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WoW To Add Avenue For Real-Money Gold Buying

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the opening-a-can-of-worms dept.

Role Playing (Games) 197

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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Going back on their word (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 3 years ago | (#37687680)

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.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 3 years ago | (#37687838)

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.

Re:Going back on their word (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 years ago | (#37687946)

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 ...

Re:Going back on their word (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 3 years ago | (#37687952)

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).

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689052)

The only PvP I remember is max-level characters from the other side going to early towns and killing the quest NPCs as fast as they could so the low level players sat around and got slaughtered and/or annoyed waiting for the quest givers to respawn. But maybe I don't understand modern fun.

Re:Going back on their word (5, Informative)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688238)

Yes, considering that PvP gear is a lot easier to obtain and higher ilvl/quality than PvE stuff. It takes away a lot from the game, considering just a few days in PvP makes you viable for heroics rather and even better than most of the raids. Granted you lose out on secondary stats to resilience, but after that its still better overall.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 3 years ago | (#37688380)

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 person in the 20-40 standing in the wrong place constitutes a wipe, after that when you finally get everyone on the same page for each boss, you then have to repeat it, over and over again till you can get each of your 20-40 people the gear they need to move on to the next area, (since only 1-2 items will drop each time and you need to gear up everyone). This IMO leads to some major burnout. So I'd imagine the players that enjoy that style, for the most part lose interest, need long breaks every few months etc... Meaning the PVPers are the ones who aren't getting bored. Also another factor is guilds, In general there are only 2-3 guilds that are at the top of the PVE settings, meaning if you had the gear from the first 2-3 raids, the only raids that would benefit you are the 4th and up raids. Limiting your guild choice to ever get anything to 2-3 guilds tops. When the inevitable guild drama hits, PVE-ers really have nowhere to go and just retire, PVPers aren't even really dependent on having a guild.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

MisterZimbu (302338) | about 3 years ago | (#37688840)

Things have changed significantly on that front - the raid size is smaller (10 or 25 players) and the bosses drop more loot, plus bosses give points you can spend at a vendor to get more raid-level loot.

The burnout's still there, but it's more in the opposite direction now- a new raid comes out and the players are getting geared so fast that they have nothing to do afterwards.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

kick6 (1081615) | about 3 years ago | (#37688848)

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.

If PvP is the main draw now, and I'm not convinced it is, its pretty easy to see why: time commitment. As an end-game PvP character you can log on, queue for a random battleground, be in the battleground in under 5 minutes, and generally be out of the battleground in an additional 25. So you only have to invest 30 minutes to accomplish something. Arena is even faster. On my 1400 ranked arena tram (crappy, but I don't want to try any harder) I can cap points for the week in a total of about 80 minutes of play, and that assumes I lose half of my arena battles.

To get into a random raid group.................you're probably spending that same 30 minutes you'd spend to actually complete a battleground sitting in a capital city watching trade chat hoping that some half-made group needs your class. WoW is old now, and the players that started playing in late '04/early '05 when the game dropped are still playing, but have significantly more demands on their time thus their focus has shifted away from the 6 hour raids that used to dominate end-game content.

Re:Going back on their word (2)

Impeesa (763920) | about 3 years ago | (#37687748)

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 player demands than hunting for more cash (though I'm sure that's a happy side effect). I think they still understand where the line is for things that would damage the health of the game.

Re:Going back on their word (2)

errandum (2014454) | about 3 years ago | (#37688446)

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.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688806)

Ruins the game? Hacking accounts. Yeah, because of the theft involved since it is going against people's will. Lack of consent is the issue there.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689358)

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.

I'm afraid you're just plain wrong there.
New gold is actually created, since the hacked character's gold is laundered, and Blizzard's restoration of that character effectively duplicates the plunder. And that's assuming the gold sellers don't use the account to bot, farming a ton of resources and then selling those as well.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687758)

I think with the popularity and immediacy of free to play mmo's, blizzard is adapting to the changed shape of the industry. They didn't become a the mammoth that they are today by ignoring what was currently working, they just had a knack for doing it better. On top of the micro-transactions, they also made the first 20 levels free to play (granted, it doesn't take more than a couple hours to hit level 20). Have a feeling in a years time its revenue is going to be entirely micro-transaction based.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 years ago | (#37688182)

Have a feeling in a years time its revenue is going to be entirely micro-transaction based.

