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World of Warcraft opening in-game microtransaction store

World of Warcraft opening in-game microtransaction store

Tue 09 Jul 2013 2:25pm GMT / 10:25am EDT / 7:25am PDT
Online

Blizzard to sell progress-boosting buffs for MMORPG, will begin testing the idea in Asian regions

The subscription-based World of Warcraft is adding a feature common to its free-to-play counterparts. In a post on the game's forums yesterday, a Blizzard community manager confirmed that the company is introducing an in-game storefront to World of Warcraft.

Blizzard has previously sold in-game items such as player mounts and animal companions, but it has done so through channels outside the game. This initiative will look to not only bring those transactions into the game world, but also add in additional "convenience-oriented items" to facilitate easier progress through the game. Among those offerings will be experience boosts to help players level up quicker, as well as lesser charms of good fortune.

"For players who are already interested in the in-game items we offer, such as Pet Store pets and mounts, the benefits of an in-game store are pretty clear," the community manager said. "We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game, and ultimately that's our long-term goal for the system, though there's quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting those existing items into the new system."

Blizzard will begin testing its in-game store in Asian regions before expanding it to the rest of the world.

16 Comments

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
Blizzard, what took you so long ? :)

Haters are going to hate...

Posted:A year ago

#1

David Serrano Freelancer

300 272 0.9
I'm not against this but I think Blizzard still needs to do a far better job of teaching new and inexperienced players (in world) how to play the game, explaining quest objectives, the importance of item levels, how to use the AH tools, etc... You can play the game for months without fully understanding how everything works or what you should and should not be doing.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Jeff Wayne Technical Architect

83 37 0.4
Glad this is finally coming. If they continue to tow the "players cannot buy a competitive edge" line (e.g. 5 euro for 3000 vp or cp) then, I welcome any addition of choice like this.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
Up front costs, monthly subscription and now micro-transactions.

It's already $175 to play for the first year and now micro-transactions are going to make it even costlier. And we just had an article complaining about the cost of AAA games.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

897 1,339 1.5
Don't worry. The public love of microtransactions, in the face of all the hate posts trying to prove the contrary, will soon have them removing all the other payment options. You heard it here first. :)

Posted:A year ago

#5

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
Up front costs, monthly subscription and now micro-transactions.

It's already $175 to play for the first year and now micro-transactions are going to make it even costlier. And we just had an article complaining about the cost of AAA games.
I think there is a misconception as soon as we talk about Microtransactions it seems we immediately think "oh my goat, I am going to have to pay more, no... much much more!". Well that maybe true for a compulsive spenders, but if we were all compulsive spenders the world itself would probably be much more different as the way we know it.

Microtransactions are an OPTION, not a requirement. Should one want additional content, it is available for a fee, should one deem the price fair and still want it having that information, he can go for it.

I think there is also a reason if Blizzard starts with the Asian market as there both audience and industry are much more used to and favorable to the MT models it seems.
You heard it here first. :)
Lol Paul, hipster alert! ;)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th July 2013 12:50pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
Eric, the problem here is that as soon as the 'compulsive' spenders start paying for competitive advantages, the average spender will feel compelled to do so just to keep up while those that rarely or never pay will start to lose interest because the dynamics and balance of the game just shifted in favor of those with more cash (beyond the $175 they spent the first year and $144 each subsequent year).

This is nothing more than a cash grab. A means to make Activivision Blizzard investors happy.

Remember the days when we all paid the same price (currency exchanges notwithstanding) and got the same experience from a game? Now the experience you get is limited by how much you spend. Even after buying the game and paying a monthly fee, some players will simply not get the same experience as others with deeper pockets. I can't think of a single greater reason to not want to play a game than to feel like after several hundred dollars that I'm being asked to pay even more to get a fuller experience or maintain a competitive edge. I really don't think you can slap a gamer in the face any harder than that.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
Jim, definitely yes, you are right.

But it is a game, isn't it? A GAME

If we were to put the same energy for the hunger in the world (issue not solved, like many other serious ones that have the same SOURCE and ESSENCE as the one you highlight in the virtual world, with the EXCEPTION that THERE IS NO RESPAWN for the ONES WHO LOOSE) or disparities than we (whoever is we and whoever feel concerned) put into the REAL WORLD then it would probably be a better place. I could also mention "less serious" cases like doping in sport and make other analogies.

