So I guess it’s no secret that I’m playing WoW currently. Pierre’s got a great little guild on Sentinels, just tearing up the server like a band of misfits.
And we’re not the only ones… gold farmers are present as they ever were (and honestly always will be, I imagine), despite Blizzard’s best efforts to keep them at bay. Thankfully (and I can’t speak for everyone here, but in my personal experience thus far) the direct-message spam has been fairly minimal. Though the general chat gold seller attempts are pretty rampant at times.
I do my civic duty and click the report button every time, but I can’t help the nagging feeling that it’s a useless gesture. Clearly these sellers know their accounts aren’t going to last very long, so is there really a point to helping get them shut down? And in turn, is there really even a viable way to stop them for good?
The other big one these days seems to be the “Come use your WoW login info on our website to earn a new beta exclusive mount!” I’d say that I’d love to meet the people that fall for this sort of thing, but they’re probably off in Nigeria looking for their million dollar princess.
In all reality, I think the game has completely assimilated the existence of gold/item sellers at this point. After five years, and the ease of server/character transfers, there isn’t a single realm, even brand new ones, that is left untouched by the sale of in-game gold. I don’t think any of us have any clue what our server’s economy would look like if there had never been such a thing as gold farmers.
I guess what I’m saying is that, while by no means should we (and developers) stop attempting to combat gold sellers, perhaps it’s time to realize that, while they are certainly having an effect on the game’s economy, they’re not really having an effect on our gameplay. Because do we even know gameplay any other way?