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Reader Comments (210)

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:03PM (Unverified) said

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Yet another reason for me to remain on the WoW free bandwagon. Sure its a few vanity items now (all SUPER over priced) ... but who's to say when Kotick that amazing money grubber Activision man we all love to hate wont add something else besides vanity items?

It was warrented when people complaineda bout allods it was a complete and utter over priced rip. A few items still are majorly over priced but atleast its for good reason really.

It was never warrented all the cry bitch moaning that went on over Cryptic's games (except for the expansion that was completely warrented since the game was released majorly light on content).

Activision Blizzard has been about teh bottom line and the dolla dolla for years..funny how still because its the Blizzard name people will eat it up like a bunch of idiots. They'll be the same people who'll buy all 3 Starcraft 2 releases at full 50 - 60 dollars when everyone knows that it should be 1 complete game from the get go.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:05PM (Unverified) said

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With all due respect, do you have any kind of mind reading device that allowed you to know exactly what everyone in the world thinks about micro transactions? Does that device also lets you know exactly what people purchase?

I mean, besides the "lulz i seez eet in da forumz" you don't really have a way to know if the people who are against micro transactions all bought the mount, and you don't have any way to know if every single person in the queue were trying to buy the mount or the pet or anything else in the store.

In my opinion you shouldn't be calling people out for having double standards if you don't really know if they do. I mean, even if half a million players purchased the mount, that not even 5% of the whole population of the game. 5 freaking percent.

Couldn't it be possible that the people against MTs were part of the other 95% who didn't purchase the mount?

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:06PM Deadalon said

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Anyway - If you think this mount is worth 25 USD then ...

Wach this for free !! Its life !

http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/

For those not knowing what they are watching... Its Volcano eruption in Iceland. You can watch it for free as long as you like !!!

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 8:26PM Varli said

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Wha...

What on earth does this have to do with WoW's mount?
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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there is no larger picture. Blizzard makes millions and millions of dollars. Charging 25 dollars for a vanity anything is utterly ridiculous. Its a complete double standard. There's always been a HUGE double standard when it comes to Blizzard vs Company X.

When Blizz does something its a golden turd everyone hugs on. If someone else does it whether first or after Blizz its a stinky turd everyone runs from.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:09PM (Unverified) said

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Um because ... most of the people are reading this column because they don't play Wow any more or are looking for a decent alternative .....?

And what percentage of WoW's massive player base have brought or tried to buy the thing. A few thousand is it out of how many milions?

Surely you're writing a bit of a 'pot of controversy being stirred' piece yourself arnt you :)

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:11PM Joshua Przygocki said

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Pretty pony!

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:14PM (Unverified) said

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Who cares if they charge 25 dollars. Just don't buy it and they will get the message.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:22PM (Unverified) said

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What message would that be? Right now they are too busy counting their stacks of money to pay attention to the 10 remaining people who have an IQ greater than a block of wood who didn't purchase it.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 8:37PM Varli said

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@ Ultra-Humanite

I'm pretty sure WoW has more than just 150,000 players ;)
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:17PM Sunaris said

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great read sera! I couldn't have said it better myself. I personally have no problems with MT and subs as long as the items in the MT shop are fluff or are obtainable in game w/out paying. It is really funny how cryptic was a bunch of evil moneygrubbers for selling extra repecs and costume slots, but blizzard is the "supreme" standard for a perfect business because they sell pets and mounts. Oh well it just goes to show how silly most mmo players are.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:43PM Cinnamoon said

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"People who play F2P games" is a category of folks self-selected to either be counting their pennies, or expecting something for nothing. "People who play sub games" is a category of folks self-selected for ponying up digital cash. Those in the overlap zone nevertheless are predisposed to different expectations depending on the type of game in question.

Where you live will change your opinion of money too. I've lived in cities with incredibly low costs of living. Then I moved to one of the most expensive places in the country. Think of nothing of paying out the nose for even fast food. It's like paying airport food prices all the time. What's $25 anymore?

Even people who are fine with microtransaction content in principle judge every one individually. Purely cosmetic upgrades -- like this mount -- are exactly right for a sub game. Games that leave out critical gameplay content so that they can charge for it? Yeah, they raise my eyebrows. The taste scammy.

I think the horse is gorgeous and I'm considering it the next time my gaming and gadget budget has spare coin. Why not? It'll be fun, and unlike the latest half-arsed big-screen movie or pizza delivery, it'll last more than two hours.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:04PM Cristiano Cenizo said

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100% agree with you on: "Games that leave out critical gameplay content so that they can charge for it? Yeah, they raise my eyebrows."

For many subscription based games you pay a certain monthly fee, then pay a "box" fee for expansions. In-between the initial release of the game and its various expansions the company makes profit off of the individual customer based only on their subscription fee. I can't think of a sub game of the top of my head that doesn't also release "free" (for your sub fee) mini-expansions such as content patches, game balancing patches, dungeons, raids, and new gear or events. Everyone tends to forget that your subscription is paying for that "free" content between boxed expansions.

Some people also tend to forget that video games just don't magically run themselves, stay connected, perform self-maintenance, or pay an electricity bill even close to a regular city-dwelling home owner. So, a company releases a little vanity item, or some fun costumes that do absolutely nothing...

The shit hits the proverbial fan with this mount, because many have the attitude of "I PAY FOR THIS SO I SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING YOU EVER RELEASE." You know what? You do pay for your WoW sub. You're just as entitled to a cool looking mount as everyone else. Guess what? Cool is a subjective word. The author of the comment I am replying to likes the mount. I don't. One of us will probably buy it, and one of us will not. Does the game change in any way? No.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 4:59PM Sharuk said

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I like WoW, it is a great MMO, I was hooked on it for a long time. But this is just ridiculous. This is a terrible precedence to set, and if this was successful you will see many more items like this.

