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Starym

Overwhelmingly Negative Responses to the Burning Crusade Classic Character Cloning Price

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Yesterday saw the announcement of all the details surrounding the Burning Crusade Classic launch, including the various costs for some services, and the WoW community is not all that happy about one specific part.

There have been many comments on basically every aspect of the expansion's pricing, most of them negative, as they've been perceived to be either too expensive, or that they shouldn't have been added at all. While the character level boost was the prime target of backlash before this announcement (and is still pretty high on the list, but for a different reason), the new king of the negative comment hill is the price for character cloning.

Blizzard yesterday announced the price of the cloning service which allows players to both move their current Classic characters into the Burning Crusade and also keep them in the Vanilla Classic Era servers. Prior to this announcement it was unknown what the pricing of the service would be, and many players assumed it would either be free, have one-time cost for all characters, or a very low price per character. Well, Blizzard went for the worst of the three options, as the cost for cloning is $35 for each character you choose you want to both stay and move on. The reactions were pretty extreme on this one, as it's so far removed from player expectations, with a focus on the price point but also the fact that it costs Blizzard nothing to do it:

Quote

It costs $35 to ctrl+c and ctrl+v. - raz_drack
...

Blizzard keeps pushing more and more microtransactions into the Classic projects and people act like everyone's overreacting every single time. People who didn't like the boost knew this was a slippery slope and they were proven right. Sometimes, big company bad. - Gamer_Obama
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nothing micro about these transactions - awrylettuce
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Honestly the point is not that the character transfer or the mount or even the boost are terrible. But it’s pure anchoring. The step from having some micro transactions to full blown tokens, endless boosts, faction changes etc is not nearly as big as before - Shadowgurke
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Honestly the $35 is so high for what should be a free service that I'm starting to wonder if Blizzard has a reason for not wanting people to play on classic servers. - Nickelodean7551
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Not sure whats worse, blizzard pricing it at 35USD or the idiots defending the price. - Frolkinator
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F. 15 would have been tolerable. That is way over the top. - Orisyl
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I'm glad it costs that much. At $10 or $15, I might have been suckered into cloning my main to keep as a trophy, even if I didn't really plan to play on the Classic-forever realms. At $35, I can just keep my money instead. - Rune_Armour_Trimmer
...
As someone that works in software dev. The only reason these "automation services" are charged is because people pay for it. Seen it countless times across the industry. Things are free, till management finds out that someone will pay for it, then it becomes chargeable to the whole customer base. Time and time again. If people never paid for it, it would be free. - kaibasean
...
Usually I'm defending Blizzard, but I can't on this.$70 for the deluxe and $35 for cloning? We are not made of money! - Illidari_Kuvira
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Did they mean this when they said "You think you want it but you don't?" - saiyanjesus
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It’s the greediest thing wow has done to date. It’s scary to imagine what comes next - 1234567as5
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I can’t wait to see in several months the brand new ‘Classic Era servers are dead so rescue your character from that shithole and send them to TBC era servers for only $79,99’ service. - Gamerstin
...
#freetheclones - Ratswamp95

There are of course also those defending the move, or at least giving it some context, but they get downvoted pretty quickly and most of them actually then delete the comments, so there aren't many:

Quote

Whats there to discuss. It's a smart way for Blizzard to make the whole classic project even more profitable since there is no box to buy. I bet people are already crying wolf. - QuiksLE
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While the price of the copy is ridiculous it’s to my understanding that this is so blizzard can keep up the cost of servers right? Since there’s only one subscription there’s not point in keeping forgotten toons on classic and creating loads of dead servers? Idk the logisctics I know esfand had mentioned that - ArchJay
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They want to force people to make a decision. You can opt out of this decision and have it both ways if you are willing to pay (a lot of) money. But their goal is to make people decide. That's why it's a fee per character and not like many people wanted, per account. - zap-

Just as a counter argument, even having the option to have Classic Era servers and keeping your characters there AND moving them on to TBC is a big addition, definitely worth something as the expansion itself is free, but the pricing on this is a little extreme. The worst part here, as you're seeing from the comments, is the fact that it completely confirmed fears of the "slippery slope" that was brought up when the character boost was announced back during BlizzConline, and now players are just waiting for what else is coming to the formerly fairly "micro"transaction-free Classic.

Here are the main threads where the discussion is most active, but there are many more both on the Classic and retail reddits:

You can also read this official support article on further details on the cloning process.

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The character clone charge was the only thing that caught me - there was really no indication in the survey or the original announcement to indicate we were voting for a paid service.

