"Paid Character Customization" Coming To World Of Warcraft

"Paid Character Customization" Coming To World Of Warcraft

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Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo 3 will not have any multiplayer subscription fees, but it looks like there will be some new, optional fees coming in the future to World of Warcraft.

Blizzard has reportedly been looking at ways to monetize its popular Battle.net online gaming service, according to a report by Warcry, but Diablo 3 Lead Designer Jay Wilson said that while the company had not yet decided on how to approach the matter, charging for multiplayer D3 action was definitely not going to happen. Whether other, presumably optional fees will be available to players remains undetermined.

It seems like a good possibility, though, as World of Warcraft Production Director J. Allen Brack said the MMOG would "eventually" incorporate some kind of paid character customization options. Brack was responding, hesitantly at first, to questions about a "Paid Character Customization" button found in the data files of the Wrath of the Lich King beta. It's a bit of a surprise maneuver from one of the only companies to find unmitigated success in the MMOG arena, particularly given that microtransactions, while a staple of many Asian MMOGs, have never really caught on in North America.

It's obviously way too early for informed opinions, but wild speculation is always on the menu. So what do you think, WoW players? Does this sound like something you'd pay for?

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Depends on the level of customization I suppose. Can I change race / faction? I'm not going to pay real money for my character's haircut.

Maybe we can add limbs!

Maybe we can become full blown undead/demons/beasts/elementals!

Maybe we can grow wings and no longer need a flying mount!

Maybe we can craft custom weapons(naming and all)!

That speculation wild enough for ya?

As the author of said report, I'd like to chime in with my own thoughts.

I've seen some concern around the interweb regarding this, and while I think it's partially justified - if Blizzard started making the best loot in the game available for purchase, that'd kind of suck - I think that reports of the sky suddenly falling are blowing this way out of proportion. Hell, one could argue that in a way they already *have* paid character customization as a feature, what with loot cards from the TCG and stuff like special in-game items for attending WWI/Blizzcon (or even just ordering the PPV this year).

Since those are all entirely cosmetic, I'm willing to bet that this will end up being the same thing. If you REALLY want a special, cool-looking mount or something, you shell out the $5 (or whatever) for it. It doesn't go any faster than other mounts, you don't get any in-game advantages, but you feel a bit more unique.

As long as they still keep putting out major content patches for free (minus the subscription fee), I really don't see a problem with this at all.

Anyway, like I told Malygris here, the highlight of said conference for me was the pseudo-confirmation of Warcraft 4 :P But that's just me.

WolfBane31f:
Depends on the level of customization I suppose. Can I change race / faction? I'm not going to pay real money for my character's haircut.

And you won't have to. The barbershops coming in 3.0 cost regular vanilla Azerothian gold to customize hairstyle/color/misc (you know, that one 'accessory' option that all the races have). This will likely be above and beyond even that.

Maybe they'll implement special pay-only hairstyles that are *really cool*, but I doubt it :P

They've been awed by the great success of Flagship Studios XD

i supose this could work, i mean people will pay for it, and maybe, just maybe, it will be worth it...not somethin i would consider unless it was really awesum tho...

but i no lots of people who have paid upwards of 100 from changing their name on Xbox Live...so im sure someone will pay for this...

I think it would be cool if it were a faction change. I mean, a Night Elf and Blood Elf fighting side by side? Pretty sweet.

Or maybe it's an armor coloring thing? Or an armor model choosing? Like, I want this bad-ass shoulder armor I have to look like this OTHER set of bad-ass should armor...but keep the stats.

Diablo 3 Lead Designer Jay Wilson said that while the company had not yet decided on how to approach the matter, charging for multiplayer D3 action was definitely not going to happen.

Good news to hear. Now the speculation and misinformation as far as that was concerned can be put to rest.
Micro-transactions aren't a bad idea, but if companies want them to really take off they kinda need to make sure they're selling things we actually want and aren't used to getting for free in the past.
-insert obligatory *point and laugh* for anyone who bought COD4's map pack on XBL here-

Baby Tea:
Or maybe it's an armor coloring thing? Or an armor model choosing? Like, I want this bad-ass shoulder armor I have to look like this OTHER set of bad-ass should armor...but keep the stats.

