I recently talked about the potential for WOW to be played on a mobile device, I referenced the WOW remote auction house application which was available for both iPhone and Android devices. Recently Blizzard have rebranded the application to WOW mobile and upgraded it’s functionality. I’m quite surprised, and delighted, to say that it was made available to Android at the same time as iPhone.
The move towards a more generic ‘mobile’ name is well deserved, no longer is it just a method of viewing (or listing items for the premium version) on the auction house, you can now view your characters in a similar view to what you’ll be used to in the armoury, you can view your guild, and information on each of the members, but most impressively you can participate in guild chat and whispers with other online members. For the moment, all of the features, barring the ability to list new auctions and collect money is free. The Blizzard page seems to indicate that the chat functionality is only free for the moment. I’m not sure I’d pay £2.49 for the pleasure of doing this, but for the moment while its free, it’s pretty good.
There are a few bugs, you’re required to select which of your characters you want to log in as, in order to view their auctions, the app sometimes gets a little confused as to who you are and whether you’re authorised to do things. I’m currently getting errors trying to connect to guild chat, which would seem to be a server issue rather than an app fault, and occasionally I’ve had messages not send properly which has lead to a few ‘disjointed’ conversations as my comments arrive at the other end out of order.
On the up side, I’ve been happily
All in all a good effort by Blizzard, a useful app for those of us who find themselves with time to spare while travelling or not sat in front of their gaming PC. There are a few issues with the battery use, my HTC Desire lasted about 90 minutes with Spotify and WOW mobile running on the train yesterday, it would normally last me the full day with 3-4 hours of music listening and normal calls etc.
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, and I'll be able to perform rudimentary profession actions such as milling or crafting, perhaps even the odd daily quest; something like the jewel crafting quests which simply require you to craft and hand over three gems would be good. I’d really like the ability to interact with some addons or other game features, like reforging, wardrobes and even loot lists from instances, all stuff that given 10 minutes to spare on the train you’d happily do, but sat in front of your PC you’d rather be playing the game.
I’d also love to see web access to the features of this app, I generally always have internet access, but am unable to play WOW itself (stupid work…) having IRC like access to guild chat would be brilliant, the API hooks are obviously there so adding a standard HTTP interface should be easy. This would also enable players to link their WOW activities to more ‘internetty’ stuff, especially pushing the social aspects of the game, you could have a Facebook of sorts for trolls, linking profiles to social networking features. Enabling this might further enable web apps to do other ‘stuff’ in a similar vein to what you see with the crappy games on Facebook. Blizzard could develop whole mini games to support their main WOW application to further engage their subscribers.
This is clearly a move by Blizzard to further monetise their product, for my money the £2.50 a month on top of the WOW subscription is too much, that’s 30% on top of a monthly subscription cost. This for me puts the premium app in a niche of people who have both money, are addicted to WOW and a life style which means they can’t play that much, I’m not sure the latter two go hand in hand in most cases. If I were blizzard, I’d aim lower, sub £1 per month perhaps, or even as a subscription ‘sweetner’, i.e. subscribe for 6 months (rather than your usual 1 month) and get free premium access to the app – Blizzard wins because they get 6 months money up front, the subscriber wins because they get ‘free’ access to an app that they’d otherwise have to shell out for, everyone's a winner