Thursday, December 19, 2013

When Does "The Shop" Become P2W?

The new shop in game has stirred a myriad of emotions and opinions among people in the game.  If it is good or bad, if it is pay to win, if resources are being diverted from content to paid items for sale, etc.  Each could be a topic of its own but the aspect I wish to ponder on today is the pay to win part.

What exactly is pay to win and when does the shop cross that line?

Some people are saying it already has, or will, if they added the experience buff to the shop.  I personally do not agree.  That is a convenience.  All it does it get you to a higher level faster.  It does not give you more power, it does not make you "special", it just makes something that has become trivial and useless in game a little less trivial and useless by making it pass by faster and that is leveling.

So when do I believe it has crossed the line to pay to win?

Well, I believe I have a fair deal of experience in this matter because of my gaming history.  I look for a lot of things to do while at work to pass the time and as such I have played a great deal of browser based games and I have seen so many membership packages or VIP packages I believe I can tell the difference between what is pay to win and what is convince, even if that too is just my opinion.

To start, we all pay for a VIP Package already with WoW even if you do not notice it.  It is what allows us to play, that monthly fee.  Without it you can play but you have limited access.  That is the basic concept of most of the browser based games.  They give more access without a monthly fee than WoW does, but they give a lot more access without it usually.  That is not pay to win, that is pay to play.  Having a package that lets you have access to everything is a standard thing and there is nothing wrong with that.

Where the line gets drawn is between convenience and advantage.

For example a lot of these browser based games have a duel system where you can challenge other players and how it is handled is differently if you are a member or not.  Some games are set up that you can battle 20 duels per day and each battle there is a 10 minute cooldown before you can battle again.

The "bonus" you get for being a member determines if it is pay to win or pay for convenience.  One game I played reduced the cooldown to 5 minutes for members.  This is convenience, at least as I see it, because I get to get all 20 battles done sooner and do not need to be online as long to get them all done.  It is a very welcome convenience at that but gives absolutely no advantage other than time.  Other games give you increased rewards for members or additional battles for members, now those ones are pay to win.  If you get increased rewards you are getting an actual advantage in something more than just time.

Another fair example that does fit when speaking of the shop in WoW is cosmetic clothing.  In some of these games they sell clothing, lots of it, but all it does it change the look of your character.

 One game I played which is now gone, called glitch, was like that.  The clothing did not cost much, 50 cents or a dollar, but there were so many options that if you were willing to spend you could wear something different every day for a year or more.  It made for an interesting environment where most people looked different but it offered nothing more than looking different.  Then there are games out there, like wartune, where you can buy clothing, at greatly increased prices compared to glitch, and that clothing gave you an advantage.  And you could keep upgrading the clothing by buying more clothing and melding them together and the clothing which is not cheap and the more clothing you have and the higher level it is from melding it the more of a bonus you get from it.  It all gives you rage and if you want to think of it in terms of WoW, could you imagine running into a warrior out in the world and the battle starts and he always has 100 rage? It would not be pretty for you would it?  Yeah, that is a obvious advantage for the person that pays.

So what it comes down to as I see it, is what the practical impact on game play really is.  If it saves time, or is just for looks, then it is not pay to win, but if it gives you a practical advantage it is pay to win.

If the extra experience for faster leveling is added to the US shops I would not call it pay to win.  It is just paying to pass what many people feel is the most boring part of the game.  However, if they added a +10% to all stats while on the potion, then it would be pay to win.

But that does bring up interesting questions from things we have seen pop up already.  Where does "convenience" become "advantage"?

Is buying 50 lesser coins for some nominal fee a convenience of not having to farm them or an advantage because you do not have to?

Or how is this for an interesting question, would them selling a bigger starting bag be a convenience or would it be an advantage?  I am not sure about you, but with all these games I have played online over the years that offered "paid" services the first thing, and usually the only thing, I purchased was more bag space.  Is that pay to win or pay for convenience?  I guess an argument can be made either way.

In the end, that is when the shop becomes a P2W, when we start to look at it as an advantage.