In that case, in a years time I won't be playing WoW any more.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689044)

So you say. But if it ain't gonna cost you anything to keep your account active, and you still have access to the same raid zones with the same drops, which remain of the same quality... you're only gonna leave if you actually find something better to do.

When I find something better to do, I'm leaving regardless of subscription plans and micro transactions.

Re:Going back on their word (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 years ago | (#37687872)

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.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

lynnae (2439544) | about 3 years ago | (#37687930)

gold buying can be disheartening. I'm not saying it always is, but in many cases running end game content means you need either the ingame gold to buy the consumables or the time and alts to farm all your own.

If you don't have the time and alts, and if the market for end game consumables has been inflated by gold buying, then you really are down to few choices if you want to continue on in the game.

Your premise is faulty. (4, Interesting)

CountBrass (590228) | about 3 years ago | (#37688374)

I shouldn't have to need the time and alts in order to play my character,

In many ways todays WoW is a sad, sold-out reflection of it's early self.

When I first started playing (US then EU betas and then EU live) running dungeons was fun, exciting, dangerous and sometimes maddeningly frustrating.

Today running dungeons is like a job. And a tedious, boring, uncreative menial job at that. There's no skill required- and most players won't even tolerate attempts at a more skilful-creative approaches as it introduces risk and might slow down their instance run. Why would spending more time having fun be a problem? The problem is that running instances in WoW now is not fun.

Re:Your premise is faulty. (4, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | about 3 years ago | (#37688486)

Actually, in the beginning of a new expansion, dungeons are challenging and require skill. And that makes people kick anyone that doesn't meet their gear requirements.

What "ruined" wow wasn't blizzard, it was the players. In the beginning, everyone was the same. Ignorant and in crappy gear. Nowadays there is this huge pit between the new guy and the old one, leading to elitism and the behavior you expressed. And these guys outgear the dungeon by so much (remember, it was designed to be beaten with crap gear) that there is no need for any kind of organization

There should be different levels of gear, but with smaller benefits from one tier to the other, so that nothing becomes trivial after you get some "epics". Easier would be ok, trivial is, in my opinion, what killed Wow.

Re:Your premise is faulty. (2)

CountBrass (590228) | about 3 years ago | (#37688792)

And yet at the beginning of WoW you could get on the early raids (UBRS, Scholo and Strat) with a mix of blues and greens: which is quite reasonable.

People didn't need to know the instances because -in complete contrast to today- people were willing to talk to each and, shock! horror! explain any upcoming tricky fights.

These days -and repeating your initial point- you are expected to be over-geared and to be have studied every patrol and boss fight.

This has become a necessity because Blizzard has made too many of the bread and butter instance boss fights overly complicated.

This is Blizzard's fault. Blaming the players (customers, rats in the maze) makes no sense.

I do agree with your implied final point though: gear is far too important compared to your character's base stats and skills. Vanilla WoW had it right, we've seen extreme item inflation ever since.

Re:Your premise is faulty. (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37689506)

Ulduar was beatable with no epic gear.

Re:Your premise is faulty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689010)

Yay, a casual vs elitist argument outside of the official forums!

*takes off gloves*

What ruined wow was indeed the players, but it's not the "elitists", but the so called "casuals" who got Bliz to shape the system to be what it is.

