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Blizard Sues Virtual Gold Seller

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the long-time-coming dept.

Role Playing (Games) 242

DaphneDiane writes "Blizzard announced that they are suing one of the heavily spamming gold sellers, Peons4hire. Peons4hire had recently been spamming players in World of Warcraft with multi-line messages advertising their power leveling and gold selling business. With the advent of the recently released 2.1.0 patch Blizzard made it easier to report and block these spammers. I've noticed a large decrease in spam while playing since the patch. It used to be that I would get nearly a dozen spams a night but I barely have seen any since."

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Dabooo (-1, Offtopic)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282319)

It not easy being green...

Ok ok fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282599)

This makes up for them nerfing my Glimmering Mithril Insignia.

But just barely.

Anti-spam (5, Informative)

nekozid (1100169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282321)

For those of you who don't know what measures they took, there is now a report spam button and the servers filter out most of the messages.

Re:Anti-spam (5, Informative)

Broken Bottle (84695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282337)

they also blocked trial accounts from being able to send whispers to people who haven't sent them a whisper first or have the trail account name on their friends list. Also, they throttled the rate at which people can send whispers and te amount of text that can be sent per whisper.

A lot of stuff that will make a spammer's life more difficult.

Re:Anti-spam (2, Interesting)

ajanp (1083247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283541)

I would think blocking the ability of trial accounts to initiate tells is what had the largest impact (so far). Most of the spam came in the form of mass whispers from companies like peons4hire that would contain a couple of lines about the gold/price/website and it was sent to everybody in the entire zone.

The person who originally sent the whisper would generally have a trial account, create a character with a random name (often including accents and ascii symbols), log in, send the mass number of tells, and the log out and delete the character, so they might only be logged on for no more than 30 seconds.

The trial accounts are free so they could be used to sent mass whispers w/o any fear of getting banned. By blocking the ability to trial account users to send tells, that alone cuts of the primary method of spamming people, because now they would be forced to open subscriptions which would include a significant investment considering the account is destined to be banned quickly.

Don't forget, there is a market for selling gold in a virtual economy. Gold spammers might be breaking Blizzard's TOS, but they are making money from it with absolutely no consequences. Blizzard certainly took steps to protect their users given you could expect an average of 2-3 gold spam tells in an hour, but I'm sure they will find another way to get their message across (after all, it's a business that rely's only on marketing and price).

This lawsuit really has nothing to do with seeking monetary gains from peons4hire. It's about deterrence and making peons4hire and all other gold selling companies aware that there are consequences for their actions. If they win their case, then it basically makes selling gold within WoW more expensive than continuing to break Blizzard's ToS and it will have a huge impact on that entire market.

Bottom line, as long as gold sellers can continue to profit, these companies will exist.

Re:Anti-spam (2, Interesting)

Sandman1971 (516283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283727)

That's incorrect. I'll try to find the link to the WoW forum post regarding this, but a Blue (Community Manager) confirmed that most of the reported spam came from paid accounts and not trial accounts. They were a combination of gold sellers purchased accounts and hacked accounts. Trial accounts have had whisper limitations for months.

Re:Anti-spam (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282503)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] users [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy, beige [imageshack.us] PC fingers to yourself.

Re:Anti-spam (4, Informative)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282687)

And when you report a spammer, it ignores all messages coming from the entire account until you log off. That prevents a spammer from creating an alt, spamwhisper everyone, delete it, create another alt, repeat.

Result (4, Interesting)

milo_a_wagner (1002274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282325)

From the comments under TF'A', it seems as though this has had a massive impact. With the filing of a Federal lawsuit, perhaps we'll be sending another, louder message that these nuisances are no more acceptable in virtual universes than they are in ours.

Re:Result (2, Funny)

Poltras (680608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283143)

And maybe then, two years from now, SPAM will not exist anymore. Oh wait...

Re:Result (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283215)

Yeah because in RL everyone sues those bastards who drops pizza ads in your mailbox. (I hate them thought, usually throws them out in the stairs.)

Re:Result (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283431)

So you're the asshole that keeps littering?! Stop that!

1st!! (-1, Offtopic)

robably (1044462) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282327)

First Page!

