Greedy Goblin

Monday, November 9, 2009

The final step for a social place

I greatly underestimated the importance of the $10 pets. Since I'm antisocial, for me it's just another pointless thing that socials will buy to show off and just another mean for Blizzard to exploit them.

Elnia's post shown me how big step it was. No matter how many times I see it, it always surprises me when I see the same thing trough the eye of a social. That's what I love about the blogs. They are all little windows to social minds that help me a lot understanding how they work.

He honestly expresses his negative feelings about this issue and also pinpoint the difference between the pets and faction changes, server transfers, name changes and such paid services: "If I am standing on the auction house bridge in Ironforge and your character that just had a faction change walks by I am clueless about any RMT activity unless I know you personally. If you have a RMT pet I know. I know because it is staring me in the face. With account services what is essentially out of sight can easily stay out of mind. Precisely because RMT pets are going to be always in sight the classist distinction will always be in mind."

I was right in my previous post, the personal motivator of buying these things is keeping up with the Joneses. Elnia expresses that he doesn't want to face with the fact that others have something he doesn't, (while doesn't care about things others have but he and other peers cannot see).

However I didn't see the systemic importance of these pets. These pets are the answer of the fundamental question: "Why playing computer games is not cool/trendy/socially acceptable?". Yes, this question was answered by Elnia without even noticing it: "the major issues I have with real money transactions is that they are classist. They create a distinction between the haves and the have nots that is based upon a person’s out-of-game rather than in-game accomplishments."

Social people always have social ranks in their head. They always look up on some "elite" and look down on some "losers" and in the meantime do their best to get higher on the social ladder. They don't even deny it, they merely claim it's "normal" or "coming from human nature and you can't do anything against it" (well, watch me!).

However the social order of a computer game is "wrong". I mean being "cool" in real life does not guarantee that you are "cool" in WoW. To belong to the elite of WoW you has to be a skilled and dedicated player. The "120 kg and lives in his mother's basement" image comes from this. It's obvious that 99% of the players are not living in a basement and have jobs or school, and surely everyone know that. "They are living in a basement" is just a short term for "they are such a twisted sub-culture that they ready to welcome even basement-living uber-losers into their elite, if the mentioned losers mash buttons good enough".

A place having "wrong" social order cannot be a socially accepted place. And there is only one "right" social order: "how much (real) money you have to show off". You can get to "elite" restaurants (where food tastes weird, I hate them), you can buy "elite" cars, you can buy jewelry, "stylish" clothes, stay in 5 star hotels and such if you have enough money (= you are a cool person).

By introducing microtransaction pets, Blizzard "fixed" the social order of WoW, therefore made the game a "proper place" for the "cool ppl": you can no longer be looked down by "losers" who just "mash buttons with no life". After all, they only have epics that will be replaced with next patch badge gear, while you have really cool things (where "real" is defined by "came from real money, the source of the "real" social order).

WoW 4.0 is simply a Second life clone where you don't die from boredom after the first hour. And I have to say, observing this Zoo of socials entertains me to no end.

PS: of course I don't think that the "normal" social order is right. I find it equally stupid.

PS2: please spare me from the "$10 is not an issue to anyone" comments. Blizzard will make sure that there will be enough vanity for sale. 100 pets for $10 each is ... whatever, theorycrafting is for no lifers we are fun ppl!

48 comments:

Strykes of Velen said...

I think that this post is very deep lol. It makes me think of like trade chat. on my server, velen it is horrible people talking crap to one another and just going at it. and Really without the socials, wow would prolly not be the game it is today. Without the socials, it would be a smaller world for WoW. For a small period of time it was cool to play WoW. some of the socials actually liked it and stayed with it. nothing we can really do about it because we can't just get rid of people. It sorta makes me think about people trolling trade chat. See how long they can get people going for. Blizzard is doing the same thing. They are trolling along the socials. because this social doesn't have this mount, he is going to go find out where to get it and he isn't gonna stop until he gets it. Blizzard is just trolling around the socials like people in trade chat troll one another around. it is something that will prolly always be around

Sidhe said...

