With the news yesterday that Blizzard would introduce a way to buy gold for cash/game time for gold in the form of the WoW Token, came the cries that WoW would be going free-to-play and pay-to-win, because as we all know, whenever Blizzard changes something, the sky will fall and everything will be ruined forever.
Free to Play?
Yeah sure, if you have shitloads of gold to be able to do so. Blizzard won’t be losing any money here though, these tokens still have to be bought for real money by people, so it moves the sub cost from you to someone else. WoW is not going free-to-play any time soon, and frankly even if it did, would that be a huge deal? When done right, free-to-play can be a really good thing, but of course nobody sees that. They hear the phrase “FREE TO PLAY” and panic. The sky darkens. Wolves howl in the distance. On the hills to the east are five burning letters.
And the whole world becomes darkness.
Pay to Win?
The other main argument is that WoW will now have a pay-to-win scenario, whereby people will buy these tokens, sell them for gold, then buy all the Black Market Auction House gear and all the high item level epics and become a god among men.
I touched on this on Twitter last night, but the fact is, if you’re not very good at the class/role you are playing as and/or have no awareness of your surroundings, having better gear will not change that. Sure, you might pull slightly higher numbers due to the gear, but that won’t make you an amazing player. It’s skill, not gear, that maketh the man.
As a minor example, I was in a dungeon on my freshly 100 monk the other day. I had an item level of 610 thanks to questing in Nagrand, and I was keeping up (and in some cases overtaking) the DPS of people with gear 40 item levels higher than mine. They had the better gear, but obviously not the mad skillz I possess.
I’m by no means the best player ever, despite my bragging up there, but the point is this will make the game no more pay-to-win than the level 90 boosts did, or the store mounts/pets, or the ugly store transmog helms.
Remember those? The furore! The slippery slope! It’s only a matter of time before Blizzard start selling ACTUAL GEAR in there!
Yeah, that didn’t happen. Quit your panicking, you’re looking silly.