Patch 7.1.5 recently arrived to the test realms with some much needed buffs to Legendary items, but also some truly ridiculous balance changes. Such was scope of these changes that I didn't realize until yesterday that this wasn't all the patch brought with it. As unearthed by MMO-Champion, there have been numerous new Strings added, each one seemingly pointing towards World of Warcraft's gold getting a much more important role.
Naturally, none of this is officially confirmed and there is no guarantee this will ever successfully make it through testing, but it does appear that Blizzard will allow you to purchase Battle.Net Balance with in-game gold at some point in the future. In other words, allow you to purchase Blizzard games and cosmetic items with currency you earn by simply playing WoW! And just to prove that these aren't the ravings of a madman, here are the Strings in question:
• TOKEN_COMPLETE_BALANCE_DESCRIPTION (New) - %s will be added to your Battle.net Balance. You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
• TOKEN_CONFIRM_BALANCE_DESCRIPTION (New) - %s will be added to your Battle.net Balance.
• TOKEN_CONSUMABLE_DESCRIPTION_30_DAYS_BALANCE (New) - Use: Adds 30 days of game time to your World of Warcraft account or %s to your Battle.net Balance.
• TOKEN_REDEEM_BALANCE_BUTTON_LABEL (New) - %s Battle.net Balance
• TOKEN_REDEEM_BALANCE_DESCRIPTION (New) - Add %s to your Battle.net Balance?
• TOKEN_REDEEM_BALANCE_ERROR_CAP_FORMAT (New) - |cffff2020You can't choose this option because your Battle.net Balance (%s) is near or at the maximum.|r
• TOKEN_REDEEM_BALANCE_FORMAT (New) - Current Balance: |cffffffff%s|r|nNew Balance: |cffffffff%s|r
• TOKEN_REDEEM_BALANCE_TITLE (New) - Battle.net Balance
• TUTORIAL_TOKEN_GAME_TIME_STEP_2_BALANCE (New) - 2. Redeem it for 30 days of game|ntime (or %s of Battle.net Balance).
Each WoW Token currently costs €20/$20, so even if Blizzard decided to shorthand you and offer only $15/€15 of Battle.net Balance for each Token it would still be a surprisingly efficient way of grabbing Cash Shop items, or even entire games! Then again, should this system ever go live I fully expect the WoW Tokens to suddenly double or even triple their price in gold, so perhaps efficient might not be the best way to put it given that you still need to somehow earn all of that gold.
But whatever the case may be, this is certainly an interesting and extremely smart move from Blizzard. Not only do they gain money with each and every transaction, but this new system would also help solve one of World of Warcraft's biggest problems - the relatively useless gold currency. So here's hoping this system manages to successfully go through testing, because I have a feeling its going to make a positive impact for everyone involved!