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Posts with tag illegal

Blood Sport: Rank 1 gladiator PvP secrets (illegal and immoral edition)

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts and The Art of War(craft) for fans of battlegrounds and world PvP. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more.

Listening Music: A classic -- The Beastie Boys' "Sabotage." Kind of on-theme for what we'll be discussing today, too. The interview at the beginning is 30 seconds long if you want to skip it (but you shouldn't; it's awesome).

For the last two weeks, I've talked your ears off on some strategies and tricks that players use to attain rank 1, largely legally. The season is now over, and a lot of changes to arena are coming via Cataclysm. I debated with myself whether or not to write about the darker side of arena.

I decided that you, the reader, deserve to know about what happens in back rooms when no one is watching. The season is over, and I feel confident no one is going to use this article to ascend ladders unlawfully. Unfortunately, there are reports of people using these very tactics (sometimes in large numbers per battlegroup) to get a soiled Wrathful Gladiator title next to their name. Luckily, some of these teams have been caught and reset without reward.

A curse be placed upon them, their children, and their childrens' childrens' family dog. Sorry Fido, Grandpa cheated. Deal with it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Officers' Quarters: Multiple personalities


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Sharing accounts is an issue that I've talked about in the past (and I'm sure, in some people's opinions, beaten to death). Previously I've covered a few different situations. First there was a general question about the issue, which I answered back in 2007. Then there was an officer who shared his account with his girlfriend (which is still a terrible idea in my opinion). Finally, a guild leader's account was banned because he bought it from another player, and his guild's progression subsequently skidded to a halt. As if those examples weren't enough to convince you that account sharing can cause a lot of problems, here's another one:

Recently, my fellow guild officers and I decided to kick a member from our guild, which also caused three other members to leave. The person who we initially kicked from the guild had asked our guild leader for a BoE Epic item in the "Ask an Officer" tab of the bank. Our guild leader responded by saying he'd ask the officers about it before handing the axe out.

Not less than an hour later he asked another guild member to take it out of the guild bank for him. Being a good guild member, they asked the guild leader if it was okay. It was instantly perceived as being an attempt to ninja the item from the bank by trying to avoid the guild leader.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

China bans gold farming

Gold farmers! They're everywhere, right? We get spammed by them, we run into them farming Dire Maul, we put them on ignore. Lazy people with too much disposable income buy gold from them in a show of crass consumerism. Blizzard has done their best to stamp out gold-farming services, but litigation is difficult due to the fact that most of the major gold-farming companies are based in China or other parts of Asia. They've instead opted to try to control and stop gold farmers from being able to complete transactions via other methods.

This time, though, it looks like Blizzard may have an unlikely ally in, of all things, the Chinese government. They announced today that the trading of virtual goods for real money is now illegal in China. This ruling reaches farther than just gold farming, though. It also bans the sale of prepaid time cards for MMOs or other online games, as well as numerous technicalities we're sure to hear about in the weeks to come.

To give you an idea of how much an economic impact this will have on China, gold farming alone generates nearly one billion dollars a year worldwide, with China's specific numbers growing at a reported rate of 20% per year. It's estimated that 80 to 85 percent of gold farmers reside in China, so this ruling is massive and, to be frank, pretty troubling.

From a gamer's perspective, yes, it'll be nice to worry about this kind of service a little less, but from a human perspective this places hundreds of thousands of Chinese people in one of two kinds of serious trouble: the first is financial hardship from the "honest" gold-farming companies that will close down after this ban, and the second is legal issues from the companies who don't close down because they can't afford not to do what they've been doing.

It's not my intention to defend gold farming as an industry, because I used to have to deal with its more nefarious effects every day -- compromised accounts stripped of gold and gear, keyloggers, disruptive spam, all of that. But life isn't easy for many Chinese people working jobs like this. Many gold farming centers are much cleaner and safer, in relative terms, than other places in China where one on the bottom rung of the financial ladder might seek work, so while I appreciate the change as only a white first-world male can, I worry about what will happen to the underprivileged working-class Chinese people behind the spam ads and dead gnomes when this law starts getting enforced.

NOTE: Comments are now disabled for this post.

Filed under: News items

Markee Dragon taken offline, MMOwned moving

We've received an interesting report on the WoW Insider Tip Line today. Two large World of Warcraft hacking and account trading websites, Markee Dragon and MMOwned, are offline.

Article Update:
According to MMOwned, they are moving servers, which is the reason their site is offline for some.

Attempts to reach the sites prove unsuccessful.

This is a good thing for everyone that wants to have a more legitimate gameplay experience in WoW, as both of these sites actively encouraged people to exploit bugs, break the ToS, and do all other sorts of tom-foolery that destroyed the game for legitimate players.

Our tipster mentioned that these sites were taken down in part by action taken by Blizzard, however we don't have any proof of that.

I've selected the angry baby picture for this article, since that's how the exploiters and account traders are feeling right now. Buh-bye.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: Are private servers really that bad?

Blizzard has a very clear line on private servers: they are against the rules. If you have one or play on one you're going to get in trouble. Your account will get shut down and you'll likely face some legal issues if you don't capitulate to their demands.

However is their stance right? Are private servers really that big of a deal?

There are two ways that I look at the issue. One way is to view the issue through the lens of morality and legalese. In this respect Blizzard is on solid ground. They own Warcraft and all the associated games, and they own the servers we play on. When we buy the game we're not buying the property. We're buying the right to use the property as long as we keep paying a monthly fee, and as long as we operate within their guidelines (the terms of service).

Some might contend that there is an innate right to privacy in the fact that after we've purchased the game (and its associated data), Blizzard has no right to tell us what to do with it or to find out how we're using it. I'm not a lawyer, but some are, and there's an interesting debate to be had here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

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

Gold sellers hold account hostage

We all deal with them. Their annoying spam, their flooding of the general channels. Those gold sellers deserve the kiss of death. Wouldn't it be nice if their industry just went and slept with the fishes?

In a tactic that even Don Corleone himself would be angry at, gold sellers have sunken to a new low. John M. wrote in to tell us the tale of a fellow guild mate who fell under the gaze of a gold seller who took his account hostage, demanding payment from his guild. Sit back, open up a new window with this Godfather music, and read on after the break.

I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, News items, Economy, Making money, Rumors

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