Instead of paying hard earned real dollars, the right to log in to and play WoW for a month can now be paid for via in game currency, gold, that you earn with your virtual characters in the virtual world, just by playing the game during the previous month. So long as your gold income exceeds 30,000 gold a month, you can go on playing WoW for free indefinitely.
30,000 gold is a lot of gold, but now that people are level 90-100, it isn't actually as terrifying a concept as it sounds. Each item averages around 20 gold in value, and each quest complete is around 13 gold a piece. Imagine you complete a quest and get an item every five minutes of gameplay. In that case, if you play for 75 hours you'll earn enough gold to buy an entire month of additional WoW time. Or to put it another way, if you play WoW for 2.4 hours out of every day, you can earn enough gold to go on playing WoW for another month for free. Now, if you become some sort of money making machine and find a more efficient way to earn gold than just regular questing, these numbers can be adjusted accordingly. But this means that even a normal schmo can earn enough gold in game to keep the 'lights on' without any wizardry.
If people don't want to play 75 hours of WoW in a month, then maybe they shouldn't be playing WoW at all. Their heart clearly isn't in it enough to merit such a subscription. But if they are willing to play that much, Blizzard is basically saying they can now play their favorite game that they love to play for free. What a deal for their most loyal fans. In a way, the price may be set exactly at the point where hard core fans benefit the most, while casual players see little change in their bills. But even a less devoted player could, say, pay their subscription fee every other month via WoW token, and pay money on odd months, thus only requiring 1.2 hours of WoW a day to keep up. The WoW token will eventually help everyone as their gold supply slowly but surely trickles upwards.
If WoW isn't your thing, no fear. I've added three new games to my 'human accomplishment class game franchise' list. The three new entries are Dragon Quest, which was the first modern rpg ever made and the template for all future rpg's, Mortal Kombat, whose outrageous style and constant gameplay evolution as well as rich lore sufficient to give birth to some very good movies, books, etc, earns it an entry, and Guilty Gear, another fighter that specializes in anime-like looks and blistering pace and combos, which is uniquely fun and interesting compared to the alternatives.
Dragon Quest started in 1986, Mortal Kombat in 1992, and Guilty Gear in 1998, but all three have released new games in their franchise just this/last year and are still going strong. The longevity of these series forms a backbone for console gaming that keeps going back to them every generation.
If no video games are of any interest, there's still more fun stuff coming out recently. In a recent update, eight new chapters of the Akatsuki no Yona manga came out at once. Nanoha StrikerS has been released in blu-ray (though A's is still lacking a quality blu ray release, sadly.) Kentucky's unbeaten season was upended by a red-hot Wisconsin team that just keeps hitting its 3's. My good visual novel making companies list has expanded to 49 with the inclusion of Akabei Soft2, famous for making G Senjou no Maou and Sharin no Kuni. Just one more to go on that front. My Beautiful Anime Girls post has another deluge of new Wendy, Lucy, Mavis, Mirajane and Lisanna pictures.
As for light novels, I'm up to volume 17 of To Aru Majutsu no Index. I've despaired of this show ever getting an anime sequel, so I'll just read the damn novels myself. The novels aren't very good, they're sort of chuunibyou if anything, but it's worth it just to find out what happens in the end. Of course, this is a very long 'end,' because there's still an endless number of volumes left to go when you add in the New Testament stuff. PapaKiki, on the other hand, has just recently come to an end with volume 18 that came out at the end of this March. Still no English translation is available for anything beyond volume 3, so we can only imagine what a glorious ending the story came to. But for one of the greatest series ever written, it's nice to know it reached a proper conclusion even if we don't know what that was.
Speaking of manga though, the latest Fairy Tail arc is so awesome. I do so hope it gets an anime adaption, but what are the odds? The Tartaros arc can be adapted in just 26 episodes or so, which means there will only be 26 more Chapters of Fairy Tail left to adapt. Not nearly enough to reach the conclusion of this arc. In which case, what can the anime do except stop at the end of Tartaros? There's nothing left to adapt, and Fairy Tail filler isn't desired by anyone. This is why the Fairy Tail anime will always be stuck at #3, because unlike One Piece and Naruto there's no way it will reach all the way to the end and properly adapt its source from start to finish. The Fairy Tail manga could eventually compete for the slot of #1, but the anime is just plain doomed. Doomed!