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Stuff like this is why even though player numbers are getting lower and lower, earnings have continued to rise.  We all know a bunch of people will complain, but they will still pay it cause it's easier / less hassle than leveling a new / additional character.   As long as the whales are keeping them afloat there is no incentive for them to change the game for the better to keep/ attract/ engage new or casual players.

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2 hours ago, Calorat said:

Stuff like this is why even though player numbers are getting lower and lower, earnings have continued to rise.  We all know a bunch of people will complain, but they will still pay it cause it's easier / less hassle than leveling a new / additional character.   As long as the whales are keeping them afloat there is no incentive for them to change the game for the better to keep/ attract/ engage new or casual players.

the thing is without stuff like that they would just raise the monthly price for sure 

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5 hours ago, N3ilo said:

the thing is without stuff like that they would just raise the monthly price for sure 

You mean like they already did?

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1 hour ago, Babel said:

You mean like they already did?

no some price raises are totally normal i mean like a lot more cause we all know activision really like money

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15 hours ago, Babel said:

You mean like they already did?

At least the prices don't get raised every single year - like rent.

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54 minutes ago, Wildwitch said:

At least the prices don't get raised every single year - like rent.

Yea general inflation means EVERYTHING gets more and more expensive constantly in the real world, and yet when companies decide to up the price of a game by $10 players welcome it as the new apocalypse. I mean do they not understand that as inflation rises so do developer pays? I'm really not one to defend corporations and capitalism in general but damn, common sense is in short supply these days.

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On 5/8/2021 at 12:33 PM, N3ilo said:

no some price raises are totally normal i mean like a lot more cause we all know activision really like money

I used to pay 80 of currency for 2 months of game time, now I have to pay this amount for 1 month. How is that not a lot?

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47 minutes ago, Babel said:

I used to pay 80 of currency for 2 months of game time, now I have to pay this amount for 1 month. How is that not a lot?

oh wow i pay the same amount i paid when i startet playing 15years ago but i would like you to lokk at staryms  comment direktly above yours 

Edited by N3ilo

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14 hours ago, Starym said:

Yea general inflation means EVERYTHING gets more and more expensive constantly in the real world, and yet when companies decide to up the price of a game by $10 players welcome it as the new apocalypse. I mean do they not understand that as inflation rises so do developer pays? I'm really not one to defend corporations and capitalism in general but damn, common sense is in short supply these days.

At the same time their revenue increased so it's not like they are hurting for more money. Also, afaik server costs are lower than they used to be, thanks to cloud storage etc. It's more about insane demands for constant growth, as if companies could grow infinitely. I do also see many people defending such practices, while there is no good excuse based on data available. Especially when it comes to reselling old games with few digital goods.

Another thing, in many cases this 70$ price is still just an entry fee to an ecosystem filled with microtransactions. And publishers are testing if they can get away with higher entry fee. So I wouldn't use that excuse about them needing more money (they are already getting more money as it is), thus having to increase prices. I remember similar discussions when the concept of dlc was quite new. People were defending them with similar arguments, some even claiming that dlcs are enough to keep current prices and thanks to them we won't see worse types of monetization (with presence of dlcs leading to even lower base prices of games). That has aged well...

Edited by Arcling

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3 hours ago, Arcling said:

At the same time their revenue increased so it's not like they are hurting for more money. Also, afaik server costs are lower than they used to be, thanks to cloud storage etc. It's more about insane demands for constant growth, as if companies could grow infinitely. I do also see many people defending such practices, while there is no good excuse based on data available. Especially when it comes to reselling old games with few digital goods.

Another thing, in many cases this 70$ price is still just an entry fee to an ecosystem filled with microtransactions. And publishers are testing if they can get away with higher entry fee. So I wouldn't use that excuse about them needing more money (they are already getting more money as it is), thus having to increase prices. I remember similar discussions when the concept of dlc was quite new. People were defending them with similar arguments, some even claiming that dlcs are enough to keep current prices and thanks to them we won't see worse types of monetization (with presence of dlcs leading to even lower base prices of games). That has aged well...

The revenue increase is clearly due to the pandemic, not anything else, so that's not really a good example (at least not in the past year+). But you are right, the dev team for WoW is insanely big and yet still not big enough to satisfy the playerbase demand for content. The microtransaction thing I find a bit of a fallacy, as long as it's cosmetics there's really no point in arguing IMO, it's utterly pointless to use that as an argument unless you CHOOSE to WANT to look prettier/badass/whatever. There are tons of problems/misuses within the MTX realm ofc (making mtx cosmetics awesome while normal gear looks shit etc) but those are a bigger discussion, just cosmetic MTX in itself is fine IMO, regardless of the price point of the base game.

