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Author Topic: Could WoW switch it's currency to just 5 bitcoins per server?  (Read 3080 times)
notig
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February 07, 2013, 02:51:54 AM
 #1

Okay call me crazy but wouldn't it be cool if World of warcraft switched their entire economy to use bitcoins? Here is how it would work:

a satoshi is the smallest unit of bitcoin. Imagine if blizzard bought something like 5 bitcoins for each server and used them for the entire economy of each server. So how many units could just 5 bitcoins provide out of curiosity?

Would it be incredibly genius if blizzard did this... they bought a stash of bitcoins. Say 20 thousand. They have something like 300 servers. so they could start rewarding players with actual bitcoins instead of their own gold drops. Each player could also have a wallet that you could send bitcoins to outside of the game.

What would happen if they did this?
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February 07, 2013, 03:51:59 AM
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What would happen if they did this?

i don't know how current wow economy works, but i would think blizzard's profits would drop as they would be unable to magic new coins out of thin air.

in the current system, can't they just go blizzard_acc += 9000 and sell those extra credits to suckers for fiat?
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February 07, 2013, 04:32:45 AM
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Um wouldn't that just highlight the utter waste of time.  Smiley  I "worked" for 140 hours and racked up a whole $0.21 worth of currency.

I could see something a game like Second Life do this although there would be no "x coins" per server.  People could take or add funds to the game server at will.  The game developer could profit via "BTC sinks" things like land deeds which can only be bought from the developer which pull real money (BTC) out of the game system into the development company coffers.
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February 07, 2013, 12:15:28 PM
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I don't know what it goes for anymore, but I know WoW had sort of a black market to buy gold.  Their gold was going for something close to 500G per 1USD.  The value of the ingame currency & items are already higher then suggested.  Also, they run the risk of their bank/credit company imposing new fees for jeopardizing their business model.  Small chance, but not one overlooking when your cash cow brings in billions.

The big picture with Blizzard, Microsoft points and Second Life is how games can easily establish their own digital currency.  I am EXTREMELY nervous that Google will partner with Visa or Mastercard and spin off their own commericalized bitcoin.  Many other less secure systems will come about immediately (doesn't facebook have a currency now?), and we'll be left with the same paradigm Linux is in.  People will pay for a Mac with expensive OSX by the thousands versus a cheap PC with a free OS becuase of the commerical appeal.  Why wouldn't they invest and use a commerical coin if Katy Perry told them it is totally cool next super bowl?
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February 07, 2013, 12:25:51 PM
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Why wouldn't they invest and use a commerical coin if Katy Perry told them it is totally cool next super bowl?

Because the risk is huge when a currency has a single point of failure. A company-run currency is vulnerable to the failure of the company as well as whims of the people making decisions for that company. National currencies share these risks to an extent, but with a private currency they are much greater.

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February 07, 2013, 12:40:43 PM
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Would it be incredibly genius if blizzard did this...

Each player could also have a wallet that you could send bitcoins to outside of the game.

What would happen if they did this?
That wouldn't be genius at all, that would be incredibly stupid.

Isn't their goal to get the users money?
Then why would they do something as stupid as allowing users to leave with blizzards money?
And if you have no reason to do that, it makes no sense to pay for some ingame-tokens if you can just create your own in any amount for free whenever you want to.
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February 07, 2013, 12:41:22 PM
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WoW doesn't allow real world trade. Being able to bring coin would bring real world trade.

Diablo 3 maybe.

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February 07, 2013, 01:45:49 PM
 #8

The only way you could get this to work in a video game is if you made it so that no one could spoof the numbers or anything like that, the problem with game currencies is they often have no limit and therefore no value, it's a game really and I think it should be treated like that. Plus I'm not a fan of pay to win or anything like that, pisses me off because it destroys game balance and rewards veteran players with cheats.
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February 07, 2013, 02:12:21 PM
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I could see something a game like Second Life do this although there would be no "x coins" per server.  People could take or add funds to the game server at will.
The funny thing about SecondLife is, that it actually works already, without adding any funds to the game-server at all.
You can completely cut out the game-developers (LindenLabs) as middlemen.
All it needs is a little inworld-scripting (from users, not developers) and you can buy and sell virtual goods for BTC sent and received offworld.

And best of all LindenLabs can't even do anything about it.
I'm wondering why noone (at least that I know of) has done this yet, probably not enough customers interested.
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February 07, 2013, 02:20:19 PM
 #10

Shame you weren't playing that MMO a couple of years ago (regnum online), it was all about teamwork and tactics, they're still important in it but they've gone a bit too far down the pay to win path.

No idea why bitcoin hasn't been picked up by games yet, they go to big expense trying to implement their own currency systems and still have a constant battle with folks trying to hack them when they could just use the bitcoin system for free.

