Blizzard's MMO World of Warcraft is to offer a new mechanic that will allow players to trade gold and game time between one another.
Players will soon be able to purchase WoW Tokens for real money and subsequently sell them through the in-game store for in-game gold. Buying a Token for gold makes it Soulbound and it can then be redeemed for 30 days worth of game time.
The sale value of a Token is determined dynamically by the game based on supply and demand, with the amount determined when the Token is listed for sale. The cash purchase price of Tokens has not yet been announced.
Players will only be able to trade Tokens with other players in the same region.
Blizzard says the intention of the mechanic is to give players with lots of extra gold the option to use it to help cover their subscription cost, and give those who want to purchase gold a way to do so from fellow players through a secure, easy-to-use system”.
Added the studio: We've heard feedback from players that they'd be interested in a secure, legitimate way to acquire gold that doesn't involve the use of unauthorized third-party gold-selling services – one of the primary sources of account compromises. We also know players who've amassed large amounts of gold through regular play would be interested in the ability to trade some to other players in exchange for game time, helping cover their subscription costs.
The WoW Token feature gives players on both sides of the equation a secure and straightforward way to make that exchange. It opens up a new kind of payment option for World of Warcraft players, and we hope that it will also help lead to fewer account compromises and a better game experience overall.
Buying gold from third-party services negatively impacts the game experience for everyone. The overwhelming majority of the gold these services provide comes from stolen player accounts, halting the victims' ability to play the game and contribute to their guilds. On top of this, gold selling companies often farm resources using hack programs, sell fake product codes as a scam, and spam entire realms with ads to buy gold, disrupting the game in very real ways.”