Sunday, November 15, 2009
Everyone knows about the new Pet Shop that Blizzard has implemented, where you can buy a Lil' KT or Pandaren Monk. While Total Biscuit has been talking about how this sets the precident within Blizzard to sell completely Virtual goods, and possibly the beginning of a slippery slope, I have a different view of things.
While I agree with him that Virtual goods being sold within Blizzard is new, the WoW Trading Card game and the other MMO's which completely subsist on Virtual Goods, has kind of lessened the shock value of this decision.
However, despite the fact that the Pet Shop is encouraging future games to attempt a Subscription+Microtransaction model, I believe the Shop was also created to curb Gold Farmers.
Gold Farming has been a problem for WoW for years, and there has, and always will be a market for it. Therefore the best way Blizz could combat the problem is by making a Gold Service of their own.
Take my Lil' KT pet above in the screenshot. I never paid real money for him, I traded the Pet Code from another player, in exchange for WoW Gold. Now I know what some will say "It's against the Terms of Service! That's not allowed!" But before you go and report me, take a look at this thread. http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=19820322858&postId=198185696216&sid=1#4
There are others like this one, but basically it's confirming that Pets Bought with money can be traded for gold. The pet is a virtual item, and so is the gold, and is therefore not against the Terms of Service, which prohibits Real world items for Virtual Items and vice versa.
If you still don't believe me, or are doubtful about the stance Blizzard seems to be taking on this ATM, take a look at this in game mail I recieved from the support department after recieving my Lil' KT pet.
Blizzard Customer Service sends me a mail telling me I am breaking the Terms of Service by: "Advertising non-WoW related businesses or Websites."
Obviously the Trade message I sent was misunderstood, I assume they thought that I was offering repeated Gold for Pet and Pet for Gold services, when I just wanted to buy the two pets.
But no mention of an illegal exchange of goods, no mention of breaking the ToS for buying a pet with gold. An oversight? Or a passive confirmation?