November 9, 2009

Ummmm... what?

Hey everyone!  Sorry guys, I’ve been so busy with project for Massively and other sources that I just haven’t had time to blog!  I feel bad, because I have a couple things I really wanted to talk about, but I felt that this topic was the best thing I could vent on to get me back in the mood of talking again — Champions microtransactions.

But, I’m afraid that saying that line is surely a misnomer.  I’m not for or against the Champions Online C-Store at heart.   I don’t intend to buy anything out of the shop, even when they gave me 400 points to spend in it thanks to my GameStop pre-order package.  Likewise, I’m kinda happy it’s there, just in case I do need an emergency respec and I don’t feel like earning one or waiting for a free one to be handed out.

No, what I’m pissed about is the inconsistency of people regarding microtransactions.  Specifically: World of Warcraft versus Champions.

I alluded to my opinion briefly in my last Anti-Aliased, but I’m so fired up about this issue that I think it really deserves its own blog post.  I hate the fact that people let World of Warcraft get away with fucking murder while they go off and rail on Champions.

To give my case a visual illustration, I like to compare this to the South Park episode where Cartman tries to use “psychic powers” to catch a serial killer.  While he tries to help the police department, the South Park police keep missing the HORRIBLY CREEPY DUDE standing in the bikini and blood covered poncho at every crime scene.  They even sometimes stare at the real killer, only to brush him off while they persecute someone else because Cartman said they were the killer.

Warcraft has come out with 10 dollar pets.  10 FUCKING dollar pets.  Not one dollar, not two dollars, no 10 fucking dollars.  I don’t know any virtual pet you could possibly offer me that’s worth 10 dollars of my cash.  It’s a disgustingly high price point, yet people are sitting there and staring at these stupid pets saying, “You know, I really kinda want that.”  Warcraft’s allure and “OMGMMO” status are somehow blinding people from noticing how ungodly expensive this is when compared to…

Champions Online.  The same Champions Online that outraged people when they offered extra costumes at 3 dollars a set.  Or action figure vanity pets for 2 dollars.  Or, even worse, the favoribly priced $12.50 retcon.  No, somehow this game is trying to steal all of your hard earned cash so Cryptic can roll around with it in their pool of money.

No one seems to notice WoW sitting over there, happily peddling 20 dollar server transfers, 30 dollar faction changes, or these stupid 10 dollar pets on top of their 15 dollar a month subscription.  Everyone’s too busy being outraged over Cryptic asking people for 2 bucks on top of their subscription fees.  I even brought this up in Anti-Aliased, and people were blinded enough to tell me that “What WoW offered wasn’t the same as microtransactions.”

I’m sorry, you’re right.  IT COSTS MORE THAN “MICRO” IN WARCRAFT.

But these are the same people who denounce microtransaction item stores.  The same people who spew forth the notion that MTs ruin the quality of the game because developers are too busy putting their work into making MT items and not the game itself.

They don’t care (or notice) that Cryptic only offered five new costumes and a few icon sets versus the 5 events, new monsters, brand new powerset (Celestial powers), new PvP battleground, and new world PvP introduced in Blood Moon.  Not to mention the changes to the game’s weather and skybox to make the place look absolutely creepy.  Somehow, those 5 whole costumes detracted from Blood Moon’s content, even when Blood Moon offered way more than most holiday events.

Let me be clear — I don’t fight for Cryptic because I’m some rabid fangirl of Champions Online or because I’m getting “paid off” by them.  I fight for them because I think they’re getting the short end of the stick when it comes to public opinion.  I fight for them because I find the lengths people go to somehow denounce them insane, especially when World of Warcraft does the same damn thing Champions did, only 10 times worse, and everyone’s ok with it.

Do I sound like a broken record at this point?  Probably, but I keep saying this shit in different ways because if I don’t, some idiot is going to come in here and attempt to contradict me because I didn’t cover all my bases.  So let me be clear one last time.


*clears throat and walks off*


  1. why not turn a blind eye when it justifies being an idiot?

  2. I kind of liken it to music elitism. It my wee youth, I listened to some terrible… TERRIBLE music, only for the sake of listening to it because no one else did. I would spend stupid amounts of money importing wacky Swedish metal to say I owned it. But, if someone tried to talk to me about, say, Finnish metal, I would call them retarded and proceed to rip on their supposed poor taste in music. The same idea applies here. Since WoW is the Swedish metal (Okay, this is really wandering now), no one wants to listen to Finnish metal. Uhhh, yeah.

  3. I am right there with you. I have a friend who refuses to play any game but WoW because of micro-transactions. Yeah guess who owns both pets now? Even better: All he does is stand around Ironforge all day.

    To me its like the Coke Addict who thinks smokers are bad people.

  4. Yeah, inconsistencies can be annoying at times. Seems to be a consequence of the sheer size of the WoW fanbase.

  5. Good to know that I’m not the only one who thought it was a terrible hypocrisy. Blizzard might as well create a whole new sub model for those that obsessively collect pets, that or get on board the costume inventory slots train and start selling decorative armor sets.

    Now who would like to see my cotton panties?

  6. Great topic. Nice to see you in soapbox mode again 😉
    I have to agree – its amazing how folks dont seem to want to challenge the Blizzard behemoth but will happily slam Cryptic.
    I am pretty happy at the path Cryptic has taken. No game changing items available via store – just fluff stuff – and the prices for full retcon – basically equivalent to a full WOW rebuild from ground up of a character – is reasonable when you look at what it does.

    I bought some extra costume pieces and costume slots and was pretty happy

    As I saw recently on CAD in context of another game – folks will often take scoopfulls of shit from established franchises with a “hmm – yum – more shit……” approach while whining like heck about less established franchises.

    Keep swinging for the little guy Sera

  7. […] people give Champions Online an unfairly hard time for the cash shop, where WoW gets a free pass. Why can’t people be consistent in how they criticise features? I fear the sad truth is that most people who criticise CO have no intention of playing it, whereas […]

  8. I know I am a little late in the argument here but just wanted to chime in, since I love rants and am somehow drawn to give my opinion on controversial topics… As someone who is a Blizzard fan and a Cryptic fan, both of their microtransaction stores are the exact same. I personally don’t know anyone who cried foul at one and gave the other a pass (aside from reading comments on the linked posts). Both the stores give you things that are cosmetic and not game changing (aside from the retcon but I will give that a pass lol). If you want to spend money on it, great. If you don’t have the money or don’t think it’s worth it, don’t. Blizzard and CO are both companies trying to make money. Yeah, Blizzards store is more expensive than CO’s, but that is pure economics. Blizzard sees pets going for 40+ dollars on Ebay and knows that at $10 they will make a killing. I personally have not spent any money on microtransactions, but if someone with more money than me wants to and in turn Blizzard has more money to make a better game (or sit on their golden throne), great. I enjoy their games and they should be rewarded for being smart and making a product people will pay for. I’ll wait to complain when the high end armor goes on sale like pretty much every game on ijji.com.

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