So, an in-game store for World of Warcraft?

An idea that goes too far, some might say.

Or does it go far enough?

In the free to play games I’ve tried so far, there have been in-game stores. Each store has had some version of an item that you can buy with real money (or with tokens you buy with crystals that you get with rep you earned by spending real money on a resource pack, or something something five layers removed shady alert).

So?

So what?

Coincidentally enough, in each of those games I played a character I really liked,  in an enjoyable series of story driven quests. At least, I did until I reached a point where I had done all the quests available in my level range, and the next range of quests and associated villains were several levels higher than I was, leaving a power gap.

Well, that’s okay. It was certainly an oversight in the quest progression development process, and I’ll do what we did in vanilla WoW… grind the hell out of some mobs until high enough level to move on to Burning Steppes. Just grind that content gap away so I can move on.

Or… well, I was really enjoying that quest chain, it was fun, I’d like to get back to that. Screw it, a couple bucks for a resource pack I can trade for a few gems that are worth credits to use in the store to get +100% XP gained for an hour, that ain’t so bad. Get me past that hump and back into the questing!

Right?

Oh. Ooh, you mean the game might have been intentionally set up with gaps in content that encourage you to face the “buy XP boost consumable or grind for hours” dilemma?

Oh bullshit, that’s just cynical and paranoid. Nobody would do that. People create games for us to have fun! They don’t care if they make tons and tons of money. That’s why the game is free! because they love us gamers soooo much.

It’s because we’re so kind on game forums, so patient with bugs and release dates, so considerate and calm when describing our class balance in comparison to others in PvP. The free to play games are our reward for being so nice.

Ah, I crack myself up. Looked at that way, I’m surprised more games aren’t designed to lure you along until you’re five XP from max level, and then delete your character, cancel your account, max out your credit cards, burn down your house and punch your significant other so hard you feel it in your taint.

I guess free to play comes close enough to be allowed by law. But I digress.

Content gaps in your game? How crafty! And here I thought burying your store currency under a hundred different layers to hide how much an item really costs was the limit to shady practices.

But wait, what is this I see before me?

Is it a World of Warcraft game that has been streamlined and buffed to the point that you can damn well outlevel a zone before you finish the starter quests?

I do believe it is!

God forbid you should try to complete a leveling questline while wearing your heirloom gear. You’ll be a raid boss by the time you’re done.

But, I thought this XP boost item for an in-game store was evil and stuff? If World of Warcraft doesn’t have any big dead content gaps, what is going to be the driving force to make people choose the XP potion over grinding miserably for hours?

WHAT?

Oh, shit, that’s right.

NOTHING BUT FREE WILL, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Unless Blizzard does something truly remarkable, such as remove Heirlooms, cancel all of the accumulated accelerated XP gains that have been added over the years, or remove content from the game, this won’t do anything at all.

Nothing except give people another option besides Recruit A Friend for stupid levels of XP gain. Oh yeah, and give us all something to bitch about for the next month.

People will still buy the potions.

Yes, even with the ridiculous XP gain we already have, people will buy the potions.

Depending on how much they cost, I could even see myself buying one. Shit, why not?

No, really, why not? Sometimes, you just want to speed past that zone (Outlands) you’ve completed on 14 previous characters  and get to something else, please Elune, anything else.

Sometimes you just want to get a character to 80 in an afternoon so you can lock XP and prepare for a Herald of the Titans run. (Grats on your Herald achievement, DeGei!)

XP Potions? Meaningless in the framework of WoW. They are not a quality of life improvement, they are not a necessity, they aren’t even a gateway to break you into the habit of paying for shit. They are pure luxury, superfluous, an excuse to show off that you can afford to buy shit in game.

As if having every Collector Edition pet didn’t already do that, lol. Or are we supposed to pretend there haven’t been in-game items bought from a store before?

On that subject, am I the only player that wishes we had MORe pets in the Blizzard store that came with plush stuffed buddies for our real life adventures?

I know I for one would like a plush Cinder Kitten. Yes, yes I would. Yes, I know I already bought one for myself, and my son, and my wife. I’m sure I culd find someone in North America that could use the code while I keep the, um I mean give the plush Cinder Kitten to my son to cuddle.

There is one case where I can see this being a shadow of potential concern.

