It could not be long now before we, as consumers, know what we can expect from the NEXT Expansion… Gamescon is next month, and there’s a decently good chance that 7.3 might be the last major tier content of Legion. However, there’s no certainty in anything right now, except the fact that the Devs are churning out new content with an efficiency that would have been difficult to grasp a year ago. So, with that in mind, and the fact that less and less people pay their subscriptions with real money, I thought I’d pose this question across the weekend:
The assumption here is that there’d be content of some variety that would be deemed ‘exclusive’: how would you want to consume that if given a choice of options? Not surprisingly, the majority of voters don’t care if you have to pay, whether the rep is gated or not or even if they have to make the effort to turn up for a month, they’re going to do it all anyway. This certainly wasn’t the winning option I’d expected: in fact, I’d confidently predicted most people would shrug and then pay extra.
I think I too have reached an important threshold in gameplay: if it meant I could just get access to certain things without the need to do the work, I’d pay up front. It is, in effect, no different to dropping cash for a 110 Boost, or a Token when I need the extra gold for whatever reason. It becomes a toss up between the amount of free time that exists online, and what I value that as being. That’s why I picked £20 as my benchmark: anything that costs more than that I’ll happily live without. But, if I got a mount, perhaps a solo scenario and maybe some transmog shiz for £19.99 and it was decent enough? Yes, I would probably buy it. That also goes for mobile content too. I’ve bought Pokecoins, I’ll freely admit this, and considering every other ActiBlizz game now offers in game purchases too?
Then comes the logical and acceptable counter: you pay for an Expansion (and quite a lot at that) PLUS the sub model still exists because people continue to be prepared to part with cash. I doubt anyone in their right minds is gonna wanna derail that Gravy Train any time soon… but someone else will be looking at monetisation and wondering how it works going forward. The key to this, of course, is that you can buy any ActiBlizz game, including Destiny 2, with Warcraft gold. If your grind, whatever it is, also makes money to buy a token to purchase other items, that means the Company makes less real money from you… so here comes the merchandising, and the Special Editions… but it may yet still not be enough.
There is no good way of presenting extra in this game, at least for me. I’m already at capacity, can’t keep up with what I’m offered. When the 110 Boost comes, and it undoubtedly will, one assumes it will also be front loaded with an artefact weapon at a comparable level of ‘grind’ to that I’d have achieved by the end of the questing cycle… and if that is the case, then I am effectively purchasing a lot more for my money than has ever previously been the case. I will be paying not simply for the time saved in the levelling, but the pain involved in maxxing out my Class Order hall to boot. Every time the Company add more work in the journey, an instant boost becomes more attractive to purchase.
As this is already as close to pay to win as we’ve ever been, will Warcraft ever cross the line and let us buy it all?