Monday, March 2, 2015

The WoW Token - Gold for Game Time


As I discussed in my previous post, Blizzard is toying around with the idea of releasing a game time for gold option. Today they released a more in depth post about how they're planning to implement it. If you want to read the post in it's entirety, you can find it here.



The Gold Maker's Summary
If you (quite like me) only care about how this effects the avid gold maker, not the average player buying the token to sell for gold, it's pretty cut and dry. The tokens can be bought from the Shop (in game or otherwise) for $$$, and are worth 30 days of game time. Blizzard has not specified for how much real money (TBD), but one would think somewhere in the $15 range. 

I believe Blizzard's true motivations in doing this will show when the pricing comes out. Right now they're claiming it will cut down on illegitimate gold selling and stealing of accounts. To me if they price it over $15, Blizzard will be making a statement, because they will now be making more than they previously would have had the player who uses the token straight out paid for their subscription, and their true motivation - money, not to improve the game environment - will be clear.  

Flipping

Unfortunately there's no chance to flip these things, for multiple reason but the main reason being: "After you purchase a Token for gold, it becomes Soulbound."

The second, perhaps more interesting aspect, is that Blizzard is fixing the price for these tokens, on a special in game market. 

"The gold value of a Token will be determined dynamically based on supply and demand. When you put a Token up for sale, you’ll be quoted the amount of gold you’ll receive upon a successful sale. If you then decide to place the Token up for sale, that amount is locked in, and the gold will be sent to your mailbox after another player purchases your Token."

In all, it's an interesting feature, it will allow gold makers to purchase game time for gold, but not much more. It will be interesting to see how Blizzards pricing works out, both in their pricing of the tokens, and the gold pricing across servers. 

There's a discussion going on about the WoW token over at The Consortium that's quickly building up steam if you are interested in reading more or joining in the discussion with fellow gold makers. 

Cheers,
Phat Lewts

@PhatLewtsGold
  PhatLewtsGold

2 comments:

  1. I generally agree with your assessment, including that the impact on goldmakers will be minimal besides giving them something more to spend gold on, and therefore more motivation to make gold.

    As to what Blizzard's motivation is, can't they have several layers of motivation? As a for-profit company, part of Blizzard's motivation for doing ANYTHING has to be to increase profits -- whether by increasing players' enjoyment of the game, or by directly charging money for something players are willing to buy. I don't see that "money" and "improving the game environment" are necessarily in conflict.

    I don't know much about how Eve Online and Wildstar price their Plex and Credd systems, but I think I heard that they're priced slightly higher than the base subscription fee. Do you know if this is true and if so, what percentage higher the currency is priced? That might give us an idea of what Blizzard might price the Tokens at (since Ion Hazzikostas said it would not be lower than a month's subscription). Also, do we know Eve's and Wildstar's reasoning for pricing currencies higher than subscriptions (if they are)?

    Last comment, I do find it a bit odd that you won't be able to buy a token with money and then use it yourself. I would have thought Blizzard would include that as a safety net in case someone fails to sell their token, but maybe they feel it would open them up to fraud (purchasing with stolen credit cards, or duping, or whatever)...

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  2. Looks like both Eve and Wildstar charge about 25% more for their currency, so I would expect Blizzard to charge approximately the same. This will be interesting.

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