Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag rmt

Level 90 boosting is not the end of the World of Warcraft

There seems to be a common misconception flying around in regards to Warlords of Draenor. Yes, you will be able to boost one character to level 90 upon purchase of the game -- in fact, as it was revealed yesterday, upon pre-order of the game. Yes, Blizzard will be offering this service as an optional purchase in the Blizzard store as well. But what people seem to be worried about is that this is a "pay-to-win" feature that is very quickly going to kill the game.

Which is a really odd assessment to make. There is no real "winning" in World of Warcraft, unless you want to count sweeping a PvP season, or maybe being the first to complete all heroic modes of every raid in the current expansion. The thought of "winning the game" is an arbitrary, muddy label that doesn't actually apply to anything in Warcraft -- it's not a game designed with a finite endpoint or a finish line you can cross.

Let's be clear, here -- level 90 boosts may not be for you. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be available, and it definitely doesn't mean they're going to kill the game.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Why I don't hate Warlords of Draenor's level 90 boost

BlizzCon 2013 announced Warlords of Draenor and one of its highlighted features is the ability to instantly boost one of your characters to level 90 instantly. Though it is limited to one level 90 boost per Warlords of Draenor license, there is an interesting loophole, which I discussed in a previous post on this topic. To quote myself:
If players want to boost an additional 90, there's nothing stopping them from purchasing a new World of Warcraft box, Warlords of Draenor license, and a character transfer to move additional, instant level 90s to their primary account.
In an attempt to cut out the extraneous steps involved in that loophole, the Blizzard development team is considering simply allowing players to purchase extra boosts. Some like that idea. Some hate that idea. I'm one of those that does not hate it. I'd like to take a moment to explain why.

Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon

South Korea bans botting in online RPGs

South Korea bans botting in online RPGs
The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is announcing a new law next month that will make botting in online RPGs illegal. According to this governmental body's calculations, 60% of all in-game items traded for real currency were obtained by automated programs. The law will also ban the listing of items in arcade games as real property that can be exchanged for cash. The maximum penalty for breaking this law will be 5 million won (approximately $4,300) and five years in jail.

It is interesting to note that while the announcement states that the law's purpose is to "halt all virtual item trades," only botting is being banned in online RPGs. So WoW players who buy and sell gold will not be breaking this new law (though they do break the TOS), unless they are using bots to farm. This distinction also means that the Diablo III Real-Money Auction House will not be made illegal by this law; thus, South Korea's previous decision about the RMAH has not been negated.

Since the new law will not be announced until next month, some details may change. Regardless, the government sees botting and virtual item trades as barriers to a "healthy game culture," and it is willing to use legal means to eliminate the problem.

Filed under: News items

Soul of the Aspects pet added to the Blizzard Store

Image
If you purchased a Heart of the Aspects mount a couple of months ago and wished you had a tiny, baby version of it to slap on a leash and drag around with you wherever you go, you're in luck! Blizzard has just added the Soul of the Aspects vanity pet to the Blizzard Store for $10 USD. European players can pick up their pet over on the European Blizzard store as well.
As your newest faithful companion pet, the Soul of the Aspects flies by your side through the skies of Azeroth, celebrating your adventures together with aerial summersaults and twisting corkscrews.
The Blizzard store states that every character on your World of Warcraft account will receive this pet, so we can be fairly certain that it cannot be bought, sold, or traded in-game for gold.

Filed under: News items

Heart of the Aspects mount now available for $25

While patch 4.3 was on the PTR, dataminers discovered a pretty slick-looking mount in the game files: the Heart of the Aspects. We all speculated as to how players might receive it, and today we found our answer. You can buy it from the Blizzard Store for $25, adding it to your stable of real-money mounts alongside the Celestial Steed and Winged Guardian.

Update: Blizzard has released their official announcement.

Filed under: News items

Battle.net Balance funds World of Warcraft game time

We already knew that real money would play a role in Diablo III, but we didn't have a great deal of official word. Now, Blizzard has released a FAQ about the Battle.net Balance providing a much deeper look at the upcoming system.

Essentially, you have a Battle.net Balance made up of points. Adding value to your Battle.net Balance is executed through charging up. You can charge up your Battle.net Balance using debit or credit cards, or sales from Diablo III auctions. Be aware, though, that you can't convert Battle.net Balance back into cash; once you put money there, it stays there. (There is an exception in some regions using PayPal, but details are scarce on that right now.)

Some of the Battle.net details are a little fuzzy right now because Blizzard is forced to deal with a lot of regional-specific laws. For example, in some regions, it'll have to empty value from a Battle.net Balance that hasn't been accessed in three years. Which regions? We don't know yet.

The most exciting bit of this news, however, is that you'll be able to purchase World of Warcraft prepaid game time using your Battle.net Balance. So if you're pretty good at the Diablo III Auction House, you might be able to kiss your subscription fee goodbye.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard responds to Guardian Cub controversy

If you were struggling against horrible killer androids yesterday (like I was, thanks to Ziebart the Destroyer) you may have missed the news of the Guardian Cub pet, or as Young Master McCurley likes to call it, gold on the paw. There's been a lot of discussion as to what this pet actually means, if it's opening the door to real money trading in World of Warcraft, whether it (and not Deathwing) is the true harbinger of Cataclysm, etc etc. Now Blizzard comes out swinging (okay, more like comes out with cool rationality) in response to a forum thread.