But all those discussion about ETHICS IN VIRTUAL WORLDS? Seriously? Are we (still the same guys who will choose to feel offended here) totally out of our minds or living in a world where everyone is a poney, eat butterflies and poo rainbows (got that one line from an animation movie, good isn't it ?)?

I mean, we want our virtuality to be more fair than our reality there... and while I see an educational potential in that approach it is probably meant to fail since it is about putting fresh paint on rotten walls. Look "Shiny"... though it still smells bad underneath.
Remember the days when we all paid the same price
While this is a bit of nostagic politically left side thinking, I do indeed remember those days (though I've been more of a Hardcore PC gamer, and social/casual Console gamer - and I know both culture and history are different), and I know it was not much more fair - maybe it was just not out in the bright light for everyone. In multiplayer, some had AIMBOTs (shooters) or various Cheat engines or methods - like intentional lag in example - (because they could program them, because they paid someone to get the software or knowledge, because they were friend with someone, etc.). Some had better computers - read also "more expensive"-, some had better reflexes - read natural inegality. Inegality has always been part of life. In WoW typically, do you think that for Multiboters (ndlr. single player running generally 5 accounts on the same machine at the same time with all character making the same action as the master account, typically and most commonly shamans or mages) Money doesn't play a role ?

In some ways, the MT makes it more transparent. When it comes to Pay-to-Win Microtransactions (that are a particular type of transaction not representative of all of the MT diversity) in some regards the "cheat" then become available to everyone. You don't need to be the guy (with the appropriate knowledge), know the guy, know the guy who knows the guy or look for the guy who knows the guy who know the guy. Let's be realistic, this is a HUMAN problem and most (most I said,... not all) games sell what ? A "vertical and virtual experience of vertical progression". Once the people who define themselves as anti-F2P and the anti-MT (or pro-the-opposite) will take in consideration all those elements and not only the ones that suits there argumentation they will maybe be able, with a bit of the required cynism, be able to progress in a more constructive way in their "fight" for ethics in games and games monetization.

I remember that quote, though not sure it was really from Winston Churchill, but who cares, it is the idea the quote conveys that interest me here.
“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty, you have no brain.”
All the rest is about compromise.

Edited 9 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th July 2013 3:14pm

Posted:A year ago

#8

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
No, you no longer have to know how to hack...you just have to have deeper pockets. But rationalizing micro-transactions that provide a competitive advantage with hackers of old is rather dubious. If the goal was simply to provide everybody with access to the "cheat", why are we charging for it? That means the developers or publishers have essentially become that hacker guy you'd pay to code up a cheat for you. Not sure I'd want that publicly expressed.

And if we're just going to so casually throw ethics out the proverbial window, we should probably follow it on the way down.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
And if we're just going to so casually throw ethics out the proverbial window, we should probably follow it on the way down.
I am, on my side, far from throwing anything out any window. It is more the opposite (while I read most the articles on this site, I got a pattern of intervention that is usually about me jumping in controversial topics - and since I am not here to show my huge - and pretty efficient - trolling abilities, I usually tend/try to be quite constructive on those topics).

My point is about not forgetting the context: we are a luxury industry (though not the most prestigious one and not the one with the highest margins) but our products are not vital to people (in the third world, or not so long ago in our societies, any object that looked like a ball, a stick could become a toy and at the time, imagination was not exactly something you could widely sell as a mass product as it was reserved/accessible only to educated or very curious people).

As long as there are "deeper pockets" there will be another form of inegality (let's call that one the societal inegality, although it's not fully accurate and a bit more complex than that). Now typically in other luxury industries, let's say i.e. watches industry, you can have various products models (even if material, cost, structure are the same) and you will call them differently according to some gorgeous design (that does not really cost more to produce than "lower class" model) you will price it double. You will then also market it as "unique". Now, if this had not been the case in the watches industry, this selling of "prestige" or "uniqueness", do you really think the industry will have survived the invasion of digital watches, or even now smartphones?

We mentioned the fact that when we used to buy games in the 90's already, they were.. hmm, if I remember well pretty much the same price as they are... today (at least in my home country). But in the same time, bread doubled or tripled its price and pretty much everything else as well. Were we seriously thinking that games would stay around 60 bucks for eternity ? Would we, today, as workers of the industry work for the sames wages as back then ? Love of what we do and fresh air ?

