For those of you that aren’t aware, the Guardian Cub is Blizzard’s first tradeable in game non-combat pet. It does not lock to your Battle.net account, and is one-time use. The pet will cost $10US when it comes out, and there is no limit to the number that any character can carry.
Doing some quick research, the $10 that the Guardian Cub costs will get you roughly 8k gold on most sites that sell gold from gold farmers.
Initially you should expect those pets to sell for significantly more until the market is flooded and drives down the cost. Knowing that everyone has access to these pets, and industrious folks probably have the same idea, this will happen pretty quickly. (Just look at the Winterspring Cub market — people still buy those for 200g when they cost 50g in Winterspring with unlimited supply)
Part of me thinks Blizzard is genius for doing this, part of me is angry.
The genius part is that they’re effectively bringing in a real money Auction House to WoW. It’s 1-directional, and they’re basically making it legal to buy gold — there’s just less instant gratification because you still have to find a buyer. In a way I hope this cuts into the profits of the gold farmers out there — particularly those that earn the gold through unscrupulous means.
Do I think that will really happen? Probably not. People are strange. There will be people out there who would rather buy the gold than send Blizzard the same $10 to buy the pet, just furthering account hacking, and reinforcing the need to have an authenticator on your account. Always.
The part of me that is angry is mostly frustrated that they’re changing the model. I liked the fact that I could spend $10 and get a new pet on all of my characters, no matter when they are created. On this new model? If I want the winged guardian cub on all of my characters, I’d have to spend $10 for each character, or buy them off of someone who has spent that $10. For me, that’d easily be $100 across different servers. Why not just make the in game item Bind on Account after one character on that account learns it? Seems like a simple, happy medium to me.
In an economy where people are having a difficult time finding a job in some areas, Blizzard is asking for another $10. Is it critical to gameplay? No. Do you have to have it? No. Is it so cute I can’t stand it? Yes. Shut up.
I’ll test the market with the Guardian Cub when it comes out, see if I can’t make a ridiculous amount of gold for one. (FOR SCIENCE!) Will I buy one myself from the Auction House? Absolutely not. I don’t want to chance reinforcing people buying currency from gold farmers long term.
What’s your take on the Guardian Cub?