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WoW: Goldsink or Pay2Win? The Rise of New Traders and Costly Legendaries

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In the early months of 2024, a new trader quietly emerged on the US servers of World of Warcraft, Dragonflight, offering an array of mounts and transmogs. While present on EU servers, her stall remains empty, a scenario likely to shift post the ID switch. Curiously, Miss Xiulan seeks not trade currencies but the classic currency of gold in exchange.

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Hopes of snagging cool items for a handful of coins are dashed. The new trader, instead of asking for modest sums, demands prices that verge on extortion. Basic transmogs bear high five-figure costs. Weapons command six-digit sums, and a new mount – a mere recolor of the current auction house mount – demands a staggering 1.2 million gold.

Yet, what initially appears as a classic gold sink prompts many players to suspect something different – avarice on Blizzard’s part.

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Read Also: WoW: Dragonflight – A New Gold-Sink Merchant Offers Limited-Time Mount & More

Blizzard’s Quest for Increased WoW-Token Sales

Observing the price of WoW tokens across US (and essentially everywhere else) reveals a consistent trend: a relentless surge upwards. Weekly, players offer escalating amounts of gold within the in-game auction house for a token that grants a month of playtime.

For those attentive in BWL or acquainted with the principles of supply and demand, the implication is clear. There exist more WoW players seeking to buy the token in-game for gold than those purchasing it for hard currency to then sell in-game.

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Read Also: Wow: Unveiling The Cosmic Intrigue Of World Of Warcraft – Beyond Tentacles

However, within Blizzard’s walls, every token sale earns double. What costs $14-15 for a month of gameplay, through this route, escalates to $22 for the same service. Hence, maximizing token sales seems a lucrative goal.

WoW Dragonflight Gold Resonating Crystal Mount Reittier

Connecting the dots becomes evident. Exceptional items, commanding vast gold sums, entice players. They opt to purchase a $22 token and convert it to gold within the game. This, in turn, drives down prices, encouraging more players to opt for tokens to finance their playtime – potentially boosting token sales further.

WoW Fyrakk Aufmacher

This strategy isn’t confined to the new trader alone. The new legendaries for Warriors, Death Knights, and Paladins also demand staggering gold sums. Many casual players find themselves unable to craft Fyr’alath due to lack of gold, even if they were fortunate enough to obtain it.

At this juncture, debate about the accusation of Pay2Win certainly arises. Unlike Bind on Equip items, a longstanding facet of WoW that allowed players to purchase high item levels. With ample gold, there exists no similar alternative for these legendaries. One cannot argue for the use of an alternative weapon in this case.

However, theoretically, farming all the required materials is possible – albeit with monumental time investment.

Conclusion and Speculation

The question persists: Does Blizzard truly intend to bolster token sales through this new trader, or is it merely another form of gold sink? To their credit, Blizzard hasn’t crafted items that are inherently must-haves due to exceptional aesthetics or qualities, minimizing the urge to acquire them. But as the adage goes, what isn’t, may yet come to be.

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