Earlier this week, World of Warcraft players in the game's public test server discovered an item that could be purchased with real-world money and gave players "experience gained from killing monsters and complete quest increased by 100%."
This item would not only take away much the grinding required to level-up in WoW, effectively cutting it in half, but it would also be the first for in-game transactions. World of Warcraft already sells items such as virtual pets and mounts for real money outside the game. Though these items are mostly aesthetic and do not necessarily enhance gameplay they do not currently cross the barrier of in-game purchases.
Items that can be bought to level up faster, so called 'pay-to-win', caused some uproar in WoW forums and seems to undermine the games hardcore fan base. Blizzard community manager Zarhym explained in a post on battle.net:
"We are currently exploring the possibility of adding a way for players in certain regions to make purchases directly within the game," Zarhym wrote. "As part of this process, elements related to this will be appearing on the [Public Test Realm]. We’ll provide additional updates on our plans as development progresses."
This may be a response to the increased player loss World of Warcraft is currently experiencing. Is it possible that WoW will open up certain servers for players to buy their way to victory?