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Call for Submissions: All about WoW TCG

We're more than a little surprised that there's so little talk around these parts about the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. After all, players who've been around the gaming scene for very many years tend to have dabbled in card games like Magic: The Gathering. WoW itself would be a very different creation without the influence of games like MTG and the games that inspired it -- so let's talk about WoW's own collectible card game!

WoW.com is accepting article submissions from experienced WoW TCG players. What does it take to get started? What's the gameplay like? How do the loot cards tie in, and what's been available so far? Is the game part of the tournament scene? Your article will give readers who've never played WoW TCG a peek into the game and the world of card games.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guest Posts

Call for Submissions: Open call for article proposals

And you thought we'd never ask! If you've ever been dying to propose what you think would be the perfect article for WoW.com, your golden opportunity has arrived. We're taking proposals for one-off feature articles on any WoW-related topic. Current game mechanics, what's ahead in Cataclysm, how-to's, you name it -- if you can sell us on the idea, we just might give you the green light to write it up.

Your feature article proposal should clearly outline the topic of your article and its major highlights. It should be lengthy enough (one to three paragraphs) to give us a taste of the tone you plan to bring to your writing. Should we accept your proposal, we'll open an assignment for the article, which will be evaluated separately and may or may not be accepted. Final feature submissions should run between 500 and 1,000 words. Artwork is not mandatory, but any you choose to include must be your own work or from creative commons. We will not accept articles submitted under player names or pen names; please use your real name and email.

We are likely to accept more proposals and make more assignments than we are final articles; only the very best articles will make it through to publication.

Ready to submit? Read up about our guest post program, then sign up for Seed and submit your proposal here. (You can't see the proposal page unless you have a Seed account.) Unfortunately, the Seed program currently only allows us to accept submissions from individuals living in the United States; we hope to be able to accept international submissions in the future. We'll accept submissions for this assignment until 11:59 p.m. EST on Thurs., July 8. Good luck and good writing!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guest Posts

Guardian talks to Chinese goldsellers and UK buyers

UK paper The Guardian has a look at what life is like at a Chinese goldselling company. It's interesting, but we've basically seen it before -- the small room of young people working almost 24/7 to make and deliver gold in-game, the concerns about worker livelihood and the supposedly large amounts of money going through these businesses (there's one figure quoted of £700m, which is about $980 million, but that's an estimate -- no one really knows how much these companies are making).

But what's really interesting about this piece is that it seems to treat goldselling as more of an "opportunity" than anything else. The people running the companies are making money, the employees are getting a roof over their head and a steady paycheck, and even the guy making the film talks about how governments should start taking a cut of this industry. Nowhere is it actually mentioned that Blizzard considers these companies to be against the terms of service, or that many times the gold obtained by these companies isn't earned through simple grinding, but by hacking, keylogging, and exploiting. Even if (emphasis on the if) these companies are making millions of dollars a year, they're stealing accounts and cheating in-game to do it.

Rowenna Davis also did interviews with both the gold farmer and a player in the UK buying money from him (bannz0red?), but again, there's no insight at all from the player whose account was hacked and bank was looted, or the player who is able to earn as much gold as they need and have a life outside the game (there are plenty of those to go around). Would have been nice to see the issue from players who aren't actually breaking the game's terms of service.

Thanks, Bryn!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Banned for no reason at all

GuamPDN.com ("Guam's complete source!") has an article up by Duane George, who tells his story of woe: he got banned from the game for suspected Arena win trading, and had to deal with 72 hours without the game. Blizzard, obviously, doesn't provide any information on how many players get banned from the game, and it would be even harder to determine the number of false positives out there like Duane: people who didn't do anything wrong but end up getting banned anyway. We've heard stories here of course, but this is a tough area to investigate by its very nature.

For Duane's part, he does say that he plans to stay out of Arenas and stick to battlegrounds, so you'd think that if there were a ton of false positives like him who were turned off from the Arena experience because it wrongly got them in trouble, Arenas wouldn't be nearly as popular as they are. But of course we don't know -- there's no oversight on Blizzard's part (and you could argue that there shouldn't be anyway, since it's their game), not to mention that they've got the right, according to the Terms of Use, to ban anyone at any time for any reason without notice anyway. If they were really going overboard, you'd expect them to be losing customers, and that's not the case yet.

Fortunately, this wasn't a permanent ban, and while he did apparently lose some Arena rating and the gear that came with it, his character wasn't too much the worse for wear. A 72-hour ban isn't too big a deal, so Blizzard probably hands those out with much less consideration than a permanent ban anyway. But we're sure Duane isn't the only case out there -- as small as the number may be, there's almost definitely other players like him, banned for doing nothing wrong at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

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