Lots of controversy is surrounding this very interesting decision by Blizzard to charge what some are calling a “Macrotransaction” or $10 for an exclusive in-game pet. My concern is where is this all going? This is almost the same kind of scenario where you sign up for Cable TV, and a week later they offer Free HBO to all new customers for a year. I bet there are some in WoW’s ranks that are feeling kind of screwed over right now.
Let me give you a small example:
Let us take the elite Hunter who’s raided every 25 and 40 man the game has pumped out, owns all the highest level Arena gear, and can count as 2 DPS in most non-heroic instances? After 4 or 5 years at the game, hundreds of dollars spent paying subscription fees, and the endless thousands of hours hes hunted the most elusive pets in order to own them all, he is known on his realm as one of the best. Now all of a sudden, that prestige he has built, and his brethren on each and every realm, stand to see their position usurped by those who are more affluent or have more means to pay for ingame items via real world money. Now before you go and tell me “This isn’t a fighting pet, this is a non-combat pet, there’s a difference” I do understand. I’m just pointing out where this could go.
This isn’t the first time this has occurred in an online game, but I do believe it is a first for World of Warcraft. Having played the game for several years myself, I was very upset when Arena characters could PvP their way into gear that equaled my Raid Dungeon set pieces, but I got over it as we all did. This takes things to a whole new level because as every slippery slope that is brought into being, the question of “where does it end” always comes to mind. Will Blizzard eventually sell mounts, high level armor and weapons, herbs and other reagents? The concern I would have is when do we start to worry about the balance? When does the desire for more revenue outweigh the experience the gamers are getting and is that good for our games? How much is too much to spend with any one game franchise and is not “spreading the wealth” among the game companies a good idea?
Comment below and let me know if you think I’m crazy or not and to Blizzard, I hope you know what you are doing.Related: Microtransactions, World of Warcraft