Soon you'll have the option of spending dozens of hours leveling a World of Warcraft character to 90, or paying $60 to reach the current cap in a heartbeat, according to an image pulled from the game's test servers and posted on MMO-Champion. It's unclear if $60 is the final price for the character boost, and we've reached out to Blizzard Entertainment for comment.
One month ago, Blizzard confirmed that you would soon be able to pay to boost your World of Warcraft character to level 90, but didn't say how much the service would cost. In addition, all pre-purchases for upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor allow players to auto-level one of their characters to 90 immediately. Previously, this boost wasn't going to be unlocked until the expansion was actually released. Pre-sales open sometime "soon."
If the past serves as precedent, Warlords of Draenor should sell for around $40, meaning buying the expansion will be the least expensive way to get a level 90 character the fastest (unless you already have one). But if you play multiple characters, paying a one-time fee of $60 might be an attractive option if you don't have loads of free time to spend leveling.
The $60 auto-level option is the latest microtransaction offer Blizzard has in place for World of Warcraft. You can also pay $30 for a faction change, $25 for a race change, and $10 for a name change, among other offers. In addition, various in-game pets and mounts are available for separate purchase on top of the game's existing $15/month subscription price.
It appears microtransactions are going to play a major role in Blizzard's future, as the studio recently established a "Microtransaction Strategy" business unit.
Blizzard announced Warlords of Draenor during BlizzCon in November. The expansion adds seven new zones, raises the level cap to 100, and will eventually introduce new animations for all eight of the original races, as well as the Draenei and Blood Elves. You can opt-in to a closed beta for Warlords of Draenor today through your Battle.net account.
World of Warcraft ended 2013 with 7.8 million subscribers. The game marks its tenth anniversary this year.