World of Warcraft Gold Soon to Mean Something

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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World of Warcraft Gold Soon to Mean Something

Long ago, I was a World of Warcraft player, back even before the days of the Lich King. I had a level 44 dwarf hunter, I believe it was, who went by the name of Glongg, and roamed the fields and countrysides with his bear, Grylls. No one ever thought that was funny, a fact that to this day makes me at least a little sad. But eventually, I left the World of Warcraft life behind when I got to thinking that the game was little more than a part-time job that not only wasn't I paid to do, but also had to pay for the privilege of doing in the first place. However, Blizzard may have come across a clever idea that improves the perspective a bit: letting people pay for their subscriptions with the gold they earn in the game itself.

More specifically, users will be able to buy what's known as the WoW Token, a system that can be purchased using either in-game or real money, and then in turn can be used to cover subscription costs. A look at Blizzard's FAQ sheet breaks down how the system will be used: users with gold can go and buy a WoW token at the Auction House, and then redeem said token for 30 days of game time. But users who have actual money, but not gold, can buy the WoW token with real money instead, and put the token up for sale in the Auction House, for someone with gold to buy instead. This allows players to do essentially one of three things: buy game time with cash, buy game time with gold, or convert gold to game time.

It's a system that's similar to that used in WildStar or EVE Online, and one that will likely prove welcome to some more enthusiastic players. It's a little less than satisfying, in that you won't be able to convert your gold to real money, or your items to real money, but for long-term players not looking to make a buck, it becomes technically possible to play full-version World of Warcraft for free, assuming you play enough of it to make gold sufficient to buy the tokens.

On a certain level, that's not a bad idea; the most hardcore players can play for free, assuming the tokens are on hand, and the casual players can fund that play by paying for tokens which they sell and get an advantage in the game: a lot of extra gold they didn't have to play to get. There's a clear value there that's hard to pass up, and will likely have the added advantage of keeping some players in the game who might have otherwise left, since there's no longer a real financial risk involved in sticking around. Only time will tell as to how far it works, but this is likely a pretty bright idea at that.

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