  1. I think it all is about how much time does buying something save you.

    Many say it is only P2W when you can pay for something that gives you an advantage. With respect to WoW, that's gear, stats and spells. The problem with that is that this is too narrow a definition. Everyone plays differently, and if I, say, define my end-game as collecting mounts, then paid mounts are P2W. (And, by the way, if we go by that definition, then WoW is P2W to an extent already, because you can buy pets, sell them for gold, and use gold to buy BoE gear / heroic clears / arena carries.)

    Many also say the shop is only a problem if it gives you something which can't be obtained in the game. This, too, is too narrow. If they sell a pet which can be obtained as a reward from a single Darkmoon Faire quest (a CD of a month) with a drop chance of 1 in 10 millions, it's technically "nothing which couldn't be obtained in the game", but for all practical reasons the only way to get that pet is to buy it.

    I think WoW isn't P2W for most purposes yet, however muddy that term could be, but I am not sure it's going to stay that way. The store expands, they are doing more and more with it, and I don't like it. In a game without a sub, that would have been fine, but since we are paying a sub already, it's bad.

    The next addition to the store is going to be integration with other Blizzard games, first and foremost, Hearthstone (buy cards) and Storm of the Ancients (buy heroes or skins? if we follow LoL, that's what they typically sell).

    I think the next thing they are going to sell for WoW would be Warforged Seals. It's not gear, right? It's only a chance at it. And they would likely limit that to flex (WoD normals), to avoid controversies at the highest difficulty level. But that would definitely be P2W in my view.

    1. I guess that makes sense, if you play to collect mounts or pets then buying mounts or pets is P2W for you. If you play to see how many max level characters you can get then speeding up leveling is P2W for you.

      Over all I think it would have to fit a more "grand" scope of the game. Mounts, pets, number of 90s, means nothing. It gives you no power in game and as such that is why most people do not think it is P2W.

      Letting people buy the reforging mount for 20 bucks instead of the 108K in game would be P2W in a small small way because it gives them something with actual use in game even if it does not help them much. The line is really thin.

      I am absolutely 100% certain that the game will be heading toward P2W just form what we have already seen. Selling the lesser tokens, while advertised as a time saver, can be and is to most, an advantage.

      That is because many feel those free rolls are "needed" and for someone to skip the process of earning them they are paying to win, so to speak.

      As we have already seen that added to the game, already seen leveling to the game, I have no doubts we will see more stuff added that give advantages, small at first and growing. That is the way to game is going. No doubt about it.

  2. WTB - Small corner of the internet where the existence of an in-game shop that sells nothing more than the out-of-game shop sells doesn't result in a myriad of emotions and opinions.

    (not a shot at you, simply a comment in response to your opening line)

    I think pay to win is a crappy discussion point in the first place, frankly, since it isn't really possible to win WoW in almost all situations (excluding world first, server first, etc). WoW is a series of skirmishes, not a war with an ending.

    Look at sports as an analogy... a tennis player with access to a coach (ie. $) and the best equipment (ie. $) is obviously going to have an advantage over someone who doesn't. Yet any time I lose to a buddy who takes lessons and changes racquets multiple times a year it never occurs me to me to shout "PAY TO WIN!" in his face even though in this case it IS absolutely pay to win. Would anyone complaining about P2W in WoW make that claim in this case? I doubt it but somehow it's a valid argument in a video game?

    Look at golf... your average doctor or salesperson is likely going to be a better golfer than your average helpline support technician, from lessons to custom manufactured clubs to better balls to just being able to (afford to, both time and money-wise) play more often. PAY TO WIN... in that case you might actually grumble about his $5K set of clubs but you don't really mean it, you just wish you had a set too.

    Call it pay to advantage, maybe, or pay to goal achievement, or pay to succeed. I'll boil down "success" in WoW to 3 primary factors as things stand today: time, skill and access.

    Time consists of a mix of actual time to play (someone playing 2 hours a week will likely experience less success than someone who plays 20) and focus (someone with 1 toon will likely experience more success than someone with 20).

    Skill is a tough concept to define as a current Tobold post makes clear but I'd define it along the lines of performance potential... basically, a person's personal performance ceiling. More skill doesn't guarantee success but it makes it more likely and you'll get more results from a certain amount of effort than someone with less skill will. You knew people like this in school... or were one.