If they were building the store and the XP boost item into WoW now to get the bugs worked out in live just so they can integrate a polished store into their new Titan MMO flawlessly, and if TITAN were to incorporate the level content gaps to ‘encourage’ you to buy XP boost pots to get past a grind… well then. That would be a whole ‘nother kettle of fish entirely.

I’ll worry about a game that is four years from a release cycle some other time. I doubt it will happen, Blizzard hasn’t built their reputation on screwing customers to nickel and dime them on the backend, they prefer to take your money right out of your wallet, swift and painless once a month, regular as clockwork or a guaranteed return on your investment. With quarterly bonuses from new store items like bat mounts. Or Arena passes.

But hell, anything can happen, right?

Let’s move all past that.

Let’s talk about the true possibilities of an in-game store.

XP potions? That does not go nearly far enough, Blizzard. Oh, hell no.

No, this is World of Warcraft we’re talking about. The other MMOs can pussyfoot around the store idea, shuffling in the darkness, hoping to pry a few coppers off the unwary.

It takes Blizzard to pull out the big guns and show everyone who has the guts to make a move.

Tired of RNG in your loot rolls? How about a potion in the store that gives you a +15% chance to loot rolls for an hour? ALL loot rolls? Or +25%?

How about a potion that specifically increases the drop chance of items needed for Legendaries or for rare mounts?

Who among us hasn’t run SOMETHING week after week looking for that rare drop?

Come on, you know you have. Grinding for multiple weeks seeking a special rare drop is a WoW rite of passage, like gunters coding a classic game. Everybody has to do it at least once over a few weeks. Or months or years.

I don’t care if you ran Baron Rivendare timed runs in vanilla until your eyes bled, farmed the Fiery Warhorse in Kara until you developed a twitch, or soloed Kael’thas in the Eye seeking the Ashes of A’lar.

Maybe you got the left bindings of the Windseeker in Molten Core on your very first run, and you’ve been running it every single week for the past 6 years trying to get the other half.

You know you did it, even if only for three weeks before giving up in disgust.

Now you tell me true, and be honest with yourself.

If Blizzard added an item in the store that cost $5, and it would give you a significantly better chance at having that one damn thing drop, tell me.

TELL me you wouldn’t do it at least once on that damn white unicorn you always wanted and never, ever, ever saw drop.

Now ask yourself what if there were items to buy that gave you more bonus rolls on bosses? A consumable that acted as if you had a Mogu Rune of Fate from the weekly quest?

Oh yeah, you see where I’m going with this.

Before you bitch about a measly little XP boost potion, you need to take a step back and ask yourself how deep this rabbit hole could go.

I tell you true, the universe would hear the cries of a million whining players screaming that the game was ruined…

Oh there would be crying, and wailing, and yes even the gnashing of the little teethes, and Blizzard would quietly drag in the chips tossed by 5 million players paying to get that fucking Right Binding to drop. Garr, you little shit.

So let’s play a game, you and I.

Open up that imagination, and let’s see what plausible and yet utterly horrifying items we can come up with for a World of Warcraft in-game store.

Who knows, if we come up with something crazy but brilliant enough, it might make it’s way into the game!

27 Responses to “Store Your Anger Deep Down Inside… Ka-Ching!”
  1. DeGei says:

    How about a potion that “slides you into a side dimension” I.E. puts you in a different CRZ. Usable only in None-current expansion locations and puts you on your home realm or maybe a personal instance of the world for 30 minutes or until you change continent.

    Useful for pet hunting.

    • Barryhn says:

      that idea gets a +1 from me

      Tome of the lonely adventurer
      for 1 hour you are transported to a version of Azeroth where NOBODY ELSE EXISTS.
      an hour of peace and quiet, being able to farm materials and nodes without having to race that irritating Druid with superfast flying.
      An hour of peace and quiet where you can wander around without some a$$hole trying to duel you every fart’s end.
      An hour of peace and quiet where you can sit in the pub in goldshire without having to mentally ‘tune out’ all the ERP going on around you.

      Shit I’d pay for that. I’m kind of a misanthrope in WoW sometimes, does it show?? :P

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Oh shit, it just got real.

      Pay to play in your own personal zone? Well played.

      • Barryhn says:

        the more i think about this, the more i like it. if you’re struggling to get a pet, struggling to farm mats for an epic crafted item or something like that. An hour of time without anyone else there could be a real break.

        you’re still not guaranteed to get what you need – so it’s not Pay2Win – but it does give you a bit more advantage.

