many as you want.

    And something I’m curious about: let’s say Blizzard puts a pet on the store for $10 or whatever. Later, they add it as something you can obtain in-game by spending 4000 honor, 4000 justice, and 1000g or something. How do you feel about that?

    Now let’s say Blizzard introduces a pet that costs 4000 honor, 4000 justice, and 1000g in-game. Later, they add it to the store for $10. How do you feel about this?

    Do you think these situations are different? Forget whether you think the in-game/out-of-game costs are correct in this situation, more curious about the concept behind the situations (the order that things happen, mainly).

    “I suppose I do not like an equally skilled player with less time but a buffed bank account buying their way through.”

    What about a more skilled player with less time buying their way through?

    My guild, for example, is 11/13H while raiding 8ish hours a week. We’re ahead of many guilds that are 3/13H or less who raid 12+ hours a week. This is because, in general, we’re more skilled (it’s possible the 12+ hour guild has a few really good players but others bring them down, I suppose). If people in my guild, who are in it specifically because they don’t have much time to play, spend money and the people with plenty of time grind out the coins instead, does that still bother you?

    Not going to be offended if you say yes, just curious and giving you a real example instead of talking in hypotheticals.

    “As a time poor player I think it makes more of a difference to me than somebody who plays 20+ hours a week.”

    That’s entirely possible.

    “I do not like (personal opinion again) the idea that somebody can pay to avoid effort. It irks me a lot.”

    What if we viewed this from another point of view?

    If you’re good at raiding, you get heroic gear.

    If you’re good at PvP, you have a high arena or BG rating and special rewards.

    If you’re good at challenge modes, you get special transmog gear.

    If you’re good at PvE in general, you get very fast valor from heroic scenarios.

    If you’re good at the AH, you can make a ton of money.

    In other words, in nearly every avenue of the game there is an opportunity to utilize high skill to get a better reward.

    But that’s not true for charms. There’s no “If you’re really good at WoW you can do X instead of Y to get charms faster.” No “elite” daily quests. No charms from getting gold challenge modes or something. And on a personal level, I think it’s ridiculous that I’m working on Heroic Lei Shen yet I’m compelled to do the same Golden Lotus dailies I was doing the first week of the expansion.

    “I’ve watched players take a long time to do regular quests and dailies, the learning curve is far more friendly but it is the same principal. Generally a player will get through daily quests without issue, but some players still have problems.”

    What percent do you think struggles with daily quests? 5%? Something like 2% of the population does heroic raiding and 10% does normal raiding, as a point of reference.

    It just seems like the learning curve is so friendly as to be effectively non-existent – I’ve just never seen someone want a daily quest nerfed or complain how they can’t do it.

    “The buyer has an advantage because they get to move onto another task with zero effort. Effort = reward is something I like.”

    Just pointing out that’s not quite true – they had to spend the effort to get the money in the first place (theoretically). If Blizzard charged $1000 for 50 charms, would you really be worried? There’s a “sweet spot” that varies player to player.

    “No. That blanket statement is out of context. I was making a point that if the internal plan for the game is to nickle and dime the players then I’d rather they announce it now and do it soon and remove the subscription altogether.”

    What if their plan was to make it so people with less time but more money can pay to skip some grindy tasks but people with more time but less money can simply keep playing exactly how they’ve been playing? They probably simply want to tap into the consumer surplus – do you know what I mean by that?

    “As I said in the initial post the method of implementation is important to my opinion on both the coins and the xp boost. If the same advantage is given with multiple ways to gain it, then that might change my opinion.”

    Well, the Charms can obviously be gotten in multiple ways – if the XP boost was available for justice, honor, and/or gold would that alleviate your concern over those two items?

    “I also still dislike the ease by which everyone can gain a Legendary item in Pandaria. I cannot say there is parity between what should be easy or hard, except on a case by case basis. I’ll still be getting my cloak soon, even if it is the easiest Legendary in the game so far.”

    I’d enjoy a discussion on this topic but it would be a major side-track. Might write a blog post about it.

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