Tobold's Blog
Sunday, June 21, 2015

Every MMORPG has a lot of content that requires mostly time, and not much skill. While a game like World of Warcraft might use words like "epic" or "achievement", fact is that the achievement often isn't all that great, nor is the reward all that epic. However some of those achievements can serve some useful purpose as a milestone. In a game without end it can be useful to get a signal that you have finished some chapter.

It is with that in mind that I am happy to report that I have done all the pre-patch achievements and tasks necessary to acquire flying in Draenor. I'll just need to do the reputation grind in Tanaan Jungle once it opens. While of course I am interested in being able to fly, I also think this is a good milestone for this particular expansion. It tells me that I have done all the significant solo content of the expansion. That is more than I can say of some previous expansions, although those didn't necessarily contain an equivalent milestone.

On the other side of the coin this milestone means that there isn't much left pre-patch that I am still interested in. And I assume I'll cover the post-patch new content in something like a month. However, where I was previously always thinking "why should I spend a monthly subscription on a game where I don't play much any more?", the introduction of the WoW Token changes that part of the equation. I'm much more willing to continue playing occasionally and paying with in-game currency of which I have tons of, than to pay with real money. There is less of a feeling of obligation to play when I didn't pay real money for the subscription. So I'll see how that works out for the rest of the year, and presumably most of next year, before we get the next expansion.

It's funny that WoW has gone free-to-play if you're the sort that makes lots of gold from your preferred activities. I can buy over a year's worth of tokens just from money my characters have lying around. I don't think of myself as even working that hard to earn gold but obviously I must engage in that sort of gameplay particularly focusing on it.

I wonder how they'll report subscriber numbers if some sizable number are playing for free.
"I don't think of myself as even working that hard to earn gold but obviously I must engage in that sort of gameplay particularly focusing on it"

I am actually convinced that nearly all max level players have a gold income of 20k+ per month. With all the things like quests and follower missions just throwing gold at you for stuff players are already doing, how could you not make that much?

The difference is players who find a way to blow all that gold and more. Think about how terrible with money people are in general. They have no concept of budgeting or saving, if they have cash in hand they find a way to spend it immediately. Those behaviors are worse in a virtual environment with virtual money.

And so at the end of the month, people like you and I have another 20k gold (or more) added to our pile, even if we don't try at all. Meanwhile, a great many players have nothing left to add to their non-existent pile.
Well Samus, why would I want to be budget conscious in my fantasy world? I mean, what is the point of having more money than you can spend in the game? You don't have to plan for retirement in Azeroth, and whatever you save will be rendered meaningless by the massive inflation. I guess it makes some sense NOW, but at $1 per hour in cash remuneration, I still would have no interest in selling gold for game time if I was playing.

But anyway, at least when I was in, trying to be a hardcore raider with two toons + elite PVP guy x2 + guild officer tended to make it a little rough to accumulate large amounts of cash. Wouldn't say I was broke, but I doubt I ever had the inflation adjusted equivalent to 20 or 40 grand at one time in my whole career, unless it was to buy my flying mount or some big purchase like that. When I stepped down to just doing pvp with one toon, cash was a lot less of an issue, though I was hardly rolling in it since I specifically just stopped playing once I had enough cash to finance my activities.

Point being that there are plenty of perfectly rational reasons why a player wouldn't have lots of gold. Frankly, I think having that much lying around is a lot weirder than being broke. That indicates a lot of just puttering around doing mindless tasks to me, but whatever. It's all total crap in the end.
I wonder how they'll report subscriber numbers if some sizable number are playing for free.

I remember them reporting something of the kind that the token effect was minimal... whatever that means.

I wonder how they'll report subscriber numbers if some sizable number are playing for free.

Remember that someone is still paying for that "month" of game time, at even higher price.

I can somewhat see your point for PvPers. The way to progress in PvP is basically just to do more PvP, which doesn't make gold in itself. I could point to follower missions, which are so quick and easy they are closer to $10-20 per hour in gold income, and can easily get you $20k per month by itself. But that requires logging in twice a day, every day, for the entire month. Then again, you can do it while waiting in the queue, so how often do you log in? You can't at least pull in 10k a month?

Mostly, I was talking about raiders (or non-raid PvE as well, really). Things like the follower missions are stuff you already have to do just for the gear. There is no gold per hour calculation with that, because you are already doing it. You already get all that gold, no extra effort involved.

This is what I'm talking about. You don't have to play the market, or farm old raids, or whatever other gold making activity. Aside from raiding and PvP, everything you do already gives you gold just by doing it, without even trying.

Maybe a PvPer who does absolutely nothing else and hates follower missions would not wind up with a gold income. But a raider, or any other type of PvEer is required to do enough extra stuff that he simply winds up with a gold income of 20k+ per month. Unless he spends it all on stuff he doesn't need.
I haven't played in years, but I'm pretty sure I could find a way to spend it all. God knows what top level enchants are going for these days. I'm just making the point that there are rational reasons for not being loaded, aside from being bad with money. Like a rational resolution to only do activities that the player actually enjoys while playing an entertainment product.
I'm level 100 with no alts and I get, at best, 10k a month. No free wow for me!
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