It’s a Pet Store not a Gear Store

Blizzard’s opened up the virtual pet store where you can purchase the first of several pets to come. I don’t actually know this, but I’m fairly certain we’ll be seeing more purchasable pets later.

What’s the big deal?

In a nutshell, the micro-transaction MMO model involves consumers paying for certain items. I have a friend of mine who plays Maple Story and I routinely tease her about buying a wedding dress for 5 bucks or other stuff only for it to disappear about 3 months.

Gear has an expiry date it seems.

The Korean “free” MMOs employ this model very well. I’ve briefly participated in some but I broke off from it seeing as I couldn’t sustain it. Figured I was better off investing in WoW instead.

Anyway, there seems to be this slippery slope argument that’s making the waves on Twitter and in some of the comments I’ve seen.

“If Blizzard sells in game vanity pets for real money, we’re now one step closer to being able to purchase real epics and gold for real money too!”

Since we can buy pets, we’re much closer to being able to buy weapons and other equipment to boost our characters and make them that much better.

I don’t think so

This is a great move by Blizzard from a profitability standpoint. Being able to purchase pets isn’t something that’s brand spankin’ new.

Players can redeem loot codes from the CCG booster packs for in game bonuses. I’ve got guildies with the Ogre Suit, the Turkey mount, the Spectral Tiger and so forth.

Being able to directly buy the pets removes the RNG aspect of popping open card booster packs and wasting money until you found one with the vanity item you want.

I don’t quite see this as being a punch in the face of players who spent countless hours farming for those Raptor eggs. I had guildies who would stay up late riding around and tying to find the right raptor for that particular pet.

A Pandaren Monk does not equal a raptor pet, just like the Rusted Protodrake does not equal a Spectral Tiger.

Players who invested their time and efforts into getting those bonuses earned them. If Blizzard was actually putting up Ashes of Al’ar or the Mimiron head mount for sale, then an argument and an uproar could be made then. 

But guys, it’s just a pet.

It’s a vanity pet.

It does not increase your stats.

It doesn’t do anything to increase or decrease your performance. It doesn’t affect your game in anyway. All it does is grant you a simulated neon sign above your head that says “I CAN AFFORD A PANDA THEREFORE I AM AWESOME!”

I can see them adding like tabards, more in game pets and mounts. These are items that you can already acquire from the CCG. It’s logical to assume they wouldn’t be out of bounds.

Save your rage for when it really matters.

If the day comes that Blizzard decides to sell gold, weapons, or the shirt of +1000 stats, feel free to raise hell.

Because I know I will.

Now I think I’m going to pick me up a Panda.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. I completely agree. And yes, I bought a Panda. It’s cool, it’s fast, and it’s a good charity.

    pets != epics

    /off soapbox

    Onyx

  2. Well said. The forum rage over on mmo-champion is hilarious, like someone just punched their cat.

  3. @ onyxtotemz
    omg panda!!!!!!!! i <3
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..You follow me, I will follow you. =-.

  4. The panda is adorable! We’re doing an alt Naxx10 tonight and we all have our mini pets out [something we never allow in progression :P] but the panda will bow if you /bow to him and when in combat will make fighting noises and motions… it’s adorable! And that’s all it’s meant to be!
    .-= Askevar´s last blog ..Circle of Tanks! Tanking Questionnaire =-.

  5. I stand by the awesome decision Blizzard made. I bought BOTH pets when I got home from work.

    ZOMG I’m OP!!

  6. @ Thespius
    awww im jealous! but grats! <3

  7. I’m with you there! 😉

    All those pseudo nerd-ragers give me a serious /facepalm… ^^
    .-= Dark Spot in the Corner´s last blog ..My take on Chill of the Throne =-.

  8. Here here! I knew as saw as I the announcement that people would start complaining.. but lets be honest. What don’t WoW players complain about?
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Circle of Healing Bloggers =-.

  9. I’ve spent a lot of money on impulse purchasing the TCG boosters mainly to get in game codes. I’ve gotten the turtle mount, picnic basket and some other goodies (including a metric ton of tabards) and they cost me a lot more in the long run then the $10 I shelled out last night for my panda.

    Also, 1/2 of the money earned from the pandas is given to charity. That’s pretty awesome, money gets donated to charity, and we get an in game pet. Win Win IMO.

    People had this same outcry when paid server transfers first came out. And then again with faction change, and then again with race change… see where I’m going with this?

    So people can buy a pandaren, if they have the $10 to purchase it, so be it. No one’s twisting anyone’s arm to buy them.

    /soapbox off

    As a point of levity if you have a panderan you can /drink at it and it will sit and start chugging, you can also /bow and it will bow to you. Lil’ KT if you kill a boss / player in pvp he will cackle at them and if you run by critters he will ice block them.

  10. @Lodur Things I will definitely be testing with my new pets tonight! I didn’t know they did those things.

    It definitely was cool to see everyone running around with their pets out last night. I also had to leave Trade and General chats, because it was just depressing to read.

