Blizzard Testing Real Money Shop For World Of Warcraft

By Nathan Grayson on July 8th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

BUY ALL OF THE THINGS

I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that MMOs are dying, but big traditional ones are certainly in a rough spot. Approximately seven-hundred quadrillion of them have responded by fishing a finger into free-to-play’s jangling pockets, but one titan’s managed to stick with subscriptions. I’m talking, of course, about World of Warcraft, ruler of the MMO realm since time immemorial (2004 was how many years ago? No seriously, I forgot). But things change, and even the most negligent of subscribers’ credit cards eventually expire. WoW can’t hold out forever, so Blizzard’s dabbling in the darkest gold-producing alchemy of them all: in-game microtransactions.

Blizzard fessed up to “exploring” the option after dataminers discovered references to real-money items – for instance, a 100 percent XP boost called the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom – while digging through test server updates. In a post on WoW’s forums, Blizzard explained:

“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”

“Certain regions” seems to imply that the feature – if it ever really sees the light of day – won’t be universal. As for where exactly it’ll show up, that’s anybody’s guess at this point.

Does this mean WoW’s finally mashing the free-to-play panic button? It’s highly, highly doubtful. But even at Blizzard belts are clearly tightening, and I can’t imagine that pressing reset on long-awaited WoW pseudo-successor Project Titan helped much.

What do you think of this, though? Would you be OK with dropping a few extra coins in Blizzard’s cup – on top of your existing subscription fee – for items that actually affect gameplay? Is WoW even a game that warrants these items, given that leveling’s already pretty breezy? This sort of thing seemed inevitable in the wake of real money pets and things of the like, but are you ready for it?

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73 Comments »

  1. MrEvilGuy says:

    To answer your questions:

    I think little of it.
    No I would not be OK with it.
    Yes, I think WOW warrants these items.
    No, I am not ready for it.

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    • VideoGamesPayMyBills says:

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  2. 1Life0Continues says:

    Cue ‘WoW is dying” outcries.

    Not that I’d be upset if that were true.
    But I doubt this means anything.

    • starclaws says:

      In my world it was never alive… I like to call it “The World of Real” or WoR… Sometimes pronounced WaR when we killing each other.

      • Runty McTall says:

        Man, I tell you what – you seen the graphics in WoR? Incredible – real time lighting and shadows, immense poly counts, HDR, the works (no lense flare yet, though; I imagine that will come in a later patch).

        And the map design – you ever checked out that Grand Canyon level, for example?!

        • Premium User Badge

          JamesTheNumberless says:

          I actually heard they used point clouds rather than polygons, and the minimum spec you need is surprisingly low. Apparently there are several mods available that enable lens flare too.

        • vivlo says:

          The problem is the gameplay, really limited. Your base power are really lame : no telekinesis, no mindspeaking, no augmented body of any sort. You have to pass a licence to drive any kind of vehicle, and i’ve yet to find a jetpack or a bazzoka around a street corner. And there is permadeath, too, and slow and tedious level progression… Also this is very restrictive, any action you take has consequences, which are easily unforgiving if you break the game’s laws or displease other players… And the rules are well hidden.

          • Premium User Badge

            JamesTheNumberless says:

            Right… The game is crying out for some patches. The economic balance, for instance, is completely screwed. What few gameplay mods there are, mainly come in chemical form and introduce all kinds of unpleasant side-effects and glitches… And talk about pay-to-win!

            No wonder I’ve yet to meet anyone who embarked on more than one playthrough.

        • mr.black says:

          Community is ass, though. Lots of jerks with an occasional gem of a true nice person..

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      WoW isn’t dying, but Blizzard is a powerful walking corpse at this point.

  3. TripleCripple says:

    Oh WoW you silly silly addictive game. I always thought it was nice to be a tourist in Azeroth. However it was quite bleak to be an immigrant in it.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Biscuitry says:

    The only surprising part about this development is that it’s taken them this long.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      It’s true, they already had all other types of monetary extraction. Pay for the box. Pay for the subscription. Pay for expansions. Pay for services. Pay for in-game items.

      Considering all that, this is a rather minor step for them to take.

      • Syra says:

        They’ve also gone through the desperation phases of – okay don’t pay for the box, okay here have the next expansion free, hey don’t go, come back and have free game time, bring a friend and everyone gets free stuff, okay have some free pets and stuff! PLEASE KEEP PLAYING.

        …please!

