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7-14-2011 @ 2:53PM
Why shouldn't folks be able to comment on the increasing frequency of premium services? Blizzard is rolling out a new premium service, one of many over the past three years or so, and so it warrants discussion if people feel so inclined.The idea that this is all part of a "slippery slope," too, has merit. Certainly as players we receive a ton of content as part of our subscription fee, no question. The subscription fees cover server costs, content updates, character rebalancing, etc., but never forget the fee you paid at the gate. Between the Battle Chest (if you got in late) and expansions WoW is already the most expensive video game in existence.This particular service is not like previously introduced "Premium" services, either. Grouping with your RealID friends is an integrated social function within the game. You are effectively gating social functions once they become available by charging a fee thereafter. Mobile Guild Chat is external to the game. Sparkle ponies and non-combat pets are in-game but have arguably no direct impact on gameplay. RealID and dungeon grouping has a direct impact on how you play the game because it impacts with whom you get to play.I'm actually really surprised that Blizzard is considering giving this a price tag considering that it didn't charge for RealID itself.All I'm saying, Iirdan, is that valid points about premium services can be made within the context of this new service. Well, that's not ALL I'm saying, but it's mixed in there with a bunch of other stuff.I appreciate your attempt to thwart outright trolling, but those suckers have Regeneration!@JBluntzHe may not be expecting something for nothing. In addition to the cost of the game itself that $15 pays for a lot of things, like content updates in the form of new raids and dungeons, but it also pays for additional services like RealID, an improved LFD interface, and similarly improved UI functions (like simplified Powerauras). It is reasonable to expect a service like the one being introduced here be included with our current subscription.This is, of course, purely a matter of opinion. Blizzard can try and charge for it and see if it sticks, and it may, but I don't think it's the right move from a customer service standpoint. Epic Games, for example, releases new maps and content for Unreal Tournament players all the time for "free," meaning it was included in the cost of the game. Offering customers better service for existing prices is good business.
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