I'd derail this thread if I went into detail but trust me, the RPG systems just don't work when you want to have a balanced game, most people who claim they do don't really know what they're on about, you're always going to get people who charge in with the two handed sword of 20000 damage points completely breaking the game Tongue I do agree though that pay to win makes the whole thing much worse.
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February 07, 2013, 05:12:57 PM
 #11

No they can not.

Simply the context of bitcoin is totaly different from WoW.
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February 07, 2013, 05:41:45 PM
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No they can not.

Simply the context of bitcoin is totaly different from WoW.

 True, gold in WoW is an ingame currency. It is not ment to be sold, and if sold for real currency it is punishable by closing your account for good. However, there is a vlack market for buying gold that is huge. Currently, I think 2000g is about 1 dollar, but I might be wrong, been out of the game for some time. Altough, someone could set-up a market where people could sell gold for bitcoins, and also characters, because some of the could be sold for 100 BTC value at this point. 3 months back I got 1300 euro for my account.

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February 07, 2013, 10:31:13 PM
 #13

What about instead of that, you just allow subscribers to pay their monthly fees also via Bitcoin?  Don't change the ingame currency at all.

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notig
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February 08, 2013, 05:34:38 AM
 #14

I disagree that it would be a bad idea. First you may wonder why a company would do this...... it may seem like they would lose money. But if some game was popular and it opened it's economy to use bitcoins.... it would bring something to the table that doesn't exist anywhere else. It would attract people because it adds this level of simply awesomesauce. And believe it or not a game could make a lot of money. Want to pay to repair your items? Well your bitcoins would be going to the company instead of to oblivion. Want the auction house to take a cut? Well now they are taking a cut... of real money. if they added some miniscule amount of bitcoins to the loot of the game... and people could add or remove bitcoins from the in game economy... I think it would be cool. I'll have to think about it more. Imagine how awesome player killing servers would be where when yyou died you dropped actual money ahaaa.
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February 08, 2013, 07:18:59 AM
 #15

Kind of an interesting idea.  But I would (if I were Blizzard) use the spare GPU cycles to mine BTC (pp or lite...) and give the BTC (instead of the gold drops) back as a percentage of the horsepower donated (a fraction of so its not too biased). And those with more GPU power could pay their monthly fees etc.  There is an ideal approach, its just finding the balance thats the challenge...

Definitely food for thought for the design teams.

TC.
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February 08, 2013, 08:15:38 PM
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Have you even played WoW? Idea makes no sense, Wow has insane inflation, where 1k gold was ALOT the first year, and now 100k is not that much. Why? Because you get more gold when you play, and don't lose much, meaning an ever increasing gold supply.
I only know one game that has linked real currency to ingame currency, meaning you can withdraw aswell as deposit and that is Entropia Universe. But the entire "game" and ingame economy is built up with that in mind. Everything you do decays, and on average the economy is "drained". They said they was considering adding bitcoin depositing option, but the ingame currency will still be linked to the dollar, so don't really count.

Don't see why you couldn't make a similiar game with bitcoin tho, but it would need to be designed with that in mind, but doubt the niche is worth it atm
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February 08, 2013, 08:32:12 PM
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i for one think its a brilliant idea (admittedly one ive thought of before). The naysayers here simply arnt imaginative enough. Sure mmos would have to adapt the way things dropped and the stats on items and the fees for withdrawing btc from the server... ect....

It will require incredable forsight for the first serious mmo with good gameplay to incorporate something like this but that company will make an unbelievable fortune.

also loots from mobs would be relatively inconsequential. Most of the serious bitcoins you got from playing would be from acquiring rare weapons and selling them to people who imported bitcoins from outside of the game. The came could fund its self entirely by charging a serious fee for withdrawing bitcoin out of the game economy (prob something like 10-15%)

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February 08, 2013, 09:56:59 PM
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There probably is a market for a pay-for-play model that utilizes bitcoin as both an in-game currency and the only payment option. If anything, an entreprising small company with programmers who want to make money, yet work outside the fiat system could do this. Here is how I could see it happening and getting people "hooked."

1. Build free-to-play RPG, at least average play, have in-game currency drops equivalent to some low denomination bitcoin (like a satoshi).
2. Balance out the game initially so that the created in-game currency is roughly equal to that which is destroyed from buying in game items. Make the better items much more ridiculously priced. Charge in-game fees for excess play beyond 2 or 3 hours a day. Lots of one-time fees for "unlocking" capabilities, areas, etc.
3. Advertise game with something like, "Make digital money while slaying ogres!*"
* Restrictions apply on withdrawing funds to BTC (No more than once a month, fees (to pay Bitcoin network), etc)
4. Phase 1: Players check out the game, perhaps withdrawal a small amount or two (worth less than 1 cent USD) to verify that it works. Start to get the idea that they will at least "break even" on gameplay
5. Phase 2: Players start paying into the game in order to get access to better items and better areas with slightly more loot. They figure (incorrectly) that they could always grind their way for money to get it back in the game. However, the cost of better items is exponential, and the increase in treasure is more linear.
6. Phase 3: Ramp it up. Build a robust in-game auction system, but take a 5% cut off every transaction. Create in-game gambling. Have lots of optional, addictive activities that take a small cut.
7. Don't worry about growing in-game balances. A fractional reserve banking system has been created. Plan on never having to pay out the vast majority of players. LOL
8. If there's ever a run on the bank, declare yourself bankrupt, close up shop, and go live with Pirate40 on his island. Smiley

