World of Warcraft's Character Boosts Now On Sale for $60

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World of Warcraft's Character Boosts Now On Sale for $60

World of Warcraft's express route to level 90 is available now, if you don't mind doubling down on the cost of the game.

Blizzard has been flirting with microtransactions for a while now. The World of Warcraft store is mostly stocked with cosmetic items, or flashy pets, but nothing that does much to change the way the game is played. Today, though, Blizzard steps across that line with its new Character Boosts, sending one character on the fast track to level 90. Character Boosts can be purchased from the in-game interface for $60.

We got an unintended sneak peek at that price tag when a glitch allowed players to visit the in-game store last month, but the details weren't confirmed back then. Now, it seems like this is the real deal: one Character Boost comes free with all purchases of the Warlords of Draenor expansion, but subsequent boosts will cost $60. For those keeping track at home, that's ten dollars more than the price of the expansion, which you'll need to own to reach the level cap.

Once you purchase a Character Boost, you'll be able to use it on any character with a level lower than 90. The Boost brings that character to the level cap, outfits them with level-appropriate gear to start playing end-game content, and (if the character was level 60 or higher) maxes out their professions.

This is definitely a convenience purchase, intended for players with a lot of disposable income. Still, it raises some questions - if you're willing to pay the equivalent of four months of subscription time to skip most of the game's content, your definitions of "work" and "play" might be getting a little blurred.

Source: Battle.net

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Remember when this game was a game? What the hell happened to it?

Considering I play games like Torchlight, Rogue Legacy etc. for the progression, I'd never do that, even if I played WoW in the first place. That's the main motivating factor for me!

I guess I might think differently if I had played the game for ages and got sick of leveling, but I doubt I'd spend THAT MUCH MONEY even then. If I got so sick of playing the game, I'd probably just stop instead of investing more. We're talking about the price of a NEW, FULL-PRICE game here!

As for microtransactions in general, fine. Make the basic game free-to-play and go ahead. Or make it "buy once, play free" at least. I might even spend some money on buying the game and its add-ons, but that plus the subscription fees? Plus, perhaps, microtransactions on top of that?! I dunno, not for me.

Imagine that...

Pay-to-Win can apply to subscription games too! Who would'a thunk it.

Glad I left when I did. I refuse to be triple-dipped (Up-front purchase, monthly sub, AND microtransactions). Only way I'll ever go back to WoW is if they went F2P cause that's the only way I can stomach microtransactions in my games.

$60 to just boost to level 90 and get one set of gear is one giant ripoff.
Seriously, who the fuck would pay that?! You might as well grab $60 right now and set it on fire because that equals the value you'll spend on this character boost.

I'm actually okay with this.

Some people have some extra money and friends who are already at the level cap, and now they can elect to skip the leveling process in order to save time that they would consider wasted. Like it or not, for some people the real game starts at an MMO's level cap, and that is a valid opinion. They have decided that the leveling process is worth some amount of money per hour, and they would rather spend the money than the time.

I will most likely never use the service, but I don't mind the price. If it was cheaper, people would be raving about the influx of level 90 players who have no idea how to play their class, and the "pay 2 win" argument would become more valid as players with extra cash would have more classes available to them without the time spent leveling. A $60 price tag means that the majority of people who buy it will only do so once, which significantly reduces the aforementioned problems.

tl;dr: Some people think that the leveling process is less appealing than the endgame, and will agree that $60 is a fair hour/dollar ratio for skipping it. There is no large advantage over normal players, as a fresh 90 cannot compete with experienced 90s in either PvE or PvP immediately due to lack of gear.

I'm going to try it out on my Hunter later to see how it goes. This just gives me a convenient way of skipping the leveling bit - the whole reason I started my Hunter in the first place was to level him up to 90 and then go transmog/achievement hunting like I originally planned, so now I can go straight to the fun part. I normally love leveling but I've gotten bored with it lately.

And good thing too, because right now my Mage is my only level 90 character and I don't have any others anywhere near that level. Also, I'm getting bored with Anno 2070 which is my go-to game at the moment.

