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Blizzard Announced Wow Auction House App for iPod

  • Date: 02-05-2010 Views:

    KeyWords: World of Warcraft,Blizzard,Auction house,iPod,iPhne

  • Summary: Since the release of the World of Warcraft Armory and Mobile Armory iPhone App, developer Blizzard has been hard at work updating and tweaking the system in an effort to keep players attached to the game as long as possible, even when they're not actually playing.
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Blizzard Announced Wow Auction House App for iPod

By Gabriel Zamora
Gabriel Zamora is a freelance writer and ghost writer, artist, hardcore video gamer, and self-taught cook. He's a native New Yorker and graduate from Hunter College, with a Bachelor's of Arts in writing. He writes for Examiner.com as New York Console Games Examiner and Video Game Trailers Examiner, and Multiplayergames.com under the name Dracozombie. He is currently working on two novels.

Since the release of the World of Warcraft Armory and Mobile Armory iPhone App, developer Blizzard has been hard at work updating and tweaking the system in an effort to keep players attached to the game as long as possible, even when they're not actually playing. One of the newest fruits of this labor is a service, currently in development, that grants players access the Auction House directly through the Armory website and Mobile Armory iPhone/ iPod App.

World of Warcraft iPhone

Blizzard Poster Bornakk made the announcement on the World of Warcraft forums, where he informed players about the services' development:


"While there are still plenty of details to be worked out, we're designing the service to offer auction functionality similar to what's available in-game. Players have been requesting -- and we've been hoping to implement -- a feature like this for a long time, and we're excited that the Armory and the game have evolved to a point that makes it possible.

This is a fairly complex service to develop, due in large part to its unprecedented integration with the game, so we don't have an exact release date yet. It's important to note here that certain elements of the service will be premium-based, which we'll go into more detail on once the service functionality is finalized. As with all of the services we offer, we plan to integrate the Auction House and Armory in a way that won't disrupt the gameplay experience, and we won't release it until it meets the quality standards that we've set for our other features and services.”

What is striking about the quote is the statement that elements of the service will be "premium-based", hinting that players will likely have to pay extra to get full use of the system. Also, no release date has been set, because the project is so large that Blizzard is working to integrate it with their systems.

World of Warcraft iPhone

If implemented properly, this could be a monumental achievement, literally granting players access to the game's economy from wherever they may be; work, vacation, toilet. etc.

However, there are some troubling worries that come to mind. Without knowing what the premium fee actually is, or what players are capable of doing with the service, one can only speculate as to how successful or damaging the service will be. If the system grants players too much freedom, it will likely allow bots and gold-selling companies tremendous power and leeway as well, possibly ruining the AH balance and the in-game economy.

World of Warcraft iPhone
Auction House in World of Warcraft.

The second niggling doubt comes from an ethical standpoint. That a subscription-based game is seemingly nickel-and-diming players for extras is a troubling, especially when the extra in question can impact gameplay as much as this service will. Were World of Warcraft a free to play game, this service would be a non-issue; simply another cool feature players have to pay for should they wish to use it. However, players already pay Blizzard a subscription fee to play the WoW. This system gives the player willing to pay real cash for the service access to the games economy from wherever, granting them a significant advantage over those who do not wish to pay, or can't. Now, in order to keep up with competition, players will have to pay a premium to give themselves an edge in the Auction House, or design bots to do it.

World of Warcraft iPhone

Blizzard has offered premium content in the past, but it has all been purely cosmetic. Pets, name-changing, transfers, race changes, etc, are all purely cosmetic, and offer no real advantage over players who don't use these features. This system has the potential to change everything. Players can pay for access to the games' economy and give themselves a major advantage over players who can't access the AH through their phones? What's the next step? Giving paying players access to high-level equips?

Of course, all this doubt and worry could amount to nothing, as the service may not even allow players to remote-auction items and such. But if the service is premium, why would anyone pay for anything less?

World of Warcraft iPhone