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Posts with tag costs

Shipping costs removed from Authenticators

We'd already noticed last week that the Authenticators in the US store had gone free shipping, but now official updates on Blizzard's site say it's true in the EU as well. American authenticators still cost $6.50, but you no longer have to pay anything extra for shipping, and EU authenticators have had their price dropped to €6.99. That's still over $10, but they're at least cheaper than they used to be. There's a drawback, however: apparently they went with cheaper shipping, because you can no longer track shipments of authenticators, and shipping will take a little longer (up to 15 business days in the US). Which makes sense, given that you want these things as cheap as possible.

Ancilorn answers some other Authenticator questions as well -- there's no discount for buying multiple units at all; what you see is what you get. And while the only authenticator for purchase at the moment is the Corehound branded unit, there may be more art available in the future, and of course you don't need a Corehound-branded Authenticator to get the Corehound Pup pet. Any Authenticator will do that, including any of the authenticators made for mobile phones, as long as it stays attached to your account. Whew -- that should answer all the questions anyone has. As we said the other day, if you don't have one of these yet, it's probably time to look in to getting one. Not only will your account be more secure, but you'll get that free pet as well.

Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Making money, Account Security

WoW back online in China

The long wait is finally over -- World of Warcraft's servers are finally back online in China after they went offline all the way back at the beginning of June, due to a switch between former host The9 and current host NetEase. It took a while for the government to approve the move (and some have even suggested that the delay wasn't completely legit), but things are finally back to business as usual, according to a few sources out of China.

A few more interesting facts have arisen with this news as well: apparently NetEase has spent over a million yuan (about $146,000) per day to keep up and maintain the game and its servers during the past month of closed beta and free play. Of course, that includes customer support and all the other costs.

Even with that price, however, the company is still expected to grow. We haven't heard any population numbers worldwide for WoW since this whole deal began, but you have to think that they lost at least a few players due to all of the problems. Of course, the release of Wrath over there may bring back some players, but even though they were planning to have it out before all of this happened, the switchover has delayed it even further. All they need is more government approval, but as the outage proved, that can sometimes be hard to get.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Hardware

Revisiting epic flyer costs

Drysc has written a book about epic flying mount costs on the forums -- there aren't many goldsinks left in the game, but that 5000g you've got to pay for an epic flying mount is still there for sure (just ask anyone who doesn't have one).

He says that yes, the flying mount is definitely worth it (it makes playing the game much faster, since most of the time spent in the game is actually travel anyway), but also that actually obtaining an epic flyer was always meant to be optional -- only for players who want to "go the extra mile." Not sure how he can say both of those things at the same time, but there you go. He also says the main consideration in the cost wasn't any effect on the economy, but rather simply making sure that it took a certain amount of time for players to obtain all that gold -- they averaged how quickly players could pick up gold versus how long they wanted players to work for the mount, and arrived at 5000g.

There is some (kind of) good news on the horizon for players who don't want to spend all that money, however. If and/or when Blizzard releases a higher riding skill, Drysc says they'll probably drop the price on this one. Of course, that doesn't really tell us anything concrete -- with the onset of siege vehicles, there may be all kinds of changes to how riding and driving works in the game. Until then, keep grinding, because apparently the only thing that will get you flying fast is a whole lot of gold.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Factions, Making money

Prices for Arena Season 1 items revealed

As expected, Patch 2.3 will bring Arena Season 1 items down to the battleground mark market, which means that for the first time ever, you'll be able to buy Arena gear with regular battleground honor and marks (good to know-- I've been saving up all my marks for just a day such as this). And MMO Champion has delved into the PTR and come back out with prices for every piece of Gladiator gear, so now you can know exactly what to save up for on the new patch.