In the old days, the elites stayed with other elites (they have little/no reason to do old content). What changed was Bliz, influenced by casuals, changed the system so that it's lucrative for the elites to show up in old content (doing old content means points which can go towards gear)

And take off the rose tinted goggles. In the beginning elitism existed too. Gear disparity was even larger before (for one thing, there wasn't even "heroic" 5 man gear). The real difference is that "elitists" stayed within their close knit circles (because there's no incentive to do old content - there were no points), so the "casuals" rarely ever interacted with them

Re:Going back on their word (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 years ago | (#37688438)

I think you'll find the big cash rewards for daily quests had a lot more to do with inflation.
If you do the dailies for rep grinding then at level 85 gold is really just something to keep score unless you just have to buy the most expensive stuff in the AH instead of waiting for it to drop, or if you want to buy all the stuff you need to get that skill up now.
If you don't have the time to learn how to play your character well enough to do a raid then it's true you won't have enough gold to buy the stuff to run it either. You don't read a book by turning to the last page do you? Why try to jump right to the end of the game? Those people that demand you have the best of everything before you can raid with them will probably throw you out for being a newbie anyway, or maybe just because cousin Fred just logged on and he needs a spot. Ignore them and work your way up.
The "gold farmer" thing seems to be mostly a myth - the gold mostly comes from being drained out of hacked accounts. Guess what, to get it you apparently get asked for enough details that your account can be hacked too. Even if it worked as advertised it would be a good vector for money laundering so Blizzard would have to crack down on it hard to keep taxmen and other Feds from hassling them. Any way for third parties to put money into WoW and then for others to extract is a potential legal nightmare for Blizzard.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

lynnae (2439544) | about 3 years ago | (#37688998)

I killed my wow account over a year ago. I'll skip the bit where I add my credentials

we can all go back and forth about who does what to whom and who needs what in order to complete x, however, my comments weren't warcraft specific. I personally think there are many issues with the "current state of MMOs" and damned if I know how to fix them.

There's a "gimme more more more, faster faster faster" attitude in most of the MMOs I've played that really start to drain the fun out it quite quickly.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37689482)

Too bad these items are all permanent mods to the account. It means that they'll be great money makers for the early investors. As more and more people buy them through gold demand will drop and the amount of gold you can get for them will drop as well. Eventually it will reach zero as there's no longer any players that want the item. So this sort of transaction really isn't going to help that in the long run.

Compare that to EVE's PLEX, a consumable, which means demand will be kept up and provides a much more consistent value for the dollars you put in.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

niko-fu (2482932) | about 3 years ago | (#37687986)

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.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 3 years ago | (#37688010)

"$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.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688074)

$25 for a mount still blows me away. That's more than a month of subscription time...for a vanity mount.
I don't see a big problem with that price point, being it's luxury vanity item, purely for looks. For a game having such a wide appeal to gamers, there will always be people who are willing to spend much more than standard subscription, and any game company would be stupid not to cash on it in a way that won't alienate the rest of players. I mean there's like what, 200 obtainable mounts in WoW atm ? You can ride only 1 at a time, and much of them are better looking than the ones you can buy for real money.

As for the new pet being essentially way to buy gold, it's bullshit and i'm sure some people will quit over it, however as it stands i don't see it affecting the game in any way - the thing is, with Cataclysm release, gold was pretty much trivialized, simple questing on higher levels gives tons of gold, and any activity you do in the game (maybe with exception of high-end raiding) is gold-positive, with almost no gold sinks being available. The game has shifted towards non-tradeable currencies (emblems, points, soulbound drops from dungeons/raids), up to the point that blizzard itself says that gold farming in wow is now on steep decline, and the only gold selling services remaining are the ones getting gold from hacked accounts.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37689596)

When that mount came out it was the only mount that altered based on your flying skill.

What did this mean?

If you had regular riding it functioned as a regular 60% mount ground.
If you had epic riding it would function as a 100% mount on ground.
If you had flying it would function as a 100% mount on ground and a whatever the basic flying speed was.
If you had epic flying it would function as a 100% mount on the ground and a 280% flying mount.
If you had a mount with 310% movement speed that mount would function as a 100% mount on the ground and 310% flying mount.

You never had to dick around with changing your mount. You never had to make extra effort to go buy a mount, just upgrade the skills. Further it was account bound so every character you created had a mount they could use for eternity. Now factor in that a lot of riding skills got turned into BoA skill books that you can send to other characters on your account and it becomes a little more valuable. It may not be worth $25 but it did have some value beyond just a vanity item.

