Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

The MMO Where you Pay to be Social

...And don't forgot to pay us so you can also play with them

I would never have guessed this would be WoW.

But here it is, straight from the Blues of the EU forums:

Cross-Realm Dungeon Feature Coming Soon” – quoting:

“With the continued popularity of the Dungeon Finder, many players have been asking for a way to group up with real-life friends who play on other realms to take on instances together. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about a new feature currently in development that will allow players to invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player regular or Heroic dungeon.

As this is a fairly complex service to develop, we don’t have a release date to share quite yet. It’s important to note that as with some of the other convenience- and connectivity-oriented features we offer, certain elements of the cross-realm Real ID party system will be premium-based, though only the player sending the invitations will need to have access to the premium service. We’ll have more details to share with you as development progresses — in the meantime, you may begin to see elements of the feature appear on the World of Warcraft PTR.”   (My emphasis)

First of all, I believe Blizzard when they say the service is costly to make, game development is just darn expensive, but much of the code is already implemented – LFD and RealID, which both were services we were never asked to pay extra for. So to make it sound like this is so ground-breakingly expensive that they need additional funds (ironically coming from the most successful MMO-company in the world), I would claim is to bend the truth.

It’s also concerning that they are flagging it as “premium”, as out of the ordinary, when I believe social features that strengthens connectivity between players, should be flat out for everyone. If they are going forward with premium settings for in-game services, we’re looking at a huge change of path.


I still remember the Celestial Steed discussions that burst out after the announcement. Some disagreed, some thought it was fine, and some asked “What will be next?”

– This.

The discussion in the cross-realm-dungeon-feature-thread (which hit the cap and so continued into part II and part III) is pretty much unanimous, which was not the case with the Celestial Steed debate. I couldn’t find anyone on the first 6 pages who thought it was all cool, in fact the majority of the comments  fall somewhere around astonishment, anger and disappointment, it’s a very saddening read.

No.. you can't play with him.. it's only for the SAME faction.

Before we lose our heads though, we don’t know the price yet, and only very few details about it. But remember how the RealID forum dispute went – They pulled back their plans to connect forum posting to our RealIDs after massive opposition from the players. After looking through the discussions following this announcement, I’m hoping this will turn out that way too…

– cause sometimes, apparently, you need the players to tell you how to NOT run your MMO.


Update 21st of May 2011

Forum threads keep spilling over, and the players for it, are easier to see, although I’d still say it looks like the majority are against it.

Thread 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 has sprouted on the US forums and as of now the discussion is on its 12th thread, not to mention the many replica threads, I got lost in them all.

8 comments on “The MMO Where you Pay to be Social

  1. Zinn
    May 20, 2011

    Yeah, we can only hope that Blizzard get the massive hint. If no one thinks it’s a good idea, you either scrap it, or figure out a better way to explain to people why they’re wrong than “we need your money to afford this”. Don’t think many people buy that “fact” tbh.

  2. TheGrumpyElf
    May 20, 2011

    From what I have read I do not think it is the system itself that people are upset with, it is the fact that you will have to pay for it. They are just being cheap is all.

    To an extent I agree. The system is already designed to let us group cross realm without our input, letting us have our input should not be something that is charged for.

    My real issue is with the RealID. I don’t use it, never have and never will. As soon as they let us choose a name to display so we do not need to give our real name it serves no purpose in my gaming life.

    However, I say let them sell it. Someone will buy it, they will make money, it might get us more content faster, more power to them. As long as it does not give someone an advantage in game, like selling gold or gear would, I don’t really care.

    • ironyca
      May 20, 2011

      I agree.
      This won’t affect me either, I don’t have a need for the service as it is right now, thankfully :)
      I’m concerned about the principle of selling in-game-services and therefore I’m concerned about the future, where will the company draw the line?
      If they needed more income, why didn’t they just sell another vanity pet, it’s non-controversial, it’s also cheap production wise and then invest it into this feature?

      Why premium? “What does it mean?” It really concerns me.

      • TheGrumpyElf
        May 20, 2011

        Absolutely. Those pets make a fortune I am sure and you can never underestimate people, they will buy the same exact pet in 18 different color designs if you let them.

        They have the new flying mount coming out soon. That, with this added to it, seems like they are running a massive cash grab. That more then anything worries me.

        If they are running a massive cash grab there are usually three reasons for that.
        1) They are in desperately need of money to justify their existence in a much larger company.
        2) They are basically cashing out while they know they can because they see the cow is dying.
        3) They are using their main marketable item to help finance other items (titan).

        Two of those three reasons is not a good thing for WoW’s future, however, I think it is probably #3.

        • ironyca
          May 20, 2011

          Interesting, I never thought of this, your number 3.

          Definitely puts the whole “it’s costly” debate into a different light – you know, some people talking about upping the sub or lowering it while adding purchasable premium features such as this one.

          I wonder how they’d feel about funding a whole other game with the premiums from WoW, hehe.

  3. Döra
    May 20, 2011

    This wont affect me either, as I (like Grumpy Elf) will never use RealID whilst it forces us to use our real names and doesn’t allow the ability to ‘appear offline’.

    But this definitely ‘feels’ like a change in direction that Blizzard is taking with this one. For some – just a small step. But each journey begins with one small step, and I fear for the destination.

  4. Pingback: False Consciousness and the Acceptance of Premium Fees | Ironyca Stood in the Fire

  5. Pingback: Real ID Friend Parties for Free! | Ironyca Stood in the Fire

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This entry was posted on May 20, 2011 by in Opinion and Discussion and tagged , , , .


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