Stolen Pixels #187: Operators Are Standing By

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Stolen Pixels #187: Operators Are Standing By

Shamus takes Blizzard's World of Warcraft Magic Space Pony to its logical conclusion.

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Hahaha.

I'd totally buy that.

Sure give them more stupid ideas

Satire at its finest

there are probably people out there who would cough up the 800$ for that character :P

I don't know if this is really funny or really sad. I expect it's a bit of both.

Aptspire:
there are probably people out there who would cough up the 800$ for that character :P

Why struggle at something when a downpayment allows you to achieve without all that hard work?

Honest corruption. Who'd have thought?

This was my reaction to it. I mean, the steed looks like the coolest mount, so why would they make it a buy item? It's just letting people buy prestiege.

The mount only takes out the "mount" part. One of each rank comes to... 261 gold before Reputation discounts. You still have to buy the training, which ammounts to 5260 gold before rep. There really isn't much that's been removed from the game...

Also, it can't carry passengers, and doesn't have vendors. They'll set you back another 8k minimum (I'm shooting for the 12k. It's roughly the middle). Still loads to do :)

EDIT - 5260 gold is actually wrong. There's another 1000 gold if you want to use that sparkly flying mount in Northrend, and that doesn't suffer from the indignities of "discounts".

Oh man, I've gotta get one of these for every last class! While I'm at it, why not every last class/race combination? I'd better start grinding more hours at work!

But first... -shells out first $800-

Aptspire:
there are probably people out there who would cough up the 800$ for that character :P

WoW's been open for over 5 years right? $15/month x 12 months/year x 5 years = $900
Some people have already paid for it.

does it really matter in the end? no, it doesn't matter. Why, you may ask? people buy gold from third-party sites anyway, so Blizz is cutting out those idiots and making the money themselves. It is a pretty good investment on their part. Would I buy it? nope, I would not buy it. To me, it's a waste of money (and My account has been dead for 3 months, so I couldn't care less anyway), but to others, it is not. Honestly, Blizz is in the right doing this, as it cuts out gold farmers a little bit, and that's aces in my book

I've been seeing a lot of these in my realm lately. I just shrug and bust out my Netherwing drake. I think mine looks better anyway. :p

Another thing to note: the celestial steed doesn't hand players the best mount in the game for $25. If you want that sucker to increase your speed by 310%, you have to actually earn a 310% mount.

Trust me, this is NOT going to stop people from collecting mounts. Mounts are the cheaper part anyway. The big cost is in the training.

I think Sparky the Wonderhorse is a great name for it. Also unless something changed since the last time I hit azeroth (about 6 months before lich king came out) the mounts themselves were cheap but the training was expensive. And the purchased mount doesn't get 310% until you earn another one of those so it doesn't provide any gameplay advantage.

Spectere:
I've been seeing a lot of these in my realm lately. I just shrug and bust out my Netherwing drake. I think mine looks better anyway. :p

Another thing to note: the celestial steed doesn't hand players the best mount in the game for $25. If you want that sucker to increase your speed by 310%, you have to actually earn a 310% mount.

Funny, I like to do the same thing to. Even though I got my Netherwing at level 80 (I started it at level 70 and then forgot about it), it still feels like an accomplishment. Especially the race. Damn, that race was annoying!

Alar:
Oh man, I've gotta get one of these for every last class! While I'm at it, why not every last class/race combination? I'd better start grinding more hours at work!

But first... -shells out first $800-

The bought mount works account-wide.

Chipperz:
The mount only takes out the "mount" part. One of each rank comes to... 261 gold before Reputation discounts. You still have to buy the training, which ammounts to 5260 gold before rep. There really isn't much that's been removed from the game...

Also, it can't carry passengers, and doesn't have vendors. They'll set you back another 8k minimum (I'm shooting for the 12k. It's roughly the middle). Still loads to do :)

EDIT - 5260 gold is actually wrong. There's another 1000 gold if you want to use that sparkly flying mount in Northrend, and that doesn't suffer from the indignities of "discounts".

This is truth. So no, Blizzard is not taking anything from the game by adding this. All they do is give the players who want it a pwetty horse and make a buck while at it.

So while the post is funny (somewhat), your facts are off. As much as some people seem to like to accuse them of, the guys at Bliz are not selling out their game to buy a few mid-sized countries.

ramox:

Alar:
Oh man, I've gotta get one of these for every last class! While I'm at it, why not every last class/race combination? I'd better start grinding more hours at work!