        • mouton says:

          Can’t really blame them, they are making money. What amazes me is that people agreed to all that for so long. Ah well.

    • Faxanadu says:

      Word. They’re in a downward spiral and they could care less about giving it one last spin, instead they’re focusing on hoarding parachutes. And I’m glad of it. I will never forgive all the opportunities they missed with World of WarCraft. I can’t wait for the time Blizzard is forced to push out something other than an update to one of their existing concepts, and they fail miserably because they can’t create anything new anymore.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        So… what opportunities did they miss?

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          I want to hear his answer, but the main things I always wanted in the game was it to cater more to ME ME ME.

          That is, I don’t really love perfectionism and running the same encounter 15-20 times. I wanted variety and experiences.

          I’d have wanted:

          * A larger world with more space, and less carefully manicured areas
          * Instances that were partially or totally randomized, so five-player teams would have to think more on their feet and less just complain at the one person who hasn’t seen it 40 times
          * More rapidly developed and more easily completed dungeons so that casual players could drop in and try out some new stuff on a periodic basis
          * Any means at all by which players could meaningfully help each other. I tended to find myself in guilds with fun people and wanted to turn my time-wasted nonsense hours into results for my co-players, because I like helping people. WoW offered decreasing amounts of opportunity for this over time, mostly by removing the efficacy of things like elixirs, food buffs, etc so as to remove a sense of grind from “serious” players. That’s fine and all, but it just streamlined “assistance” out of the game for the most part.

          Obviously, I’m not the player they were aiming for. And there are probably not that many of me. But hey, that’s what I wanted.

          Since I quit, there’ve been a few things heading in the directions I desired. Raid lockouts have gotten less silly. There’s an easy tier of raiding for people who aren’t very serious about the game. But my friends have moved on and so have I.

        • Faxanadu says:

          jrodman put down a good list about the PvE, I’m mostly miffed about missed chances in PvP.

          Open world PvE dungeons with a PvP aspect. Open world monsters, and monster events that actually matter. Conquering territory and towns in an open world. Stress the word OPEN, OPEN WORLD on the game case was what made me buy the game all those years ago, and come Mists of Pandaria Blizz admitted they had screwed up that bit – AGES AGO – everyone just teleported everywhere and anywhere.

          But PvP I’m most peeved about. They did NOTHING with it. They had a snappy UI, streamed world, lots of classes, just wonderful for PvP, everything was there, and what did you get? A couple arena maps and a battleground in the span of YEARS? Sure, it’s a PvE game. But missing the screaming obvious opportunity of making it an awesome PvP game is just unforgivable.

          The little things were perhaps the most saddening. Remember when you stood in a town, crying out for teammates to complete a dungeon? Then you traveled there with them, did the dungeon, and then you knew the people and knew you could trust them? THAT BUILT COMMUNITY. That built a sense of achievement. Now you just teleport in and notice that the tank is a retard do a /spit and /leave and you’ll never see them again, ever.

          They replaced the sense of an achievement with an achievement system.

          You messed it up, blizz.

          • Brun says:

            What are you talking about? That OPEN WORLD PvP you want so much has never been better than it is now thanks to the implementation of Crossrealm Zones (CRZ). Fly down to Blasted Lands, Stranglethorn Vale, or Hellfire Peninsula on any PvP server and there’s constantly fights going on, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the days of Tarren Mill and Southshore.

            EDIT: And IMO, trying to turn WoW into an E-Sport was one of the worst decisions Blizzard ever made with the game. They wasted 4 years trying to make arenas work and by the time they implemented Rated Battlegrounds (which is what they should have done from the start) no one took WoW PvP seriously. The focus should always have been on objective-based PvP because class balance issues are less of a headache in that situation vs. deathmatch.

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            jrodman says:

            Well, there was a trade there.

            Remember when non-heroic dungeons were no longer relevant and you just reached level 70, and you couldn’t FIND anyone to run a dungeon with?

            Hours spent looking and then someone had to leave?

            I’m not sure the trade was wrong. Something was surely lost, but one thing that was lost was boredom and frustration at inability to do anything.

          • Faxanadu says:

            Brun, way too little, way too late.

            I understand the tradeoff, jrodman. The tradeoff was community for instant gratification. But why I think it was wrong was that the community WAS the solution. You were supposed to get friends, team up, get to know people so that you can do that content. Or make mechanics that give others a reason to help someone complete a dungeon like that.

