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WRUP: Buying our dreams in the game

WRUP
Another weekend is upon us, filled with sunbeams and thunderstorms and wild speculation about the new in-game store. And by wild speculation, I mean that most of the WoW Insider staff seems to have relatively measured opinions about the new feature. So, kick back, start your weekend off right, and see what your intrepid WoW journalists had to say about buying stuff while in the game.

Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) I'm playing my hunter. He's hunting things.

I like the in-game store. I'd like to sell an addon in it that plays clips from our podcast whenever something bad happens in the raid. Mostly Matt Rossi yelling things like "YES! Stand in the fire more!" or Anne laughing when you die. I think people would pay for that.

Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) I am going to decidedly not look at the Steam Summer Sale. I swear. I promise. Also I'll be a guest over on the Let's WoW Podcast on Sunday night, which should be loads of fun! As for the store -- well, I suspect it'll be a lot like the Steam Summer Sale in that I will studiously avoid it. I swear. I promise.

Chase Hasbrouck (@alarondruid, @alaronmonk) Still working through Dust: An Elysian Tail (seriously, go play that game, it's great), so that'll take up my limited time this weekend. Nothing has jumped out at me on the Steam sale, though I'm considering giving Defiance a try.

In-game store: Cosmetic gear only. I'd pay a lot for additional Cat Form skins, for example. Anything else (yes, including the XP potion) causes a conflict of interest that leads to a weakening of the game design. If you think your game is better with a way to "skp" content, build it in, aka heirlooms. If not, don't. Once you start offering it for sale, the temptation becomes high to build in more grinds so you can later offer items to speed through it. Imagine a Mists where they never increased the 5.0 raid gear/legendary item drop rates in favor of offering rate-increasing items in a store, and you get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Dan Desmond (@Antigen_) I'll probably be leveling my monk through Outland and doing some valor stuff on my paladin. Also, sporadic Borderlands 2 on either my siren or mechromancer.

I think the in-game store is a smart move, as long as it helps WoW retain its MMO crown. I could see myself buying tons of trivial things for cheap.

Actually, this might be a bad idea.

Daniel Whitcomb (@danielwhitcomb) It's a busy weekend for me, so I may not get much free time, but if I do, I will probably go see Pacific Rim. If I have extra time after that, I will probably run dungeons on my Brewmaster Monk. I'm also going to watch for Skyrim or Amalur to get low prices on the Steam Sale. If they do, I will probably buy them.

As far as the game store goes... I don't know, I used to be horrible anti-Microtransaction, but I have mellowed in my old age. I don't really mind it anymore as long as I can still get a good, complete experience on the base game without paying extra money. I'd even consider buying some XP potions to, say, finish leveling my aforementioned monk. I would definite pay for good fun transmog gear, such as a leather-looking eyepatch I could wear on my plate characters, for example. I'd probably draw the line at PvP advantages. When other players can directly affect your play experience, I hesitate at allowing them to pay for easy advantages over you. But PvE advantages? As far as I'm concerned, go wild.

Dawn Moore (@dawnwow) This weekend I have a single goal and that is to eat delicious, delicious sushi. All other tasks, including my regularly scheduled raid, are secondary to this goal. I will have sushi ... And it will be doubly delicious.

Bonus question: As I said in the WoW Insider Roundtable, I'm okay with the In-Game Store as long as I can acquire everything it offers through other means that involve additional time or skill. I do draw the line somewhere though, and that would be at allowing players to purchase power (in the form of gear or other stat upgrades) from the current tier or season. I think it would be a nice option if you could buy a character that was caught up to the previous tier, but I wouldn't want the In-Game Store affecting progression races or active PvP seasons.

Elizabeth Harper (@Faience) I'm working on being the last person in the world to finish BioShock Infinite. Don't spoil it, guys! And if I have time left over, I may work at leveling a new healer.

Oh, yeah, store: It hardly seems worth panicking over. I'll wait and see what they actually do before forming an opinion.

Elizabeth Wachowski (@leeatwaterlives) I'm going to the beach with my husband's family, so I probably won't have gaming time. I'm going to monitor the Steam sale and pick up all the games I have for Xbox that I never played through because all my gaming is on my laptop now.