    Access is simple, it's whether you have the infrastructure in place to be in position to succeed. If success is killing Heroic Garrosh and you run flex with your buddies for 2hr every Fri night and are barely geared enough for THAT it isn't going to happen. If your usual run is already doing heroics, though, it's possible. If you're already working on H Garrosh, it's likely.

    So today, I'd say those 3 factors are primarily what determine whether someone CAN be successful, you need enough time, enough skill and enough access to reach your goal, miss the mark on any one of those 3 and it's unlikely to happen.


    1. Here's the thing, though... time and skill are somewhat fixed, there isn't much you can do easily (and painlessly) to improve either of those but access is a different story. As you've discussed previously, it's possible to buy your way into a run that will accomplish your goal... that's high-level and expensive but it can be done. More realistically for most, you can buy some pretty good gear on the AH and BMAH to make yourself more appealing to get into a run that will give you access to your goal. Either of those scenarios is arguably pay-to-succeed whether done with in-game gold or out-of-game dollars. I'm ignoring whether succeeding while being carried counts, that's too personal a thing to generalize.

      I started out neutral on the idea of P2W within WoW when I started typing this but I've actually gone over to pro-P2W in the process. I don't just think that WoW would survive having things like gear available in a cash shop, I think it SHOULD to make things MORE fair and balanced.

      People who are time, skill &/or access-challenged SHOULD have access to a way to try and even things up a bit. They're still going to be at a natural disadvantage, most competent RLs would probably prefer a dps doing 200K in i520 gear than in i560 gear for all kinds of reasons, but at least they'd be in a better position to fight for a spot. It could be buying gear, it could be buying buffs ($10/month for an extra 10% dps/hps)...

      So, to time, skill and access, add money... just another thing for those without much of to envy those who have more about. Maybe it's time for WoW to stop pretending to play "fair", that's not how pretty much anything else in the life works and considering the time, skill and access deltas from player to player, WoW isn't fair NOW... anyone arguing against P2W is basically ignoring that basic fact.

      (and that isn't even considering this point... remember the backlash and people being kicked from runs for buying cosmetic tmog helms? Just imagine introducing paid actual stat gear into that same cesspool of semi-humanity...)

      Long story short, I wouldn't buy items like that but I would at this point fully support them being included in the game. I strongly suspect that most militant anti-P2W folks have the necessary time/skill/access to accomplish their goals so if they're so outraged as to quit the game in protest, it'll just open up spots for the less privileged. I'm having a hard time finding a downside there... ;)

    2. ... and just to proactively react to one obvious counter-point, making items like that available in-game wouldn't only serve those who need them, they would also be available to the elites as well and it could become a requirement for them once they become available. Yep, that can actually happen, just like it can be a requirement set by a raid to cap VP every week, to have multiple geared and viable specs, to have multiple geared and viable TOONS, to run all the things always, to farm mats, to max out reps ASAP, etc. It's just one more possible requirement for a raid group.

      So, if a raid group decides to add the +10% stat potion as a requirement for their raiders and someone can't or won't buy it, they'll be excluded. Just like if, today, a normal raid decides to start doing heroics and due to a lower skill cap someone isn't performing to the new requirement and is left behind. Or if the raid changes from Tue/Thu to Tue/Wed and someone who can't change their shift is left behind. Or if the RLs girlfriend decides she wants to start playing and someone has to get bumped to open up the spot (I've actually been in runs where that has happened... TWICE...).

      Money just becomes another potential factor for inclusion or exclusion. C'est la vie. If that run doesn't fit your circumstances, find another that does, same process as it's always been.

    3. I disagree.

      You ask why P2W is fine in, say, golf, but not in WoW. I think that question is muddied by the flexibility of the term P2W.

      Let's see.

      In sports, people can pay for a trainer. I am fine with that. That would be analogous to people playing a raiding guild in WoW to take them to raids and teach them how to play. I am fine with that, too. No differences.

      In sports, people can have more time to play gold than me, as a result, they will play better. I am fine with that. That would be analogous to people having more time to play WoW than me - I could never match the hours of a student, for example. I am fine with that, too. No differences.

