WoW gold for Dollars? The Kitten Standard edition

And to the surprise of absolutely no-one, I’m going to be rounding up the blogosphere’s reaction to the new BoE pet from Blizzard today.

A bit of background: if you weren’t on Twitter yesterday, you may not have heard that Blizzard have made a pretty startling announcement: the next real-money purchasable pet on the Blizzard Store will be Bind On Equip, and will be sellable on the Auction House. The practical upshot of this is that you can now buy (probably rather expensive) WoW gold with real-world money.

Needless to say, a lot of people have a lot of varying opinions on this one. Somewhat more surprisingly, though, very few of them are particularly negative.

First up, several blogs are arguing that this represents the start of a fundemental shift – toward WoW as a testing ground for Blizzard’s ideas:

  • Kill Ten Rats believes that Blizzard should use WoW as a “lab”, just as Valve have done with Team Fortress 2“They have this sinking ship. It’s sinking slowly and still dredging up tons of gold and oil, yet I have a feeling the captain already sees the end coming. Except, it’s not going to be the end in a sense.”
  • Gazimoff believes Blizzard already are using WoW as a testing ground. Also, he coins the term we’ll be using a lot, the Kitten Standard“Can a Firelands raid BoE be bought for five kittens? Would a rare tailoring recipe be worth twenty? Can you sell spots in your Firelands 25-man for three kittens a person?”

Second, several people quite frankly don’t give a damn if Blizzard is starting to sell gold:

  • Oestrus from Stories of O has never had much in-game gold, and doesn’t see purchasable gold changing the game much for her“There’s a reason you don’t see “How much gold do you currently have?” on a guild application (or at least no guilds that I’ve applied to). Because it ultimately doesn’t matter.”
  • The Ancient Gaming Noob thinks the kitten story is a complete non-event“The in-game economy is too small on most servers to absorb many guardian cubs, especially on the downtrodden half of some servers, like the Horde side of Eldre’Thalas.”

And finally, the only person sounding a note of warning is the gold-making blog Power Word Gold, which believes that the kitten and other RMT trades are Blizzard slowly turning the heat up under the frog“Blizzard is hoping that by introducing these services and items ever so slowly they will be able to get the players to the point that they will accept more and more paid services and items. Where this will eventually end is something I do now know.”

It’s an interesting time. As a businessman, as an AH player and as a WoW player, I’ll be very curious to see what happens next, when the Kitten Standard finally goes live.

Want more Kitten Standard posts? Here’s part 2 of our Guardian Cub roundup .

What’s your opinion? Is this Very Bad? Or Very Irrelevant?

All quotes taken directly from their respective sources.