I agree with almost everything you posted here, Gevlon!

If you want to add another example of "cool minipets acting over my ape sub-routines"

Since this feature went live, almost all of my raid mates already had one the first day, and couldn't stop showing them all the time, /huging them, /dancing with them, the girls in the raid talking all the time about how "cute" these little pandas were (and I thinking all the time how "useless crap" these little pandas were).

And of course all of this made the raid downtime incredibly long and annoying (at least for those of us who hadn't one, and/or weren't busy praising the little pandarens' "cuteness").

At this point one part of my mind (the "social" part) thought: Damn I'm the only one who hasn't one of those, I'm so "not cool"

While the logic part of my mind thought: Don't be silly, will you waste the money of a monthly WoW fee ($10) in a stupid "vanity" item that doens't do anything besides "looking cute"?!

My point: I'm not the kind of person who wastes it's money or time (= money) in stupid vanity items that serve no practical purpose. HOWEVER Blizzard managed to make me consider it, so they know what they're doing. Appealing to the "social" part of the peoples minds to earn more money.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Blizz is smart. The people that buy that stuff... not so much IMO, since I share your view of the social rank system being incredibly stupid and ilogical, too.

Anonymous said...

Luckily my guild consists of adults who doesn't think vanity pets are cool, so noone has them, and im pretty sure everyone would make fun of the first person they see with these pets.
I know I would, just like I make fun of the guy on the 400$ spectral tiger mount.

Pazi said...

$10 is one or two hours in a pub or going to the movies with a soda where I live so it really means nothing to me. I bought them because I wanted them because I collect pets and to be honest it gets annoying with 2 or more pandas around (like those marine-pets from Blizzcon, please sell zerglings, Blizzard, please?).
Also there is nothing new here. Blizzard sold pets/mounts/stuff like this all the time (conventions, TCG, ...) and just now they are doing it in a more userfriendly (or should I say goldseller-friendly?) way.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time Blizzard has allowed people to spend real money on in game things, TCG loot cards has been around for a long time now. What they did was give people a certian price to pay for it, instead of buying TCG booster packs until they get what they want.
So the new pets are not different from TCG items in any other ways than that. And lets not forget that by buying the collectors edition you get a pet to, payed with real money, and it's not available without spending real money.

This is a test from Blizzard to see how the players respond to having people who pay real money for in game things have items they can not get in any other way, just without the gambling of buying TCG cards. And if more people buy them, than leave because of it, it will continue. (expect much more of this in the future in other words)

Other thing we can expect to see in the future is:
1. Pay 50$ to have any new character of any class start at lvl 55 (or lvl80).
2. The "Classic" Ulduar and Icecrown Protodrakes available for 20$ (about 6 months into cataclysm)
3. 1k gold for 10$ (from Blizz)
4. Airloom items (with Eexp-bonus) for other slots than shoulders and chest.

The fact that none combat items are sold for real money don't bother me, but if "usefull" things like gold and gear is sold for real money it would bother me.
And i expect that to happen in the next expansion.

All the things you can now spend real money to get, including pets mounts, race and faction change are warning signs, soon thing that actualy helps in end game will be sold, and that means to many players, that while those who care about pets now have a certain price for them, the cost of having an account for those who want to play the end game will be most uncertain. "Bad drops for me this raid, so i'l have to buy the t12 helm instead."

And if you think i sound like a doomsday prophet, consider this: How many would have thougth Blizzard would ever sell you a faction/race change 1 year ago.

We now play a wow where 99% of the bosses in HC 5mans are "tank and spank" bosses, that require no strategy at all. raids are easyer than before to, BiS items form some months ago are now whelfare epix.
You get a title for everything other than spamming "anal" in trade, bronze drake and green proto is available for everyone.
Slackers who never had a chanse to get what good players have, now get very similar vanity items for free, and equal gear for grinding 5mans 6 months later. But what about those that can't even do 5mans? they want "shinies" to, so Blizzards solution will be to sell them items for real money.

