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WoW ClassicSep 4, 2019 10:00 am CT

Gold sellers take advantage of loophole in Blizz tech to update their advertising methods in WoW Classic

We sort of take gold sellers for granted. Because we were going back to the original version of WoW, we half expected to see gold sellers as they existed back then: spelling out website addresses with corpses of dead level-1 characters. However, while we’re going back in time and experiencing the nostalgia of 2004-2006 by playing WoW Classic, gold sellers have been dutifully updating their methods to once again circumvent the anti-exploitation measures Blizzard has in place. By building WoW Classic on top of the modern game’s framework, thereby giving players modern social features, Blizzard inadvertently introduced a loophole through which gold sellers immediately jumped on to exploit — one that did not exist back when Classic was vanilla WoW.

Gold sellers have taken to spamming players by inviting them to a custom chat channel, available through the in-game communities in Battle for Azeroth, that let players invite anyone on their faction to chat groups. These channels are named after the gold selling websites, so you still see the advertisement even if you don’t actually join it. And I wouldn’t recommend joining any of these channels. Unfortunately for players, gold sellers using the social features in this way are also unable to be reported because you can’t right-click on their names.

Why didn’t this happen sooner?

Since the chat communities have been a thing throughout Battle for Azeroth, it’s a little surprising to see gold sellers only start using them for advertising in WoW Classic. However, gold-seller innovation in Classic also makes sense. It’s where the opportunity is. Retail WoW really hurt gold sellers when it introduced the WoW Token. The WoW Token is still going strong — we saw a large spike in gold prices before WoW Classic launched as players rushed to re-sub in order to play — but the gold transaction there only benefits those in retail WoW. Players can’t sell WoW Tokens for gold in Classic and must earn gold the hard way — through straight farming. Here is where gold sellers can offer the tempting proposition of taking the easy way and just paying for gold.

Unfortunately, buying gold is just going to land you in Suspension Land with no Classic to play. Blizzard’s methods of tracking such exploits have only gotten better since vanilla WoW. And while it’s very tempting to take the chance, gold sellers get that gold through hacked accounts and stolen credit cards. It’s not a victim-less crime.

For now, until Blizzard fixes the social invites and the ability to report, there are a couple ways to deal with gold sellers spamming you. If you’re getting a lot of different invites, you can simply block all incoming chat channel invites from the Social tab in Interface Options. Unfortunately, that only blocks the invite window and it still shows the message in your chat. If that’s too much of a nuke and you still want to receive potential community invites from prospective friends, putting the gold seller on ignore may also work to stop invites. One player on the forums figured out a complicated workaround to actually report the gold sellers. CM Kalviery jumped in and admitted that it’s much more complicated than they like for submitting reports, but that the gold-seller spam has been noted and reported to the developers, as well as being looked into. Hopefully they figure out a fix.

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