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WRUP: Microtransaction edition

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

It's time again for another WRUP, and we're in a spending mood this week! First and foremost, of course, it's all about what we're playing in here at Massively.

But as we play, often we find ourselves drawn in by all the shiny microtransaction goodies that are available. Item malls, cash shops, relevant-developer's-name-store, call it what you want, but microtransactions are everywhere. For this week's bonus question, in light of the recent study suggesting that most gamers have bought online goods, have you ever microtransacted? ("That's not a verb," I hear you saying -- but it is now.) If or if not, what's your favorite microtransaction loot?

Follow along after the jump to see what the Massively staff had to say, then hit that handy comment button and tell us your answer!

Beau Hindman (@spouseaggro):I will be playing so many new little games. I am really charmed by Zentia, and I will be returning for a bit to Mabinogi. I also found this neat little game called "FreeJack" that is based on that crazy parkour stuff. Essentially, you spend your time jumping around buildings like in Mirror's Edge. Cool stuff.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): This weekend will be mostly spent levelling up my druid in World of Warcraft and gaming the auction house for ridiculous amounts of gold. I've been trying to organise some more events for my corp in EVE Online too, but a lot of people can't spare the time. We may give that another shot this weekend and see if we can run some more Sleeper sites using capital ships. To answer the bonus question, the only microtransaction-based game I've ever paid into is Runes of Magic. I figured it was worth buying some diamonds during one of their +120% free diamond offers. I ended up buying a permanent mount and various other essentials with it.

Brianna Royce: I'm hoping to dig into Guild Wars' War in Kryta this weekend (Rubi's columns have inspired me!). I have indeed purchased items like name changes in WoW, character transfers in SWG, and cosmetic makeovers in GW. I'm open to more, but I prefer luxury microtransactions to those that fill negligent or intentional holes in gameplay.

Edward Marshall: I'll be playing Fallen Earth a couple of hours here and there. I'll probably play World of Tanks beta for a few hours, too. But mostly real life. I have never made a single microtransaction, ever. I just never felt the need to.

Eliot Lefebvre: This week has been insane, so I'm going to spend the weekend mostly in the silence of writing and the numbing bliss of getting searingly drunk. I might play a game here and there, but I'm kind of a broken record there -- toss in GW, STO, CoH, and DA:O as you'd like. I actually take part in microtransactions pretty frequently, especially in games like GW and CoH with a lot of vanity additions. Probably a bad habit.

Jef Reahard: I'm with Eliot on the whole insane week bit, minus the heavy drinking (just because I'd rather spend the cash on more games). MMOs for the weekend feature the usual suspects (EQII and AoC), plus EVE and Darkfall in service of my new column. Having fun in Darkfall too, so you can pencil it in for next week's WRUP.

Not particularly fond of microtransactions and to my best recollection the only time I've purchased them was for account transfers in EVE and server transfers in AoC. Incidentally, isn't it odd how MMOs are falling all over each other to go F2P and single-player games (like CoD and the whole OnLive thing) are aiming for subs?

Jeremy Stratton (@loseyerlife): Still visiting with family through this weekend. The Runes of Magic guild I'm in is trying to organize a siege war sign-up that will ensure a lot of us are in it at the same time, because we're all fairly new to feature. I could fill a book with the micro-transaction question, but I'll just say that I love buying mounts, house furniture, and mostly convenience items like teleport runes -- although I am planning on buying some Purified Fusion Stones to aid with modding my gear faster.

Lisa Poisso (@emused): Poking through a whole list of kids games with my daughter that we're checking out for MMO Family ... Peeking at the StarCraft II beta and roaming about a bit in another NDAish beta ... Keeping my fingers crossed for fun choices for my upcoming Choose My Adventure at, and reading an anthropological investigation of WoW from a writer who'll be profiled soon in 15 Minutes of Fame ... And after all the gaming stuff, off to Half Price Books to dig through the periodicals after dropping off a load to sell! As for this week's bonus question: I'm not a microtransactionator (take that, grammar!), but as someone who works at home, I do love to get my hands on a soft, cotton gaming T-shirt.

Rubi Bayer (@Rubi_): I need to spend some more time in DDO! I still owe Justin the final quest in the Phiarlan Carnival arc, and would really like to get it done. Saturday will be spent playing the "I am another year older" MMO -- I hear there's great loot to be had and cake that is not a lie.
Microtransactions? Yes please. I've spent a hefty chunk of change in the NCsoft stores on such goodies as costumes and makeovers. Gotta keep my main in the lifestyle I've accustomed her to!

Ryan Greene (@thatgaynerd): I'll be grinding levels for different vocations in Dragon Quest IX and wishing I could get that treasure map at Comic Con. I'll pop in on Star Trek Online's test server, because I GUESS I need yet another special tribble. Also, I'm driving back down to North Carolina Sunday for a job interview. Phew! And other than one account transfer on Warcraft, I have never partaken of microtransactions -- but I sure have been talking about them a lot in Captain's Log lately!

Seraphina Brennan (@sera_brennan): This weekend is busy both on and off the computer. On the computer I'm going to be enjoying some APB, Need For Speed World, and some time in a "real MMO," but I dunno which one I'll choose right now.

Beyond the computer, I'm going to go see Inception this weekend and I'm going to be playtesting Wildfire Industries again. We've made more adjustments to the power cost of abilities, so hopefully the game will flow better during combat sequences.

And, as to answer the microtransaction question, yes, I have purchased things from a microtransaction store. I'm not against them as long as they don't provide unfair advantages. I don't find it to be "double dipping" if the stuff they offer doesn't appeal to me. I, magically enough, can say no to online purchases. Usually, only one or two items ever appeal to me, and I make sure to purchase those in order to thank the people who made them.

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