Thursday, April 23, 2015

The WoW Token And EVE Online's New Players

I've written a few posts about the WoW Token, Blizzard's version of PLEX. But why should people who play EVE care about what happens in World of Warcraft? One obvious reason is new players. Ever since the influx following the release of the This is EVE trailer, players have worked to welcome new players into EVE. As events over the past few months have shown, many think "weaponized newbros" could play a huge part in the new sovereignty capture mechanics coming to null sec in June.

But what does the ability of WoW players to purchase game time with in-game gold have to do with new players in EVE and possibly null sec warfare? This:

Accounts banned for buying illicit ISK on the black market
A high percentage of accounts banned for purchasing ISK are new accounts up to 3 months old. Many of these players come from other games where purchasing in-game currency, while not condoned, doesn't come with the penalties such offenses carry in EVE. Worse, some players figure out that they can purchase PLEX to sell for ISK, but then go to shady websites instead of going to their EVE account management page or to an authorized PLEX reseller to purchase their PLEX.

Yes, Team Security is aware they have an awareness problem which is why the final portion of the security presentation at Fanfest focused on awareness. But I'm not sure how effective an awareness campaign will work for new players. Gamers are kind of famous for not reading things, which is why CCP is moving away from the walls of text in the new opportunity system they are designing to introduce new players to New Eden.

That's why World of Warcraft moving to a PLEX-style system is so important. Although the majority of WoW players are just WoW players and not MMORPG fans, WoW is still the biggest western MMORPG on the market today. Once the WoW Token circulates in WoW for a few months, then players who then choose to try EVE will have a greater grasp on the concept. Even better, because the mechanics surrounding the use of the WoW Token are more restrictive than around PLEX, those new players' first instincts will lead them to the account management page to purchase PLEX from CCP and not to go searching out some shady website offering a steep discount.

In effect, the WoW Token will help in new player awareness of the option of buying ISK through the use of PLEX. Sure, in an indirect way, but then again, EVE has always had a reliance on the butterfly effect.

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