Olga said...

Great idea about that reason for online games to not be social acceptable.

Azzur said...

Ok, I'm going to question you on an assumption that you made. You assumed that Elnia's post = "eye of the casual".

When I read Elnia's post, there were lots of comments disagreeing with her. Many of these "socials" didn't care much about the pets at all.

My reasoning for the motivation of buying these pets is because these people think that "it's fun to have".

If people are "keeping up with the Joneses" I have a feeling we would be seeing an explosion of these pets (which I haven't really seen yet).

Anonymous said...

Using gold as a High score table is just as bad as a Social using pets.

I.E even the anti-socials are socials of a different sort

Anonymous said...

continused from above//

Paying a subscription for WOW is seen by most normal people as a weird thing. Being fixiated by virtual gold pixels in a game is seen by man on street in the same way as you referr to socials who have pets or acheivments.

Its all nerdy business, and this blog is just like a star trek blog where people call each other morons because someone has a Kird/Janeway/Picard/Whatever facination.

Nick S. said...

I don't really view someone who spends $10 on a useless pet as the most financially savvy person. It's their money, and there are probably stupider things to buy, but do I feel they're in a class above me for blowing $10 worth of perfectly good beer money on a vanity pet? Not so much.

Lite said...

You seem to under the impression that
being a social = having low self esteem.
I've been reading you blog for a few months now and lately I've seen more and more of the "Anyone but me constantly seeks validation by being "special in the form of a) having the best gear, b) having the rarest vanity pets/mounts or c) Being super friendly and helpful

I am, to some extent, a social. I also seek validation, but by my peers(although admittedly I do not believe many to be of equal "raiding value" to me).
Whenever I meet a raider - the very rare snowflake - who manages to pull off the same dps as me, have the same situational awareness etcetera, I automatically start seeking his or hers validation. I want the best of the best to realize that I am in fact one of them. I don't care how big an idiot he or she is. I just need the person to feed my ego.
The point I am trying to get through is that we're all social. We're all egomaniacs seeking validation in different ways because - as you probably already know - our only difference lies in "what" soothes our ego.

You're a social, I am a social. Whether you want to admit it or not you love the validation you get from your blog, you enjoy your fanboys looking up to you and I bet you even love the players getting all riled up whenever you post something they disagree with.

You are a social.

Carra said...

You're missing Elnias main point: " When you buy a pet from the pet store you are not only buying a cute panda monk, you are electing to support with your dollars a specific business model. The consequence is that when you buy a pet from the pet store you are voting with your dollars for the sale of epics.".

If enough people buy those pets we will be flooded with micro transactions. Epics for sale are not far off.

Mitheithel said...

Quoting W. Churchill, I think this is the beginning of the end for WoW. Activision want to squeeze even more money from the most profitable game ever. Probably because they think it's past his peak. It will last some time after 4.0, they will extend the MT system to everything. At that point Blizzard will be smart enough to annunce the date of the death of WoW and the new MMO in their plans.

Wonkey the Monkey said...

Your observation about the real meaning of "They are living in a basement" is the first truly insightful analysis of the "gamers are losers" claim that I've ever heard.

I think a reasonable corollary would be "a social group is only as cool as its least cool member," at least according to the prevailing social order. If President Obama, Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher, and Ryan Seacrest all took up playing chess as a hobby, it wouldn't be enough to make chess a "cool" game because it still appeals to a bunch of "losers" with poor social skills.

An activity can only rise above its "loser" status if it gets so popular that it can be subdivided into the "cool" way to participate and the "loser" way to participate. Take computers, for example. Computers were for nerds, geeks, and losers in the early days because they were hard and required a love of obscure detail. Eventually, they became so useful that the cool people couldn't ignore them any more. In order to avoid the shame of being "computer people," the cool kids invented new, socially acceptable levels of computer-savviness.

