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  • JALbert
  • Member Since Nov 3rd, 2007

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Recent Comments:

Lichborne: Frost DPS 101 {WoW}

Apr 14th 2010 2:38PM The one thing overlooked in the article and in some of these comments is the DPS value of Suberversion. 3% Oblit crit is worth more than a point in Black Ice, the threat reduction is just a nice side benefit. That being said, 3/3 BCB is a must and is worth more than any of the optional talents being bandied about, if there's room for a point in Subversion it comes from KM or CotG.

Lichborne: Frost DPS 101 {WoW}

Apr 14th 2010 2:34PM Yeah, since Frost has A. no pet B. No bladed armor and is now mostly physical damage, agi/ap gear can still be an upgrade. It's roughly 1 tier below a similarly loaded str item (same stat distribution, eg. Str/Stam/Crit/ArP vs. Agi/Stam/AP/Crit/ArP). I was using the 264 leather ArPen boots over the 232 HHoR ones for a bit until I got the Str ones from Deathwhisper.

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 5:29PM 1. Re: PTR versus "gold-selling inflation:" The problem, as I wrote (and I should probably have added some numbers to this, but didn't want to "advertise" gold-sellers) is that gold is already *incredibly* cheap.

Being able to spend $2-4 to skip dailies for weeks to months is an attractive trade-off...but the more people who took advantage of it, the more that you'd start seeing enormous inflation crop up on servers, to the point where you could really only be competitive on the AH if you periodically bought gold from Blizz. The flip side is that you'd have to devote an awful lot more time to the game farming or playing the AH to keep up *without* buying gold, and that turns WoW from a game where you can have a reasonable income without devoting a lot of time or energy to it, to a game where you either buy gold to keep up or spend a lot more time making it. I don't think anyone would argue that that's an attractive outcome.
(Am the OP btw, thought my account was on an old email as I haven't commented in ages, was suprised to see the name revert to my old one)

I don't disagree that you would see an influx of gold, I was just saying that comparing it to the PTR/beta is disingenuous, because it isn't anywhere near the same. The spammers I report have it at $8-10/1k, and claiming that $2-4 will save you weeks or months of work is also off base even with your own numbers. It's still a ridiculously low amount of money for the time investment, but people still enjoy doing dailies and don't think it's a straight grind.

The argument that people would have to buy gold to compete is a little excessive, as people don't have to buy gold to compete in markets now. All it means is that stuff you farm up will go for more. Your Triumph badges and Frost badges will be marketable for more, it just minimizes the value of daililes. Logically, Blizzard would adjust the value of dailies to make it an alternative, since we've seen the implement that as a response to "grind vs. buy gold" in earlier times. If they don't, people will stop doing repetitive dailies and take to mining/herbing or other sources of income that are based on getting paid more by higher market prices.

Regardless, the inflationary impact will not be that fantastic since people can already do it on the black market, so the increase in demand will not be totally massive. Secondly, inflation does not impact WoW like it impacts RL situations, and extreme examples are close to physically impossible in the way we see hyperinflation played out in RL markets.

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 5:13PM Yes, but since the gold would be worth less, the hack would have the same value. You're confusing the real value of the gold with the nominal value, e.g. the number that shows up in your backpack. If prices double, 20k tomorrow is worth 10k today, so if you're hacked today and lose 10k or hacked with doubled prices for 20k, the value of that gold on the market is the same to the goldsellers.

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 5:10PM "Blizzard right now values 1 month of subscription (regardless of how much you play) as $15.00. That play time is converted into gold inflating the economy in quest rewards and drops. They have an idea how long questing/killing takes, so they get to set the actual dollar/time conversion rate in game to their liking.

If they start selling gold, then they take that ability away, as now people can bid it up from the outside using actual money instead of just playtime. That will eventually either mean that they're overcharging for subscriptions or (more likely, from what I've seen) they're undercharging compared to what some people are willing to pay from the outside, meaning they price the enjoyment out of the game away from their userbase."

There is no real relation between your subscription fee and your impact on the game world economy, as you imply. The fee you pay to Blizzard is mostly irrelevant to the in game economy as it stands.

You *are* hitting at the reason that companies do consider selling gold, and where a lot of the demand comes from, which is an issue conspicuously absent from a lot of these articles: Price Discrimination. Price discrimination is an economic term for the ability to charge different people different prices for the same good, to maximize your profit by charging what each is willing to pay.

