Update: Added some additional information from an interview

Introducing the WoW Token
GamesBeat has an interview with Ion Hazzikostas that has some additional details:

  • The tokens are coming in Patch 6.1.2, coming to the PTR soon.
  • You can buy the token without logging in to your character if your account has lapsed. (Watcher)
  • Some BoE raid loot and Black Market Auction House changes may come as a result of all this.
  • The price isn't set yet, but it won't be less than the regular subscription price.
  • Blizzard will set the initial price and then let supply and demand take over.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Coming soon to an Azeroth near you: the WoW Token, a new in-game item that allows players to simply and securely exchange gold and game time between each other.

Players will be able to purchase a WoW Token through the in-game Shop for real money, and then sell it on the Auction House for gold at the current market price. When a player buys a WoW Token from the Auction House for gold, the Token becomes Soulbound, and the player can then redeem it for 30 days of game time.


Want to buy a WoW Token for gold? Head to the new Game Time tab in the Auction House, and purchase one immediately for the current gold buyout price—there’s no bidding involved.

When you put a WoW Token up for sale, you’ll be quoted the amount of gold you’ll receive once someone buys it—you’re guaranteed to get that amount no matter how the market moves.

The WoW Token was created to give players with lots of extra gold the option to use it to help cover their subscription cost, and give those who want to purchase gold a way to do so from fellow players through a secure, easy-to-use system. The Token will be making its debut in an upcoming patch—in the meantime, check out the FAQ below for details on how it works.

The Basics
Q: How do I buy a WoW Token for real money?
A: WoW Tokens will be available for purchase for real money through the World of Warcraft in-game Shop. You can access the Shop through the row of feature buttons next to your character’s bags.

Q: I need gold! How do I sell a WoW Token to another player?
A: You’ll be able to sell WoW Tokens through a dedicated Token exchange in the Auction House, located in a new Game Time section. WoW Tokens cannot be traded or sold any other way.

Q: How much gold will I receive when I sell a WoW Token?
A: The gold value of a Token will be determined dynamically based on supply and demand. When you put a Token up for sale, you’ll be quoted the amount of gold you’ll receive upon a successful sale. If you then decide to place the Token up for sale, that amount is locked in, and the gold will be sent to your mailbox after another player purchases your Token.

Q: I need game time! How do I buy a WoW Token from the Auction House?
A: When you visit the Auction House, you’ll be presented with the current market price for a WoW Token in your game region—there’s no bidding involved, and all Tokens in a game region are priced the same at any given moment. If you decide to purchase one, you’ll receive it in your mailbox, and can then immediately redeem it for game time.

Q: How much game time do I get by redeeming a WoW Token?
A: You’ll receive 30 days of game time when you redeem a WoW Token.

Q: Can I resell a WoW Token after I’ve purchased it for gold?
A: No, each WoW Token can only be sold once. After you purchase a Token for gold, it becomes Soulbound. At that point, it can only be redeemed for game time.

The Details
Q: How much will a WoW Token cost on the Shop?
A: Pricing details will be announced at a later date.

Q: Why are you introducing the WoW Token feature?
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.

Q: How is acquiring gold by selling a WoW Token different from buying gold from third-party services?
A: Buying gold from third-party services negatively impacts the game experience for everyone. The overwhelming majority of the gold these services provide comes from stolen player accounts, halting the victims’ ability to play the game and contribute to their guilds. On top of this, gold selling companies often farm resources using hack programs, sell fake product codes as a scam, and spam entire realms with ads to buy gold, disrupting the game in very real ways.

The WoW Token allows players to exchange real money for gold in a secure and sanctioned way—together with the ongoing efforts of our developers, support staff, and anti-hack teams to stop the exploits these companies use and help players who have become victims of their operations, we hope the Token can help make World of Warcraft a safer and more enjoyable game for all of our players.

Q: Why can’t players set their own prices for the WoW Token?
A: The WoW Token feature is designed to facilitate the exchange of gold and game time between players in as secure, convenient, and fair a way as possible, and without making players feel like they’re playing a game with their hard-earned money. Having a set current market price and a straightforward exchange system is the best way to achieve that—you don’t need to worry about whether your Token will sell or not due to being undercut or the market shifting, and everyone receives exactly the amount of gold they were quoted.

Q: What happens if the price quoted to me is different from what the Token actually sells for?
A: You will always receive the gold amount quoted to you at the time you place a Token up for sale, regardless of what the current price is when the item actually sells.

