Why Would Selling A Mount Be Bad?

So by now everyone has seen (or at least heard about) the new celestial steed that Blizz has been bloody brilliant at selling.

For the record I got one too.  They are very nice mounts.

And as usual, I was perusing wow.com yesterday after work and I came upon a poll that actually shocked me.  It asked if selling the mount is OK?  And I was quite shocked with the results.  Something along the lines of 30% said it was not ok to be selling it.  And that got me thinking…  Why in the world would it NOT be ok to sell a mount for RMT?  I mean, lets put aside the legalities.  We all know this is BLIZZARDS game, not ours.  We simply rent server time.  Legally, they have the right to turn us into fluffy purple rabbits and make us lay eggs all day.  That is not the issue here.

Effect On The Player

So lets put aside the purple fuzzy bunnies for a short while.  What is the real effect on the player?

The effect is simply to remove the need for a mount from the game for that player.  Completely.  Across all toons.  The mount flies, adjust to training levels, works as both flying and riding – there is ZERO need for a mount to be purchased ever again for that toon.

But it does not remove the need for training.  You don’t have epic flying, you don’t get to move at 280% flying.  Simple as that.

So it really comes down to the burden of the cost of the mount.  And what is it now days?  Like 1g for standard mount, 15 for epic?  Epic fliers are 800 g still, I think.  Is that enough to impact the gameplay?  I doubt it.  As it stands that is about, what, 4 days of AT dailies.  So he doesn’t have to do dailies for 4 days, so what?

RMT Effecting Gameplay

Krizzly from Frost is the New Black wrote something that I initially thought was really spot on: “As long as the items they sell do not directly effect player performance in any way, whether it be through PvP or PvE, I will keep playing.”  I think the whole community pretty much agrees with Kriz on that.

But you know what?  After thinking about it a little bit before sitting down and writing this post, I think I have a different opinion.

I think it is silly to think that RMT transactions, even if they did provide player advantages, would significantly impact gameplay.

Before you hang me out to dry (and I know that statement is just going to rile a few people up), just hear me out.

If you really think about it there could be a total of 3 types of RMT.

1.  RMT’s that have no effect, whatsoever, on gameplay.  Vanity items (and arguably mounts) fall in this category.

2.  RMT’s that effect gameplay, but DO NOT give players advantages where they really count – In endgame.

3.  RMT’s that effect gameplay and DO give players advantages where they really count – In endgame.

Before we get into the dirty specifics about #2 and #3, lets stop and think.  Who would pay to have their toons decked out like that?

Assuming that Blizz would, of course, price gear appropriately, who would actually pay to fill out 16 (or 17) slots on your toon?

In my mind there are three types of people who would do this.

#1 – the elite guilds (think ensidia, and paragon).

#2 – Completely NEW players who have cash to burn.

#3 – The casual who has no time, but plenty of cash.

No Advantage RMT’s

Think of these items as two classifications:  Heirlooms and Lower Tier Badge Loot.  Essentially this would lead to faster leveled Characters, and faster access to endgame (you can pay a fee to get the toon decked out in, say, ulduar gear when we are currently at ICC).  Argueably, we already have this system in place.  It takes time (which is paid for by sub fees) to farm out badges to get heirlooms.  Your reward is a faster leveling experience.

This is great for all players, but especially for #2 who wants access to the fun stuff advertised on the box, but is stuck killing goretusks in westfall for non-existant livers.

Assuming that they buy the “complete” package and levels in 30 or 40 hours instead of the normal 5/6 days, what effect would this have to negatively impact the game?

#1 – the guild now has the group composure they were GOING to have (wether they recruited or someone rerolled) anyway for the end game raiding, just 3 days sooner.

#2 – Bumbling idiot still does not know how to play his class, stand outside of the fire, and is forced to spend time learning his toon ANYWAY.

