Breakfast Topic: The high cost of playing

Zach Yonzon
Z. Yonzon|12.06.09

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Breakfast Topic: The high cost of playing
I support World of Warcraft's paid services. I think they're good for the game. I think a lot of the options that the services provide extend our interest in the game, allowing us to play when we might have otherwise lost interest. What I do worry about is how expensive everything is when you start to add them all up. I suspect I'm like the average player who has more than a few max level characters at this point, which means wanting to avail of paid services on all of them could get a little pricey.

Let's take character transfers, for instance. If I wanted to transfer all my characters to a server where my friends play (why would I want to move just one?) it would cost me a hefty sum. Add to that the fact that my wife plays wherever I play so we multiply that hefty sum by two. Imagine if I wanted to change my characters' races to those combinations that were previously unavailable come Cataclysm... how much would that add up to? It doesn't take an accountant to see that it could cost a small fortune.

$25 isn't a paltry sum. Specially not in these hard times. Neither is 20€, £15, or ₩24,000, which is what most services such as paid race change and realm transfers cost. Name changes are the most affordable at $10. But hardly anybody plays just one character these days, right? Even though Zarhym explained quite plainly that none of the paid services are necessary to play the game and that our monthly fees go towards regular development, sometimes I can't help but wonder.

Back when there were just one or two services, I thought it was fine. Now that Blizzard offers a host of services -- not to mention the pet store -- it becomes staggeringly expensive, especially if you multiply that against the number of characters we usually play. Realm transfers, character customization, and even faction changes these days!

What do you guys think? Since the paid services are really more of a luxury than anything, do you feel comfortable with the current costs? Do you think Blizzard should lower the costs so that more players can avail of them (and possibly lead to more profits)? Should there be a wholesale price to transfer all characters from one server or faction to another? Or do you think the cost is a good way to limit how these services can be abused in some way?

Share your thoughts on Blizzard's paid services with us this morning.
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