It has begun. Anti-inflation measures intended to reduce player Gold before Wrath of the Lich King arrives have been put in place on the test server. Everyone's favorite (or most hated) socialite Haris Pilton has transformed into more than just a nod to bad pop culture, Patch 2.4.3 sees her as the single biggest gold sink in the game. Just like her enterprising real-life counterpart, Pilton has launched a new line of bags and jewelry that is sure to bait some players into parting with their hard-earned Gold.
Pilton's flagship product, the epic "Gigantique" Bag is the only 22-slot bag of any sort and the biggest non item-specific bag available to players. It is bigger than the Pit Lord's Satchel, which drops off Magtheridon; the Sun Touched Satchel which is a zone drop from Magister's Terrace; the Tattered Hexcloth Sack from a quest in Zul'Aman; and even the Phat Loot Friday-featured Primal Mooncloth Bag. At a whopping 1,200 Gold, it's also the most expensive bag from a vendor or otherwise. Clever little Haris has also dissociated herself from The Lower City, so no discounts will be honored and she'll earn full profit from your Gold. The kicker? "Gigantique" Bags aren't unique.
This means that the richest of the rich can have four of these for their inventory at 4,800 Gold, just under the price for epic flight training. The truly hardcore can even purchase one for all seven bank slots for a hefty 8,400 Gold. For some players, that's a drop in the bucket. But multiply these with a little altoholism, and all that money can burn up pretty quick. It's possible that the "Gigantique" Bag will be replaced by a bigger bag when the expansion hits, but these bags will be very useful for quite some time. With the consolidation of statistics as a new direction for Blizzard, it's also quite possible that there won't be a need for bigger bags since hybrid classes will be able to use one set of gear for all specs (hooray!). This means there's the distinct possibility that the "Gigantique" Bags are as big as they'll get.
This kind of money sink is just what the game needs. With so much money flooding into the economy, the last thing Blizzard wants is having nothing for players to spend on and having gold become worthless. Although a lot of players spend for things at the Auction House such as epic gems and recipes, this money goes right back into the player base. The only way to properly control a game economy is by having real money sinks like flight training and designer bags from NPCs. This way, the money spent is gone forever.
For role-players, Haris Pilton also offers the ultimate testament of love (and money) -- the Gold Eternium Band. At a staggering 3,000 Gold, it is the ultimate bauble. I used to enjoy sending one of Griftah's Infallible Tikbalang Wards to all my Filipino friends as an inside-joke. This was, in its own way, a small money sink. But the Gold Eternium Band trumps every vendor item available, putting even the Flawless Diamond Solitaire or The Rock to shame. It is ridiculously more expensive than any vendor item ever. Considering Haris Pilton's other wares -- the Nobleman's Elementium Signet, Ruby Shades, and the literally nondescript Sapphire Pinky Ring which sell for 2,400, 2,000, and 600 Gold respectively -- she stands to become the richest NPC in the World of Warcraft. Aside from the prohibitive costs, all her wares are limited stock items that are hopefully on very long cooldowns, making them truly exclusive, if pointless, items. How many suckers eager players will Haris snare with her new line of merchandise? More than a few, I'm willing to bet. And with an inflating economy to control, that's a perfectly good thing.
"Gigantique" and the Gold burn of Patch 2.4.3
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