Daily Archives: September 25, 2009

Corpse Spam in Stormwind

Gold seller corpse spam.  I see this sort of thing in Stormwind almost daily on the two servers I frequent.

Double Layer Corpses

Double Layer Corpses

Conflicting Corpse Spam

Conflicting Corpse Spam

Always in Stormwind.  Always in this area, which is admittedly probably the highest traffic area in the city.  And always the same two companies.

And every time I see this, a few questions spring to mind.

Who is buying gold in WoW?

Okay, I know some people must be buying it.  Not everybody knows it is even against the rules.  And it probably made sense back in the day when buying say, 100 gold, made sense.  That is a small amount, tough for Blizzard to track.  But to buy enough gold to do something meaningful in the game you have to get a chunk of gold large enough that you might as well name you character “Ban Me Please!”

Cheating and EULA arguments aside, I have too much time invested in my characters to do something like that.

How are they doing this?

I’ve sat and watch these URLs get spelled out.  It looks like these bodies are just dropping out of the sky.  I tried to bubble some one night with my pally, just to screw up the placement, but I never managed it.  What sort of automated tool are they using to do this?

How can Blizzard not be able to stop this?

I’m aware enough of life and the world to know that counter-measures against such things are generally fleeting in their effectiveness.  The spammers are working for their livelihood while Blizzard is just addressing an annoyance and all that.

But if I see this happening nightly, and I am going to guess that it isn’t happening just on the two servers I use, there has got to be a pretty big pile of data available as to how this is being accomplished.  In my gut I feel that I ought to see this sort of thing get interrupted once in a while.

Not that Blizzard isn’t doing anything.  I see these displays getting cleaned up reasonably quickly most nights.  I just find it odd that it is apparently easy enough for the spammers to do this that they do it every night and sometimes multiple times in a night.

Is it a big deal?

Not to me.  It is more a matter of repetition.  The first time I saw this sort of thing it was interesting, a unique event.  Now it is just vandalism that I keep seeing over and over.  An annoyance, but nothing more.

I am sure the whole thing irks people at Blizzard far more than could ever bother me, but I am not sure what they can do.

Aggressive and highly visible campaigns to stop gold spammers are usually good PR, but they tend to fail if the game design encourages selling gold to players.  And while Blizzard has effectively inflated to gold supply in Azeroth and made gold readily available for a little effort, some people will always shun even that effort if the game rewards having gold and the price is right.

I will be interested to see how this gets handles in Blizzard’s next MMO.