The lil XT vanity pet also had a very nice function. It would destroy those irritating choo choo train sets that dipshits liked to drop in the AH or bank.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

MWojcik (859959) | about 3 years ago | (#37688392)

There's one important caveat: no "new" gold enters the system. When someone buys the pet for real money and someone else buys it for gold, that gold was already present in the game, it was not "created" by the real money transaction.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688732)

Blizzard has gone back on so many things they were once publicly opposed to, from PvE-to-PvP transfers

The game changed. Nobody played world PvP any more. There was no point in preventing people from creating characters from different factions on the one server, as there faction "espionage" became entirely pointless. Same for the transfers - there just isn't much difference between PvE and PvP realms any more.

the purchasing of gold using real-world money

Which they still haven't done.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688754)

Look on craigslist, some girl had a "mount me for an epic mount" deal - insane.

Re:Going back on their word (0)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 3 years ago | (#37688766)

The only people who need RMT are incompetent. If you have any skill in an MMO, you'll acquire everything you need.

Re:Going back on their word (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 3 years ago | (#37688900)

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 ruin the game for the truly dedicated players who really do play every single day month after month.

But the modern game industry increasingly caters to normal people, not just dedicated gamers. I think thats good because I don't consider myself 'a gamer' just an ordinary guy who is interested in MMOs, just not 'dedicated' to them.

Sensationalist Bullshit (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687686)

Give me a break. This doesn't add any money to the economy. It's a blob of polygons that follows you around if you pay real/fake money for it. This headline is crap.

Re:Sensationalist Bullshit (4, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | about 3 years ago | (#37687704)

  1. Player A purchases pet for real-world money
  2. Player A puts pet up for sale in in-game auction house
  3. Player B buys pet for in-game currency ("gold")
  4. Player A receives in-game currency

THAT is what was meant with "WoW To Add Avenue For Real-Money Gold Buying". Just as there are plenty of people with real-world money to spend there are plenty of people in-game with too much gold to spend, to them it makes more sense to just throw some gold at it rather than buying the pet using real money.

Re:Sensationalist Bullshit (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 3 years ago | (#37687856)

Thank you for explaining that, I was totally lost as to what the hell the description was trying to convey.

Re:Sensationalist Bullshit (1)

MPAB (1074440) | about 3 years ago | (#37688404)

Player B sells pet to Player C for real-world money and resumes mining
Player C becomes new Player A

Re:Sensationalist Bullshit (1)

oztiks (921504) | about 3 years ago | (#37688532)

Obviously blizzard is establishing some of stimulus package for Orgrimmer. Those lazy ass trolls keep up with the protesting out the front of the AH there's gonna be trouble!

Eve did it first... (1, Interesting)

JoeLinux (20366) | about 3 years ago | (#37687690)

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...

Re:Eve did it first... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687700)

You're an idiot. Eve did this with plexes (buy this, trade for isk) a long time ago and it has been a stable part of the economy. The recent apology was for the stupid incarna expansion crap.

Re:Eve did it first... (2)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 3 years ago | (#37687728)

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.

Re:Eve did it first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687776)

It still upset a lot of players though. A lot of them believe that the status of a person's real-world finances should have no bearing at all on their in-game abilities, and get rather annoyed when they have to grind for hours to pay for ships that someone with real money to burn could buy easily by selling PLEX.

Re:Eve did it first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688022)

A lot of them believe that the status of a person's real-world finances should have no bearing at all on their in-game abilities

And anybody who believes that is a fucking idiot.

You've got these trust-fund babies out there multi-boxing on high-end computers, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. That is a direct reflection of their real-life assets in the in-game world.
And then people bitch because some poor slob who works 80 hours a week, and manages to grab a few hours to play in-between real-life responsibilities, wants to be able to see some content by paying a little cash to make a noticeable advance in the game world.

Seriously, it has nothing to do with "representations of real-life wealth". It's all about flaunting your E-Penis; those who have all the Gear, etc. want to keep as many people from getting it as possible, to maintain their perceived social elite status.