If Blizzard could magically figure out who would play WoW for say, 8 bucks a month, and offer them $8/month subscriptions that were unavailable and unknown to us, they would. They can't though, it's impossible. Conversely, if there was a way to charge people who were willing to pay $50 a month for the fun of WoW without charging that to the rest of the playerbase who weren't willing to pay, they would.

Letting players pay additional for additional benefits is the way that game companies price discriminate. Some use it as the basis of their entire model: No subscription fee, just pay as much as you want, and your payment gives you additional utility. Allowing people to buy stuff is a way for Blizzard to capitalize on this and make extra money from people willing to pay more than 15/month, and you see them doing this with the vanity pets. They have a pretty firm commitment for making their playing field level for everyone by fighting gold selling, and that is pretty much the reason we won't see it.

Sorry, rambling economist is rambling. :D

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 4:51PM "So you can sell at an increase factor of 1.9, but the gold isn't worth what is was back when you sold at a factor of 1. It may even be worth so much less, that you're actual wealth is reduced, despite the fact you have more money. $1 in the 1920s was a lot, is it now? "

Above comment typed before this reply, sorry for the fact that mine got slotted in second. You're using the same argument, and coming to a different conclusion. If prices double, you'll sell everything that is salable at twice the price, meaning it doesn't hurt you at all. The only difference will be in fixed income sources, such as dailies. So even a doubling of price would give you say, 90% of the purchasing power you had before the prices doubled. And all fixed costs would be halved in their real value. Repairs would be cheaper, epic mounts would be cheaper, etc. Unless you never post things to the AH and only vendor any BoEs or mats you get, you won't see a major impact of 'inflation' in WoW, only very minor ones.
It's certainly not related to cases of hyperinflation IRL, especially because WoW is a much more closed system than international economies are. The cases of Germany post-WWI and Zimbabwe involved governments printing more currency due to external debts. If Blizzard owed a country a lot of money and decided to solve it by selling gold at a constantly lowering value because it couldn't make money fast enough to counter the interest payments, you'd have a similar situation. However, the likelyhood of this happening is in the realm of winning fantastic prizes from a banner ad proclaiming that you're the 3956885th visiot.

$1 would have bought lots more stuff in 1920. Thankfully, you don't make 1920 wages now. Since everyone produces market goods in WoW, 'wages' as they are will adjust far more rapidly to any inflation that they would IRL, meaning that consumer penalties would be minimized.

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 4:38PM So does anyone actually have factual arguments to counter this, or do unpleasant truths just get downvoted because they're hard to swallow when it's easier to rally against various gold-selling boogiemonsters?

The article has a fundamentally argument: Conditions would only resemble the beta/PTR servers if people don't value their money. You can see from many comments here that people value their real money heavily. Furthermore, inflation in games does not have the same impact as inflation in real life, thus making that slippery slope argument doubly misleading.

I'm not saying "Blizzard should sell gold." I'm just pointing out that the argument this article makes for why they shouldn't is incorrect.

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 4:25PM My time and money aren't free. If it takes me one hour to make 100G (pulling numbers out of thin air,) then 100G has an equivalent value to how much I make in one hour of work, assuming that I enjoy work and WoW equally.

Obviously the fact that you can make gold in WoW and have fun skews the value of gold, which is the primary reason dailies were introduced in BC. If you make gold by doing something boring (grinding, for example) and your work is equally tedious, making a straight work time to grinding time equivalency isn't far fetched.

And no, I don't buy gold, I can just see why people choose to.

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold {WoW}

Mar 4th 2010 4:19PM Well, your entire argument is hugely flawed. When you can copy money for free on the PTR, money loses meaning and there's rampant lolinflation. If Blizzard sold gold, it would cost people something, not nothing. Specifically, it'll cost RL currency, which people are quite stingy with. So you're not going to see similar inflation.

Secondly, Blizz could sell above goldseller prices, simply because people will buy from the trusted source and not take the risks of dealing with the black market.

Third, as a small aside that always bugs me: People discuss inflation on MMOs as if it has the same impacts as it does for the consumer IRL. Most people work a job, and collect a salary. Very few produce things themselves and sell it on the open market. In WoW, inflation doesn't hurt the everyman as much because most of your gold income comes from nonstatic sources. If prices on my server double overnight, that means anything I mine/herb or get as a random drop also doubles in value. Income from fixed sources remains constant (lol mob silver drops) so prices double and my income is multiplied by a factor of 1.9 or so. Inflation will only hurt people who rely on dailies for their income, and at the point where prices go up that much, they'll switch to a more profitable way to earn money at a certain point.

Massively's massive giveaways day 2: World of Warcraft {Massively}

Nov 3rd 2007 5:24PM The odds, they are thinning :(