"I have Facebook set up to alert me whenever one of my 5000 friends hooks up with someone, and I post a tweet every two minutes while I keep up with Lindsey Lohan's latest train wreck on the blogs. What? You use your computer to play games? What, like Bejeweled? That's cool. Wait, you also play Warcraft?! Nerd! And you write software?! Geesh, get a life!"

Wooly said...

I think buying such a pet is almost as bad shamelessly walking around with the "of the shattered sun" title (which could just as well be replaced with "I'm a complete idiot"). And this is also the social part of me talking. There are enough social groups that consider buying such a thing to be pretty dumb.

P.S. I love it how you keep on stating that you're antisocial, as if repeating that till eternity convinces anyone, while a few lines further you just have to show that you've been to "elite" restaurants by telling this completely redundant information about how you dislike the food there. It all just screams "look at me, look at me, I'm sooooo anti-social". I'm not trying to offend, I've got no reason for that. I'm just saying that if you're role-playing a goblin here, these are some clear contradictions in your act.

Wooly said...

BTW, You might like this news post and it's basis: Free market flawed, says survey

gaijin said...

every day, I look 2 web pages the greedy goblin and warcraftpets

i think colect pet in game is so pointless like colect gold

what is the real point to colect gold? just to say i have the cap of gold and i am smart enough to do that and you r not?

And what the point to colect pets just to say i have 120 pets?


why we do that stuffs? is because our "ape sub-routines" is because we r animals and like that we need show to others that we r more strong or smart or capable?

or is cause in a strange way we think that is cool?


1st thing that we need look is, WOW is just a game, so does not matter how much gold u have or how much pet u have. If the blizzard folks tomorow say : "we will stop with WOW today" all our gold or pet will vanish...

so have no point in say pets is a waste of time or get the cap of gold to not spend is a waste of time

Cause the deep true is: WOW is a waste of time, so if u will waste your time with that game do it in a way that make u be happy.

i choice waste my time with pets raids and gold and u?

Happyending said...

@ Sidhe

Sadly our raid is the same. Another personal observation that I have made regarding the pet, it's the dead-weight people in our guild that were the first to rush out and get one.

Anonymous said...

It is very clear that you have some beef about the "haves" of the world. It's always a shame when a person places his values above the values of another. You do not "value" the enjoyment that others get from in game pets. That is the underlying fact here. So you dismiss their enjoyment as shallow. This is no different than PvPers not valuing the enjoyment non-PvPers get from the game. I know this is your blog but you really should preface it with a note that you are about to present a narrow minded view of a topic before you post.

I spend a lot of time in game collecting pets and mounts not for a social order issue but for enjoyment (and the achievements). Yes my pets and mounts are my version of the 245 level gear (and above) that hard core raiders get. But I consider that an achievement not a social level. Your 99% employed or in school number is way off however. I have been trying to move up the ranking ladder to higher and higher raiding guilds and the one thing I find is the more dedicated the raider, the lower his RL income is. The last two raiding guilds I tried the guild leaders were unemployed, living with their parents and were older than 25. I would also venture that the median income of WoW players in the US, firmly fixes them in the lower class bracket.

Vanity pets are mostly about a different kind of fun. Its fun to watch Lil' Kel killing critters while I am standing around raid waiting for everyone else to get ready (that's a whole other issue of every one's time being more important then mine).

I love one of the previous comments that said "stupid vanity items that serve no practical purpose". That is an extremely stupid comment. WoW serves no practical purpose and yet they pay for it every month. And by the way, any argument you can come up with to give WoW itself a practical purpose, can be used to validate the vanity pets. Just replace the word WoW with Lil'Kel.

Spending ten bucks on a pet for WoW is no different than spending sixty on a football jersey, thirty on a #3 cap, a thousand dollars on World series tickets, or any other past time YOU enjoy.