But first... -shells out first $800-

The bought mount works account-wide.

I was referring to the "Retirement-Ready" Character in the comic strip. :D

Actually, I'm absolutely sure something like this will be released by Blizzard one day.

I get the joke, its funny and well-written. Trouble is, it would also be the cheapest possible way to "max out" a character. I mean I don't see the "fun" in attempting to achieve anything in that game, every achievement is either hollowed out down the road when they make it easier for the next guy who does it, or turned obsolete when new content hits, or just plained nerfed because it was overly powerful. It's like every time you take a shot, somebody is moving the goalposts.

It's hard to believe that the world's most popular "persistent" game is actually its most transient.

I suppose it IS a cheap way to get around a little faster for more casual players. I once heard WoW described as the world's most elaborate chatroom. The "game" was completely secondary. I like that idea, but I think paying for social interaction is pretty sad. After all, no matter what the bogus stereotypes out there say, even the most hardcore WoW players know real people. Their time usually costs little more than a bit of etiquette.

DISCLAIMER : The previous comments are the opinion of someone who took one Alliance character to Level 30 in 2005. His opinion should not be regarded as fact, or as ultimate truth and wisdom. Some (Read: A whole boatload of) people like the game, or it wouldn't make a hundred million dollars a month. If it bothers you that I really hate it, you should bolster your self-esteem before attempting to read things on the internet.

Spectere:
I've been seeing a lot of these in my realm lately. I just shrug and bust out my Netherwing drake. I think mine looks better anyway. :p

Another thing to note: the celestial steed doesn't hand players the best mount in the game for $25. If you want that sucker to increase your speed by 310%, you have to actually earn a 310% mount.

Which is still on my to-do list :( Sadly, I'm rubbish at PvP, so getting into the top 2% of worldwide arena teams is right out :P

Also, Netherdrake riders unite! I'm still considering getting this beauty. It'd suit my Paladin really well :)

The scary thing is if I didn't know the source, I would think this was real.
Does that say more about Blizzard and it's customers, or me?

Alar:

ramox:

Alar:
Oh man, I've gotta get one of these for every last class! While I'm at it, why not every last class/race combination? I'd better start grinding more hours at work!

But first... -shells out first $800-

The bought mount works account-wide.

I was referring to the "Retirement-Ready" Character in the comic strip. :D

Right...uhm...i knew that, yeah...
Oh! Look over there! A fyling cat with lazer-eyes! ...

I am sure there would be people out there who would do that as well...which is really sad thing

Chipperz:
The mount only takes out the "mount" part. One of each rank comes to... 261 gold before Reputation discounts. You still have to buy the training, which ammounts to 5260 gold before rep. There really isn't much that's been removed from the game...

Also, it can't carry passengers, and doesn't have vendors. They'll set you back another 8k minimum (I'm shooting for the 12k. It's roughly the middle). Still loads to do :)

EDIT - 5260 gold is actually wrong. There's another 1000 gold if you want to use that sparkly flying mount in Northrend, and that doesn't suffer from the indignities of "discounts".

At 3.2, at least:
Total mounts: 161g
Total training (including cold weather): 6304g
Total training (including cold weather)(exalted): 5243g20s
http://www.wowwiki.com/Mount

Soo... $25 for a mount even if you have 50 characters, that's 8050g saved. Not even two exalted training's worth.

You can make the gold for the mounts easy, so it is really just as much a vanity thing as the pets that they've been selling for a few months now... but apparently mounts are worth making a stink about?

I can see some people's point if the $25 paid for training as well.

Anyway, doesn't hurt me if other people buy it.

The mount-bought-for-money question has been poked at a lot. Really? It's absurd.
- The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy.
- All the "free to play" MMO games out there do this in spades, and actually give real game-mechanics advantages to people with purchased options. This gives something which could be achieved in game, with a different skin on it.
- Once you buy the celestial steed, you can still go get any other mount, so for people who like lots of different mounts (or to seek out pretty/interesting ones), it's just one more option.
- You still have to buy the riding skill training (which is the expensive part of buying faster riding).

