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morbidmike
(@morbidmike)
Estimable Member

WoW token added to Classic in China:
https://www.wowhead.com/news=311410/wow-token-added-to-wow-classic-in-china

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Topic starter Posted : 27/02/2020 1:00 pm
Stfuppercut
(@stfuppercut)
Noble Member

=)... Who could have possibly predicted such a thing... The token is a tool. It is the lesser of two evils and when cheating and gold selling reach a certain breakpoint, the token is introduced. That may or may not happen in North America and Europe, but it is a possibility.

A summary of my expectations and predictions from 8 months ago:
Launch the game without a token (they did this), monitor the behaviors of the players and when the negative impacts of gold-selling start to rise, try to control the situation with reactive GM bans (they are doing this). Once botting snowballs into a large enough problem and gold sellers are rampant, introduce the token as a catch-all in an effort to proactively police your game (the likely future and the ultimate outcome in China, a short ~6 months after launch.) This is an especially easy transition for the Chinese market who are very open to micro-transactions.

Gold selling is an issue in Classic. Bots are an issue. Power leveling services are an issue. They are a big enough issue to introduce the Token to the Chinese market... The token was in the game files before the game released and this was discussed months ago... The more experienced crowd was predicting this as a possibility, the more naive crowd was covering their eyes and whispering "no changes". My hope is that the NA game doesnt reach the threshold to validate adding the token, because if it does, the addition of the token is insignificant in contrast to shear quantity of players who must be botting and buying gold outside of the game. The addition of a token acknowledges much larger issues in play but also acts as an excellent tool to combat certain behaviors. I am not 100% pro token, but I can understand the necessity in using it and applaud Blizz for making the tough decisions that the emotional playerbase cant understand.

See https://barrens.chat/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1620 for a good token debate we had a few months ago.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/02/2020 6:14 pm
morbidmike
(@morbidmike)
Estimable Member

Yeah well, all I can predict is flasks for example being 500 gold a pop instead of 200 now when gold gets inflated so badly. After all Blizzard is a small indie company that could not possibly keep bots out even if private servers were quite successful at it.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 28/02/2020 3:10 pm
Stfuppercut
(@stfuppercut)
Noble Member

Yeah well, all I can predict is flasks for example being 500 gold a pop instead of 200 now when gold gets inflated so badly.

The token simply allows players to trade gold that was made legitimately to one another for a transaction outside of the game. This will have a lesser effect on inflation than botters and gold farmers and is Blizzards reaction to the black market. If anything, Chinese servers that were spiraling into such a high rate of black gold being injected into their market to validate the implementation of the token for China, will actually recover and stabilize with the token... Which is why this is a reactionary measure by Blizzard. Though, all of this information can be found in the post I linked above as it was explained months ago.

TLDR; The token =/= more gold being created. The token deters private sellers by creating a baseline market value for gold which can be purchased legally within game. Gold that was earned. Clean gold. Which destroys profit margins on black gold and forces illegitimate sources to drop their prices by such a significant margin to compete, that producing black gold and scrubbing it is no longer viable or sustainable.

The sentiment against the token is typically two-fold. Either "nochanges", which is silly. Or "I dont want more gold to be created and to inflate the market" which shows a complete and total lack of understanding of what the token is, how it functions and what implications it has on the market.
After all Blizzard is a small indie company that could not possibly keep bots out even if private servers were quite successful at it.

What private servers did you play on? They were infested with bots lol... All of the prominent private servers I played on had bots everywhere. Dont get me wrong, I loved private, but with free accounts and a low barrier to run bots, they were rampant. Blizz has never been able to squish botting. I was linking bots 8 months ago during my initial argument for the token and even by showing people that bots exist within retail, the majority of users scoffed at the idea that bots would/could exist within Classic. The reality here is that gold is valuable in Classic and the barrier to entry to create an account in Classic is lower than retail (Classic only requires a sub) and the demographic of users who play Classic are older and have less time and more disposable income - it is the perfect recipe for real money trading and so, we have the first implementation of the token to the Chinese market.

