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Between eating Pudding slimes instead of tanking them, stuffing dogs inside cat mouths and then the cat/dog into a new cat's mouth, and alligator vasectomies, Pie is never short on her crazy ideas. Whatever their source, it always makes for some fun conversations!
Blizzard recently announced WoW Tokens, items that could be bought for roughly the cost of a subscription and sold in game to other players for gold. The purchaser gets a month added to their sub time, the seller gets a stack of gold, gold sellers are forced out of business, and everyone is happy. I have to admit I'm surprised to see Blizzard embracing so many new ideas; it seems that the shift in attitude since Titan's failure has been creating a lot of interesting change and momentum for them. If only this idea was implemented when my interest for WoW was at a fever pitch, but still, it's better late than never.
We're starting to see this more often in modern MMOs and I'm so happy to see this monetization method; it allows for players who are okay throwing more money at a game they love get the gold they'd rather not grind for while simultaneously allowing hardcore players to pay for their sub time with in game currency. Companies are starting to realize that these deals are going to happen no matter what, so better to be a broker in the exchange than just voyeurs of a seedy exchange in some back alley.
People will scream that there is pay-to-win problems with this methodology, but I feel that if more games went back to a traditional design, like WoW, where everything can be obtained in game without spending money and the only cash shop items were purely cosmetic, we would have a much better ecosystem for online games. Companies would get the amount of money their games are worth without fleecing their customers. Win win!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pull Pie out from a Pudding before she ruins her appetite for dinner.
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