While these are just vanity items, one has to wonder how far Blizzard can take this microtransaction model with the largest MMORPG game being played today. They already offer (and offer quite successfully) realm transfer, name change, character re-customization, and race and faction change services. This appears to be the next logical step for them to take. Could the next offering being in-game vanity outfits? A valid question that only time will answer.
The first offerings of microtransactionable in-game items include a Pandaren Monk pet and a Lil K'T pet. Half the proceeds from every Pandaren Monk pet (and only the Pandaren Monk) will go towards the Make-a-Wish foundation -- which is a nice gesture to a company Blizzard has previously supported.
The full details of the announcement, along with the images of the pets and an FAQ, after the break.
Today we're pleased to introduce the Pet Store for World of Warcraft, a new way for players to obtain in-game pets to join them on their adventures in Azeroth. Two brand-new companions are now available for purchase exclusively at the Pet Store in the online Blizzard Store: Lil' K.T. and the Pandaren Monk.
Make a Difference: Pandaren Monk Charity Pet
Enter the Pandaren Monk, ( http://u
s.blizzard.com/store/ details.xml?id=110000 0763 ) a martial-arts expert who's here to help celebrate the upcoming fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft. He may be cute, but he's proof that even the softest of critters can overcome the hardest of circumstances. For every Pandaren Monk that finds its way to a player's side between now and the end of the year (December 31, 2009 at 11:59 PDT), we'll donate 50 percent of the $10 purchasing price to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in an effort to brew up a little hope, strength, and joy in a child's life.
Lil' K.T., the Littlest Lich
Lil' K.T. is a miniature lich who bears a striking resemblance to the legendary lord of Naxxramas, Kel'Thuzad. But don't let his diminutive stature fool you: Lil' K.T. has a diabolical laugh and wields true power at his bony fingertips, randomly wreaking icy havoc on critters who dare to cross his path. You can now buy this new pet for $10 on the Blizzard Store. (http://u
In order to receive a purchased pet, you'll need to merge your World of Warcraft account with a Battle.net account. For more information on Battle.net, please visit the FAQ. ( https://
us.battle.net/faq/ind ex.html ) For more information on the new Pet Store, visit the Pet Store FAQ. ( http://u s.blizzard.com/suppor t/article.xml?locale= en_US&articleId=2 9845 )
The Pet Store FAQ:
Why are you introducing this service?
What does this mean for the future of WoW? Check out our WoW Player's Guide To Microtransactions.
The Pet Store provides a new way for players to obtain unique companion pets outside of the game, which is something that has been requested by many players who enjoy World of Warcraft's non-combat companions.
Will more companions be available for purchase in the future?
We plan to add more pets to the Pet Store in the near future. Keep an eye on the official World of Warcraft website and the online Blizzard Store for details.
Where can I go to purchase these pets?
You can purchase these in-game companions by visiting this link or heading to the online Blizzard Store, where you'll find the Pet Store pets under the Collectibles tab.
Will I be able to acquire these Pet Store pets by questing, through holidays, on in-game vendors, or by any other in-game methods?
No. Pets purchasable through the Pet Store will not be obtainable through quests or other in-game means -- they're only available through the online Blizzard Store.
How do I redeem a Pet Store pet once it's been purchased from the Blizzard Store?
After you purchase the pet, you'll receive a code that can then be redeemed on any World of Warcraft account via Battle.net Account Management. You don't need to redeem the code on the same Battle.net account that made the initial purchase – feel free to send the code to a friend as a gift.
Will these pets count toward pet-related achievements?
These Pet Store pets will count toward the total number of pets a character has for achievements like Plethora of Pets or Lil' Game Hunter.
Will these pets help me in combat?
No, these pets are strictly cosmetic. They have some fun animations and sound effects, but they will not help you in PvP or PvE.
What characters will receive the Pet Store pet that I purchase?
Once you redeem your code on an individual World of Warcraft account, every character on the account will receive the pet in their in-game mailbox (including any characters you create in the future). If you wish to purchase the pet for multiple different World of Warcraft accounts merged with the same Battle.net account, you will need to buy a separate pet for each World of Warcraft account individually.
**Please Note** If a character transfers off of the account where the pet is bound the pet will be lost.**How long will these Pet Store pets be available?
The Pet Store pets are available only to players on realms located in North America, Europe, and Korea. A Battle.net account is required in order to redeem the pet.
What charity will I be supporting when I purchase the Pandaren Monk pet?
Donations from every sale of the Pandaren Monk pet through December 31, 2009, will be given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. To find out more about this charity, please visit www.wish.org.
How much of every Pandaren Monk pet sale will go to charity?
For each Pandaren Monk sale, we'll donate 50% of the $10 purchase price to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For more information on this charity, visit www.wish.org.
How long will you be making this donation?
We will continue to make a donation for each Pandaren Monk pet purchased until December 31, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
Will the pet still be available for purchase after the donation period is over?
Yes, you will still be able to purchase the pet after December 31, and we do not currently have any plans to remove this pet from the Pet Store. The Blizzard Store purchasing page will provide information on any changes to availability.
Does this mean you'll be introducing more services like this in the future? Will you be introducing the ability to buy epic weapons/etc. in the future, for example?As with the pets, mounts, and other items players can obtain through Loot cards from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, Pet Store pets are purely cosmetic and just for fun. Like other paid services we offer, such as Paid Name Changes, Race Changes, and Character Re-Customizations, the Pet Store service is entirely optional and intended to provide players another means to enjoy World of Warcraft in a way that isn't detrimental to the game and that doesn't detract from the gameplay experience for players who choose not to use the service.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.