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Making the World of Warcraft more trivial, one post at a time…

So, Blizzard surprised us all yesterday by opening up in-game pets for sale on the Blizzard store. One of them, the Pandaren Monk, is linked to charity, in that Blizz gives 50% of the proceeds of his sale to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. (I'll address my thoughts on paid pets being a good or bad thing in another post.)

Here's the little fella in action:

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I bought him partly out of curiosity, partly out of my duty as a half-assed blogger to investigate in a half-assed way, and partly because some of the money goes to charity. But mostly because Pandaren are just cool.

The process is very straight-forward. You login to the Blizzard store using your Battle.net account, and purchase the pet. I had a card on file from a previous purchase, so it took under a minute. You're then taken to an association page that presents you with the accounts within your Battle.net account. As I've only got the one WoW account, that was my only option. You click a button to associate the pet with the account, and you're done.

Mail How does this work in game? 

Well, and there won't be any surprises for those of you who have had other "special" pets in the past: it arrives by mail. Who from? One Chen Stormstout, the pandaren who could be found in Warcraft III. That's a nice touch.

From there the process is oh, so very familiar. A nice wee bit of character text:

Pandaletter
And yes, for those who are concerned about such things, it is a Bind on Account item:

Accountbound

To me he looks bigger and more detailed than the other pets in the game, closer in scale to a pet with a Pappa Hummell's buff on them than a normal pet. They seem to be trying to give some extra value to the paid pets. But one thing they won't be is rare. There were dozens of them in Dalaran last night, on our low pop server. 

We've definitely entered a new age of WoW. But is it a good thing or not?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/thinzalot Thinkzalot

    But is it a good thing or not?

    I think it’s cool, but the price is exhorbitant. And typical of US manufacturers, their “Currency conversion” is ridiculous. $10 in the US, £9 in England.

    Anyway, while I might pay £9 for a new mount, I wouldn’t pay more than £2.50 for a pet.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/thinzalot Thinkzalot

    Oh… and I think the whole “some money goes to charity” thing is just a marketing gimmick. Unless ALL the money goes to charity, it’s just a way of helping you justify paying an exhorbitant fee for their product.

    If you want to give to charity, give directly =)Just in my opinion =)

  • http://www.fallingleavesandwings.wordpress.com Beruthiel

    @Thinkz – I don’t think it’s “just a marketing gimmick”. Blizzard has worked with Make-A-Wish before. Think of all the people that would have paid for the pet regardless? I don’t think they need extra marketing. Sure, there are probably people that bought him that might not have other wise, because the money goes to charity, but I truly believe that they want to help support one of the best charities around. I can’t see how it’s a bad thing! And it’s less than I spend on Coffee/Lunch in any given day at the office.

    @Leafy – I love my little monk! I am also happy to hear you encourage folks to pick one up. Make-A-Wish is such a fantastic orginization. You can’t read the stories on their homepage without melting, even if you have a heart of ice.

    I also like the little KT. He’s vicious! I pulled him out in Dalaran, and was just minding my own business when he decided he’d had just about enough of the rabbit hopping by us and froze him.

  • http://psynister.wordpress.com Psynister

    I’ll take 50% to charity over 0% to charity any day. I don’t care if it’s a gimmick or not as they very well could have given nothing. And you know what, I’d have bought them both anyway.

    I like Panderan better so far, but I haven’t seen KT actually do anything yet. I’m guessing he’s got a hidden love for squirrels or something because he didn’t even look at them funny, much less freeze them.

  • http://thestoppableforce.net/ Stop

    The charity is a nice touch, but it really didn’t make a big difference in my decision to buy it.

    Also, you’re definitely right about the size of the pets. The pandaren monk is not that much shorter than, say, a dwarf female, and would probably be bigger than a gnome.

    Note to self: remember to add pandaren monk to warrior and warlock, see if it’s bigger.

  • http://www.permanentlylost.com Tiniane

    There’s a surprising amount of controversey over these little pets, which I must say I find somewhat confusing. Personally, as someone who bought the DirectTV Blizzcon stream almost entirely for the Grunty pet, and who has bought FAR too many boxes of trading cards searching for pets, I waded straight in and bought both last night :)

    Yes, they’re not cheap, but as with faction/race change, I think Blizzard have pitched in as high as they think they reasonably can. The charity donation on one is a sweetener, but didn’t affect my decision to purchase.

  • http://psynister.wordpress.com Psynister

    As a bit of a late update, apparently Lil’ K.T. just doesn’t trigger is icy ray of critter death very often. I’ve gotten him to kill quite a large number of critters for me now while using my wife’s account, but the time in between freezing is apparently random.

    Generally speaking I had to wait for 3-8 minutes between kills for him even when I was surrounded by critters. In some cases he would kill one, wait about 30 seconds and then kill another, but generally it was longer.

    After having seen them both in action for some time now, I have to say that the Panda is more my favorite, though his little noises can get annoying overtime. But since he acts more frequently and is interactive with the /bow emote when you’re targeting him, he’s just a more enjoyable pet to have around for me.

  • http://the-forest-cat.blogspot.com/ Keila

    I’m torn on this, and I haven’t bought one yet. I like the charity part, but the outright purchase of WoW goods bothers me a bit. I guess I don’t care if they stick with pets and silly stuff, but it needs to stop there.