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World of Warcraft: level 90 booster costs $60 because Blizzard didn’t want to devalue levelling accomplishment

Tuesday, 25th February 2014 11:04 GMT By Dave Cook

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment has opted to give buyers of new expansion Warlords of Draenor a free level 90 booster for one character, but if you want to boost another character you’ll need to either buy the expansion again or pay $60.

It follows Wow Insider stumbling across the paid booster in the World of Warcraft store last week.

Now; speaking with Eurogamer World of Warcraft lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas has explained the booster’s creation and price-point. Getting to level 90 can take upwards of 100 hours, so it makes sense why newcomers might want to boost ahead to meet WarLords of Draenor’s challenge, but the $60 price-tag has come under fire from some critics and gamers.

Hazzikostas said, “We realised as soon as we came out with Warlords of Draenor boost to 90, we knew that there was going to be demand for more than [one]. It’s tremendously awkward to tell someone that you should buy two copies of the expansion just to get a second 90. That’s odd. So we knew at that point we were going to have to offer it as a separate service.”

On the price, he added, “In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of levelling. If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that – make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again.

“But levelling is something that takes dozens if not over 100 hours in many cases and people have put serious time and effort into that, and we don’t want to diminish that.”

“I am not an economist,” he stressed, “I’m not the one setting the dollar value myself, but it’s not the profit maximising price. That was not our aim here.”

Responding to claims that the booster will remove the challenge of levelling, giving newcomers and edge, Hazzikostas replied, “The intent here isn’t to create a world where no-one levels. It’s just to allow people who want to purchase additional level 90s, maybe they want a second or third alt and they don’t have time to level it themselves because they have a family or etc – it’s to allow them to do that.”

What do you make of the Level 90 booster pack? Let us know below.

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3 Comments

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  1. TheWulf

    I don’t know that something a simple botting program can be written for is an achievement, really. I mean, you can’t write a bot that would play, say, Street Fighter as well as a human even if you had direct access to the game’s data. You could mimic a great player’s strategy move for move, but that could then be learned and countered. That’s why games of skill/strategy are less likely to have good bots.

    WoW, however, can have a tiny process written for it. I mean, back in the day, there were addons that could play WoW, even move the character. And those were clumsy things written in lua.

    So I don’t buy this, really.

    It’s more a move of desperation to show the shareholders that WoW isn’t declining by bringing in a burst of money, and they can’t price it too cheaply because they’ll lose out on subscriptions and thus even more money. The $60 pricetag just tells me that they need to make money off of their currently addicted slaves, and fast.

    It’ll be interesting to watch though, that’s for sure.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Hcw87

    If anyone could buy a high level character practically for free, it would mean loads of unskilled people clogging up the games LFG/LFR Queues. It would create a horrible environment to play in for everyone else.

    You don’t just level up by spending time doing quests, you learn the mechanics of your class while doing it. There is no way in hell you would learn how to play a class in a few hours if you started out at max level. There are way too many abilities/rotations to learn.

    Also, bot programs weren’t created to ease leveling for individual people, they were created to sell accounts with high level characters and to farm money.

    If you start playing an MMO without being willing to level up a character, the MMO genre simply isn’t for you.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. lolatfanboys

    I thought there were more than enough lvling services out there, I guess Blizzard wanted their pie back. A little sad what is happening to the company that brought us Diablo 1, Starcraft 1 and Warcraft 2. But I guess most of the people from that time don´t work there anymore :/ Sadly Bill Robers Hellgate London turned out pretty shitty too.

    #3 5 months ago