ActiBlizz is soon going to start charging for just about everything.
They are not your friend, your servant, or a bunch of idealistic open source coders working for nothing.
Everything people in this thread have been bitching about, the faction change fee, the server change fee, hell the internet feed for BlizzCon, have been things that players
have been clamoring for. Things that Blizzard was in no way obligated to provide - most MMOs don't provide these things at all. That they charge a fee, more power too them, it's their right to do so. Yes, I'm sure the 30 dollar fee is a carefully chosen one to be just low enough to not discourage too many people. Fine. That's what market research is for. Don't like it, don't pay it - you've gotten along for years without that feature, right? It's not like it actually alters the gameplay in any way. It's just a time saver.
And for those that say, "well, for two months worth of fees, I could grind up just as good a character"... Well bully for you and your two-month old character you would be replacing, but some of us who have characters that date back years, in many cases to the game's beginning, it's not quite so easily to create an equivalent character, to replace years of ultra-rare drops and achievements* and such, not to mention things that just plain can't be replaced anymore.
Not to mention that after so long, and so many characters, some of us just don't feel like grinding ANOTHER character to level 80. Particularly not another one of the same class.
I know I'm going to get called a corporate shill or something equivalent, but I'm a little tired of people acting offended at a business acting like a business. Like the Blizcon pay per view thing. "A process they could easily accomidate[sic] for free"? Well I'm sure they could have provided it for free... With the ungodly amounts of money Blizzard makes, sure, they could have just sucked up the costs and provided it for "free", but it wouldn't have been "free", not by a long shot. For something completely irrelevant to the game, purely of interest to the hardcore fans, and probably requiring a fair bit of expense to set up and arrange, why *should* they?
Hell, most people I know who bought the DirectTV or internet stream didn't even watch the damn thing, they just did it to get the Murky Marine pet.
*Yes, I'm well aware achievements aren't that old, but the point still stands that its easily possible to have a *ton* of work invested in achievements.This comment was edited on Sep 3, 2009, 08:06.