Friend, is the grind getting you down? Do you feel like you simply can’t go on? Never fear, my man; with the Enduring Elixir of Wisdom you can simply pay to have those troubles washed away. Maybe you’re being ganked in Stranglethorn, maybe Desolace is just too lonely for you, or maybe those Shado-Pan are simply too smug for your liking. Whatever ails you, simply drink an Enduring Elixir of Wisdom and everything will immediately become 100% better. It’s like magic – grinding begone! Enduring Elixir of Wisdom: “ain’t nobody got time for dat grind, anymore”.
Jokes aside, a potentially game-and-world-changing item has been unearthed in the latest PTR files that could herald the coming of a new free-to-play World of Warcraft option. The Enduring Elixir of Wisdom offers a 100% increase to XP gained from quests and monsters for one hour, but more interestingly it has been tagged with three ominous words: In Game Store.
This is the part where I remind everybody that this is the PTR, these are datamined files, and that Blizzard in the past has put items and features into PTR builds that never made it to the light of day (tri-spec, anyone?).
But what could this all mean? The item has clearly been labelled with a 5.4 In Game Store tag, which is fine, except oh wait… WoW doesn’t have an in-game store. So that could be an actual thing, though it would seem rather ambitious to try to include that plus everything else they’ve already got planned for 5.4. An in-game store also means microtransactions, which is the first step on the road to a free-to-play WoW in some form. Or it could just be a new Recruit-A-Friend perk that has been mislabelled as “in-game” store.
So far, Blizzard has been silent on the issue, but I doubt that will last much longer if community uproar is anything to go by. While a “pay to win” scenario would be a concern, the levelling game is hardly relevant – especially at the back end of an expansion where the only new content is at end game, and has been for the best part of a year. Getting people to end game, particularly new players, is no doubt a concern, and more elegant solutions to the problem are probably few and far between.
This is the PTR though, so it could be absolutely nothing at all, however, I would be surprised if somebody at Blizzard accidentally let an item labelled “in game store” slip through the cracks. Perhaps it’s all part of an experiment to gauge community reaction. Either way, hopefully we get some clarification soon.
What do you think? Would you pay for an XP buff? Would you be for or against this kind of item in World of Warcraft?
Update: CM Zarhym has added some clarification as to the nature of the in-game store, which he seems to confirm. However, he specifies for “certain regions”, and that more info is to follow as development progresses.
We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game. As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the PTR. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses.