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Posts with tag guardian-cub

Get your Guardian Cub while you still can

Okay, truth time -- I have always found the Guardian Cub to be just freaking adorable. Like, really adorable. Look at that little guy. This is why it saddens me to report that, on June 18th, the Guardian Cub will no longer be available for purchase. The Guardian Cub differs from other battle pets in that it's not bind to account (although this was a much bigger deal back before you could cage and put captured battle pets on the AH) and can be traded.

I don't do pet battles, but I really think this is a cute pet worth having, so I may have to pick one up before they're unavailable. Since it's going into the 'Blizzard Archive' (think the Disney Vault, but with presumably more axes in it) we may get to see it again someday, but who knows if or when that day will be?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: Do you buy gold?

WoW gold
Once upon a time, the only way you could purchase in-game gold for real money was to go through a guaranteed unscrupulous vendor. These vendors hire (or enslave) farmers to earn as much gold as possible in a short amount of time. Over time, they have discovered that hacking accounts is much quicker and more lucrative. Account thieves get your information from scams, phishing emails, keyloggers, and selling you gold (oops).

So Blizzard came up with a way to satisfy the desire to buy gold in WoW by introducing the Guardian Cub. In case you didn't know, you can purchase this tradeable pet for $10 or €10 at the Blizzard Store and then sell it on the AH. So buying gold safely is now possible with Blizzard's approval (and to Blizzard's profit).

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

How much is a Guardian Cub worth?

When I wrote yesterday's post about the tradable Guardian Cubs, figuring out what the new RMT pets were selling for on different realms was a challenge. That's because they weren't properly showing up in Auction House API feeds, the kind of feeds that supply websites like The Undermine Journal and AH Spy with their up-to-date pricing information.

Thankfully, this lack of information was a bug that has been resolved:

So what about them Guardian Cubs?
I think it has already been stated, but it should be up and running now, and I see both ahspy and undermine journal are populating with guardian cub stats.


If you're interested to see what a Guardian Cub is selling for on your server, the website AH Spy has set up a convenient Guardian Cub pricing page showing the market value of the pet on each server, both US and EU. As you can see, prices vary wildly. The Cub is as cheap as 5,000 gold on some servers and as expensive as 100,000 gold on others. For the most part, though, a Guardian Cub can be had for just under 10,000 gold.

Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped. Do you have questions about selling, reselling, and building your financial empire on the auction house? Fox and Basil are taking your questions at fox@wowinsider.com and basil@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: News items, Economy

Guardian Cub taking a bite out of third-party gold sales

The new Guardian Cub, the pet you can buy with real-world currency and exchange for in-game gold, has been available for sale on most realms' Auction Houses for a good 24 hours now. And early reports are looking very favorable for Blizzard; it is now significantly cheaper to buy gold through Blizzard than through one of the less-reputable, third-party Chinese gold sellers.

The price of the Guardian Cub varies wildly by server -- a function of supply and demand. An impromptu Twitter survey suggests that the pet is currently selling for between 6,000 gold and 40,000 gold in game, depending on server size, competition, and a number of other factors. Most realms are currently seeing prices just north of 10,000 gold.

Certainly, the final page of the Guardian Cub saga has yet to be written, and prices will be extraordinarily volatile in the next few days, weeks, and months. Still, even at a conservative exchange rate of $10 for a 10,000-gold pet, players can get a far better (and safer!) deal buying gold through Blizzard via the Guardian Cub than dealing with a gold seller. The difference is stark -- the same amount of gold may cost you $20 or $30 through a third-party site. And even then, you have no guarantee of getting your gold, no guarantee that your account won't be compromised, and no guarantee that your purchase isn't supporting forced labor and account theft.

Will the Guardian Cub kill off third-party gold sales? Probably not, at least on its own. Interest in this new pet simply cannot be sustained long term. But if the last 24 hours of trading on the in-game Auction House are any indication, Blizzard just fired a shot into a multi-billion-dollar gray market.

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Filed under: News items, Economy

Guardian Cub pet now available for purchase

The Winged Guardian Cub, a source of contention and discussion since it was announced, is now available for purchase on the Blizzard Pet Store. Unlike previous pets, the cub is not account-wide; when you purchase the cub, the store will ask you to pick an account and character to deliver the pet to. Pets are sent via in-game mail from Breanni and are locked to your character for 24 hours. After that day is up, the pet becomes tradeable for anyone that wishes to do so, and you can sell the pet on the Auction House for gold at that time.

I have to admit, for being such a source of derision, the little guy is terribly cute -- especially when he breaks into idle animations, batting random moths around with unbridled glee. Whether you're looking to sell the pets on the Auction House, trade them to a friend, or simply learn them for your own, you can pick them up for $10 at the Blizzard Pet Store now.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Blizzard discusses Gold Selling and the Guardian Cub

It wont come as any surprise that the Guardian Cub has been somewhat controversial since it was announced. Now, Blizzard gives a remarkably pragmatic response discussing exactly why this move is being undertaken. As our own Mat McCurley pointed out, this is the first step in an experiment aimed at learning exactly how to curb gold selling. It's not intended to do away with the problem overnight, but rather to help them figure out how.

The complete text of the Blizzard post which you can find here will be posted behind the cut. It's an interesting way to approach the lost time and stress of account hacking.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security, Cataclysm

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

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