We cannot only grow horizontally on the audience, a diversified audience, we also need to offer specific products to the specific categories of this audience. Yes it is unfair, but as I demonstrated, life, world, society, and even us are unfair sometimes (and especially when we think we are trying to be fair... Yin-Yang you know, at least the way we perceive that in occident). As I mentioned without to much details for the watches industry, we are now experimenting much more on the vertical level, and since the market cannot expand that much (it will fluctate) at the moment (not to mention the competition grew as well) we have found another way. It did not require much intelligence nor years of psychological studies to understand that not only there are people to be willing to pay more but also that they were amongst those people with the means to pay more. And just like the watch industry we need new products (or at least some marketing illusion that we have new products). Pre-order, collector edition, Founder pack, etc. seems we also made our marketing studies to diversify our offer and just like watches that give you the time of the day no matter how much you paid for the item, games give you the fun games are supposed to give you (hopefully). Now if a higher price luxury watch has a barometer included in it and you want that feature because sometimes you spend days on your 400 feet yacht with swimming pool, why could it not be the same for the games ? Because it's unfair ? If that is the only argument, I won't need to write a single world about that, and reality will speak for itself and sweep it into limbo sooo efficiently.

Now, my belief is that Nature, as a general concept, balances itself. Eros, Thanatos are never perfectly (or arithmetically) in balance, but that is what real balance is, a fluctuation and even sometimes a "dangerous" one. Our best progresses and innovations as a species, came from Wars and periods shortly after. And if we are taking the word "war" in its large meaning and include competition, struggle, challenge, conflict, debates and many other of the kind, then we are constantly at "war", in everything we do (though unfortunately we also have tons of fake wars that hinder progress). And that is why we progress as a social species, most of the time. Maybe today we are in the lows of the fluctuation, with tons of aggressively monetized games, easy-pay-to-win and whale culture, maybe we are there... But condemning the whole model of Microtransaction and claiming it is not ethical is not going to lead anywhere whoever does that anywhere in this industry. The real fight is not against the model, the real fight is against ourself being presented a realm of opportunities, and then choosing to exploit them, or not. The real fight is about finding a compromise (or balance) to benefit from the Microtransaction's (and similar concepts) profitability and to consider ourselves, our work, our future (our being both the industry and its audience, its customers) in the fairest or most ethical way we can (but it will still be a compromise, like any wedding is, like the marriage of art and business). And there is only one way to achieve that. Do it right and present it to the world, so the world will never be willing to get anything again from someone who did it wrong. That is where the real fight is, that is where the future of all human progress has been, is, and will be.

(wahoo, do you think Holywood will take these lines for an upcoming movie, before an epic battle scene? The game industry strikes back) lol

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th July 2013 6:53pm

Posted:A year ago

#10

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
The problem with your analogy is that watch owners are not competing against each other. You don't buy a more expensive watch to obtain a competitive advantage in time keeping. At best the watch equivalent could me analogous to collectors editions. Prestige but usually with no real difference in the effective functionality of the core product.

With regards to WoW itself, the introduction of this dynamic into an already existing ecosystem is really what draws my ire. Say a player has played for 5 years now. That's $177 + $144 + $144 + $144 + $144 ($753). And now they are being asked to pay even more to maintain competitive values. Most people won't buy it because they think, "Wow, great value." They'll buy it begrudgingly because they know if they don't, they'll be at a disadvantage to those that do.

As for game prices, they cost $60 back in the early 90's due to the utilization of cartridges. Optical media and now digital distribution has greatly reduced a lot of cash that went into that MSRP.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
The problem with your analogy is that watch owners are not competing against each other.
You really think Cardin is not competing against Rolex ? Or even those are not competing against Swatch ? to name a very few...
When there is no competition, there is a Monopoly. To my knowledge there is no such thing in any luxury industry, should it be watches, cars, clothes, whatever... Besides, I did not mention Swatch here by mistake as Swatch actually did compete (amongst other brands) on the luxury watches market trying to hit the same audience. How ? simple, for example with high value sport watches, because yeah a Rolex is more like a "town watch" or maybe a "golf club watch" something you wear for mondanities or posh activities, but if you, as a rich man are also passionate about squash or diving... then maybe you should show how fit, dynamic and energic you are with our waterproof anti-static anti-corrosion super sport watch! Marketing is everywhere, marketing is everything, and that is why, no matter which company sells what advertizing always depict perfectly gorgeous people... the ones, deep inside, all of us want to be because the more we've being told that is the right way to be, the more we realize we are not (with the exception of the lucky ones of course) and the more that watch or that car or eating in that restaurant, traveling to that country can actually help us to get closer to The Dream. Worse being that buying the watch or the car, or traveling there, etc. actually makes you more gorgeous or interesting to others because it is cascading (I don't own the watch, but I am good friend with someone who does, so I am also that close to be as gorgeous as if I was wearing the watch... hilarious, init ?).
At best the watch equivalent could me analogous to collectors editions. Prestige but usually with no real difference in the effective functionality of the core product.
Far from real, if we keep talking about the watches (exemple I choose really randomly amongst many others possible), watches marketing and related technical innovation are limitless. Self recharge feature, compasses, barometers, waterproof, anti-corrosion, anti-irritating, glow in the dark, whistle your dog... seriously... we've seen it all and even more.

