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Role Playing (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

WoW To Add Avenue For Real-Money Gold Buying 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the opening-a-can-of-worms dept.
For some time, players of Blizzard's World of Warcraft have been able to purchase a small number of vanity in-game items for real money, but the items were restricted to the user's own account. Now, Blizzard has announced they will be adding another such item, with a twist — it doesn't become bound to a player's account until they use it, so it can be traded or sold on the game's auction house. In their announcement, they said, "While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection, we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. ... While some players might be able to acquire some extra gold by putting the Guardian Cub in the auction house, that’s preferable to players contributing to the gold-selling 'black market' and account theft."
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WoW To Add Avenue For Real-Money Gold Buying

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  • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @03:52AM (#37687664)

    Blizzard has gone back on so many things they were once publicly opposed to, from PvE-to-PvP transfers to the purchasing of gold using real-world money. And it all began after Activision got involved. Microtransactions are becoming an increasingly prominent source of revenue for this company.

    $25 for a mount still blows me away. That's more than a month of subscription time...for a vanity mount.

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      I'm mostly annoyed at the focus they've been giving PvP (as in, organized PvP, not random world PvP).

      It used to be that PvP was a secondary thing in WoW, PvE was the main draw. These days if you check out just about any WoW it seems to be a lot more about PvP than PvE for a lot of the active players.

      • by AuMatar (183847)

        Other way around. When WoW started, PvE was a joke (UBRS was a raid) and PvP was what it was all about, and it was all open world PvP. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Creating Molten Core was the first step to destroying all fun in the game by turning it from PvP into PvE.

        • So ... you are that rogue camping flight points? And that you call world PvP? Or do you mean the Tarren Mill lag fests?
          The only world PvP I remember is killing the people riding into Molten Core on weekends ...

        • by mikael_j (106439)

          Well, world PvP was fun. On the realm I started my first character on there were daily attacks on Darkshire, lots of fun for everyone over level 25-30 or so. These days "world PvP" seems to be about ganking (my "favorite" being the blood elf mage + undead rogue tag teams that roam the world looking for other players to gank).

        • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @09:28AM (#37689346)

          Excuse me Mr. new pvp whore that likes to think he's been playing since beta - but hasn't.

          WoW was a specifically stated PVE game. PVP was tacked on after the beta testing started. Molten Core was available at release(mostly, it was buggy, but available) and UBRS was a raid, doable with 10 men but for awhile they allowed 15 man raids.

          Hell, Gnomeregan was supposed to be a raid at first, as evidenced by the fact that right up until near the middle of WotLK you could form a 10 man raid and go there.

          World PVP was all that was originally intended as PVP for the game with the ability to opt-out by playing on a PVE server. Battlegrounds were tacked on by popular request in Beta.

          Your point that World PVP was a hell of a lot of fun is correct: However it was only possible to have that hell of a lot of fun in a game that was almost entirely focused on the player interacting with the Game Environment and thus having incentive to protect said environment. Darkshire and Redshore battles happened because Horde would want to go gank some alliance. Alliance would show up because they were protecting their friends that were questing and the quest mobs for everyone that wanted to use them. Vice versa happened for horde as well in other locations.

          Battleground Queueing once they had a few BGs near the end of Vanilla almost immediately had a large noticeable effect. Those that liked PVPing could get their fix in a BG and from the safety of Orgrimmar/Ironforge, leaving the village folk undefended and the opposite faction unmolested.

          There are statements out there from previous devs on WoW that they kind of hate what the game has become with Arenas etc.

          They see that the arenas can be fun but they don't fit into what was envisioned for the game originally at all.

          • by ildon (413912)

            Hell, Gnomeregan was supposed to be a raid at first, as evidenced by the fact that right up until near the middle of WotLK you could form a 10 man raid and go there.

            Not exactly. Originally you could form a raid and bring 40 players into ANY dungeon in the game. The only restrictions were that you could not complete quests (which could be circumvented by dropping group, completing the quest, and being reinvited before the 60 second timer was up) and only receiving 10% of normal experience from killing monste

          • by ildon (413912)

            Oh, additionally, Alterac Valley was always intended to be a part of the game, at least since mid beta. It was intended to be like first person DOTA (streams of NPCs fighting along a path guarded by towers, with players assisting the NPCs in taking down those towers and eventually the final base). It was also intended to be part of the game world like Wintergrasp eventually was, until they realized their hardware couldn't handle it and came up with the idea to instance it, thus creating the concept of battl

            • AV was intended as a PVE raid originally. Learn more about something before you post about others "non-facts"

              It WAS intended to be an outdoor raid, similar to many EQ raids. However this would have caused some inherent PVP in the zone. When BG's became a popular time killer they just repurposed the whole deal.

