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Reader Comments (210)

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:12PM Eamil said

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Also, apparently I failed to click the reply button or the reply function bugged. (
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:18PM Seraphina Brennan said

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I agree. We probably have just seen different threads and have formed a different take on the forums. I'm not a huge frequenter of those forums, so I may have gleaned the wrong idea from the stuff I read there.

It was the WoW.com comments that struck me, as they're usually extremely critical of anything Blizzard does. But, then again, I'm sure even they fall to the same opinions that we all fall to when we see a sparkly pony. :)
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:14PM Cristiano Cenizo said

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There are two issues here: F2P games that have MT's, and sub games that have MT's. Guess what: almost every sub game has some type of MT; micro-transactions fall under two distinct categories: GOODS and SERVICES.

I don't know of very many sub MMO's that don't have some form of SERVICE MT for players to utilize. Class change? MT. Name change? MT. Avatar re-design? MT. Server/realm transfer? MT.

And really, who cares if a sub game has vanity MT's? They doesn't impact the game in any way, and no one is being forced to purchase them.

To make my stance known, I would rather pay the easy $25 than drop $100+ on WoW TCG booster packs to "roll the dice" for one of those "special" mounts.

In the end none of the pets or mounts impact game play in a way that leaves those without the money/care to purchase them disadvantaged.

So, you get an epic quality "Riding Skill"-scaling mount with every past-present-future character you make in WoW? Neato. Any level 20 character that doesn't blow their gold on AH upgrades can, too. Now would this be a big deal back in Vanilla WoW? Yes, because the virtual value of a mount was much greater. In the current WotLK rain of gold coin? No, it isn't a big deal.

Vanity MT is a vanity MT and impacts the game very little, regardless of it being a paid good. We're not paying for armor, gold, levels, weapons, enchants, and gems. Period.

People turning into Chicken Little over the TERRIBLE THEORETICAL POSSIBILITY of something is ridiculous. Freak out when it is time to freak out. Otherwise you are all just making a big show with your "fuck you Blizzard" comments. Yeah, continue paying your sub while you give them the finger. I'm sure that will make them sad.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:26PM Deadalon said

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I find it very intresting that ppl think its not affecting gameplay when 50% of ppl you will come across are riding and flying MT horse.

I think the biggest point about this all is that it is NOT a vanity mount. It offers more than alot of the ingame mounts are offering. If this would have been a pink tiger or yet antoher flying purpleish dragon with yellow tail instead of green... then we would be calling it vanity mount. But then it would not be 25 USD.

BLizzard is pushing it... The only question is - whats next ?

Note - there are not 11 million gamers gonna buy this mount cause the fact is that there are not 11 million gamers that have access to the store (whole of Asia doesn't). But 150k ppl already buying it pretty much mean this is an item you will see alot more off than you will do of ANY other mount ingame. That does change the gameplay.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:37PM Cristiano Cenizo said

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No, seeing someone riding a mount does not change game play. It is a visual, plain and simple. Game mechanics are not impacted by a sparkling flying horse.

This mount does not provide vendors like the Tundra Mammoth does. This mount does not provide a passenger seat like the Tundra Mammoth or Motorcycle.

This mount does provide a scaling speed (and flight) depending on the character's Riding Skill level, and so does the Headless Horseman's mount (Halloween event), as well as the Love Rocket (Valentine's Day event).

These "special" kind of mounts do not transition from "Ground" to "Flying" mode on a whim. They scale in speed to your character's PURCHASED Riding Skill level, and they work as a Ground or Flying mount depending on the zone you mount them in. If you mount outside the bank in Dal it will be a ground mount, and it will remain a ground mount even if you head to the flying platform at Krasus' Landing. You must re-mount in order to use the mounts to fly.

It is a vanity MT that has similar features shared with other mounts available in the game. Time is money. Spend hours farming event bosses to get a similar mount, or, just hand over the money for it. The game doesn't change if you do or do not have this mount.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:40PM Deadalon said

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It is the ONLY mount ingame that has these features combined. SO no - its NOT vanity mount.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:45PM Cristiano Cenizo said

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No. It is not unique. It isn't the only mount in game to have those features. Read my comment again, or do some research on your own to discover the facts.

