Thursday, November 5, 2009

A 100 Greedy Roll

In the grand scheme of things, I'm well aware that capitalism is the way to maintain a stable economy - I'm not one of those liberals that has a delusion otherwise - but it doesn't mean some of the values it encourages are good. Like greed. Completely speculating (I have not seen their numbers), I find it hard to believe that Blizzard is hurting for money, but they will continue bleeding some things dry.

I suppose they simply got tired of charging a flat fee for the TCG pets and watching the lucky purchasers sell the cards for outlandish sums, so they introduced a Pet Store, a online site where you can pay $10 (real good' ol money) for a new ingame pet. My favorite part of this was the first line of the FAQ:

Why are you introducing this service?

The Pet Store provides a new way for players to obtain unique companion pets outside of the game, which is something that has been requested by many players who enjoy World of Warcraft's non-combat companions.
Yay for unique companion pets outside of the game! After all, if I'm paying real money for a such things, I want them to be an tangible object that will follow me around IRL. People may now conveniently purchase a cute, unique NPC pet from the comfort of their own home, without having to make that extra mile to the comic store. How kind of Blizzard!

Let's face it - they are offering simple programming typically already available in game for the cost of the time farming for it or the gold necessary to buy it from a 'dealer'; time that is already paid to Blizzard and considered by you to be entertainment regardless, and now they want more.

No, you are not being forced to buy it. Yes, this is how business works (after all, Blizzard is trying to keep up with that competition! ... Oh, wai-). However, it is coming to the point where the products are getting sillier and cheaper. Pay additional money to revert a decision made upon purchasing the game. Pay to get some shiney, fun pixels (which makes me wonder when we will be paying money for weapon upgrades a la Diablo). And in terms of quality, if the trailor for Cataclysm is any indication, I have no high hopes for expansion. Sorry, Blizzard, but if I want cheap, quirky crap, I'd shop exclusively at Walmart.


Stupid Mage said...

but the Pandaran pet is cute...

Shagrat said...

I dunno, I'd rather pay Blizzard a flat $10 for some pets than fork over hundreds or thousands of dollars for cards for a chance to get a rare pet or mount. Or buy one from another player or on Ebay and run the risk of getting scammed. The latter is obviously much more severe as losing real life money to a scam is a hell of a lot worse than losing some in game gold.

Personally, I'd kill for a way to get Collector's Edition pets without spending thousands on Ebay for unused ones but it's never going to happen.

I don't think Blizzard will ever sell anything that will give a give an obvious enhancement over another player, which would obviously reward those with deep pockets or are able to bully mommy or daddy into buying them. If they did, I would be leaving them in a jiffy, preferably with SW:TOR to run to.

All in all, I personally don't see a problem with them offering vanity pets, scaling mounts, tabards, etc for a fee. As you said, it's entirely up to you if you want to buy them and as long as it doesn't provide an advantage, I'm ok with it.

Ayonel said...

I guess this fits into the bucket of 'things I couldn't care less about.' I am mildly interested in non-raid achievements, but paying for things like this is just sort of, well, pathetic. Yeah, who wouldn't love a pet baby murloc, but for money? Forget it.

How's this: New, from Blizzard! The Mega-Cash Mount. This new mount can be a ground mount OR a flying mount, and is shaped like the amount of money you paid Blizzard for it! Plus, it's iridescent!

Why rely on arcane titles to tell people what a no-life WoW-junkie you are when you can literally ride $1,000?!?!?

Act now, and let everyone know how awesome you are!

(Minimum Mount Size: $500)

Criven said...

The introduction of microtransactions worries me a lot. I'm not willing to pay a monthly fee and pay for shiny things as well.

The sooner ToR is released the happier I'll be.

Eillarius said...

If Blizz wants to charge for something, that's their prerogative. Plain and simple. And I can choose not to buy the good/service (which I'm not). True capitalism doesn't encourage greed. Capitalists want to keep what is theirs and/or make money off of it if they so choose. Greed is wanting someone else to give you what is theirs.

Negathle said...

@ Eillarius

I believe wanting something that is someone else's is considered envy. Not that the definition between greed and envy is very distinct, but greed is generally considered wanting more of something, which is pretty much the driving force of the current economy.