None of this means that tokens will reach the American/European markets but it does show that Blizz has a specific threshold before they WILL implement the token and if we reach that boundary, we will see the token. Classic is not simply, NO TOKEN/NO CHANGES. Blizzard is being tactful enough to use the tools it has with restraint to maintain the health of the game, and that is encouraging.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/02/2020 3:57 pm
Papasmurf84
(@papasmurf84)
Eminent Member

If people in China sell gold now they can instead not sell the gold

Unless you buy gold, there's like no reason to get mad about that lol

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/02/2020 6:14 pm
Stfuppercut
(@stfuppercut)
Noble Member

If people in China sell gold now they can instead not sell the gold

Unless you buy gold, there's like no reason to get mad about that lol

Couldn't have said it better! The only thing I would add to that statement is:

And if they dont like it gold because also then if you can because haha

because China if you dont than whatever if they cant then they wont. Its simple

nobody buys gold if everyone else isnt buying gold so tokens wont anyways

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/02/2020 8:24 pm
Pippina
(@pippina)
Member Moderator

based strokeposter

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/02/2020 9:46 pm
Papasmurf84
(@papasmurf84)
Eminent Member

You guys sound mad

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/02/2020 11:38 pm
morbidmike
(@morbidmike)
Estimable Member

What private servers did you play on? They were infested with bots lol... All of the prominent private servers I played on had bots everywhere.

I used to bot on Lights Hope and Warmane. Warmane ofc is pretty garbage, because you could get banned for botting, donate a couple bucks and be able to play again.
Lights Hope dealt with bots and gold sellers very well. They caught me botting, banned my botting account, all other accounts that logged in from my IP address and banned my IP address as well, so that I could only log in from VPN afterwards. They also permabanned any people receiving gold from random people (know someone who got banned for receiving 100 gold from a random he loaned money for a mount and he had to appeal the ban). That's how you deal with bots and gold sellers/buyers. But of course this requires time from GMs actually being involved in the game. And those GMs cost money. Solving the botting/gold farming problem requires actual resources. Blizzard doesn't want to invest those resources, they just want to cash grab. So instead of actually solving the problem they just want to become the gold seller themselves. It doesn't solve anything. It just means that now buying gold no longer gets you banned, and instead of the money going to a gold farmer it goes to Blizzard.

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Topic starter Posted : 29/02/2020 3:14 am
Papasmurf84
(@papasmurf84)
Eminent Member

I don't think you guys understand this lol

You use IN GAME GOLD to buy a time card

What you do with that time card is up to you. Blizzard loses money by doing this because in the end at least one person is going to buy a time card, so that's at least $15 less that Blizzard is making

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Posted : 29/02/2020 2:26 pm
Stfuppercut
(@stfuppercut)
Noble Member

You use IN GAME GOLD to buy a time card

Yes. You buy a token from other players with ingame gold... Not from Blizzard. Blizzard sells the tokens to players.
What you do with that time card is up to you.

You can use it or you can sell it/trade it for ingame gold.
Blizzard loses money by doing this because in the end at least one person is going to buy a time card, so that's at least $15 less that Blizzard is making

Huh...?
Blizzard makes the same amount of money dumb dumb. Ralph pays a monthly sub to play the game. Ralph also buys a token from Blizzard for 15$ representing one month of played time so that he can sell it for gold ingame. Ralph places that token on the auction house. Dan buys the token for 1000g. Dan uses the token for one month of game time.

Ralph has paid his own monthly subscription of 15$. Ralph has also paid 15$ for a token and sold it for 1000g ingame.
Dan has spent 1000g(clean gold that was earned ingame) to buy game time.

Ralph has paid 30$ this month.
Dan has not paid.

Blizzard has still received 30$ total for the two players who are playing (they dont care who pays and are ultimately netting the same profits for hosting the same quantity of players). This can scale to any size. One player could buy 99 tokens and sell them to 99 players and with his own sub is paying for 100 accounts per month. The 99 players who buy these tokens for gold have spent nothing outside of the game. Blizzard still nets the same profit for 100 subs (there is a token purchase limit obviously, but this is an example).

And this is why having a token discussion with the majority of the community is challenging. Most people are really dumb. They want to have an economic discussion over the implications of the token, but they cant even understand the basic concept of how a token works. They are completely incapable of understanding a simple concept, yet are so arrogant that they say things like:

I don't think you guys understand this lol

Yea. No one understands this but you... /s

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/02/2020 5:54 pm
Stfuppercut
(@stfuppercut)
Noble Member

I used to bot on Lights Hope and Warmane. Warmane ofc is pretty garbage, because you could get banned for botting, donate a couple bucks and be able to play again.

