The return of the Gold Farmers

Some excerpts from the NY Times “ The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer” (remove spaces)

nytimes .com /2007/06/17/magazine/17lootfarmers-t.html

Twelve hours a night, seven nights a week, with only two or three nights off per month, this is what Li does — for a living. On this summer night in 2006, the game on his screen was, as always, World of Warcraft …

there are only two ways players can get as much of this virtual money as the game requires: they can spend hours collecting it or they can pay someone real money to do it for them…

For every 100 gold coins he gathers, Li makes 10 yuan, or about $1.25, earning an effective wage of 30 cents an hour, more or less…

Collectively they [gold farm businesses] employ an estimated 100,000 workers, who produce the bulk of all the goods in what has become a $1.8 billion worldwide trade in virtual items…

For players lacking time or patience for the grind, there has always been another means of acquiring virtual loot: real money. From the earliest days of M.M.O.’s, players have been willing to trade their hard-earned legal tender — dollars, euros, yen, pounds sterling — for the fruits of other players’ grinding…

in the late 1990s on eBay. M.M.O. players looking to sell their virtual armor, weapons, gold and other items would post them for auction and then, when all the bids were in and payment was made, arrange with the highest bidder to meet inside the game world and transfer the goods from the seller’s account to the buyer’s…

As Li clocks out, another worker takes his seat, takes control of his avatar and carries on with the same grim routines amid the warrior monks of Azeroth…

I turned to Wang Huachen, who remained intent on manipulating an arsenal of combat spells, and asked again how it was possible that in these circumstances anybody could, as he put it, “have sometimes a playful attitude”? He didn’t even look up from his screen. “I cannot explain,” he said. “It just feels that way.”…

As Mark Jacobs, vice president at Electronic Arts and creator of the classic M.M.O. Dark Age of Camelot, put it: “Are you going to get more sympathy from busting 50,000 Chinese farmers or from busting 10,000 Americans that are buying? It’s not a racial thing at all. If you bust the buyers, you’re busting the guys who are paying to play your game, who you want to keep as customers and who will then go on the forums and say really nasty things about your company and your game.”…

There is so much more in that article, but for a change of pace from the Washington Post read, “ Stephen K. Bannon once guided a global firm that made millions helping gamers cheat” (remove spaces)

washingtonpost .com /investigations/steve-bannon-once-guided-a-global-firm-that-made-millions-helping-gamers-cheat/2017/08/04/ef7ae442-76c8-11e7-803f-a6c989606ac7_story.html?utm_term=.56c5daa36903

I see no new deterrents in Classic to stop the rise of Classic gold farmers.


Those factories are gone again now, and they use scripts and bots, which Blizzard is better at detecting.

It was Tokens that really stopped it.


Please, not another post about tokens … There have been extensive threads talking about this. Look them up, read what you wanna read. We don’t need to go back on this again

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Sure, but they make their money from other games a lot more now, even before tokens. They made more from stealing accounts than farming anyway, and people still don’t have 2FA enabled.

Tokens didn’t stop it. It just gave blizzard a cut of the profits.


Real money trading will get you banned.

Using bots will get you banned.

China gold farming “real money services” will be banned and those that buy from them will be banned.

AKA, dont buy gold its not worth your account because you will be banned.

At the end of the day (I hate that saying), there will be no in game gold token brcause first its not authentic, and second there is absolutly no need.

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I don’t think this will end, on the contrary, Susan will be back spamming on trade chat. It is still going on full power after 14 years.

There’s someone behind the scripts and bots, though. If you mess with those bots enough, expect that person to jump online with their character to challenge you.


Right now blizz appears to be trying to get back as many subs as they can. Will this play into their “enforcement” of policy? Also we all know about the cut to CS.
So again they will be spending money to lose money. Quite the conundrum.

Not every account associated with the real money trade was a stolen account. They also invested in legit accounts. Some of them were “legit players”. Many players sold their gold and accounts to them as well.
The stolen accounts were stripped of any copper and then used to spam trade or bot farm until the account was recovered.
Just like any business they adapted many times to ensure profits. With 2FA and the Warden. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

If gold can only be hand farmed it’s going to stay expensive for quite awhile. If blizz doesn’t enforce their policy the buying/selling will run rampant. Interesting situation indeed.


Tokens just get rid of the workers actually farming the gold and replaces them with one guy who buys stolen CC#s to buy tokens, and then turns around and sales the gold he gets from them. There are still plenty of WoW gold sellers out there.

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I am not advocating retail tokens be available in Classic. There could be a Classic token but players now have a bad taste for anything with the name token. However, I have no doubt that there are many players willing to buy gold at very substantial prices rather than doing their own work, especially grinding. If Classic follows in the footsteps of Vanilla, gold farmers will find a way. They are pretty smart.

Ooooh eh. Challenge me to what? A dance off? After reporting all their bots, they won’t have a PVP army and if they still do, perfect opportunity to report them.

The point being that Blizzard is better at stopping bots, and back in the day it was the humans playing accounts in large sweatshops that was so hard. Botting made it eaiser for Blizzard, and moving back to the old labor intensive model isn’t worth it for those shops any more.

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lol easy there white knight rider…

People rarely get banned for buying gold or botting. It was so prevalent they had to spent a godly amount of money in court to shut honorbuddy down.

Do some research and educate yourself before throwing ignorant statements around.

15 years of improvements at Blizzard though. Anyone who doesn’t have 2FA, and reuses their WoW password anywhere else… I have zero sympathy for. Bots we can stop.

You’re out of your mind and know nothing about their culture if you think this is true.

If there aren’t tokens in wow then farmers will be there charging a mint for gold because classic is going to be explosively popular again.

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The other thing that tokens did is to make it so that the real world money stays in the blizzard account. That way, people cannot simply make a real life living by selling gold via token. Also because the token exists, people were not willing to purchase the gold using illegal means and risking their accounts.

However, because classic will not have tokens, I am certain that gold farmers will be back. I am not sure if they will be able to tackle warden and have functions bots (although considering how easy it was for texture modders to get past warden for so long, I am sure they will find a way).

Even without bots, I am sure there will be gold farmers collecting and selling gold the old fashioned way. There will also likely be an increase in account hacking.

Try stopping AH exploiters from cornering various markets. It’s legal. I’m sure there are other ways.

Simple answer, since I can’t be bothered with people who just say “You know nothing! I’m right!” instead of backing up their reasoning.

We’ll see.

Okay, just an FYI

If you cannot post a link, don’t break up the URL, just use the pre-formated text option to post the address.