      In sports, people can have better equipment, more comfortable clothes, etc. I am fine with that. Now, it is tempting to say that this would be analogous to having better gear in WoW. But the effect of gear in sports is - with several notable exceptions like swimming - much lower compared to the effect of the actual skill, than in WoW (where gear rules a lot more), so I'd actually compare having better equipment in sports not to having better gear in WoW, but to having better consumables. And I am fine with that, too. If, say, in WoD, they remove flasks and leave elixirs, and one'd have to spent 5k gold on elixirs per typical raiding night, I'd be fine with that. Why? Precisely because the effect of things like elixirs isn't overpowering. Same as the effect of better equipment in sports. Again, no differences.

      Now, if in sports, you'd be able to buy yourself a literal win in a match, or a couple of points in a match, that would be something I'd be against. And in WoW, gear means so much that it is very, very close to buying yourself a win. Against mobs, if we are talking about PVE, yes, but that's still a win. And that's why I am against selling gear in WoW.

      So, I disagree.

    4. Damn, sorry for the typos... "play" -> "pay", "gold" -> "golf". Argh...

    5. @R

      You make a great point relating it to sports, one I can't believe I have never heard before. It makes a great deal of sense too.

      I too was neutral really but reading your post might have started to lean me to pro as well.

      You make some excellent points. Like even if I went out and purchased every single BiS piece on my rogue with real money I would still suck at my rouge, but my sucking would not look so sucky to people that did not know better thanks to gear.

      In the end it is about potential. The gear would just increase potential, it would not and could not make someone a good player. I often say I think any one that can play at 80% or better of their potential is a good player, just because my rogue would have better gear than my hunter, it would not mean he was good because he would never pass 50% potential.

      Unless of course we add the hard to define skill factor. If I spent enough time and effort to get better, because now I have to gear and want to use it, then I could get better and most likely would get better.

      So it might actually make better players out of some, it would make me a better rogue. I would at least buy the poor bastard weapons finally.

      @ the girlfriend comment, I know that happens but I find it funny. Even in a casual guild where we will take people that are lesser and take our time I would never in a million years sit someone for my girlfriend or allow anyone else to demand the same. We might be casual, but we are not going to drag someone along that has absolutely no business being there and I am not going to ask someone to sit that has all rights to be there. I can't believe that stuff still happens.

    6. @ PvP Anon

      The effects of gear this expansion is huge. I could play at 90% of my potential and someone in heroic gear can half ass it and only do 50% of their potential and still beat me. So I see where you are going with that. However, if the important of gear was reduced and the emphasis was put back on skill like it should be, then the gear issue would mean nothing.

      Back in wrath I recall destroying, and not just by a small margin, people in all 25 man heroic gear when I was still in half ulduar and half ToT gear with maybe one or two pieces of frost gear (was like valor gear).

      Wrath is when it started to go wrong with gear, but skill still mattered and gear just meant you downed more bosses, not that you were more skilled.

      As a joke once I put on my naxx set, yes naxx, and joined an ICC 25 pug and I was in first place on all bosses by at least 2K. Skill > gear.

      So lets use that for an example. If it was still like that, where gear was just shiny and skill mattered, would you still be adverse to selling gear?

      I would be adverse to it now because gear is all that matters now, skill means very little in the grand scheme of things. But if they went back to the wrath days of destroying people in all ICC 25 gear while in my naxx gear, I say let them all buy gear, I will still wipe the floor with them and show them they wasted their money. If they spent as much time as they did money, they wouldn't have needed to spend money.

    7. @ PVP anon

      Had a few typos myself, these things happen without an edit button. :)

      I think you and I are actually almost entirely in agreement so let me throw this hypothetical at you.

      A raid is looking for a 10th player, it's you against one other guy. He's a college student, has all the time in the world to grind gear but has a $120K student loan hanging over his head (pre-med, let's say). You work 60 hours a week and make very nice money but you also have a family and while you're able to commit fully to a raid schedule, you don't have a ton of time to play outside of that.

      Far as I can tell in your response, you believe that you'd be less worthy of that spot. My point is that money is just another factor, just like time, luck and skill. Those who are cash-rich but time-poor should have an opportunity to compete, right now as the game is, they don't, at least not via any particularly acceptable route.

