Blizzard, why do you torment me so?
I have been playing this game for years always following the rules. I have never botted, I have never bought gold, I have never exploited anything within the game. I actually read the EULA when I signed up. The gist of what could be considered “cheating” was amongst other things purchasing anything outside the game that gave an in game advantage.
They always start you off easy, the first time…
First it was trading cards with their exclusive tabards, nifty gizmo’s, and pretty trinkets. You were buying things outside the game that could effect you inside. Vanity items only, but a slippery slope.
Where does vanity end and unfair advantage begin?
It began the day that the new “recruit a friend” system went into place. Here are some highlights from the blue post. A good transcript of which can be found HERE at MMO-Champion.
Here I am just going to hit the high points I want to bring up.
What in-game benefits do we get while the accounts we play are linked?
1. Characters on both accounts can summon each other once per hour.
2. While adventuring with your linked friend/family member, you will each gain triple experience.
3. For every two levels the new player earns, the new player can grant one free level-up to a lower-level character played by the veteran player.
I am all for people playing Warcraft and I am all for helping people level up to endgame faster if they would like. No matter how I tilt my head I do not see this in a positive way. Like a pile of lima beans I am not interested in eating, no matter how many times I poke at this with a spoon it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
There are other advantages as well, the most visible being access to an exclusive epic riding mount. I won’t go into how Blizzard is “selling” these for real money, even though they are, because I can purchase something “in game” that performs the same function. It might not be as pretty *cough, elephant mount, cough* but I can still get one. What I have a problem with is giving unfair advantage to those who pay for it while denying it to those who do not.
Is there an in game quest that will allow me to summon one of my friends once an hour? Say a level one starting zone quest that would last for 90 days or until I reach level 60? A purchasable trinket or do-dad?
I did not think so.
Is there a way to allow one of my alts (or two if both accounts are mine) to gain triple experience? Triple experience from both quests and kills, without consuming rested status. Why yes there is, but I have to pay real money to Blizzard for it. Now powerleveling is legal, but only they can sell you the service. Is there a way to gain this advantage in the game without paying extra for it?
As much as selling the other advantages irks me the last one bothers me the most. Now you can simply level up an alt without even playing it. I am actually at a loss for words on this one. It baffles me so much it’s unreal. Is there any other way within the game to level a character without even playing it?
Absolutely not, last I heard leveling without actually playing would cost you your account.
Take this hypothetical scenario, I send myself an invite and start an account. I have to pay for the retail version and buy 2 months of service, for that I also get one month of service and a Zhevra mount on my main account.
I create two level one alts, one on each account.
I log in and party them together. Either on the same computer running windowed or separate machines multi-boxing.
I level them both together at triple speed.
At level 60 I use the 30 levels worth of “level a toon without playing it” on my level 29 alt.
Transfer the new accounts level 60 over to the main account and repeat until the 90 day limit is reached, then cancel the second account.
Even assuming I only did this once I end up with a level 29 that I leveled “the old way” now sitting at 59 and ready for outlands. I have two more lave 60 alts also ready for outlands, all in less time than it should have taken me to level one. Assuming I was able to do this in less that 90 days I can keep repeating as often as I have character slots for. If that is not selling an in game advantage I have no idea what would be.
I wonder whats next? How about gold? I wonder when Blizzard start selling that as well?
How about just “buying” levels? Hell they are basically selling level 60 characters now, why not just sell them direct?
Whats coming next down the pipe I wonder, Badges of Justice for $2 apiece?
Invite a friend and they get free S-1 gear when they hit 70? (so they can be caught up faster, same reasoning they are already using)
No matter where the go with this from here they are accelerating down a very slippery slope, like a snowball rolling downhill. It will just keep getting bigger and bigger and harder to stop. Where will it stop? I wish I knew. What I do know is that like a kid finding out about the tooth fairy I lost a little of my faith in the game I love today.
Epic fail Blizzard, truly epic fail.