It it had anything to do with skill, I might understand, but it doesn't- it's simply how much time you can invest into the game. And no, I'm not advocating a full "cash for levels" type of system, but there is some (limited) amount of room for trading real-life cash for real-life time.

Re:Eve did it first... (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37688006)

I think EVE's crowning achievement is that it introduced pay-to-win in such an obfuscated jargon laden way that to this day, players still won't admit even to themselves that there are super-capitals out there that were flat out bought with credit cards.

Re:Eve did it first... (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 3 years ago | (#37688126)

It's not that they don't want to admit it, they are just happy about it. Someone who just spent some $ for his internet spaceship is much more likely to be an idiot that flies around without support. So they make for some mighty fine killmails.

Re:Eve did it first... (1)

g4b (956118) | about 3 years ago | (#37688274)

additionally, you still need to build that stuff.

capitals just dont drop from the air. first you have to get "some" veldspar and stuff.

so basicly even if the player pays in eve to be a rich kid, he still needs to wait for skills, and somebody else needs to mine and build his ships.
money is gone fast in eve if you got no clue what you do.

Re:Eve did it first... (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about 3 years ago | (#37689248)

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.

Re:Eve did it first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689260)

Yeah, it's like PLEX, except that this isn't a consumable item, so eventually, everyone who wants one will get one, and then there will be no demand and a ton of supply.

Re:Eve did it first... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37688024)

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.

Re:Eve did it first... (0)

dcollins (135727) | about 3 years ago | (#37688088)

I agree.

Re:Eve did it first... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#37688600)

Yes, they're hemorrhaging. They've dropped from capturing 54% of the mmo market down to a measly 52% Whatever shall they do.

Market rules will deflate the value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687702)

- Pet quantity is not limited
- Pet can be bought by anyone
-> Market will be flooded with pets.

- Pet can be only be acquired once per char
- People with most assets (gold) will be playing actively
-> Market will soon shrink, when all the active players have their vanity pets.

This will just lead to very poor cash->gold conversion rate. Even though the idea is fine, market rules will favour early adopters and leave just about everybody else out in the cold. Chinese provide cheaper service, where risks involve around getting caught or not. Risks with pet selling are about the perceived value of the pet, which will be low.

Ex player. (1)

matt007 (80854) | about 3 years ago | (#37687712)

I first encountered WoW when I played the US beta, almost immediately stopped playing Everquest.
I then played the European beta, and bought the game as soon as it released.

I had tons of fun in the first years, then it slowly went downhill.
Arenas suck, resilience suck, extensions are way too slow and too small.
Microtransactions suck.
and worst of all, the community at least on french-speaking servers is AWFUL.

Re:Ex player. (2)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 3 years ago | (#37688084)

Its pretty god-awful everywhere. The Community doesn't exist anymore. What you have now are a bunch of gamers better suited to playing FPS's that thrive on instant gratification and barely even interacts with the community.

Those that do seek some sort of pleasure out of it for the most part. These consist largely of trolls etc.

There are a very very few like myself, and perhaps yourself, left that are genuinely helpful and relatively patient.

Most of us have quit already, I know I have.

It's about damn time (1)

Saintwolf (1224524) | about 3 years ago | (#37687716)

Now hopefully this will destroy the economy of those pesky gold sellers and their endless trade spam.

Re:It's about damn time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688214)

The google RSS-newsfeed of this news was accompanied with an ad from gold4fun.com.
Talk about targeted marketing...

Re:It's about damn time (1)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 years ago | (#37688230)

Now hopefully this will destroy the economy of those pesky gold sellers and their endless trade spam.

What spam? Haven't seen one in a long time. Get some decent spam filter add-on.

