The New "WoW Token" Lets You Buy Gold With Cash, Game Time With Gold

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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The New "WoW Token" Lets You Buy Gold With Cash, Game Time With Gold

Players strapped for cash can now finally buy World of Warcraft game time with gold.

A few months ago, we heard that Blizzard was considering letting players buy game time with gold [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/139153-Blizzard-Considering-Letting-WoW-Players-Buy-Game-Time-With-Gold], and now, it has announced that it is planning to implement the feature in the near future. Introducing the "WoW Token" - a safe way for players to both buy in-game gold with real money, and buy additional World of Warcraft game time with in-game gold.

Confused? The easiest way to explain how the system works is with this handy little infographic Blizzard has put together:



"We've heard feedback from players that they'd be interested in a secure, legitimate way to acquire gold that doesn't involve the use of unauthorized third-party gold-selling services-one of the primary sources of account compromises," said Blizzard in an official blog post [http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015]. "We also know players who've amassed large amounts of gold through regular play would be interested in the ability to trade some to other players in exchange for game time, helping cover their subscription costs."

The WoW Token does come with a few caveats. First, they can only be purchased and sold in-game through a special new "Game Time" tab on the Auction House, and once they have been sold once, they become soul-bound and cannot be traded again. The gold value of a Token will be determined dynamically based on supply and demand, and unlike other Auction House items, cannot be manually altered by the player.

Players wanting to buy Tokens with money will be able to do so through the in-game shop, although Blizzard hasn't stated exactly how much they will cost as of yet. It posted a pretty thorough F.A.Q [http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015] if you still have more questions.

There's no details on when the WoW Token will hit live servers, but you can probably expect it in the very near future.

Source: Blizzard [http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015]

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Kungfu_Teddybear

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Instead of buying a token and then selling it on the AH for gold, why didn't Blizz just give an option to just buy gold for the people that need gold. It seems like that would be quicker and less hassle. -.-
 

the doom cannon

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Taking a page from the EVE playbook I see. Well except that the price is controlled by Blizzard, not sure how I feel about that. I'd imagine that this will probably be good for maintaining a strong player base in the years to come.
 

Compatriot Block

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Kungfu_Teddybear said:
Instead of buying a token and then selling it on the AH for gold, why didn't Blizz just give an option to just buy gold for the people that need gold. It seems like that would be quicker and less hassle. -.-
Because this system doesn't add new gold into the economy. If they sold new gold directly, that would devalue the gold that already exists. This way, a player can effectively buy currency that already exists.
 

Pyrian

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This way, Blizzard gets their cash-for-game-time regardless. You're just allowed to trade that as a commodity. I'm not sure why the system needs the additional limits of price controls. It's difficult to accomplish; too low and they sell out and buyers can't get tokens, too high and people are stuck with their tokens and can't sell them.
 

Imper1um

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Yeah, the Blizzard-control will probably rape it. PLEX works because it's a flat RL Cost, with an IG cost controlled by the community. By artificially changing the pricing, it will become very unappealing.

As I said on the Facebook replies, I have a feeling that Blizzard wanted to implement the PLEX Idea from EVE Online, but wanted to implement it in a way that's unappealing and probably shouldn't have been done in the first place. I mean, hats off to them to wanting to limit Gold Farmers, but if Blizzard is controlling exactly how much gold you can get from the sale, it won't work. Also, the fact that they become soul-bound after the first trade makes it even less appealing for a lot of people.

Its like saying, "Oh, we want the free market, but communism is cool too." I guess they took that one out of our American playbook.

----

Thinking more on it, I want to addendum:

Blizzard seems to want to control their content more often. Everything they put out lately has been about control. Their RL Auction House on Diablo 3 was about controlling the Player Economy. Starcraft 2 flat out prevents you from playing without going through their matchmaking servers, also they split their game into three with the campaigns being split. Heroes of the Storm and their upcoming TF2 with Blizzard characters clone also seeks to control that market. Its as if they are losing control, and they are getting scared.

Of course, we can all see how their attempts at control have spectacularly failed. They had to renege on the Diablo 3 RL Auction House. Starcraft 2 has dropped from "huge in the competitive market" to "yeah, that game happened... I think," I mean, when was the last time you remember something major happening about Starcraft 2? Do you even remember that it launched over 4 years ago? I couldn't remember. I had to look it up. I mean, I had to look up Starcraft 1, but that was 17 years ago. I still can remember the Portal launch year: 2007. Jeezus, that was almost 8 years ago. I saw major SC1 players drop off the face of the earth in 2010 in protest.

