Why World of Warcraft character boosts cost $60

Blizzard didn't want to "devalue the accomplishment of levelling," lead designer says.

World of Warcraft level 90 character boosts will cost $60 because developer Blizzard Entertainment did not want to diminish the value of in-game levelling, the company has said.

"In terms of the pricing, honestly, a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of levelling," lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas told Eurogamer.

Hazzikostas said if Blizzard wanted to sell as many level 90 boosts as possible, it could have made them less expensive, in the ballpark of $10 or so. But players might not level traditionally, through gameplay, if they could buy their way to the top for so cheap, he said.

Overall, Hazzikostas said Blizzard's goal with the level 90 character boosts is to provide busy players--those with family responsibilities or limited gaming time--a means to enjoy high-level content with one of their alternate characters.

"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," Hazzikostas said. "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."

Still, some players might see Blizzard's introduction of paid character boosts as a signal that World of Warcraft is becoming more of a "pay-to-win" title instead of a progression-based game. This is not the case, creative director Alex Afrasiabi said.

"Game design, half of it is about trust. And I think that our playerbase trusts us implicitly and you never want to break trust between the player and developer," Afrasiabi told GameSpot. "And I think pay-to-win does that. And I think that is really our stance; we are not about pay-to-win in World of Warcraft. That is not gonna happen."

Every copy of upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor includes one free level 90 character boost. Immediately after you pre-purchase Warlords of Draenor, you'll be granted your free character boost. Pre-purchases for the expansion are said to launch "soon."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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189 comments
lukeborom
lukeborom

Devalue leveling? LOL ok Blizz. What about the fact that once you level to 90 and get the top gear then all that is worthless as soon as you get the next expansion. The top gear you spent months raiding for are less powerful than the greens that drop while leveling to the next cap...

Steakface
Steakface

"devalue the accomplishment of levelling."


Clearly BS. Blizzard already devalued it when they neutered the entire game world and made it (along with the lower level instances) AoE farm-fests designed to race you to the level cap.

jyml8582
jyml8582

"After the closing of Real Money Auction House, Blizzard has to seek another way to generate steady revenue."

swimbearuk
swimbearuk

It doesn't matter how much "pay-to-win" costs; it's still "pay-to-win". People who are too busy to play games should just level up slower. The content should be good regardless of player level. If all of your friends are levelling quicker than you, then put in more time, or find another group of friends.  That said, I don't play WoW, so I don't really care about that game.

Dissentioncc
Dissentioncc

Ugh I'm going to stop using this terrible site on my phone. Try to reply to someone and if just randomly comments at the top. Ignore this post.

Dissentioncc
Dissentioncc

I think it's funny that most people seem to be okay with the free 90, but against paid ones. Imo both are terrible ideas, but giving one away free is worse. Either way, why pay $60 when leveling is such a joke now anyway?

llMurcielagoll
llMurcielagoll

Yeah.. I'd rather put that kind of money in a game that's worth it.

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

You can call it whatever you want Blizzard. But we in the real world call it greed.

lucfonzy
lucfonzy

"In terms of the pricing, honestly, a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of levelling,"  you just devalued it by putting a price on it. Man this game is circling the drain fast, and they are gonna milk every penny before it crashes and burns

Godlikan
Godlikan

Hahahahahaha, there goes your not pay to win game :D

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

Instead of "devalue the accomplishment of levelling," it should read, "devalue the bottom line of the company." That's what that really means.

grove67
grove67

whats next pay to have sex

consoleclassix
consoleclassix

That is not important anymore. I glad went to Spellforce to replace this WOW. I'm happy with Spellforce series. Spellforce 3 is come in near future. I will never look back at Blizzard and company would lost a lot of money. I remember I wasted my money brought WOW in year 2003 and never played. I installed on Windows ME in long time ago and found out something wrong with game is DRM for me. I did give up and switch to Spellforce.

Blizzard is big loser!

