There is a great podcast out there to which you should listen. WoW Podcast episode 7 is a great piece of work.
Generally I do not have any compulsion to listen to a WoW oriented podcast. I don’t know why. I listen to podcasts for other MMOs, even MMOs I do not play, but WoW seems so straight forward in some ways, and there is so much information about it on the web, that I seem to be sated when it comes to WoW.
This episode though, this is something new and different. In addition to the usual hosts, episode 7 is a round table discussion that includes Brent from VirginWorlds, Brenden from FalconTwin (go listen to his “Now Playing” podcast while you’re at it), and Ryan from Massively Online Gamer. This podcast is great because it strays way off the WoW-centric range and looks at WoW in the context of the MMO community in general.
Listen to the podcast before you click “more.” Or don’t. Just don’t say I did not warn you.
Ryan at Massively Online Gamer is my hero of the moment for stating during the discussion that he bought gold to get his epic mount in WoW.
First, he was honest. He could have sat there quietly and let it pass, but he pulled that out in the middle of the slam on anybody who buys game currency which made for, if nothing else, one of the best awkward moments in podcasting history.
Second, he is hardly alone. I know several people who bought gold to get their epic mounts. I would bet that if you saw five people ride by on epic mounts in WoW, three of them bought gold to get them.
Finally, this brings out how much BS there is in the idea that putting expensive items in game can take gold out of circulation and keep the economy stable. In a situation where gold can be generated out of nothing by people willing to farm, expensive items like epic mounts encourage gold buying. Blizzard would probably do more to hurt gold farmers by making mounts free, but requiring a quest, or a harder quest in the case of epic mounts, than to keep on banning gold farming accounts.
Instead, in Burning Crusade, they are making mounts that are even more expensive. The gold farmers must be tickled pink at the thought.