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Posts with tag gold-buying

Editorial: I fully support buying gold from Blizzard


Yesterday Blizzard announced intentions to explore trading game time for gold via in-game items that can be purchased with real-world currency. The full statement reads:

Blizzard Entertainment
We're exploring the possibility of giving players a way to buy tradable game-time tokens for the purpose of exchanging them in-game with other players for gold. Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system. A few other online games offer a similar option, and players have suggested that they'd be interested in seeing something along those lines in WoW. We agree it could be a good fit for the game, and we look forward to any feedback you have as we continue to look into this feature.


I cheered for joy when I read this. I can't wait to essentially buy gold directly from Blizzard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Congressional report says you 'may' owe taxes on your WoW income

Image
If you're a World of Warcraft or Diablo 3 player, the federal government would like to have a word with you. Congress's U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), at the request of Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), just wrote and filed a 23-page report on the tax implications of earning gold in MMORPGs. Seriously.

The report, titled "Virtual Economies and Currencies," focuses on buying, using, and selling virtual currencies like WoW gold. The key takeaway for World of Warcraft players is that the in-game economy is a "closed-flow system" -- because you can't exchange your gold for U.S. dollars, you don't need to worry about claiming those 26 gold pieces from completing a quest on your 2013 income taxes. If, however, you decide to sell your accumulated WoW items through a third-party exchange (Don't do it! It's against the Terms of Service and could get you hacked!), then you "may have earned taxable income from the sale of these virtual goods."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Economy, Gold Capped, Diablo 3

The day Fox's account got hacked -- and how you can learn from his mistakes

The day Fox's account got hacked  and how you can learn from his mistakes
Ladies and gentlemen, hello. My name is Fox Van Allen. I've been playing World of Warcraft for nearly four years. And despite all I know and all my warnings I've given you, the reader, it still happened. Last week, I, Fox Van Allen, had my account hacked.

The first question I'm inevitably asked is, "You? What excuse do you have to not have an authenticator?" Well, truth is, I do have an authenticator. I use my iPhone. But one day a few weeks ago, that ever-changing number display just somehow fell out of sync with what WoW was expecting me to enter. Trying to re-sync did nothing. To get back into my account, I had to have the folks at Blizzard take my authenticator off the account.

And that's how it happened. I foolishly forgot to reattach it right away -- I really haven't played a heck of a lot of World of Warcraft on account of my move to Los Angeles. It just wasn't on my mental list of things to do. And wouldn't you know it, barely a week after I had my authenticator disconnected from my account, I started getting emails from Blizzard. Not the usual spam, but legit receipts. Receipts for $105 worth of server transfers and faction changes that I didn't authorize.

That's when the pit of my stomach gave way. I knew immediately the emails were legit. And if the emails were legit, then I had to have been hacked. It's one of the worst feelings in the world.

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Filed under: News items, Account Security

The Lawbringer: Guardian Cub pros and cons

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Blizzard recently treated WoW fans to a preview of the Guardian Cub tradable pet, going on sale soon at the Blizzard pet store. Immediately upon hearing that the pet was tradable, readers began inundating me with email and Twitter messages to talk about said cub on The Lawbringer, as this is sort of the thing I fancy myself a connoisseur of. So here we go -- let's talk about the ramifications of these adorable little pets on our server economies.

The Guardian Cub represents a sea change in the nature of the gold selling war from Blizzard's perspective, one that has been coming for a long, long time. With a Blizzard-sanctioned way for players to dip their toes into the waters of pay-for gold, gold buying looks a little less attractive to players who would otherwise have to risk their computer's integrity and credit card security. Players have sharp opinions one way or the other on player-bought gold, so I'm going to do my best to hit the right points to discuss my opinion on the whole premise. I mean, it's right there in the FAQ. This pet has the added incentive of being a safe and secure way to potentially, maybe, make some gold off your purchase.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Gold Capped: Legally buy gold with the Guardian Cub

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

If you buy a Guardian Cub with real money, you can sell it for in-game gold, effectively purchasing gold. If you're one of the millions of WoW players who are constantly cash-strapped in game, you now have the option of leaving the whole gold making process to others; simply buy a $10 pet that can be sold for gold on the AH. BOE gear, mounts, flying training, and alts are all expensive, and making money (playing the AH, doing dailies, selling valor point BOE gear, etc.) isn't the most fun use of some peoples' time. This change will be a welcome one for those who would rather spend the time needed to make $10 at their day job than hours grinding gold. Additionally, pet collectors who also play the gold making game will be able to get a pet from the pet store without having to lay out real money for it.

