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Posts with tag paid-customization

Breakfast Topic: What race would you change to?

My first end game character was a Tauren Hunter. It was also the first character I created. When I made him, I didn't know much about the races, starting zones, or characterization quirks. The Tauren care for the world around them and hesitance when it comes to the battle. They're a calm and steady race that, while powerful in battle, prefer peaceful methods in their balance with nature and the elements. While that may be nice for a while, I've come to enjoy the mysticism and voodoo of the Trolls. From putting heads in cauldrons to get dead men to speak their awful truths to offering advice on not cutting off body parts to get them to regenerate bigger, they've offered an interesting and sick sense of humor that I enjoy. Also, the crit strike bonus to bows wouldn't be all that shabby either.

With the race changes announced and apparently on the horizon (aka: 'soon'), as well as the race/class combinations coming in Cataclysm, what race would you change to if you had the opportunity? Voting after the break.

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Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Features

Breakfast Topic: Gender bender

What a dizzying experience. A good number of our raiders recently took advantage of Blizzard's Paid Character Customization feature introduced in December last year. This resulted in a rise of our Tauren female population, more hip-grinding female orcs, and one or two more female Blood Elves. Yes, most of these players paid for their characters' gender reassignment. The odd thing is, since they were at it, anyway, none of them changed their names (the paid customization feature also includes a name change, which is also available as a separate service).

So we had essentially the same roster of raiders, except that this time, they were females. And all of these players were male. I haven't met anyone yet who's paid to change from female to male, although I'm sure there are more than a few out there. My wife couldn't bear the thought of changing her characters' gender -- she identified with them too much. I feel the same way about my characters, too, so they're staying male. For now, anyway. A month and change after the feature was introduced, do you know anyone who has gone for a character overhaul? Have you taken advantage of this feature? Would you? If yes, what would you change?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard's version of RMT

Real-money trading is one of the most debated aspects of MMO gaming at large -- some games don't actually charge a monthly fee, and instead what they do is sell ingame items for real world money. Want that hot sword for your character? Put in your credit card and pay up. Blizzard, obviously, has never really subscribed to the idea, since a lot of players think it's unfair to make how much money you have in the real world a part of the game you play. Nevertheless, there is a lot of money to be made in selling virtual items for real money, and Blizzard has come up with their own form of RMT in terms of server transfers, name changes, and now gender changes as well.

Blizzard has rules for their RMT, though, and Zarhym lays a few of them out: they won't charge for any item that means anything in game -- cosmetic items and looks are fair game, but actual gear or "integral services" (whatever that means exactly) is a no for them. They won't charge for anything that was free before, so creating up to 10 characters on a realm, for example, will always come with the subscription (though adding more may eventually be possible with an extra charge). And Blizzard's RMT comes as a game mechanic itself -- they choose to charge for things not just because there's a cost for them, but also to "curb their frequency," to keep all players from doing them all the time.

It's an interesting idea, and it's definitely a lot more player-friendly than charging for things like, say, horse armor. You could also argue, of course, that something like the WoW TCG is also a kind of RMT scheme, since you have to pay real money for real cards to get in-game items (even though Blizzard has made sure those items are cosmetic as well). But paying for transfers and changes is a little sneakier -- Blizzard is slowly wading into RMT, so far successfully dodging all the sharks in the water.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW TCG

Character Re-Customization available for a small fee [UPDATED]

The WoW launcher was updated this morning, and just now what was behind that curtain was revealed: Character Re-Customization. What does that mean? In short, for a fee of $15, you can rebuild your character, with some restrictions. You can change your gender, face, skin, hair, and name, but not your race or class. You can do hair in-game already via the barbershop, so I imagine the ability to do those via this service is just for convenience. The real draw is the gender and face options.

Don't want to play your Female Undead Warlock anymore because they move funny? It's okay, turn them into a way awesome Male Undead Warlock. Sick of looking at your Male Draenei? Try out something more... pleasing to the eyes. This is a feature people have been asking for since WoW launched, so I'm surprised it took so long for it to happen. If you're taking full advantage of the feature, it's really not a bad deal considering a paid name change is $10. For an extra $15, you can more or less have a new character. Well, sort of.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Gender reassignment and race reroll coming to Azeroth?

In what might be the most welcome -- or disturbing, depends on how you want to look at it -- news to World of Warcraft players looking forward to more character customization, Blizzard dropped hints at possible gender and race changes as a paid service feature. About a month back, some folks dug up a paid character customization button hidden away in the Wrath of the Lich King files, hinting at the possibility of a new service. Lead Producer J. Allan Brack explained that it was in the plans for the future but Blizzard hadn't set a price or extent of the customization at the time.

WoW Insider's resident RP maestro David Bowers was thrilled at the possibility of more character customization than just hairstyles, but it seems that there might even be more than that. Eurogamer's interview with Blizzard's Paul Sams and Lee Sparks revealed that the technology to do such changes is taking some time and energy to put into place. They point out that the monetary barrier is merely in place to prevent players from abusively changing their characters' features constantly. Sams said that Blizzard "think(s) that it's important to have some consistency in the game, we don't want people changing their look and feel every day."

If this feature pushes through, it will add to an extensive menu of character customization options, from paid name changes to in-game barbershops, as well as realm transfers (even the once-unthinkable PvE-to-PvP transfers). The feature would allow players to undo some decisions they later grew to regret. According to Sams, "when you create your character, often times you wish you'd done things differently. You wish you were on a different realm, you wish you'd had a different name or you wish you'd chosen a different look and feel to your character." This hints at the possibility of race and even gender changes, which should pretty much open up every available customization option for players.

Via Massively

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

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