Tobold's Blog
Friday, December 12, 2008
 
At Blizzard even the microtransactions are bigger

So with everyone launching itself into microtransactions this week, Blizzard decided to join. Only there is just one thing on the menu, and it isn't all that cheap: You can buy a complete character customization, including name and gender change, for $15. You can't change race or class. And you don't even get any hairstyles that aren't available to everybody else at character creation. Well, at least this is the safe option: Nobody gets an advantage by paying extra money, this is purely a service for people who aren't satisfied with some aspect of their existing character.
Comments:
This doesn't bother me in the least. I've known people who have deleted lvl 60 toons (back in the day) when they wanted to change their name, and the only way to do that was to start a new toon with the new name and grind out 60 more levels. To me insane, but whatever. SO 15 bucks vs 10 or whatever days in real time. Whats the bargain there.


and for a bit of fun:
Just gonna have a bit of chaos when someone shows up with a new name, starts talking to people in guild like he knows them (and does) and people are like " Who the f#%@ is this guy?" Or the guy who wont talk on vent cuz he rolled a female NE ad doesnt want anybody to know suddely shows up as a dude.
 
I really, really wish they let you change race. I understand the technical issues; it's not just a cosmetic thing, there's different levels of reputation, certain quests' availability are race-specific, etc. Even so, it's pretty much the one thing that would actually have made the cost worth it, and it stings more since face/skin selection is something that should have been put in with the barber shop.

Not that Blizzard won't make thousands from this, of course, and having the option is at least better than not having the option, but it's still aggrivating. Or maybe I'm just bitter I can't make my hunter a Dwarf.
 
My guess is that Blizzard will offer something like UO offered later in its product cycle: jump started characters, leveled to lets say 55, decked in greens and with 100 gold in the bank. Of course they will deny it now (just like pve to pvp transfers were 'out of the question' not so long ago), but it will be necessary to make starting an alt viable and attracting new blood to a matured game world.
 
I didn't dare hope for such a feature, for almost 3 years I've been playing a character that looks like she's had her face stuck in a blender (I blame the lighting at the character creation screen, she looked good there), and I really really really want to get that fixed. I can't wait until it's released in Europe as well so I can pay Blizzard to do some voodoo magic on my main.
 
Some very happy players in my current guild. It was surprising how many players rolled BE female alts that somehow became raiding mains. Not even sure why one female guild member chose a male troll priest but now after 3 years she was able to correct that.

I wish Blizzard would put up numbers for things like character xfers and this new option. I really wonder how much money they making off of these.
 
At $15 it isn't really a microtransaction, any more than a paid server transfer is at $25. Check the Wikipedia article on micropayment.
 
I don't think this is a micro-transaction. The point of micro-transactions is to offer things at a negligible cost, and then make it up on volume. If anything, this is the opposite. It's a service that is priced fairly high in order to restrict demand.
 
No, it isn't a micro-transaction. That was just a bad joke of the "world's biggest dwarf" kind.
 
In some ways, I'm glad that this is a $15 bundled feature instead of a bunch of small $2-3 purchases. Or perhaps it was decided as more profitable than the other way. Regardless, this is going to be viewed as an industry leader exploring or even embracing micro-transactions.

Competitors are either going to jump all over this, or use it as a point of comparison/competition.
 
Too many acronym...what is RTM and now Micro Transaction. My acro link is not being very helpful http://www.mmoglossary.com/mmorpg_terms/1/index.html
 
Anonymous 2nd poster says:

"Even so, [race selection is] pretty much the one thing that would actually have made the cost worth it, and it stings more since face/skin selection is something that should have been put in with the barber shop."

I don't know when's the last time you've been to a barber shop, but I changed my undead priest's scarred, distorted face to something a little more "clean" at the barber in Dalaran the other day. It drove the cost of my haircut up to about 12G, not a big deal at all.

The character customization is still somewhat intriguing... I might send my male tauren warrior under the knife for a sex change at some point. Especially if I ever decide to take him from level 50 to 80 - it would be nice to see more of the 10% of the screen currently occupied by his fat rear end. *shrug*
 
My nephews are excited. Trying to keep the lights on for playing WOW we started swapping characters over a year ago. It was good enough at the time but they never did like playing as the females my daughters and I had created. They've each adopted as a main a character that had been a main of mine at some point or another and are females.
 
This is definately not a Microtransaction. A 15$ fee to change your looks in a game is ultimately one of the best things Blizzard has considered. Being able to change something you regret is a big plus for someone who has leveled a bit before deciding they just can't stand looking at "themselves".

A member of our raid "recustomized" last night though. It does take a bit of getting used to when Sam becomes Pam.
 
Who really cares?????
 
Definitely a good thing... but they opened Pandora's Box. Stay tuned for more.
 
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