For the record, WoW has had "microtransactions" for years, they've been selling pets and mounts for 10 or 20 bucks since the second expansion (they're on the fourth now). The news here is that they're setting up the store ingame, where previously you had to log into Battle.net through a browser to make purchases.
Just wanted to clear that up.
But that's always been limited to a handful of mounts and pets. Now it's going to be pay to level faster. And it's going to feel a lot more intrusive as more items are added.
To me it honestly feels greedy, but Acti/Blizz don't have the best record. WoW has earned it's last £8.99 from me if it continues down this path.
I don't think EXP boosters should ever be a microtransaction in an MMO. Leveling up should be FUN (as wow has been) not a race to the end. It's like square enix is porting a game to IOS or something.
The problem is that WoW leveling is fucking terrible. It's a ridiculous samey grind to a huge portion of the playerbase. It serves literally no purpose other than padding out playtime - you learn nothing important from leveling (like how to play your class/spec properly, how to use your utility skills, what your role in a group setting is, etc) because it's so mind-numbingly easy so all it ends up being is weeks of killing the same 10 bears. Over. And over. Sometimes in the icy mountains, sometimes in an arid wasteland, sometimes in a tropical rainforest nestled magically in a glacier. That doesn't make the actual grind less boring or tedious. Yeah you can learn how to kill bears, but that doesn't *matter* - bears are never a challenge. Most players hit max level and have no fucking clue how to play their class, because the PvE quest grind is just an exercise in patience more than a test of skill (or a training session).
This microtransaction is for raiders and PvPers, basically - anyone who enjoys the (grindy skinner box) endgame content more than the (samey monotonous boring) quest grind past 89 painstaking levels and dozens of forgettable zones. If you "enjoy" the leveling content, guess what; the addition of a pay-to-skip-this-content option has literally no effect on you. Literally none at all. The other players don't get more gold, they don't get fatter loots, they don't get faster mounts - they get past content they don't like to get to the content they do like, with literally no effect on you in the process.
It's brilliant, really. And to anyone seriously thinking Blizzard is "starting" microtransactions: where the fuck have you been since 2006 man? $30+ server transfers? $20+ faction transfers? $25 mounts? $10 minipets? And before you get all "hurr durr that stuff doesn't affect gameplay," let me just preemptively prove you wrong; the play experience varies drastically based on server population and faction ratio. Try leveling Horde on Illidan and then level as anything else anywhere else, it'll be a fucking ghost town in comparison. That is a very real and measurable gameplay alteration, and is available for money (and has been for years).
Blizzard isn't new to this money making thing, guys. Stop pretending they are. They still maintain the highest quality MMO by *far*, and will probably continue to add quality content (raids, solo player shit like brawlers guild, etc) for years to come. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the MMO fare these days, but if samey grindy PvE content is what tickles your fancy, you literally cannot do better than WoW.
I honestly don't see the problem.. Sure they're offering stuff to buy for micro payments.. but they have for years.. No-one is forcing peeps to use them but the option is there if you are so inclined..
What is so bad about choice?
Thats the reason why its already possible to boost your XP gain rate by nearly 100% through in game items.
To say nothing of the fact that actually making it to level 90 still takes well over 100 hours even then.
Calling you on this one, leveled a fresh pally 1-90 in 3 days 4hours played (76 hours) using heirloom gear, now sitting at 4 days played and has enough gear to get her into the first 5 LFR runs, give it another day played and I will be in ToF LFR.
There is no longevity in WoW, leveling is now a speed run to cap then a few weeks in heroics/LFR and boom you have seen most if not all relevant content, you are now done with the game in under a month.
Fair enough. I've not actually leveled a character from 1-85 since cata, as by the time Mists rolled around i already had a n 85 of every class.
Though I don't think my overall point is any less valid. It took you 76 hours with full heirlooms. Meaning you had something like 80% faster leveling than they did straight off, plus extremely powerful gear that scales with you. Heirlooms make low level characters stupidly powerful. Given that, i don't think its unreasonable to expect a nmew player to take more than double that time to actually get to 90.
And there goes my last ounce of interest in WoW. Blizzard has effectively put any love I had for the game to death.