Q: How long should I expect to receive my gold after putting a Token up for sale? How does the game determine whose Token to sell?
A: The amount of time it takes to receive your gold after putting a Token up for sale depends on a variety of factors, including the current supply and demand. When you list a Token, you’ll be quoted an estimated time based on the current Token supply and the rate of recent transactions, but the actual amount of time it takes to sell is likely to vary (note that Tokens do not expire). In most cases, Tokens are sold in the order in which they were put up for sale; however, there are some exceptions to this, such as when a Token purchase is undergoing verification.

Q: If I buy a WoW Token from the Auction House, how long does it take to receive the Token?
A: Just like a standard Auction House purchase, it will normally arrive in your mailbox nearly instantaneously.

Q: If I’m buying a WoW Token for real money from the in-game Shop, how long does it take to receive it?
A: Once you successfully complete a purchase, your Token should arrive in your inventory (or mailbox, if your inventory is full) almost immediately.

Q: Do Tokens expire? What happens if I accidentally delete one?
A: No, Tokens do not expire. They also can’t be deleted, so no need to fear accidentally trashing them.

Q: Can I stop my auction or receive a refund after it was purchased (for gold or real money)?
A: All transactions are considered final and auctions cannot be cancelled, so make sure you’re certain you want to proceed before listing or buying a Token. To help prevent unintentional transactions, you will be prompted to confirm your purchase or sale before it’s finalized.

Q: Is there a deposit? Does the Auction House take a cut of the Token seller’s gold?
A: There’s no deposit, and the Auction House does not take a cut of the gold for WoW Token sales. The standard deposit is designed to dissuade players from spamming the auction house with items that aren’t selling, and the standard cut is designed to dissuade players from buying and reselling items for minuscule markups. These issues don’t apply to the WoW Token, so there’s no need for a deposit or cut.

Q: Will each game region have its own WoW Token exchange? Will everyone in a game region have access to it?
A: Each game region—Americas (including ANZ realms), Europe, Taiwan, Korea, and China—will have its own shared WoW Token exchange. We’ll share additional details at a later date.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Introducing the WoW Token started by chaud View original post
Comments 465 Comments
  1. Amnaught's Avatar
    Can't be traded. Can't be sold more than once. I know, I know, people will always complain about something, but it seems kind of messed up that a person can buy it for cash and wait for the price to go up, but someone who buys it with gold can't. And I thought it was gonna be cool to be able to buy these for my friends, for gold or cash.
  1. mmoc19ee780deb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zka View Post
    YESS! However I'm a bit puzzled why they don't let the price determined by the market.
    Because that's an idiotic idea if you want to combat the illegal gold market like this (and yes that's why it's introduced).

    With them setting the price depending on Demand and offer, means that gold sellers have to go below a point where it's still profitable for them to keep doing it as a job. If they like not set a fixed but constantly calculated price point it would end up being more profitable for gold sellers at some point, which would be silly.
  1. MORGATH99's Avatar
    ill be playing for free now
  1. reemi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Flimsy View Post
    Lol you what? more revenue = more content you cant be serious.

    It does have a impact on the game, anything boa can be bought for rl cash (including gear) that's quite a big impact if you ask me. I could boost a character to 90 and then buy all the best BoE items available (after leveling to 100) all for the price of real life cash its the exact meaning of pay to win, all right the boe's at the moment aren't exactly great but they are good enough and the impact will get worse with every content patch (guessing next content will have some 700 ilvl BoE items)
    You can buy golds from farmer since 2004... Now it's legal and but nothing change
  1. Bathory's Avatar
    Sweeeeeeet! Finally something to spend this gold on that I really WANT!
  1. Total Crica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by reemi View Post
    You can buy golds from farmer since 2004... Now it's legal and but nothing change
    no risk of your account being hacked, your credit card being stolen and your account being banned - those are definitely changes
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HomeHoney View Post
    EVERY SINGLE PLAYER who has more gold then other players ALREADY HAVE AN ADVANTAGE, it's ALREADY in the game - the advantage CAN NOT BE BOUGHT WITH REAL MONEY unless it ALREADY EXISTS - in other words, if i have a ton of gold RIGHT NOW and YOU DONT, then I ALREADY have an advantage, me selling that advantage to someone else doesnt affect you at all just like the fact that i have a ton of gold RIGHT NOW doesnt affect you at all
    What part of "having an advantage over someone using real life money" are you having difficulty understanding? It's pay to win.
  1. IxilaFA's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Both have no gold. Both are new players. One, because he is poor has to level up his character then spend months gearing it up. The other who is rich can buy a level 90 boost then buy mythic gear. Pay to win means people with money having an advantage over people that don't. I don't know how to say this any simpler.
    By that logic we should also get rid of friends lists and grouping with friends. Because someone who starts playing and has a friend who is in a mythic raiding guild that runs him through all of the leveling dungeons, crafts him 680 gear and then takes him on mythic clears also has a significant advantage.