This doesn't bother me, really. If people want to drop money to skip all that leveling (until the expansion anyway), then more power to them. It doesn't affect me or how I play. Having run to the end game on many characters, and many 'end games', I can see the appeal. I have several characters on my main server hanging around the low 80s because I just don't want to level through two expansions yet again. And I've started playing on other servers to hang out with friends.. only to find I don't really hang out with them, because they're max level and I'm not... I would probably use this service myself if it was cheaper, but I can't afford that kind of money for just a convenience thing.

I can understand why they are offering the service. Sometimes you just want to play your class at end game and don't want to go through the same content all over again. It's pricy so it doesn't diminish leveling, otherwise no one would ever level.

Maybe I want to play a shadow priest but don't want to spend dozens of hours of my time leveling.

PS My time is worth a lot more per hour than 60$. Well closer to half that. So is .13% of my yearly income worth not spending several days of my time leveling...

I am shocked they didn't do this sooner. Illegitimately selling/leveling characters on WoW is an industry all on its own.

Why shouldn't all players have this opportunity available to them, even if they don't want to cheat or do so illegitimately?

This is a good change.

I have no problem with this. I was a hardcore raider/pvper back when I played. I was a seven year veteran. But I absolutely loathe leveling. I know it's "not all about endgame" but it was for me because I did it with my friends. Leveling with friends isn't something that's easy to do because you have to all be on at the same time so that no one gets ahead. After five years I wasn't playing WoW for the game anymore, I was playing it for my friends. That's not to say I didn't have a good time those last two years. Hanging with friends is what made it enjoyable.

The way I see it, this just would have made my life easier in being able to group with them for more content on more characters without the leveling. Before anyone says anything about how "scrubs will be getting insta-90s," let it be known that good players will pick up the new classes fairly quickly. The bad players would still be bad even after 90 levels of manual leveling.

Kuala BangoDango:
Imagine that...

Pay-to-Win can apply to subscription games too! Who would'a thunk it.

Glad I left when I did. I refuse to be triple-dipped (Up-front purchase, monthly sub, AND microtransactions). Only way I'll ever go back to WoW is if they went F2P cause that's the only way I can stomach microtransactions in my games.

Please explain how it's pay to win?

In a rare avoidance of the usual "$price = £price" thing, it's £40 in the UK. Just in case anyone was wondering and couldn't be bothered to check for themselves.

WoW, so I can either use that money to buy a whole new game and not play your game, or I can pay you the same amount and still not play your game. Man, that's a tough one.

Actually I would be willing to pay 5 bucks to skip Outland.
God, I freaking hate Outland so much.

Seriously though I can see the appeal of such a service in different situations.
But 60 bucks? Really? I'd love to see the justification for that.

Kuala BangoDango:
Imagine that...

Pay-to-Win can apply to subscription games too! Who would'a thunk it.

Do you really win though? I mean, really?

kaizen2468:
I can understand why they are offering the service. Sometimes you just want to play your class at end game and don't want to go through the same content all over again. It's pricy so it doesn't diminish leveling, otherwise no one would ever level.

Maybe I want to play a shadow priest but don't want to spend dozens of hours of my time leveling.

PS My time is worth a lot more per hour than 60$. Well closer to half that. So is .13% of my yearly income worth not spending several days of my time leveling...

So you would either have a lot of level 90's that have no clue as to how to play a shadow priest? That's gonna make those raids fun.

Seriously. Game is about $40 and for $60 they'll let you not play the game.. hah hah . Of course I could just, you know.. not pay for the game at all and save $100. Do you know how much fun $100 will buy you on steam these days?

The World Famous:
Remember when this game was a game? What the hell happened to it?

I'm wondering as well. Seems like no one cares about the journey anymore.

Its sad to see it come to this kind of milking when you imagine what WoW could've done content wise with all the money they made. The sky could've been the limit, instead they focus on grinding dungeons and selling level cap boosts so people can get to more dungeon grinding faster.

To be fair, I guess the WoW community blindly follows that reasoning as well.

Kuala BangoDango:
Imagine that...

Pay-to-Win can apply to subscription games too! Who would'a thunk it.

Except that it's not pay-to-win. Not in the slightest. Hell, it's almost a disadvantage to the player itself.

Why? Because A: with this you can get nothing you cannot get by actually leveling up your character yourself and B: you'll actually be missing any sort of experience playing your character which is very important for the PvP side of things.

