It’s almost been a week since we got the WoW Token in Europe, and as the dust settles it appears, at least to this observer, that a lot of people have bought into the entire concept with a great deal of faith. I will admit I bought one token to sell for gold to observe the process, but I have no intention of obtaining any more. I’ve probably kopped more flak for my opinions on this topic than I have on any other that I’ve reported on for some time, mostly due to my belief that ‘normal’ supply and demand may well not been at work for the opening period of token ‘trading’. It was very much a gold-buyers market in Europe, and appears to remain so if the price ‘algorithm’ is to be believed. Also, despite assertions to the contrary, I have proof of at least one person being billed in a manner that Blizzard promised would not occur when the tokens were launched.
All of this together means I doubt I’ll be buying game time or gold with this system in the future.
|Insert clipart here. OH LOOK GOLD CHEST!|
What has amazed me, and continues to do so, is the belief that using gold for gametime is somehow ‘cheaper’ than obtaining a ‘normal’ subscription. For me, I remember my ‘O’ Level Economics lessons and the concept of opportunity cost. In essence, this means the ‘cost’ of using gold for gametime arises from the value of what it could be used for instead. When placed against the ‘cost’ of an actual subscription the latter is cheaper, and therefore makes more sense if money is not an issue. More significantly however, the ‘cost’ of farming for the gold is time, a resource that is far more valuable to me than any variety of currency, virtual or otherwise. In that regard, I’m not nearly active enough to justify the effort that would be involved to farm productively, so would have to rely on proactive gold gathering. Ironically, that’s what’s happening right now, but it still isn’t enough to encourage me to purchase.
Despite what some of you might think, I’m not just doing this to be awkward. I’m doing it because I have a choice.
|Cheap at 0g and not before.|
I have bought a fair number of vanity pets and mounts in my time from the Blizzard Store and Ebay. I shudder to think how much real money I exchanged for virtual items across the years, but my patience finally reached its end when Blizzard started sticking tie-in ‘sweetners’ across their disparate ‘titles.’ Playing three games of Hearthstone for a mount was pretty much the last straw, with the Vanity Pet ‘reward’ in Heroes sealing the deal. Eventually, individual confidence reaches an end, and trust between consumer and supplier is exhausted. That’s why I refuse to pay any more money for items I don’t believe are worth my time and effort to purchase, both real or virtual. It might be an age thing, but I feel it is far more the understanding that my basic tastes inside the game itself no longer align with those producing the title.
In effect, yet again, I’m no longer the target audience.
As a result, for the first time since the ‘system’ was launched, I won’t be recruiting myself to Azeroth in order to obtain a Cindermane Charger. Although my mount collecting remains important, the financial cost has become too unattractive. I actively resent having to spend money to obtain items, and if that means I go without, then I will. This isn’t Blizzard’s fault, I should add, far from it. They are incredibly adept at removing people from their cash and have been for over a decade, and I know far better now than to be critical of what others do with their own hard-earned money. For me, I’ve decided that what I have is enough, and should I get lucky on the Circuit of Disappointment in the future, then that’s actually a more satisfying bonus to begin with.
For me at least, effort has become quite significant as a reward.