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Published on October 11th, 2011 | by Brandon


>Blizzard shakes up WoW economy with first tradable pet


In an official blog post yesterday, Blizzard announced the new Guardian Cub pet for World of Warcraft that will soon be available for purchase in the Blizzard Pet Store. Normally, the introduction of a new WoW companion would not be at all newsworthy, but this little guy is different: He’s tradable.

Prior to this announcement, all purchases from the Pet Store applied “to all present and future characters on a single North American World of Warcraft license.” This means they bind to a single account and cannot be traded. However, this new $10 pet will be bind-on-equip and only apply to a single character, rather than an entire account. This pet marks the first time that Blizzard has officially tied real-world currency to WoW’s in-game gold system. Blizzard claims that the decision to implement a tradable pet was made to cut down on scamming with invalid pet codes and because players were asking for alternative ways to get Pet Store companions without having to spend real money.
However, it also looks like this is a key step in Blizzard’s efforts to put unauthorized gold farmers out of business, made clear by a response in their FAQ:

While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection, we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. However, please keep in mind that there’s never any guarantee that someone will purchase what you put up for sale in the auction house, or how much they’ll pay for it. Also, it’s important to note that we take a firm stance against buying gold from outside sources because in most cases, the gold these companies offer has been stolen from compromised accounts. (You can read more about our stance here.) While some players might be able to acquire some extra gold by putting the Guardian Cub in the auction house, that’s preferable to players contributing to the gold-selling “black market” and account theft.

What are your opinions on the introduction of this new companion? After Blizzard’s announcement that the Diablo III auction house will support buying and selling items for real currency, does taking a step to move World of Warcraft in the same direction come as any surprise?
Image courtesy Blizzard

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3 Responses to >Blizzard shakes up WoW economy with first tradable pet

  1. Dex says:

    >Woot! I can't wait to legally buy gold! No, seriously. The prices on the AH are ridiculous. Working 60 hours a week doesn't allow much time to grind gold, but I get plenty of cash.

  2. ProfScienceJ says:

    >Its interesting to see how different MMO's have delt with this issue. This step by blizzard seems to be in a unique direction. Some games have chosen to limit the ability of players to trade to end the gold trading and here it seems that blizzard has gone into the opposite direction. Without actuall condoning the trade of ingame currency they have essentially added a real world dollar value to the currency. Whether this value will be accepted by the player base is another question. If the value is higher then current prices then people won't stop buying the gold, if its lower, then hopefully it will be low enough to make gold farming and account hacking not worth the effort. Having this idea restricted to one set of items defnitly won't solve the problem but atleast it shows the devs that maybe it is possible to control the ingame currency and get it right for D3.

  3. Darbyothrill says:

    >Natural evolution of the MMO industry. How many people in Dudepile purchased gold? EVERYONE wants to continue to compete in auxiliary markets that games have created, and this is part of it.

    Though, I am quite sad that the WoW of 2004 is dead, and this is part of it. Feels less like a world, and more like Blizzard's vision of the Amusement Park online.



Brandon started his PC gaming days playing Doom II (IDDQD/IDKFA for life) and has been hooked on online gaming since the original Starsiege: Tribes. The way to his heart is through proper grammar, corn dogs, and cookie cake.

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