  11. Heh, I didn’t think of this until now, but the neon sign reminded me. This is basically the real-money version of the “of the Shattered Sun” title; i.e., I had some money to spend (only it’s real money this time).

    For what it’s worth, I wuv my mini archlich. WUV. (yes, I devolved into baby talk; shush, he’s mind-controlling me.)
    .-= Stop´s last blog ..Vanity pets are ruining the game (too) =-.

  12. I’m wondering why Blizz didn’t make the entirety of the proceeds go to charity and only a percentage? You would think with the amount of money they already make, they should make an even greater philanthropic move.

    I’m all for the idea behind the pet store, but it just seems like another cash grab to me for people wanting to boost their pet collection for an achievement otherwise obtainable through grinding.
    .-= Napaeae´s last blog ..Selective Raiding: When guildies don’t show up. =-.

    • @Napaeae: Don’t underestimate the cost it takes for Blizzard here. There’s R&D, server maintenence, customer service, development, and not to mention the extra hazard pay they give to the forum blues. Wouldn’t be surprised if the money made from WoW is also channeled into other departments like SC2 and Diablo.

  13. And blizzard said they’d never allow faction changes, race changes, and a whole host of other things. I think it’s naive to say it could NEVER happen. Personally, I don’t care one way or the other, but I think it’s silly to say what will and won’t happen

  14. On one hand I kind of want to say “I saw this coming,” but on the other, it just makes me want to facepalm.

    As long as it doesn’t impact gameplay… I’m okay with it. People want to spend an extra $10? Sure. Hopefully there won’t be any prestige attached to it, so the people who spent time trying to get a rare CCG or drop minipet/mount will still enjoy their special items and those who think the KT killing critters or whatever will be able to have their fun.

  15. I totally camped the blizz store last night till it was fixed so I could buy one of each. >.> And one for a friend. BLizz has my pocket book like a candy jar. 🙁
    .-= sushicookie´s last blog ..WTF Blizz =-.

  16. @Matticus – if it goes to Diablo…. Well then that’s a different story 😉 I <3 Diablo

    But I do see your point. I just happen to always cringe when I see a multi-million, if not multi-billion dollar corporation do a 50/50 for charity. I guess its my personal feeling; why not make it a complete charitable donation if your business is that profitable.
    .-= Napaeae´s last blog ..Selective Raiding: When guildies don’t show up. =-.

  17. I always think it is funny how people get all over “multi-billion dollar corporations” for “ONLY” doing 50/50 with a charity, they don’t HAVE to give any at all in the first place.

    In addition to this EVERY charity Blizzard has PUBLICLY supported has been Top Notch ones I don’t think ANYONE would say was undeserving for their time and attention.

    All told though these vanity pets are some of their best work yet. There are NO extra “feats of strength” tied to them. (Like some of the others.) They interact with players and to their environment too.

    While it would be NICE if BOTH if both pets gave funds to Make a Wish, I would not be surprised if Make a Wish might not care to have themselves associated with a Litch (no mater how ADORABLE we find him). Having worked for a charity in the past I know that sometimes things like this DO come up. Donations sometimes must be turned down because the giver or the form of the gift will cause other issues.
    .-= Daraia´s last blog ..Blind =-.

  18. /agree with this post 100%.

    I will pass on these pets unless I go crazy and start pursuing the pet collecting achievements (I’ve just managed a measly 25 or so without even really trying). That’s 20 bucks towards another month of play! 😛

  19. Really, the 50/50 is better than when some companies give say, ten cents to charity from a five dollar food item or something. My mind was BLOWN when I saw that Blizzard was giving $5 from each Monk sold.

    It’s going to add up. Make-a-Wish will, most likely, be thrilled.

    I don’t get the QQ either, really, and am pretty damn sure that Blizzard has more sense than to start selling in-game gear. This? Is not new in the gaming world, people. It isn’t new AT ALL.

  20. Nice post. I agree that people are probably overreacting but the problem with microtransactions is that everyone’s worried that they’re a slippery slope and will lead to more greed and exploitation. Without anyone to regulate microtransactions, there’s really nothing to stop Blizzard from being real d*cks and selling all of the best looking items etc.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..WoW Pet Costs More Than My Monthly Subscription =-.

  21. OMG! I’ve been at work too long. What kind of pets r there to buy? A panda, a monk and a mini KT? Anything else? I’m running to the bank as soon as my shift is over……

  22. I was thinking of buying my wife one, I did try for 13 months to get her into World of Warcraft. I still remember her calling WoW stupid.. Now all I hear is “help me in Stranglethorn Vale” and How do I get to booty bay!!?? Brownie POINTS on the horizion!!

  23. I disagree with you.

    Sure it’s just a non-combat pet but they count towards the Lil’ Game Hunter achievement and that’s where Blizzard screws with in game balance. (TCG pets shouldn’t count either)

    I wouldn’t mind the things if they were just for show, but making one achievement easier obtainable for people who have the cash IS stepping on the slippery slope.

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