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Posts with tag marketplace

Tom Chilton can imagine a future where WoW is free-to-play

PC Gamer posted an interview with Tom Chilton where he discussed the possibility of World of Warcraft eventually going free-to-play. He clarified that there are no active plans for this now, but he can imagine a future where it would be possible.

As massively multiplayer games become more mainstream, a common tactic to compete with WoW is to make the games free to play while charging microtransactions for in-game content. It makes games more accessible, and in theory can make publishers enough revenues that they can be profitable. If enough games break even this way and WoW starts losing momentum and market penetration, instead of shutting down, it would only make sense for Blizzard to keep the game available for the residual income. The original EverQuest is still live, for example. Instead of leaving vast empty realms populated by a very small number of nostalgic gamers, however, making WoW free-to-play could keep it residually profitable for longer.

While WoW will undoubtedly lose the majority of the market share some day, this day is not close. Warcraft is past the red-hot growth phase of its life cycle; however, it's still the largest player in the market. Chilton acknowledges that there's no reason for Blizzard to make this change while this is the case: "We're not spending a lot of time thinking about it. It's not something that's a reality for us in the near future."

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Milling cast time reduced to one second

There have been reports in the blogosphere that there was an undocumented reduction to the milling cast time in patch 3.3.3. It used to be two very long, agonizing seconds for a scribe to turn herbs into pigments, and is reportedly going twice as fast: a blazing speed of one mill per second.

This is a huge deal to anyone who uses inscription to make money. Milling herbs into ink is one of those tasks that limits your production capabilities, and can't legally be done while afk. In fact, the milling grind time (four clicks, and until now, eight seconds per stack of herbs) is one of the reasons I rarely advocate new auctioneers getting into selling glyphs. In addition to generally overcrowded marketplaces and auction house campers, it's a business that requires almost super-human patience.

This will probably make the glyph market even more crowded, as the amount of unhealthy AH camping you can do with a finite amount of playtime just went up by a fair bit.

[Thanks to Wolfgang Staudt on flickr for the image]


Patch 3.3.3 brings about small but noteworthy changes to the World of Warcraft. From a faster CoT, to putting those old Frozen Orbs to better use, to changes to the auction house -- there's several things all WoW players need to know. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3.3 will keep you up to date!

Filed under: News items, Economy

Felicia Day's "The Guild" signs exclusive deal with Microsoft

This is interesting -- we at WoW Insider are big fans of Felicia Day's "The Guild" webseries, which will now be shown exclusively via Microsoft apparently. They've announced that the second season of the popular series will premiere exclusively on Xbox Marketplace, MSN, and the Zune marketplace, and will apparently be released for free (with Sprint as an ad sponsor).

Very interesting. Formerly, The Guild posted their episodes on YouTube, which not only let browsers there find them easily, but let sites like this one embed and spread the word about the series. But while MSN has a video site, it's not immediately clear that they'll allow embedding -- it may not be so easy to spread around/watch episodes if The Guild is no longer uploading to YouTube and other video sharers. The Guild will have an embedded MSN player on their currently-being-redesigned site (complete with ads), but we're not sure whether we'll be able to embed it any more or not.

We will, however, find out the whole story on the new season (which will apparently include a holiday special) this week when we talk to Felicia Day herself on a special episode of our podcast, the WoW Insider Show. Look for that by next weekend, and keep an eye on the site on Tuesday -- even if we can't embed the new episode, we'll be sure to let you know where you can see it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Fan stuff, Guilds, Odds and ends, Humor

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