I could probably do quite a few more point-by-point arguments either in favor of the business practice or against the derision thrown at this announcement, but instead I'll present just one gameplay point in favor of it: buying the celestial steed gives you the option to control the kind of play you want. It's a step towards removing grinding time (experiencing those parts of the game you don't enjoy) to skip right to the "play" (the parts you do enjoy). So, cheap laughs at Blizzard's expense (it's okay, they can afford them) aside, I never saw this as anything but a good move.

Yeah, they charge a little extra for the convenience - just like they do if you realize you want to change your character's name, realm of residence, faction, race, skin color, or if you want to pay for the game one month at a time instead of six. They are a for-profit corporation, and this is their bread and butter.

Sparkly The Wonderhorse is cool and everything, but does owning it rid you of the need of ever acquiring any other mounts, ever? That would be 80,000 people who would never have to quest or save in-game money for a mount for any character they own, ever. That would remove one of the larger money sinks in the game and make a good number of quests obsolete. That doesn't sound like a Blizzard kind of thing to do. My account lapsed ages ago, so I'll leave it to the rest of you to explain how this is supposed to work.

Mount cost consists of two components, training and the actual mount. It used to be that training was cheap and mounts were expensive, but a while ago they changed it so that training is expensive and mounts are cheap, so the money sink hasn't gone anywhere.

$800!?! Jesus Christ.....

Shamus just found the way to retire at 40.

Shamus, I love you.

I never really thought about their money situation. You'd think with a bank role like that, they'd be able to push out a game a year. Hell, they could even make Starcraft 2 one game. Even if you assume their only (half the number of subscribers paying) getting $50 million a month they are still raking in over $600 million a year. That's pretty damn good all things considered. No wonder they keep popping out "world changing" expansions.

ahem, aren`t little girls suppossed to grow out of sparkle ponies before a certain age...

Okay, I still have my beloved sparkle ponies sitting on my desk and sparkle ponies are awesome, but for 800 bucks you could probably by an old second hand pony and then cover it in glitter glue

Or pay for some horse riding lessons.

The whole thing is a combination of cutthroat greedy capitalism and innocent childhold nostalgia. So brilliantly evil.

Alar:

Spectere:
I've been seeing a lot of these in my realm lately. I just shrug and bust out my Netherwing drake. I think mine looks better anyway. :p

Funny, I like to do the same thing to. Even though I got my Netherwing at level 80 (I started it at level 70 and then forgot about it), it still feels like an accomplishment. Especially the race. Damn, that race was annoying!

I didn't even finish all of the races. I was on the second to last one and I'd inevitably get hit by a lag spike and get knocked off my mount. I'll have to give it another go when I go for the Outland Loremaster achievement.

Chipperz:

Which is still on my to-do list :( Sadly, I'm rubbish at PvP, so getting into the top 2% of worldwide arena teams is right out :P

Well, getting all of the heroic WotLK dungeon achievements is always an option. Ugh.

Chipperz:

I'm still considering getting this beauty. It'd suit my Paladin really well :)

See, that's another problem. My main is a big, hulking Tauren Death Knight (Shanoe, US Stormrage). It's bad enough that one of his professions is herbalism, the last thing I need is for him to have a glittery mount. ;)

Oh god, Shamus, what have you unleashed on these forums?!

Anyways, you're settling for too little. A level 80 character with good equipment can easily go for a thousand dollars, so you could easily get away with $1500 is you're going to include all the achievements.

Awesome comic.

Considering that Anshe Chung made $1 million selling imaginary real estate in Second Life, I suspect Blizzard will soon utilize Shamus' idea and buy a /real/ country with the profits :-P

I mean seriously... it's imaginary crap. WTF?!

ramox:

Alar:

ramox:

Alar:
Oh man, I've gotta get one of these for every last class! While I'm at it, why not every last class/race combination? I'd better start grinding more hours at work!

But first... -shells out first $800-

The bought mount works account-wide.

I was referring to the "Retirement-Ready" Character in the comic strip. :D

Right...uhm...i knew that, yeah...
Oh! Look over there! A fyling cat with lazer-eyes! ...

dude, in awkward moments always call out the dancing walrus....

OT: or, you could always pay $50 and get a power level'er to do your character.

Otterpoet:
Considering that Anshe Chung made $1 million selling imaginary real estate in Second Life, I suspect Blizzard will soon utilize Shamus' idea and buy a /real/ country with the profits :-P

I mean seriously... it's imaginary crap. WTF?!

Eh. It's $25. I spend that on food at McD's for a family of 5.

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