In a forum update proposing future changes to World of Warcraft, Blizzard revealed a possible update to their subscription model – the ability to trade gold for game time.
“We’re exploring the possibility of giving players a way to buy tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold,” Blizzard explained. “Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system.”
Contrary to what the widespread panic on the forums would have you believe, Blizzard isn’t trying to push a pay-to-win model, nor will there be any heavy reliance on microtransactions. The feature will be entirely optional, and may even lower the subscription fee for some players.
Unfortunately, this announcement prompted no small amount of suspicion from players who had already accused Blizzard of becoming ‘pay to win’ due to the $60 boost to level 90 released before Warlords of Draenor. It’s no more than a convenience service – no one has to buy mounts, pets, or 90 boosts to advance in the game, and no one will be forced to buy the tokens for game time. The feature would also add a much-needed gold sink now that people actually have something to do with all that excess cash. Some feel as though the addition might give richer players an unfair advantage, which would require a heavy monitoring period to check for exploits and system abuse.
WildStar offers a similar feature, using an in-game item called C.R.E.D.D that adds 30 days of game time to a player’s account. The item is also available for purchase with real money for $19.99, and is also sold on WildStar’s anonymous in-game market.
For now, the idea has been presented for feedback, and until more information is released, we won’t know how the tokens will work, or how much Blizzard is going to charge. The idea is only a proposal, and we’re sure to hear more about it in the near future.
Other features mentioned in the update include legendary gear, the ability to use Twitter in-game, flight master tweaks, Garrison additions, and online tournaments.
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