Wow isn’t going F2P, but if Blizzard decides to be un-Blizzard-like thenÂ you can expect a few changes.Â WoW would still be the exact same game, only way, way more annoying to get into and far less accessible.
Subscriptions Would Stay
Yep, that’s right. The subscription wouldn’t go anywhere. Players would still be given the option to pay the same they always have and have the exact same experience they have always had in-game. This subscription would be Blizzard’s VIP pass and players would use this to gain access to locked parts of the game. Oh yes, there will be locked parts.
Gated Content Behind PaywallsÂ
Of course Blizzard would make their raids restricted to paying players. Want to raid? You’ll need to be a VIP. Even the newbie raid finder or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days would require you pay the subscription. Dungeons would be restricted. They’d limit the number of dungeons you can run in a week or cycle in “Dungeons of the Week” that are free for players. Want access to them all? Pay to unlock or become a VIP.
No Epics for Free People
Epic gear or maybe raid level gear (they would probably add a new color to signify “paid gear) would undoubtedly be restricted in some fashion, probably for VIPs or some cash shop validation only. You’re welcome to wear the blues you find in the Dungeons of the Week, though!
Tokens Would RemainÂ
Tokens would represent a month of VIP and exist entirely in the same way they do today. To address a comment in yesterday’s post, using a token doesn’t mean you are playing for free. Well, okay, YOU are playing for “Free” but your token represents someone spending money. Someone just paid for you, and you worked out an in-game method of compensating them for sponsoring your subscription. Consider the tokens in my “F2P scenario” to be a “pass” for the month to participate.Â When it wears off your carriage is turning back into a pumpkin.
Cash Shop Ramped Up
Blizzard has had a cash shop for years and years. They’ve always done a nice job with it. If WoW goes F2P, you better believe the in-game advertisements would begin for you to use the shop to buy everything. It would become a button on the UI like never before, and players will be solicited to buy a whole lot more — likely less aesthetic than we’ve seen Blizzard keep it. I’m not sure if they’d go pay to win here, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Sound like fun? Of course not. The average player would end up spending just as much or more than they would if the game stayed subscription.Â IÂ realize that’sÂ not helping my case being made against why they would go this route, but there’s an element of intelligence at Blizzard where they know they still have to provide a fun game in order to achieve long-term success.
I think Blizzard stands a MUCH better chance of actually introducing different pricing tiers than they do going F2P.
Raiding Tier -Â $14.99 a month. Same as we have now. You get access to everything. Special bonuses thrown in like unique mounts and cosmetic stuff to show you’re an awesome dude for paying more.
Casual Tier – $7.99 a month. Everything except no raids.
Tiered payment models would attract A LOT more people back to the game who have no intention of raiding. You’re paying half what you would normally pay and no longer feel like you’re paying for content you stand no chance of ever experiencing. It’s equitable. It’s enticing. It would skyrocket their subscription numbers.