Is it just me, or does it seem like Blizzard is just trying to grab at what they can? I mean, you would think, with World of Warcraft, they could be calm, cautious and come out with some great games. I mean, the funds of WoW could fund some 3rd World Countries. Are they really that strapped that they have to resort to just stealing other people's ideas? I mean, I remember when Blizzard would steal ideas from other games so subtly that you wouldn't even notice it was a copy. Now they are copying entire games (TF2, LoL), and not even changing...anything, except the skins. I thought their idea with Hearthstone was a nice change from copying everything...but it just feels blah when I played it. It never pulled me in like World of Warcraft did with me for over 6 years. I wasn't engaged like I was when D1 and D2 came out.

Blizzard, I miss you.
 

VanQ

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Imper1um said:
Yeah, the Blizzard-control will probably rape it. PLEX works because it's a flat RL Cost, with an IG cost controlled by the community. By artificially changing the pricing, it will become very unappealing.

As I said on the Facebook replies, I have a feeling that Blizzard wanted to implement the PLEX Idea from EVE Online, but wanted to implement it in a way that's unappealing and probably shouldn't have been done in the first place. I mean, hats off to them to wanting to limit Gold Farmers, but if Blizzard is controlling exactly how much gold you can get from the sale, it won't work. Also, the fact that they become soul-bound after the first trade makes it even less appealing for a lot of people.

Its like saying, "Oh, we want the free market, but communism is cool too." I guess they took that one out of our American playbook.
You forget that all players on the EVE server play on one mega server. Gold value changes across the many WoW servers depending on the population. I think it's to prevent game time selling for hundreds of thousands of gold on populated s ervers where gold inflation went out of control years ago.
 

Imper1um

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VanQ said:
Imper1um said:
You forget that all players on the EVE server play on one mega server. Gold value changes across the many WoW servers depending on the population. I think it's to prevent game time selling for hundreds of thousands of gold on populated s ervers where gold inflation went out of control years ago.
That is true, but, you would think, that if they are controlling the cost per server, they could totally skew the market. I mean, the thing is that the Markets that I saw in World of Warcraft over a period of years didn't violate more than 10% +/-, except when a new expansion/content patch/release from not being AH'able. I could trade a raid mat on the AH on Server A for 10g, it would probably be between 9g and 11g on Server B. (Looking at some WoW Economy Tracking sites, it appears that still is the case.) Also, not to mention that, because of the control, they could be the *cause* of inflation. There's an entire economics problem behind it, and I believe I should text my economics friend, I bet he'd drool over the chance to watch this implementation in action.

But, in a player-driven free market, even if you said that "all servers all the time get 1 token for $12, and you can sell it for whatever you want." People will naturally pick the token which has the price they can afford, and the trades and prices will happen and flow naturally. If you force all the servers to sell it on a reasonable price, it will devalue the Game Time tokens that people purchase with real life money completely. No "rich people" (which is what this is supposed to be targetting) will purchase the token on low gold value servers, because its not worth it. Gold Sellers will still buy/sell gold, because its easier, has less overhead, and gives a greater profit. On servers where Gold is high in value (which, to be honest, I have never seen since Burning Crusade came out), then it might fuel your economy, but the influx of tokens with no one buying them because they are too costly to farm the amount of gold that Blizzard forces on the players to pay, would cause the Token Economy to stall.

I mean, it *sounds* like a great idea...but it would mean that Blizzard would have to be on top of the economy 24/7, which *can* be found out by Metrics, but, as we know with the American Stock Market, sh*t happens. It just takes one BLARGH on the market, and then the tokens economy stalls, sending it, and, potentially, the entire economy into free fall.
 

Paragon Fury

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Jan 23, 2009
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On the one hand; I see the point and use of this system.

On the other hand; there is this little voice in the back of my head going "THIS. THIS IS WHY THEY PURPOSELY RUINED THE ECONOMY WITH THE CHANGES IN WOD!" so that people can't make enough gold to reasonably afford these tokens without a ludicrous amount of farming.

EDIT:

Also, to the above thing about Starcraft II - one of the big reasons SCII dropped off the map was Blizzard didn't exert enough control. Blizzard didn't implement Regional Purity rules like most major international sports and competitive events do, so what happened is that Korea/China simply flooded every single region with their rejects (so that the companies/countries sponsoring them could double/triple/quadruple dip into the chance for winning that prize money cut) from their main regions. So instead of being US vs. EU vs. RU vs. CN vs. KN it became US (represented by a KN/CN guy) vs. EU (represented by a KN/CN guy) vs. RU (who have Regional Purity rules) vs. CN vs. KN.

