Apr 15th 2010 11:34AM @Moonkinmaniac
I don't know if you've ever studied logic or rhetoric, but there's a logical fallacy based around the 'slippery slope' argument. Basically what it boils down to is that saying anything is a "slippery slope" more or less makes your argument invalid.
@ Everyone Else
That aside, this is no way a "slippery slope" anyways. People are looking at it and seeing "THEY'RE SELLING MOUNTS!" when what they should be seeing is that they're selling looks. This is not in any way circumventing in-game mechanics. You can get mounts without spending in game gold as is, and frankly if you're worried about people buying something for real money that they could get from two heroics worth of gold in game (that being a flying mount) anyways, you've got some pretty twisted priorities.
If they were saying "You can drop four thousand in-game gold, OR $35 US Dollars for epic flying training," then I'd agree, but that's not the case at all. This is a vanity item. You buy it if you wanna ride a sweet-looking horse instead of a drake/windrider/gryphon/proto-drake/etc, just the same as you buy a Lil' KT if you want to have it follow you around instead of Penguin/Dog/Dragon/Cockroach/etc. They do not help in combat, or let you farm faster; they make you look shiny standing in front of the Dalaran bank. That. Is. It.
The other aspect you need to all look at is that these microtransactions could actually have a direct financial impact on you--positively. If microtransactions for vanity items work out well enough, it is perfectly within reason that subscription fees could be slightly reduced.
No, no, hear me out here. I'm not a crazy. Think about it; cheaper/free-to-play, already insanely popular... That's just going to draw in more customers who were initially hesitant/put off by the monthly fee. Those customers get hooked, they become additional audience to sell vanity items to (and lets face it, from the outside of WoW you'd think it's crazy to buy that sort of thing, but once you're hooked your tune could easily change). It could be a sound business decision, especially since Blizzard recently said their biggest issue with new subscribers is keeping them past trial. Not unreasonable to think that some people didn't continue because they couldn't afford $15 a month.
Regardless of all that, Blizzard is a pretty savvy company--and despite claims otherwise, still has full autonomy since Activision-Blizzard is the new name for their old owners merged with a publisher (Activision), not a changing of hands (To take autonomy from the most-profitable North American developer there is? When they're making you more money constantly ANYWAYS? No one, no matter what you've heard, in position to do something so monumentally stupid IS THAT monumentally stupid or they never would have got there in the first place. Period.) They understand that while microtransactions are a viable payment method in the current MMO climate, their loyal-if-whiny playerbase is overwhelmingly against it. Everyone needs to stop crying wolf, the sky is not falling. Or something.
Mar 13th 2010 5:49PM Nice to see Mug'thol get some publicity outside of lag and ninja issues. I'd nearly forgotten Athlete was such an accomplished PvP'er, since I'm so used to seeing him around Dalaran/Trade.
Mar 13th 2010 5:46PM The Hand-system came with 3.0. Before that, Hand of Protection, Freedom, etc were all Blessings. Because of this, most paladins (and many other players) who played before then are still prone to calling Hand of Protection BoP (Blessing of Protection), and other similar things.