      I also don't think it's much of a leap from "it's okay to pay for a raid", which will likely include gear, or at least the chance for it, to just buying gear directly. If anything, I'd argue that just buying gear is lower on the "ick" scale than buying a run.


      How often do you read about former high-level raiders who have to step back away from that because they can't afford to spend the same amount of time due to RL circumstances (job, family, etc) that just happen as they get older? If that player still has the desire to raid high-calibre content and now has some money, why the hell SHOULDN'T they be able to? We've discussed before that it's usually preferable to have multiple ways to get something... RNG for those willing to risk it, special currency for those willing to grind, BMAH for those with a bunch of gold... why isn't there an option to buy with money for those who have more of that than the other currencies of RNG tolerance, time or gold?

      Not all raids or RLs are particularly mature, unfortunately, as with anything else there's a sliding scale there, too. When the choice is between pissing off your 3rd hunter or not getting laid that night, it isn't necessarily a simple decision for some to make (and in that context, you're welcome to re-evaluate your own response as well, I won't judge ;) ).

      Other scenarios are coming to mind as well that make buying gear a more appealing thought to me. We've both experienced times where you have those 1 or 2 slots that you just can't get an upgrade for... in my history it's usually been trinkets or shoulders for some reason (occasionally weapons but less often). I've been 2 tiers behind on shoulders before. I'm not going to argue that a slot or two of gear is going to be a significant difference but it's one of those things that sticks with you... it bugs you more and more as every week passes and shoulders never drop or you don't win them when they do. Wouldn't it be worth $10 to get that monkey off your back?

      I'm really having trouble thinking of any real downside to Blizzard selling gear. Giving players another way to be competitive should keep more players in the game and will, obviously, bring in more money, which can only help the game as well. The only semi-downside is the same one I mentioned in my post-argument, some raids may make buying all possible gear a requirement, but my response doesn't change... that just becomes a factor that'll include or exclude you from considering that raid, that's all. If you don't want to buy gear, you'll just find a raid that doesn't require it, along with every other raid factor that you might already exclude based on (2am raid times, raid 5 nights a week, nothing but leetspeak in raid chat, raid is all under 18 and seems more like under 14, etc).

    8. My guild is filled with ex-raiders that like the casual approach now. We have multiple people in the guild that fit what you said, if we have a spot they will come, but they just can not commit any longer. They are still great players, they still stay as geared as they can, but they can not make a scheduled raid time normally.

      It is part of the reason I HATE they removed valor gear, it let players like that gear up. Now they have nothing to gear up except to wait for that one day they are needed to subject themselves to a hell that no one should ever experience known as the LFR.

      So, with the absence of valor gear for those people, I can say okay to them buying it with real cash, if they wish to do so.

      If my girlfriend told me I was not getting any because I would not bring her along, she is not the right girl for me. Goodbye. Women, just like men, are a dime a dozen. Find another girlfriend, one that is not so selfish that they would rather hinder your group in your hobby then let you succeed.

      Funny you said shoulders and trinket, those are the exact two pieces I am hung up on. No trinkets ever drop for me, finally won one on a coin, and the shoulder token does not know how to spell hunter seemingly being it never says that.

      The downside is the people, the players, the press, P2W might not be a bad thing, but people see it as such and that carries a stigma.

      Ever play one of those browser based games that have a system like that? I have, many of them, and just listen to the people in the game, on their forums, it is a hostile, very hostile, environment to the people that pay. It is bad for the community and thus bad for the game because of that.

    9. @R:

      "My point is that money is just another factor, just like time, luck and skill. Those who are cash-rich but time-poor should have an opportunity to compete, right now as the game is, they don't, at least not via any particularly acceptable route."

      There is a huge problem here.

      Yes, I agree that money is just another factor - in that, when I, as a player, see someone who has better gear than me, it shouldn't make a difference whether that someone has better gear because he has more skill or more time or more money. All that matters to me is that he has better gear and thus can down bigger bosses, etc. That's correct.