Please people, enjoy the game for the things you enjoy and let me and everyone else enjoy it for what we enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I doubt many people play WoW because it's fun. Blizzard makes extremely polished games which provide escape from RL. They aren't necessary the most fun games though.

Introducing an obvious in-your-face "I can pay 10 dollars for a stupid pet" item into a game takes you out of the escape that WoW offers. I think it's a step into the wrong direction.

For people like me, who don't look at pets, I won't notice it. But people who pay attention will be taken back into RL by staring at this pet. Those people may decide to go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Same 'anonymous' as 'I doubt many people play'..., just wanted to add another though.

The post mentions 'cool' people in RL as those who have money. However that's not true in all circles. For example, if you're a boxer, you may find people in gym who you feel are very cool based on their skill.

So in different circles, different things are cool, and in WoW the 300 pound man living in his parent's basement can be cool. If he is no longer cool, he'll take his mom's money and pay for another game.

And if WoW is reduced to the leet few for whom money is not an issue, than they wouldn't want to play it, since there wouldn't be anyone around.

This is a dangerous thing. I personally stay away from games that let you get levels/items based on RL money. I know I'm not the only one. If 10 dollars per pet is going to turn me away from game, blizz will lose 15 dollars a month.
That's not the case ... yet ... but I ordered ps3 yesterday ... so it maybe the end of the world of warcraft for me.

Buznuts said...

I'm delighted blizz has pay for pets.

They are purely cosmetic and have practically zero impact on any *real* game mechanic so while I'm certainly not going to buy one, presumably if people buy them, then they really do want them. They are just playing a different game than me - and it is nice to see who these people are.

However, while I hope we don't get to a point where Tier 12 costs $10 a piece, if thats the game blizz is making then we each have to decide if this is how we want to spend out discretionary time each week.

Notice though that nobody is taking the time to make sure their panda is out for arena matches, but I certainly see people PUGGing Ulduar raids with a panda in tow.

As a PvP-er primarily, the more blizz changes this game, the more it seems that they're reaching a point where PvE is for casuals (and gearing up) and PvP is for "hardcore"/skilled players who want a legitimate challenge and real bragging rights.

RIP raiding.

Tonus said...

Anon "I doubt many people play WoW because it's fun. Blizzard makes extremely polished games which provide escape from RL."

I do think that most people play WOW because it's fun, but there are probably many who also remain because it's an escape. One thing that has become fascinating on this blog is the interaction between the main posts, which seem to be guided more and more by attempts to provoke a certain type of player, and the replies to those provocations.

On the one hand you have Gevlon, pushing the idea that he is a 'goblin,' someone not driven by emotion and who seeks an ascetic lifestyle. His comments directed at 'socials,' (people given to wasteful and not-always-practical decisions in life) are mocking and/or negative, which generates responses in kind. There was a time when he applied this thinking specifically to WOW and gold making, but he has branched out in order to generate more response.

Now it is mostly a tug-of-war between lots of people who don't want to seem too invested while trying to convince others that their point of view is flawed or contradictory. This is nothing new (typical in many forums) I just find it fascinating to see how the blog itself has morphed over time. Has this become an experiment for Gevlon?

Okrane S. said...

@Tonus,

Well, regarding the state of the blog, I agree that it has turned into something else than it was say 3-4 months ago. But, also, most things about in-game wow have been said.

Gold making tips are kinda old news, with all the other blogs running around and the zomg-buy herbs-mill-haxx-post glyphs-loot gold from mailbox-lol strategy.

Its interesting to see how this line of thought is evolving.. maybe it will end up in a philosophy book one day...

Honors Code said...

The problem with keeping up with the Joneses (in Real life) is the Joneses are broke. They are impressing you with their homes, cars, iPhones while drowning in a sea of debt and payments. If you do what broke people do, you'll end up just like they are, broke.

Dan said...

@ Anonymous "I doubt people play WoW because it's fun..."

Seriously? I mean, seriously?

