Blizzard has confirmed an in-game store is on the way to World of Warcraft, and detailed what regions will be getting what first.
Community manager Bashiok explained that, for many, the store will simply offer a more convenient way to purchase items already available from Blizzard’s Cash Shop.
“For players who are already interested in the in-game items we offer, such as Pet Store pets and mounts, the benefits of an in-game store are pretty clear. We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game, and ultimately thatâ€™s our long-term goal for the system, though thereâ€™s quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting those existing items into the new system.”
“First, weâ€™ll be testing the in-game store with some new kinds of items weâ€™re looking into introducing (in Asian regions, at the outset) based on player feedback: specifically, an experience buff to assist with the leveling process, as well as an alternate way to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. Weâ€™ve had a lot of requests from players in different regions for convenience-oriented items such as these, and as with other new ideas weâ€™ve introduced as WoW has evolvedâ€”including Pet Store pets, mounts, and moreâ€”your feedback plays a hugely important part in determining what we add to the game.
He then went on to clarify that the experience boosting items previously uncovered would be offered “in Asian regions, at the outset” before revealing another in-game item that’ll also be available for purchase.
“Ultimately itâ€™s still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans, but in the meantime, we hope youâ€™ll check out the in-game store once itâ€™s implemented on the PTR and let us know what you think.”
The inclusion of Lesser Charms of Good Fortune has caused some consternation among fans of the game, as they can be converted into an item giving players extra chances to attain gear in raids. For many, this could mark the start of a slide into what’s commonly known as “pay-to-win” territory, where your in-game strength isn’t based on skill or time invested, but rather real-world cash spent.
Blizzard has strongly denied these accusations, and the current plan doesn’t make any suggestion about the Charms being offered in the West. It’ll be interesting to see how this one develops; as one of the final MMOs to offer a subscription fee, it seems Blizzard is looking to supplement its income amid falling player numbers.