Blizzard's recent blog post about Warcraft's next expansion has whipped up a storm.
Blizzard has published an official blog sharing its plans for Warlords of Draenor. It covers details surrounding pre-purchasing the next World of Warcraft expansion, as well as the controversial decision to go ahead with offering not only a free character boost to level 90, but also paid boosts. Players who pre-purchase the Digital Deluxe edition, which comes with a free mount and pet, will be rewarded with these goodies along with the free boost at the time of pre-purchase.
Judging by the content of this blog, Warlords of Draenor is set to move into open beta very soon, with Blizzard getting ready to test the functionality of the boosts to level 90 on the PTR. Their reasoning behind this new microtransaction is they'd like to avoid players going through "roundabout methods (such as purchasing multiple boxes and performing multiple character transfers)" in order to get more than one boost. It's important to note that a brand new level 90 character may be created too, but Blizzard promise to share more information on that later.
Currently the WoW playerbase appears divided on the topic of paid character boosts, with arguments for and against raging all over the forums and other social media. Accusations such as 'pay2win' are being thrown around, so Community Manager Bashiok has attempted to alleviate players' anxieties by responding to these concerns, explaining why character boosts won't have the negative impact everyone seems to fear.
World of Warcraft is approaching its 10-year anniversary. Come Warlords of Draenor, players will be able to level to 100 and the question has to be asked: How high should the levels go before the idea of paying for levels with real money becomes widely acceptable? Initially the announcement at Blizzcon that WoD would come with a free character boost was met with cheers of approval. What nobody thought of at the time was the fact that, with this new feature, paid boosts would also become a neccessity as players could otherwise make extra accounts, claim the free 90 and then pay for it to be transferred.
Undoubtedly, these character boosts will be a huge draw to past players who'd like to come back to the game but don't want to spend time levelling up through old content in order to catch up with WoD. There's been talk of content being added to the game to help players who take advantage of the offer of a fresh 90, providing them with an experience designed to teach the basics of the class, similar to the Death Knight starting zone.
Personally, as a long-term player of WoW, the idea of character boosts doesn't bother me. For me, the intention behind it is to get players back into the game, and that's a good thing. It's also a boon to current players who have already levelled through content and don't have any desire to see it again. Plenty of people enjoy the levelling process, but many don't consider the game to truly begin until end-game has been reached.
I've published an in-depth video discussing the various arguments surrounding this debate, but what do you think? Will you be taking advantage of a character boost in Warlords of Draenor?
Penny for your thoughts,
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