So by now, I’m sure everyone’s heard of Blizzard’s Celestial Steed Sparkle Pony available for $25 USD in their store. Did I purchase one of these? Hell yes I did, and I was 166,000+ in line when I did. Did I enjoy riding/flying around in game on said pony on any or all of my characters that could use it? Nope. I still have yet to see what it looks like on my screen itself other than the 1 that I rode past in Dalaran. That’s right, I spent $25 on an in game item that I’ve not even used in game yet. Sure, I redeemed my code and had the fun of logging on to (most) of my characters and collecting it (and Lil XT) from their mailboxes and seeing that flash of gold light as they learned it, but not one of them has summoned it, and likely none of them will for a good few weeks.
Why, you may ask? Simply because I don’t want to hear about it. Yes, I spent real money on pixels. Why should I be made to feel bad about that? There are a few reasons why peoples hatred and backlash over the Sparkle Pony irritates me, but first and foremost is the “spending real money on pixels lol” argument. If you are using this argument, please take a look at the fact that you are PLAYING A SUBSCRIPTION BASED MMO. Guess what? That means that you pay Real Money every month for Pixels! Own a WoW shirt or hat? You paid Real Money to celebrate paying every month to play those Pixels. Honestly, with everything available digitally now, how is my in game mount different from an album bought on itunes? Can you cuddle your itunes purchase at night? Well, maybe if you printed a receipt or something, but still. Do you get more enjoyment out of listening to that album than I get out of never having to farm gold for a mount for any of my characters again? Probably not. Also, why the hate over the mount specifically? No one that I know ever got insulting in game whispers about having Lil’ KT or the Pandaren. I don’t remember there being YouTube videos about the absurdity of those. I know I’ve never had anything to me when I pull out my Wind Rider Cub in a PuG, so what’s the difference?
“But Blizzard makes enough money! Greedy bastards.” Yes, I know that Blizzard makes obscene amounts of money even off their subscriptions alone and could probably offer the mount as free, in game content rather than in their store. But you know what? That’s their choice. It’s their content, they can decide how to make it available in game. Don’t like it? That’s fine, by all means you are entitled to disagree. I, however am also entitled to agree with their decision, so lets still be friends m’kay? Please don’t take that as fangirl-ism, I will be one of the first to say that I don’t agree with every decision Blizzard makes, but at the end of the day is my bitching going to change it? Nope. Still their game, not mine and I’m not going to take it out on the people who do agree with their decision simply because I don’t.
“But by charging for it, not everyone has a chance to get it!” I view the mount as DLC, equivalent to that in most other games. Did everyone freak out about Mad Moxie for Borderlands being unfair because the content is there, but not everyone has an opportunity to play it? No. Just think if Blizzard said “We designed a new zone, with new quests, but it’s only available through our store”. Can you imagine the amount of backlash they would receive? The horror of all of that content not being made available for free to everyone! If it’s okay for other companies to do in other games, why not the Big Bad Blizzard? How is offering an in game mount different than Cryptic offering additional character slots for purchase? This is also another of those WoW is a Subscription Based game things in my eyes, if you can afford to pay to play the game every month, is it fair of them to assume that you would have the means to buy in game items if you so choose? Trust me, I was on the side of the “I don’t know that I will be able to afford to play WoW this month” fence for quite some time, but did I think it was unfair that others could afford to play or could afford to order Figure Prints or all the other shiny things I wanted but couldn’t? No, it never made me feel inferior. I mean hell, I want the Fuschia Drake and the Time Lost Drake but do I have the time (or the enjoyment) to grind all the Holiday achievements or camp Storm Peaks for hours at a time? No. Do I whisper the people who do have those items and tell them that they have no lives and are stupid for working for those items? No, that’s entirely up to them, and more power to them for it. Do I understand the “but I want the pretty but I can’t right now!” Hell yes, and that’s why if I have the extra money I’ll gladly gift the pets (and yes, even Sparkle Pony) to my friends. OH HAI EARLY/LATE BIRTHDAY PRESENTS.
“But $25 is too much!” I can understand this one the most of all. Is it a little steep? Maybe, but it’s not as if you are only getting 1 and you have to pick which of your characters gets to use Sparkle Pony. They all can. ALL of THEM. Say you are maxed on character slots. You know own 50 Sparkle Ponies. Delete a character and reroll it? You’ve still got your pony. Plus they scale, so it’s not even as if you have to have all of your characters to 80 to be able to use it on them. Yes, you may get tired of looking at it, but hey, you can always spend gold for the regular mounts right?
TL;DR? People like their Sparkle Ponies, myself included; if you don’t that’s fine, continue to think us silly, I just don’t get pissy if I ignore you about it.