Respawn: Buying Levels

We take a quick look at the pay to level in World of Warcraft and touch briefly on CliffyB announcing the death of physical media.


Let me pay some money real fast to be at maximum level real quick. Alright, I’m back. World of Warcraft is now complete. I have successfully won the game and now I shall relish in great victory as I am at maximum level with no clue what to do. My real life money has allowed me to skip large swaths of the game and I’m now free to use my time to play the endgame. Not the lame leveling part inbetween.

Haha, I’m kidding. I wouldn’t pay to level up instantly. That’s the sign of a major addiction and lots of peer pressure forcing you to switch characters for a guild that will disband in a few days. It’s not what a normal healthy person would do. I wouldn’t specifically call myself normal, but I really think the instant level 90 thing is dumb.

Here is why: what’s the point in a game if you can pay to skip it. The issue here is that it takes a long time to level up a character to play endgame content. This isn’t an issue that a cash shop can solve. This is an issue that mechanics should solve. In Guild Wars 2 if you wish to play another character you can create one then go and do everything really well except world vs. world and PvE content that you can’t rank up for. This is a mechanical solution to allowing people to play together without resorting to saying “buy a premade character!”

WoW Human Female

I want to make a joke about paying to upgrade the model of your character.

Anyway, with that said, I’m honestly okay with it. WoW is really old and why not. Just seriously why not. If you’re not level 90 now on whatever you’re playing, you might as well skip all the content, suck at your character for a long duration, and enjoy the benefits of dying to people better than you in battlegrounds because they started the Arena season before you (or have grinded their conquest points out and have more than you). I mean, if it’s what you want to do, go for it.

Me, on the other hand, pshaw I’m not paying for that. I’m not paying for it because I don’t believe in most microtransactions. I have a budget of about $2 per month and all of that goes on stupid games on my phone that I play for 30 seconds after I invest money into them and take all the fun away. Not to say that most mobile games are fun, but that’s another discussion entitled “why the phone can’t be a Gameboy, no matter how much I just wish it could.”

In other news and we’ll talk about this a little bit more in the next column, but CliffyB has declared the age of physical media dead. He’s wrong, outside of the fact he’s right. Physical media is dying, but here’s the scary thing - broadband isn’t getting the message. Most folks are still on 4 and 6 mbit connections and can barely download their email, much less a monstrous 50gig game.

We’ll talk about how awesome it will be in the future when we have 500 terabyte drives and 500 mbps Internet, so that games can be as large as they need to and as beautiful as technology will allow. Until then, say warm or cool or whatever is comfortable for you.

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About The Author

Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

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