Sunday, April 18, 2010

What would you pay for?

In what could be described as a somewhat controversial move, (by which I mean the entire blogosphere is on fire because of it,) Blizzard recently made a mount that functions like the Headless Horesman's Mount available for $25. It scales to your riding skill, will upgrade to 310% if you own another 310% mount, and applies to your entire account. So why would you want to shell out that much for the sparklepony? Well, personally, I wouldn't. That image there might look cool, but if you see it ingame, the animations are a little messed up, and it just looks off if you see it with Shadowform. So it doesn't even look cool. The main reason I see for wanting it is that you won't need to spend gold on mounts for your alts. The total savings is 161g per alt (1g for regular, 10g for epic, 50g for flying, 100g for epic flying.) That said, that's only a small portion of the cost of riding; you still pay 7110g for the riding training.

But that topic has been discussed to death. I'm here to consider what they could actually offer that I might pay for. So, let's list some criteria that must be met for me to value something:
  • It needs to save me time or gold.
  • It needs to do so without cheapening the existing game experience.
  • It needs to accomplish the above without harming other players if someone has it.
So basically, the second two mean that gear upgrades, or really anything that grants a competitive advantage are off the list. I'm also not going to waste much time on things they already have available that fit the list (like server transfers, for example.)

Bigger Backpacks. Arguably, this makes me a more powerful character than someone without it, but we get by just fine with the currently-available bags. A 32-slot backpack for all your alts isn't going to be a game-breaker for someone else. In fact, in all probability, no one will know who has one and who doesn't. I'd pay $5 to give +16 backpack slots to my whole account.

BoA Flight Paths. I like how the "you need to visit the destination first" mechanic of the flight path system made me explore the world on my first few characters. When I'm levelling my umpteenth alt, however, it's pretty annoying to find out that I need to hike to Tanaris or something. (Actually, I recently got around that problem by taking the Caverns of Time portal from Dalaran.) If they sold an account upgrade that made it so all of your characters had all of the flight paths that any of your characters had, I'd be down with that. I'd pay $2 for this feature.

Hard-Mode BoA Items. I'd pay for a BoA trinket or an item for some other mostly-harmless gear slot that granted a -25% damage/health/healing/absorbtion in exchange for a +35% XP from kills and +5% XP from quests. Normally I find leveling an alt fairly fun, but not as fun as raiding, because it's not challenging enough. These would help with both things I dislike about the leveling experience: it's too long, and it's too easy. I'd pay $10 if I could get one for every one of my alts, or like $4 if I had to be bothered mailing it around between my characters. Add $2 if it increased out-of-combat health and mana regen to something fast enough to make my downtime about equal to the time it takes to run to the next mob.

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