Its very hard to be interested in a game either to play or to spectate when no one who is actually from your region gets to go (its getting to be a problem in League of Legends too).
 

zzrhardy

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Kungfu_Teddybear said:
Instead of buying a token and then selling it on the AH for gold, why didn't Blizz just give an option to just buy gold for the people that need gold. It seems like that would be quicker and less hassle. -.-
Because this doesn't create gold to warp the economy, it relies on money already in game. Also, the value of the token would be left to market forces.

Game economies needs gold sinks to keep inflation in the sub ZWD realm. In the old days this was mostly mounts, training, and repair. Now added to this is garrison buildings and followers.

Adding bulk gold from thin air would undo all that design work.
 

Pyrian

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Imper1um said:
I mean, the funds of WoW could fund some 3rd World Countries. Are they really that strapped that they have to resort to just stealing other people's ideas? I mean, I remember when Blizzard would steal ideas from other games so subtly that you wouldn't even notice it was a copy.
Maybe you just weren't paying attention? Blizzard has never been known for originality. They take other people's ideas and polish them.
 

Millky95

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Would be interesting to see how much these cost on the AH. Could almost be worth getting back into WoW
 

Scrythe

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I kinda wish Blizz would have considered exploring these options when I still played WoW. I'm still getting gold spam and scam pages sent directly into my junk folder, and I stopped playing seven-ish years ago.

Gold sellers: not even once.
 

CrystalShadow

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Scrythe said:
I kinda wish Blizz would have considered exploring these options when I still played WoW. I'm still getting gold spam and scam pages sent directly into my junk folder, and I stopped playing seven-ish years ago.

Gold sellers: not even once.
I don't think they target those very carefully. I get tons of them and I've never played WOW even for 5 minutes...

Does make it easier to spot scams when they try and talk about 'your blizzard account' when you don't even have one. XD
 

LetalisK

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Pyrian said:
Imper1um said:
I mean, the funds of WoW could fund some 3rd World Countries. Are they really that strapped that they have to resort to just stealing other people's ideas? I mean, I remember when Blizzard would steal ideas from other games so subtly that you wouldn't even notice it was a copy.
Maybe you just weren't paying attention? Blizzard has never been known for originality. They take other people's ideas and polish them.
They're the Israeli military of game designers. But more polarizing.
 

Kungfu_Teddybear

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Compatriot Block said:
Kungfu_Teddybear said:
Instead of buying a token and then selling it on the AH for gold, why didn't Blizz just give an option to just buy gold for the people that need gold. It seems like that would be quicker and less hassle. -.-
Because this system doesn't add new gold into the economy. If they sold new gold directly, that would devalue the gold that already exists. This way, a player can effectively buy currency that already exists.
zzrhardy said:
Kungfu_Teddybear said:
Instead of buying a token and then selling it on the AH for gold, why didn't Blizz just give an option to just buy gold for the people that need gold. It seems like that would be quicker and less hassle. -.-
Because this doesn't create gold to warp the economy, it relies on money already in game. Also, the value of the token would be left to market forces.

Game economies needs gold sinks to keep inflation in the sub ZWD realm. In the old days this was mostly mounts, training, and repair. Now added to this is garrison buildings and followers.

Adding bulk gold from thin air would undo all that design work.
Yeah, that makes sense. I didn't actually think of it like that.
 

Grumman

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GarouxBloodline said:
2. How is replicating what is currently popular, to help maximize monetary gain, them running scared? That is not to mention that LoL was based off of DotA, which was an original game created under a collaboration between Blizzard and Starcraft I - Warcraft III mod makers, before being effectively stolen by Valve. So saying that HotS is a clone of LoL is pretty funny, seeing as in how LoL is based off of DotA. It is also insulting Blizzard, since they have had professional experience with this type of game format for longer than just about anyone else.
Both League of Legends and DotA2 were developed by the same people who made the original mod - they didn't steal anything because it was theirs to begin with. However, I would also say that Blizzard is justified in making their own MOBA, seeing as the original DotA was an extension of their hero units in Warcraft 3.
 

Muspelheim

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Oh, Blizzard, you coy trickster scamp, I remember when this was exactly what you promised never to do. Ho-hum.

I wonder, though, if it isn't just a tiny, teeny bit late to implement it now? Much like that Warcraft film?