I spent way too long thinking about that. But there is way too much potential there. Just need some programmers willing to be paid in BTC.
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February 08, 2013, 10:09:27 PM
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There probably is a market for a pay-for-play model that utilizes bitcoin as both an in-game currency and the only payment option. If anything, an entreprising small company with programmers who want to make money, yet work outside the fiat system could do this. Here is how I could see it happening and getting people "hooked."

1. Build free-to-play RPG, at least average play, have in-game currency drops equivalent to some low denomination bitcoin (like a satoshi).
2. Balance out the game initially so that the created in-game currency is roughly equal to that which is destroyed from buying in game items. Make the better items much more ridiculously priced. Charge in-game fees for excess play beyond 2 or 3 hours a day. Lots of one-time fees for "unlocking" capabilities, areas, etc.
3. Advertise game with something like, "Make digital money while slaying ogres!*"
* Restrictions apply on withdrawing funds to BTC (No more than once a month, fees (to pay Bitcoin network), etc)
4. Phase 1: Players check out the game, perhaps withdrawal a small amount or two (worth less than 1 cent USD) to verify that it works. Start to get the idea that they will at least "break even" on gameplay
5. Phase 2: Players start paying into the game in order to get access to better items and better areas with slightly more loot. They figure (incorrectly) that they could always grind their way for money to get it back in the game. However, the cost of better items is exponential, and the increase in treasure is more linear.
6. Phase 3: Ramp it up. Build a robust in-game auction system, but take a 5% cut off every transaction. Create in-game gambling. Have lots of optional, addictive activities that take a small cut.
7. Don't worry about growing in-game balances. A fractional reserve banking system has been created. Plan on never having to pay out the vast majority of players. LOL
8. If there's ever a run on the bank, declare yourself bankrupt, close up shop, and go live with Pirate40 on his island. Smiley

I spent way too long thinking about that. But there is way too much potential there. Just need some programmers willing to be paid in BTC.
If there's ever an economy plugin for Minecraft and Bitcoins, I plan on doing something pretty close to this with my server.  People already can gain small amounts of BTC (10 satoshis) per block modified, so it'd be fun to also give them something to spend those micro BTCs on, and trade amongst themselves.
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February 08, 2013, 10:10:14 PM
 #20

There probably is a market for a pay-for-play model that utilizes bitcoin as both an in-game currency and the only payment option. If anything, an entreprising small company with programmers who want to make money, yet work outside the fiat system could do this. Here is how I could see it happening and getting people "hooked."

1. Build free-to-play RPG, at least average play, have in-game currency drops equivalent to some low denomination bitcoin (like a satoshi).
2. Balance out the game initially so that the created in-game currency is roughly equal to that which is destroyed from buying in game items. Make the better items much more ridiculously priced. Charge in-game fees for excess play beyond 2 or 3 hours a day. Lots of one-time fees for "unlocking" capabilities, areas, etc.
3. Advertise game with something like, "Make digital money while slaying ogres!*"
* Restrictions apply on withdrawing funds to BTC (No more than once a month, fees (to pay Bitcoin network), etc)
4. Phase 1: Players check out the game, perhaps withdrawal a small amount or two (worth less than 1 cent USD) to verify that it works. Start to get the idea that they will at least "break even" on gameplay
5. Phase 2: Players start paying into the game in order to get access to better items and better areas with slightly more loot. They figure (incorrectly) that they could always grind their way for money to get it back in the game. However, the cost of better items is exponential, and the increase in treasure is more linear.
6. Phase 3: Ramp it up. Build a robust in-game auction system, but take a 5% cut off every transaction. Create in-game gambling. Have lots of optional, addictive activities that take a small cut.
7. Don't worry about growing in-game balances. A fractional reserve banking system has been created. Plan on never having to pay out the vast majority of players. LOL
8. If there's ever a run on the bank, declare yourself bankrupt, close up shop, and go live with Pirate40 on his island. Smiley

I spent way too long thinking about that. But there is way too much potential there. Just need some programmers willing to be paid in BTC.

i really think you would be shooting yourself in the foot by charging monthly btc fees. Just charge a sizable premium to anyone who exports coins out of their game account and into a real wallet. That should be enough to entirely fund your game and it would feel so non invasive compared to a monthy fee or an item shop.

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
If one can not confer upon another a right which he does not himself first possess, by what means does the state derive the right to engage in behaviors from which the public is prohibited?
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