Fdzzaigl:

The World Famous:
Remember when this game was a game? What the hell happened to it?

I'm wondering as well. Seems like no one cares about the journey anymore.

Its sad to see it come to this kind of milking when you imagine what WoW could've done content wise with all the money they made. The sky could've been the limit, instead they focus on grinding dungeons and selling level cap boosts so people can get to more dungeon grinding faster.

To be fair, I guess the WoW community blindly follows that reasoning as well.

Funny thing is that, after starting again recently after a four year break, I must say that the road is more fun than it ever was. Endgame doesn't feel like dungeon grinding these days though, with little scenarios and smaller raids, it facilities casual play pretty well.

But I too find it a shame that the majority of the player base doesn't seem to think like that, but I can't actually blame Blizzard for looking at those people and making a service they might want. The price point is too high though, if you ask me.

I guess I don't really get why anyone would do this. Why would you pay money to NOT play a game? I'm probably totally off on this, but if you're willing to pay money not to put time into a game then maybe you should find another game to play.

60 bucks? hah holy fuck, blizzard is apparently running low in their greedy coffers if they are asking for that. I can do so much more with my money than be triple dipped for WoW.

WoW has been dead since Wrath's release, this is just another proof...

Sectan:
I guess I don't really get why anyone would do this. Why would you pay money to NOT play a game? I'm probably totally off on this, but if you're willing to pay money not to put time into a game then maybe you should find another game to play.

I agree that it doesn't make much sense for a new player. But for someone like me, having done the manual 1-90 grind seven times (and probably one more before the week's over, and countless more abandoned part way through), it's a nice facility to have. I won't be missing out on any content I haven't seen before, just a large portion of grind that stopped being entertaining after the first few times.

That said, I don't think I'm likely to bother paying for a boost. Everyone gets one for free when buying or pre-ordering the new expansion, so I'll use that, but to actually pay £40 for it... nah, not so much.

Sseth:
I am shocked they didn't do this sooner. Illegitimately selling/leveling characters on WoW is an industry all on its own.

Why shouldn't all players have this opportunity available to them, even if they don't want to cheat or do so illegitimately?

This is a good change.

I do not play WoW anymore due to over simplifying of the talent tress, but I do not have an issue with this. These services always existed. Blizzard just gets to keep the money now.

Compatriot Block:
I'm actually okay with this.

Some people have some extra money and friends who are already at the level cap, and now they can elect to skip the leveling process in order to save time that they would consider wasted. Like it or not, for some people the real game starts at an MMO's level cap, and that is a valid opinion. They have decided that the leveling process is worth some amount of money per hour, and they would rather spend the money than the time.

I will most likely never use the service, but I don't mind the price. If it was cheaper, people would be raving about the influx of level 90 players who have no idea how to play their class, and the "pay 2 win" argument would become more valid as players with extra cash would have more classes available to them without the time spent leveling. A $60 price tag means that the majority of people who buy it will only do so once, which significantly reduces the aforementioned problems.

tl;dr: Some people think that the leveling process is less appealing than the endgame, and will agree that $60 is a fair hour/dollar ratio for skipping it. There is no large advantage over normal players, as a fresh 90 cannot compete with experienced 90s in either PvE or PvP immediately due to lack of gear.

This. Those that proclaim the game 'RUINED' Obviously haven't been playing in a while.

This feature is not for you, it won't affect anything if you don't want it. The only people who will use it are those on their 5th alt or raiding guilds in need of a specific class for raid or rated battleground.

See a need, fill a need. Basically.

Those of you above going "HOLY SHIT, and omg game ruined?" Errr... hello? The leveling system is still THERE. Are you blind?

Sectan:
I guess I don't really get why anyone would do this. Why would you pay money to NOT play a game? I'm probably totally off on this, but if you're willing to pay money not to put time into a game then maybe you should find another game to play.

World of Warcraft has a very complex and indepth ...what I guess I would term, Secondary game, that lasts at the end of the leveling ladder for nigh on years, and there's multiple ways to play it. Through many different avenues. Player vs Player skirmishes, Player vs Environment content that might make your head spin on first glance, and it can be very engaging in teams.