Here's a thought. If your "second-life" isn't fun, then I sure hope your "first-life" is down-right awesome. If both aren't 'fun', I think it's time to re-evaluate life in general.

Nielas said...

I think Gevlon has been overthinking this issue. He does not 'get it' when it comes to pets-for-pay. He tries to come to some understanding of this phenomenon and is grasping at straws. The reasons why people pay $10 for pets is the same reason as why people get epics.

The 2 reasons are:

1. Functional
-epics allow you to tackle harder content and survive nastier encounters. ie allow you to do fun content
-pets have esthetic funcion in that they are cute, funny and just make the game more fun for people who like that kind of thing

2. Epeen
-people get epics because they want to show off and make other people jealous of them
-peple get these pets to show and make other people jealous of them.

The post Gevlon used as the basic for this blog was simply another case of epeen waving and should be treated with the same disdain as people complaing about 'welfare epicz'.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Carra said...

You're missing Elnias main point: " When you buy a pet from the pet store you are not only buying a cute panda monk, you are electing to support with your dollars a specific business model. The consequence is that when you buy a pet from the pet store you are voting with your dollars for the sale of epics.".

If enough people buy those pets we will be flooded with micro transactions. Epics for sale are not far off.

09 November, 2009 12:33


_______________________

/this its like finding a market niche...when something stupid sells i keep feeding the M&S

Anonymous said...

Moltencore anniversary....Hand of Ragnaros Special Edition just 12.99

T1 Set with T12 Stats just 19.99

Rusted Protodrake Limited Pink Edition just 49.99...and so on and so on...and it would defenitly sell

Carl Lewis said...

Unless you RP, or are a girl, it's highly unlikely you give a shit about pets anyway except to sell to vain players. I have to disagree with Elina, this Real money pets mean nothing to the gaming experience. It will only affect losers, and I mean losers who get self worth from thier standing in the game.

Stop Whining

Blizzard go make your money with yo big ass.

The Caffeinated Chemist said...

First off, I really enjoy your blog.

I have to disagree with your opinion of the pets as something someone would only buy to "keep up with the Joneses." I find your definition of "social" and "antisocial" somewhat interesting, because you (like most everyone else who plays the game) appear pretty social to me. I've always considered myself very antisocial, and I love the new pets.

Why do I consider myself antisocial? Well, I've played WoW for over 4 years now, and my experience has been the solo experience. That's how I enjoy the game. I don't PvP, I don't do instances, I don't do raids, and I don't apologize for any of it. If I join a guild, it's usually so I can see the occasional in-guild chatter as I go about my business with my main. That, to me, is antisocial. Not to single anyone out, but if you are a GM or other prominent member of your guild, if you participate in endgame raids, if you make posts on Elitist Jerks, and/or if you make loads of coin in the AH and then blog about it (OK that one was for you Gevlon), then that all seems like inherently social behavior to me. There's nothing wrong with any of that, and under different circumstances I'd be into some of that myself, but it's undeniably social.

This is why I love the new pets, and pets in general. Why on earth would I care what the Joneses (Jenkinses?) think? I barely KNOW anyone online, so why would I care about impressing them? When your WoW experience is the solo experience, though, a little thing like a companion pet with cool animations can go a long way in breaking up the monotony of those "Kill X of Y" quests or of levelling in general. I don't have a bunch of guildies I can shoot the shit with, so it's nice to see the pandaren bust out his kung-fu moves while I'm fishing, or bandaging up, or whatever.

I guess I'm antisocial that way.

Yaggle said...

I actually have far more respect for Second Life than for WoW. They are both games for socials, but at least Second Life encourages creativity by letting you build things and create housing in unique ways. In Wow, all you can do is decide what clothes to wear, what to name your pet, etc. Wow is a game for socials but it is a really bad one.

Wallis of Velen said...

Strykes, I resent that you don't like my and the other regular's antics in trade chat. What else am I suppose to do while I am crafting or browsing the AH, than start mindless arguments and discussions about nothing in particular.