#3 – Casual still has no time, so likely forks out another “complete package” for another alt.  *Maybe* gets in a raid or two, but is unable to sustain a raiding life because of lack of time.

In the end, there is no real effect in the game, other than, you know, (shaky old grandpa voice) “you young whippersnappers.  In my day I had to run heroics for 5 days before getting my first purple.”

Advantageous RMT’s

These are transactions that would be slightly better than current loot.  Perhaps this is the next tier of gear, or a better gem, or whatever.  Likely Blizz would price these items appropriately (think AVG of $50-100 per slot for gear, $5-10 per gem/consumable).

Of course, this would have a very drastic mark on the raiding scene.  It virtually gives gear advantage right from the bat.

For #1, some guilds take them up, some do not.  Rivalries hit the court, and two completely separate brackets are formed (one with RMT sponsored gear, one without).  All this does is split guilds up between RMT and Non RMT world firsts.

It wouldn’t even put a bigger gap in between the RMT elite and Non RMT “not quite elite but still dammed good” guilds, because they would all be competing in the non RMT brackets.

#2 – AGAIN, bumbling idiot still does not know how to play his class.  Possibly even quits with a sour taste in his mouth because he has the best gear but always wipes to flame walls.  QQ

#3 is likely not even going to pursue this option, maybe for e-peen only, but without much time to raid, is not really going to effect the scene at all.

PvP

Even PvP would have similar effects as #1 Separate brackets would form for RMT and Non RMT sponsored teams.  So no effect there.

(Of course that would be something that blizz would have to implement, and I doubt they *wouldnt* implement this if they did decide to do this).

So in the end, there is very little effect on actual gameplay.  The only effect is there would be a second, RMT bracket to compete in.

So would it be OK to buy the mount?  Is it OK that blizz is selling it?  Yes on both accounts.  Hell, give the guy who thought of it a bonus.  He just made you MILLIONS of dollars.

*braces for flood of comments*

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Comments
4 Responses to “Why Would Selling A Mount Be Bad?”
  1. Sougent says:

    Would be simpler for Blizzard to make the initial tier gear available for purchase with gold (lots of gold) instead of emblems, then sell gold for real money on the website.

    Or better, sell the different types of emblems which would still require going in and choosing the correct gear for your class and what you want to do. It just removes the grind.

    How about selling just the current heirloom gear, bind on account and cross server, $25-$50 a set for the different types (cloth, leather, mail, plate) and kinds (PVE, PVP).

    • Firespirit says:

      I doubt that blizz is ever going to sell gold. Too many issues with it.

      And your arguments are spot on. It removes the grind. But really, that fit’s only for situation 2 – no advantage in end game. Just makes it easy for you to slip right on in.

      Don’t get me wrong here, I am not campaigning for anything of this sort. I am just sort of… Neutral about it now. Meh. I wouldnt do it. To me, the time I put into my character shows in his gear. I wouldnt ever want to cheapen that.

  2. Sougent says:

    Well, selling in game currency for real money works for Second Life, I don’t think the problems would be insurmountable. Though I agree that it’s unlikely that they will go that far.

    They do have an opportunity to create a sub-business that could be very lucrative for them, I’m sure with a little thought it could be done in a way that would be fair to everyone.

  3. Mawl says:

    I think you aren’t looking into one aspect of it that could matter to you. Let’s take it in todays game for instance. You can raid somewhat, like me, and have say a 5600 GS. Now, I try to get into a pug and am told I am not geared enough because they are looking for a 6500 GS and above. Something that puggers wouldn’t normally have, but in this case, some do because they have enough real world money. You would be frustrated and pissed. That’s why Blizzard has walked the line without crossing it. When you are screwing with changing 11 million subscribers you don’t want that effect, especially given that the game is crowning the hill. Think of it like this, how happy would Yarsh be if Martha’s DPS jumped way above his because she has money? They would also put off would be purchasers like me. I don’t get into some games that have pay-to-play aspects because I don’t want to deal with it.

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