Slippery Slope Arguments

November 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 10 Comments
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I really despise the Slippery Slope. In some modern usage a lot of people just use it to indicate a string of events. Really it’s an irrational form of argument that I would hope would be taught in any high school, but to be honest it was one of the first things I learned about in university.

A Slippery Slope argument is essentially the suggestion that one step in a particular direction means the inevitable continuation of steps in that direction. I could say that if you admit someone of the same sex is attractive you are on a slippery slope (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to homosexuality.

A logical fallacy.

When I see umpteen bloggers using the term slippery slope to support their arguments against Warhammer’s new cash shop, and in particular the option to purchase one free level it kind of grates on me.

There are numerous reasons not to freak out over this, but of course, that is exactly what is happening.

The mechanism to skip a level already existed in the game. You can get a War Tract from a quest in game to skip a level.

Also, skipping one level? Kind of inconsequential, considering you can only do it once per character.

Plenty of games sell experience potions, or offer them in game, but you don’t see any complaints about that. Used over time I wonder how many levels can be skipped?

I find it truly disingenuous for people to complain about Warhammer’s move and in their next breath explain that they don’t play Warhammer anymore and they don’t really care about the game, but gosh darn it lets raise hell! This is an outrage!

Since I’ve only ever played Tier 1 I suppose I shouldn’t get a say either with that logic. Logical fallacies all around! Woohoo!

Would I pay for most of the things in Warhammer’s new shop? Probably not. Mounts at level 2 account wide for $10 seems like an actual deal compared to $7 for a Guild Wars costume or $25 for a WoW mount or $10 for a RoM mount. I’d be curious to find out just how much LOTRO mounts are going for.

Slippery Slope in it’s classic form is a logical fallacy but I’m sure people will argue they mean it in it’s more modern form. To that I say, oh you did Mr. Psychic? So you’ve seen the future? Please oh wise one, inform me of the future hellish nightmare of cash shops and microtransactions.

Can’t it just be an evolved business model? I bet at least some real Warhammer fans will be glad that they’ve found another revenue stream if it means they get more content.

I’m sure some of the bloggers I haven’t named are patting themselves on the back thinking “we sure nailed that Slippery Slope!” Well, to be honest I’m actually paraphrasing someone there.

Guys, gaming is serious business! No I mean, it really is a serious business with millions of dollars invested and if their business begins to fail they’re allowed to try to make changes and bring in new revenue without your permission, believe it or not.

Maybe this will lead to free to play, maybe this will lead to cash shops that will ruin massively multiplayer online gaming forever but I’m not quite willing to step on the slippery slope just yet.


  1. All I can really say is death to leveling. It’s such a stupid mechanic in my eyes anyway. It’s why I played GW to start with, no real leveling. Once your off noob island you level 20 and the whole game is end game content; joy! Getting attached to a character because it’s level 2000 is a little strange, how about because you saved the world 5 times?
    Cash shops are here to stay, people prefer to pay for something they can see rather than “we promise to work more content” if you pay us monthly. I don’t consider WOWs sub to be worth it; what happens to characters that don’t get played with eh? Do they just fish or wonder around idly waiting for me? I don’t know why people dislike paying money for something maybe they should make the login look like a store. Maybe then they’ll change their mood? It’s like giving you two ways to level you can either sit in front of a computer for 10 hours or you can go out help society, earn some money and then convert your help to experience points online… hum, maybe they should go get a job instead of grinding all the time. I like that argument more than it deserves.

    • i will say that while people complain about being able to skip levels, there are still things like death knights and experience scrolls and all kinds of ways to avoid it, why not a cash shop item? especially if it is going to be popular and i bet it will be.

  2. WOW, my English teacher used to say I was a little scatter brain. How right she was, sorry.

  3. You have to admit, though, it is awesome rant material. 🙂

    • in both directions it seems.

  4. What do people falling down a slippery slope and people using a Slippery Slope Argument have in common?

    They both involve emotional people shouting at the top of their lungs and flailing their arms.

    • well i do plenty of my own shouting and flailing but yes. agreed.

  5. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of repulsion about cash shops these days. I don’t think this is a Warhammer issue as just people bitching about cash shops again making the game easier, “money vs skill”, unfair advantages, etc. I’ve heard em all, it’s the same tired rhetoric spouted over and over again about this. I’ve played lots of mmos in the years from Maple Story to WoW and all cash shop does is either cosmetic or some xp potions.

    The only time I’ve seen cashshops be abused to a degree that people describe in their apocalyptic ramblings was in Runes of Magic and only there.

    • its always from people who’ve never really tried a free to play game, or went into a free to play game with prejudices and found their prejudices (surprise!) confirmed. rom and allods both abused their cash shops.

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