Potential Perpetual Cash Machine

WoW Article

Most arm chair MMO analysts such as me have predicted that this is the end of Warhammer Online along with Mythic Entertainment’s brand. Soon we’ll see them in GU Comic’s dead MMOG fly zapper as Shadowbane and Horizons laugh on. The subscribers have been leaving in droves. No game is worth bounced rent checks or days without your hard earned cash accessible to you. Yet, there is still salvation, and it is on a topic that I was thinking about long before Blizzard’s maverick move last week.

See, WAR has something called the endless trial. You can level up to level 10, out of 40, which allows you to do the first tier battlegrounds and experience the first main area of the game. You can stay that way forever, or move on out into the wild blue open by giving Mythic your credit card number. Something many are now hesitant to do in light of recent events.

Yet, salvation could come by opening the doors to a DDO type revenue model where you buy access to content, quicker experience, and the usual item shop type items. Sure, it might not work 100% in a game dominated by PvP, but it’d be a lot better than to see another AAA title fall and crash.

Especially since there is no other way in my eyes to come out of the tail spin that is, “Warhammer? You mean the MMO that comes in 150 easy payments of $14.99?”

Endless Trials and Tribulations
I was writing this long before Blizzard released the scrub pony for the community to go into an uproar about. A $25 abomination to everything that’s tried and true to our American MMO playing ways. Yet, the apple pie isn’t drenched completely in the scent of cash. WoW isn’t offering endless trials or some F2P option yet. It’s riding a hybrid model where you still have to pay to get on the plane, but extra peanuts are going to cost.

Yet, I ponder, how would it really affect us if Blizzard allowed WoW to have an endless trial? How many of your friends want to play WoW with you but don’t have credit cards or the spare cash to pay essentially 150 long distance minutes at 10 cents a minute each month? The economy is still rough and people aren’t so willing to add another bill to the already piling stack on the kitchen table.

Imagine it, your friends being able to play with you forever stuck at level 19. You could make an alt, play the battlegrounds with them, and they could quit whenever they wanted. If you didn’t want to pay anymore, say you wanted to hop to another game, there would still be the ability to play your alts. It’d be something that allowed everyone to stay connected but wouldn’t unbalance the game in any major way.

Sure, WAR only did it because the subscribers dropped off at an alarming rate with the patented MMO trend that seems to happen to everything that has released since WoW blessed our computers. Yet, I see a lot of promise in incorporating more of these unique ideas in order to help keep the WoW community healthy and strong.

What Else Is Blizzard Going to Sell
I’m calling it now folks, Overcloaks, the new feature coming up in the next patch will be their big thing in the shop. I can see it now, cosmetic changes to your character’s outfit for a low payment of $10. Every console game has pretty much done it and I’m actually very guilty of giving up some of my Microsoft space money to snag a new outfit in a game I’m playing where you stare at the character for a deceitfully long period of time.

Yet, that’s sort of pushing the envelope. The community is already at edge crying foul for that stupid horse. What would they do if the store was full of items such as the Murloc on your shoulder, turn your weapon into a glowing gunblade, or give yourself an amazing glowing aura? I smell riots in the virtual streets as players explode foaming at the mouth, throwing their bags of Cheetos and crushing their empty Mountain Dew cans in rage.

Perhaps they may add virtual Mountain Dew cans and interject advertising into the game as well. Imagine Coca-Cola signs hanging outside of Orgrimmar, the Stormwind jousting tournament brought to you by Axe bodyspray, and the Undercity giving out free samples of Hershey Chocolate’s new “undeath” flavored chocolate.

Whatever they do, I trust them enough to steer the ship in the right direction. You can’t please everyone and WoW is a game famous for having the majority of the players angry about something or another. Whatever they add we’ll adapt. We’ll become stronger. That or we’ll quit and go play something else. Such is the industry.

This may also apply to whatever new game they have in the works, but that's for a different Overpull.