Game Time For Gold In Proposed World Of Warcraft Update

You heard the man

A forum post by Blizzard has offered some insight into what the company has got in mind for World of Warcraft and it includes a PLEX-esque system for exchanging gold for game time.

It’s not a definite announcement yet, more of a “we’re exploring the idea and want to know what you reckon” kind of deal.

“We’re exploring the possibility of giving players a way to buy tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold,” reads the official post. “Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system.”

What Blizzard are seeing is a way of making gold-selling a legitimate (and controllable) in-game activity rather than keeping it in the shady fringes. It’s not a plan without possible pitfalls, though. One of these is that it could just mean shady activity takes on a slightly different form – selling stolen or fraudulently purchased game time tokens in order to exchange them for gold, for example. The ability to keep the system in check and usable will therefore depend on how it’s implemented.

Obviously the go-to example for this sort of system working well is in EVE with PLEX, but Wildstar also introduced a similar system with CREDD which can be exchanged for gold in-game.

Other nuggets of information from the post include the fact that the team is working on ways of tweeting screenshots from in-game, more direct routes from flight-masters, a UI overhaul for eSports events, character model tweaks, garrison developments and so on. The full post is here for your delectation and/or delight.


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    phuzz says:

    It seems to work pretty well in Eve because it brings us wonderful things to laugh at like this person who tried to transport 90 PLEX (that’s £899.10 at today’s prices) in a not particularly well equipped ship, through a notorious pirate system. It didn’t end well for them.
    Fun aside I guess how well this will work depends on how well the markets work in WoW.

    • LexW1 says:

      Generally speaking WoW’s economy is extremely sound, probably because Blizzard keep a pretty close eye on it, so this seems likely to work out decently. I imagine we’ll be talking tens or hundreds of thousands of gold for these, certainly plenty of people out there can afford it.

      One thing that makes me narrow my eyes a bit is that Blizzard recently made changes to the crafting system which make it vastly less profitable to sell low-level crafting ingredients – something all characters leveling normally find a lot of, and this means newer players or those new to a server may have more difficulty getting started financially. I doubt there’s a connection, though, because that’s tiny beans compared to how much these would sell for.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      That’s the main reason why EvE sucks to be honest. A community full of absolute dicks who are happy rob someone of £900 and have others laugh at it.

  2. brotherthree says:

    After reading over the post detailing these upcoming features, a billboard-like advertisement kept popping into my head… like some unwelcome ghost of a Christmas past, refusing to be cast out.

    “Got a cool new garrison follower?? Invite your friends over to view your garrison while sending out live tweets and uploading screenshots to pinterest in real time!”
    – WoW Farmville 2015

    Then I snap back to reality and realize, christ, I’m lucky I got out when I did.

  3. honuk says:

    sure would have been a welcome feature back when I played

  4. Servicemaster says:

    This has been in game since Vanilla. It’s called give your friend a lot of gold and he’ll buy you a timecard. I did it more than once, I doubt WoW would have as good a deal as my buddy did, haha!

  5. Damien Stark says:

    It seems win-win to me – Blizzard still ultimately gets paid (number of players)x(monthly sub cost) either way, since the net amount of monthly subs being consumed is still the same. Plus they get a boost to that number as people first start acquiring a stock of them, and there’s a chance that the feature will interest additional players enough to increase that total number.

    Only downside I can possibly see is burstiness (an important term in network engineering, but my spell-checker doesn’t seem to approve) – If you call that (number of players)x(monthly sub cost) their base income, then right now things are nice and smooth. They can expect and plan for that same income every month (only the number of players really fluctuates). But with game-time-for-gold, it’s possible to have a big income spike as the population buys up a stock of extra time, then an income lull as that stock is drawn down.

    Still seems like a pretty clear win to me – especially considering that resources currently consumed fighting the illicit gold sellers can probably be diminished.

  6. socrate says:

    People buy timecard for gold all the time really i don’t see that big of a change here really…now it will be basically “legal” and implemented in the game itself…the question would be how they intend to implement it…some people said the WoW economy is doing fine when in reality more and more gold is seen and less stuff is required to craft most thing or aquire certain item….