How about getting rid of the miserable gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687732)

I recently tried it again after several years absence. I never kept an account for more than a month at a time. Either trolls or bad gameplay drove me away. This time I canceled my account after a couple of days. After the first few days I kept having this BS thing happen where the sky would go orange and suddenly my character died. After the second time I asked WTF? Turns out it's supposed to be a bloody dragon. Well third time I tried to log out as soon as I saw red. Well this automatically kills your character. My response? I canceled my account and have no plans to ever try WoW again. The truly lifeless might get off on dying randomly as game play but I have better things to do with my time and money. There's a reason for all the trolls in WoW. Only the trolls enjoy that kind of game play. I love massive environments but the game play has always been lousy and it keeps getting worse.

Re:How about getting rid of the miserable gameplay (1)

nordee (104555) | about 3 years ago | (#37688246)

If you stay out of the Hinterlands the trolls might not bother you so much.

Re:How about getting rid of the miserable gameplay (2)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 years ago | (#37688256)

After the first few days I kept having this BS thing happen where the sky would go orange and suddenly my character died. After the second time I asked WTF? Turns out it's supposed to be a bloody dragon.

You "kept having?!" Players are actively seeking out the areas where Death Wing is flying over because it earns you an achievement. ;)

Well third time I tried to log out as soon as I saw red. Well this automatically kills your character. My response? I canceled my account and have no plans to ever try WoW again. The truly lifeless might get off on dying randomly as game play but I have better things to do with my time and money.

I have many characters and I think I have seem Death Wing about three times since the expansion came out. You are either very lucky or very unlucky - depending on how you see it. Really, dying from a fly over by Death Wing is not a problem.

Blizzard has already been doing this for 2 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687750)

When they released patch 3.2 back in 2009, they made many of the biggest-draw WoW Trading Card Game rewards non-binding and tradeable -- and sellable on the Auction House. For a while, people have been able to put in a real-world monetary investment in obtaining these 'loot cards', cash in the loot code in-game, and then sell the reward to others for gold. This was done in reaction to rampant scamming that was occurring where people were promising to sell codes to other players for gold.

This proposed little vanity pet is just simply Blizzard cutting out the middle man and selling a vanity item that can then be in-turn sold in game.

Also worth considering that if one pays attention to gold-spam in the game itself, some of the spammers advertise the sale of the Winged Guardian mount codes in exchange of gold (which normally winds up being a scam, the resulting gold then laundered and sold on some site along with the fruits of account hackings).

I can honestly say that this is just part of a bigger picture of Blizzard simply providing means to a market that a lot of the game's players are largely in denial over -- RMT is rampant, and it's gotten to the point where it infringes on the account safety of players who don't even engage in RMT sales/misconduct. The 3rd parties who do the account hackings rely on a customerbase that wants to trade in their money for gold in the game. If Blizzard surreptitiously provides a means for the ends of someone just wanting to plug down 20 dollars to make it so that they can get their flight training done and down, that takes away the power of the network of account phishers/hackers that are employed by Goldseller companies.

Will the new ActiBliz keep Bliz fans? (1)

yacwroy (1558349) | about 3 years ago | (#37687786)

Now that every (ex)fan has had a decent taste of Activision-Blizzard, It will be interesting to see how well their next few products do.

Do consumers actually pay attention to corporate ethics any more? Time to find out.

Gold to Dollar converion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37687830)

These pets will cost $10, at current prices for warcraft gold $10 will net you 8333 gold.

I don't see many players paying 8000 plus gold for one of these pets so there will still be a good market for the gold farmers/sellers.

Re:Gold to Dollar converion. (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 3 years ago | (#37687834)

You'd be surprised at how much gold a lot of in-game items are worth at the auction house.

There's been heavy inflation going on for quite some time, items comparable to what used to be very expensive 2000G items are now selling for 20-25kG on many realms ("comparable" when compared to what the current top tier of equipment and items is).

Re:Gold to Dollar converion. (1)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 3 years ago | (#37688288)

I don't see many players paying 8000 plus gold for one of these pets

You sound like 8000g was a lot.

But you are still right. Since those pets are easy to come by (just look how many players have those pay-for mounts) they will be worth *less* than rare pets that can be found in game. And *those* are traded for around 8000 to 10000g.

