Monday, March 2, 2015

Blizzard Announces WoW Tokens

Earlier today, Blizzard announced a new feature that will be coming to World of Warcraft soon. The new feature is the ability to purchase game time tokens and sell them on the Auction House. You can find more details about this upcoming addition to WoW on the official website, but here are the basic details.

You will be able to buy a token and sell it on the auction house immediately. Unlike other items where you set the price, the price for the token will be fixed and based on region. At this time it is unknown how much the token will cost in either real world money or gold. All that is known is that the gold cost for tokens will adjust dynamically based on supply and demand. I imagine Blizzard did this not only because of the ever changing value of real world currency, but in order to prevent the sheer amount of undercutting that goes on in the Auction House due to many a player lacking even the most basic concept of economics. 

Take a look at the Swift Lovebird mount being sold.  This is an example of undercutting in the auction house.

For players that have reached the gold cap (which is 999k gold at present), this would be a great feature that would allow them to maintain a WoW subscription without having to pay a single cent provided they can buy a token every thirty days, which is the amount of time each token is worth. The current release date for this feature has yet to be determined.

As far as my opinion goes, I think the idea is interesting. It is a feature that theoretically serves two purposes, and can allow players to get gold quick in-game without relying on shady websites and services that usually end up stealing their customers account information anyway. As I said earlier, those who have a seemingly infinite amount of gold will be able to maintain their subscription through their efforts in-game alone. Not only that, but those who have some money to spend in real life and are hurting for some gold in-game will be able to purchase a few tokens to sell to those who have excessive amounts of gold. Although, just because the idea has potential, it doesn't mean it will actually work or be used by the player base. Not only that, but this idea will require a great deal of care and observation on Blizzard's part.

(Image from WoW official site) This could be an interesting new feature, or a new headache for Blizzard and players.

For example, there will likely be a lot of balancing and guess work involved with determining prices. How will Blizzard decide what gold as a currency is worth when compared to real world money? Will it differ when compared to the euro or the pound? It is unclear at this point, but it is something that I intend to keep an eye on. At the very least, it can't be any worse than the disaster that was the Diablo 3 auction house.

Stay tuned, as more information on this is released I will keep you all posted!

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