    Besides the fact that both players start at level zero regardless of the gear or how quickly they leveled up. The higher echelons of WoW play require skill, experience and a significant knowledge of the game as a whole. The guy with all bought gear is just as likely to be successful as the one with no bought hear.
  1. Allyrion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Both have no gold. Both are new players. One, because he is poor has to level up his character then spend months gearing it up. The other who is rich can buy a level 90 boost then buy mythic gear. Pay to win means people with money having an advantage over people that don't. I don't know how to say this any simpler.
    You are twisting the words of the person you were arguing about to make a completely separate comparison.
    The person who buys the tokens has enough gold to buy advantages, maybe they even bought those and are using the gold to buy game-time after this. The point is that advantages already exist for those who play the AH and spend a lot of time making gold.

    In fact, you could say there was a disproportionate advantage given to those who can spend more time in-game getting gold to those who spent more time working. I think that's fair enough, since those people put more time into the game but if we're talking general equality for all, it's not like there's no advantage now.

    It's simple:
    If you're successful in-game with gold, you can buy game-time and gear. You work for that gold, you reap those rewards.
    If you're successful in your career, you can get gold and reap the same rewards by trading with players who have that commodity.

    If you don't have either money to spare or gold to throw away(like me), you'll have to find gear and success in a different way. Personally, this change will do nothing for me cause I don't have enough of either, but this isn't pay to win.
    Pay to win is when you only have real life money to get ahead in-game. Right now, you can work and get everything without it even without gold. In fact, you can't even buy a whole heroic set with all the gold in the world and mythic is only off-pieces.

    You've got to give something to get the rewards. Real money is one of those things now, but it's not the only thing and it's not even the best thing (since it's more limited). Hence, it isn't pay to win.
  1. Total Crica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    What part of "having an advantage over someone using real life money" are you having difficulty understanding? It's pay to win.
    what part of "player A already has the advantage over player B RIGHT NOW" are you having difficulty understanding?

    the advantage already exists, player A giving it to player C doesn't change ANYTHING for player B

    Player A has an advantage over player B

    Player A gives their advantage to player B

    Player A no longer has an advantage over player B

    Player C now has an advantage over player B

    Player A's advantage did not change anything for player B, and now player C's advantage does not change anything for player B
  1. ejpaints's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IxilaFA View Post
    By that logic we should also get rid of friends lists and grouping with friends. Because someone who starts playing and has a friend who is in a mythic raiding guild that runs him through all of the leveling dungeons, crafts him 680 gear and then takes him on mythic clears also has a significant advantage.

    Besides the fact that both players start at level zero regardless of the gear or how quickly they leveled up. The higher echelons of WoW play require skill, experience and a significant knowledge of the game as a whole. The guy with all bought gear is just as likely to be successful as the one with no bought hear.
    Gold- Search "Buy WoW gold" and see how many sites already do this illegally.
    Leveled Character- Same as above
    Gear-You could pay a guild real $$$ for a full mythic BRF clear with all loot drops right now if you wanted to spend the money and risk your account if they got caught doing it.

    So tell me again how Blizz offering this stuff in a legit means to help deter that sort of behavior is a bad thing?
  1. Pizzakid2093's Avatar
    In the toilet.
  1. azurrei's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    What part of "having an advantage over someone using real life money" are you having difficulty understanding? It's pay to win.
    I used to think this way, but over time I've changed my stance. Yes, it is paying for an advantage over someone else (time.) The thing is, Blizzard is not selling a direct advantage (which would be literally generating gear and selling it.) The items you can buy with gold are PLAYER CREATED. What I mean by that is someone crafted/got as BoE drop/boost player through raid/dungeon for a drop etc. The gold is being used to buy things created in the game by players, not out of thin air by Blizzard. The gold is being used to trade for these items... and someone else in game can get these exact same items by playing the game itself and earning gold to buy them - it just takes more time.

    I've learned to just kick back, not worry about what other people do, and enjoy the game with my "free" gametime/items/etc (like being able to pay for gametime with gold.) In other words, there is an advantage on both sides of the coin - learn to accept and enjoy.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IxilaFA View Post
    By that logic we should also get rid of friends lists and grouping with friends. Because someone who starts playing and has a friend who is in a mythic raiding guild that runs him through all of the leveling dungeons, crafts him 680 gear and then takes him on mythic clears also has a significant advantage.