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59 minutes ago, Starym said:

The revenue increase is clearly due to the pandemic, not anything else, so that's not really a good example (at least not in the past year+). But you are right, the dev team for WoW is insanely big and yet still not big enough to satisfy the playerbase demand for content. The microtransaction thing I find a bit of a fallacy, as long as it's cosmetics there's really no point in arguing IMO, it's utterly pointless to use that as an argument unless you CHOOSE to WANT to look prettier/badass/whatever. There are tons of problems/misuses within the MTX realm ofc (making mtx cosmetics awesome while normal gear looks *filtered* etc) but those are a bigger discussion, just cosmetic MTX in itself is fine IMO, regardless of the price point of the base game.

Is it though? They have been on a rise for several years now, not just pandemic.

It's not a fallacy for pretty much reasons stated above. It potentially detracts from attractiveness of rewards. Looking cool affects people's enjoyment. Another thing, it eases people into other forms of microtransactions. People were outraged about shop, it eventually stopped, people were outraged about various paid services, but this too ended and there are defenders of such practices. If they introduced some increase to resources gained, pretty sure there would be some people defending it: "oh, it's just 25% increase, you just have to grind more if you are not paying for it". Thing is, where we do cross the line, because this argument "this is fine, but it goes no further than that" doesn't seem valid. Here's the issue - it's never enough, it can always go further. Of course, free to play games are something else, as there is no subscription or price for expansions (usually).

Edited by Arcling

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12 hours ago, Arcling said:

Is it though? They have been on a rise for several years now, not just pandemic.

It's not a fallacy for pretty much reasons stated above. It potentially detracts from attractiveness of rewards. Looking cool affects people's enjoyment. Another thing, it eases people into other forms of microtransactions. People were outraged about shop, it eventually stopped, people were outraged about various paid services, but this too ended and there are defenders of such practices. If they introduced some increase to resources gained, pretty sure there would be some people defending it: "oh, it's just 25% increase, you just have to grind more if you are not paying for it". Thing is, where we do cross the line, because this argument "this is fine, but it goes no further than that" doesn't seem valid. Here's the issue - it's never enough, it can always go further. Of course, free to play games are something else, as there is no subscription or price for expansions (usually).

We'll just have to disagree there completely. Cosmetics are fine IMO, for any and all games (with the caveats I mentioned earlier) and anything beyond that is not (XP, currency boosts, items etc). Your line may be much stricter than mine and that's fine but let's not pretend this is some fact-based thing. I'm looking at it realistically, before a company would release a game and that would be that, now ANY game, even offline single player needs to be updated and patched constantly, which costa money so a steady stream of income from it is needed, or devs are just making less money than they were before. Cosmetics are that answer. They mean a lot to you and some other players and so you put a bigger meaning to them, again that's fine, but it's not exactly objective. The slippery slope thing is a fine argument, but really doesn't apply to allowing no cosmetic MTX ever, because that simply is not feasible in modern game design.

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5 hours ago, Starym said:

We'll just have to disagree there completely. Cosmetics are fine IMO, for any and all games (with the caveats I mentioned earlier) and anything beyond that is not (XP, currency boosts, items etc). 

It's fine, clearly we see those things differently. My main concern is about easing people into more microtransactions. And it sort of kills the point of classic, like that mount didn't exist back in BC, neither this "Dark Portal Pass", also there was no mount that scales with your riding skill (this one apparently does). There are also other concerns, albeit not related to this, like short pre-patch and release date, that doesn't give people enough time to prepare and level up. I won't be surprised if WotLK classic is going to be even more expensive. It was also an expansion that had first store mount, so they might as well just put modern store in there.

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6 hours ago, Arcling said:

It's fine, clearly we see those things differently. My main concern is about easing people into more microtransactions. And it sort of kills the point of classic, like that mount didn't exist back in BC, neither this "Dark Portal Pass", also there was no mount that scales with your riding skill (this one apparently does). There are also other concerns, albeit not related to this, like short pre-patch and release date, that doesn't give people enough time to prepare and level up. I won't be surprised if WotLK classic is going to be even more expensive. It was also an expansion that had first store mount, so they might as well just put modern store in there.

Oh I agree they shouldn't have added stuff to Classic, but then again I also think it's incredibly stupid that they put Classic on an endpatch to begin with and not roll it out as it was originally with class changes etc, so it's all subjective really 😄

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