Pay to level - You heard it here first!
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 November 2013, 4:45 am
I know the traditional time to make predictions is right before a big event like Blizzcon, or right at the end of a year or the beginning of the new one. But I wasn't planning on do any of those. I would just like to make a single prediction on one single feature of one single game expansion: The WoW expansion Warlords of Draenor. My prediction is the following:

At some point not later than 12 months after release of Warlords of Draenor, you will in addition of getting your one free "level to 90" pass be able to buy more of these "level to 90" passes for real money from Blizzard.

You heard it here first! :)

The reason I feel confident to make this prediction is that neither of the alternatives makes much sense. A single character per account leveled to 90 for free will not suffice for many players: They might play on more than one server, they might have several Goblin/Worgen/Pandaren alts they never had the energy to level to the cap, they might need a new raid character quicker. On the other hand Blizzard is not going to give out unlimited free passes per player: If you can make people pay to change server or name, selling them levels is obviously the much easier sell. And if free level 90 would be available for all characters, you might as well shut down the level 1 to 90 game.

Basically the free pass is a test balloon. It will be well received by most people, and by doing so it will destroy the argument that leveling is a necessary "learning step" for a high-level character. And it is a bit like handing out free samples of drugs on a school yard, people will quickly demand more of the same. As the feature is already programmed in and is in demand, there is nothing easier than adding it to the store for account services and mounts / pets. Pay to level is the logical next step after free leveling.
Tobold's Blog

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