The In-Game Store doesn't really bother me. I don't think I'll use it, though.

Fox Van Allen (@foxvanallen)

Joe Perez (@lodurzj) My wallet will be getting crit by the steam summer sale, until then playing Don't Starve, Rogue Legacy and the awesome game called brand new car! Which I am looking for suitably geeky car accessories if anyone has any suggestions I would love some ideas.

As far as the in game store goes, I'm OK with it as long as it doesn't give an advantage for current content. Selling XP boosts? That's OK. Selling Gear? Not so much. Heirloom Gear is a grey area for me as it doesn't really break anything, but still dangerously close to that selling of other gear line so I hope that never happens. Cosmetic stuff, I'm OK with. It's all going to depend on what will be included in it. I'm going to call it Cautiously Optimistic™

Kristin Marshall (@kristin) My monk is in Pandaria now, so I may get a level or two on her this weekend. I've leveled her mainly through healing and tanking dungeons since level 70, which has been fun. I don't know why I waited so long to level a monk! Other than that, I'm hoping to get a heroic Durumu kill on Sunday - we're close! I'm crossing my fingers.

As far as the in-game store... I don't know. I'm fine with it as long as it doesn't mess with current content. Leveling bonuses don't bother me and fun items would be okay, too. Maybe even bonuses to speeding up profession leveling, because after so many alts it gets annoying. Bonuses to current gear or something that would give an advantage to PvE progression or PvP wouldn't be cool. That would just turn into an unfair advantage to guilds/players without endless funds. Although I can't see Blizz going that far with it.

Lisa Poisso (@lisapoisso) After a rude surprise this week logging in a character I haven't played in some time, I'm loving all the alts - checking their guild status, refreshing my memory at where they were leveling and how, moving bankers and gold around after a couple of realm transfers has left some characters without "big sister" support ... The in-game store is pretty much an inevitability at this stage of WoW.

Matt "Matticus" Low (@matticus) Sigh. This Steam summer sale is going to do a number on me, I think. I already bought Endless Space. I was considering Defiance, but I don't think I'll have time for it. Maybe I'll bring another character to 90.

Things I wish the in-game store sold:

* Pizza

Matt Walsh (@Rhidach) I picked up Civ 5: Brave New World on flash sale this morning, so I'll be diving into that this weekend. Maybe I'll get some Borderlands 2 in as well.

I'm wary of an in-game store -- though as long as there's no way to buy gear or whatever, then that's ok.

Olivia Grace (@oliviadgrace) I'll be playing some WoW, in some shape or form, not exactly sure what the plan is just yet! I also picked up all the BL2 DLC and Don't Starve from the Steam sale, so maybe I'll dabble in those!

And I'm cautiously optimistic about the store. While it's initially headed for Asia, I'm convinced it'll arrive in the west, too, and as long as it's selling pretty much purely cosmetic items it's fine by me. I think a lot of people, myself included, have a very negative knee jerk reaction to micro transactions, but with a bit of calm reflection they can be ok.

Robin Torres (@cosmiclaurel) I'll be alternately getting kitten therapy and stopping kitten destruction. In game, The Spawn and I will continue our duo -- when not playing board and card games and hitting the pool. Bonus: I think Blizzard will do the store correctly and not add any pay-to-win options. You can already buy level 80 characters via Recruit-A-Friend and character transfers, so an XP buff doesn't seem like a bad thing -- if it even makes it to our region. I look forward to seeing what kind of goodies they'll stock the store with.

Sarah Pine (@ilaniel) I'm raiding this afternoon, but otherwise won't be playing much of anything this weekend because we have a friend coming to stay with us. Instead we'll be cruising downtown Seattle for fun, buying overpriced beer at a Mariner's game, and hiking somewhere nice. What I hope the in-game store will sell: dalek battle pets.
The weekend is the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some game time. Are you an achievement junkie? Can't get enough raiding? Rolling a new alt? Considering taking the leap into roleplaying? Whatever your favorite way to play World of Warcraft, let us know in the comments what you're playing this weekend!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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