"This mount does provide a scaling speed (and flight) depending on the character's Riding Skill level, and so does the Headless Horseman's mount (Halloween event), as well as the Love Rocket (Valentine's Day event)."

At least 2 other mounts available in the game scale with riding level & the zone you mount up in. Therefore the Celestial Steed is just a vanity mount, or, another "flavor" of the same available features.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:13PM yojibalinese said

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Question...what's 15000 mounts when compared to a few million North American accounts?

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:21PM pcgneurotic said

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Well done Sera, good point well made. I'm with you 110% in this one.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:24PM Matix said

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It's not a double-standard if someone offering a statement stands by it.

To flat-out state that each and everyone one of the 147,000 people who got this horse were against micro-transactions is an unfounded stretch.

* * *

I personally am FOR micro-transaction that are:

1) Equitable in value (no jacking up the price in another market), and

2) Cosmetic only--i.e. something that has no true affect on gameplay save your toon/avatar/w-e gets a new pet or gets a new look, etc.

An example might be in STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC, if I could spend $5 (or its equivalent world-wide) to get a neat little Ewok-skin rug (

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:26PM Matix said

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My comment got cut short?!!

It's not a double-standard if someone offering a statement stands by it.

To flat-out state that each and everyone one of the 147,000 people who got this horse were against micro-transactions is an unfounded stretch.

* * *
I personally am FOR micro-transaction that are:

1) Equitable in value (no jacking up the price in another market), and

2) Cosmetic only--i.e. something that has no true affect on gameplay save your toon/avatar/w-e gets a new pet or gets a new look, etc.

An example might be in STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC, if I could spend $5 (or its equivalent world-wide) to get a neat little Ewok-skin rug (dark side much???) to lay a picnic down on.

With cosmetic frills, no one gets hurt by over-powered players, and the company makes money.

* * *

I am personally AGAINST micro-transactions that:

1) Have a grossly adjusted price to squeeze one or more player markets, and

2) That have an affect on gameplay other than cosmetic/flavor.

An example of failing both these prongs can be found with the allods item shop, which was such a debacle I left the game. Not only were the item prices grossly slanted against western markets, but many of the items sold had (in some cases DRAMATIC) affects on gameplay. Giving richer players an easier time of the game was simply unacceptable to me.

* * *

In this case, the WOW mount [see: http://www.wowwiki.com/Mount ] comes in somewhat of a gray area for me. On the one hand, it is cosmetic in that other mounts available have the same capabilities. In other words, it's just another mount.

On the other hand, it is a higher-end mount and its ACCOUNT BOUND--meaning every character gets it. And mounts DO affect the game. So having an account-sized splash does make a difference.

Having said that, the holiday mount equivalent (Big Love Rocket) is FREE but that's still a game enhancing item.

As such, I lean towards having a problem with Blizz selling this high-end mount. Then again, I don't even play WOW anymore so it doesn't affect me.

As for the second prong, one market is not giving Blizz more for it than others (the exchange rates differ but Europe's tax shifts differ from the US, that's not Blizz's fault), so I don't see a problem there.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:30PM Stravoman said

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I think people are missing degree and nuance in these pro/anti microtransaction debates. I don't think that anyone wants to have to spend extra money on items, especially when you're already paying a monthly subscription. Everyone is to a certain degree against MTs in P2P MMOs.

Instead of taking a simplistic binary position of being for or against MTs we should instead be looking at each game individually since they all pretty much have some optional items or services that cost real money in addition to your monthly subscription.

Break it down into categories that can be measured individually. Are there similar items available in game that can be obtained through in game currency or achievement? If so how easy or difficult are they to obtain? Are they prohibitively difficult or time consuming or expensive to the degree that it seems like a scam to push MTs? Do the items give players unfair advantages in PVP or PVE? How many of these items are available with in game mechanics compared to similar MT items? What impact does not buying any MT items or services have on the players? Are they selling the items in dollars or do you have to buy points in fixed intervals?

