As the WoW Token Turns

You probably heard about the WoW Token already, and might even be aware it was finally implemented yesterday. What you might not know is that it does strange things to people.

Strange, terrible things.

Damn, so close to 2 years.

Damn, so close to 2 years.

What I knew going into this is that I wanted to jump on the opportunity the WoW Token represents, which is: a gold sink for the AH goblin that has (had) everything. Shit man, back in the day I was experimenting with selling stuff like Vial of the Sands, which was a crafted mount that required an extraordinary sunk gold cost right at the start. If it was not profitable, I would move on with the next bit of expensive AH R&D. It wasn’t millions of gold (Glyph spamming the AH was boring), but I was making gold just to make gold, you know? I couldn’t really bring myself to actually spend it on anything as I knew most things would be irrelevant by the next patch anyway; I wasn’t raiding, so who cares?

Queue my slight anxiety at the following error message:

Been down this road before.

Been down this road before.

Was I hacked? Had my sizable stockpile been removed? I mean, I can clearly see my fully-dressed namesake there in the background, so I wasn’t stripped bare. Plus, the Authenticator was still humming along, not to mention my frequent bouts in Hearthstone, which I assume might have been in jeopardy had my characters in WoW been banned. Then again, maybe not. Whatever the case, I wasn’t able to purchase WoW Tokens from the character select screen.

And the story might have begun and ended there. Purchasing game time so I could log in and purchase more game time kinda defeats the purpose of WoW Tokens, yeah? If you’ll notice in the first screenshot though, I was still able to redeem my free 10-day trial of Warlords and take full stock of the situation.

Where I logged off two years ago.

Where I logged off two years ago.

Observations:

  1. Damn, the default interface is still really terrible.
  2. I’m glad I set up the Curse Client all those years ago to manage my addons.
  3. Oh hey, the Curse Client updates addons but doesn’t save any of the settings.
  4. Recreating an interface I actually want to use is going to be an all-night project.
  5. I’d rather be playing Dead Island: Riptide.
  6. Oh, right, WoW Tokens.

I ended up purchasing four WoW Tokens at around 31,000g apiece. Before I logged off, I poked around the AH some to see the general prices of things. Even though I’ve only been back for a hot minute, my mind already sees the dollar signs creeping in:

It has begun.

I can’t turn that part of my brain off.

It’s just a matter of time until someone writes a tiny add-on that projects these prices in-game.

But will it actually matter in the scheme of things? It’s hard to tell. I ended up buying nine (9!) WoW Tokens before calling it a night. The limit is supposedly ten tokens per month, and I might end up shuffling gold around to do just that. You know, to say that I did.

But then it hit me: I now have nine months of WoW subscription. Assuming I play the game at all, that means pretty much any gold I generate between now and the next expansion will be pure bonus. So while I can still see those dollar signs in a general sense, what they represent (i.e. additional game time) is not nearly as valuable as before I had nine tokens.

By the way, between the time I originally bought four tokens and the last five, the price had dropped to 26,000g.

Now the fun (?) begins.

Now the fun (?) begins.

It shall be an interesting dynamic, yeah? On the one hand, I find it hard to believe that enough people have spent $20 on tokens to sell in the ~2 hours between the first batch I purchased and the second. On the other hand, Blizzard has so warped the playerbase over the years that $60 boosts and $25 character transfers have long ceased raising eyebrows. I personally know a few people who have transferred characters a half-dozen times (or more) following a migrating guild or chasing progression. In that sense, what’s another $20 here and there for gold?

The alternative theory is a bit more grim. Perhaps instead of there being too many extra sellers, maybe there aren’t enough buyers? If there is indeed an account-level limit of 10 tokens, there can’t be a mass-dumping of gold into the economy as even AH barons cap themselves out. We also know that the vast majority of MMO players are poor. So the actual market for these tokens will just be a narrow wedge of players who can make gold easily and don’t care about raiding, else they would be chasing the BoE epics that give them 5% better stats. And as I mentioned before, even these players will likely tap themselves out before too long – once you go past 3-4 months of paid time, what’s a fifth month really worth?

It will be an interesting year for WoW, that’s for sure. And if for some reason it isn’t… well, I’ll just let the account lapse and then revive it once it gets interesting again. For free. Forever.

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Posted on April 8, 2015, in WoW and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I was going to buy a token, but all my gold is in the guild bank of my vanity guild, and it seems you can’t spend it from there on an inactive account. :-(

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  2. Do these tokens automatically get activated? Or can you save them for the next expansion?

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    • They’re in my inventory, and as far as I know they do not expire.

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      • Do… do… do they stack?

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      • Haha, unfortunately they don’t stack in the inventory. A little more annoying detail is how they’re soulbound items, which I understand, but that means you can’t mail them to your other characters. So I have 4 on Azuriel and 5 on my banking alt who had the other half of my wealth. I’d have preferred having them all in one centralized location so I could gaze upon them at my leisure.

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  3. It’s an interesting compromise to allow players with extra dollars and players with extra gold to swap resources, but I wonder how it will plateau in a few months. In one night you bought 9 months of game-time. Others probably did the same. How many of those people will buy another token in the next 9 months? Do you think the AH environment could get to a point where no one’s buying? Or only buying so low that it’s not worth spending $20.

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    • The pet cost €10 and went for 5000g, which means a token in a saturated marked would crash down to 10’000g.

      But I think it wont go that far down because gold-rich people will stat to run multiple accounts.

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      • While that is certainly one way to bypass the restriction, WoW doesn’t provide as much of an incentive to have multiple accounts running concurrently. Compare that to EVE, where a 2nd account is all but mandatory.

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  4. Late last night they “significantly increased” the number of tokens you can buy with gold in a 30 day period. I dunno what the limit is now. I imagine the price won’t be shooting up or anything as a result though. Whats the rush in buying more wow tokens if you have 10 already and the gold price just keeps going down? I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bottom out at 20k or even 15k at the rate things are going.

    Also don’t just blame Blizzard for warping the player base to spend $$ on fake money. Think of pretty much every f2p app game ever. Lots of people spend lots of money of pixels.. they just do.

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    • I don’t blame Blizzard for the WoW Token at all. What I blame them for is the insane pricing on server transfers and other such account changes. It costs $25 to move one character. The remaining friends that still play WoW have long since moved off of Auchindoun-US, which means I have 10 characters trapped on that server. While we can still raid/do dungeons/possibly even quest with some of the features implemented in the meantime (cross-realm stuff), at the end of the day I’m on a PvP server and they are not. If I wanted to move, say, three characters that would cost $75.

      The prices made sense back in the day, when it required a human being to manually copy & paste files or click a box in a spreadsheet or whatever it was. Now? It’s all automated and practically instantaneous. Still costs the same. And they also claim that the price is that high to discourage mass exoduses off of servers, which always seemed disingenuous to me considering how much bank they make doing so.

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      • I agree 100% with that. The prices for those services is insane.

        They should let you buy them with WoW Tokens. -.o

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      • It’s plausible that the price is that high to discourage mass exoduses, but it isn’t plausible that there is no bulk transfer option. A mass exodus is an exodus of people, not of characters. In the end there is no difference between a person moving one character or ten, since one cannot play on more than one server at a time with a single account anyway. So while the 25 dollar floor makes sense, the 250 dollar ceiling is absurd.

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  5. It should be kept in mind that the player will need two World of Warcraft accounts or help from another player with a different account to make this work because players cannot bid on their own auctions even if they’re on different characters within the same account.
    Get More : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-Y_wL5d2JQ

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