            But instead, blizz decided to hell with that, just throw MORE at the problem and eventually there’s ENOUGH.

          • Brun says:

            Brun, way too little, way too late.

            Don’t see how that’s “too late”, other than it being implemented after you’d already written the game off. Try it sometime – you’ll see it’s a lot like what you’re asking for.

            I understand the tradeoff, jrodman. The tradeoff was community for instant gratification. But why I think it was wrong was that the community WAS the solution. You were supposed to get friends, team up, get to know people so that you can do that content.

            There were plenty of servers that didn’t have enough people to support that solution. That ended up driving people to move to high-population servers, which (interestingly) don’t have much of a community either, due to their sheer size.

            I see that community complaint every now and then but I think the tradeoff was worth it. Their main goal was to get more people into raiding – LFG and LFR removed significant barriers to entry for many people who were unable to devote hours and hours every day to finding competent groups to gear up with. PvE at the highest level still requires a dedicated group and functions much the same way as it always has.

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            jrodman says:

            @Faxanadu:

            Okay, I accept the problem could have been solved more elegantly.

            In a sense it’s the same problem that makes a large number of dungeons still in the game completely irrelevant now.

            Who’s going to run the level 70 dungeons now, let alone all the outdated raids. Sure I wandered into Karazhan at level 74 or something during Lich King, but I quickly gave up as the group was even more impatient than I was.

            So sure, possibly some reason could have been provided, that not everyone would have taken, but enough. There was a daily normal that gave a badge, or something, but any heroic would give multiple so it was a poor incentive.

            @Brun: I guess that’s what I was really getting at. When I was powergearing my druid healer during burning crusade in order to *apply* to raiding guilds, there would come a point in the daily cycle during my normal playtime where there simply weren’t enough players logged on willing to do a dungeon. They were either finishing their raiding cycle or going to bed.

            Of course part of the problem here was the idea that it would be reasonable for someone to spend a month of gaming time to get geared for the current progression level. But i was out of work for a while, and sort of enjoyed the masochistic process of earning it. I wouldn’t do it again though, given the choice to return to then, even knowing the fun 4 or so months of sane-scheduled raiding I had after.

            Although, as Faxanadu says, this scrounging for parties is what fueled my links with the players on that server. I ended up known among players who I liked, and they liked me. It was probably not a good time/reward payoff, but it did pay off. There’s probably a good 15 gamers around the planet that to this day would remember my druid Lilien by name with a smile.

            The sad part is that social investment went absolutely nowhere. Of all the people I valued from the game, and offered to stay in contact with in other games and/or the odd IM/email, only one took me up on it.

          • Brun says:

            Providing an incentive is difficult – it’s the same reason they removed attunements from raids. Even the most hardcore guilds hated wasting time out of their raid week to get new members attuned. Removing attunements and adding LFG/LFR serve another important purpose – they provide a way for people who started late (i.e. didn’t start leveling until well into an expansion) a way to catch up to everyone else. In vanilla and BC it was nearly impossible to get caught up gear- and attunement-wise because there weren’t enough people trying to run the same instances as you (in other words, there weren’t enough people also trying to catch up).

            EDIT: jrodman beat me to it.

      • Shuck says:

        “downward spiral”
        They’re experiencing the same subscriber drop-off that every MMO experiences once they hit their peak. WoW was able to sustain growth that no other MMO has seen, and WoW’s ability to keep subscribers is unrivaled. A move to free-to-play would boost player numbers enormously, and below a certain number of subscribers, it would boost revenue as well, so it’s undoubtedly something they’ll do when the subscriber base declines enough.

  5. I Got Pineapples says:

    ‘Certain Regions’ usually means Asia.

  6. Lobotomist says:

    First of Project Titan was scrapped couple of months ago.
    Blizzard reached dead end and will be redesigning it from ground up.

    (Which given Blizzard time give it release window of 2020-2024 By than we will all be immortal and live in cyberspace)

    As for WOW
    It was slowly declining for around two years now.
    Naturally to decline from 12 million to 8 million, still makes it 10 times more successful than any other MMO.

    But the process has started. And Blizzard are much more worried than they let it show.

    • Syra says:

      More than 2 years, the thing was it went up to 12mil subs a few years back, and then started declining rapidly but they opened up the asian markets at long last and that slowed down the decrease in subscribers by adding a few million to offset them. I think last investor call they were saying it’s coming down to 6mil?

