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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Oct 12, 2011

Blizzard Now Allowing A Way To Trade Cash For In-Game Gold With World of Warcraft

Taking skills from the Subtlety tree of the rogue class, Blizzard has found a way to allow players to exchange real-world cash for in-game gold in World of Warcraft. If another player is willing to make the exchange, then the trade goes through without a hitch. This is where things get hazy.

The trade is made through the newest in-game pet – the Guardian Cub. Unlike other released pets into the WoW world, this cub can be freely traded between players until it gets “used” and added to a player’s inventory collection. Seems simple, right? This means that the pet can be bought with real cash, and then sold in the game’s Auction House for in-game gold. This move, of course, was totally intentional on Blizzard’s part. Here’s what they had to say:

Since the introduction of the Pet Store, many players have been asking for ways to get the companions we offer there without having to spend real-world cash. By making the Guardian Cub tradable, players interested in the new pet will have fun, alternative in-game ways to get one. In addition to trading the pet, players can give the Guardian Cub as a gift to another character for a special occasion; guild leaders can use them to reward members for a job well done; and so on. We also hope this change will help reduce the number of incidents of scamming via trading for invalid pet codes.

While our goal is to offer players alternative ways to add a Pet Store pet to their collection, we’re ok with it if some players choose to use the Guardian Cub as a safe and secure way to try to acquire a little extra in-game gold without turning to third-party gold-selling services. However, please keep in mind that there’s never any guarantee that someone will purchase what you put up for sale in the auction house, or how much they’ll pay for it. Also, it’s important to note that we take a firm stance against buying gold from outside sources because in most cases, the gold these companies offer has been stolen from compromised accounts. While some players might be able to acquire some extra gold by putting the Guardian Cub in the auction house, that’s preferable to players contributing to the gold-selling “black market” and account theft.

Though it may seem on the outside that Blizzard is turning an eye to gold-selling, there is more to see here. First, no actual cash is being traded between players, and new gold doesn’t magically appear in the game’s world. Also, this interaction completely depends on another player in the game wanting a good, for which someone else paid for. In this sense, it’s almost like a gift or a barter. No illegal tampering has been done on either part. Still, at its core this is a way to use real-world cash to gain some in-game currency. Are you on board?

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