Interesting. (0, Redundant)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282351)

I was reading the actual forum post on this.

Blizzard posters are often called "Blue" because their text/name/posts are blue colored.

So, a person said "AWESOME! What are the charges?"

Blue: silence.

Does Blizzard have any real legal recourse here?

TLF

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282433)

civil law.

Re:Interesting. (1)

xpccx (247431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282475)

My guess is that they violate the licensing agreement you have to click through when you install the software. So like the AC posted, it's probably a civil case.

Re:Interesting. (2, Informative)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282481)



Does Blizzard have any real legal recourse here?


Violation of contract (EULA).
Digital Trespass (since they've been told not to come back).
Harassment

I'm sure a lawyer can find a better legal sounding way to say "being an obnoxious twit" than I can.

Re:Interesting. (1)

The Custodian (1093295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282499)

I'm no legal expert, so I don't actually know if they have a legal reason for suing here. I'm sure there's something in the liscence agreement that prohibits advertisements, though. Regardless, they've banned the two practices (power-levelling and gold-selling) prior to this. Why not just ban the player? Unless this guy was far-and-away the mastermind of all spamming in WoW, I don't see much of a reason to take it beyond an account termination.

Re:Interesting. (5, Informative)

Mr EdgEy (983285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282593)

It's not 'a player'. Peons4hire and similar businesses have many players working to farm up and advertise the gold, if you've ever played WoW you'd know it's not just one account :p

Re:Interesting. (4, Interesting)

Decado (207907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283191)

As far as I am aware the legal situation is that Blizzard claim ownership of all the items/gold etc in WoW. By selling these items the gold sellers are basically selling Blizzards property which amounts to theft.

Re:Interesting. (1)

bigdavesmith (928732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282785)

IANAL, but if a person or company makes profit by selling virtual gold, depending on location, they'd probably need to declare it for taxes. Since selling said virtual gold goes against the EULA, and constitutes misuse of the product, it seems like they're kinda trapped there. If I mugged somebody, I wouldn't declare it on my taxes.

Of course I'm thinking somebody operating in the USA. I imagine most of these people or companies are farming in China or somewhere similar. Things are probably different.

Re:Interesting. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282911)

Of course I'm thinking somebody operating in the USA.

There's no legal reason Blizzard can't declare that, for tax purposes, the game is in the USA. They probably do already, to ease their jurisdiction.

If you telecommute to NYC, you can expect to pay taxes to NYC, NYS, and USA -- and your home country. There might be a credit in there somewhere, maybe a bunch of them, but not reporting it is still a crime.

Re:Interesting. (1)

Serzen (675979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283153)

Blizzard does, in fact, appear to declare that the game is "in" a couple of different states. In New York, as well as a few other states they charge you sales tax on your subscription fee. They're the only company that does charge the tax on any game subscription I've held, and I know that in NYS you can be charged sales tax for online purchases made from a company that has "a presence" in NYS.


Blizzard also charges 8.25% sales tax to NYS residents, even those of us who live in a county where the tax less than that. When I noticed the oddity on my statement, I wrote Blizzard's billing department and was told that "Blizzard and its employees cannot be expected to understand tax laws, if you would like additional information, please contact your state Department of Commerce." I canceled my subscription instead--if they aren't prepared to explain their actions, I'm not prepared to pay for their services.

Re:Interesting. (1)

raylu (914970) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283205)

"As part of the lawsuit, the operators of Peons4hire have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts by all entities and websites under their control. If this organization refuses to act accordingly, further legal action will be taken. We'll be sure to keep you posted on the progress of this topic." Besides the fact that there are 17 pages of posts and, as mentioned earlier, this isn't criminal, it also seems like Blizzard is letting them off easy if they leave Blizzard alone. Also, they obviously aren't ready to reveal the details of this yet.

Wherever you go, there you are (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282357)

You create this new online world, and pretty soon it's just as crappy as the real one - full of cheaters using money instead of skill to win, ads everywhere constantly nagging you to buy stuff, and anonymity being stripped away in hopes of curbing irresponsible behavior. Whatever happened to cyberspace as a virtual utopia?

