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11-05-2009 @ 11:40AM
I am concerned that there is no clear definition of what items and benefits are acceptable for microtransactions. Blizzard has stated they are ok with providing numerous items for money. To quote:"As with the pets, mounts, and other items players can obtain through Loot cards from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, Pet Store pets are purely cosmetic and just for fun."So we can expect cosmetic items like mounts, tabards, more pets, and vanity items for cash in the future. But to quote Blizzard again, their criteria for what is and isn't accpetable to sell is as follows:"what isn't detrimental to the game and that doesn't detract from the gameplay experience for players who choose not to use the service."The key phrase is "detrimental to the game". What does that mean exactly? Who defines what helps or hurts the game? Blizzard does, of course. They have stated that 3rd party gold sellers are detrimental to the game as the gold comes from compromised accounts. But wouldn't it be both safer and more profitable to eliminate the gold sellers by selling gold directly? One could argue that eliminating the shady gold sellers, and providing a legalized way to buy gold, is less detrimental to the players than the current situation where accounts are compromised left and right. The arguments for and against legitimizing gold selling is similar to the debate over the legalization of drugs like marijuana in the U.S. Of course, since gold is digital, there's an infinite supply (and profit) for Blizzard, up to a point where the economy is destabilized.The repercussions for an infinite supply of gold likely means Blizzard will never sell gold. However, for items which are fixed, non-tradeable (like bag slots, gear, and experience points) Blizzard could argue that making these sellable does not detract from gameplay. Just as character or faction transfer provides an extra level of convenience, so would extra bag slots. Or less xp per level. Heck, they already half-legitimized xp for cash with the recruit a friend program. Now they have the tools to just sell the xp bonus directly.I fear what greed could do to this flagship game.
11-05-2009 @ 11:47AM
> The key phrase is "detrimental to the game". What does that mean exactly? > Who defines what helps or hurts the game? Blizzard does, of course.Things change over the time. If you go back to Vanilla Wow, neither Blizzard or any other player would have ever thought about gender, faction and race change. The key word was "learn to play your class". I think these features should have been ingame since the beginning, to be honest, as people can get bored and have no time to re-roll a new toon from scratch just because they got bored of race, gender or faction. In fact... after tons of qq, begging and proclaims... Blizzard offered these options.Same goes for "real money for vanity stuff". They start with vanity pets and try to get some cover behind the charity factor. Later, charity will be gone and 10$ will be a full price for a pet.People say "well, I do 10$ in 1 minute of my real life work, who cares get a job". It's not a matter of "how much real money you can grind each day". It's just a fact that Wow is deeply changing and old customers not always like that.And to be really honest, I can't understand how they give full patches for free (3.1, 3.2, 3.3, ...) and have the courage to ask 10 dollars for a panda. I would understand a 1$ fee, maybe... but 10... come on.
11-05-2009 @ 12:33PM
I totally agree with this. There is no good definition of what the "core gameplay" is anymore. You can say raiding, or pvp, or whatever... but the fact remains that vanity items have become a HUGE part of WoW, there are achievements linked to them and players invest many, many hours of game time to collect them.
11-05-2009 @ 12:18PM
Patches are free, because you have to have them to play the game.Expansions are not free because you can still play the previous level of content without them (note though how the patches around the expansions are still free)Pandas cost $10.00 because you don't have to have one to play or enjoy the game.
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