Blizzard announced a few weeks ago that they were adding in more items to the Blizzard Store for us to buy and use in-game. They also announced they were testing, on the PTR, an XP bonus elixir that they would be selling, initially Asia, that works like the Elixir of Ancient Knowledge
and 3 transmog helms (which all look awful in my opinion but that is not the point here).The naysayers have been out predicting this is the beginning of the end of the World of Warcraft and that Blizzard are cashing in now before it keels over and dies.
This all sounds very familiar, remember “that retarded horse”? Watch the video below from Totalbiscuit if you need a reminder.
Well that was April 15th 2010, the same predictions were made then, especially with the likes of Rift and SWtOR that were coming soon. Did WoW die? I don’t think it did, subs have dropped since then but it wasn’t due to the Blizzard Store and most of the drop has come in Asia where they pay to play by the hour not use the monthly subscription model and as the game gets easier for people to get to the end, some players that get there don’t feel the need to carry on buying game time.
Despite what people may whine about these items robbing us, the players, of more heroic dungeons and more playable content it really doesn’t. Does a helm graphic take the same time as a heroic 5 man dungeon? I certainly hope not. Heck if everything that Blizzard have put into the store so far takes the same time as it would for them to heroic up an old 5 man dungeon I would be shocked.
The store has added more mounts and pets and people continue to buy them and personally I welcome that.Why? Because Blizzard are making huge amounts of money selling these items and while they are doing that my monthly subscription stays at the same price today as it was back in 2005 when I started playing the game £8.99 which is $15 in the US and EU.
They have also stated that Lesser Charms of Good Fortune will also be purchasable and while that is getting close to the point I would call foul I still see no major issue as these are so easy to obtain if you play the game that hitting the weekly “need” of 50 happens in no time at all.
The line that must not be crossed is the one where you can buy a real advantage such as non-cosmetic items (armour, weapons, buffs) or actual content that gives unique items that grant extra power. This then means that rich players have a competitive advantage over the poor ones and then that only applies if the game is NOT Free2Play.
Personally I have bought no mounts or pets from the store, I have spent about £150 on transfers and faction changes though and I did subscribe to the Remote application when that was a paid service. However, I’ll be looking at the XP elixir closely. If it persists through death and is “the right price” I’ll be very tempted.
I’ll not condemn those that keep buying “That Retarded Horse” or the “Golden Penis” mount though I do think you’re stupid for spending that amount of money on a mount you’ll not use much after the first few weeks. The real fools are those that paid thousands of pounds for a spectral tiger mount, that surely is a sign of someone having more money than sense. If I had that kind of extra money spare I can thing of a thousand better ways to spend it than on a bunch of pixels in a game.
If you have ever bought a mount or pet from the pet store did you regret it afterwards? I’d love to hear your story if you did. If you haven’t bought anything from the store, have you been tempted? Are you waiting for the right “thing” to be there?