Would You Buy Levels In A MMORPG?
With the release of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited we’re now seeing more and more mainstream MMORPGs accept different types of payment solutions instead of the ol’ bog standard monthly subscription. Developers are now looking for ways to either supplement or completely finance their income by alternative means and we’ve seen quite a variety so far. Some games let you buy additional content, some fluff items and some let you pay for additional services like transfers and name changes. Still, something we haven’t seen yet though is the ability purchase character levels.
I don’t have a lot of free time these days. My work, family and friends keep me pretty busy and I find myself in a “money rich, time poor” situation (even though I’m really not rich at all but you get the idea). The time sink that MMOs often require has been something I’ve been battling against for the last couple of years now. In my younger days I would have had no problem dropping four or five hours a night into a game to grind some levels but now I’ve found that I don’t really have the spare time for that. With the recent desire to start some alts in World of Warcraft, I started to think wouldn’t it just be nice if I could plonk down some cash and buy a few levels so I could get straight into the good stuff?
I don’t think buying levels is that far away in terms of it becoming a reality. Blizzard have already introduced the ability to buy a name change, cosmetic change, faction change and soon a same-side race change. How long before a purchaseable class change service? And why not a level purchase service? Assuming that not everyone plays their alts straight through to level 80, it might actually be in their financial interest to allow people to pay $40 or so and start new characters at level 40.
Buying levels may also be better value for money for the player. If someone earned, say, $20 an hour at work then it’s actually better value for them to spend $40 and start an alt at level 40 or 50 than play the 40 hours or so it takes to get there.
It’s a controversal suggestion, no doubt. Maybe it would kill off low level gameplay, maybe it would cause a ton of high level noobs or maybe it would simply make gaming favor the wealthy more than the poor. But is it any less controversal than the ability to buy a faction change or even start a Deathknight at level 55?
So, tell me folks – would you buy levels in a MMORPG?