And that was of course marketed like any other product with the very same techniques that worked for everyone or everything else.

We are doing the same with games. Vanity, power, confort, etc... those are the same principles and we market them the very same way as one would sell chocolate, a car, a bank account or an internet contract.
With regards to WoW itself, the introduction of this dynamic into an already existing ecosystem is really what draws my ire. Say a player has played for 5 years now. That's $177 + $144 + $144 + $144 + $144 ($753).
Sorry to turn this down like that, but that is still so much cheaper than a gym membership...

This brings me back to another question I've dropped here on some other topic: what is the value of entertainment ?

The answer to that, should it be per hour, per month, per year.... is subjective and related to the individual.
Most people won't buy it because they think, "Wow, great value." They'll buy it begrudgingly because they know if they don't, they'll be at a disadvantage to those that do.
We already included some warnings in our games (some... prolly because of some player who have sued a company for not doing so) to remind the player to take breaks, to eat, to go out, pay his bills (beside the electricity one, which conveniently most gamers manage to do - how surprising) so maybe we are that close to actually add "please don't spend your whole salary or your benefits in the game, think about your kids, they need to eat sometimes too...". It is getting a bit ridiculous... doesn't it ?

To what level can ANY industry be made responsible of people's irresponsible behaviors ?

If I don't train like Hussain Bolt, I will never beat him in a 100m race. Actually I could start doing that, if I wanted to, but do I really need to beat that athlete to feel like a man? And if I could beat him? Would I feel better after? I have been playing MechCommander in the SL league, for a season under the name of HR-Gravedigger, and I was pretty good, good enough to be top 1 which I reached. I had a rival (who I don't remember the name, but he was a US guy), shortly after the end of the season where we both stole top spot from each other during the night (I was sleeping when he was playing) I stayed longer and managed to play against him for the first time in 6 month. We made 2 games and I won both (I was shaking after that, because he was indeed incredibely good) and then, he played a couple more games and went to spot 1. While he was sleeping, I was awake, and that day... guess what, I had like 4 or 5 games to win to get back to spot one (or I had enough hours to play 50 and definitely put myself out of reach in case he woke up to play) and secure my win and be the "best of the world"... but guess what... that day I choosed not to play. Why ? because would I have gotten a better job for that ? money ? fame all around the world ? and even if I could have had all that ? was that really what I was looking for ? The one thing I learned from this (and my other competitive experience) and that I only realized years after is that I wasn't competing against the world, I was competing against myself. I did beat the world and I did beat my only rival, and it did not make me feel better in anyways. So maybe, and this is not related to any kind of monetization, what we should teach players is fair-play, is that "it is just a game". But go tell them that, try... I'll call the ambulance in the meantime, because you are going to pay for threatening their way of life, their ONLY way of life! And that is what we sold them, for more than 20 years, level, become stronger... and they heard us, oh yes they did even beyond expectations! And then we saw powerleving, goldsellers, accounts and items on ebay for prices that I could pay my f. mortgage with (if I had one) or a car (if I knew how to drive)... And now we go all crazy because our industry wants to take control over this market ? We are only harvesting what we have sewn in all those years. Where is Mr. #dealwithit when I need him ?