Too many game related posts on this site (1)

morikahnx (1323841) | about 3 years ago | (#37687848)

Is it just me, or has the amount of video game related posts on slashdot risen dramatically over the last couple years. There are so many web sites focused solely on gaming, I doesn't need to creep into here as well. This is such a non-news item.

Dammit... (1)

Therilith (1306561) | about 3 years ago | (#37687854)

Another game lost to MTX...

If this is "the future of MMO gaming", I'm glad I got out before I had to see it firsthand.

This won't hurt the economy at all. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 3 years ago | (#37687890)

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 and then it will be very slow going.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688104)

Someone read REAMDE.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

polemistes (739905) | about 3 years ago | (#37688616)

Yes, and then they figured they also want some terrorist mafia action in their life.

This is another way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688140)

of saying "lets make some money before the game is totally dead..."

WoW has decreased in popularity recently and instead of trying to support or revive the game for all its gaming history they decide to squeeze the last few breaths out of it. It reminds me when Palm sold its own name, then its OS, then decided that the world is not going to end and started looking for alternatives.

This is typical short-sighted management.

I think that game is dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688144)

I played that game way to much, so now I do not recommend it under any circumstances to anybody. I have also talked to people who have family members that had people playing too much of that game. That game and counterstrike are the two games I associate with most damage to society. I believe all the other games are harmless, but when it comes to those two games I have too many stories where things turned really bad. So, my policy when it comes to gaming is any game but CS or WoW. People can argue in any directions about if those games are bad or not, but I got my experiences and I suggest you also study your experiences about that game and make up your mind about them.

Sorry, that happened well over a year ago (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 3 years ago | (#37688162)

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 raises the cost of buying a pet for your account by 1000% or more.

And so (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 years ago | (#37688180)

WoW's transition to F2P begins. It'll probably be a better game for it too.

Blizzard has lost their way (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 3 years ago | (#37688188)

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.

Re:Blizzard has lost their way (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 3 years ago | (#37688936)

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.

WHACK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688196)

So I can buy and sell virtual stuff in WOW or Diablo 3 but I can't play online poker in the US except on some smaller sites?!? Maybe they can launch poker sites

Old news... (2)

nordee (104555) | about 3 years ago | (#37688224)

T'rain did it first.

The next 'Great WoW killer' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688316)

All the time i was playing, there were always those rumors that the next MMO was the one that would finally knock World of Warcraft off its perch. All that time, I kept saying that the only thing that could kill WoW was Blizzard itself.
guess I was right, sorta...it took Blizzard being bought out by Activision, THEN killing WoW.

The silver lining?
Now new MMOs will have a chance to exist for more than a few months before they implode due to lack of foresight.

Plus 1, TrOlL) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688366)

BSe a lot slower Head spiining This post up. are incompatible

People still play WoW??? (0)

nullCRC (320940) | about 3 years ago | (#37688582)

Interesting.

Market value? (2)

yoyhed (651244) | about 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Market value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688784)

Blizzard doesn't care what the in-game market value is, just that all those people bought it in that short time period. Whether you sell it or use it doesn't affect them one bit.

Re:Market value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688918)

Yeah, but then they can just introduce another bind-on-equip/use item that sells for gold. In my experience, not enough people are going to buy it such that it'll instantly become worthless. Then again, I don't know how economies on the largest of servers work, but I would imagine that it's not going to be purchased that quickly.

Only the rarest of companions tend to sell for over 1.5kg, which really is not much these days. That's like, income from a day of glyph selling, which is a mostly-automated process anyway.

Re:Market value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688956)

I strongly doubt the price will "plummet", though ofc. it'll probably fluctuate a fair bit before settling on some fairly high level.
Unlike other items being sold on AH, there's a limit how far people will be willing to undercut. If I picked up a rare epic world-drop, I'll probably rush straight to AH and undercut the lowest price just to get some gold in a hurry, and with a certain trust that the current prices are fairly accurate. However, if I'm going to spend real cash on an item with the sole intend of converting it to gold, I'm gonna have certain expectations as to how much gold it's gonna bring me.