LOTRO has a very nice solution to this. For each character you have your main set of equipment, but then two additional, selectable 'outfit' sets (represented as tabs on the equip paperdoll). You can then drop different pieces of equipment into the outfit, and it remembers and displays that model/color without actually equipping the item. There are also cosmetic-only items that can only be equipped into outfits.

It's really an excellent solution to visual customization in item-centric MMOs, and I'd be surprised if more games didn't start adopting the same sort of functionality.

Virgil:

Baby Tea:
Or maybe it's an armor coloring thing? Or an armor model choosing? Like, I want this bad-ass shoulder armor I have to look like this OTHER set of bad-ass should armor...but keep the stats.

LOTRO has a very nice solution to this. For each character you have your main set of equipment, but then two additional, selectable 'outfit' sets (represented as tabs on the equip paperdoll). You can then drop different pieces of equipment into the outfit, and it remembers and displays that model/color without actually equipping the item. There are also cosmetic-only items that can only be equipped into outfits.

It's really an excellent solution to visual customization in item-centric MMOs, and I'd be surprised if more games didn't start adopting the same sort of functionality.

Man I wish they did have that in more games! Let's be honest, just because something has awesome stats, doesn't mean that it looks the best (to your tastes at least). The ability to mix it out a little bit would make every character that much more unique, rather then another character running around in tier *Whatever number inserted here* gear. NWN did it with it's HotU expansion, more games need it!

It's not something I would personally pay for, but I can understand Blizzard asking for an additional fee for such a service.

While it strikes me as somewhat out-of-character for Blizzard, they've never turned profit (purchases from internal advertising not withstanding) on Battle.net, so I guess you have to make up the money somewhere.

Until recently I probably would've said that not many would pay for such a service, but after reading the article about the user with 36 WoW accounts, not much would surprise me.

People go fucking CRAZY over avatar customization, if you don't believe me go to Gaiaonline and you'll see.

Baby Tea:

Virgil:

Baby Tea:
Or maybe it's an armor coloring thing? Or an armor model choosing? Like, I want this bad-ass shoulder armor I have to look like this OTHER set of bad-ass should armor...but keep the stats.

LOTRO has a very nice solution to this. For each character you have your main set of equipment, but then two additional, selectable 'outfit' sets (represented as tabs on the equip paperdoll). You can then drop different pieces of equipment into the outfit, and it remembers and displays that model/color without actually equipping the item. There are also cosmetic-only items that can only be equipped into outfits.

It's really an excellent solution to visual customization in item-centric MMOs, and I'd be surprised if more games didn't start adopting the same sort of functionality.

Man I wish they did have that in more games! Let's be honest, just because something has awesome stats, doesn't mean that it looks the best (to your tastes at least). The ability to mix it out a little bit would make every character that much more unique, rather then another character running around in tier *Whatever number inserted here* gear. NWN did it with it's HotU expansion, more games need it!

It'd also be a Druid's wet dream. Being able to swap entire armor sets on the fly? I would have loved to have something like that back when I played WoW. Having to swap it all by hand got pretty damn annoying.
Assuming, of course, that I understood that feature from LoTRO correctly.

Nah. In LotRO, you only get to use one set of gear (As far as stats and the like go) at once, but you have an entirely separate "appearance" set (two, actually) that you can wear, just for the whole visual thing - while still getting the stats from your "real" set.

Will we be able to buy polygons?

I don't like any of this pay stuff at all really. At least with the TCG you can get some use playing with the cards. But, this, and the splitting of Starcraft 3 into well...three. This doesn't have anything to do with that damn merger does it? It's synergy I tell you! Damn brainsuckers!

GothmogII:
I don't like any of this pay stuff at all really. At least with the TCG you can get some use playing with the cards. But, this, and the splitting of Starcraft 3 into well...three. This doesn't have anything to do with that damn merger does it? It's synergy I tell you! Damn brainsuckers!

Starcraft 3?

WTFHAX? Is you from the future?

On the subject matter, it's not exactly a dumb idea. Blizzard knows people will pay for it.

Aries_Split:

GothmogII:
I don't like any of this pay stuff at all really. At least with the TCG you can get some use playing with the cards. But, this, and the splitting of Starcraft 3 into well...three. This doesn't have anything to do with that damn merger does it? It's synergy I tell you! Damn brainsuckers!

