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Posts with tag spammers

Blizzard warns against buying gold

If it wasn't already obvious, Blizzard put together a page on their official website making clear their stance towards buying in-game gold, and have just recently given it another big push. To put it simply: don't. The page outlines what we at WoW.com have known for quite some time (hence our collective stance against buying gold) -- that gold buying harms other players. The site doesn't go into specifics other than to say that gold selling companies often acquire their gold through unscrupulous means.

They sum up their statement by saying that "players who buy gold are supporting spamming, botting, and keylogging." Basically, if you're a gold buyer, you're part of the problem. No, seriously. Gold sellers acquire gold by hacking into other players' accounts, taking their gold, selling all their items, and sometimes maliciously deleting their characters. That gold you think some Asian spent hours farming in Nagrand or something is more likely to be some other player's hard-earned gold and the seller is just as likely to be some dude from Jersey.

As tempting as buying gold may seem -- and I've read many arguments towards why people buy them -- the bottom line is that it is harmful to the game and you're not doing yourself any favors in the long run. Blizzard says that it "diminish(es) the gameplay experience," but that's putting it nicely. Gold selling and power leveling are against the EULA, anyway, so anybody who patronizes these services are in danger of getting banned. And if you don't believe in buying gold (go you!), protect yourself by getting an authenticator or reading up on account security.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security

Anti-gold-seller FAQ page goes up at the official EU site

Why do Shattrath City banks have no guards? Do they just assume the Naaru will smite anyone with sticky fingers?World of Warcraft's European site has posted a new page of their FAQ aiming to describe the effects and consequences of third party gold selling, also known as RMT (Real Money Trade or Real Money Transactions). There doesn't seem to be a similar page added to the American site yet, but we've seen enough to know very well that they disapprove as well.

The page mostly focuses on the more underhanded tactics the companies use to get money, such as keyloggers and trojans, or simply stealing the accounts of people who paid for powerleveling, and using them as farming bots, or spamming in high traffic areas on level 1 characters with hard to spell names. It's a good start, and certainly reminds people of the harm that these gold farmers do, and how it can hit close to home.

As a veteran MMORPGer who's watched Johnathan Yantis and Brock Pierce practically invent the industry and most of the dirty tricks it pulls, I'm glad to see Blizzard continue to make a stand against these types of leeches and hope they continue to do so. I'd love to see them explain more fully how the constant amount of kill stealing and spawn and AH camping they do hurts the game. A campaign of information might be just what we need to stop the gold farmers once and for all. Legal measures and community shame (and thus shrinking of their customer base) for a one-two punch? Here's hoping!

Thanks for the heads up, Richard!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Economy, Making money

Ninja inviting is a no-no

I can't really say I'm surprised to the response to the question Calipsa asked. But what I am surprised by is why she asked it: she wanted to know if sending group or even guild invites without whispering first was rude, and players responded overwhelmingly that it was. Why did she think it wasn't? There's almost nothing more confusing than receiving a random group or guild invite, and considering that even spammers are using group invites to spam, it's just not something you want to do.

Now maybe she meant just whether a whisper was necessary or not. If a player is marked LFG, or they're a guildie you know is available for a group, or they've just shouted out "LFG for group quests" in a chat channel, then I'd say they're fair game for a ninja invite. You don't need to actually whisper them and confirm everything you do (well, it's still nice to do, but in those cases, I'd say you don't need to).

But yes, invites out of the blue are a no-no. Rude, maybe, annoying, yes, and usually a waste of time for both parties.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

What are the gold farmers up to now?


I'm sure you've heard that Blizzard's anti-spam additions to the game have caused gold selling spammers to change their tactics. However, it certainly hasn't stopped their activity -- they're still out there, spamming us with raid invites, says, and messages over general chat channels since they can no longer do so in whispers. Lately I've been joining their raid groups to see what they've got to say, and, of course, report them. However, earlier today in one goldseller raid, I noticed that instead of listing their full site name, they're telling you to visit, for example http://www.i*****.com/. i*****.com? What? Is that even a valid domain name?

My questions are soon answered, as later in the message, the spammer explains that the ***** stands for something else, which does turn it into a valid domain name. But I have to ask -- why are they doing this? It just makes it more difficult for their potential customers to figure out where to go, so I presume there must be a reason they'd do this. So, even though there's nothing official from Blizzard, I have to think that they're doing something that causes trouble for the spammers if they use their full domain name. Are they flagging people using known gold-selling domains in chat for further investigation? Since we haven't heard anything from Blizzard, we can't say for certain. But until we hear something, there's room for speculation.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy

The spammers new (old) methods


While poking around the World of Warcraft LJ, I couldn't help but notice that the spammers are back at it again, and apparently using some of the old tactics that they used to use. Well, tactics that they used to use before they figured out how to script spamming hundreds of people in a split second from a level one character. For those of you who either don't remember them, or who aren't familiar, I thought it might be best to relay the information.

There are a couple of main tactics that they seem to have started employing since the new patch is squelching their ability to get to us. The first one involves random group or raid invites where the spammers invite a massive amount of people and just repeat the same text over and over in party or raid chat. While many people will not fall for this, these blind invites may prove problematic for those people who are using the LFG tool. The best suggestion I saw was to /who anyone who sends you an invitation to make sure that you aren't getting invites from level one characters.

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Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, News items

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