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World of Warcraft PTR Updated - Microtransactions Confirmed

Battle.net has word that the new version 5.4 patch for World of Warcraft is now live on the Public Test Realm for Blizzard's MMORPG. They have a comprehensive set of patch notes outlining what's included, though they warn that the final patch notes could change by the time the patch leaves testing. The patch introduces a new siege, flexible raid difficulty, a redesigned arena system, and more. As previously indicated, version 5.4 will also introduce in-game microtransactions, and here's word from Blizzard on this development:

Thanks for all the feedback so far, everyone. We’re still pretty early in the exploration process, but we did want to go into more detail about our rationale for introducing an in-game store, as well as provide some insight into what you might ultimately see available there.

For players who are already interested in the in-game items we offer, such as Pet Store pets and mounts, the benefits of an in-game store are pretty clear. We think everyone would appreciate the convenience of being able to make such purchases without having to leave the game, and ultimately that’s our long-term goal for the system, though there’s quite a bit of work involved in retrofitting those existing items into the new system.

First, we’ll be testing the in-game store with some new kinds of items we’re looking into introducing (in Asian regions, at the outset) based on player feedback: specifically, an experience buff to assist with the leveling process, as well as an alternate way to acquire Lesser Charms of Good Fortune. We’ve had a lot of requests from players in different regions for convenience-oriented items such as these, and as with other new ideas we’ve introduced as WoW has evolved—including Pet Store pets, mounts, and more—your feedback plays a hugely important part in determining what we add to the game.

Ultimately it’s still too early in the process to make any final determinations about our plans, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll check out the in-game store once it’s implemented on the PTR and let us know what you think.

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