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The Queue: Neutrality, the cash shop, and pesky valor points

Alex Ziebart

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Behind the scenes at WoW Insider, we have an unspoken rule that goes like so: if you can't think of a header image for your post, steal one of Olivia's adorable pandaren reaction shots.

Nocjin asked:

How realistic is it that some of the neutral factions are still neutral at this point in the war? The Horde have wiped our huge amounts of nature in Ashenvale and further, surely the Cenarion Circle don't see them as friendly anymore? And now Garrosh is playing with evil Sha surely the Argent Crusade don't seem him as an ally? Yet neither of them appear to be helping much.

I've personally come to the conclusion that you can't think too hard about the neutral factions in World of Warcraft. Most of them exist purely as a content delivery method -- game mechanically, they're NPCs that can give quests to both factions so people on either side can experience the same content. Considering the state of Azeroth, there's no way any of these people would be able to remain neutral, but they do for the sake of gameplay.

It would also be an enormous headache for Blizzard if, for every content patch, they needed to include NPCs from every neutral faction in the game just to make it clear they're participating in what's happening.

Snichy76 asked:

What is the single most asked question you have on The Queue? I'm betting its "any idea what the next expansion will be?"

Every single patch, expansion, etc, we get an enormous influx of questions asking what will happen to Justice and Valor Points. Will they be reset? Will Valor become Justice? Will Valor be used for the same items? Is item upgrading enabled or disabled this patch? So on and so forth. Most of the time, we don't even know until late in the PTR/beta cycle. Justice and Valor are the source of eternal confusion.

ErikSetzer asked:

What are the chances we see items from the in-game store being BoE so they can be sold on the AH? They already did this once with the Guardian Cub, and that seemed to work out well. SWTOR and RIFT both allow people to do that (or something similar, anyway), which also allows them to note that you can get anything on their stores without spending real money. In WoW's case, this could combat the people who are complaining about spending extra on top of a sub, and it would also allow people to use real money to get gold (albeit fluctuating with the market) without resorting to gold sellers, which would help get rid of gold sellers.

So, with those bonuses (and especially as it'd get more money into Blizzard's hands, likely), do you foresee these items being BoE so they can end up on the AH? Or even as gifts? (Okay, on the latter point, I know you can gift pets/mounts right now with codes and they might add that to the UI, but say for example a guild wants to do a contest or giveaway and pools money for store goodies.)

While I do like the idea of the cash shop items being BOE, the fact that players only need one of the items gives them a limited shelf life. At first, players who buy those items for real money to sell in-game for gold are going to get their money's worth -- everybody wants the items, very few people have them yet. Over time, though, it would reach the point where everyone that wants the item will have it. The people who pay real money for the item won't be able to sell it for much at all anymore. The item loses value. We saw this happen with the Guardian Cub. The market became saturated because the number of buyers was finite, but the number of items was infinite.

If these were items that were consumable or had a finite duration, the market wouldn't fall out and being able to sell them in-game would work better.

Does this mean Blizzard will or will not do anything detailed here? Nope, Blizzard will do what Blizzard will do. These are only my thoughts on the topic.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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