Almost across the board, you're going to need some EOTS marks, either 10 or 20 for most items. And you'll need to save up honor, too-- it's about eight or nine thousand for low ticket items like the Paladin's Librams and the Shaman Totems, all the way up to 25-27k for the major weapons. That's definitely not impossible, considering how easy it is to get honor in the BGs, but odds are you'll want to get EOTS bonus honor weekends on your calendar (what a coincidence-- this coming weekend is one) and plan to spend some time playing WoW on those days.

Sure, the gear's not the latest and greatest (you'll have to get a great Arena rating for that stuff), but if you like the BGs as much as I do, these are still some great items that you can pay for with the points and marks that you're already getting anyway. Oh, and we need some help at Mage, if you can manage it. Thanks.

Thanks, Boubouille!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Odds and ends, Economy, PvP

Revisiting respec costs

We've covered the idea of changing respec costs (and even having more than one talent build) before, but the issue continues to get play-- Good has posted a very in-depth analysis of respec costs and why they need to be lowered or done away with completely.

Good claims that the problem with respec costs has to do with the tanking and healing classes. The DPS classes-- Mages, Hunters, Rogues, Warlocks-- can fill their role in any spec, but tanks and healers, Good claims, have to be raid specced to do well in a raiding environment, and putting respec costs in the game just creates a barrier to keep them from playing other parts of the game.

To the normal arguments, Good has answers. Lots of people say losing respec costs will just create cookie-cutter builds, but he says it will actually allow for diversity within groups-- instead of having two holy priests, one can switch to shadow. And for those who say 50g to change respecs isn't much (especially considering how much money is in Outland), he says then it shouldn't be in the game in the first place-- you're just burdening those classes who need to change to enjoy the game.

Still other respec cost suggestions include allowing them to be paid for with BG tokens-- to let PvPers have the chance to switch back. Unfortunately for Good, I don't see it happening. Blizzard wants you to choose a spec and stick with it-- I'm known throughout my guild as a resto Shaman, and that's the way they want it (even if I have to switch to my Rogue to do PvP). The 50g respec cost isn't much, but it'll keep most players from switching, while still allowing those who really feel they need to switch to do so without too much trouble. People who want it all won't like hearing it, but I think respec costs are "working as intended," and will stay so for a while.

[ via Paladin Sucks ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Talents

The Pros and Cons of Costless Respecs

Vengal from Cho'gall had an interesting idea from the forums today: Do away with repec costs.

Personally, I've never had a problem with respec costs. Not counting the class respecs I've gotten free as a warrior, mage, priest, hunter, and shaman, the only time I've ever respecced was to bring my Frost mage back to a Fire build (not that it helped-- generally I'm a player that plays in plate, not cloth). So at first glance, this idea doesn't sound very good. Especially with the changes made lately (respecs are now decaying over time, 5g/month to a minimum of 10g), respecs aren't that big a deal. They're there if you need them, but they're expensive enough that you want to do your research before choosing where to put those precious talent points.

But Vengal has an interesting point as well: if respec costs were done away with, you could respec nightly. Be PVE one day for soloing, be PVP the next for a tour in the BGs, and then go raid spec for a night with your guild. He says respec costs aren't a punishment for people who spend their talent points unwisely-- they're a punishment for people who want a change. (Personally, I haven't played Guild Wars, but I believe that's how that game works-- you can change talents at will and customize your class whenever you want.) On the one hand, that would lead to new levels of competition in the different play types-- if everyone in the BG was specced for PVP, you have to think battles would be extra-spectacular to play in. Then again, letting anyone respec at any time would inevitably turn us all into cookie-cutter play types. There would be no real room for personal customization or playstyle-- your guild would expect you to be raid-specced if you were going on a raid (ahem-- much the way gear works right now, but that's another discussion).

There's a few more interesting ideas in the thread, too: Maybe only the last twenty talent points could be respec free (or the last ten, since the expansion will take us to 70). Blue hasn't made an appearance in the thread as of this posting, but it's something they might consider carefully: are respec costs punishing players who want to be more versatile?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP

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