Archive for the “Swag” Category

Today there were two significant announcements.

  1. Patch 6.1.2 is live on March 24 (tomorrow).
  2. The WoW token will be $20.00

If you’re not familiar with the WoW token, it is a token that you can buy from Blizz that can then be sold on the AH. It is, essentially, a means of turning Dollars or EUs or whatever into gold on Azeroth.

Blizz has further said that WoW tokens will sell on an exchange that spans all realms, not just your normal battlegroup set of realms.

Blizz has further stated that they will set the starting bid for that token.

What they have not stated is what that starting bid will be.

I await with bated1 breath for that announcement.

  1. Not “baited”, you bastards. []

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So, as posted on the EU community website, Cosmetic helms are now for sale in the cash shop Blizzard Store. And if you’re into gaudy, they’re not bad.

First of all: 15 US dollars1 is not a microtransaction. I don’t care what your favorite omnibus WoW website says, I don’t care what your favorite MMO forum site says.  The cost of a month’s game time is not a microtransaction. So don’t call it that, and we’ll get along fine.2

Next item: will it affect the game at all?  I can’t really see how, other than consuming precious frame rate.  Seriously, what would a 25-man raid look like with these on everyone?  Will a new Alliance battleground strat involve wearing these and lagging the Horde out?  Considering that it’s gotten zero beta time, these are actually kinda relevant questions. But I’m SURE they’ve gotten EXTENSIVE testing in-house3.

Item the third: when will this hit the US?  Days? Hours? Before this post goes up4Update:  I found out at 2 PM (two hours after publish) that they’re now available in the US.

Item the fourth: what next?  Will we see matching robes, shoulders, cloaks? And sidebar: will the WoW punditry also insist on calling those other items "microtransactions" if they cost 15 bucks5?

The big one: how long until we see pay-to-win items?  And does this indeed signal the final death rattle of WoW6?

that escalated quickly

Oops, sorry, accidentally plugged in to a forum.

The personal one: I’d almost buy the Firelord helm for Flora if she was into gaudy baubles. But in general none of this stuff speaks to my nature.  I seriously doubt that they’ll ever introduce a mog set that says "I work for a living" rather than "I’d like to think that I raid stuff you can’t even imagine."

The thoughtful one: It’s not just this stuff.  So much WoW raiding tier and its predecessor gear looks so hideous to me.  It’s covered with horns, and glitter, and flanges, and glitter, and orbs, and glitter, and ropey things, and glitter, and then they add glitter. SOME of the old vanilla tier stuff is okay7 but for the most part, Blizz is in love with its art department, and its art department all apparently majored in "Ming the Merciless’ Court Trappings".

You thought I was joking

But the thing is, they wouldn’t keep getting more ridiculous with every tier if it weren’t for the users wanting, or at least encouraging it. Those of us that want a more functional approach to awesomeness are not as vocal or as profitable.

I am very much of the opinion that awesomeness is not a function of frills and special effects.  The most iconic weapons are often very much, shall we say, to the point.

Anduril, Flame of the West

Rather than …

I blame Cloud

Maybe Ming wasn’t at fault after all. :)

If you can’t please everyone, the best you can do is give them choices, and that’s where mogging came in in the first place. You may recall my own mogging preferences are somewhat more functional than what my armor actually looks like8. And there are others that go the other way – well, I can certainly see the attraction of some Ulduar and Icecrown gear.

The Cheap One: What I would love to see with this sort of throwaway mog fodder is for it to (also) be sold for in-game currency of some sort, especially near the end of an expansion when people have piles of tokens and nothing to blow them on.  It would be a great JP dump, or Greater Tokens, or Halfhill Tokens, or what have you.

An even better approach would be to (a) make the items purchasable for a new special token type, (b) make it so you could buy that token in the cash shop (e.g.Neverwinter Zen), and (3) then also make that token purchasable for varying amounts of other in-game tokens, such as JP, Darkmoon tokens, etc.  That way, if one particular faction grind was "your thang", then you could, oh, I dunno, enjoy yourself while playing a game.

Because here’s the bottom line for me: they could make the perfect Hunter garb of all time available, and I’d not buy it for cash, not ever. I’m paying that much a month already.  I’m not even sure I’d pay for it if it was F2P.   Virtual items are pretty much gone as soon as you stop playing the game.  Game time, for all its ephemeral nature, gives you a month’s worth of enjoyment, whereas a hat isn’t even usable unless you pay more money.

But I might grind for it.

The Final One: The Godmother over at Alt:ernative had an interesting thought (or a dozen) about the cash shop9, one which was the sale of armor dyes.  I do want armor dyes.  I especially want one like the one in Diablo III that makes your shoulder pieces go away. But I categorically do not want them to be part of the cash shop.  Special colors? Possible.  In general?  Not.  It might be close to a deal-breaker for me, a last sign of cynical money-grubbing from a company that swore up and down that Activision wouldn’t do that to it.  I can only swallow so much hypocrisy, and that would probably mark the high water10 line.