I already brought Spellforce Platinum (3 in one) and Spellforce 2 from GameStop store in year 2004 - 2011. I would buy Spellforce 3 from GOG website. I never trust DRM period. That is exactly I play Spellforce is look similar to Warcraft 3, Age of Empire 2, and other RPG/RTS mix are my favorite all times. I refuse to sell my Spellforce games to anyone, because games are rare. Spellforce games rate is Mature I warning anyone know this. This game don't have nude graphic. Just half compare to beach like women. You know, same old way. Be understand, WOW is rate as Teen. WOW graphic look like cartoons, that is why I dislike it.


I urgent anyone must try Spellforce games and they would love them. You can buy Spellforce from GOG website, because have no DRM, means you can share with your friends and family without problems. Anyone would never disappoint on any Spellforce games. Trust me and you will love it.

clqtte
clqtte

Pay to boost level is not fun at all...Ask yourself why you play games? to level up, right? If your level already boosted by paying like this case...Gamers don't need to play...

MattPeters
MattPeters

World of Warcraft is the biggest Pay-To-Win game there is. This whole "see more content" crap has ruined the game. Once you buy the game, you're already guaranteed to "beat" it.


Leveling is already the easiest thing in the world... 100 hours? It used to take nearly triple that. You can already queue yourself for a dungeon group that teleports you to the instance so you never need to move yet now you can buy your way to the top level. Perhaps because your leveling is so mundane and easy now?

End game is worse. You keep queuing yourself for simple dungeons that drop you the gear you need (or buy it on the Auction House!) that lets you queue for a nerfed raid that is guaranteed to succeed (You get buffed when you die). PvP is the same, do a bunch of battlegrounds and despite effort you will win enough games that give you access to high level PvP gear and currency for Arena Gear (despite not doing arenas). Do arenas enough and despite rating, you'll have access to all the best arena gear.


Wow, what an awesome game. What a great relationship between dev and player, however it looks like it's just "player" and the game is controlled by money. So if you play WoW just know there is no "trying" anymore, you will win. Keep playing and you are guaranteed to see all the content and have access to high level gear where everyone looks the same despite skill difference.

I'm not joking you, the game is that bad right now. The community is not the same as it was. It's like when your favorite band starting getting popular they eventually sounded a whole lot pussier, hahaha.

It breaks my heart. WoW is a completely different kind of game and I would just hope someone makes a fun and challenge-driven MMO again. You can keep WoW.





Alex4789123
Alex4789123

Lol accomplishment. It takes like a week to get to 90 now if u take ur time. Anyone who would pay $60 for this is an idiot.

Stag_Lee
Stag_Lee

"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", Hazzikostas said.

So you're saying that playing the game isn't fun? You're saying it's a chore? Oh. How about that.

delta5931
delta5931

Because we are money grubbing losers.

thekorican
thekorican

What all you guys are missing is this was bound to happen.  Blizzard is losing money hand over fist with there subs.  Income needs to be brought in and with this $60 level boost you are basically paying the price for a new game.  This makes Blizzard bringing money in and keeps both the suits and stockholders very happy.

Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

they mean they don't want to diminish their profits since people who pay for a max lv character probably won't be playing the game for months or even years. the money's gotta be coming from somewhere.


as for alts, thank god you don't need that in ff14 since 1 character can be every class and do everything there is in the game

zanatrek
zanatrek

Well...this is very upsetting news to me. It devalues the game as a whole because of the fact that this BOOSTING option was never a part of the WoW & it just SHOULDN'T be. 

No ONE should have the option of getting a 90 JUST by paying for it. 1 FREE one is understandable…but $60 in exchange for an unlimited number of 90 alts? They already made it much easier to obtain gear in MOP in comparison to the previous xpacs and now THIS? Why? 

I still remember when we had to level weapon skills.

I wonder if Blizzard ever thought about how players who DID put in the time and effort to level multiple alts would feel about this. 

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

All player characters who level up like this should be required to wear a rubber floppy chin-dong to signify the kind of players they are.

linthes999
linthes999

They could make the price lower, and just limit the amount of boosts you can buy at any one time.  Much like back during Wrath of the Lich King where you could only roll a Death Knight if you already had a character over level 55 on that particular realm.  In this case, they could make it that you must have at least 1 level 90 on your account to use the boosting feature.


