Monthly Archives: August 2013

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Early Access And Launch

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a subscription MMORPG built on the ashes of original FFXIV.  This so-called “rebirth” has a completely new vision for the title, with a focus on the traditional MMORPG that many modern games have moved away from in order to facilitate action-based combat or extreme accessibility.  FFXIV:ARR offers high accessibility but retains many of the challenges and nuances of more traditional MMO fare blended with one of Square Enix’s strongest IPs.  What we have as of launch is a little bit of the old, a little bit of the new, and some serious server issues for North American and European players.

Early access, or the period over the last weekend rolling into launch today, has been a mess.  There’s no way to sugar coat it, servers were up and down constantly and even when they were up there was no guarantee of gameplay. Servers go into lockdown mode without offering queues and leave players to set up automated systems to attempt continual logins hoping that they beat the ubiquitous 1017 error.  New players seeking to join up with friends are out of luck – Some of the more popular worlds have entered an emergency state of complete character lockout, meaning no new characters can be created.

These issues rolling into today’s launch can be viewed with multiple lenses.  One of these lenses has a rose-colored tint and comes with standard MMORPG and online game releases, and manifests itself along the lines of “It’s launch, you should know there will be issues.  Look at <insert any major MMPORPG launch, Diablo 3, etc>.  This is an inevitable part of a big launch; it’s just going to happen.  It will get fixed.”  These statements are mostly true – Many MMORPG launches are not smooth endeavors, and it’s likely that these issues will be solved.

The other lens isn’t so bright.  This is the second dance at the ball for one of Square Enix’s major titles, and with some of the once grandiose glamour fading from what was once one of the most lauded RPG franchises in history, continual server launch problems and players not being able to connect may not be something the title can afford.  MMORPGs are notoriously expensive to create, and rebuilding the failed FFXIV is a must-win situation for Square Enix.

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FF14 mining is introduced

Determine the mining location, must first determine the mining depth, the I generally choose the default is in the middle, to determine the depth, excavation.

The circle on the screen, it is set to enhance, the size of the need to use force to control site, every digging, there will be a corresponding hint, hint several general.

points: 1, there is no touch (note that the yellow words below)

2, feel is good than last time.

3, feel is worse than last time

4 good feel.

5, feel is really good, almost can dig out

After understand the meaning of the tip, we can judge the mines in what position, according to the prompt, every time to adjust the power of the mining, after a few can smoothly to dig to mine!

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FFXIV:Try on the first day back, feeling what to write…

Here are some FFXIV chocobos

It is my pleasure to get the chance to try out. In the first place. Specifically, should be overwhelmed by special favor mood. Because, after all, I always think, I for the FF the game is really less faithful than a lot of players in the BBS. Since lucky is elected, I hope I can try my best to put my mood for at the beginning of the game play is to bring.

First introduce myself a little better. I am not an attractive woman, also not curtilage female, just an ordinary college students, because the parents’ family education idea, has been living alone since high school, college after all my expenses are self-employed. So, don’t like a lot of the same age can have a better game configuration, I hand only PSP, NDS and a 6 k price of laptop computers. Of course because of the loose environment, so contact early game animation, and unfettered played many types of games. FPS, AVG, RPG, liked to play. The ACT. Contact FF or earlier. Or school of business, at that time my brother is very like the FF, I followed him in his first play on GBA the FF’s early work, at that time were not very impressive, but brother love, has been to hear him speak of, so the FF in my memory also much a notch. So when I graduated from junior high school, later bought the life after the first game consoles PSP, first is FF series of games. Crisis core, left the deepest impression on me, so didn’t really become a FF fans. Recently a FF13 just hurried to play again, or ask the university teacher borrow the XBOX. Online class, I also play much.. When I was a child played ragnarok, play until now. Didn’t play other games are basically more than 2 months, I’ve never played a mountain pass, the original play RO many players have defected to WOW, I don’t know why I could not mention any interest in the game.. Popular LOL I never touched.. Nearby was a pile of sister are playing LOL, this has made me very confused.