So how much will these pets cost, anyway? The answer will vary from realm to realm, but one thing is certain: The demand for the pets will spike out of the door, then fall off a cliff as soon as enough people have one. Also, repeat business isn't any more likely than for other Blizzard Store items -- I almost never see people sporting their Lil' K.T or sparkle ponies these days, and I imagine that few people still pay real money for them. As the demand drops off, these will sell for less and less gold. The supply is directly related to the number of people buying them from the store for resale on the AH. This means that the more gold the cubs are worth, the more supply there will be. Eventually, as demand peters out, people will be less likely to buy them for resale.

In short, if you want to buy gold without breaking the terms of service, get it while the getting is good. The gold per pet will go nowhere but down, unless Blizzard likes this system so much that it introduces more items like this.

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Blizzard responds to Guardian Cub controversy

If you were struggling against horrible killer androids yesterday (like I was, thanks to Ziebart the Destroyer) you may have missed the news of the Guardian Cub pet, or as Young Master McCurley likes to call it, gold on the paw. There's been a lot of discussion as to what this pet actually means, if it's opening the door to real money trading in World of Warcraft, whether it (and not Deathwing) is the true harbinger of Cataclysm, etc etc. Now Blizzard comes out swinging (okay, more like comes out with cool rationality) in response to a forum thread.

Bashiok - Re: Blizzard, you've crossed the line
TCG Loot card mounts like the Spectral Tiger have been BoE for a long time now (since patch 3.2), and that was and continues to be well-received, and as far as we've been able to tell hasn't had any adverse impact to the game or economy - despite them selling for sometimes astronomical amounts of gold.

It's potentially worth noting that no new gold is being introduced into the game's economy with those mounts or the new Guardian Cub pet.

Our goal with the Guardian Cub is to provide alternative ways for players who don't want to spend real money to add these pets to their collection. Even though this has been available a while now with the TCG mounts, this is obviously a new kind of way to deliver Pet Store pets, and we're definitely interested to hear your feedback and ultimately see how this will play out.


To be fair, since this is exactly what I said about the Cub on the WoW Insider Show this week, I'm already on record as agreeing with him fully. The only difference between the Guardian Cub and loot cards is that you don't have to spend money hoping you'll get the Cub. You spend ten bucks and you know you have one.

Well, also, the thing is adorable. That's not really germane to the discussion, though. What do you think about our friendly Cub? Cute pet, money for gold, soul-meltingly cute step off of the slippery slope? Tell us.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Blizzard introduces tradable "Guardian Cub" companion pet, purchasable through the Blizzard Store

Blizzard has just announced a companion pet called the Guardian Cub that you can purchase through the Blizzard store. Unlike previous pets, this companion pet will be a one-time-only use item and will not be Bind on Account. Additionally, this pet will be able to be traded to other players for gold.

Yes, you heard that right.

The pet will cost $10, and you can trade it to other people in game for whatever in-game currency or items you want.

The full Blizzard FAQ after the break.

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Filed under: News items

The Lawbringer: China, forced labor, and why we must stop buying gold

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Gold selling is a multi-billion dollar industry that spans the globe, with a healthy portion of in-game currency sales originating from China. It's a cheap operation to start up -- all you need is cheap labor, some computers, a PayPal account, and a copy of World of Warcraft. The overhead is low and the payoff is big because the demand is present for the supply. People have a perceived need to buy gold, so more people sell gold, which allows the market to grow. It won't stop, either, as tradable virtual currency from all types of games hit the gray market.

