Don’t Hate The Game, Hate The Player

Two posts in one day? Don’t blame me, blame Blizzard.

Actually, blame the player-base who seems to be losing their minds over nothing. Again.

According to blogs and forums across the World of Warcraft landscape, Blizzard has gone and done the unthinkable. They’ve opened the Pet Store, which allows players to spend Real Life Money for In-Game Items!

I fire back with a resounding yawn. They did the same sort of thing with the Race Change service, and I think the Orc racial affects the gameplay a little more than watching Kung Fu Panda bust a move.

What about the Faction Change service? For lifetime Horde players, it gives them the chance to play an entire half of the game that they’d never seen before. Ditto for Alliance to Horde transfers. That affects your gameplay more than Lil’ K.T. zapping critters while you fish, or whatever you people do when you have your vanity pets out.

In those particular cases, you don’t GET an item for your money – the CHARACTER is the item. More importantly, those purchases will have an affect on how you play the game. It might not be on a large scale, but it certainly has a direct bearing on the game. A vanity pet, no matter how gosh darn cute you find them, will not. Ever. They’re about as game-breaking as changing your Blood Elf’s hairstyle.

The masses saw what the scheming Blizzard was trying to do and cried out in true Nerd Rage fashion. This is a slippery slope for Blizzard! How long until you can buy epics or gold! HOW LONG?!

According to the Pet Store FAQ:

Does this mean you’ll be introducing more services like this in the future? Will you be introducing the ability to buy epic weapons/etc. in the future, for example?

As with the pets, mounts, and other items players can obtain through Loot cards from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, Pet Store pets are purely cosmetic and just for fun. Like other paid services we offer, such as Paid Name Changes, Race Changes, and Character Re-Customizations, the Pet Store service is entirely optional and intended to provide players another means to enjoy World of Warcraft in a way that isn’t detrimental to the game and that doesn’t detract from the gameplay experience for players who choose not to use the service.

Hey there, overly dramatic WoW-Player Base, choke on that. M’kay?

But… but Blizz said there’d never be Faction Changes either! Or PVE to PVP transfers! What about that? Blizzard can’t be trusted!

Paranoia is fun. Don’t look now, but the Black Helicopters are circling your domicile.

What? They are?

There was a market for every one of the services Blizzard offers today. That means there was a public demand for it. Public. So many Players requested/demanded/begged for these things, Blizzard decided to offer them at a price. If they were going to waste development time on these non-essential services, be it Faction Changes or Vanity Pets, there had to be a great number of people who wanted it.

Remember that when you want to blame Blizzard. The Player Base put things in motion. Blizzard simply greased the wheels. Good on them for making a buck off of people who “need” these non-essential services.

However, Blizzard also showed they money does not make them completely stupid. They realised that introducing those services would not affect the gameplay experience. Players might have lost their minds when “carebears” could level up on PVE servers and then come to where the “real” game was, but the game itself was essentially intact.

Raiding is hard! Instances are hard! The public demands epics! I wanna buy my epics!

Allowing the ability to buy epics would undermine gameplay in that it would take away any motivation for players to play the game at all. At max level, getting decked out in purples is (apparently) what it’s all about. If you could just buy yourself a suit of epics, there would be no motivation to do the raids…

… or run the instances

… or get to max level

… or play World of Warcraft.

In answer to the Great Stupid Question – Blizzard will not let players buy epic gear or weapons. Ever.

However, there WILL be more micro-transactions coming, and I suspect they’ll be alot more interesting than vanity pets.

Well, most vanity pets. Now where did I put my wallet?

About Donny Rokk

Gamer. Writer. Lover. Fighter. Defying stereotypes, one nerdgasm at a time.

Posted on November 5, 2009, in Blog and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Don’t Hate The Game, Hate The Player.

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