Google+ ALT : ernative: The End of the Affair?

Monday, October 10, 2011

The End of the Affair?

Do not be fooled by his cute exterior. This guy is Evil Incarnate...

I suppose it was only a matter of time. Guys, meet the Guardian Cub, the tiny guy who will be forever remembered as marking the point where Blizzard gave in and allowed people a chance to sell pets for gold. Yup, you heard me right: this guy will cost you 10 euros, and you can sell him on your local Auction House.

Just take a moment to absorb that: 10 euros will (potentially) buy you in-game gold.

I can already here the sounds of people imploding across Europe and the US as this news sinks in. It's not like Blizzard are even trying to disguise this as something else either: they even mention this in their own promotional spiel, and I quote:

Q: Could I put the Guardian Cub up on the auction house to try to make some gold if I wanted to?

While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection,
we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. However, please keep in mind that there's never any guarantee that someone will purchase what you put up for sale in the auction house, or how much they'll pay for it.

As soon it was clear the Diablo 3 AH was going to handle real world cash people began to speculate how Warcraft might be affected, and now we have an answer. More significant however is the move away from Bind to Account pets: if I want to have a matching pet to go with every alt on my account that owns the Winged Gardian, I've gotta drop 10 euros FOR EVERY CHARACTER. That's a killer, and makes me rather glad that I've only got one serious pet collector to worry about.

My other concern, and I'm yet to see how this pans out, is how Blizzard will ensure that these pets aren't bought by gold selling companies to begin with. I can only assume they have sufficient data that leads them to believe that most, if not all gold movement goes on in game and that they believe only legitimate players will be purchasing these spawns of evil cute guys to sell on. Then I find myself pondering who would actually choose to buy these in game to begin with, when you could get one for what is (still, imo) a reasonable sum. I'm sure they will sell, and I doubt the in-game server economy is going to collapse as a result of this bombshell, but the fact remains this is a major sea change for Azeroth and undoubtedly it will not be the last time we see this happen. I'd now like to know if bought from Blizzard, in-game mounts will be afforded the same treatment...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Spawns of Satan" does seem a bit strong. :) I don't think the in-game value of these pets will be high enough to have a serious effect. People who really want them will buy them from the Blizzard store. There's no incentive to buy the pet beyond the pet itself since there's no real way to turn these back into money once they're sold in game. You could eBay them, but you'd need to track down someone on your server/faction to make trading financially worthwhile.

dobablo said...

Can't trading card pets be sold for gold in-game too? That can't be done via the AH...

Gold sellers get the gold "free" from insecure accounts. They would only buy a pet using someone else's financial information and I'd imagine the cash -> pet -> gold -> cash conversion rate will lower than staight forward cash -> cash.
Still, make sure that payment method matches account owner and limit mass purchases and that should cover any risk.

dobablo said...

And to add, the pet market is very limited in size. As my faction's sole supply of AT pets for the first half of cataclysm, I averaged around one pet sale every 2 or 3 days.