              I mean, this shit is all even in the "Making Of" Collectors edition DVD that came with Classic, straight from the devs mouth, on camera no less.

              • by ildon (413912)

                Now I know you're full of shit.

                • Sigh, I guess I should pay attention to the "Do Not Feed" sign you should have hanging around your neck however:

                  The dvd is available for download in several locations. Download it, watch it, be enlightened.

      • While I admit I haven't played WoW since vanilla (pre burning crusade). I have to say from my viewpoint at least, it more likely isn't the games focus changing as the players focus. Particularly due to the fact that the working system of PVE is raiding, in which you have 20-40 people gathered up, needing all of them to be geared up with more or lest the best of the previous raid, then having to beat the bosses, which are hard at first as you are learning their tactics, where to stand when etc... and any 1 p
    • by Impeesa (763920)
      Note that you are not purchasing gold from them directly - it's an important distinction that no new gold is added to the economy as a result of this. It's functionally not really different from the CCG mounts and pets, which have been tradeable for a long time. A lot of the other things they've reversed their stance on, like PVE to PVP transfers and so on, were just arbitrary restrictions and have proven to be very useful services for a lot of people. If anything, it's more a slow process of caving to play
      • by errandum (2014454)

        No new gold was created when gold farmers that hack accounts send gold from point a to point b, and it's general knowledge that it ruins the game.

        On the other hand, this item will become so common that it'll be useless as a source of gold in no time.

      • It still gives an advantage to those that are willing to pay real money for game money. No new gold is created, but it does allow people to pool the existing money by buying multiples of the pet and selling them to accumulate wealth. Since gear can be bought with gold, this will give the players that are willing to spend real money an advantage over those that are not willing to or cannot afford to.
        • It still gives an advantage to those that are willing to pay real money for game money. No new gold is created, but it does allow people to pool the existing money by buying multiples of the pet and selling them to accumulate wealth. Since gear can be bought with gold, this will give the players that are willing to spend real money an advantage over those that are not willing to or cannot afford to.

          For what it is worth, obtaining BiS gear is no longer that difficult to do, thanks to Blizz allowing BoP gear obtained in raids to be traded among raid members for up to an hour after the end of the raid. Both my 'locks (undead and human) have four pieces of Tier 11 gear, thanks to heavy and frequent abuse of this benign rule change designed to reduce the number of in-game petitions to reassign BoP gear that was mis-assigned by the lootmaster. Thanks to this rule change, it is possible to offer a shit-t

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      It's not important. A vanity mount helps no one, it's not pay-to-win, no one should be upset about this.

      I've always thought the best way to get rid of gold sellers is to have the games get into the business. Again it's no big deal because gold is trivial to come by. Who cares if a noob gets some money? If players don't like it they can avoid buying the items. People take games too seriously treating everything as a competition instead of having fun.

    • "$25 for a mount still blows me away. That's more than a month of subscription time...for a vanity mount."

      What's even more mind blowing is that there lots of stupid people who will just keep paying like gambling addicts.

    • I agree that some implementations of microtransactions suck but think about this:

      Do you play WoW every single day? I don't.

      In order to play WoW at all I need to pay for a 30 day subscription. But what if I only want to play for a few weeks every few months?

      Shouldn't there be a way for me to pay for my WoW game time in smaller chunks than 30 days?

      If Blizzard offered a way to pay 'by the minute' would that be bad for the game?

      I can imagine that some would argue that this would encourage the 'casuals' and rui

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Blizzard has gone back on so many things they were once publicly opposed to, from PvE-to-PvP transfers to the purchasing of gold using real-world money. And it all began after Activision got involved.

      Yep. I stayed out of WoW, so my first experience under Activision was StarCraft 2, and man did the experience suck. The game was fine, but the policies and other crap associated with battle.net 2.0... damn.

      I suppose Activision's already running out of blood from Blizzard, so they need fresh blood to squeeze mon

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Know your WoW terminology. It's called TRH, short for "That Retarded Horse".

      http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=146009 [warcraftmovies.com]

  • Eve did it first... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JoeLinux (20366)

    Eve online did it first, and paid a price for doing it incorrectly...they've since apologized [eveonline.com] and said they will roll it out right.