Today to play FF14, just fit I’m still a bit not used to it. Because I itself to the 3 d interface is easy to stay (property).. Several before playing 3 d games, are drawing style to sell, no operation, no brain automatically pathfinding can upgrade all the way to enter, even not a powerless to copy the sort of.. So attracted by the picture at the beginning, but soon felt retarded operating plot bored and abandon the rhythm of play.. But FF14 feeling is very different for me, painting is very beautiful, for me, a game of first consideration is the picture, there is no doubt that FF as ever did, the plot is quite rich, but also has the sense and sense of reality, unlike most games on the market, it will have the same similar routines, (specific I describe is not good, is a kind of feeling like sheep sheep and grey Wolf, see drama mind only “skip” and “silly X” two ideas.. = =) the graphics of what, today forget to take back, tomorrow bring a dish to share kao some home for you. Then said the game operating bring me feel good. First of all, is the first time you login, will have a longer CG, cannot skip the CG is mandatory to watch, but the CG is very beautiful, the plot is also very interesting, doesn’t bring me to skip the idea. In terms of character creation, after the shapes of each race are all compare beauty, unlike some games, in addition to the Terran elves of what the rest are ugly.. Details very much appearance, as a sister, said love the details set (by the way in creating the interface with long -) after entering the game, the first pace is relatively slow, every dialogue is about the feeling of watching a short animation, but the scene is beautiful, beautiful type, looking at very pleasing. When the official start of the play, I had to mention no automatic pathfinding function that, for me this kind of people who lack a sense of direction, or more challenges, some tasks according to the requirements of the plot is not given NPC’s position, so to find their own.. Also want to complain at the beginning, not an automatic pathfinding good trouble, but to play for a while will realize this is the game to play, let people step by step follow the plot, as if really is in the story, not just looking at a story of others. Today the afternoon to practice the level 10 -, walks around all day with a lot of time is spent on finding the way to see the view of what the above, (so we will be charged according to time > _ >). People today to try a total of nine (or 8 -?) , the boss is basically on the map only two or three people a team to play, but few fight is quite tough, chating, found that only when everyone practiced for ranged attacks happen to coincide in the profession, no milk no T.. Tomorrow the FB feels a bit with > <.. But FF professional setting can be more professional, there is no limit on the level of independence, which is as long as enough practice.. To every professional practice full (don’t know if there is any wrong, please print). What didn’t expect to hand over to treat. For the time being. More. Come back tomorrow.

Nonsense, writing down slightly, the entertainment is good..

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Lessons from Guild Wars two for Final Fantasy XIV

If you read all of the columns I write in a given week, then I believe that you’re a wholly fictional creature. But beyond that, you’ll remember that my Wednesday column was all about the systems that City of Heroes could comfortably borrow from Guild Wars 2. You may also be expecting the same sort of column here. That is definitely not the case.For starters, neither Final Fantasy XI nor Final Fantasy XIV is in a state where it can borrow anything. The former is set in its ways, and the latter has a major update around the corner that makes suggestions about mechanics pretty suspect. Furthermore, neither game is really into the whole “borrowing” routine, preferring instead to reverse-engineer a concept into some bizarre reinvention of the wheel that makes both games at once wonderful and incomprehensible.

No, today I’m looking not at mechanics but at lessons for Final Fantasy XIV. The game is going to be relaunching soon, and that’s when Naoki Yoshida’s core principles will really be put to the test. And as the development team puts the final touches on the game, I think there are a few things to be garnered from the design of Guild Wars 2 that might nudge development around a touch.

ffxiv moglog gw2 epl 830 Lessons from Guild Wars two for Final Fantasy XIV

Give us options

We know that we’ll no longer feel stuck with just a single action bar in FFXIV version 2.0, so that’s good. The limitation on action bar space always seemed as if it was trying to emulate the classic Guild Wars setup without catching any of the nuance. But since it’s easier to set up our bars how we like, I think it’s important for the game to give players more choices for customization along the way.

As it stands, your biggest choice is just what abilities you’ll put on your bars with a limited number of slots. But that’s assuming you even have a wide enough spread to take up all of the slots on your bars in the first place. The lack of off-class combos and the number of limited abilties lead to a lot of pretty useless options and only a few useful ones, and while it’s a grand improvement from the game’s launch, it’s still not quite there yet.