That aside, I agreed that this was an insightful post, I'm sure it will apply to a lot of people, but I'm not sure if it can be considered a rule for socials across the board.

I am definitely a social player, but if I were to buy one of the new pets, It would not be to show it off for other people (I fulfill my daily allowance of in-game E-peening by being a nuisance on trade chat, and getting "lols" from my cronies). Rather, I would buy one of these pets just because I think the abilities they can do are really cool. First time I saw Lil KT ice a rabbit, I fell in love, but until I read Gevlon's post it had never crossed my mind to have the cool pet to show off to other people or keep up with the Joneses. I just wanted it for myself as a more efficient way to kill mass quantities of critters.

Anonymous said...

What Blizzard lives, we play everyday on the Ah..making hugh profit...and with this in mind mostly we sell quality stuff and sometimes we sell shit for the m&s.thats how it goes...just like the flask of portwine i just sold for 12.99g

I dont mind if Blizzard sells stuff like mounts pets or whatever aslong you can get the important stuff ingame without RMT.in other games you need to buy flasks via real money to be able to raid and stuff....aslong this not happen everything is cool.

Emma said...

What I think is you are reading far too much into this.

Virtual pets, plushies, collectors figurines, what's the difference? They're all just objects related to something you love (WoW) and that are fun to own. Sure I could go round someone elses house and look at their collectors edition figurine but there's a difference between looking at one and owning one. Thats pretty much whats happening with the virtual ingame pets in my opinion, purely because the only person I know who owns the purchased pet is a huge collector of WoW merchandise, and will probably throw Blizz their money any chance they get!

Anonymous said...

I remember when people played games for enjoyment. If buying a vanity pet with real money adds to that enjoyment for the individual where's the problem?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps that is their motivation in selling virtual pets, maybe gear/other items down the line. So many people leaving the game, how else they gonna make money.

Carson 63000 said...

The ironic thing for me is that I think, to many people, having a pet out which says "hay I just spent $10 at the shop!" would actually reduce your social standing, not enhance it.

Anonymous said...

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6226758.html

This is what has me concerned about the Pandaren and Lil KT. WoW has no real competition right now, so all they need to focus on is an acceptable yet profitable game.

You'll probably admire the guy in the article, mind you. My point is more that it comes across as an obnoxious money grab. It strikes me personally that it hints at a decline in the already shallow immersion in WoW.

I wonder how many who like their RPG with a slice of MMO would stay if the trend continues.

On another note... In my guild, only people who think they are socially important to the guild bought the RMT pets. I haven't seen it out since they were told their pet is irritating.

Jim Gleeson said...

I guess since I am new to this blog I would first ask what you define as "social" and antisocial" as I think they must mean something different in the context of WoW.

Second, in addition to reading the comments on what this might mean for the future of the game and buying things in game consider this: It has been many years since Blizzard has allowed ways to get things in game from outside of the game including the trading card game, the conventions, and promotions with Mtn. Dew. Out of all those ways, has that ever interfered with in game play? Does a faction change or realm change affect in game play?

People infer that because of this pet store that it will only be a matter of time before we are able to buy things that effect the in game mechanisms outside the game.

I have a friend that would jump at the chance to buy epic gear or an easier way of levelling out of game. But since there has been little evidence of that since the games inception, and since the executives at Blizzard have said they do not wish to affect in game in that matter, I just don't see it happening.

Yes, they might gain some money short term by allowing such a thing, but at what cost? How many people would play WoW if only those with all the real money got the best gear? Part of the fun of WoW is working for that piece of gear. To take out that mechanic would be to nullify the need to accomplish it and the importance of the achievement (albeit it is virtual) would lose its meaning.