Sometimes though some of the pro teams, or even rich alternate character oholics want a specific class for a reason. And asshole chinese gold farming and power leveling sites have exploited this for years. Basically, all this does is patch this hole up and divert the flow of cash back into the game. You may call them crazy...but hey, they do it, just like I'm a crazy for buying a 3rd chocolate bar this week. Indulgent? Yes. Satisfying? Quite possibly for the buyer.

gmaverick019:
60 bucks? hah holy fuck, blizzard is apparently running low in their greedy coffers if they are asking for that. I can do so much more with my money than be triple dipped for WoW.

Wouldn't it make more sense, if they wanted more money, to offer it for much cheaper?

Ophiuchus:

Sectan:
I guess I don't really get why anyone would do this. Why would you pay money to NOT play a game? I'm probably totally off on this, but if you're willing to pay money not to put time into a game then maybe you should find another game to play.

I agree that it doesn't make much sense for a new player. But for someone like me, having done the manual 1-90 grind seven times (and probably one more before the week's over, and countless more abandoned part way through), it's a nice facility to have. I won't be missing out on any content I haven't seen before, just a large portion of grind that stopped being entertaining after the first few times.

That said, I don't think I'm likely to bother paying for a boost. Everyone gets one for free when buying or pre-ordering the new expansion, so I'll use that, but to actually pay £40 for it... nah, not so much.

Totally understandable. One thing I think about is if a player doesn't want to level another character to 90 because it's so tedious is that a flaw with the game itself? Does Blizzard have to look at their design choices and change them or is it just impossible to get people interested in leveling characters over and over again?

As much as I hate this as a consumer, I have to begrudgingly respect the ruthless business tactic.

I mean, this is going to sell like hotcakes. Certain players will buy this multiple times for multiple toons. Blizz might make enough off this alone to fill Scrooge's money pool.

kortin:

gmaverick019:
60 bucks? hah holy fuck, blizzard is apparently running low in their greedy coffers if they are asking for that. I can do so much more with my money than be triple dipped for WoW.

Wouldn't it make more sense, if they wanted more money, to offer it for much cheaper?

basic economics would say so, but this is actiblizz after all, having things be cheap for the customer has never been their forte.

gmaverick019:

kortin:

gmaverick019:
60 bucks? hah holy fuck, blizzard is apparently running low in their greedy coffers if they are asking for that. I can do so much more with my money than be triple dipped for WoW.

Wouldn't it make more sense, if they wanted more money, to offer it for much cheaper?

basic economics would say so, but this is actiblizz after all, having things be cheap for the customer has never been their forte.

Or maybe they kept it expensive to avoid rendering the leveling process completely obsolete?

People are whining about this right now. Could you imagine how much worse it would be if this was cheap enough that everyone would do it? All they've done is taken a process that already existed through shady third-party sales and, in one motion, provided a safer alternative and limited the number of people who will take advantage of it.

I doubt that this was motivated purely by money, is what I'm saying.

So you got this game that requires you to not only buy it like you do with any game, but also pay monthly to be able to play it. And now you can pay an equivalent of a new AAA-game to max out your character thus skipping the whole game.
The sad thing is that there definitely are people who would buy it.

Compatriot Block:

I doubt that this was motivated purely by money, is what I'm saying.

*looks at D3 auction house*

Ehh....I find that hard to believe when this is actiblizz behind it. they took a practice in third party sales and are now profiting greatly from it while it takes them next to nothing in coding to make it happen.

This doesn't give any kind of edge over anyone, so charging so much for it is actually pretty ridiculous, anyone who is worth their salt will roll kids who just level boosted to 90.

Charli:

Compatriot Block:
I'm actually okay with this.

Some people have some extra money and friends who are already at the level cap, and now they can elect to skip the leveling process in order to save time that they would consider wasted. Like it or not, for some people the real game starts at an MMO's level cap, and that is a valid opinion. They have decided that the leveling process is worth some amount of money per hour, and they would rather spend the money than the time.