Yes, you also choose stat distribution, but that’s honestly pointless. Having two more points in Vitality than the other guy isn’t an interesting choice, and there’s little reason not to jack one stat to max and level a couple of others decently. There’s no uniqueness to be had, no motivation for hybrid options, and so on. If our stats were increased further by leveling and if point allocation went away, I would shed no tears.

No, what we need are ways to customize our classes a little more — specialties, playstyle preferences, the things that Guild Wars lacked that GW2 added. After all, the original had a setup by which your customization was mostly limited to what’s on your bar… and the sequel has since enhanced and refined that because it turns out that buttons aren’t all that engaging. We know chocobos will get some specialty trees; it seems only fair to give players the same.

Don’t act a cutscene if you can’t

Square-Enix has done a spectacular job at hiring voice talent of late. Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII really sold their stories based on the strength of the voice cast, and that’s to the credit of everyone involved in localization. There’s already a chunk of voice acting in FFXIV, and it stands to reason that the game will follow the trend and include even more in its reborn incarnation.

But GW2 reminds us once again that voice acting is worth including only when it’s, you know, actually good. When it’s done badly, you find yourself making fun of it and getting yanked right out of the story along the way.

I’m not saying that further voice acting is bad in principle; I’m saying that if you keep getting awkward deliveries and poor inflection, you might be better off just letting players read. And while it might seem like a cop-out at first, I think we’ll all appreciate a silent but well-written scene more than a well-written and poorly acted scene.

ffxiv moglog gw2 2 epl 830 Lessons from Guild Wars two for Final Fantasy XIV

Consider the path

Fans don’t appreciate it when we bring up GW2′s leveling path issues, but it’s a bit of a stumble that if you’re unlucky with dynamic events, you wind up without a lot to do in order to make up the gap until your next level. A far better state of affairs would be having too much to do, so you would either perpetually overlevel things or not wind up getting marks for completing every quest in every area.

The fact that guildleves will still be present means that the game will likely have some means of smoothing the level curve even after the version update, but it’s still worth ensuring that players always have a way to keep advancing through content, especially in FFXIV, with low-level content that needs to support several leveling classes rather than just one.

Balance for awesome

Not everyone will appreciate the fact that every class in GW2 is an island, but there’s a brilliance to that balance. There’s something to be said for turning the usual trinity requirements on their ear and giving all classes something functional to do while alone, including ways to heal, endure, and damage targets.

Cross-class abilities fill out some of the gaps here in FFXIV, but turning up the emphasis on jobs tones down the option to port over abilities. I don’t think that’s a desirable outcome. Indeed, I think that the current focus and role of jobs is unnecessarily limited, but that’s a discussion for another day. The point is that there’s nothing wrong with tilting all players toward a little more self-utility. And if you can present something radically different from the usual trinity model in the time between now and release, I’ll be happy to see it.

I would also be happy if it were just fun to tank after 2.0, but I’m not banking on it.

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FFXIV:It’s the countdown

On November 1st, it’s the end of the world as we know it. I’ll let you know then how I’m feeling.

All right, the game will still be online for another week or so, but November 1st is the last day that any progress is getting saved. You can go ahead and ignore Final Fantasy XIV after that last server photograph, unless you had an urge to spend all of your gil on airship rides but couldn’t bear the thought of being broke. Not that you’ll even need to worry about that after September 29th if you’re not currently subscribed, as that’s the last chance for people to come back even if it’s just for a short period of time.

It’s hard to avoid looking forward to the end of the game as it stands, and the fact that we have a precise timeframe only exacerbates the problem. We’ve got 45 days until the ending hits, and while I’ve already talked about what to do with the time you have left, there are questions that need to be asked as we look at the numbers.

ffxiv moglog timelimit 1 epl 912 FFXIV:Its the countdown

What are we going to do for the next month?

The story of the current version of the game has come to a conclusion. It’s concluded. All that’s left is to take part in more efforts to keep Eorzea safe and healthy, something we already know is going to fail. (Spoiler alert: Dalamud doesn’t just up and leave.) This is not bad storytelling, but it does raise the question of what in the world we’re supposed to spend the next month doing.

