Since the blog title is about me standing in fire, I should probably do it sometime, so this post will be both opinionated and cynical.
I’m also aware that the information we have about the Premium based RealID cross-realm dungeon feature, is admittedly very scarce. A lot of people argue this feature will be bundled in with the WoW-Remote (2,49£/month), which sounds likely to me, so this will probably end up as an additional subscription fee. but frankly, we don’t know. This post is therefore mostly based on the discussions going around and how the community received these news.
What’s going on?
One thing has come to my mind after seeing more players advocating that they support this premium feature, is why would they support something which essentially will cost them more?
From the con-corner you’ll hear arguments such as “it has already been paid for through our subscription, as with everything else they’ve added to the game (such as ReadID chat, LFD etc), so why should we suddenly pay extra?”
A lot of commenters on the forums seem to believe the probability of Blizzard needing money, and they are apparently willing to “step up” and donate by paying for this. Some also seem to buy the story that it is a “fairly complex service” to develop, so “of course we should pay for it” and “nothing comes for free” (although a subscription isn’t for free either). Some even say that we’ve been lucky they havn’t upped the subscription fee from when WoW came out (gee thanks!…), and some say that they’d rather they upped it than adding premium offers for in-game services. And that’s not even them all, but I’ll end it here.
Looking back at WoW’s history, it’s utterly amazing that they were even able to develop the Burning Crusade Expansion! I mean, they only had around 8 million subscribers when BC actually came out, and most of the time less – talking about being poor!
Would have been Nice with Rift on here, but I guess it came out too recently.
Also, comparing to the other MMO’s on the list, WoW really scrapes the bottom, they’ve obviously been struggling for years!
I bet their market share is sucky too!
MMO Market Share april 2008
I knew it! WoW is barely cutting it, they need the extra moolah to develop this super-soaker-crazy-shaper-over-the-top-PREMIUM-feature (if anything deserves to be coined “premium”, it’s definitely this!), which has to be coded from scratch, ’cause it’s clearly not based on already existing content. And where else would they get the money from, if not by microtransactions?
Did I hear someone say “the sub”?
“Well, yeah, technically I could get all in-game-features for the sub like I have so far, but I reeeaaaally want to pay more. I just… I just want to throw more money at them, because … because they can do what they want.. or something?!.. and if they want to add more to the premium, that’ll make me out-of-this-world-joyous, I just love paying extra!“
Well, I don’t want to pay more, I want the goddamn thing for the sub! Even if I don’t need it right now, I might in the future. And even if I might not need it in the future, the next premium-feature perhaps I will need, and when that happens, it’s too late and my only choice is to pay or pout. And even if I might never need it, and that I might never need any future additional premium offers, I am principally against a sub+premium on behalf of the players it does affect, including a potential future me.
But why are players not voting for their own cause?
Why aren’t the forums unanimously booming with people saying “we want it for the sub”, why would anyone actually support it, and on top of it all, come forward and say they want their sub raised? (Was it around today some Rapture was going to happen? – I’m starting to believe it!). Why are people so willing to shrug, pull out their wallet and say “well, they are here to make a profit, so I’ll pay them”.
Maybe I’m weird, but I want the best price I can get! If I can avoid paying a premium, an extra fee, a sub on a sub, then that’s what I’ll do!
Are we unable to see things clearly?
It made me think of an old term called False Consciousness, and without being overly versed with political history and Marxism, I’ll try and explain what it is.
False Consciousness, which is marxist in it’s origin, originally tried to explain why some workers supported the bourgeois and therefore betrayed their chances to improve their own conditions. As the class struggle debate has cooled down, the term has since been applied to other areas, f. ex. the “happy-hooker myth”, saying that the women who prostitute themselves are under an illusion that’s this doesn’t harm and oppress them. In relation, it’s also been used to explain why some female supporters of fundamental Islam believe their religion is beneficial to them. According to this theory, they all suffer from False Consciousness.
False Consciousness arise when a group in power (originally a class), are able to conceal the actual conditions and mislead others to believe that whatever dogma they tell them, is in everyone’s best interest. It’s about people being kept from seeing the oppression that they are enduring, for what it is.
I wouldn’t say p(l)ayers are oppressed, but I would claim there’s some misleading going on, especially in the words the Blues use. We’re not led to see the whole picture.
Neo being able to actually 'see' the collective False Consciousness (The Matrix)
The concept of False Consciousness therefore goes against what individuals actually experience, as it claims that what you believe is what you’ve been led to believe, and it’s not even for your own good, basically you’ve been cheated.
Are we being cheated?
Are we being cheated when they try to justify a fee by making it sound expensive to develop?
Are we being cheated when they say it’s a service? – what in the game is not a service?
Are we being cheated when they tag it “premium” – does it live up to what you would call premium? Just because someone calls a biscuit a Black Forest Gateau, doesn’t make it any less a sad birthday cake.
Are we being cheated when they want to charge extra besides the subscription fee for it?
When reading forums and some blogs, it made me wish players were more critical of Blizzard/Activision and whatever comes out in blue text, especially when it’s in the players’ own interest to not just wag their tail, roll over and point to the silverware.