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We’ve got precedent for what happens to commodity prices at the beginning of an expansion: They skyrocket. In early Legion, flasks went for between 1,500 and 2,000 gold, which was about the equivalent of a dollar and change. If the cash value of flasks holds with current gold pricing, Battle for Azeroth flasks could be selling for an unprecedented 7,500 to 10,000 gold in September.
How many hours will players grind for a token now worth $15? On the Chinese and European servers — which include Eastern European countries where minimum wages are less than the equivalent of $2 per hour — there are plenty of people willing to sell their time for these prices. There is more of a question of relative value in North America, where players tend to value their time more highly relative to subscription costs.
A much smaller number of players are producing surplus quantities of those valuable goods and providing them to other players. And all the gold generated by the activities of those players who ignore the grindy professions and get what they need from the auction house is flowing to the players who are making all those goods available on demand to the rest of the community. Most of these auction house merchants are sitting on a lot of gold, but the number of people who want to make cash this way is relatively low.
A: We’ve heard feedback from players that they’d be interested in a secure, legitimate way to acquire gold that doesn’t involve the use of unauthorized third-party gold-selling services—one of the primary sources of account compromises. We also know players who’ve amassed large amounts of gold through regular play would be interested in the ability to trade some to other players in exchange for game time, helping cover their subscription costs. The WoW Token feature gives players on both sides of the equation a secure and straightforward way to make that exchange. It opens up a new kind of payment option for World of Warcraft players, and we hope that it will also help lead to fewer account compromises and a better game experience overall.
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