I will most likely never use the service, but I don't mind the price. If it was cheaper, people would be raving about the influx of level 90 players who have no idea how to play their class, and the "pay 2 win" argument would become more valid as players with extra cash would have more classes available to them without the time spent leveling. A $60 price tag means that the majority of people who buy it will only do so once, which significantly reduces the aforementioned problems.

tl;dr: Some people think that the leveling process is less appealing than the endgame, and will agree that $60 is a fair hour/dollar ratio for skipping it. There is no large advantage over normal players, as a fresh 90 cannot compete with experienced 90s in either PvE or PvP immediately due to lack of gear.

This. Those that proclaim the game 'RUINED' Obviously haven't been playing in a while.

This feature is not for you, it won't affect anything if you don't want it. The only people who will use it are those on their 5th alt or raiding guilds in need of a specific class for raid or rated battleground.

See a need, fill a need. Basically.

Those of you above going "HOLY SHIT, and omg game ruined?" Errr... hello? The leveling system is still THERE. Are you blind?

Sorry but I don't think it's that simple. When you introduce a shortcut to bypass the game's leveling system, you're invalidating the accomplishment of people who reach high levels legitimately. Who wants to spend hours/days improving their character only to have someone who just started playing kick their ass? If this were a single-player experience perhaps you'd have a point, but this is supposed to be an interactive world where one's level puts them in a hierarchy along with other players, and that hierarchy becomes next to meaningless if different people are playing by different rules.

World of Warcraft has a very complex and indepth ...what I guess I would term, Secondary game, that lasts at the end of the leveling ladder for nigh on years, and there's multiple ways to play it. Through many different avenues. Player vs Player skirmishes, Player vs Environment content that might make your head spin on first glance, and it can be very engaging in teams.

Sometimes though some of the pro teams, or even rich alternate character oholics want a specific class for a reason. And asshole chinese gold farming and power leveling sites have exploited this for years. Basically, all this does is patch this hole up and divert the flow of cash back into the game. You may call them crazy...but hey, they do it, just like I'm a crazy for buying a 3rd chocolate bar this week. Indulgent? Yes. Satisfying? Quite possibly for the buyer.

This isn't really patching the hole though. It's more like setting up a booth next to the hole and charging admission to go through it, if anything they've validated the hole and drawn more attention to it.

It also seems like a clear instance of appeasing the few at the expense of the many, though I guess as long as those are the paying few it's okay.

gmaverick019:

Compatriot Block:

I doubt that this was motivated purely by money, is what I'm saying.

*looks at D3 auction house*

Ehh....I find that hard to believe when this is actiblizz behind it. they took a practice in third party sales and are now profiting greatly from it while it takes them next to nothing in coding to make it happen.

This doesn't give any kind of edge over anyone, so charging so much for it is actually pretty ridiculous, anyone who is worth their salt will roll kids who just level boosted to 90.

You mean the AH that they explicitly stated was a mistake and will be removing this month?

And I'm not sure why they shouldn't be allowed to participate in those sales. If I ever wanted to buy something, I'd rather do it through an official source than risk a third party. If I'm paying $10 for a crossbow, I don't really care where my money ends up.

There are plenty of reasons to dislike big companies like Blizzard, but I don't think this is one of them.

It's not supposed to be an advantage, it's supposed to be an alternative to leveling. If it was cheap, a lot fewer people would level the old way anymore. They don't want that, so they are limiting it with a price-wall. They are all but saying "If this is more than you're willing to pay to skip content, don't buy it." The price itself is intended to discourage people who are on the fence.

Olas:

Charli:

Compatriot Block:
I'm actually okay with this.

Some people have some extra money and friends who are already at the level cap, and now they can elect to skip the leveling process in order to save time that they would consider wasted. Like it or not, for some people the real game starts at an MMO's level cap, and that is a valid opinion. They have decided that the leveling process is worth some amount of money per hour, and they would rather spend the money than the time.

I will most likely never use the service, but I don't mind the price. If it was cheaper, people would be raving about the influx of level 90 players who have no idea how to play their class, and the "pay 2 win" argument would become more valid as players with extra cash would have more classes available to them without the time spent leveling. A $60 price tag means that the majority of people who buy it will only do so once, which significantly reduces the aforementioned problems.

tl;dr: Some people think that the leveling process is less appealing than the endgame, and will agree that $60 is a fair hour/dollar ratio for skipping it. There is no large advantage over normal players, as a fresh 90 cannot compete with experienced 90s in either PvE or PvP immediately due to lack of gear.

