Monday, March 2, 2015

Thank Goodness for Small Miracles

It looks like the token system for gametime is real, and from my post at the end of last year, it looks like they're going to do it right!  Not tradeable, BOP after the first sale, and the system doesn't seem to look like it will be exploitable.  Further, a separate part of the AH will be dedicated to it.  It sounds like I was in the development meeting for it.  The only thing I didn't get was notification that there is an economist in place to insure that those buying the gold are getting a good deal.

Now if they'll just release it in a timely manner before I bankrupt myself in GDKP runs.

Oh yeah, the complaints from those with the gold have already begun.  Lots of worries for no reason.  And I can't believe what I'm reading.  It's either for one of several reasons:

1) People are concerned that others will have a means to access gold they didn't earn, just fill out the merchant services information and go get your unearned gold.

2) They're ultra legit and this is an affront to everything good and decent about their favorite game, even though gold sellers have been in the game since day one and their precious little world is about to be tarnished by the real world!

3) They're very concerned that people will finally wake up and realize that grinding gold is worth it!  And that spending time grinding it means they will have more competition.  Oh no! Or that Blizzard will not slack off on their aggressive anti-bot stance, and the fellows over at Honorbuddy will get away with something even more because of some imaginary concocted reason. 

4) People are actually pissed because they currently sell their gold for more cash than the lousy subscription cost, and this is going to interfere with business.  Getting a job is hardly in the cards, because that would interfere with sitting on their asses.

Pay to win (P2W) isn't even an argument here, because gold is pointless unless you need it for something gamebreaking.  Nothing has even come close to that outside of the BMAH, and I'm fairly certain that world ranked guilds already have their subs paid.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and let people know now that grinding gold for your sub is not worth it.  Unless you're me, and you pull in over half a million and over in sales a week.  And I can guarantee you that the vast, vast majority of players in the game are not me, because I only play on one server and only I have access to my account.  In fact, I'm 1 in 10 million according to the current stats.  I'd like to meet the person who's making more than me, I'm pretty sure they're not dealing in legitimate Blizzard intended markets or they're running a dupe technique.

But let's discuss my reason behind #4.  I know point of fact that many of the people out there grinding gold right now are doing it for nefarious reasons.  Maybe nefarious is too strong a word, maybe the money pays for their beer and good times.  Maybe it's how they subsidize their income.  People, for whatever reason, are people.  They're going to try to get ahead with the least amount of effort.  People bring coffee machines to work because they can't get off their asses to get a cup in the break room.  Anyone who claims to have made over 5 or 10 million gold in this game and isn't able to show you the gold on their characters at this point is probably selling gold or has contacts over at Ownedcore or in-game that are buying from them, wholesale or retail. 

I say all that and I can't show you my gold results from expansion to expansion.  Why?  Because I love to piss it all away at the close of each expansion.  It's just what I do.  Gold is meant to be spent, and to acquire millions without a use is the ultimate in useless life spent.  When I started WoD I had under 400,000g between my characters.  I was broke by my standards.  What happened to all of it?  Well I did some BMAH, but I also did GDKP across 5 different characters with the top 3 guilds on Illidan.  I went through millions just doing that because I like treating other "rich" people like they're shit and their tears are more delicious.  In the last GDKP I ran in SoO I detected a hint of lemon.

Besides all this, the efforts by Blizz to crack down on bot users is going to probably escalate to Def Con 1.  Harmless bot fishing?  Bye.  Gathering herbs and ores because you're 15 and you pwn everyone?  Probably should stay in school.  Running a posting bot because you're asleep at 2am and you just can't fathom that sales are being made while you're sleeping?  Hasta la vista, bitch.  I have a feeling Blizz is going to be monitoring AH activity with this change even moreso.

How?  Well money silly.  Goldselling in games is a multibillion dollar business.  In some MMOs, selling the currecy is more profitable than the game itself.  This service is going to cost the people buying that gametime.  I am expecting to see a price tag of $20-$25 US for each token purchase.  This is going to be a gigantic windfall for Blizzard, and they'll probably have the extra resources afterwards to boost many QOL and security issues within the game itself.  That premium is definitely deserved.  Funny story.

In my first job out of college I was talking with my boss (who owned the company) about the future of phones.  He believed we would always have landlines, and I believed that one day we would all be talking online for free and that phones as he knew them would go away.  I argued (I was a young and clueless fresh college grad of 23 and an idealist at one point) that the phone companies deserved to take that hit, after decades of overcharging for services that they didn't deserve any premium for because they already laid the lines and that bill was paid years ago and if anything the prices should go down on landlines.  His argument was I had a long way to go to learn about business.  They laid the lines, they deserve to be paid for that service.  Well, he was wrong about several parts and right on one.  I definitely learned about how business works (took about another year of getting my teeth getting kicked in), and I really learned that the business that makes the exclusive offering dictates the price that the market will bear, so he was right. 

Blizzard deserves whatever price they get for this offering.  They make the game, they make the rules.  Everything they do has been focus grouped and test marketed, it's not done on a whim.  The results are pretty clear - they retained 10 million subs this last expansion again.  Don't like it, play something else and vote with your wallet.  Of course, we all know you can't.

By the way, we're not all talking on landlines today, are we?

Thanks for stopping in!


  1. "Everything they do has been focus grouped and test marketed"

    In your dreams. In real life Blizzard developer teams make changes whose impact they haven't really examined, beyond their immediate reaon for making the change. For instance, why do you think every garrison has a mine? Because Blizzard wanted to make sure that we all had access to what we needed, right there in our Garrison. Do you think they stopped to think about the effect of that on the economy? Not on your Nelly. "Focus grouped and test marketed"! You make me laugh.

    The same lack of foresight has been brought to this plan to bring Blizzard into the realm of gold-selling. As I mentioned last December (in Plexing Warcraft), this puts a dollar price on almost all activity in Azeroth. I'll be forever asking myself, "why am I gathering these , they cost 10g/stack on the AH. That's about 10c in your earthly money." That puts a stop to all gathering, in my mind. So I stop going out into the world and sit in my Garrison, which is even lonelier than sitting in Stormwind where at least I can watch mammoths climbing on top of mailboxes, and all the other harmless stupidity we engage in.

    Once the only reason to log in is to raid on raid night, how long will I keep subscribing? (Answer: until I've spent all my gold on WoW tokens).

    1. Bet you thought I wouldn't publish this one.

      Blizz is a major corporation, with billions in investments publicly. To make decisions on a whim and at the advice of some lackey developer that hinge the future of a cash cow wouldn't make sense, and I believe they have Harvard MBAs running some things at the top. Morheim likes his massive salary and sports cars. I know you think he looks forward to Blizzcon every year, but he actually looks forward to that bonus check.

      I know everyone values the thoughts of these guys, but really, Mumper wouldn't be out drinking designer beer every night if he had nothing but an alarm clock to wake up to. He would be at his desk pondering the future of the game every night if he didn't have any direction. I've been in corporate America for over 20 years, I know how they think and act. The higher you go the harder the job. If anything, he's able to close that door on the way home and not worry about it because he has the information to back up his decisions.

      Every argument you made smells like they did test marketing behind it. Read your argument to the contrary again. I know point of fact that because of the shitstorm they took during D3's release, they weren't going to let that happen a second time.

  2. wtb moar posts, enjoying the blog!

    1. I normally only post when I have something on my mind. Sorry!


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