Blizzard is giving players and option to skip the grinding to Level 90 by paying $60 ahead of the release of the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor.
Anyone who plays an MMO will tell you that getting from level 1 to 90 can take over 100 hours for the gamer who doesn't live and breathe the digital air of Azeroth in which Warcraft is set. Originally launching in 2004 with a level cap of 60, expansions and updates have increased the level caps higher and higher with the latest cap now reaching 100 when the new expansion launches. For players who may have taken a break or never played the game at all, the task of spending hours and hours of level grinding may itself be a barrier to entry. It is for these players that Blizzard has created a way to instantly jump to the current level cap of 90.
Warlords of Draenor will cost $60 at launch and with it players will receive the ability to take one character instantly to level 90 at no extra cost. Level 90 is the level you need to be at in order to enjoy the new content from the Warlords of Draenor expansion. If you want to take a second or third character, commonly referred to as an "alt character," you will have to dig into your digital wallet for an additional $60 according to screenshots of the character boost acquired by Joystiq.
Speaking to Eurogamer, lead encounter designer Ion Hazikostas spoke about having to pay Blizzard the $60 price tag to get to level 90. "In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of leveling. If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that -- make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again."
Reaching level 90 by grinding or by paying Blizzard $60 doesn't give you everything you need. The weapons and armor you carry into battle are just as important. Paying the $60 only gets you the level you need and not the equipment so some grinding will be required to purchase the gear you need to survive in the Warlords of Draenor expansion. The digital purchase is another addition to the growing micro-transaction business model that Blizzard has implemented for the game as we have reported on previously.
You can pay your $60 to Blizzard for a level 90 character when the expansion launches in the fall of 2014.