Time is Money, Friend!


I was excited to hear yesterday that soon the WoW Token would become a reality – much sooner than I had expected. And sure enough, this little feature has brought out the goblin inside of me. The idea that I can theoretically fund my subscription through ingame gold has renewed my interest in the auction house. For PROFIT!

I think it’s a great addition to the game and it has some interesting consequences for us. Oh the possibilities!



As a player, I know I will be thinking about my gold differently from now on. There is suddenly this incredibly tangible relationship between an rl commodity and ingame gold. Not entirely new necessarily, but never quite so directly in my opnion. We’re getting an exchange rate now. So if I want to drop 50k on a mount, I will wonder whether it is worth the cost of a month’s game time. It’s a decent gold sink for me who doesn’t have pots of gold sitting around.

Above all, it provides another payment option to keep playing the game. Options are good because it opens it up to more people. Players who don’t have access to credit cards or who are not financially independent now have a new way of buying their game time on their own ingame. I decided to stick with game cards ever since I returned since I wasn’t sure how long I’d be playing. And I liked the idea of evaluating my hobby every month or so – having to consciously buy game time rather than having an automatic sub does that for me. The notion that my hobby can now possibly be a self-sufficient little thing that chugs away gives me warm fuzzies.

It’s the perfect for guild raffles. I’ve done these in the past where a certain mount/item/something cool is raffled off to guild members. It’s a great way to raise guild funds (specially when the repairs are high and the guild bank is low) and also serves as a fantastic non-raiding event for the entire guild. A Game time token would be a perfect addition to the raffles because people may not want pets or mounts, but would anyone say no to free game time? Maybe, it could even become a monthly event.

Finally, I hope they consider expanding the WoW Token beyond just game time to other services like server transfers, race changes, and faction changes. It could go a long way in helping guilds recruit by giving them an easy way to reduce the barriers to promising recruits. Some guilds do offer to pay for transfers etc. but I imagine it would be easier with tokens. Sponsors could be other raiders/guildies who now have a new way of being involved with recruitment. Guilds who previously didn’t have the ability to do would potentially be able to offer it. And guild seekers, rather than being faced with the upfront costs of server/faction changes would welcome the help. And on the side,  if I didn’t have to bring out my wallet every time I felt like changing to a different race… that’d be awesome! *Cough* 



10 thoughts on “Time is Money, Friend!

  1. The wow tokens made me think of coming back to wow after almost 3 years of not playing, but my free 10 days of game time ends in less then 48 hours, so i don’t know if I will be able to get any.
    If well executed this could be a major plus to this game, improve it and maybe even greo its player base and its already up on US servers for 30k gold, lets see how it will be in EU.
    But all will depends in what happens to the price, if ppl buy them and if like you said It could be used for more stuff.
    Its a wait and see how it goes.

    • The overview in the video said that people with inactive accounts would be able to resub with ingame gold so I’m guessing you’d be able to do so even after your current free time expires. I really liked that they added that because it gives people who are on the fence about coming back an alternative to bringing out their credit card for game time.

      You’re right that it will depend a lot on the prices and how it is executed. 🙂

  2. I don’t think it would work for raffles unless you mean the guild would just fork over the gold to the winner for token purchase off the AH.

    I can see the benefit of tokens for the extremes – those with lots of gold and no cash, and those with RL cash and no gold, but for those of us in the middle – a bit of RL cash and a bit of gold – the tokens might not be as attractive.

    It actually becomes a F2P problem, interestingly enough. Do I want to spend time in game to make gold to avoid RL cash? Or is my time worth more than $15.00/month?

    This assumes that someone like me who doesn’t know how to make tons of gold is looking at a rather significant in-game time investment to collect enough gold for a token.

    So…instead of “playing” the game I’d be “working” to earn enough gold so I can play the game. If the “play” time worked out to be greater than the “work” time then it might be cost-effective. If not, then why would I play the game when most of my time is spent “working” so I can play?

    You’re right – creating a tangible relationship does significantly “change” how we might view game play.

    • Yeah I was thinking they’d get “a month’s game time worth of gold” as the raffle prize. Buy a ticket for 1k for a chance at a month’s free game time 🙂 If 50 guildies buy it then thats 50k total – cost of the token say 30k – so that’s 20k for the guild bank leftover.

      The last successful raffle I did involved homemade brownies as the prize – surprising how much people were willing to fork over for those! And the winner had to wait a week for their prize. Tokens aren’t as direct as simply being able to trade an ingame pet or mount but I think they’re more immediate than waiting for brownies lol, and it might still work as an incentive for folks to buy raffle tickets.

      You bring up a really interesting point about work and play – I didn’t think of it that way. But you’re right “working” to play the game or “playing” to work? Interesting question!

      • I’d pay 100k gold for homemade brownies – that would be worth “working” for in the game lol 😀

  3. I expect that the gold value of a wow token will drop to about 15,000 in the coming week. If you want gold you should sell a wow token before the gold value of the token drops further. If you want game time you should wait until the price drops closer to 15,000 if you can.

    Here’s the reasoning behind this prediction:

    $20 total price for a token
    – $12 cost of 1 month subscription on a 6 month plan
    = $8 remaining value of token

    It makes sense that $8 difference in the cost of the cheapest 1 month game time will determine how much gold each token will cost. WoW gold is currently selling from non-sanctioned places for about 1,555 gold per 1 USD. This means a token will bottom out at a theoretical lower limit of 12,440 gold. There is also a premium for security and convenience, so a 20% value hike, or 15,000 seems like a reasonable amount. It will definitely drop below to about half of the 30,000 starting price quickly across North American servers.

    Also, the current price is about 22,000 so this downward trend is starting already. I would be very surprised if it went below 12,440 as a final value.

    • That’s an interesting calculation! I suppose we’ll see how the token ends up with the downward trend. My game time ends in about a week so I do have a limit on how long I can wait if I want to use ingame gold for game time. Hopefully it’ll hit 15,000 before then!

  4. Honestly I would never have enough gold to buy time. It’s so much easier for me to pay real money. Kinda sad huh! But I was never a gold making machine.

    • Well, in all honesty I’m not a gold making machine either hehe. I’ve never known the feeling of having a 6 digit amount of gold sitting around as I know some players do.

      The next few months will be interesting to see if I can make enough gold or not to afford game time. I just bought a token last night for this month and yep – it wasn’t trivial! We’ll see how long I last before going back to real money.

      It’s an interesting experiment so far 😛 It’s one thing to want to be self sufficient with the game – and quite another to actually do it haha >.<

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