$25 bucks? Why not $5? Or even $10?

I mean I know you need to make profits, but this is just stupid.

Posted: Apr 17th 2010 1:07AM Tbah said

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It is stupid indeed. I mean it must be, since so many hundreds of thousands already bought it. It must be since Blizzard made *millions* of dollars with it in just few hours.

Bad business is bad business.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:14PM (Unverified) said

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I'll agree and disagree with you, Seraphina, and please don't take it that I'm trying to offend you, the comment regarding journalism vs. blogs was directed at others being offended at obvious opinion.

I agree that anyone disparaging the microtransaction model yet buying in in the case of Blizzard is being hypocritical.

I would caution, however, that other IPs have use the MT model for items in-game that most see as either necessary or as giving some advantage. The key difference with the horse, is that it represents an item for purely visual / vanity reasons. That said, the MT model how shown remarkable success (see Zynga and DDO) and will likely end up being akin to raging at the sun for rising in the East.

I disagree that Blizzard can do whatever they want and people love it, on the contrary, as you will find few places in existence where change is met with more zeal and rage than in the official forums for World of Warcraft.

Faulting players for loving a franchise, or jumping at the opportunity to have everything / anything they can regarding their chosen game is a tough sale. WoW has a lot of good things going for it, and one could argue that their ancillary markets are as much about providing more Warcraft to their fans as it is about profits. Perhaps both?

Finally, I would argue that the key difference is not notoriety but quality, and to a certain extent, intent.

And.. I forgive the sour grapes, it's a blog after all, and I read it.


Posted: Apr 16th 2010 8:47PM Varli said

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You know, I actually applaud Blizzard for waiting this long before even releasing any kind of MT stuff. WoW's been around for what...5? 6 years? Compared to other games that come with a MT straight out of the box, I think they have done pretty well for waiting this long. I think other people (Not you Ralm, your comment just made me think of it) tend to forget that this is the first type of item that any advantage whatsoever could be gained by buying it. So when you have a lot of people saying "I have a sub, give me what I paid for", they seem to disregard the fact that they have been getting what they have paid for for quite some time. Just as long as they keep the MT to stuff like mounts and pets, I will be happy.
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Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:26PM daicon said

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In real life you can get alot of advantages by having a fat wallet, but in WoW, your advantages should be based off your own hard work. If you have the in-game skill and the time (and in many cases luck), you can get a cool mount that gives you that status. You see how in MMOs there is a strange sense of equality? We all start off at level 1 and work our way up at our own pace and are awarded appropriately.

Maybe it's extreme to say this, but the game loses something when we start introducing expensive rewards that only those who can afford will buy. You can already see who has enough cash to throw around when they have lil'XT and the Steed under them.

I can't afford to drop 25 bucks on a mount. The price is ridiculous, and part of me feels like it's Activision inspired (15 dollars for 5 maps on Modern Warfare 2 anyone?). I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable with dropping the money on these items, and they will just remain something I'll never obtain no matter how much of a better player I may be. So in a way I feel like this is a step back (maybe small) from what makes MMOs great: In game equality that doesn't depend on IRL means.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:21PM Daelda said

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Personally, I see nothing wrong with MTs along side of a monthly subscription, as long as MTs are restricted to items that are cosmetic in nature, or, at most, obtainable in-game through a bit of effort. I *would*, however, object to store-only items that are non-cosmetic and cannot be obtained in-game.

The price of that Cosmic Horse is disproportionate to its value. It should have gone for about $15, at most. But, it does look like the $25 price tage is paying off for Blizzard, literally.

MTs are the future of MMOs. Some MMOs will be F2P with MTs, and some AAA MMOs will be subscription-based with optional MTs. The clincher will be the company's decisions as to just what they place into their MT store - how balanced is it? Is it priced appropriately? Is it only cosmetic or at least obtainable in-game and not just via the store? Will the purchase feel like an investment into the character and the game, or a waste of money and a gamble due to the stability of/dramatic changes to/reputation of the game and/or the company backing and/or running the game?

I am currently not playing an MMO (finances got tight, but are recovering), but when I again strap myself in to the newest AAA MMO that I am currently waiting for, I will be prepared to not only pay a subscription, but I will also have a small amount set aside each month for the sole purpose of any MT purchases that I wish to make. Grumble all you want, but it is going to happen, and I really don't see how it won't at this point.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 5:33PM zomd said

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Seraphina, you say...

"For a long time, I have said that I have always approved of microtransactions. (Please see: http://www.massively.com/2010/03/04/anti-aliased-cash-shop-shouldnt-be-a-dirty-phrase/ ) I do not approve of them when I believe they are going outside of the market standards, such as this one which charges a much higher price for a very little payout. A mount, in my mind, is not worth 25 dollars. I do not find that to be a fair price. I'm not against them selling it, I'm against what they believe they can charge for it."

Market standards has no meaning. If everyone started charging 25 dollars, that'd be the market standard. You don't think the mount is worth 25 dollars, fine, I'm not going to disagree with you there... but...

Seraphina says:
"But that's only a tangential point to my main point. My main point is that if another company did this in the exact same way (and they have), then they would be crucified by their player base. Sure, it's not sunshine and rainbows over at Blizzard, but it's a far cry from the usual poison I see when another company does things like this.?"

You say this, but then you choose examples that are done in the "exact same way." Multiple people, myself included, have tried to show you that you have to compare the nature of the items in the context of their games, not just the price. Why are you so unwilling to acknowledge the relative difference of impact?

Seraphina continues to say...

"What makes this steed different from other microtransactions? The point is that it's not, and it should come under the same amount of fire. Why doesn't it?"

People have told what makes it different (but necessarily a lot better) than the examples you cited.


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