Starcraft 3?

WTFHAX? Is you from the future?

On the subject matter, it's not exactly a dumb idea. Blizzard knows people will pay for it.

True. But, that doesn't make a -nice- idea. Even if it is evilly smart.

As for the 3 gaffe...umm...*smashes Aries_Spilt's head with a sledgehammer* There...forget I said anything. Or...I said 2...yes. Forget this crazy talk of Starcraft 3...after all, everyone knows it's going to be an MMO *rollseyes*

CantFaketheFunk:
As the author of said report, I'd like to chime in with my own thoughts.

I've seen some concern around the interweb regarding this, and while I think it's partially justified - if Blizzard started making the best loot in the game available for purchase, that'd kind of suck - I think that reports of the sky suddenly falling are blowing this way out of proportion. Hell, one could argue that in a way they already *have* paid character customization as a feature, what with loot cards from the TCG and stuff like special in-game items for attending WWI/Blizzcon (or even just ordering the PPV this year).

Since those are all entirely cosmetic, I'm willing to bet that this will end up being the same thing. If you REALLY want a special, cool-looking mount or something, you shell out the $5 (or whatever) for it. It doesn't go any faster than other mounts, you don't get any in-game advantages, but you feel a bit more unique.

As long as they still keep putting out major content patches for free (minus the subscription fee), I really don't see a problem with this at all.

Anyway, like I told Malygris here, the highlight of said conference for me was the pseudo-confirmation of Warcraft 4 :P But that's just me.

WolfBane31f:
Depends on the level of customization I suppose. Can I change race / faction? I'm not going to pay real money for my character's haircut.

And you won't have to. The barbershops coming in 3.0 cost regular vanilla Azerothian gold to customize hairstyle/color/misc (you know, that one 'accessory' option that all the races have). This will likely be above and beyond even that.

Maybe they'll implement special pay-only hairstyles that are *really cool*, but I doubt it :P

Quote for Agree.

Microtransactions is the way of the future and can only make WoW more successful, and the more successful WoW is the more money they have to make OTHER games (Starcraft:Ghost please?).

If Blizzard handles it in a classy way, as they are wont to do, it could be awesome. I'd never pay for it but alot of people would, especially if the transactions really are Micro (I don't want to pay more then a dollar for a shiny bit of jewerly or new boots).

I'm sure the hateboys will be out in force saying OMGWTF BLIZZARD SOLD OUT but welcome to the goddamned future, wusses. It's about time Blizzard got it's money, and as long as it gives us high quality for said money who cares? Maybe they're trying to drive the market somewhere...

Wait what?

Micro-Transactions are a step BACK.

Maybe I'm just used to it as a PC Gamer, but when I shell out money for a game, I'm paying for ALL Future patches and content related to said game.

As a long time WoW player it saddens me to see this. Well not game breaking it's one of those things that you got told that's never going to happen. It's not going to be a race change unless there really desprete, I think more so for those E-gender changes maybe not even that far. It does make me think are the orginal races finally going to have the same amount of detail as the TBC races though.

So what's next thing to get changed? We had Pve-Pvp transfers last month, this change this month, what next?

Microtransactions aren't a step back, your getting all patches and all content. They're just going to let you pay them money to pimp yo ride with cosmetic shit that has no game altering functions at all.

TsunamiWombat:
It's about time Blizzard got it's money, and as long as it gives us high quality for said money who cares? Maybe they're trying to drive the market somewhere...

The market's already been driven there, Blizzard's just hopping in for the ride (as they do). There's nothing innovative going on to see, and Blizzard knows this. They don't need to be the special and unique snowflake, just the sparkliest one. As for Blizzard getting the money, I'm not sure where that comes from - it does. Every month, in subscription fees, millions of people. As it is likely to be all superficial I'm not really worried about it as a player, but it is a curious move from a company that has already incorporated other ways to cash in on the IP very well (the card game, etc). Needs more details but if this is what it takes for the sky to theoretically fall, then that sky's been falling for a long time around the world already.

The LotRO system sounds beautiful. Just say no to clown suits!

Generic Hero:
So what's next thing to get changed? We had Pve-Pvp transfers last month, this change this month, what next?

Buying in game mounts/gear/unique items for real money. Laugh about it now, cry about it later.

 

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