Blizzard has introduced a new feature to its hit multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, which will allow users to convert their in-game gold into credit to spend on in-game items in it and other Blizzard games.
The developer has done this by expanding on the WoW token system first introduced in 2015 – which allowed users to exchange in-game gold for subscription time for the game.
Now, tokens can also be exchanged for credit on Blizzard's online portal Battle.net, which in turn can be used to buy anything from its store.
Given the huge popularity of Blizzard's hit online shooter – which was IBTimes UK's favourite game of 2016 – the ability to purchase loot boxes will be especially pleasing to the game's 25 million players.
As explained in further detail in the new Blizzard video (embedded below), a WoW token can be bought from World of Warcraft's auction house with gold or with real-money ($20/£16) from the game's shop.
That token then appears in your inventory and is "soulbound", which means it cannot be traded with or sent to other players freely. A single token can be redeemed for 30 days of subscription time in World of Warcraft or traded for $15(£12)-worth of Battle.net credit (prices vary per region).
A token can also be sold through the auction house for a set amount that remains the same once you submit, no matter how much another player buys the token for themselves.
Price-tracker WoWToken.info indicates that, as a consequence of this new feature, the current, average going price for a token at the time of writing is 182,174 gold in Europe.
One Overwatch loot box costs just £1.59, meaning one WoW token traded for $15 of credit would get a player eight or nine loot boxes.
The new system means that players can get loot boxes by farming WoW's in-game gold, trading it for WoW tokens and then cashing those in for Battle.net credit. Gold, as in the in-game currency, not the in-game material, is obtained from loot dropped by dead enemies, selling items to NPC traders or other players, and from completing quests.