It is good we criticize ourselves, and what is happening, it is good we realize what we did, that is for sure. But let's be honest, now that we unlocked the big legendary words like Ethics or Education... we did not cared so much back then, when we just went into making game for fun, all for fun "why so serious...? no... no.... go away serious! we're into fun here, only fun!" and yeah, now we are waking up with the harsh reality our lack of concern and lack of care (because we wanted to be only fun guys doing fun things for the fun of people) leads to that. The veterans grew up, and they looked back like Mr Spector (amongst others) and instead of getting stuck in the past they try to be positive and find new "more responsible" paths. On the other side, the stargazers realize that well, it's not only about fun anymore, and the nerf guns and funny goodies we have in our offices don't hide the "getting more corporate reality" whenever the "suits" wear suits or their casual incognito outfits. The system is not responsible, we made the system, not the opposite. Though we can change it, of course but we created v.1.0 and now we gonna have to build v.2.0 on the architecture we chose at first (unless someone's genius enough to overwrite like +20 years of history and sell the hotfix it to the entire world in an instant)
As for game prices, they cost $60 back in the early 90's due to the utilization of cartridges. Optical media and now digital distribution has greatly reduced a lot of cash that went into that MSRP.
There are much more details we could go into and the analysis could be much more complex though still not contradict my point (prove me wrong). Although that is not a part I am very interested in, I leave that to whoever is interested by economical or technical data. My field is more epistemology and I don't need specialist knowledge to practice that, I just need to understand the what the role of the latter. My point was just to mention there is inflation, and inflation affects everything that is related to purchasing power on the "end-user" side.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th July 2013 8:12pm

Posted:A year ago

#12

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
I'm short on time so I can touch back only on the watch analogy for the moment.

You're noting watch making companies that compete among themselves which would equate to game developers competing among themselves for sales. What I am saying is that the various models of Casio (highest end model to lowest end model) do not compete among themselves to keep the best time. But that is what your original watch analogy alluded to. Sure, gamers have the option for MT's just as they have the option for the higher end Casio watch. But there is a very distinct difference in MT's that create a competitive advantage in a competitive game over increased complications (that's what they call extra functionalities in a watch beyond the default time keeping) in various watch models. Gamer A's high end Casio gives him no time keeping advantage over Gamer B's low end Casio. Nor are they competing at such a task to begin with.

Posted:A year ago

#13

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
What I am saying is that the various models of Casio (highest end model to lowest end model) do not compete among themselves to keep the best time.
I believe they do, but as I mentionned it earlier, we do not care about the base functionnality of a watch (giving time). Nor do we care about the base functionality of a game (providing fun) anymore. Because for both watches and games we have now reached a point of know how in the respective industries that nearly guarantees (unless the product is faulty) that your watch will show you the right time and the game will provide you fun (while showing the right time is an objective thing and having fun is a totally subjective thing and in that matter the analogy wears off).

While I am not an expert and can't name the right names for the concept or even use the right words, I know companies often have "dummy products" which purpose is not to be sold (because they are within the same price range and technically aimed at the same potential customers) or to make profit directly with, but to focus the customer attention on the product the company really want to sell by enhancing the advantages of it. Those could also be there only to emulate a competitor product and are not meant to be sold (though of course they can still be), but rather to have the same offer than in the competitor's catalog so the customer don't go to the competition but come to your offer and eventually end up buying the product you really want to sell and not the dummy ones. So of course products within a brand that knows what its doing are competing against each other, because whatever are those dummy products if they are to be bought by someone who was not seduced by the core item (I guess it happens) they still need to represent the brand (Should you sell prestige, you don't want anyone to think one of your model is crap, do you?).
Gamer A's high end Casio gives him no time keeping advantage over Gamer B's low end Casio. Nor are they competing at such a task to begin with.
Definitely not if we strictly refer to the fact time keeping is an objective fact. But the model of the watch is not being sold based on the objective fact a watch gives time (because then any watch can do), it is sold over the subjective fact that buying this watch will make you look smarter, more succesful, etc. A subjective thing (although, it also works objectively since wearing a Casio may actually impress people and they may think your smart and succesful even if you are not and you may take advantage of that).
Sure, gamers have the option for MT's just as they have the option for the higher end Casio watch. But there is a very distinct difference in MT's that create a competitive advantage in a competitive game over increased complications (that's what they call extra functionalities in a watch beyond the default time keeping) in various watch models.
Well if it was a Batwatch, with grappling hook... Joke apart, I get your point and I do agree. But what you refering to is what is usually refered to "pay-to-win" which is a specific type of microtransaction (which I could add sound, so I would put a sample of evil laugh here). Just like I keep insisting about the F2P model, and microtransaction, we have to understand what we talking about and not claim a model, or a feature of this model instantly makes the model or all other features of the model a bad thing. Beside, it is working for countless companies in practice and the audience follows. Pay-to-win is one easy path (though short-sighted) for both users and businesses. But it is NOT THE ONLY PATH. As I mentioned earlier, there are other ways for the industry, for the developers, for the designers and ultimately for the gamers to benefit from the Microtransactions (typically customizable content and experience can be a good thing for the user).