Oh yea, lights hope was infested. It may have been one of the worst server for bots actually. The demand for gold there was insane so bots just started to flood the game. You couldnt turn a corner without seeing bots.
Lights Hope dealt with bots and gold sellers very well. They caught me botting, banned my botting account, all other accounts that logged in from my IP address and banned my IP address as well, so that I could only log in from VPN afterwards. They also permabanned any people receiving gold from random people (know someone who got banned for receiving 100 gold from a random he loaned money for a mount and he had to appeal the ban).

Yep, this is standard Elysium policy that carried over. Kronos was the same. There were still a crazy amount of bots, which is why they had to take such a stern approach to maintain any semblance of order.
That's how you deal with bots and gold sellers/buyers. But of course this requires time from GMs actually being involved in the game. And those GMs cost money. Solving the botting/gold farming problem requires actual resources. Blizzard doesn't want to invest those resources, they just want to cash grab. So instead of actually solving the problem they just want to become the gold seller themselves. It doesn't solve anything. It just means that now buying gold no longer gets you banned, and instead of the money going to a gold farmer it goes to Blizzard.

Well, Blizzard makes the same amount of money. So... No. They do save themselves a lot of money on fighting against the cheaters though and they also keep the game a lot cleaner which helps with player retention, so in the end, they would save money. But on the surface, if player 1 sells a token to player 2, Blizz is making the same amount of money for two subs, even if they are both being paid by one player - nothing has changed.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/02/2020 6:03 pm
morbidmike
(@morbidmike)
Estimable Member

Well, Blizzard makes the same amount of money. So... No. They do save themselves a lot of money on fighting against the cheaters though and they also keep the game a lot cleaner which helps with player retention, so in the end, they would save money. But on the surface, if player 1 sells a token to player 2, Blizz is making the same amount of money for two subs, even if they are both being paid by one player - nothing has changed.

Blizzard makes a LOT more money selling WoW tokens.
1 month of gametime costs (if you only buy one month, no 3-6 month discount) €12.99. 1 WoW token (30 days of gametime, so let's say 1 month) costs €20. That's 54% (!!!!!) more. So yes, Blizzard is making a LOT more money off WoW tokens than regular gametime.
So... yes. They are becoming the gold sellers and are making a hefty profit from ruining the game's market.

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Topic starter Posted : 01/03/2020 6:30 am
Stfuppercut
(@stfuppercut)
Noble Member

Blizzard makes a LOT more money selling WoW tokens.

This is an assumption with no real figures to back it. I'd argue that far fewer people have a running subscription these days than in the past. With the current state of the game, people tend to unsub during droughts and resub for new content which is why longterm subs are so heavily incentivized by discount; its hard to make a longterm sub attractive.

Without numbers though, and for the sake of the conversation, Blizzard doesn't necessarily stand to make more money by selling tokens. In fact, I'm sure that hosting those sales and maintaining the infrastructure for the token has its own costs. I'm sure they have a wide array of cost-analysis studies that justify the token, which is why it exists, but the token is far less about profit and far more about combating negative behaviors that cant be dealt with by anti-cheat software. The cost benefit is secondary. The largest net profit from the token would be the player retention rates above a flat rate of return. And that retention is two-fold. The players who will stay due to the health of the game, by combating bots and sellers and the players who remain from increased accessibility to the game by having a secondary payment option (ingame gold).

The TLDR to all of this is, Blizzard isn't using the token for a direct financial gain. The financial gain is an indirect benefit.
So... yes. They are becoming the gold sellers and are making a hefty profit from ruining the game's market.

This is an oversimplification to sensationalize the hosting of a gold sale. No. They are not selling gold. They are allowing players to trade clean gold to one another ingame and then host an out of game money trade to complete the sale. They are not selling gold directly to the playerbase. Statements like this are intentionally contentious and provocative. Yes, this distinction is important. Yes, this is different than selling gold.

"Selling gold to the players" implies a direct and significant impact to the ingame economy. A negative impact. They are instead derailing black gold sales by hosting clean gold sales ingame and actually stabilizing the economy and removing a lot of counterfeit currency that is circulating (bot created gold). They do this by directly allowing the players to dictate a market rate for gold and to incentivize the sale of clean gold to place pressure on the black market. The black market is forced to compete with the legal gold sales and the overhead of running bots slowly becomes nonviable as the clean market adjusts to stay competitive and slowly suffocates the gold sellers.

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Posted : 01/03/2020 7:21 pm
Easycap
(@easycap)
Eminent Member

It's important to mention, that Tencent, and neither Activision nor Blizzard, is running WoW in China.

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Posted : 02/03/2020 12:20 am
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