When virtual currencies meet additional virtual trinkets in a story about economics and World of Warcraft, you know things are about to get convoluted. Even the associated FAQ looks like it’s about 2,000 words long.
Right. As far as I understand it, World of Warcraft will be introducing something they’re calling ‘WoW Tokens’ in a forthcoming patch. Most likely 6.2, whenever that shows up.
Tokens can be bought through the game’s store, for real life actual money, and then sold through the auction house for in-game gold at the ‘current market price.’ This is, in effect, a first-party way for you to buy in-game gold in World of Warcraft. It’s unlikely to undercut dubious third-party prices, but gives players a way of doing it legitimately.
Blizzard has, of course, not yet announced what the price of Tokens will be.
There’s a second aspect to this Token cycle, though. They can be redeemed for 30 days of game time; so anybody who has enough in-game gold can buy one through a “dedicated exchange” in the auction house system. Blizzard says “all Tokens in a game region are priced the same at any given moment,” so there’ll be no bidding involved.
If you happen to earn a lot of gold in-game already, and assuming the Token prices aren’t nuts, you could ‘earn’ your 30 days of World of Warcraft by … playing the game.
You can read more about this in Blizzard’s official announcement.