    Meanwhile, WoW is hemorrhaging users...this can only further accelerate their departure, as people find a game with more meaning...Should provide some tasty n00bs to pod...

    • This is more along the lines of a PLEX, not the Noble Exchange or Aurum. That was done properly and was in place way before Incarna was planned.
      • by MrMickS (568778)

        No. This is more like the Noble Exchange. Its a vanity item that can be traded for in game currency. PLEX are not a vanity item as they have a use that consumes them.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      If you read that "apology", I think you'll find that all they're apologising for is not selling enough different types of monocles, or having the gym, hot tub and Cyber-Skank Singles Bar areas ready for Arcana.
    • Yes, they're hemorrhaging. They've dropped from capturing 54% of the mmo market down to a measly 52% Whatever shall they do.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      People had no problem with the PLEXes after a while. PLEXes allowed things to work both ways - players could earn in-game money to buy game-time cards (and thus not spend real money), and people could in turn spend money to buy PLEXes and sell them.

      It was a very simple tradeoff. Do you spend 30 or so hours grinding ISK to save $15? If that's worth your time, great. If not, you can switch things around and save time grinding for ISK by buying PLEXes.

      When they added a new currency which basically turned into

    • Eve did what first? Allowing you to buy ingame items for real world money and then turn around and sell them for ingame money? Nope - Puzzle Pirates did that first with the Doubloon Exchange back in 2005.

  • This doesn't hurt the economy at all. No gold is materialized, so it's no more detrimental to the economy than someone buying and selling a rare item they found on a mob in the auction house. When I first read the headline I assumed you could actually buy gold or something. I don't think this is as bad as people seem to be blowing it up to be.

    There isn't going to be a huge market for this item in the way something like PLEX is in EVE. It's a pet. The pet collectors out there will get it one way or another a

  • the Trading Card game featured items you could sell in game for ridiculous amounts of money and Blizzard even sanctioned that.

    They are not adding gold to the game, they are simply giving another means of it moving from character to character. It is most likely that the costs in game for the pet will quickly tank which might push off a lot of buyers.

    What does not bode well is that pets sold to players from Blizzard now take on the trading card game limitation of one time use instead of account wide use. This

  • by DrXym (126579)
    WoW's transition to F2P begins. It'll probably be a better game for it too.
  • by Tridus (79566) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:11AM (#37688188) Homepage

    Given the rate at which WoW is losing subscribers (nearly a million in 2 quarters this year), you'd think they'd refocus on things that are actually good for the game.

    Alas, nope. Instead they're focused on milking the cow as much as possible. This is just another example, the last one was trying to charge people to group with their friends. Blizzard eventually backed off on that, but the push has been growing from them for a while. It seems subscriptions aren't good enough for them anymore despite an incredible lack of content being added to the game these days.

    Oh well. It was fun while it lasted, but all things must come to an end.

    • It's all about priorities, activision wants a return on investment and will do anything to get it. In the last year they have lost 1 million subs, went from a 2 raid to 1 raid per tier citing time issues. They excuse lack of storage space due to DB size. They still have some of the longest maintenance in the industry. It's a death spiral right now and they are still making piles of money. All the competent staff seems to have moved onto there next generation project.

      • by Godai (104143) *

        I'm confused. When did we get two raids per tier?

        1.0 - Onyxia & Molten Core (1 tier, 2 raids)
        1.6 - Blackwing Lair (1 tier)
        1.9 - The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj (1 tier, unless you count the 20-man)
        1.11 - Shadow of the Necropolis (1 tier)
        2.0 - Magtharidon, SSC, Gruul & TK at launch (2 tiers, 4 raids + KZ)
        2.1 - The Black Temple (1 tier)
        2.4 - Sunwell (1 tier)
        3.0 - Sarthion, Malygos & Nax (3 tiers)
        3.1 - Secrets of Ulduar (1 tier)
        3.2 - Call of the Crusade (1 tier)
        3.3 - Fall of the Lich King (1 tier)
        4.0 - Thro

        • They promised multiple raids per tier in cata to compensate for the new shared lockouts. Shorter raids and more of them. They claimed not enough time to finish the other 4.3 raid.

          The void storage stripping everything off is a storage issue as in they do not want to keep those extra attributes. The keyring removal was explicitly stated as an issue of space http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2548839953 [battle.net]

          The cata mantra was smaller faster patches with more content. So far were at best on par, and lookin

          • by ildon (413912)

            It wasn't to "compensate for the shared lockouts" it was so that you weren't staring at the same fucking background all week. I guess they figured if they just made little raids you wouldn't be in there long enough for it to be as draining.

