Pony Outrage

Wow, I've been reading a lot about this whole pony debate. It seems many players are resentful of this new development in our favorite MMO, but somehow countless hordes still bought ponies. No matter how offensive some may find the idea, clearly there are plenty of others who are willing to fork over the cash. After reading a number of posts about this, I thought I'd throw a different spin on the debate.

One of the things that makes life challenging for a gamer (especially those of us born before the 90's) is being able to share about your hobbies. It's usually not a problem to chat about the latest American Idol cast-off or last night's ball game. But talking about your current game activities pretty much never plays well. I actually gave up on having my WoW friends and RL friends on the same Facebook account because it was just too weird for me. This is primarily because non-gamers really don't understand what gamers do and why they put so much time into a game (or games).

The nice part about gaming is that it's becoming more mainstream and businesses are starting to develop products that appeal to us. Personally, I can't get enough of this stuff. I love going to Jinx or Thinkgeek and checking out the latest geek/gamer products. I put gamer goodies on my Amazon Wishlist all the time. When a holiday rolls around, those are the items I'm most interested in getting. My family may not understand my passion, but they can still gift me with items I'll actually enjoy.

This is why I have no problem with virtual goods being sold by Blizzard. As long as they don't affect the power of the characters we play, who cares if they offer in-game items for sale? Everyone seems so focused on how these items are meaningless shinies that will somehow ruin the game by their mere existence. In reality, they aren't any different than the TCG loot card items we've had in the game for years now.

On the plus side, now I have a way for my friends and family show they love me by getting me something I'll cherish more than yet another scented candle or recipe book. Last Christmas we actually had fun gifting virtual pets to each other and collaborating about who would get which pet for which person. And every time my daughter asked me recently what I wanted for my birthday, I said "a pony!".

Now seriously, how often in life can we say something that silly and mean it?



  1. The pony thing concerns me. I gave up on playing fiesta because unless you had scads of cash to buy the premimum items, you sucked. I figured wow was cheaper in that light, but if they start to sell things that affect character power level it will be the same thing all over again.

  2. Thoroughly agree with you. Bought the pony and the new pet day one.

    My family doesn't get it either. I was just telling someone today, thanks to Blizzards excellent marketing department - WoW and gaming is mainstream!

  3. Thanks Ziboo, I really wanted to focus on the positive of this change rather than the negative. It seems that most of the folks (including our "anon") who object to micro transactions are projecting this into a doomsday scenario where you can buy items to beef up your toon. Blizzard has said repeatedly that they aren't doing this, and I take them at their word. I think it's silly to insist that the sky is falling, when in fact the sky is doing no such thing. When the sky actually falls... then it's OK to freak out ;)

  4. Just one of hundreds of different mounts. The best thing about the Celestial Pony is that it is both a ground and flying mount. I do not have to keep two keys for different rides as I can use the same for both. Worth the money just for that.

  5. About mounts, you could just use a macro to mount a Flying or a ground mount.
    /use [nomounted, outdoors] flying_mount_name
    /use [nomounted, outdoors] ground_mount
    /dismount [mounted]

    First line try to equip a flying mount. If it
    can't (Azeroth, Dalarn, instances), it will try
    to equip a ground mount.
    If none of them work, and if you are not mounted, it does nothing.
    The macro will exit once one of the line works.
    So, if its able to equipe one of the mount, it stops.
    If you are already mounted, it dismounts you.
    Simple enough, a one key mount/dismount macro.

    Enjoy :)