With the recent revelation that blizzard is toying around with the idea of allowing a game time item to be purchasable with real cash that could be sold in game for gold, presumably through the auction house and trade window as an actual item, has made me think what it would be worth to buy and sell for.
A topic like this is likely to have a large range of answers that are very dependent on the person themselves. Do they have disposable income, are they willing to spend that disposable income on a game, are they good at making gold in game or not, there are many factors that will go into it. My personal opinion on the matter might match some and might not match most, because each one of us is an individual with different circumstances in life and different feeling toward spending our hard earned cash on or in a game.
For the purpose of this what if post we will work under some made up, because we really do not know, numbers, rules and situations.
We will work under the idea that the game time token will sell for slightly more than purchasing time for yourself like it does in other games that have been using this model for many years. Lets say if 30 days cost 15 dollars in the US than the game time token will sell for 20.
We will also work under the presumption that blizzard has completely fixed the ability to dupe items so that would be a non factor and we will figure this based on it being an item like all other items in game. Completely tradable and not limited.
I am going to give my opinion on this three times. The reason for that is because I actually have three different opinions. Yes, I do, and yes you can have more than one opinion. It all depends on what angle you are looking at it from. The buyer, the seller, or the person that will not take part of it in any way. So my three opinions on what it is worth differ based on which angle I look at it.
What if you could buy game time, how much would you pay?
If I were the one doing the buying I would want it at a reasonable price. While I do have the ability to make gold and I do have a nice little stash of gold going, I am capable of paying for my own game time with cash. So for me to use in game resources it would have to be so cheap that I could not say no.
I would say that if the price of 30 days game time were to be 10,000 or less I would be interested in it. I would most likely even switch from spending real money to in game money only. Even without playing the auction house and just playing the game like normal I think that gathering 10,000 per month should be reasonably easy for any active player. So much so to the point where it would be, at worst, a net wash on my part. Even on the slowest months, not trying to make any gold and not being very actice, I would say I can make 10,000, so I get that month for free, so to speak. I just have to give up the gold I made for the month and with the stash I have that does not really seem like it would be a huge price to pay at all.
Anything more than 10,000 and I would have absolutely no interest in buying it with in game gold. Heck, even the 10,000 number might still be a coin flip depending on how I feel on that day, but that is the highest I could see me ever paying for game time with in game gold.
What if you could sell game time, how much would you sell it for?
Looking at it from this direction, as the person spending real cash, I would never in a million years spend 20 dollars of real life money to get only 10,000 gold in game. In my personal opinion you would need to be extremely desperate for gold and have way too much spending cash in the real world to waste it on making such a small amount like 10,000.
So what would get me to open my wallet and buy some game time tokens to sell in game. Well, being I do not need gold I will have to play like there is something I want to buy and I need to gold. So first off I would need the desire to spend the gold, which I am sure blizzard will add so people like myself have a reason to buy game time to sell in game. Now lets assume that there was something I wanted to buy, what do I think would be a reasonable selling price.
For me to open my wallet and spend 20 dollars I think we would need to see the 30 day game time tokens selling for at least 100,000 gold and even then I would only spend real life cash if I were in desperate need, or felt like I was in desperate need of whatever it is I was selling them to gather to gold to buy.
If they wanted me to open my wallet freely and be willing to drop a hundred dollars here and there on game time tokens to sell we would need to see the gold selling price in the 250,000 to 300,000 range before I felt comfortable spending real life money in game for gold.
Being we are playing the what if make believe game here I am going to take this one step further. What type of selling numbers would I need to see to get me to open my wallet and start spending some serious bucks, as in hundreds?
I would need to see the game time cards selling for over 1,000,000 each. Much over if possible. Even if I did not need the gold for anything, I could see myself spending two or three hundred dollars to sell game time and I would stash the money so if I ever needed it than it would be there. If they were selling for 1,000,000 each, yes, I could most definitely see myself spending money I did not even need or want to spend because it would be such a good deal and it would be worth it, in my opinion at least.
What do you believe will be the actual pricing?
This is the third and last part. What I believe the actual pricing you can expect to see on your local auction house for these things if they went into the game as described.
The price I would be willing to buy at is so low, it will never get that low and the price I would be willing to sell it is so extremely out of line that I know I am being a jerk for saying I would want 1M for it, so they will never go that high.
What it comes down to is what can we expect it to actually fetch in game and I think we already have the answer to that. Take a look at the auction house for the "hot" items. On my server it is the 670 back and waist on the auction house. Something we all have easy access too if we wanted to do a few trash runs and something everyone needs, even to a lesser extent than game time. See what the highs and lows for those items are and that is what I figure the range would be.
The reason I say look at your server is because each server has a different economy. Some might not have many heroic BoEs on the AH, some might have more, some might only have normal, some might have mythic. You need to judge it on the hot item, the things selling well with good turn over that are in demand.
On my server that would mean that the game time items would sell from 18K - 35K, and you know what, that seems about right. I can see 30 days game time easily selling for that amount. For someone like me it is not worth buying at that price, and it is not worth selling at that price. And if it is too high for me to want to buy and too low for me to want to sell, I think it is in a good place for everyone.
That is my opinion only of course, so what is yours? What price would get you to buy it, sell it and what do you think it might average? What if.. of course.