  2. Acaila says:

    I can see them releasing one for the “Valor of the ancients” buff. The buff you get when you cap out on valor for a week.

    As for “off the wall” ones:
    – Increased rare pet chance
    – More loot per farming node

  3. Barryhn says:

    I think some fun (but annoying) items could be interesting – here’s a couple

    Bag of Cat Treats
    your character is constantly followed around by a pack of cats, hoping for a taste of whatever tasty snack you apparently have in your pocket. The creatures will constantly meow, filling up chat logs on all channels with their mewling.

    pack of paid off pick pockets
    while in town, a gang of pickpockets will roam around you stealing stuff for you (grants extra gold and grey items)
    there is a chance the guards will notice and chase them away.

    hired muscle
    ever needed to get to a vendor but cant because they’re surrounded by a huge mob of people, most of whom are sitting on the largest most inconvenient mount they can find (because, you know, that’s funny right? RIGHT?).

    Well then you need to hire Fezzik the ogre strongarm (“EVERYBODY MOOOOVE!”), who will shove everyone else out of the way and keep them out of the way for 30 seconds (5 minute cooldown, once activated the item will last for 24 hours)

    • Barryhn says:

      ok one more (and i really would pay for this)

      Hired Duellist
      you have hired an expert swordsman to fight duels for you, he is a raid level boss and will pretty much 1 shot everyone.

      (i have issues with people thinking it’s ok to endlessly try to force me to duel, i have an addon that auto reefuses duels and sends a polite message to the challenger, but some people just keep trying it on, and bitching at me because i refuse to duel them. I would love to be able to pull something like this out and just watch these idiots get pummelled)

  4. Jac says:

    Scroll of Silence
    -Mutes a player on all chat/instance channels for 10 mins. Consumed on use.

    Portal of the Overworked Mage
    -On use, sends user to a location clicked on the world map. 1 day CD.

    Book of Disclosure
    -Will automatically call out the name of the party who pulled the boss.

    Paddle of Shame
    -on use, will show an animation of the user wielding a huge paddle to spank the targeted player. If the targeted player has been AFK for more than 1 minute, he is automatically booted out of the raid.

  5. BlackDragon says:

    Utterly horrifying? I am ashamed to confess this – but BBB, I cannot do “utterly horrifying” even to save my own hide.

    What I can do is these though:-

    1) Scroll of Amazing Loot – 1 charge. Grants the ability to select any piece of loot from the loot table of a boss you kill within the next hour (regardless if it’s a LFR, normal, heroic dungeon/raid/world). To elaborate – 1 scroll grants 1 loot (selectable off the boss’s loot table) and expires after use. Hence to get 5 items you would need 5 scrolls.

    2) Potion of Amazing Talent – Unlimited charge. 24 hours cooldown. Each swig of the potion increases the user’s profession skill by 5. Potion exists for all primary and secondary professions (would use this to level Archaeology on all my lvl 90s hyukhyukhyuk).

  6. Aralosseien says:

    Scouting probes that you could ping to a chain of locations, a bit like scouting in Starcraft. Set them along the path of rare spawns and carry on with your day while they hunted, then get an alert and a flagged location on your minimap to show any findings.

  7. Celendus says:

    Creating loot tokens Battlefield Barrens style, except they’re higher ilevel than the new LFR, then offering Radical Mojo for the low low price of $3.99. On the one hand, I’d never have to do LFR again! On the other hand, I’d better be ready to fork over $50 or I’m letting my progression raid team down. Gotta use that social pressure for maximum evil.

  8. Kemonojin says:

    I’d definitely pay 10-20$ for ‘permanent Burning Seed’… and I’d love a cinder kitten plushie too. I’ve got the Windrider. (The alliance chicken is just a little too ’60’s creepy big eyed kids’ for me. Plus, gryphons are boring.)

    If it was cheap enough, I might buy one of the XP boost potions… I tend to get stuck on new characters in the levels 50-60 and ‘all of Outland’. I’ve got 8 90s and an 86, I really don’t want to see that again…

    There does already exist in the game a ‘100% XP for one hour’ potion; it’s a BoA from Krol the Blade, but it stops at level 85. I hit 86 on my warlock, got bored, switched to the druid, NPCScan saw Krol, epic firekitteh beatdown, “Have a potion of laugh in your face!”

