Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Shots: Microtransactions Win

  • I'm sure you've seen the news by now; it's everywhere. Warhammer Online is now selling a pack to grant each of your characters a single level for ten dollars. I am speechless.

  • Darren from Common Sense Gamer and the Shut Up We're Talking podcast calls this the third rail of microtransactions: directly paying money for power. It is the MMO Rubicon. Once they cross this point, there is no turning back.

  • We told ourselves for a long time that we would be okay with microtransactions as long as they are for cosmetic or luxury items that don't impact the game. Then we conceded that it would be okay to for them to sell content in small chunks because we're already used to paying for it by the expansion; these would just be little expansions. Then we were bought into buying items that would help up advance, just as long as they don't do the advancement for us.

  • But this is it. Even if it's limited to a single level for now, we have reached the point where you will be able to buy your way through the game. It will come and it will be soon.

  • This is not meant to be doom and gloom. It's a call to arms. We've given up a lot of ground in the subscription vs. microtransaction battle because we've seen the benefits of each. But I think this is too far. I think it violates the principles of fairness that we expect in these games and I do not want to participate in it.

  • If for some reason you haven't read them, check the articles by Ardwulf, Ravious and Darren (linked above) as well as the articles they link to for more commentary and insight.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. vote with your wallet. don't play warhammer. fair enough right?

  2. @ Hunters Insight - Exactly. Maybe I'm wrong, lots of people love the idea, and Mythic saves their game. No one is forcing me to play. Especially since there will be plenty of games that will meet my needs.

  3. I will be honest, I will probably buy one. It's my understanding you can only purchase one anyways, but between this and the free writ you can get from a quest, I won't have to grind out those last two levels!

    Again, it's only ten bucks, you can only purchase one ever, so I don't think it's too that much of an issue. But I do think this could set a bad precedence for the future with other F2P games.

    But I could and might be wrong and everything will be fine in WAR considering you can only purchase one!

  4. This is sort of an odd Mythic thing. In Dark Age of Camelot, you get a free level for every level that you earn. If you have at least one capped character, you can also just start at 20 (if I remember right).

    They want players in their endgame and earning PvP ranks (both in DAoC and WAR) as soon as possible. Don't be surprised if WAR starts making it even easier to level.

  5. @ Jayedub - It's hard to say. If it's successful, though, I'm sure others will follow their lead.

    @ Yeebo - Easier leveling I can get behind. $10 to wipe out one of the hell levels, though? I have trouble getting behind that.