It is a very cool skin and if we look at what you get for that $25 price it's not that bad since there are Dota 2 item sets that cost like $35, and do those items let you play music for your teammates? I think not.
But still it's kind of crazy that a skin costs more than some full games.
At least the recent trend for Dota 2 is that these "arcana skins" are tied into something more than just "the fancy new look". Often they are used for a major patch or introduction of a new hero or some other special event. For better or worse, the last one was Phantom Assassin "Manifold Paradox Arcana", which was voted on by Compendium for The International, and was tied into "The Nemesis Assassin Event" that temporarily and dramatically altered the strategy and tactics for a match. The setup for the event was a lot of fun and it was tied into release of Oracle but it made playing matches annoying.
Was it worth $35? I can say it was for me but I see why others think it is crazy. It always seems the controversy with "Manifold Paradox" was that it radically altered the meta-game and in an unfun way due to dramatically changing the stakes than the "Visual Item That Can Be Purchased For $35" thing. I can definitely see myself buying the Winter Wyvern Arcana if Valve decides to do a special event and Arcana for that release. And it is also important to remember that these Arcana can and do appear in some chest series and "watch prizes" as the "very rare item" so there are definitely players out there that own it by winning it.
The market clearly can support "premium skins". I personally don't care if a player owns one let alone uses one in an match where I have bigger things to worry about. The only real quibble I have is that the Dota 2 client should have a way to go into a "Disable All Decorations Mode" as a fallback in case some Arcana are too wild and crazy in appearance.
I felt the same thing about "WoW Insider" where they too had a light and fun touch. They acknowledge controversy but never railed for or against it.
But I wonder if that "light touch" was also a thing that lead to lower views and ultimately closure. I would see something on "Joystiq" or "WoW Insider" and go elsewhere and spend much more time at those sites instead where people dissecting the issue.
For the sake of "ease of use", you really should agree that the dice are used at "face value" instead of "added". The only quibble thing is "what does '00' mean?" where you need to agree that it is either 0 or 100.
"WoW Insider" just did their "good-bye" post. It generally seems to be an issue with AOL suites slashing budgets all sites regardless if they are growing in readership. Less budget, less people and personalities, less content, less traffic which causes a death spiral.
@extomar: What is some evidence you can provide to support this opinion? GTA V, a single player game, broke records. It does have online components, but that is certainly not its selling point.
Do you know how expensive GTA V was to make? And that multiplayer component that outlived the game is what people are playing with as much as anything today.
Not everyone can make a game as big and expensive as GTA let alone any number of other games like Skyrim. Is a producer going to be excited about spending millions on a sword/sorcery action rpg that has a NN hour single player campaign or a sword/sorcery action rpg that is a 4 player co-op game with an aggressive advancement system that has a lot of opportunities for in game purchases? Hell just look at how much multiplayer and how much stuff is being sold in Dragon Age Inquisition.
The issue is that "making video games" is expensive. Making a single player game is an expensive one shot experience with a limited audience. I get the feeling that "single player games" will move into the indie space where it is priced better and more realistically than AAA can support.
Huh, the scuttlebutt a couple of months ago is that the board at Yahoo wants to merge with AOL. If it turns out that AOL is really disappearing then I wonder if the failure to get anywhere on a buyout/merger precipitated this move.
I only know about joystiq from "Massively" and "Wow Insider". Both have been suffering from cut backs in staff but I still like their coverage and will be sorry if they are forced to disappear.