If I had more time I could probably think of more questions to ask but that's what's on my mind at the moment. It boils down to comparing what you have available to you with your sub and what needs to be paid for. Just to give my personal opinion, I feel satisfied with the content in WoW that comes with my subscription. I don't feel like I'm being nickel and dimed because a handful of mounts and pets require money to be purchased when I can get lots and lots of cool looking mounts and pets in the game.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:42PM Deadalon said

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Do you get free mount with every new character you create if you havn't bought this one for 25 USD ? No you dont.

THey are adding more to the game - and they are charging ppl for it. That is EXACTLY what MT is all about.

Most ppl would not care one tiny bit if this was another normal mount - this mount is not a vantiy mount and thus - it takes the game into the true market of P2P and MT.

In fact.. now you buy not just the box and the expansions and the sub - but also the content that gives you more confort (thats again EXACTLY what MTs are about).

WOW is doing this now...The sad thing is that they are taking the entire MMO genre in exactly this direction. And thats not good for the gamers... Its enough to have to tolareate Pre-ordered half finished games for the full price + 2 years of sub before they are fixed (if ever) if not ALSO have to pay for most of the content in the game in a MT shop in one way or another.

I mean... what the heck is the diffrence between a experience potion and this mount ? I just dont see it. Its not like WOW is about leveling.....
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:55PM Stravoman said

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"Do you get free mount with every new character you create if you haven't bought this one for 25 USD ? No you dont. "

That's completely true and would be a very good complaint if mounts were difficult to obtain with in game mechanics, but they aren't. They're dirt cheap and easy to get.

This goes right back to my original statement about degree and nuance. The advantage that anyone gets over other players by buying this mount is almost insignificantly tiny and there are tons of in game mounts to choose from. It'll save you some gold while leveling your alts. Big deal, gold is absurdly easy to get.

I didn't buy the mount because I think it's way too expensive and WoW has enough content for me that I feel no need to pay to add more. I guess that's why I don't see it as such a big deal. WoW already has lots and lots of content. Adding this mount and barely a handful of premium pets doesn't make feel like someone is trying to double dip me.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:04PM Cristiano Cenizo said

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@Deadalon, your point really isn't valid. They are adding something to the game and charging you for it? I'm sorry, did you miss out on the various content patches that have come to WoW since WotLK? You are one of those people that doesn't really consider the stuff that doesn't upset you, but, OH BOY, if it rubs you the wrong way you are going to throw a fit about it. They added a vanity mount. Period. This is not a game changing MT. This mount does not prevent armor durability loss from deaths. This armor does not give you a stack of potions every 24 hours upon use. This item does not expand your bag space, your bank space, or your guild bank tabs.

It is a mount.

At this point in the game a $25 mount is really not the big deal that everyone is making it out to be. You don't like it? Don't buy it. Just like how I didn't like the Blood Elf racial mounts, so I didn't buy them for my Undead priest. Similarly, I don't like horses, so I didn't purchase this mount, or the Forsaken (Undead) racial mounts. I did spend my time earn rep to buy the Orc wolves, and to farm the Brewfest Ram!

Did the game change for me or anyone else when this $25 mount was available for purchase? No. I see someone riding a different mount now. That is about as game changing as turning my graphic quality up or down. Should I chose to purchase the mount at a later date the game will not change at the point. I will be just another person riding a sparkling horse. I will not raid better. I will not play better. I will not make more gold. I will just be riding a horse instead of a wolf.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:50PM Deadalon said

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Here is the thing - they ARE adding things to the game that a player that is paying a full sub is NOT able to buy... thats NOT just some vanity items. That is an item that requires an EXTRA payment.

Its an ingame item that has ONLY purpose in the game - Its not a trading card item that is used in trading cards. It is an items that is used for EVERYDAY use in the game and is as essential to the game (even if there are 1000 others) for character progress.

And no... ITs NOT a vanity pet cause it has combined features that NO OTHER ITEM INGAME HAS !