  9. alburet says:

    Rep Badges: For the low prices of $10 get the next rep level with any faction.

    Boggle cap: Single use item for $2.50, mind control any raid member for 5 mins or until death.

  10. Kamalia says:

    I would buy a plushie Cinder Kitten! A plushie whelpling, moonkin hatchling, or hippogryph hatchling would be darling, too.

    As far as in-game store items go, an item that allows you to choose which boss(es) you get from a variable boss encounter such as the Karazhan Opera would be pretty nifty. I’ve been farming the Opera for an item that drops from Romulo & Julianne, and if I could guarantee that I’d get them and not Oz or Big Bad Wolf every week… yeah, I just might pay for that.
    An item that lets a max-level character bypass the once-a-day lockout system for Heroics from past expansions might be worth paying for, too — the item should let you run a given Heroic five times in a day, similar to how you can run five Normals within an hour before you hit the “you have entered too many instances recently” wall.

    • Kamalia says:

      I’d also like some kind of consumable that would let you track the locations of Dark Soil — but I’m not sure that I’d be willing to pay real money for it. Justice Points, perhaps, but not real money.

  11. Iocane says:

    I have a horrible image of them adding an item named something like “Potion of Tongues” or “Scroll of Babble,” which would let you communicate with the opposite faction for a limited time. Yes, it could awesome, but you know most people would use it to rage after some pvp has gone down.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Congratulations, that is both plausible and utterly horrible in it’s implications.

  12. R says:

    I’ve already posted about some of these on another blog so I’m mostly only stealing from myself:
    * discount off your next BMAH purchase (takes 24 hours to kick in after purchase)
    * in-game gold allowance ($5 for 10K, for instance)
    * unlimited ignore list (with an “Everyone in this f’n LFR run” button)
    * unlimited friends list
    * CRZ opt-out
    * Virtual Realm opt-out (NYI)
    * real money for one of those BMAH unclaimed item random thingies that can’t actually be worth 60K (or 6K) but apparently are to some dummies out there
    * tri-spec / quad-spec (I did steal this one)
    * 50 toons per server
    * VIRTUAL Virtual Server (you can VS the servers your own toons are on, specifically to you, for cross-server mail, combined AHs/BMAHs, etc)
    * cross-server BoA
    * cross-faction non-random grouping
    * XP boost
    * RNG boost
    * disable PvP entirely (you can’t fight players and cannot become flagged but can’t enter hostile-only PvP areas; non-PvP servers only, of course)
    * Soulbound item unbinding (one-off, you buy an on-use item that can unbind one Soulbound item; perhaps make the item BoA until next equipped)
    * faster mount movement
    * dark/offline mode for Battletags/Battle.net

    None of those are particularly evil but I’ll make up for that here:

    * Raid lockout reset

    I love the ideas above for an instanced server just for you and the loot scroll (although I’d redesign it a bit, if you win loot you can use the scroll to get a random other item off the loot table instead… so, wouldn’t impact whether you get something but would give you a 2nd shot to get what you actually want if something else drops).

  13. Rauxis says:

    *lines up to buy tri specc*

    everyone has a price ….. let’s see how many tastes Blizz can satisfy

    and I’d like to remove the “works only in zone XYZ” limitations of fun items like the furbolg wand and wolf fur

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

  14. granolin says:

    I’d pay lots for a plushie of my druid’s bear form… actually a few of them, to give to my raid buddies as an eternal reminder of our raid time together :)
    Oh, and armor for it, too!

  15. Symbiode says:

    I was thinking BBB was reading my mind about Garr and the Right Binding, then I ran my weekly Molten Core a few minutes ago. The Right Bindings dropped, less than an hour after reading this post. Coincidence…? Yes.

    P.S. Please post about Warlock buffs and me winning the lottery tomorrow.

  16. Kittish says:

    How about an item that starts a quest chain that lets you change faction WITHOUT changing your character in any way? Alliance side trolls…. Horde aligned dranei…. Make it an epic quest line that takes, at a minimum, days to complete, then you have to start from unfriendly with all the reps of your new allies. Not something to be lightly undertaken.

    And yes, I think I would have to go for a cinder kitten plushie. They are cute lil buggers.

  17. [...] BBB and commenters, I, too, would love a Cinder Kitten plushie, an RNG boost, tri-spec, a way to make a soulbound item [...]

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