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Blizzard: World of Warcraft's level boost costs money to prevent devaluing traditional leveling

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Blizzard is charging $60 to level boost World of Warcraft characters so the process won't "devalue the accomplishment of leveling," Blizzard lead encounter designer Ion Hazikostas told Eurogamer.

The booster was revealed in the massively multiplayer title's in-game store last week during a server restart period prior to the release of a new patch update for the game. The booster allows users to bypass the traditional leveling grind and immediately reach level 90, 10 levels away from the new level cap of 100.

Blizzard decided to include the item following the decision to offer a single instant boost with pre-orders for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.

"We realised as soon as we came out with Warlords of Draenor boost to 90, we knew that there was going to be demand for more than 1," Hazikostas said. "It's tremendously awkward to tell someone that you should buy two copies of the expansion just to get a second 90. That's odd. So we knew at that point we were going to have to offer it as a separate service.

"In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of leveling. If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again."

According to the designer, the team acknowledged leveling often requires "dozens if not over 100 hours" and did not want to diminish that effort by making the in-store booster cheap to buy.

"The intent here isn't to create a world where no-one levels," he said. "It's just to allow people who want to purchase additional level 90s, maybe they want a second or third alt and they don't have time to level it themselves because they have a family or etc it's to allow them to do that."

The Warlords of Draenor expansion will take place in a new world called Draenor, which is the home of the orc and draenei races. It will feature new character models and animations, which you can see in the trailer below. Blizzard will also raise the MMO's level cap to 100 with its release.