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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Great Big Bank of Everything?

Gold totals removed to protect the Hardworking... ^^

I would be lost without my Vanity Guild Bank. Currently rocking five tabs, all pretty much full, it is the place where everything goes from the Army of Alts after a long day Playing Warcraft. It is presided over by my long-defunct level 20-summat Hunter who spends an inordinate amount of time at the AH, making cash not simply from the obscure and the forgotten, but from the huge amount of raw materials picked up on any given day. The storage system is simple: if it's common, I'll keep a stack. If I get more I'll stick a stack on the AH for sale and collect another stack, and so on. Currently I'm stockpiling food to level alt cookery, hence the extra stacks in the window. A bankalt's work is never done.

I've been thinking a lot about Banks, as it happens, on the back of Blizzard's comments about streamlining both pet distribution and Heirlooms. Part of me would like this to be a precursor to something that would combine distribution and storage for all the characters on one account in an easy and accessible fashion. Maybe, just maybe, I could have an Account Bank. As soon as I opened up any character, regardless of whether they were Guilded or not, they'd all have access to my Account Bank. It wouldn't matter if they were on Server A or Server B either, everyone would be able to go look there. It would be where Blizzard delivered my Blizzcon Pet, or any individual item I'd bought from the Blizzard store. It would also be where all my Heirlooms were stored, so they could be accessed by any alt on any server to help them with levelling. Is this really too much to ask?

Perhaps it's not as fantastical as it first seems: Diablo 3 will have a Central Bank for all your characters so if you happen to pick up an item on your Barbarian that a Wizard might use you can deposit it to be picked up later. Void Storage has opened up the possibility of a secondary medium for gear, I have to think that the possibility should at least be explored.

I also find myself thinking that it might not be long before we have a second tier of Auction House. That thought sprang from the various discussions I've had over this new Blizzard Store Pet, and it occurs to me that if Diablo 3's Real Money AH is as successful as I am sure it will be, that Azeroth will be influenced.  I think that it would be far too dangerous to try and change the existing system, but if we can have additional storage bolted on what's stopping Blizzard from introducing a Regional AH: a place where you can sell items placed in your Account Bank. I'd expect it to be restricted to rare items: pets, armour, weapons, the hard to find enchants or materials you'd expect to wildly vary in price across a number of Auction Houses in any one region. By creating a central place to buy and sell it would be easier overall for people to get what they wanted at what would, over time, become the place where you could turn you Warcraft gold back into real world money, because I have to think at some point they will do that too. That money would go into your Account Bank too, where you could take it out as Euros (in my case) or choose to distribute it across multiple characters on multiple servers...

I'll be watching this side of developments with interest in the months to come, and a small part of has to think this is going to come up in conversation at some point during Blizzcon... ^^

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