World of Warcraft has had, for some time, items that give a bonus to experience earned up to a certain level (e.g. heirloom gear). I was told that a recent post about the test version of patch 5.4 on MMO Champion mentions that “A spell for an item to double experience with an “In Game Store” note has appeared.” The MMOChampion post takes pains to stress that this could be a region-limited item or might not even make it into the live game.
It’s an interesting development, nevertheless, as Blizzard has generally kept the game’s cash store pretty light – a mix of mounts, pets and account services (like server transfer). There’s no clarification as to whether this new potion is a permanent increase or if it ends at a set maximum level.
It’s not the same as DDO or LOTRO selling convenience healing potions in the store for those awkward moments when you run low; in fact the equivalent potions in WoW are pretty useless at the current endgame so that wouldn’t generate many sales. But as a thought experiment where else could they go with this? Maybe start selling ‘permanent buff’ potions? Buffs are important even at endgame so perhaps buying a set of permanent buffs would avoid you worrying about missing classes in 10-person raids?
Conspiracies aside it’s more likely this is just a symptom of WoW being an ‘elder’ game these-days and the perceived (by Blizzard) need to get new players to endgame as soon as possible. Who knows, perhaps they’ve received feedback from trial players who leave the game stating that “leveling takes too long”?