A new achievement tied to World of Warcraft's annual Valentine's Day-themed event might be one of the most transparent gold sinks in the MMO's history. For the next two weeks, players who are carrying around 70,000 gold, can toss it straight into the void for 10 achievement points and the sting of being played.
To get the new achievement, which is called Support Your Local Artisans, players need to speak to an NPC associated with the Artisan's Consortium and donate a total of 70,000 gold to them. That's it. Any less than that and you won't get it.
Players who have already dropped 10,000 gold toward the achievement say they received 10 bonus Love Tokens, the event's unique currency for buying mounts and other cosmetics. Presumably, you can get 60 more tokens if you pay the rest, but that's a pretty tiny reward for such a big chunk of cash. I've played WoW long enough to recognize a gold sink when I see one.
For the most hardcore players—or the stingiest—70,000 gold isn't all that much. With enough time in WoW, you can farm up anything. But in the 20 years since the MMO was released, money-hungry players have gotten too rich. It's common for Blizzard to introduce a new mount or item that costs thousands of gold simply to stop them from sitting on all that wealth. It's just that usually the thing you get in return is pretty cool.
I don't think 10 achievement points and some extra currency is very cool, and neither do some WoW players who are dumbfounded at the lack of a unique reward.
"Achievement hunter and gold-making enthusiast here. I can 100% promise you I am NOT wasting 70K of my hard-earned gold on 10 achievement points," Wowhead user Saluun commented.
"If anyone wants to donate that gold to me instead I’ll take it," offered Cajunsamurai on Reddit.
The Love is in the Air event only lasts until February 19, so if you don't have the time to grind up that much gold, you're out of luck until next year. But there could be other gold sinks with much better rewards that will show up before then.
This is the price you pay for hunting achievements in an MMO, I guess. You either save all that gold to feel good about a big number or spend it on making a bar go up. But you can't exactly ride your 10 achievement points into a city to show off. You will have to live every day alone in the knowledge that you possess one ridiculously expensive achievement for that one time you gave 70,000 gold to an NPC.