Seriously, odds are good that if you were going to cap out the story, you have done so by now. What’s left is hunting some achievements and apparently dealing with Atomos, who looks uncomfortably similar to his Final Fantasy XI incarnation. Every update along the way has built up to the single conclusion, but now that we’ve got a lull before the end, it’s hard to fill it with activity.

Hopefully, testing will start expanding to people outside of Japan fairly early just to keep player interest up, since otherwise we’re going to have a very long October. Even if we have some sort of Halloween event, it’s going to feel mostly perfunctory, as we’ll be crunched for time to play through it. Plus, once we start hearing more about 2.0 in practice rather than in theory — something that should start happening later this month — odds are good that it’ll either be great (in which case we’ll want to play that version) or be awful (in which case interest in the game will flatline).

So, yeah. Look for more testing and invitations in October. That’s my guess, anyway.

ffxiv moglog timelimit 2 epl 912 FFXIV:Its the countdown

How long will testing last?

I was only involved in the very last portion of Final Fantasy XIV’s testing, but from what I’ve heard, it was an intensely frustrating process. Testers offered feedback while being told explicitly that they weren’t testing the full game, that there was a ton of content just not being shown during the test period. (For those of you uninvolved in the testing altogether, this was a lie.) If Final Fantasy XIV wants to avoid making the same mistakes as the original version, this round of testing should really avoid that specific mistake first and foremost.

Assuming that Naoki Yoshida wants to do this round of testing right — and I’m willing to bet that he does — I think the game needs to have a longer testing period this time around. That means that even if the testing starts right now, it’s going to take longer than three months. It probably needs a minimum of six months in the cooker, pushing its release to be roughly concurrent with Seekers of Adoulin.

A lot of testing has been taking place already, but part of the problem the game had with the first round of testing was that it didn’t give any extra time for player feedback. The game was tested internally, and the beta turned into an extended stress test rather than a test of whether the game worked, had enough content, and was fun to play.

I’m a little worried about this simply because the game already has such a firm timeline for shutdown. That seems to imply that the testing is almost perfunctory, and that doesn’t inspire confidence. If testing already has an end date built-in, you can rest assured that it’s not going to be as rigorous as it ought to be.

Yoshida has gone on record saying that he’s going to be considering player feedback very carefully and using that as the basis for moving on from alpha testing to beta testing and so forth. It’s not that I doubt his intent; it’s that I’ve heard these lines before from the community management team. I’m not disbelieving, but I am taking this with a grain of salt.

How much of now is going to matter?

The other two questions here have answers. This one honestly doesn’t.

Let’s say you have 10 million gil right now. You feel pretty confident that going into version 2.0, you’ll be set. But we don’t actually know that just yet. It could be that everything is balanced around veteran players and your gil is only a pittance. Or it could be that you can basically buy anything in sight from vendors and break markets on a whim. We don’t know how much gil players will be earning regularly, what vendor prices will look like, or what vendors will even sell.

Are all of those crafting items you’ve got on retainer going to be worth anything after the version change? Will they even still be there?

This is an area that I’m hoping to get more communication on in the coming months. If I know full well that there’s no reason to save certain items, I won’t cry over it; I’ll just get rid of them. There are so many things set to change in the new version that we need more information than just a closing date. We need hard data on what won’t matter because in a little over a month, it’ll be too late to act on that information.

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FFXIV:When the lights go off in Eorzea

The current version of Final Fantasy XIV is redefining the term “lame duck.” This is a duck that is so lame it can no longer move under its own power, relying instead on a specially trained squad of ducklings to occasionally move its head toward food. How it trained the ducklings, I don’t know; that’s not really the point. It’s not a perfect analogy.

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We’re very close to a final character copy and a server shutdown, at which point… the servers get turned back on again, I guess. Naoki Yoshida quite openly stated that if there is a large enough chunk of players who wanted the servers back on, he will make that happen, even though nothing more would get saved. This raises a variety of questions — chiefly, why anyone would want to keep playing the game with the explicit understanding that the whole game is getting rolled back before too much longer, but I’m not one of the ones who voted for the reactivation.

