Could Blizzard Be Preparing to Sell You Gold?
I was talking with a fellow player about how some of the new crafted gear being a lower item level than Firelands raid gear on normal mode and why would Blizzard do this? What was the reasoning behind not making all the new crafted gear on equal footing with the current raid tier?
When crafted gear for Tier 11 was out, it was the same item level as raid drops, making some items best in slot, or at least competitive with what would drop in Blackwing Descent and Bastion of Twilight. But for Tier 12 that changes, some craftable items item level is lower than that of the new raiding tier, is this to have the cost of those items lower, or potentially paying someone to get those items, won’t be truly game changing?
Now Blizzard has said they don’t want to sell gold because they felt it offered an unfair advantage to those who have the capability to buy gold and those that do not, creating an unfair advantage in game. However if the gear someone could buy with gold, was not best in slot and in fact lower item level than the current tier of raiding, one could make the argument that its not game changing. Though I could argue that being able to buy the mats to make an item to be better prepared to face raid content is game changing.
Now of course BoE drops from the current tier could be purchasable and that would be game changing, but what if there were no BoE items you could get? What if all items dropped in raid were BoP. Making craftables below that current tier of raiding’s item level not the best gear out there (based purely on item level).
Blizzard has time and again been against gold selling by 3rd parties, and most recently with the article on gold farming/selling by Chinese prisoners to make their guards cash has raised an uproar from the MMO community. Now if Blizzard were to offer gold, one could also argue they kill off the 3rd party gold seller market. Since Blizzard could artificially create supply of gold, there would be no market to farm the gold and sell it, as Blizzard could readjust the price to whatever they needed to run 3rd parties out of business. This would create an inflation issue in game however.
Now I am not in favor of buying gold, and per the agreement every player makes with Blizzard they agree not to get involved with 3rd party gold sellers. Its against the rules. Though if Blizzard offered it as a premium service, would it still be against the rules? If the gold you used was to purchase BoE epics like the new crafted items that were lower item level than current raid tier items, it may not be game changing. Also if Blizzard sold gold as a premium service, and made it legal to do so, 3rd parties that buy WoW gold and sell it to players could be potentially put out of business, and we wouldn’t be hearing of stories of prisoners in a country being tortured for not meeting their quota in farming gold that day.
If Blizzard Sold Gold – A Scenario:
Blizzard’s Nuke to wipe out all gold farmers, they start selling 1000g for $2, all legal and instant, appears in your mailbox of the character you designate in account management. Immediately anyone who was paying 3rd party sites now has a cheaper more viable, safe, legal option to buy gold. Gold sites begin to shut down in 2-3 months due to not being able to compete with Blizzard “creating” the gold. People who are gold farming move onto other less scrupulous activities since no one is buying their product and they see other gold farmers being fired, laid off, whatever they do when the work dries up. Spam to buy gold in game, becomes almost non-existent in 3 months time.
Meanwhile in game, prices get inflated, what used to cost 1000g is now going for 5000g. In an effort to stem inflation, Blizzard makes getting materials for craftable items much easier driving down the prices on the auction house basically trying to place a soft price cap on items. Blizzard also makes repairs cost more, causing people to spend more of their gold on repairing after a raid and less on impulse buys on the Auction House. This then causes sellers on the auction house to begin discounting their wares in order to sell them to a market which refuses to pay over a certain price for particular goods. In order to have people put their gold back into the system, and not into other players’ hands, Blizzard might begin to sell materials for flasks, craftable items, even new mounts and non-combat pets, these last two are the most likely. More heirloom gear appears at high costs (over 1000g) to keep the total amount of gold going through the realms somewhat stable.
All of this will most likely never happen, but Blizzard and Blizzard alone has the power to in one decision wipe out gold farmers and the sites that employ them. Though doing so could permanently damage the economy of every realm, unless very calculated steps and economic control mechanisms were put in place (read gold sinks). There have been plenty of reasons in the past why this is a bad idea, mostly around those with more real world cash will have a better advantage, but if Blizzard removes that advantage like they are by making some BoE craftables lower item level than current tier, make all raid drops BoP, then what could you really spend gold on? Flasks, raiding food, are maybe a few things but what if there was a way that the in game vendors could assist players with getting these? Though make no mistake Blizzard is against people buying/selling gold because they say the gold in game belongs to them, well if it belongs to them, then they could also be the only legal entity that could sell it.
There would potentially be the issue of inflation if Blizzard were to do this, which is another reason why I don’t think it will happen especially with so many ways in game right now to make extra gold. So while, yes there are some pieces of the puzzle and reasons why it couldn’t be done in the past being put into place by Blizzard now, does that mean they will? Most likely not. Never say never, not when it comes to Blizzard. If Blizzard sold gold legally would you partake? If they figured out how to sell gold while keeping inflation in check, would it make you more likely to buy gold from Blizzard? Everyone’s answer may be different on this depending on personal situations, but the fact remains this is something we may see, if Blizzard truly wants it.
I personally would be for Blizzard selling gold themselves, if not for the simple fact that I think it would stop a lot of the phishing attempts, gold selling spam in game, and potential overseas human decency issues (i.e. torturing people for not reaching their quota). If the only thing holding Blizzard back is buying gold gives people an unfair advantage, they are certainly taking some steps to minimize any advantage one would get by using bought in-game gold.