Bashiok - Re: Blizzard, you've crossed the line
TCG Loot card mounts like the Spectral Tiger have been BoE for a long time now (since patch 3.2), and that was and continues to be well-received, and as far as we've been able to tell hasn't had any adverse impact to the game or economy - despite them selling for sometimes astronomical amounts of gold.

It's potentially worth noting that no new gold is being introduced into the game's economy with those mounts or the new Guardian Cub pet.

Our goal with the Guardian Cub is to provide alternative ways for players who don't want to spend real money to add these pets to their collection. Even though this has been available a while now with the TCG mounts, this is obviously a new kind of way to deliver Pet Store pets, and we're definitely interested to hear your feedback and ultimately see how this will play out.


To be fair, since this is exactly what I said about the Cub on the WoW Insider Show this week, I'm already on record as agreeing with him fully. The only difference between the Guardian Cub and loot cards is that you don't have to spend money hoping you'll get the Cub. You spend ten bucks and you know you have one.

Well, also, the thing is adorable. That's not really germane to the discussion, though. What do you think about our friendly Cub? Cute pet, money for gold, soul-meltingly cute step off of the slippery slope? Tell us.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Blizzard introduces tradable "Guardian Cub" companion pet, purchasable through the Blizzard Store

Blizzard has just announced a companion pet called the Guardian Cub that you can purchase through the Blizzard store. Unlike previous pets, this companion pet will be a one-time-only use item and will not be Bind on Account. Additionally, this pet will be able to be traded to other players for gold.

Yes, you heard that right.

The pet will cost $10, and you can trade it to other people in game for whatever in-game currency or items you want.

The full Blizzard FAQ after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

The Lawbringer: Q&A on Diablo's real-money auction house

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Since Blizzard dropped the Diablo 3 bombshell on us early Monday, I will post the second article in my series on micro-transaction models next week. For those of you who have been living under the proverbial internet rock (you are missing some awesome memes right now), Blizzard announced that Diablo 3 would feature two auction houses, one using in-game gold as currency and the other using real currency that would be deposited into a Battle.net account wallet and used from there.

The whole system gets more intriguing when you take into account that sales made on the real-money auction house can make their way to your own very real wallet through an unannounced third party or deposited back into your Battle.net wallet for use on anything digital in the Blizzard store, including WoW game time.

If you're a regular reader of The Lawbringer, you already know how excited I get over virtual currency. This is my wheelhouse. I feel like a master carpenter at Wood Con 2011, cosplaying as my favorite oak tree, quercus alnifolia. Pair that with real currency, and excitement levels hit the stratosphere. I may break through the atmosphere at some point. That faint sonic boom you hear will be me hurtling through the air in excitement and wonderment.

Sure, the Diablo real-money transaction (RMT) auction house is not related to World of Warcraft -- or is it? Oh, it very much is. Faithful readers and not faithful alike (how could you, Debbie?) have been writing in questions via Twitter and email asking me to explain the auction house and talk about some of the potential legal and tax issues that could come around because of it. Also, many people want to know how the RMT auction house could benefit World of Warcraft, despite Rob Pardo's saying there are no plans to bring it over to WoW. Let's take a look at your questions.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

What are the implications of a real-dollar auction house?

It was just revealed that Diablo 3 will feature a dual-currency auction house for in-game gold and for real currency, allowing players to spend real money for Diablo 3 items. Blizzard will not sell those items directly but rather will facilitate auctions between players. Players will receive real currency for their sales, and Blizzard will take a cut off the sales of real-currency items. Blizzard is entering some pretty crazy territory with the Diablo 3 auction house, and the implications may be even more huge for the massively multiplayer market than for the Diablo multiplayer experience.

One of WoW's biggest issues that currently plagues Blizzard (as well as the MMO genre in general) is the existence of a gray market in which companies sell in-game currency to willing buyers against the game's terms of service. Many free-to-play MMOs and online games combat this market by selling their own currencies for use in-game, making the currency non-tradeable, or selling items in a microtransaction marketplace. Blizzard has not yet made a free-to-play MMO where these concepts could come to any kind of fruition, and WoW's virtual goods store is very limited in scope and price point.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy

The Lawbringer: Fighting the gold fight -- how the strategy must change

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Last week on The Lawbringer, I introduced you to the world as it is, a battlefield littered with the corpses of stolen accounts, inconvenienced players, and a priceless reputation on the line. This week, we look at concrete solutions to actually helping the gold selling system wind down and remove many of the hurdles that instant gratification with purchasing gold sets up for Blizzard. You might have mixed and angry reactions to what I'm going to talk about, but do give me the benefit of the doubt. I think being open-minded might win this fight.

