Here's a controversial one for you: I think that Blizzard should buy gold from players.
Some players are of the opinion that Blizzard should sell gold, partly to compete against gold sellers and botters, partly to offer a service which some of them might appreciate. Personally I don't agree with this. I believe that World of Warcraft would be damaged to a great extent if people could buy gold legally. There are many reasons why I think so but this article is not about these reasons.
When I say that they should buy gold from players, I don't mean that they should pay actual cash for it. Instead, it would be rather neat to exchange gold for some sort of credits, which could then be used for a variety of Blizzard products.
Imagine if you could finance your WoW subscription with the gold you made in game. EVE Online does this, so there is precedent.
Imagine if you could use your gold to buy special pets or plushies or any other merchandise that Blizzard sells. That would make in-game pets purchasable both inside the game (directly with gold) and out of it (with real money). You wouldn't have to convert your gold to credits in order to buy those pets. Instead, you could just head on to the in-game vendor and buy whichever pet you wanted.
How much gold would a monthly subscription cost? How about 10K? Too much? Perhaps 5K. I would be ok with 10K gold a month, partly because I could easily generate that much (and more) each month, partly because I could keep playing for free for at least 50 months without even trying to generate more gold, with the gold I already have.
I'm sure many other players are in the same position. On the other hand, there are those for whom 5K gold is an enormous amount. Which is fine. This wouldn't change anything for poor players. In fact, it might even help them in the long run. Here's how.
Being able to buy game subscriptions, vanity items and merchandise with in-game gold would essentially create a huge gold sink which would destroy large chunks of game money. All that inflation from recent years, as players hoarded more and more gold, would deflate like a pricked balloon. This, in turn, would make gold more scarce, which would make it more valuable. Poor players would find that their gold can now buy more stuff than before.
The way I see it, most players could benefit from this. Hey, it might even drive lazy players to work harder so they can finance some of that cool stuff.
The obvious question is, would Blizzard ever do it? Assuming they have thought about this (I'm not sure they have), I highly doubt it. How would Blizzard benefit from this? They wouldn't, unless market stabilization and the reduction of inflation is their goal. But I don't think it is because they have stated repeatedly that the in-game economy is free and they won't stick their noses in it to control it in any way, unless there's some major craziness going on.
Since this move wouldn't benefit Blizzard in the least, it is highly likely that we won't ever see this feature. There are probably major drawbacks that I can't foresee. As a player with excess gold, however, this sounds like a good deal to me.
What about you? Do you think I'm crazy or does this idea have any merit?
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
6 months ago