The Path of Exile developpers for example are attempting not to have any "Pay-to-win" component in their game, although it is very challenging for them regarding both game type (ARPG - diablo like) and the state of the market for this genre. Comfort (you can still argue that some extra inventory slots allow you to go less often to town to sell your stuff, but that is being a bit fussy or a bit twisted) and Vanity MT mainly (last time I've checked) are nearly all you can find in their shop (there is also an expensive option to add and name your own unique item to the game which is an interesting concept). I wish them all the succes they can have by the way, since they chose the hard path of trying to do great things that last... (unfortunately not always, but that is what is really wonderful with great things, it's when they last).

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th July 2013 9:40pm

Posted:A year ago

#14

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

227 604 2.7
Well, I personally don't like the way WoW is being directed as a financial aid tool. I've been playing it since beta, and still do, however it is losing it's charm every expansion and it's harder and harder to justify to myself why I'm paying the subscription, and this business practice doesn't really help.

I can understand the sale of cosmetic items like pets and mounts, however people did warn that Blizzard was testing the waters, and they were right. Now they're talking about selling experience buffs of 100% (whereas at the moment the cap is 50% with all possible Heirloom gear + 10% from guild perks), so it's a 160% buff, something that not even some private servers go as far.

But I might not mind too much with this MT 'prodcut', since the reliance on experience as an unfair advantage is debatable, and certainly not as grave as selling gear for real coin, however...

Another item in the talks to be commercially available in game are "Lesser Charms of Good Fortune", and with these Blizzard is treading on very thin ice. If a player racks 50x Lesser Charm of Good Fortune, (bear in mind these are already easily available through questing and killing mobs) they can trade in those 50 for 3 "Mogu Rune of Fate" which is something that can be used as a bonus roll for the chance of winning an additional item from a boss's loot table.

So it's not exactly a direct way of pay2win or selling gear directly to the user using real currency, but you can see how close it is. If someone can afford to buy these charms in racks, then the more chances they have at getting gear they need.

In conclusion, from cosmetic pets and mounts, to (not quite) literally gear. I can see where this is going, and with a subscription fee on top with content updates only every 3 to 4 months (it used to be a lot more often 4 years ago) I'm not so sure why we're paying it. It looks like they are trying to be both subscription and micro-transactions based, and that's hard for its core players to chew on.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
So it's not exactly a direct way of pay2win or selling gear directly to the user using real currency, but you can see how close it is. If someone can afford to buy these charms in racks, then the more chances they have at getting gear they need.
Excellent point. Now to be fair with Blizzard, this is still time-saving stuff, not exactly Pay-to-win (pay-to-win should be distinguished from time-saving or pay-to-win-earlier, which is not what Pay-to-Win conveys in reality and that mean "Can't win if you don't pay"). That kind of MT is a shortcut for the players who can't manage their own frustration or have no patience management skills (and there's so many of them, which is one of the reason the F2P is working so well at the moment).

Nevertheless this is a double-edged sword, because if you give the means for players to access current content much faster, then you constantly need to add more content and much faster everytime (which also means you have to invest more money - something Blizzard already understood long ago with WoW, typically by multiplying the tokens each time a new tier of gear was made available). As I said earlier, this is a some sort of short term solution for the publisher/developer (in that case Blizzard is both at the same time), unless you make it become a loop, a routine (which Blizzard did).

Blizzard are masters in disguising their sinks, just like the Diablo Sorceress'skill Mirror Image by duplicating the layers between the requirements and the reward (giving an illusion they are multiple sinks), but they know and they count on the smart players to find out (just like you did) with the feeling of achievement it gives them to have uncovered the mystery or the trick and then share with the community. Then everyone thinks they found the hidden path, but actually everyone ends up exactly where Blizzard was willing them to end.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 11th July 2013 9:46am

Posted:A year ago

#16

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