Vanity pets, as different from gear, do not effect the in-game mechanics of the game and thus can and should be sold both in and out of the game either directly or indirectly. Such a mechanic strikes me as similar to that of a game for kids called "webkinz." where you buy pets to take care of in game and you have a real life version of that pet to own as well. On a recent interview Scott Johnson had with a Blizzard Exec this was exactly the mechanic Blizzard might be aiming for.

In truth, there has been more change of the in game activities from in game (and from situations where you can get xp and level with a friend much faster than you can alone) that it would be predicted that if such changes occurred they would happen within game than without. For instance, I would bet that there will simply be more ways for a end game character to help the levelling of alts in the future within the game. But I think Blizzard wants to keep that first time in game experience of levelling a character and preserve it while at the same time making it not seem impossible to level a character to an increasingly high level cap. They are searching for balance, and as such the success or failure in the matter of balance is based on the number of subscribers they have while at the same time attempting not to sacrifice the integrity of the game (which some may argue is already corrupted).

In regards to vanity pets taking players "out of the game." Consider this - there are many mechanics we take for granted which take players out of the game. The AH is one of those that could be exactly that. Repetitive quests to rescue arms via fishing is another, pick pocketing things without pockets, when in combat, seeing numbers fly up in the graphics out of the melee, and any addon or interface addition has the capacity to either bring someone out of the game or to further their enjoyment.

As far as what the motivation is for buying these pets; there are many. As many as the ways people play WoW. There are people that actually want to keep up with the Joneses. but there are those that want to "complete" the game by doing all of the achievements. There are others who simply like vanity pets and mounts.

In the end, it takes all kinds.

hound said...

Oh, for crying out loud. One of the anonymous posts waaay up there brings up the idea that the pet store replaces the "need" to purchase loot cards for vanity crap. This is not the first I've read of the idea. This is a lie. The TCG loot cards will not stop being produced, nor will those items be offered in the pet store (or its future siblings).

And people need to stop making excuses, "I agree with Gevlon, but I like the pets for a different and unique reason."

No, you are not unique or different, you just don' want to be honest with yourself.

I hate RMT and microtransactions. Yet for over a year I bought far too many TCG boosters and even got a "cheap" loot card off ebay. Then one day it dawned on me that I was neck deep in micro transactions and was paying upwards of $80 to get "rare" tabards from the Upper Deck TCG website.

Education is good, but it also hurts to realize just how ignorant you are. But until you can look in the mirror and be truthful to yourself, you will always be a social sheep.

Go ahead, get your pet store pets. Enjoy them. Make all the excuses you want as to why you buy them, but you will always be ignorant until you are ready to be something more.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

If you're right, Gevlon, and RMT-pets do eclipse gear as how "socials" rate each other, then doesn't that mean good things for us raiders? Specifically, that removes an incentive for "socials" to raid, which results in less fail-raids and less competition for spots and gear. If socials become more interested in parading around Dalaran with their purchased pets and stop doing 800 DPS in my VoA PUGs, then Blizzard can introduce as many RMT pets, mounts, and stat-less pieces of gear as they'd like.

Also, the noise the Pandaren make is really annoying. Like "I want to claw my ears off" annoying.

Forreststump said...

What's 120 kg? I live in a country that still uses outdated weights and measures.

Anonymous said...

@forreststump: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_pounds_is_120_kilograms

Anonymous said...

The fact that you even have this blog and post crap like this means you are not antisocial. God you are a fucking retard.

Anonymous said...

I always get a kick out of your blog..as for you being anti-social..nope far from it, if you were antisocial you would not be raiding, making gold or writing a blog that garners you attention from the net. Good reading but in the end you are not a special little flower but just like the rest of us experiencing the human condition

Anonymous said...

besides..who really gives a rats ass what or why people do the things they do for?

Oxymustard said...

@Azzur

When I read Elnia's post, there were lots of comments disagreeing with her. Many of these "socials" didn't care much about the pets at all.
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Ofcourse they are going to disagree and say they are not doing it to keep up with the Joneses, you think the social frndly pplz will admit they are retarded apes?