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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 8:19PM Varli said

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@ Deadalon

Actually, at least two other mounts in the game have the same exact features as this mount. The Headless Horseman mount and the Love rocket. True, both are items that are only offered during parts of the year, but they are still there. Also, going back to your original reply to Straco, there is a big difference between this mount and a xp potion. For one, it's a potion that you have to buy large amounts of for it to even be worth it. This mount is also useful to anyone, no matter what level they are at. And I would have to say a really large portion of WoW actually IS about leveling. I mean, that's how you get to all the end content, right?

And you seem to have a burning hate for this as well. So far, Blizzard has just offered one thing up on the MT store that might give other people a (pretty small) advantage. If anything, the large number of people buying this will just lead to more content exactly like this mount. It will not lead to " Pre-ordered half finished games for the full price + 2 years of sub before they are fixed (if ever) if not ALSO have to pay for most of the content in the game in a MT shop in one way or another."

If it really, really bothers you that people have a mount that can be used everywhere, just wait till Cataclysm comes out and then use a flying mount all throughout WoW.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:45PM whateveryousay said

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There's a difference between supporting a game you like and just giving away your money. the thing is that anyone who's played the game for a year straight has put at least 200 dollars into this game. Instead of making sure that all content is available to you no matter what, just as long as you've payed for the game and the subs, they are charging you extra for an item that gives an obvious bonus to those willing to just give in. They don't need this money, they already have billions, so supporting the game isn't even an issue.

The thing that really pisses me off though, almost every person i've ever argued f2p games vs p2p games over uses a statement like this in their defense, "I prefer p2p because you buy the game, you pay a sub, and all the content that game has to offer is available to you." but yet, this is a damn CLEAR example of that not being the case. Made all the worse by the fact that World of Warcraft is the Hallmark of pay to play games everywhere.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:49PM (Unverified) said

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I don't understand what the deal is here. How one could feel 'insulted', is a little passed me, I suppose; all Blizzard did was take their share of an already blossoming market. Twenty-five dollars, one-hundred dollars, whatever. 140,000 people bought it, and people are pissed off that the game they play isn't the one that made such a quick, broad stroke into the market with unparalleled success to date.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

As for the, 'omg, they have your money, your soul, and you just fell for it again! LOLOL, stupid WoW players!' mentality, no one gets out on you for spending your money on crack, so you should probably back off on people that are smart enough to drop 50 cents a day on a video game that stops them from being on the streets and robbing me, or worse.

Personally, I will never buy a vanity pet in any game, use a micro-transaction, or anything along the lines of it. However, to sit and mind-vomit how much you find the success of such a sales tactic is offensive, is just borderline retarded.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 3:53PM Aslafeld said

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Ugh, so embarrassing, Sera.

You're not taking into account that WoW has a much, much larger paying player base then any other MMO on the market. Even just factoring in the American market, 140,000 people buying a horse makes up a very small percentage of the total players.

Now do some research on the average age of a WoW player, which is in the late twenties/early thirties. People who have money to spend on things they enjoy. Of course the outcry is going to be higher on a free game like, say, Allods, where the population is much younger.

Your apples and oranges comparison of the utility of an item like a Bind of Account horse vs decent sized bag or hell, not being hit with a crippling debuff when you die says how little you understand about the topic at hand. As does your "Oh, $25 is like the cost of an expansion!" Yes, so? $25 would also get me a decent meal for two at a typical sit down restaurant. Or movie tickets and snacks for a night out. It's simply not that much money for someone with a decent job. So sorry college kids and under can't afford to have their own sparkle horse, good thing it doesn't screw them from enjoying the game, unlike, oh, I dunno, charging for respecing.

Finally, you need to understand the level of polish that WoW has compared to other MMORPGs. I'm not arguing that it's perfect, but a good example is a few weeks ago when LOTRO spring festival horse vendor was broken. There response was to...remove him entirely until a later patch, after the holiday event was over entirely. When a subscriber sees their hard earned fees go to lazy design choices, they don't want to support the game as a whole. I don't want to reward the designers for their laziness. On the other hand, when I see something cool, reasonably priced, and a fun addition to a game that has had deliciously large and regular updates since I started playing, it makes me want to support them.

If you don't like it, that's fine. But please, at least try to understand the larger picture of why or why not a micro transaction works.

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