This. Those that proclaim the game 'RUINED' Obviously haven't been playing in a while.

This feature is not for you, it won't affect anything if you don't want it. The only people who will use it are those on their 5th alt or raiding guilds in need of a specific class for raid or rated battleground.

See a need, fill a need. Basically.

Those of you above going "HOLY SHIT, and omg game ruined?" Errr... hello? The leveling system is still THERE. Are you blind?

Sorry but I don't think it's that simple. When you introduce a shortcut to bypass the game's leveling system, you're invalidating the accomplishment of people who reach high levels legitimately. Who wants to spend hours/days improving their character only to have someone who just started playing kick their ass? If this were a single-player experience perhaps you'd have a point, but this is supposed to be an interactive world where one's level puts them in a hierarchy along with other players, and that hierarchy becomes next to meaningless if different people are playing by different rules.

Leveling in WoW isn't an accomplishment anymore, if it ever was. And honestly, as the guy I just quoted would agree with, if you get beaten by a fresh auto-90 wearing the free gear it gets and you have been playing for an extended period of time, it's not the game's fault.

There's not a hierarchy based on level, but there is one based on gear, which the auto-90 still has to earn by playing. You can't buy top-tier armor and weapons.

The "level hierarchy" isn't indicative of skill. It's a game where if your number is bigger than their number, you win. No amount of skill is going to let a level 80 beat a level 90 that is capable of breathing.

Oh yay a report on the character boosts!! Now we get to explain for the umpteenth time who this is for, and why people want it to the people who weren't here for the last 5 news reports and subsequent explanations.

As for the boosts themselves I think they're a nice idea, leveling alts becomes a real chore later into the game and being able to bypass that is a good thing

Olas:

Charli:

Compatriot Block:
I'm actually okay with this.

Some people have some extra money and friends who are already at the level cap, and now they can elect to skip the leveling process in order to save time that they would consider wasted. Like it or not, for some people the real game starts at an MMO's level cap, and that is a valid opinion. They have decided that the leveling process is worth some amount of money per hour, and they would rather spend the money than the time.

I will most likely never use the service, but I don't mind the price. If it was cheaper, people would be raving about the influx of level 90 players who have no idea how to play their class, and the "pay 2 win" argument would become more valid as players with extra cash would have more classes available to them without the time spent leveling. A $60 price tag means that the majority of people who buy it will only do so once, which significantly reduces the aforementioned problems.

tl;dr: Some people think that the leveling process is less appealing than the endgame, and will agree that $60 is a fair hour/dollar ratio for skipping it. There is no large advantage over normal players, as a fresh 90 cannot compete with experienced 90s in either PvE or PvP immediately due to lack of gear.

This. Those that proclaim the game 'RUINED' Obviously haven't been playing in a while.

This feature is not for you, it won't affect anything if you don't want it. The only people who will use it are those on their 5th alt or raiding guilds in need of a specific class for raid or rated battleground.

See a need, fill a need. Basically.

Those of you above going "HOLY SHIT, and omg game ruined?" Errr... hello? The leveling system is still THERE. Are you blind?

Sorry but I don't think it's that simple. When you introduce a shortcut to bypass the game's leveling system, you're invalidating the accomplishment of people who reach high levels legitimately. Who wants to spend hours/days improving their character only to have someone who just started playing kick their ass? If this were a single-player experience perhaps you'd have a point, but this is supposed to be an interactive world where one's level puts them in a hierarchy along with other players, and that hierarchy becomes next to meaningless if different people are playing by different rules.

Have you even played WoW? Getting to max level is not an accomplishment whatsoever. It's a big deal the first time sure but you will never hear anyone say "Wow, that guy is level 90! SO COOL!" Hell, a decent 87-89 can kill a bad 90 (assuming he's still wearing leveling gear).

All the accomplishments, character improvements, world interaction, and hierarchy you're talking about happens at max level. A fresh max level player will get absolutely destroyed by a character that someone has spent time developing. This is true for both PvP and PvE. Getting to max level is only the start of the journey.

That's why this service exists. Levelling may have been a big deal when WoW was new, but it's been 10 years and 4 (soon 5) expansions since. Endgame is the only game people care about now.

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