World of Warcraft Gets 'Paid Character Customization'

World of Warcraft (PC) will eventually go the way of microtransactions to further monetize Blizzard's 10-million-player-plus subscription MMO.

Fan site WarCry attended a Q&A session during last weekend's BlizzCon '08 and came back with this:

When asked to expand upon a button found by sifting through the Lich King beta's data files named "Paid Character Customization," [World of Warcraft production director J. Allen] Brack initially hesitated to give any answer at all. Several questions later, he went back to the matter, saying that he could, in fact, confirm that World of Warcraft would eventually have some form of paid character customization, though they themselves hadn't yet worked out any details.

Inhabitants of the World of Warcraft can rest assured that their new hairdos are likely free, as the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion looms near while the paid character customization is evidently still in the conception stages. However, the more costly makeovers could arrive in a future patch or the next expansion after Wrath of the Lich King.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 13, 2008 9:47 AM

    Hmm. Change race or class? Seems unlikely, although I'm not sure what else you would customize about a character.

    • reply
      October 13, 2008 9:50 AM

      Could be a full appearance change (size, face type, etc) since you can't do that in the expac.

      Also, could be vanity items of some sort that don't actually buff or anything.

    • reply
      October 13, 2008 9:51 AM

      I'd pay 10 bucks to change my Race.

    • reply
      October 13, 2008 9:57 AM

      Special hair styles, colors, shirts, tabards or even effects such as permanent auras and such. All stuff not available otherwise. Since they seem to have removed the glyph that let druids change the looks of animal forms they could do that via this system (pay to become a black or polar bear, for example).

      As long as it's purely cosmetic, I don't mind it at all.

      • reply
        October 13, 2008 12:27 PM

        I would object to Blizzard charging for cosmetic changes, like letting druids become polar bears instead of regular bears. Things like that should be attainable through standard means like farming really rare drops from heroic instances or getting exalted with certain factions.

        The only services which I agree should cost something are server transfers and name changes, as in some rare situations one might want to do that, but it would be detrimental to the quality of the game if people could freely change their character's name and hop about from server to server. If a new race or gender change service were to be created, those should also cost something for the same reason.

    • reply
      October 13, 2008 10:02 AM

      $ over your head?

    • reply
      October 13, 2008 10:18 AM

      They could do it as a form of currency. So you could 'charge' your account up with 'change bucks' which costs you real money. So you have a pool of WoW bucks to buy certain items or services with. $5 for a haricut... $10 Sex change... $15 Racial reprogramming. I still feel this would only make sense after they drop the monthy fee (in a few years when the next MMO is out).

    • reply
      October 13, 2008 10:28 AM

      I sure hope there's a race change... or even a level change.

      • reply
        October 13, 2008 10:42 AM

        Oh god I would pay for level progression to say... 60 or so in a heartbeat.

        • reply
          October 13, 2008 11:07 AM

          Such an awesome game Blizzard has designed here where you actually pay them so you don't have to play it. Pure genius.

          • reply
            October 13, 2008 11:24 AM

            p2np? i smell a new genre

          • reply
            October 13, 2008 11:26 AM

            It amazes me how people consistently fail to understand why people would want this, or why they use powerleveling services or buy characters.

            Leveling is one aspect of the game. The game is not constructed in a way where you reach the max level and it's game over. People arguably spend more time NOT leveling, doing pvp or raiding at max level. It's also the one aspect players will do the most. For that reason, people get bored with the leveling process after a few times. One of the reasons Death Knights start at 55 - because people don't want to level ANOTHER character through the same zones and quests they have already experienced.

            It's like paying someone to break in and train a horse for you that you own. You just want to ride it. You don't want to go through that fucking hassle of training again.

            • reply
              October 13, 2008 11:35 AM

              I understand it perfectly and I didn't contradict anything you said.

              • reply
                October 13, 2008 11:38 AM

                Except now I am going to disagree with your horse example, because it's not like that at all. In real life, someone has to break in that horse if you want to ride it. World of Warcraft is a game, which means you shouldn't have to pay someone to do the uninteresting parts for you.

                • reply
                  October 13, 2008 12:55 PM

                  Well, to be fair it WAS interesting the first time around, and to a lesser extent the 2nd... but not the third, or forth etc.

                  • reply
                    October 13, 2008 1:05 PM

                    The setbacks of a linear game. I hope we'll see some innovation in this area in the future, the treadmill is getting tiresome no matter how it's repainted -- I'm referring to WAR here.

                    But yeah, I agree with the sentiment. If you're going to have a linear game like WoW, yet promote the idea of playing multiple classes -- which they aren't at all right now -- you could use a system like DAoC had, where you'd start at a higher level on new characters than you would normally, if you had a character at max level already.

                    • reply
                      October 13, 2008 1:13 PM

                      Thinking about it a bit more, one of the things that is a major gripe for me personally when it comes to playing different classes, or re-rolling, is that the world is completely dried out at the lower tiers. For this reason I remember my friends and I having a blast every time Blizzard would open up additional servers, as they were bustling with life. Rolling a new toon on that very same server half a year down the road though wasn't as fun.

                      This is one of the areas where EVE Online really excels. I'd really like to see that aspect carry over to other MMOs, although I guess it's tricky technically. The advantages for the players though are tremendous.