Instead of posting this in a 'rant' thread, or one that complains about the store because of 'P2W' or 'those could be in game items' ... I wanted to use this theory separately and not muddied up by those reasons. Please keep those reasons in their appropriate threads.
Now, this is about the many times Blizzard has said that they can't do things like update Silvermoon City and Exodar because that would take away from resources for raids or otherwise limit the game. This isn't about SMC/Exo in particular. This is about the entire world evolving with lore and story progression to reflect both what we do in the game and what happens in the books.
Making models for the store, be it mount, pet, or gear ... or on use items that have in game effects (not xp, the tcg-like ones they talked about), in essence is taking up artistic resources that could have been used, albeit at a slow pace, to update the world.
Now, before someone does it, I'll admit to playing devil's advocate against the store including in-game store; but I don't necessarily have a personal direct problem with it. I feel that in general, it is fine, as long as it is a separate team. I've bought a mount before, my wife has a couple. I've been tempted for more and for a few pets, but have the willpower to not do it. I also don't currently play, so store, no store, in-game or not ... it doesn't personally affect me, so I'm rather unbiased overall, except I'd still like to see what is best for the game as a whole happen for its continued success.
Here is where I'd like to say, IF ... if they can take the extra income from the store and set up a team specifically for working on updating the world ... then I would have full support for the store/in-game store, even with a bit of P2W involved (bit = not selling raid gear, but catch up gear, instant 90s, xp pots, reputation pots, other boosts, etc). The things I'd like to see most is putting the 'world' back in world of warcraft. Having the world evolve to reflect the story. Having world objects updated in poly count and texture quality, even if all improvements end up on a graphics slider (vanilla trees -> high poly trees; bland lighting -> realistic day/night cylces; etc).
I just want what is best for the game as a whole. I feel resources put into making the world more realistic in its atmosphere and becoming a living world would go a long way towards this. This is not some sort of half-assed Cata revamp I want, but a piece by piece quality update that could be phased for higher levels if it affects lore (as I feel the Cata changes should've been). So new belfs and drae see old exo; at a level that makes sense (after outland?) the cities move into the updated phase. These resources could be paid by the xpac fees and sub fees; or they could come from the store and all the little extras. I just think having a lively world that has atmosphere is a key element in an RPG, MMO or not. It makes the world feel less static, more alive ... and I feel a world like that is more enjoyable to be in. Even for the people who sit in cities, having good day/night cycles would increase their atmosphere greatly ... more lighting might need to be strategically placed.
I don't want resources taken away from dungeons, scenarios, raids, dailies, dynamic, pets, PvP, etc content. I think these are all very important for the people who enjoy them. This would be a separate team from all of them, with the goal of improvement of making the world feel alive and adaptive to the lore and actions of the game and books. Every zone, every city, every part of the game would be subject to being worked on, with the general plan of doing most visited zones first after the most needed updates are taken care of (most out of date places). Some resources would naturally spread through other zones by default (better quality and more diverse trees might make overall implementation across all zones quicker and easier to implement after the first zone or two sets up the team in both new resources and experience with making it happen).
I know there are those who only care about raiding, and might feel this is a waste ... but for those of you like this, try to look inside yourself and see the greater good. The fact there are millions of people playing, and not all of them focus on just raids/bgs-arenas ... that there are a lot of people quite involved in the world, and the intention of this would be to not affect the development of the competitive side of WoW at all. Its purpose is to make the entire experience of WoW more 'epic' from the start. For new players, for alts, for gatherers and farmers of drops, for lore buffs and those who just slowly play and take in the world who have no idea of the race to max level and world first raiding; and maybe, just maybe the competition focused players just might notice now and then that the world looks and feels better when they step out of the cities and raids, and hopefully, to some extent, some of those assets used to update the world might trickle into the raids a bit and have a positive affect on them too.
I think those of you who hate the store, need to realize both out of, and in-game versions of it are here to stay ... but what about coming up with suggestions on how to improve the game using what can only be a source of increased income for the company. They will do what they will do; but if you do have great ideas (which mine may not be), give positive and constructive feedback instead of whining and bitching, complaining and cursing about things that are here to stay and benefit either the company or people who view the game differently than yourself.
What do you think of the idea of using increased revenues from the store to hire a team to work on world improvements? If you don't like it, what part of the game would you like to see more invested in?
I personally don't mind the store at all. I would even go as far to say that I don't even mind if people do "pay to win" concerning raid items.
But to come back to your original question: Yes they should work on old content and should update the world to reflect a story. Not only would they most likely sell more books/comics - but the game world would feel alive = more immersive = more people will likely hang around longer = longer terms of subs