Doing so would also eliminate one of the potential fun elements in-game: making of dyes.  I personally think this would be a great product for Scribes to make11 since they already have all sorts of dyes in the bank.  I think it would be great if they managed to exploit ALL of the herbs from Peacebloom to Golden Lotus to make different armor dyes.  They could just keep adding different shades of dye as new herbs came into being.  Heck, Ghost Mushrooms would be perfect for making armor invisible!12

I kind of doubt that will happen, though. I could be wrong, but they seem to be pushing down hard on the crafting game, and it’s starting to look like there is either a paradigm shift about to happen, or they’re starting to dismantle crafting as an mainstream part of the game. Certainly, it has problems.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.  At least the potential cash mounts will give us more people to admire as they preen on the bank steps and RP walk around Stormwind.


Or something.

  1. That’s 12 Euro on this date. []
  2. We are straying dangerously into pet peeve territory, yes? []
  3. Kaff kaff /points at Theramore []
  4. Looks like: "no". []
  5. My money is on "yes". []
  6. I’m out of sarcasm tags, so use your "imagination". []
  7. Though that Rogue helm that looks like a respirator mask is just stupid. []
  8. I mean, if I was wearing my tier gear, you wouldn’t be able to see my head, even with the helm hidden! []
  9. She’s on a roll, folks. []
  10. Well, it looks like water from a distance. []
  11. I know, I know, just throw more money at them. []
  12. If they do this, seriously, I want a quarter for every game they sell. []

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One first-world problem associated with blogging is keeping up with current events. Well, we’re a couple of months into the Transmorgapocolypse and I’m just now getting around to saying the first thing about it.  Mostly, because, well, I really didn’t think that making it a thing was going to be a thing. But it is, so there you are.

It’s funny the subtle distaste that some people show for using this new feature. I’m not sure really why it’s a big deal to draw a line and step to one side or the other of it, but you will find staunch proponents of each.

But seriously, to have the choice in how your characters appear  is a glorious, fun thing for some, and as long as they don’t force fashion-forward sensibilities upon one’s withered soul, why should one complain?  The game world has become filled with color-coordinated mages and bat-winged warlocks, toons actually have some individuality, and people wanna complain?

Maybe it would be better if I discussed my Wookie Jedi Techno-dance-fight master instead1.

Maybe not.

All I know is that the haters are out there, and they’re gonna hate.  I’m going to point and laugh, because, well, it’s low-hanging fruit2.

If you were to look at me on the armory, the first thing you’d conclude is that I’m one of the haters, since I’m pretty much up there in my T12/T13 underoos for all the world to see. There’s a reason for that.

It’s true, I’m a hater. But I’m a hater with a difference.

I’m a hater of almost everything there is about the gear sets they’ve made for Hunters.  Oh, I kinda liked the eyeball shoulder pieces, but that’s not much of a foundation to work from.

hunter Basically, it comes down to mail. I’m not a big fan of mail. Woodsy ranger-type archetypes are generally more leather-y than we get depicted in WoW past level 40. Something I’ve never understood is how a woodsy ranger-type is supposed to function properly as a woodsman in all that clanky metal crap. And don’t get me started on the T13 shoulders … I’m wider than I am tall with those on!  I’m supposed to slip between trees like this? Truly? I’m not an Orc, I expect my wardrobe to make some sort of sense!

Truth is, forest leathers and a camo cloak are the one right look for a Hunter, which IS available, but NOT to mail-wearers. And, unfortunately, one cannot mog mail to look like leather.

There is, also, a sad footnote for my favorite axe. You may recall that I had doubts that Legacy even existed, when it dropped for me in the twilight of Karazhan raiding. I’ve kept it all these years as a memento of past exploits and a reminder that patience may indeed be rewarded. When mogging came about, I was eager to mog my current staff3 to resemble my treasured axe.  And, well, you guessed it. Can’t mog a staff into an axe. And there ARE no suitable two-hander axes in Cata endgame.

So, aside from my goggles4 and my cloak5, I haven’t sussed a look yet.

We’ve managed to get Jas and Illume gussied up, at least, and Fai’s choice was pretty much a done deal as soon as they made the DK starter gear available for purchase. Not gonna lie, though, Flora’s swinging towards frumpy, but we’re still looking at options. Her opinion that it all looks good when lit by the burning bodies of one’s enemies may well be true, but keeping up appearances is sometimes important. I guess we’ll come back to that.  I don’t like the look in her eyes right now, nor how she’s swinging around that red-hot poker that passes for a dagger.

mog_so_farBut here’s some armory links in case you’re curious about where the mog templates came from: Floramel, Illume, Jasra, Faiella.  I’d include WoWHead links (for the 3D aspect), but that part of WoWHead is down.

  1. This needs to be a thing. []
  2. And if there’s one thing that Dwarves are good at, it’s swinging at low-hanging things. []
  3. Really, why on earth did Hunters get staves in the first place? Does Blizzard even READ fantasy novels? []
  4. Engineering pride, yo! []
  5. Ironforge, REPRESENT, yo! []

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First of all, there have been developments in LialaGate. You can read the update here.

rangermini Second of all, a brief recommendation.

I don’t always wear scents, but when I do, what else could it be but this?1

Ain’t cheap and ain’t fast, but when you gotta get your blunderbuss out, might as well do it with flair, says I!

  1. Silly people, don’t do per-product links or anchors. Ah well. []

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