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Posts with tag gold-spam

Trial account restrictions and the 30 percent problem

A few days ago, we posted on a very interesting statistic: Only 30% of all WoW trial accounts make it past level 10. On some level, it's been assumed that this number explains why Blizzard's taking such care to smooth out the beginning game a bit, to make it easier and more fun to stick with the game past level 10 or so. In a large way, this makes sense. But there may be other reasons beyond game play in play as well.

If you're picking up a trial account, chances are that you heard about it from a friend or a blog or a news report. But chances are, you were shown or described a massively armored warrior engaged in fierce hand to hand combat on the back of a dragon flying through the air, or a finely robed mage flinging a fireball at the face of the lord of all magic, or something similarly epic. With that in mind, it might justifably get discouraging to show up in game to find yourself dressed in rags, wielding a toothpick, and being sent to collect wolf pelts that inexplicably only drop off about half the wolves you kill.

With that in mind, it's easy to see how a trial account user could get bored pretty fast. But for me, there's one other angle that very few people seem to be bringing up: The social angle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Gold spammers at it again


Last week reader Jay sent me a screen shot of something I hadn't seen in a while – a gold seller using /tell to spread their wares. For a long time Blizzard has maintained this is illegal activity, and has taken substantial steps to negate the spammers ability to do this. In game spam protection done behind the scenes has been working well. However it looks like the gold spammers have found a way around this.

Initially I was pretty surprised to see the screen shot. After all, this hadn't been happening much. However a couple of days after getting this, I found some gold spam in my chat log as well. I was floored. Now they're back to their old tricks, and even some new ones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items

Invites disabled for trial accounts


"Hey, want to learn how to level the fastest way possible?" If you've played a character below level 30 any time recently, that probably looks infuriatingly familiar. Ever since the new spam protection features in patch 2.1, party chat has been one of the few ways spam has actually been getting through to many of us. You get an invite from a random level 1 character somewhere on a trial account, and then the fun starts in /p. I usually respond with "hey, want to get reported for spamming the fastest way possible?", but it still happens at least every fifteen minutes or so on some servers. A few hours ago, Blizzard went ahead and made the obvious and frequently suggested change: players on trial accounts can no longer send invites (Drysc).

They can still be invited to groups by subscribers, so people who are using trial accounts because they're legitimately curious about the game will continue to have a chance to experience group play. I'm optimistic that this change will greatly reduce the amount of spam I get, although I'm also sure the spammers will not take too long to find yet another way to share with us the opportunities of buying gold and powerleveling.

Filed under: News items

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