What happens when an industry with low overheads becomes too profitable? What happens when a relatively simple setup like gold farming goes from the quaintness of cottage industry to a virtual currency-fueled industrial revolution? People start getting ideas when money is sitting there on the table, ready and waiting to be snatched up by the stalwart businessman. Combine that sentiment with the corruption and profit motives of institutions and a labor force that is for all intents and purposes free, and you get the sad tale of prisoners in China and the people in charge.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Why you'll never buy gold from Blizzard


Welcome to The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly examination of the intersection of law and the World of Warcraft. Amy is being attacked by the Bar Monster, so there's a new, temporary sheriff in town.

Greetings, Lawbringer readers! As you'll soon notice, I am not Amy. Amy is currently studying for the bar and I've been asked to fill in for a bit while she studies for that hellish exam. I've been there -- it's a rough road. Her readers, however, are in good hands. So, please excuse me while I do my best to fill in. After I wrote my feelings about the Celestial Steed and heard many awesome responses, I wanted to talk a little bit more about buying and selling merchandise parallel to the World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Interfering with gold farmers


Welcome to the Lawbringer, your weekly tour of the intersection between law and Warcraft. I am a third year law student specializing in intellectual property law acting as your crossing guard, trying desperately not to get run over myself.

So last week we engaged in some speculation about how WoW might change if Blizzard permitted gold sales. Personally, I think that the damage to the game economy and culture would be far more damaging than any legal issues that might develop, but it's worth noting that legal issues could easily develop. As for the here and now, certain facts about gold selling remain:
  • Gold selling is against the terms of both the North American and European EULA and TOU.
  • Gold selling is performed by a number of companies, many of them located outside the Unites States.
  • Gold sellers acquire their gold through obnoxious farming behaviors and account hacking.
  • Gold sellers exist because of gold buyers.
Given all this, what can we as players do to stop these locusts? The biggest thing is obviously to NOT buy gold. I really don't think this point can be emphasized enough. Beyond that though, we may be able to take advantage of a legal theory known as tortious interference in contract.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold

In any discussion concerning botting, farming, hacking, or gold-buying, someone inevitably makes the argument that Blizzard should cut out the middlemen and sell gold to players themselves. I wanted to use this article to explain why this would not necessarily be a good idea. We don't need to get into the legal situation, or examine why assigning a real-world price to in-game currency edges us closer to a world where in-game property can be taxed. All I have to do is tell you a story from the not-too-distant past that involves:

  1. Prices that would make Zimbabwe look like a model of inflationary restraint, and:
  2. What happens when money -- in this case, gold -- loses meaning.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Forum post of the day: Born with a plastic spoon

Aside from players that are bitter because they missed out on Recruit-a-Friend benefits, is there anything wrong with this program. Kuahs of Kil'jaeden has encountered problems with raising enough cash to keep up with gear and ability upgrades. He has a level 70 character, but rerolled with his recruit on another server. He can't simply send money down from his main, and is sitting at level twenty-two with level twelve abilities.

Many posters suggested sending down money from a main character, which isn't so helpful on a new server. Others made the usual suggestion of gathering skills for sale on the auction house. While this is a good suggestion, mining and herbalism will suffer the same problem of being outpaced by leveling. There is always the option of begging for gold in major cities, though I personally don't recommend this method.

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Filed under: Leveling, Making money, Alts, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Breakfast Topic: The price of flight

As recently reported, Kharmen EU Talnivarr has reportedly paid 20,000 gold for the Amani War Bear. Kharmen reportedly raised the cash for the enormous land epic ride on her which raised questions about how much gold grinding would trigger a gold farming alert.

The 20,000 price tag seems pretty outrageous considering I'm still puttering along, like many others, on my regular Windriders on all of my 70s. If the Artisan Riding Skill were important to me, I'd make more of an effort to save the 5,000 gold for the mount, but I find it to be low on my priority list. There is no indication that the cost of epic flight will be reduced in the future.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Breakfast Topics, Making money, Mounts

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