    • by selven (1556643)

      Just wondering, if WoW is losing subscribes so quickly than what's replacing it? What are the upstart alternatives, and what's so good about them?

  • T'rain did it first.

    • by Erasmas (1850602)
      Are we the only ones that have read REAMDE? I think somebody at Blizzard has, that's for sure. One of the next-generation MMOs is going to outright copy T'Rain, and then things will get interesting. Why not allow real money and gold to be interchangeable? Insert Blizzard (or another company) as the currency-exchange (they charge a fee of course), and everybody wins. Those with more time than money can play cheaply and even make money by digging up gold. Those with more money than time can buy gold wit
      • by Cyberax (705495)

        Nope, I suspect a lot of people noticed it.

        I wonder if Neal Stephenson applied for a patent on business method ;)

  • by yoyhed (651244) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @07:56AM (#37688614)
    I don't play WoW, but I was pretty big into Guild Wars back in the day, particularly the in-game economy. Won't the in-game market value of this pet plummet once everyone's buying it to change it into gold and flooding the auction house with it? Seems like something that'll only be worth it (that is, worth it to someone who would pay for in-game items in the first place) for a short while.
    • by tycoex (1832784)

      I played Atlantica (among other f2p games) which basically had exactly what WoW is adding now, although the game was f2p so it was at least somewhat excusable, I can't believe they have the balls to do this for a p2p game.

      Basically what happens is the item will be worth a ton when it first comes out. It won't tank quickly, but it will gradually become worth less and less as the new "shininess" factor wears off.

      Then Blizzard will replace the item with a new "more shiny" item. The current shiny item will drop

    • by ildon (413912)

      Which is exactly why Blizzard thinks it's "ok". It's regulated by the in-game market and so it has a cap on value and works properly within the system. Normal gold buying is disruptive because it works outside the market and encourages people to play in an abnormal way (even ignoring all the scamming and account stealing it generates).

      I don't necessarily agree with them, but that's likely Blizzard's logic. And if it stops a couple people from buying gold from third parties, that's to their benefit, too.

    • Correct, however, nothing is preventing Blizzard from increasing the number of available items that can be traded once the market for the Guardian Cub is saturated (easily determined by their sales figures for the pet).

      Blizzard is going very slowly to test the backlash from the community, so they're starting with one item. Worst case scenario, there's only ever going to be this one pet that can be bought and traded in this way. Minimum possible impact. Blizzard is just playing it safe.

  • I'll admit that I have played this game since inception, in 2004. That being said, there were dungeons that were damn near impossible to complete, without 40 able minded players. That was a stretch, and it felt like a real accomplishment. That's because it was an accomplishment... it took hard work, and often times took great critical thinking.

    The game today has become a cash cow for Blizzard, and their policies show that. From faction changes, to PvE/PvP trasfers, to 10/25 man steamroll dungeons, to no

  • They didn't do this to 'add an avenue for real money gold buying'. They don't need to -- that already exists, as they've pointed out in several posts. TCG rewards are Bind-on-Equip already, and sold on the auction house for significant money. Its not that hard to buy or obtain one of those and sell it in game for solid gold returns.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of this because I think for $10 it should show up on every character for the account its applied to. This way you're paying $10 for a one-time pet, and

  • This isn't really a legal avenue for *gold buying*. Instead it's an avenue for purchasing a vanity pet that you can sell to other players for in-game gold. The difference is two-fold:

    1) No gold is added to the economy in this transaction, which means this process doesn't add inflationary pressure.
    2) There's no guarantee of value on the pet. These things are going to flood the marketplace, as people buy them for resale. Who knows what the final market value of these things will be?

    Blizzard could have just in

  • Suckers are going to spend $25 on a mount that will flood the AH. What costs 20K gold on Saturday will be 2K gold the following week. If you don't already have 2K gold on your toon, then you're doing it wrong. What worries me is Blizz moving this model over to gear. When that happens, I am out.
  • Scale instances to the gear level. There is too much content already. I've been playing for three years and haven't seen half the raids. From WotLK I have completed Naxx and NONE of the other raids. My guild was too small to tackle content regularly. My guildies were great, helpful people who were excellent people. What? "find another guild" you say? Are you seriously indicating that something that is a *game* should motivate and encourage affiliation based on performance and not on friendship? I'd be happy

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