Yesterday, Blizzard released the Celestial Mount and Lil' XT in their store. I won't lie here. I did buy a Lil' XT. I wasn't originally planning on it, but when I saw that it blows up those god damned train sets.....I don't think my credit card has ever flown out of my wallet faster (really. Unlike the regular train wrecker, this one has no cooldown, so even those jackasses that have three or four train sets can go to hell).

What confuses me is all of the people, both on the blogosphere and the publication type websites who are just aghast at the concept of buying things with real money. There are a variety of reasons why people are up in arms, each one just as confusing as the last.

1. "I don't like that they're selling this mount because then everyone can buy it and it won't be cool since everyone has it!"

The mount is cool because of its graphics. If you don't like the way it looks, why would you buy one? Blizzard releases something for money. In order to make as much of that money as possible (as is the goal of most businesses, which Blizzard is), they must sell it to as many people as they can. This includes anyone who happens to have 25 dollars laying around that can be spared. While 25 dollars may be a bit of change for a digital item, it's not a ton of money in the grand scheme of things and a lot of people have it laying around. If you had any illusions about this somehow being a unique mount that would add 500 points to your Equivalence Potency Number, then you are simply an idiot.

2. "25 dollars is too much for a mount!"

Ok? I agree that it is too much money for a mount, but then I suppose that's why I DIDN'T BUY ONE. I know that's a difficult concept for many people to understand. "Luxury items" or in plain English "Crap you don't need to survive or achieve your goals" cost money. If you don't buy it, you will not be any worse off.

3. "This is a travesty! Allods and Champions Online and other games release items in their cash shop and the fanbase revolts! Blizzard releases items in their cash shop and players line up around the block to get one even though they are already paying subscription fees! There is such a double standard going on here!"

No, you are comparing apples to oranges. The Free to play games with their cash shops are releasing items which, if you choose to buy them, give you a competitive edge over other players. You buy a bigger bag upgrade, you can hold more stuff to carry to town to sell and make more money. You sell potions and scrolls of Experience and self resurrection, you can keep playing while other players have to wait out the rez sickness or other penalties these items get around. The players revolt against these items because they make the game almost unplayable without them. Blizzard is only releasing COSMETIC items which look cool and have absolutely no impact on the game play. I can assure you that if they were to release Epic Gear for sale in the cash shop, there would be just as big an uproar (or bigger on account of the much larger player base) as the free to play games.

4. (This one is my favorite, seen in a comment on the Massively article, and quoted): "The intresting part about this new mount is that you actually will (I assume the word "not" was omitted here based on the context of the complaint) need to buy ingame mounts at all. So... Blizzard is not only selling a mount - they are also selling ingame gold that you will save if you had to buy a "real" ingame mount."


Ok, so you're saying that if people spend 25 dollars to buy this mount, then you won't have to buy any more mounts? Let's think about this. The first level mount costs 4 gold. The epic land mount costs 10. The regular flying costs 50. The epic flying costs 100. You still have to buy all of the training required to actually use these mounts, which amounts to 5304 gold (+1000 for Cold Weather flying). So while it is technically true that Blizzard saves people 164 gold on mount costs, it's not as though this is a massive amount of money. One day of dailies will get you that much, and that's an hour or so of play time. Not to mention the fact that there are mounts at all levels of riding which don't cost any money at all anyways. PvP rewards, Argent tournament mounts, Rare drops, Death Knights get theirs built in through a quest, some cost badges, achievements, or even some quest rewards offer mounts which cost absolutely nothing. Nothing is being offered here that couldn't be had already. Not to mention the fact that if I was going to spend 25 dollars on gold, I think I could get a lot more than just 164. Gold spammers regularly advertise prices which could get you between 4 and 6 thousand gold for the same price as this mount (and these prices seem to drop daily).

In summary: I'm not entirely sure what the big deal is here. It all seems like a bunch of whining over absolutely nothing.

(I had a post I was going to write about something else, but I still need to collect my thoughts on that. It'll be up soon.)

Posted by Glyph, the Architect | at 4/16/2010 01:40:00 PM


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