  7. Crainey says:

    As others have mentioned, “certain regions” does normally imply Asia, which would make sense. The micro-transaction based model seems to suit the Asian market a lot more, and they are much more accepting of “pay-to-win” than we are in the West.

  8. Kinch says:

    Funny thing is, they’ve had a cash shop for a while now. ;) It started with “this retarded horse” and then continued with a plethora of pets, mounts, and what not. Plus, you have to pay for ‘extra’ services such as character rename, server transfer, race/sex change, etc. It’s as if GW2 suddenly had a subscription.

    Will it go F2P? I don’t think so. Not until they have millions and millions of paying customers.

    With the community getting worse and worse because of all the ‘anonymizing’ features such as dungeon finder, raid finder, cross-realm zones, WoW is bound to become the LoL of MMOs. Another cash grab would be by no means suprising. ;)

  9. cpy says:

    So we have: Two Words EA shop: No refunds!
    And now inceptioncraft yo dawg we heard you like paying so we put real money shop to your already subscription based game so you can pay us while you pay us!
    My answer: Hahaha NO!
    If wow gets F2P, i might return to official servers, but for now, i’m good with not playing wow at all.

  10. almightybooka says:

    All this really means is they’ve finally realised that levelling is pointless, and that the end game whether it be PvE or PvP is what attracts the subscription fee and keeps it. Having impatient levellers stuck at level 50 and ending their subscription after a week does them no good.

    • Fatrat says:

      It’s the opposite for me. The levelling experience was always the best bit. Exploring, getting in to random PvP encounters, quests/dungeons. But the endgame is just a gear-chasing grind. Or these days, also a rep-chase grind too. I miss the days when WoW was harder, epic gear was rare and PvP was more common in the open world.

      Ah well, maybe one day i’ll find another worthy MMO. Everything else since felt empty as hell within weeks. I’m hoping we get something where the PvP has consequences. It adds a lot of depth when you can’t endlessly run in to fights without thinking, imo.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        I really think most people playing are in one of two camps:

        * Would prefer instant arrival at level cap
        * Would prefer to enjoy the trip without speedups

        Selling faster levelling seems stupid to me. Just sell levels or sell level 90. Let those of us who want to experience things level SLOWER than now.

    • Moraven says:

      Leveling is fun the first time. The 2nd time you may see something new. The 3rd time you might do the quests in a different order. After that its just a wall for your 85 alt character to do lv 90 content. They decreased the 85-90 exp requirement by 30%. The one downside is that new players might miss out on a lot of questing content since they hit 90 before they are even close to finishing it. The higher level zones have slightly better.

      1-58 is interesting since you have two continents to level on which have different branching routes. It would take at least 4 times to cover everything if you were questing at the right level for the zone. I imagine most of the playerbase is experienced players and not new, and a low % look forward to leveling. It will be interesting if the next expo will try anything other new to the formula other than a new 90-95 continent. Maybe keep the level cap at 90 and provide questing content that rewards tokens? 5.2,5.3,5.4 is show some of the things they are trying

  11. kael13 says:

    I think I might be broken on the inside. I just don’t find MMOs fun any more.
    With Mists of Pandaria, I swore I wouldn’t buy it but eventually conceded to peer pressure (I know, so weak am I). I levelled to 90 and then immediately quit.

    After the first month back in EVE after 5 years away, I stopped logging in. Even the pretty new stargate effects failed to keep me amused for long.

    And I just tried Swtor again this weekend. I had no will to continue after half an hour of that.

    So it was back to my second playthough of Mass Effect 3. Now that game is fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      I will always prefer single player games – especially RPGs. Wow was great fun for me when I was playing through each of the races from level 1 to about level 30 – then became too much of a grind with quests too spread out, areas with less interesting backstory and quests, and too many of them relying on having a party of helpers.

    • Kinch says:

      Same ‘MMO fatigue’ here.

      I can’t even force myself to play GW2 although it wants no money from me and is, in general, a fantastic game. It’s just the general mechanics that drive me away, the concept that ‘you have to keep playing’ and that you must ‘keep up’. Well, I don’t have to – so I don’t. :D

    • Jenks says:

      It’s not you. You named two ancient games and one terrible game, and the truth is there isn’t any better available.

      The problem is the industry hasn’t put out a great MMO since WoW, it’s nothing but tedious WoW clones which have focused on the worst aspects of WoW. The genre is due for a renaissance, Star Citizen and Camelot Unchained look like they might start it. Everquest Next might also be on the right track.