    Besides the fact that both players start at level zero regardless of the gear or how quickly they leveled up. The higher echelons of WoW play require skill, experience and a significant knowledge of the game as a whole. The guy with all bought gear is just as likely to be successful as the one with no bought hear.
    What the fuck does that fucking bullshit have to do with anything? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Having a friend in game has nothing to fucking do with buying gear with real money. "Pay to win defintion: Having a friend carry you through raids" gtfo.
  1. Gbits's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zka View Post
    YESS! However I'm a bit puzzled why they don't let the price determined by the market.
    It will be - just not individually. An algorithm based on supply and demand will set the prices, and fluctuate depending on... well, supply and demand.

    http://venturebeat.com/2015/03/02/wo...ards-cash-cow/

    Big interview with Watcher on this answers that and a pile of other questions the FAQ does not. They're talking about changing BoEs and BMAH stuff too to address what Shudder brought up...
  1. IxilaFA's Avatar
    I think the misunderstanding in this thread comes from everyones individual definition of pay to win. Pay to win is attaining a statistical advantage in game via means that are either difficult or impossible to achieve besides paying money. I have the following examples:

    1) Blizzard introduces a potion in game that increases the damage and healing you do by 5% for 1 hour. This potion rarely drops off raid bosses. Additionally you can purchase it on their store for 3.99 per stack. Since the item is rare and difficult to attain in game, this is pretty severe pay to win.

    2) Blizzard introduces the same potion from example 1, but instead of only dropping off bosses it can be made by alchemists for some harder to obtain mats. The result is theres a decent amount available for sale. Optionally you can spend none in the store to buy these potions. This is not really pay to win because anyone in game who spends the smallest amount of effort could also get the potion.

    3) Blizzard introduces an alternate currency in game. This currency can be obtained by completing a daily mission in your garrison for five of these tokens. You can buy really good gear and enchants and gems with this currency as well, but it costs like 50 tokens per piece of gear. Additionally you can buy 10 tokens off the in game store for 5 bucks. This is almost 100% pay to win because it guarantees that someone with more real life money will maintain an indefinite edge over someone trying to do things the free way.

    As it stands, buying gold neither nets the buyer a statistical advantage that is difficult to obtain in game, nor does it grant them access to items that others cannot get. At the very worst its a mild form of pay to win, if your idea of winning is acquiring some pieces of BOE gear and buying a title and a carry that you dont deserve.
  1. Cyclone Duke's Avatar
    As a person who works full time and doesn't like spending my few spare hours doing boring stuff in WoW, I will very much look forward to being able to get a few K gold from other players for only a few €!
    I've had guildmates who are in countries where the economy is trash/no money who would miss a raid unless someone helped them out and gave them gametime from a card, and ofc they'd thank you with gold. That's all this system is.

    [Time] = gold
    Whether that time is being unemployed and sitting at home all day farming shit in-game or working a job.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HomeHoney View Post
    what part of "player A already has the advantage over player B RIGHT NOW" are you having difficulty understanding?

    the advantage already exists, player A giving it to player C doesn't change ANYTHING for player B

    Player A has an advantage over player B

    Player A gives their advantage to player B

    Player A no longer has an advantage over player B

    Player C now has an advantage over player B

    Player A's advantage did not change anything for player B, and now player C's advantage does not change anything for player B
    What part of who the fuck cares if someone EARNING gold in game over someone else do you fucking have issues with? It doesn't fucking matter if someone playing more and has more gold has an advantage over someone who isn't that's the whole fucking point of the game. This is using REAL LIFE MONEY to get advantages in a game. The very definition of pay to win. People having advantages in the game by earning it doesn't make the game disgusting. Selling gear for cash does.
  1. Filipse's Avatar
    Great more stuff going towards blizzard favoring pay to win over actual effort and skill.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gbits View Post
    It will be - just not individually. An algorithm based on supply and demand will set the prices, and fluctuate depending on... well, supply and demand.

    http://venturebeat.com/2015/03/02/wo...ards-cash-cow/

    Big interview with Watcher on this answers that and a pile of other questions the FAQ does not. They're talking about changing BoEs and BMAH stuff too to address what Shudder brought up...
    There we go, they remove the ability to buy gear with real life cash then I no longer have an issue with any of this and it is no longer pay to win. Boes and bmah can't exist if they're selling gold.

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