Blizzard Entertainment, the giant video game developer responsible for such hits as Diablo, Starcraft and a little MMORPG called World of Warcraft, have released their first real Android app (their actual first app was an authenticator code generator to make logins to World of Warcraft more secure).
For those of you who aren’t avid World of Warcraft players (is there any other kind) I’ll spare you the minutia of the game but along your journeys you acquire lots of in game items. These items range in rarity, quality and in which player types can use them. When you get items you don’t need or can’t use you are faced with the decision to give them away, sell them to non-player characters for a small amount of gold or you can try to auction the item off in the Auction House, a simplified in game version of eBay.
The Remote Auction House app allows you to keep track of your auctions while not logged into World or Warcraft. It also allows you to create auctions from items your character is carrying or has in the bank.
When I first heard about this app I thought it was ridiculous. I thought the type of person who would use this app is someone who is logged into WoW all the time anyway. As a casual WoW player I thought I would find very little in this app. Man was I wrong. Like people who get obsessed with eBay, I find myself checking my auctions constantly and dreaming of the possible of in game riches. The app is very well laid out and intuitive to anyone who has logged in a few hours of WoW. Being alerted when my items are sold via a buyout (WoW’s version of “Buy It Now”) was very cool and definitely communicates to you that the world of WoW is still active even when you are not logged in.
Now for the downside: the additional fee. Playing WoW involves paying a monthly fee which varies from $11 – $15 depending on the plan you choose. To access the Remote Auction House you have to sign up for an additional $2.99 per month. That is ridiculous. Yes, you don’t need this app to enjoy WoW but that’s kind of my point. This app adds nothing to WoW’s gameplay. It would have been a nice bit of fan service for this to be free, instead it feels a bit like extortion.