      In the meantime, it’s not an RPG, but the best MMO released in the last 5+ years is Planetside 2.

      • -Spooky- says:

        WoW clones nothing? Ye, right. Stay on the real facts pls.

      • Grygus says:

        All WoW clones? I don’t know about that.

        Guild Wars has an instanced world into which you can bring a full party of NPCs, and everyone is dual-classed.

        Guild Wars 2 seems to be a collection of ideas that began with, “what doesn’t WoW do?” Other than being an MMO that features classes and levels, it doesn’t have much in common with WoW.

        Atlantica Online is an MMO with a party of up to nine characters per player, each individually acquired, leveled, and geared, and then used in turn-based tactical combat similar to Disciples II.

        Games like TERA, Vindictus, and Neverwinter have kept most of the trappings but played a lot with the combat model.

        Now, none of these killed WoW, and none of these are the game that will convince you that you need to catass all day like you did in your first MMO, but if you’re interested in the future of MMOs then there are people trying to find it. It’s not all clones.

      • ScubaMonster says:

        I think you need to take a harder look. Yes there are a lot of Wow clones (or were) but there is also some good variety, or at least “good enough”.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        I think/hope Wildstar will hit my MMO G-Spot and I’m pretty sure Blizz will be worried its gonna take some of their subbers.

    • LawTGuy says:

      I suspect you’re not bored with MMOs per se, but rather bored with the core mechanic of the traditional MMO: walk up to mob, slowly hit number keys in same pattern every time until mob is dead, collect loot, repeat. If you’re like me, you probably find the meta-game of leveling up your character still interesting, but just can’t stand the grind anymore. SWTOR and a host of other traditional MMOs have the same core gameplay which is why you play a few hours until the grind starts to kick in and then realize it’s boring.

      I’d recommend looking at MMOs that either aren’t so grindy or have a different core mechanic or both. Some personal recommendations:

      Planetside 2: It uses a FPS (of the Battlefield sub-genre) as it’s core mechanic. It’s F2P, but all non-cosmetic stuff is unlockable without spending money. The best thing about it is that it is actually lives up to the first M in MMO: there are absolutely crazy raging battles between huge numbers of players.

      Neverwinter Nights: a D&D themed WoW, but with the twist of being an “action” MMO. It’s like a 3rd person shooter: you must aim and you must dodge to avoid attacks. Also it’s not very grindy until you get to max level (you can grind the top level 5-man dungeons for better loot if you want).

      Star Trek Online: An older game that deservedly got slammed on launch, but has become much better since. The space portion is quite actiony as it involves positioning your ship to maximize damage on the enemy and minimize it on you. If you turn on the FPS mode, the ground portion is reasonably actiony. Also not very grindy until you get to max level.

  12. Freud says:

    Double dipping into peoples wallets? Not cool.

  13. Beernut says:

    It’s already questionable to create pets and mounts (i.e. a model with an animation plus a sound file) and sell it for 10-20€, while collecting 13€ a month on top of it. But since those are cosmetic changes, I don’t care. The prices of extra services are unjustified as well (or is copying a few megabytes of character-data from one server to another really worth 20€?). If they’re now planning to double-dip again with the offer of gameplay-influencing items for realworld-money, they crossed a line. I’d be fine with this kind of business model, if we’d be talking about a F2P-game. But not combined with a subscription.

    Maybe they plan to transition their model only for the asian regions, whose tolerance for exploitative monetization is way higher than in the western markets. Europe and the US probably wouldn’t stand for micro-transactions, which offer advantages in the end game. XP-boosts are slightly different in that regard, since they’re irrelevant at the maximum level, where 80% of the content happens anyway.

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      jrodman says:

      BTW, your character is not megabytes. It is definitely kilobytes. An stack of items (or single item) is like 16 bytes or so. You have what, like 200 of those? Let’s round up CRAZY style. Your character is around 10KB.

      Of course copying 10KB is not the hard part but rather shuffling state around among systems that weren’t really designed to be shuffled. But they’ve had around 6 years to work it out. I’m pretty sure it’s pretty much entirely automated now, even the messy bits.

      The fee is pretty jokey by now.