But as we enter the final phase — which is basically just through early next week, if you’re not keeping track — it seems as if it’s worth discussing the servers going down and then coming back on. Really, what else do we have to occupy our minds regarding Final Fantasy XIV right now?

ffxiv moglog serveoffserveon 2 epl 1025 When the lights go off in EorzeaPressing business

If you haven’t been keeping track of dates or just had allowed them to slip from your mind — as I had — it’s worth noting that any urgent bits of progress you feel the need to get finished before the second version of the game launches will need to be completed by October 31st. That means that you’re running out of time, or more accurately you are more or less out of time and need to put the finishing steps on what you’re doing.

Personally, I didn’t have a whole lot left that I felt the need to clear up. I may go and turn in a few last quests just for the sake of completionism, but there were several accomplishments that I knew I wasn’t going to have the time or the drive to clear before the version changeover. I accepted this as the price of doing business, essentially. Any major projects you have yet to start are probably going to go unfinished as well. When you return, it will be to a better place, hopefully.

There is one pressing matter that you may wish to look into, however: If you’ve been lazy and forgotten to get guild mark refunds, take care of that now. Seriously, log in, travel around, get the refunds you need. Where isn’t all that relevant, since all of your marks are going to be converted to gil, but you don’t want to miss out on that extra coin, do you? Of course you don’t. And any last few bits of dated gear that you want to buy should probably be taken care of quickly, although how relevant that will be is a tad more debatable.

After Wednesday, you can still take care of a few last elements, but none of them will matter. The game will come crashing down, and you’ll be left to wait for the servers to come back in in the near future… at which point I’m not sure what you can still accomplish.

ffxiv moglog serveoffserveon 1 epl 1025 When the lights go off in EorzeaPractice runs

I said earlier that I can’t understand the impulse to have the servers turned back on, but that’s only half true. Part of me completely understands because if this is the one game you play, the prospect of it turning off for four months or so is probably disheartening. You don’t want to be deprived for all that time; you want to be able to log back in and enjoy the game, even if you intellectually know there’s no point to playing.

The question becomes how long that mindset will persist, however, because I assure you that within about a week, you’re going to look back at what you did over the past week and ask yourself whether any part of it matters.

MMO achievements are tricky things at the best of times. Readers of my other columns will know that I’m facing several years of work and accomplishment gone like dust in the wind at the end of November, the sort of thing that puts the lie to the concept that these games are long-term investments. I’ve spent a lot of money and time in City of Heroes, but when it turns off, away go the things I worked toward.

But even then, I played with the tacit understanding that every step in the game was a step toward something. Maybe I wouldn’t make huge gains, but I would at least be making some progress toward an overall goal. I wouldn’t just get a chance to go out and level again without any hope of that mattering, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen when FFXIV comes back online. That’s not a lame duck, it’s an undead monstrosity lurching around and waiting for the final bullet that puts it out of its misery.

In theory, this could be a time to revitalize and rebuild the community. But the only people who can log in are the people currently playing when the game was turned off. Ms. Lady, for instance, couldn’t come back and tool around to see whether the game was more to her tastes now. The community’s fractured status isn’t going to be fixed by this gesture.

Nor does it have the usual saving grace of a beta — namely, the opportunity to practice a bit more. The game is changing so significantly that we’re not going to be able to transfer a lot of our skills over. More time practicing with your Paladin won’t mean you’re any better with the finished product.

So I can’t see myself playing the game much after the end of the world. That leads me to wonder what exactly the point is, but maybe it’s just not for me.

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Final Fantasy XIV plans grand finale for the current game

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ff14 Final Fantasy XIV plans grand finale for the current game

Final Fantasy XIV as we know it is about to go away forever. Square-Enix is spinning the current version of the game down in preparation of next month’s A Realm Reborn reboot. The studio announced that it’s planning one final hurrah for FFXIV 1.0 this week before the switchover begins.

The Seventh Umbral Era event marks the end of the current game. While players will be able to enjoy the title through November 11th, character data will be saved and frozen on October 31st in preparation for the transfer to the new version. The studio is also starting up limited alpha testing for A Realm Reborn, and players are welcome to apply.