So what can Blizzard do besides selling its own currency? Here are my suggestions for the first steps that Blizzard needs to take in the new war against gold selling.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Fighting the gold fight -- the world as it is

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The Lawbringer has in the past been used as a personal launching pad for some of the more out-there or esoteric ideas that I have in regards to the World of Warcraft and virtual currency in general. You guys seem to love it, and there's always plenty of great discussion about these ideas. For the next two weeks, I want to introduce you to my thoughts on how Blizzard should be attacking gold sellers and, at the same time, working to remove some of the content gates that gold has erected in the MMO we all love. This week, we will set up the story and the history of it all, and next week, we will talk about hard conclusions.

Gold selling isn't going away as long as fungible and liquid currency exists in MMOs. Gold is "fungible" because it can be exchanged for something exactly like it, at a 1:1 ratio -- gold is gold. Gold is also liquid, as it can be used and exchanged for other goods or services. Short of Blizzard's getting rid of this type of currency altogether or selling its own currency for a cheaper price than gold sellers can furnish it, people will sell gold and items that can be traded.

Blizzard has shown that it has the guts to go after gold selling as an industry but has so far failed in scope to bring down the snake that slowly poisons everything it has worked to build. As sellers become hackers, and as hacking chips away at the good will, reputation, and stability of the game we love to play and the company we love to patronize, there has never been a more urgent time to fight the gold fight. The strategy needs to change from focusing on the people who sell gold to a combination of those that sell and the gold itself.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, The Lawbringer

Blizzard strikes gold sellers with Paypal notices

Last week, Blizzard sent out strongly worded complaints to Paypal, accusing many gold-selling companies and resellers of "intellectual properties violations" for selling World of Warcraft goods. After receiving these complaints, Paypal sent notices off to the gold sellers Blizzard had complaints against, stating that if these activities continued through their websites and the Paypal service, Paypal would revoke their ability to use the popular payment site as a payment option.

Here is Paypal's letter to the gold sellers:
You were reported to PayPal as an Intellectual Properties violation by Blizzard Entertainment Inc. for the sale of World of Warcraft Merchandise.

If you feel your sales do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the Reporting Party, please complette the attached Objection to Infringement Report by January 21, 2011.

The completed form should be faxed to the attention of the Acceptable Use Policy Department at [number removed] or emailed to [email removed].

Should you choose not to object to the report, you will be required to remove all World of Warcraft Merchandise from the website [url removed] in order to comply with the Acceptable Use Policy.
What's very interesting is that Blizzard is claiming intellectual property violations in the face of the most recent decision in the Glider case. Where Blizzard lost on intellectual property concerns under the EULA, they could have a better shot over their game assets being sold, if somehow it ever went to court. Still, Paypal is the easiest route to go for Blizzard's plan of attack against gold sellers, since most of them are run outside of the country. Suffice to say, it's nice to see some action being taken against gold selling.

Filed under: Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Will you be buying either of the new vanity pets?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Blizzard has been selling us in-game items for a while now; however, it has kept this to noncombat pets and mounts -- things that, outside of counting for totals for achievements, have little to no real effect on gameplay. Some of the items Blizzard does for self-profit, and sometimes it sells in-game pets for charity. People who buy the items get different reactions from the community; the sparkle pony especially got a lot of hate.

Personally, I have not bought any of the real-money pets, partially because I am not a collector and partially because I felt that paying for downloadable content should add something major to the game experience. However, I am considering buying the Ragnaros pet for one main reason: because Rags is my major epic memory of vanilla WoW, I always felt he was an awesome model and so imposing, and many of us went around saying "too soon" on Vent.

Have you bought any of the vanity pets? Do you buy them all as a completionist/collector? Do you pick and choose the ones you think look cool? Do you only buy the charity pets? Or do you avoid real money transactions in games altogether?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Would you pay for extras in a F2P WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Lord of the Rings Online went free-to-play. "Free" is a questionable term, since they charge you for a fee for features you can technically live without but are still fairly important; things such as the gold cap, the ability to gain rested XP, and certain instances and PvP options require a fee. You get an enhanced version slightly above a trial, but you are still limited in what you can do in the free-to-play version of the game.

While playing a game, I want to play the whole game, have the entire experience, and not feel as if I have been shortchanged by being on a limited version. Personally having purchased some of the Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age DLC, I would still have to pay for the added functionality. Not being able to fully advance my character and see large amounts of content would irritate me more than the cost would. Not being allowed to make use of content would make me feel like I was missing out.

I want the choice of whether or not I do this instance, raid, or battleground. Could you imagine attempting to zone into Icecrown Citadel and seeing a message that says, "Requires a V.I.P. membership"? WoW has sold us a few items for extra money that are not required, but not having a Lil' XT or a sparkle pony doesn't affect your game functionality.

LOTRO offers things like more bag spaces and removing the gold cap and even priority login for those with V.I.P. accounts. So if World of Warcraft decided to follow the LOTRO model and go semi-free-to-play, would you just play the free portion? Would you pay for the V.I.P. portion? Would you buy the other nickel and dime upgrades they have on top of that? Or would you quit WoW altogether, feeling as if Blizzard had shortchanged players by making us pay for things like bag space, PvP and raid availability?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories