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Posts with tag powerleveling

15 Minutes of Fame: Cory Doctorow on gold farming

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

A conversation with Cory Doctorow plunges into the matter at hand so quickly that it's almost impossible not to imagine yourself falling through an internet-era rabbit hole of pop culture and technology. Doctorow is all about synthesizing ideas and spitting them out in as accessible a fashion as possible, and the ground he manages to cover in a single stride can be mind-boggling; he's a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger, father, gamer ... A former WoW player and husband of gaming standout Alice Taylor (also previously profiled here in 15 Minutes of Fame), he's widely known as the co-editor of Boing Boing and author of the bestselling young adult novel Little Brother.

Doctorow's latest young adult novel, For the Win, pries open the seams of the shady scene behind MMO gold farming. Its young protagonists are gold farmers and gamers themselves. Doctorow has woven his own experience and sensibilities with focused research to outline a world of gold farming that sprawls far beyond the lines of cartoon-image gold farmers that most of us have painted in our heads. We chatted by phone with Doctorow for this lengthy conversation on gold farming and game economies, plus a companion piece at our sister publication Massively.com on gaming culture and his recent fiction.

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Filed under: Economy, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Power-leveling Inscription

When the realms come back up this afternoon, patch 3.0.2 will bring with it new talents, new skills, and a whole new profession: Inscription. This is one major Wrath feature we'll be getting early. The new profession will allow players to augment their spells with glyphs, which are ultimately made from herbs. The herb markets on some realms have already surged from people stocking up to power-level Inscription. I'll probably take advantage of the high prices to make a few gold, myself, and become a scribe later when it's cheaper.

But if you are interested in becoming one of the first scribes on your server (which could be quite lucrative), you may want to look at this power-leveling guide over at WoW Economist. It details exactly what you'll need to rush from 1 to 350, and what you can make to do it. In total, it looks like it should take about 72 stacks of assorted herbs, so I hope you're stocked up.

Will you be powerleveling Inscription sometime soon?
Yes3411 (44.6%)
No2755 (36.1%)
Maybe1476 (19.3%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guides, Inscription

What is the definition of cheating in WoW?

Michael Zenke, the blogger behind MMOG Nation and regular contributor to our sister site Massively, has posted an article covering the latest dust up over gold selling.

The interesting part about this latest debate is that it has become a larger discussion about what is considered cheating. Most people would probably say that cheating is breaking the rules. Paying someone else to level your character or to give you gold for RL money is currently viewed as "unfair."

But if receiving money you didn't earn is in-game is cheating, does that extend to farming for gold with your main to give to your alt? What about having your higher level friends run you through a loweer level dungeon quicker? Isn't that powerleveling? What about twinking? Did your alt "earn" those items?

For many, I think the distinction is whether RL money is involved. It's acceptable to send gold to your alt because you main earned it, but it's not fair to buy gold because you are using your RL cash to get ahead in a game.

So if using RL resources to get ahead is cheating, what about people who are rich with time? After all, the principal mechanic for MMO progression is time spent playing the game. Aren't people with enormous amounts of free time using their RL resources to gain an unfair advantage of those who have limited play time?

Where is the line between cheating and working within the game rules to get the most out of your game time? And how much RL can developers expect to keep out of their games in the interest of "fairness"?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Leveling, Alts

Insider Trader: Engineering -- The Final Stretch

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

Today's special issue of Insider Trader is all about business. Your profession? Engineer. Your goal? Engineering (375) and a Turbo-Charged Flying Machine. We'll show you how to get there as quickly and painlessly as possible. Link over to our favorite 0-300 leveling guides, and then mull over our collection of tips for the final stretch from 300 to 375.

Before you begin, consider this: As with "recommended" powerleveling paths in all professions, your mileage may vary according to your individual server's current pricing and demand for both the materials you need for crafting and the products you create as you go. A non-traditional path to 375 may just be the ticket, depending on what's hot and what's not.

No matter how you choose to get there, it's never too soon to start collecting your Flying Machine mats and getting ready to take flight in style. Prepare for liftoff!

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Filed under: Engineering, Tips, How-tos, Insider Trader (Professions)

Why would you want someone else to play a game for you?

It can be a touch daunting to level a character in WoW, especially if you have a lot of real life commitments. The designers are aware of this, and changes are on the way. But what amazes me is that there are players out there who pay other people to level their characters for them. It's usually offered as an adjunct to real money transfer services, and it always boggles my mind.

I can understand that after you've leveled a few 70's up, you might get bored with the old world content to some degree. After my fourth 70 I was bound and determined that none of my under 60 prospects were going to set foot in Stranglethorn Vale again because I'm sick of the place (they all did, because while I'm sick of the place, I also know where all the quests are - I can go through STV like a steam powered quest thresher now, be it Horde or Alliance quests - expediency trumps all, I guess) but I still have a hard time imagining actually giving someone else access to my account, especially someone who is in all likelihood working for a gold seller.

I suppose it's only different from playing your wife's toon while she's at work by degree, but it seems different to me. (Hey, she really wants that Firefly, it would be a great anniversary present.) I play WoW because, well, I like the game. If I disliked playing the game so much that I felt like I needed to hire someone to play it for me, I don't think I'd play it at all. Is it that important to get to 70 super-fast? Is the game so much more fun at max level that you'd actually pay someone to get you there?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Leveling, Alts

Ask WoW Insider: Best way to power level alts?

It's time once again for our weekly dose of Ask WoW Insider, wherein we publish one reader's question for everyone to answer. This week's question comes to us from Richard, who has a slew of alts he's interested in leveling quickly:
I've been playing for about a year now and have leveled a bunch of alts. My main and an alt are 70 and 64, respectively. But I have a bunch of alts all in the 10-35 range that I would like to get up in level. Some of my friends are in the same boat and we're trying to figure out the best way to maximize our leveling time. I've heard everything from solo'ing is faster, to run same level groups, to a high level 5-man instance with a couple high levels and have the lowbie hang back as you clear the place. I'd love to hear people's ideas on power leveling alts.
So, what's your strategy for the quickest power leveling? How do you maximize your time with your alts?

Got questions? Get answers. Send us your burning inquiries at ask AT wowinsider DOT com.

Filed under: Ask WoW Insider, Leveling, Alts

Help WoW Insider fight gold and powerleveling ads

If you've been a longtime reader of the site, you know we've dealt with this issue before: We use Google Ads here on the site, and since those ads are keyed to words that show up in the site's content, we've been seeing gold selling and powerleveling ads for a long time.

We, of course, don't condone or endorse gold selling/buying or powerleveling at all, or any other actions against Blizzard's Terms of Service. And many of our readers, myself included, consider goldbuying and paying to get your characters leveled akin to cheating, and just as despicable. We do realize we're presenting a mixed message, however, when we champion fair gameplay, but also run ads that feature sites meant to sidestep that same fairness. Until now, it's been nothing more than a technical problem: there hasn't been a way for us to keep the Google Ads running while singling out the ones we don't want.

But now we've heard that it will be possible for us to create a blacklist of ads we don't want to see on the site. We have been told that we can single out sites by domain name, and inform Google of certain domain names we don't want to see popping up in the ads. All we have to do, then, is build a list of sites in our ads that advertise services against Blizzard's Terms of Service. And to do that, we need your help.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Money can't buy me uber

William Beamish sends along a link to an article over at NotAddicted called "Can't Buy Me Uber." They tried to work out, Mastercard style, exactly how much it would cost you, in real dollars, to make the most pimped-out, l33te57, uber-est character ever-- use gamecards, hired someone to level you to 60, and then a guild to run you up to Naxx to get all the best gear (until the expansion anyway). The figures aren't much more than random guesses, but it's a mildly amusing thought experiment-- especially the bits where they try to figure out how much gold it would take to get a Naxx guild to hook you up with their server first stuff.

So how much money would it take to become TEH UBER? They land on a figure of $23,015 (not counting the $100,000 they say you'd have to pay to get everyone on your server to treat you with the respect you'd actually get if you were that uber). Which seems high, of course, not to mention that you're missing out all the good stuff-- the leveling and raiding you'd be doing while playing your way to the top. Would you pay $23,015 to have the absolute best character on your server? I sure wouldn't.

But I'd take it. If you want to give me $23k and six months, I'll be happy to quit my job (later, WoW Insider!) and get you exactly the character they describe. But then the question is, as NotAddicted says, what would you do if you really were the uber-est character around? Rock the battlefields? Gank newbies? Dance naked in front of Orgrimmar?

Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP

A polemic against powerleveling

Oh boy, rant time again. This one is for cloud_9 who spent a whole VC run with a friend sitting around because a higher level toon came along with them.

I hate it when that happens. I hate it when I join up with a group and someone says something like "hay gusy, my 60 friend will take us thru." I quit the group right about that point. I do love playing this game-- I like the strategy of different classes, and I like using the abilities the classes have at different levels to take on dungeons as a team. That's exactly why I hate being run through a dungeon with someone higher than me.

At least a few of you probably think I'm crazy by this point. "It's so much easier for finishing quests," I hear you saying. "Why would you refuse help?" That's exactly why-- because it's easier. I like the challenge of playing the game without help. Even wiping until my gear goes red is much more exciting to me than sitting around and watching a higher level character play for me. Yes, even Uldaman and even Gnomer. Are those places annoying after five failed runs? Yes. But even then, I'd rather go with a good yet low group than tag along with a 60.

Flame away if you want. Laugh at me for making things harder for myself if you must. But don't be surprised when, on my lowbie alt, I politely refuse your offer to powerlevel. I pay for this game to discover things for myself, not to watch someone else play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Walkthroughs, Instances, Quests

New Professions Guides

The official WoW site recently featured a fairly comprehensive list of profession guides culled from the US and EU forums as well as external websites.  After looking through them, I have to say these are excellent references for any profession.  Still looking for more info on your profession of choice?  We posted a brief guide to power-leveling certain professions a while back as well as a guide to the game's craftable epic items.  (Expect the latter to be updated some time today with a few new recipes!)

Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid

Gold Farmers Sending Out Press Releases?

As you might imagine, part of my job (aside from crime-fighting) involves poring through the latest WoW-related news items on the web & deciding which are worth pointing out. Sometimes there are some questionable items out there, but today I came across a story on PRWEB, apparently out of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Trailer Park Boys rule!), that is essentially nothing more than a big PR release for a gold farming/powerleveling site, no doubt trying to further bleed our beloved virtual economy dry.

I won't mention the actual site in question, as I don't want them to recieve any traffic thanks to us, but I do think that this is A: a pretty ballsy move by the company in question (although they claim not to sell gold or powerleveling, only to rate other sites that do), and B: a pretty telling comment on the state of the virtual goods market; if these businesses are making enough money to have their own community of peer-reviewed sites, then it's obviously getting to be a bigger issue than anybody intended...most of all Blizzard.

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

1 to 60 in 48 Hours?

While browsing around the various WoW sites, I came across this guide from WoW Guru, claiming to show how to level from 1to 60 in only 2 days. It's basically a big list of grinding spots, but even if you pumped yourself full of Hunter S. Thompson-quality speed & grind-ed away for 48 hours straight, surely this can't be possible...can it?

The various comments from players on the guide seem to be divided into whether this is feasible or not; some claim to have done it, other's claim it's impossible. All I know is, if it IS possible, then it sure as heck shouldn't be. I know powergamers will always find a way to beat the clock, as it were, but the level cap should not be able to be attained in just 2 days. Or should it? What do you all think?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Odds and ends

Power Leveling Professions

Want to go from zero to three-hundred skill in just a few hours?  No problem, provided sufficient preparation - and a little guidance from someone who's done it before wouldn't hurt, either.  Most professions have a few highly desirable items that are bind on pickup - meaning if you want one, you have to level the profession and make it yourself.  As I recently ran my priest from 0 to 300 tailoring in order to craft myself Truefaith Vestments (trust me, it wasn't very much fun), I thought I would try to gather up some information for people trying to do similar tasks.  Know of any excellent crafting guides I've missed?  Drop your links in the comments section!

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Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Tailoring, Enchanting

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