But at least they're giving 1 free boost with a preorder of Warlords of Draenor.

omar_q
omar_q

"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,"

Because putting a $60 pricetag on it isn't diminishing and a big fuck you to the players who did spent 100 hours. hyukhyukhyukhyuk

CryTech
CryTech

I don't understand why people are getting so upset by this.


Is it expensive to ask 60$ to boost a character instantly from level 1 to level 90?


Yes, yes it is. That is exactly the point. You're not supposed to be wanting to boost every character you have to max level without even giving it a second thought. 


Using the argument "Well, I'm paying for the game anyway, right? So I should be allowed to boost my characters to 90 for a low price/for free if I want to." doesn't hold any water, because you're in fact paying for, and therefore probably playing, the game for a reason, and not because it includes cheap level 90 characters.


If you still, absolutely *have to* boost a character to 90 (beyond the free one you get with WoD), or if you don't have time to level that alt character, but you want to play on it with your max level friends, the option is there and it's incredibly expensive, so you really have to be sure of what you want before you make a decision.


waffleiron88
waffleiron88

Yo i heard Blizz is making an MMO based in the Diablo universe.

kik4444
kik4444

If they don't want to "devalue" the leveling, then why add this at all?

RubTheSleep
RubTheSleep

@jyml8582  I guess keeping their players happy to keep paying the monthly fee wasnt good enough revenue. I rather them keep the real money AH open instead of screw the people playing warcraft.

RubTheSleep
RubTheSleep

@Dissentioncc  i think 1 free chat to 90 if you already have a 90 is ok. My friends and I want to try another server since blizzard killed ours...

DawnBlue
DawnBlue

@Damnation_6  I think you forget that is what companies are for - making money.


Not to mention the always forgotten simple fact: they are only sold if there are willing buyers.

koraak
koraak

@lucfonzyVeterans have been asking for a feature like this for a loooooong time.

trumafioso
trumafioso

@consoleclassix I'm sure Blizzard was very upset that they lost your business. However, I'm pretty sure no one in this discussion wants to hear about your fanboy love of some game that has nothing to do with the topic. If you love that style of game, why are you commenting on an MMO to begin with? Spellforce comments would make much more sense if this article was about Diablo than WoW.

Blackwand
Blackwand

@clqtte  

Not everyone plays just to level up.   For example hardcore Pvpers.  And veterans are going to be spending the majority of their time at endgame.  There is only so many times you can go through lower level content before you get tired of it.

koraak
koraak

@zanatrek All those people are relieved because they are sick of doing the same content over and over.

zanatrek
zanatrek

@IndremaLover  Make it so that they can only play in one server...amongst themselves. lol 

trumafioso
trumafioso

@linthes999 They should be charging MORE for this feature, not less. But I do agree that you should have already leveled one toon to 90 legitimately before the boost option becomes available.

CryTech
CryTech

@kik4444  To get more people into the game, and more importantly into the newer content of the game.


Remember, this was at first only added as a "bonus" for everyone who bought the Warlords of Draenor expansion to encourage new players to buy the game giving them the option to jump straight into the more current content.


After a while, they figured that players who really wanted to boost additional characters to 90 would probably just buy additional copies of the expansion, so they made the lvl 90 boost option available directly instead.

Now, considering the lvl 90 boost is considerably more expensive than the expansion, I'm guessing just buying additional copies of the expansion to get more lvl 90 boosts is not going to work anymore.



zanatrek
zanatrek

@koraak There is some truth to that but the way I see it, they're making it so OTHER undeserving players don't have to endure the same process. They're getting high lvl toons without working for it....AT ALL 

koraak
koraak

@CryTech @kik4444 I'm guessing the xpac is gonna be $40 and a battle chest containing all previous content will be $20

Blackwand
Blackwand

@koraak @zanatrek  

I would disagree about one thing Koraak.  Anyone that has played in a instance with someone that doesn't know how to play their class has firsthand experience on how someone else can effect another person's playing experience.  That's the one downside to this.  Running into people that have bought a 90 and suck when you have to rely on them for group content.

koraak
koraak

@zanatrek @koraakAnd I ask you, Why do you care? So what if they do, it doesn't take away from your playing experience, if anything all it does is make their experience worse. There is an intended demographic for this feature, the type of person you describe is not it. But if they choose to use it then it's their loss.