If you’re interested in A Realm Reborn, we encourage you to check out its new character creator, the PlayStation 3 version, and its currency changes.

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50 Final Fantasy XIV plans grand finale for the current gamecendres

When you log into the game at this moment there is a count down, I’m hoping it’s something in game and epic and not just a link to the new trailer as I’ve heard. I would be disappointed. I want to see Dalamud crash and burn everything. EVERYTHING! =^.^=

50 Final Fantasy XIV plans grand finale for the current gameviion

“preparation of next month’s A Realm Reborn reboot. “This is very misleading and incorrect. Alpha begins next month, with a beta after. The release could be next year, no official dates set.

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Download The Final Fantasy XIV PC Client for the Open Beta

FFXIV CG 31 670x446 Download The Final Fantasy XIV PC Client for the Open BetaA few days ago Square Enix made the installer of the open beta available for download (if you still didn’t get it you can find it here), but it was impossible to actually update it, leaving the biggest part of the sizable almost 7.5 gigabyte download out of the picture.

The good news is that the PC client is now fully operative, allowing you to download the full package and get yourself ready for tomorrow’s romp through the new Eorzea.

So what are you waiting for? Get that download started while you wait for the floodgates to open.

Remember that only those that fullfill certain conditions will be allowed to enter the open beta tomorrow morning. Those that don’t will have to wait for the morning of the 17th. The PS3 version of the client has already been available for those that received the download code from Square Enix.

It’s also good to know that this is the last full download we’ll have to do, as this client is the final one, and from now on it’ll just be updated for early access and release on August the 27th.

See you tomorrow (or the day after) in Eorzea. If you happen to pass by the Balmung server and see Abriael, say hello. It’s a me.

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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Possible Relic Armor

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paladinAF2 670x376 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Possible Relic ArmorYesterday a TV commercial for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was aired in Japan during the Mezamashi TV morning broadcast on Fuji TV.  You can see the clip down below thanks to Youtuber dondon banban.

While very interesting in its own right, the commercial hides a little mystery. The main character is portrayed wearing what looks like Paladin artifact armor, but the colors are radically different, and more similar to the Relic gear you could find in Final Fantasy XI (portrayed below, picture courtesy of FFXIclopedia).

PaladinRelic Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Possible Relic Armor

Considering that in the Letter from the Producer Live IV Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida confirmed that the use of dyes with Artifact gear would not be available at launch, we’re left wondering if the armor portrayed in the commercial is Final Fantasy XIV‘s version of the Relic gear, or some similarly upgraded version of the Artifact armor.

Of course it could just mean that  they just decided to allow the use of dyes with Artifact gear, but the color pattern seems quite different (a picture of the actual artifact is at the very bottom of the post), so I’ll chalk it as unlikely. Check out the commercial below and see for yourself.

Update: Square Enix just released the official version of the clip, titled “Parallel Visions”, and you can now see in all its glory below.

ffxiv 2013 06 21 12 29 50 53 670x376 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Possible Relic Armor

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World of Warcraft Tests Microtransactions

"World of Warcraft" Tests Microtransactions, Pay to Win

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Earlier this week, World of Warcraft players in the game’s public test server discovered an item that could be purchased with real-world money and gave players “experience gained from killing monsters and complete quest increased by 100%.”

This item would not only take away much the grinding required to level-up in WoW, effectively cutting it in half, but it would also be the first for in-game transactions. World of Warcraft already sells items such as virtual pets and mounts for real money outside the game. Though these items are mostly aesthetic and do not necessarily enhance gameplay they do not currently cross the barrier of in-game purchases.

Items that can be bought to level up faster, so called ‘pay-to-win’, caused some uproar in WoW forums and seems to undermine the games hardcore fan base. Blizzard community manager Zarhym explained in a post on battle.net:

“We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game,” Zarhym wrote. “As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the [Public Test Realm]. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.”

This may be a response to the increased player loss World of Warcraft is currently experiencing. Is it possible that WoW will open up certain servers for players to buy their way to victory?

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