In what’s stirring up a firestorm of backlash against Blizzard; yesterday it was announced that a cross-realm dungeon feature would be coming out for the hit MMORPG World of Warcraft. It would “allow players to invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player regular or Heroic dungeon.”
“It’s important to note that as with some of the other convenience- and connectivity-oriented features we offer, certain elements of the cross-realm Real ID party system will be premium-based, though only the player sending the invitations will need to have access to the premium service.” read a part of Blizzard’s official announcement.
With the recent news of 600k subscribers having quit World of Warcraft, it’s largely assumed among the player base that the figure is only going to get bigger as the year drags on. Since many vocal players are decrying this move as a step towards micro-transactions in WoW, here’s a blurb in relation to that issue. At GDC in 2008, Rob Pardo Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard) made known Blizzard’s stance in regards to micro-transactions for World of Warcraft.
“We chose to go with the subscription-based model instead of that approach (referring to micro-transactions). We’ve taken the approach that we want players to feel like it’s a level playing field once they’re in WoW. Outside resources don’t play into it – no gold buying, etc. We take a hard line stance against it. What you get out of micro-transactions is kind of the same thing and I think our player base would feel betrayed by it. I think that’s something else you have to decide on up-front instead of implementing it later.”
Players have already been paying to transfer their characters and for cosmetic benefits. Does this fit in the same category and players are simply overreacting at the notion of premium content? — or are WoW gamers right to be upset when told a feature they have long since requested will only be available to those who pay extra?
Your thoughts, E-Gs?