      But that's only when we are looking at that from my side, from the side of a player. If we look at it from the side of a game producer, money is absolutely a special factor. If that other player has better gear because of skill, the devs don't care much, if it's because of time, they are somewhat pleased, and if it's because of money, they are overjoyed. There is a huge difference for them and a huge incentive to make the game reward spending money more than spending time or gaining skill. And the devs are only humans, they will follow that incentive, they will find a way to do it. Why wouldn't they? If, after all, we, as players tell them that skill vs gear vs money doesn't matter to us (which is true, but only on the surface), and they prefer money, why wouldn't they do more money? And what exactly are they going to do to make spending money more attractive than spending time, for example? Easy, lower the drop rates. Or make the best gear crafted and require huge amounts of mats (and hide some of them under lockouts), then sell mats. We've been there with other games. It's not pretty.

      That's why I am against money on top of a sub in a sub-based game. Skill, time and money of other players are the same to me, but they aren't the same to the devs, so if we allow all of these things to confer in-game advantages, the devs will have a huge incentive to make money matter more than everything else.

      That's a slippery slope argument, yes. Thankfully, we aren't yet at the point where spending money is going to significantly help you, but we are getting there and, well, it's a problem.

    10. I suppose it boils down to whether or not we believe Blizzard can sell gear or similar items while resisting the temptation to make getting by spending money easier than by other means. I don't think Blizzard - or any other company, really - can do that at all. Of course they will start small, not because they have a nefarious plan to slowly boil all the frogs so to speak, but because that's simply new territory and they'd naturally be afraid to misstep and lose a lot. But they *will* start. A holiday sale here (it's temporary! the items are going to be outdated with a new expansion soon! etc), a gift of some seed money to everyone's Bnet account there (hey, it's free! spend it on a pet! then buy a second pet if you want, but that's strictly optional, you don't have to! etc), and so on. And, chances are, the response from players will be mixed and not strictly negative. Some will say "hey, it's a gift", others will say "hey, the gear will be outdated anyway, they are right", and so they will add more and more and more. And then we will have just another game with paid items, and with another player base. And yes, that new player base will be happy to spend money in the item shop, but... I won't be in it.

      Really, this is a can of worms that is best left unopened.

    11. The reason they can not do that is personal thresholds. What is the line of where it is easier to buy than get in game?

      I do not mind spending some cash on a game I like so for me 10 bucks for BiS gear seems reasonable and I would surely buy a few pieces, at least the ones that keep me waiting, like my trinket and shoulder now.

      For someone else 10 bucks might seem like a fortune and unfair that I can buy it.

      For someone else 100 bucks would seem reasonable because they will spend anything that have to in efforts to get the best and it doesn't bother them while I would think it is unfair. Even if I can afford it I would never spend 100 on one piece of gear. I would even have reservations about spending 10.

      So any price from $1 per piece to $10 per piece to $100 per piece will bring different responses from people, there is no fair balance.

      At $1 I would say it is a joke and anyone can buy it, but to someone playing on mommys credit card and mommy will not allow them to spend more than $15 a month even $1 would seem like a million as far as they are concerned. They would hate anyone that "buys" their way to the top, even if 99 out of 100 people would probably say $1 for BiS gear is nothing. Even people against it would buy it at that price, or at least consider it.

      That is where the biggest issue is. What people perceive as a fair price. For each person it will be different.

      Remember, there are some people that quit because $15 a month is too much for the game. Imagine how they would feel if they added something else for sale.

    12. I can't argue about implementation, it doesn't exist in-game so that's too hypothetical to worry about. I understand the concern but I don't think the fact that it can be done (arguably) badly makes the idea itself a bad one. If you use that logic, that drunk driving exists and that there are bad drivers out there doesn't mean that cars shouldn't exist. Fighting a new concept because it may not be implemented perfectly is how things end up stagnant.

      Blizzard already places a value on items via the BMAH... 20K starting price for current heroic gear which is often (or was often) bid up over 100K (I've seen pieces go for over 500K... no joke). I don't know what the current $/gold conversion rate is on the market but there is one and that basically sets a dollar price for gear, even if it isn't sanctioned.

      Any price that's set will be both right and wrong... it'll be right to Blizzard (obviously) and to whatever small %age of the player base finds it appropriate and wrong to everyone else.

