Farmers and Botters and Gnomes

I’ve been up to the devil’s business lately in World of Warcraft — nothing illegal, sploitish or untoward, I assure you. The whole thing hasn’t played out yet so I can’t write out the unseemly details until I get everything that’s coming to me. (That’s a little teaser.)

Fortunately for me, the WoW forums has provided some entertainment.

First, amusing and innovative, a gold farming outfit took to the skies to advertise their gold site across several servers: “Gold Spam: Going to new heights. Literally” and “Emerald Dream server just got hacked it seems“. Mods and the original posters pulled the screenshots before I could capture (damn them!), but basically, gnomes fell from the skies to their deaths to form the words and web addy for a gold farming site.

From the first post:

Server: Skywall
Time: 1 am server
Gold Spam of the Month…

Level 1 gnome warriors are falling from the sky in Ironforge to their deaths, and instantly releasing leaving their bodies on the ground in Ironforge.

“Nothing new” you say? Well, so far the bodies have spelled out < < The Name Of A Site That Will Not Be Mentioned >> and keep falling to form more letters as I type this.

I’m currently at the noob starting zone for the gnomes, in Dun Morogh, and have been watching lvl 1 gnome warriors being created, “flying” 20 feet into the air, then walking towards ironforge. STILL IN THE AIR.

Oh the gnomity!

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Playing Warcraft Around the World

Here’s an interesting debate on the World of Warcraft forums about a player who games from around the world because of business travel: “Play WoW on business trips and get suspended?”

You might think by the title that he got suspended from work for exploring the Tower of Azora with a group of night elves — not so. He was suspended from Warcraft for exploring the Tower of Azora from multiple IP addresses.

Let’s assume the Original Poster is telling the truth, and I’m inclined to do so, what should a MMOG company’s policy be with accounts that are accessed by multiple IPs? Clearly there are legitimate, TOS-compliant reasons when a player would use several IPs to access his/her account. Conversely, there are non-legit, TOS-breaking reasons also.

Suspend first, argue later? Ask first, suspend later? Say nothing, spy on the player at the Tower of Azora?

I’m leaning towards flagging the account and looking for other suspicious behavior connected to the account.

My opinion, this shouldn’t be a high priority for investigations. Realize, however, that I’m in the “I don’t care if people sell/buy virtual currency and accounts” camp. People in the “I think selling/buying virtual currency and accounts is wrong” camp might consider this a higher priority and some collateral damage is expected and acceptable.

I’ll qualify that with “FOR THE MOST PART, I don’t care if people sell/buy virtual currency and accounts camp”. I’ll illustrate with a high quality graphic.

Gold Sellers Chart

Ya see? We’re not so different you and I. (In fact, I used to be much more fundamentalist in my view on IGE/Ebaying game stuffs. Over the years, I moved towards the “fuckit, I don’t care” side of the high quality graphic.)

Back to the original question: how to limit collateral damage when on a seek-and-destroy TOS-violators mission?

For future reference and for the firewalled:
(All Sizes ยป Original, for larger text)
Page image of WoW Forum thread