      • Beernut says:

        Perhaps, but each character has a list of a completed quests, achievements, achievement progress and maybe a lot of macros which are also stored server-side iirc. I could also see them migrating the last days of loot- and chat-history for the character as well. But anyway, the process is completely automated since they put their character-migration-system in place and all the dependencies and the changes in a realm’s metadata are computed without the need of human interaction (guild affiliations, realm-firsts, a bunch of statistics and aggregated monitoring data etc.).

        At this point, a realm transfer shouldn’t cost them more than a few cents of CPU-time and R/W-Operations+negligible bandwidth for the transfer. The same for faction changes, where each achievement, mount or item can be automatically mapped to its counter-part if need be. I can understand the notion of preventing people from changing realms and faction all the time, but that would be achievable with a cooldown-timer as well (e.g. only one realm-change per year).
        I guess my biggest gripe with their “premium-services” is the fact, that they don’t offer a reasonable option to “migrate all characters from realm A to realm B”.

        • MasterDex says:

          You’re all forgetting one crucial thing – it doesn’t matter what it costs Blizzard. If it starts costing them less then good for them, more profit. They’re not going to rush to pass on the savings when they see people willing to pay the original price.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            I think the point we’re getting at is the service is sufficiently overpriced to be obnoxious, which leads to two eventualities:

            * Lower sales of the services
            * Lower memberships of the games

            I know I took one look at those prices and told myself I’d never pay them. And I never did.
            If they’d been say, 1 dollar. I probably would have used them several times.

            And that would have let me play with friends far more.
            And that would mean maybe years more subscription dollars.

            But maybe they really do make more money this way. I certainly don’t have the data, but I posit no one really does.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Quest completions are stored as a bitfield. There’s on the order of 10k quests, give or take. That’s only an extra kilobyte or so. (Note these don’t get translated properly if you change factions.)

          Achievements are a few hundred integers. Another kilobyte or two.

          Macros I didn’t think of. I’ve always found it unexpectedly weird that they’re stored server-side. But they’re very size constrained in count and characters. I think the maximum possible is around 5kb of text.

          Even with all this, you still are on the order of 10kb. Definitely waaay below 100kb.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      As I understand it, the price is not based on what it costs to do, but to discourage people from using it too often.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        If that was all there was to it, there are many other ways they could achieve that.

  14. Maxheadroom says:

    They could go 100% free and throw in free ice cream and puppies, at this point nothing would ever make me go back to WoW. Put way too many hours in and burned out on it big style.

  15. -Spooky- says:

    Rly? WoW goes F2P? Smart PR

  16. Shodex says:

    This isn’t really fair, monetized item shops are supposed to be an alternative to a subscription fee for F2P games. Putting one in an MMO that costs money for the base game, yearly expansion, and subscription fee is just wrong.

    • bleeters says:

      Pretty much my thoughts, even if this isn’t really a new thing for WoW to have. Star Pony etc.

      I’m generally ok with this sort of thing, provided they don’t throw a bunch of amazing gear on the store. But where other games are using this as a means of providing an alternate means of payment compared to a fixed monthly subscription, here? Here they’re just throwing it on in addition to it.

      Blizzard. Guys. Even Swtor doesn’t do this, and that’s an EA published game that was hemorrhaging money from all sides.

  17. lomaxgnome says:

    I would love a pay-per-day WoW, or a f2p except endgame, or something. I’ll never pay the $15 a month for WoW again, I just don’t have the time or desire, but I’d love to be able to tool around on my characters every once in a while without having to subscribe for an entire month. It seems unlikely that they will move to anything like that in the West though.

  18. Brun says:

    Keep in mind this hasn’t even been confirmed for the US/EU markets. In all likelyhood this will be an Asia-only feature, since Blizzard has been losing market share in that region to other MMOs that do offer things like this. The Asian market gets a lot of special features that the US/EU does not – they use a different payment method, and (as an example) they get various buffs for playing in internet cafes.

  19. ScubaMonster says:

    I don’t think this has to do with flagging numbers. Yeah they’ve been losing subscribers but they still have more subscribers than most any other MMO (if not every MMO). I think they just came up with a way to extract even more money for profit.

  20. wowguru says:

    Great post. I am also a avid wow player and I still play MoP. However, I am extremely busy and to earn gold and also level my characters I use a safe wow fishing bot =so a safe wow bg bot. I hope you keep writing and long live World of Warcraft and show me the money!

    I found my fishing bot at wow-fishing-bot.net and
    my wow bg bot at wow-bg-bot.com