#243 Blizzard and Microtransactions

In the hubbub of the recent data-mined 5.4 patch notes with the introduction of an item called Enduring Elixir of Wisdom, and from what WoWDB has examined, it looks like this item will be sold in the Blizzard Shop right along the Heart of the Aspects and Blossoming Ancient.

Nothing too scary, it's just a better version of Elixir of Ancient Knowledge

Nothing too scary, it’s just a better version of Elixir of Ancient Knowledge

While not officially confirming the existence of the induction of microtransactions in World of Warcraft, Zarhym has gone appeared on the forums saying how they are looking into the posssibility can be seen on the PTR.

Today I would like to discuss my opinions and view points about microtransactions in games and MMOs. First I can see why Blizzard would be interested in introducing this payment model  to WoW, besides the continuous drop in player subscription in WoW, there have been other game companies (in both the mobile and MMO genera) that have shown they can make a profit from selling microtransactions to the players.

Personally speaking I have bought microtransactions throughout my gaming life: for the past two Christmases I have bought League of Legends gift cards for both of my brothers, I have purchased cosmetic DLC packs for Batman Arkham City, and I have both the Sparkle Pony and the Winged Guardian in my mount stable.  

the ability buy a DLC that allows you to dress up as either the batman from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns or the 90's cartoon batman is a no-brainer

the ability to buy a DLC that allows you to dress up as either the Batman from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns or the 1990’s television cartoon is a no-brainer

The rule that I follow when buying microtransactions and supporting companies that offer the service is to only buy items that do not break the game for me or the people I’m playing with. To give credit where credit it due, Riot’s League of Legends game does this perfectly with the option to either obtain new champions with the money you earn in-game or with your wallet, and the items you can only get through paying with real money are just champion skins that will change the appearance of your selected champion.

It looks like this is what Blizzard is doing.  No one in the World of Warcraft community will receive a negative impact if Blizzard wants to sell a product that speeds up the leveling process, especially since all of WoW’s focus in on late/end game content. I do want to warn the people at Blizzard, that if they do allow the selling of mircotransactions in the game, they should stay away from any microtransactions that would give players an advantage in the area of the game that really counts (i.e selling weapons, key resources, or increased drop rates)

I would like to take this moment to give a shout out to an indie game called, its on Steam and XBL and it is exactly what I'm talking about.

I would like to take this moment to give a shout out to an indie game called DLC Quest. it is on Steam and XBL and it’s  a parody game of exactly what I’m talking about.

As I said in my pre-E3 Xbox One post (Be MOP #232) I disapprove of a business model  where I get the impression that company is trying get me to pay twice for a game as the case with a paid service and advertisements or additional purchases for the game.

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Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays



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4 responses to “#243 Blizzard and Microtransactions

  1. Tesh

    I’ve said before that I’d pay money for an insta-80 like the “Scroll of Resurrection” granted a little while back. I haven’t said how much, but I’d expect no more than $15. I actually *like* the leveling game, though, so that wouldn’t be my first choice for monetization.

    No, I’d simply pay for a “pay and play” model like Guild Wars. Blizzard seems allergic to that idea, though.

    • I don’t think Blizzard would allow buy able insta-80s to the entire player population because one of the benefits of leveling a character is learning the ins and outs of a class while gradually introducing new spells and mechanics throughout the adventures.

      Blizzard is getting around this by offering XP Boosts and reducing the requirement to get through a level.

      I think that they only time they will introduce 80’s in the Blizzard Store is when they are in extreme finical trouble or when they go F2P

      • Tesh

        Y’know, I’ve never really bought the “you have to level a character to understand a class” argument, for two main reasons:

        One, soloing a class is a different animal from playing it in group content. Some of the learning is relevant, sure, but the *play* is so very different if you’re trying to do them well that just *having* a level-capped character doesn’t count for much in the endgame group play… which is the only place that other players should be concerned with how well a player knows his character.

        Two, it doesn’t take that long to learn a class. Maybe for someone who doesn’t understand games, but really, anyone who wants to be raiding in the endgame (again, dungeons being the only place anyone else should care about how well someone else plays) should be able to pick up a class and be contributing in fairly short order, or else they won’t find much fun or many friends there. Sure, I’m not a “world first raid group”-level player with my spiffy insta-80 Shaman, but for a class I’d only ever previously played to level 12 with, I’ve been able to pick up the essentials very fast, and have handled group play without much trouble. We’re not talking brain surgery here; and that’s not even spending much time on the simplification of WoW over the years.

        Most tellingly, that’s effectively what happens even when the leveling route is maintained, slow or fast; a player hits the endgame multiplayer scene, has to learn how it all works anyway, and goes from there.

        The “endgame” and the leveling game are almost two different games. I’ve long thought that players should be able to jump into either on day one. PvP is a third game, as far as that goes.

        Again, I’m actually *most* fond of the leveling “game”, so I’m not asking for something I’d really use all that much. I have a lot of fun puttering around with alts, questing around the world. I just think that making someone play through the leveling game isn’t really much help to the “endgame” game design or culture. There’s a little learning there, to be sure, but I think it’s very possible to give endgame-interested players endgame-ready characters and get them up and running in short order; much shorter than the leveling-to-cap grind.

        …that said, I agree that you’re right, it’s not likely that Blizzard will offer such an option. I’m just saying that they could and should.

  2. Pingback: #342 Blizzard and Microtransactions (part II) | Be MOP

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