Re:Market value? (1)

KiahZero (610862) | about 3 years ago | (#37689622)

And yet, if those expectations are higher than the function of supply of the item and demand for it, you'll either be stuck without your $10 and nothing to show for it, or you'll adjust your expectations downward to realize some gain.

I imagine you'll see the same kind of sinusoidal price movements for this as you see for other WoW items, with high prices inducing more people to get one and list it on the AH, quickly overwhelming the demand and tanking the price.

Money Laundering and Black Market Proxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37688736)

Real money you say? Nation states might have some interest. :-)

WoW gone soft... (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | about 3 years ago | (#37688756)

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 now monetizing (and cashing in on) something they deemed a violation of the ToS... a week prior.
They have taken the hard work, and dedication required, and replaced it with money bought goods.

This is an honest question here, but are they creating a type of stock exchange in WoW?

Re:WoW gone soft... (1)

thejynxed (831517) | about 3 years ago | (#37689078)

Pre-nerf AQ40 and pre-nerf Kharazan come to mind.

WoW has become a MMO Slot Machine. Pull the handle and gear comes out.

Re:WoW gone soft... (1)

HBI (604924) | about 3 years ago | (#37689156)

Once you break the balance on a game, it never can recover.

I used to respond to unreasonable MUD feature requests with something along the lines of - "Ok, instead of x, let's put a big regenerating pile of gold in the starting room, and a lever to give you experience. Then you take the gold and pull the lever as much as you want. Fun, right?"

Re:WoW gone soft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689194)

This is an honest question here, but are they creating a type of stock exchange in WoW?

Define "type of stock exchange". The AH has been there forever, which is used by some to exchange goods at variable prices. I know you know this if you've been in WoW since the beginning, but I really don't see how you can pose this as an honest question, unless you're asking about theoretical future-features that may or may not eventually be thought out by the development team, or may or may not be described in rough details on some piece of paper in the back of a developers desk drawer.

There's no legit means of turning gold into money, and nothing has been officially stated to suggest there ever will be. Unless you consider the features of D3 likely to seep into WoW in the foreseeable future.

This is like legalizing marijuana (1)

geekzealot1982 (1996172) | about 3 years ago | (#37688874)

There is always going to be gold buying and selling in WoW. On most servers you can easily buy game time cards codes for gold which people buy in the real world for real money. So it is easy to say that this is another example of Bliz caving, but it is just acknowledging the reality of the situation, and giving players a legal way to do it that isn't illicit, much like legalizing marijuana - it is going to happen no matter what stance they take, it causes dubious hurt, and it might just as well be legal to some reasonable degree.

Eve system (1)

asciiRider (154712) | about 3 years ago | (#37689066)

When people mention how this is implemented in Eve (my game) - they often forget to mention that it allows the isk grinders to play for free. So - for two players, CCP gets both subscriptions, one player gets to 'pay with isk to play' and one player essentially pays for two subs. Everybody is happy.

I work hard I'm not going to work in-game. I'm most certainly not going to try and compete with unemployed guys who play 18 hours a day. If I can help them by paying for their game time in return for their in game money I think it's a fair deal.

If you actually play wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689184)

There's a little more analysis on the wow insider piece from yesterday.

Real World Trades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689428)

To be clear. There is no regulation or law forbidding you buying anything by using a 3rd party in the real world. The only restriction is the contract you may have with the game provider, restricting what you can buy and from whom. But there is no restriction beyond that.

Many will have you belive it's illegal, or piracy, or something like that. But don't be fooled by their use of buzz words. It is nothing more than their attempt to control the potential market. It is true for WOW, EVE Online and others.

wow is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37689502)

Wow is a different game now anyway. Its more like watching a movie unfold then playing game.. some of the major quest boss's you can literally stop pressing buttons and just watch the npc beat the boss for you. Wow vanilla was great, burning crusade was still decent.. after that.. they made the game too simple so now a 3 year old play. the game has been dumbed down to the extreme. sad. I used to love wow..ask about 3 years of my life..lol

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