      Personally, I'd like to see it be random... one example: Once a week you can use a guaranteed bonus roll token that costs $10/ea and gets you a random piece of gear from a boss's loot table, basically like a current Warforged token but with a 100% chance for a drop vs 15%. I don't see that being remotely game-breaking but I do expect that the blogosphere would implode if it happened. I just don't know why the tendency is to immediately go to the worst-case scenario... Blizzard has messed up occasionally in the past but they get things right a lot more than they get it wrong, as the number of players still playing makes clear. They're very good at "good enough".

      @GE - I have zero experience with any F2P games, far as I can recall... aside from WoW I tend to play only single-player games that you buy in a box (or increasingly on Steam) and play until you stop. So I don't have any personal bias for or against F2P or P2W or in-game (or out-of-game) stores in general since I don't have any first-hand experience. I'm discussing conceptually as much as possible, not implementationally. I'm sure items in stores can be done wrong and probably has been done wrong many times but when I see uproar over something like a $75 pair of cosmetic in-game glasses (I think that was a thing a while back), I shake my head... you just don't buy it, it isn't signifying the end of the world as we know it. There needs to be perspective.

    13. When talking purely cosmetic they can put any price they want on it. It really becomes a matter of if you want it and if you can afford it.

      But it sets a standard which I think is bad. $15 per helm for cosmetic gear is already out of line and over priced but the fact that many people do not agree with me and purchased it, it has set the market. So $15 for cosmetic gear is the going price, or it sure seems like they set it up.

      If $15 for a cosmetic piece is the going price that opens the door for usable items. If something that "doesn't matter" can go for $15 then something that does, like heroic BiS gear could go for 10 times as much, 20 times as much. That would not be out of the realm of possibility. If they can get people to pay for something that has no use in game like a helm then getting them to pay for gear is a no brainer.

      So, with that said, we are talking about what "IS" coming. Not what might come or could come but what is coming.

      I just hope the pieces are not over $20 a piece because I am someone with some disposable cash and bad luck with the RNG so I know I will be tempted to buy the items sooner or later and even if they are stupidly priced like $150 I will end up buying it and in the end it will turn in into the regretful gamer.

      Side note, before I even replied to this, I came to write a post called the regretful gamer. Weird huh?

    14. Your brain works in strange and mysterious ways. ;)

      I still prefer to play the game than buying things outside of it... even if I was buying a run I'd only do it with gold, not $. Acquiring gold is one aspect of my gameplay.

      Oddly coincidental follow-up to this, I actually had a personal opportunity present itself to buy a normal Garrosh kill on the weekend... not sure of the price but it was a guild I've run with a few times over the years offering. I declined... but it was tempting and I may change my mind at some point. Now that I'm in that position it almost feels like fundraising for the guild, especially since they offered it directly... WoW equivalent of "buy my overpriced chocolate bars so we can take a Greyhound instead of a school bus to the playoffs this year."

    15. Like selling girl scout cookies as a fund raiser.

      A lot of guilds sell runs so they can but the next things that pop up on the BMAH ASAP. Not sure how it will be with no new tier coming out, but even my guild would do that. Spend guild money to buy the new "heroic" piece for one of our mains that appeared the day the new raid came out. I would not put it past a well organized group to do that.

      I will pay a group for a garrosh kill. I will pay them by being a good player, knowledgeable of the fight, and an all around asset to them getting the boss down.

      Now, ask how many guilds that have not downed him yet the value of such a player. They could not put a price tag on it.

      So, they should be paying me to be in their group. Being I am not charging them they can consider what they would have paid for my services as what I paid them by waiving my fee. ;)

    16. In some cases I'd agree with you but in this case they don't need my help to kill Garrosh.

      Trying to look at it from their perspective, they're likely having some minor attendance issues (ie. holes to fill) and are looking for a reason for their core raiders to keep raiding. Selling spots actually makes some sense. Either the market is there and they benefit or it isn't and no harm is done, it's not like I'm mentally penalizing them for making the offer.

    17. They might not "need" the help, but you are pulling your own weight. It is not like you are coming in and doing 40K and being carried. If you are doing your job just as well as they are, they have no right to charge you, you earned the right to be there.

      I agree with what you say, it makes sense to sell a spot, and I agree. Just saying I do not see paying for it on a character that can pull their own weight. My hunter, hell no, my new hunter that just hit 90, absolutely, I would buy a run. See, there is a line there.