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (3, Interesting)

AlephNot (177467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282417)

There's no such thing as a utopia--real or virtual. Suffering is the kick in the pants that forces us to become better people. A utopia is a world where no one has any incentive to become a better person (since there's no suffering), in which case, I'm glad no utopia can exist.

Cold-hearted? Sure. But so is reality.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282887)

In utopia you don't need to become a better person because we'd already be perfect.

Now give me my frigg'n utopia!!!

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (3, Interesting)

gilroy (155262) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282929)

Just to be clear: You're saying something like: People are rotten. Because people are rotten, real life is harsh. Because real life is harsh, we need to become better people (to reduce the harshness, I suppose). Utopias would imply an existence without that motivation, so we'd all stay rotten people. Hence, it's good that no utopias do or can exist.

But... the point of a utopia is exactly that people aren't rotten (in the utopia). It's not about easy living -- natural disasters can still occur, people still die, etc. It's about everyone working together for the net greater good. It's about people not competing in a life that's nasty, brutish, and short. So if a utopia did exist, its inhabitants wouldn't need to better themselves.

I agree that utopias don't exist in the Universe we inhabit. But I'm not sure I buy the idea that the impossibility of a utopia is a good thing. It sounds a lot like rationalization to me.

Side snark: Of course "There's no such thing as a utopia--real or virtual". The name was chosen by Sir Thomas More specifically from the Greek that means "no place" or "place that cannot exist". :)

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1)

AlephNot (177467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283243)

Let us remember that people have free will, and that forcing people to "choose" to work together for the "greater good" is antithetical to free will. To deprive a person of his free will is to destroy that person (for that person would then become a mindless automaton); let us hope that no one ever attempts to create a utopia by depriving people of their free will, by forcing them to serve the greater good (as has been attempted many, many times in the past).

But then we are faced with the question, What if people chose to help each other, including themselves? I agree that such a society would be heavenly, but in order to create it, we would have to force people to act accordingly, thus depriving them of their free will, thus destroying them, etc. So, such a society could only exist if it were brought about by random chance. Perhaps it's not impossible, but it's surely improbable.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283375)

I'm not sure I understand your logic, are you saying that if people choose to cooperate and help each other then that would be bad because somehow them choosing to cooperate is the same thing as someone forcing them?

/Mikael

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1, Funny)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283335)

He's essentially a Matrix philosopher; pay him no mind.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (3, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283733)

A utopia is a world where no one has any incentive to become a better person (since there's no suffering), in which case, I'm glad no utopia can exist.
What is really sad is that there are people that believe they have to suffer to find incentive to improve. Personally I find that to be complete rubbish. There is little if any suffering in my life, and yes I worked hard to get to this point, but I still try to improve myself and the world around me. I could sit back and just live a normal suffering free life, but that would be both boring and denying maximum potential. I'll have to put the "you need to suffer to have incentive" right next to the "you need commerce to have incentive" argument. It's nearly universal that those that make these claims never read More, and have no clue of the origins of the term utopia.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282419)

Whatever happened to cyberspace as a virtual utopia?

It works exactly the same as real utopiae, as you pointed out. So far, it's working perfectly.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282435)

It was perfect. Then people showed up and started using it.

That's the problem with Utopians.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282547)

They're always surprised and disappointed when reality enters...

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282643)

You create this new online world, and pretty soon it's just as crappy as the real one
Except that this world has an active god. A vengeful god. This god is currently suing one of the cheaters/advertisers. That's two being taken care of, and I don't even think the third is even an issue in a MMOG.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282799)

Whatever happened to cyberspace as a virtual utopia?

      You know - way back when cyberspace was $6 or $12 an hour (or more!) in the days of GEnie and CompuServe, this sort of thing really wasn't a problem. You could play a multiplayer game with your friends and enjoy yourself. The beggars and spammers were kept to a minimum and most of them were encouraged to actually play the game.

      Then the internet happened. Prices came down - WAY down. Playing a game that would cost you perhaps $200 a month in hourly connect fees, was now $24.95 per month (including your $15/month flat rate internet access). The games got bigger, hosting more people. And the amount of beggars, spammers and griefers grew exponentially.

      There's a lesson in here somewhere.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282931)

I don't think it was the price so much as the number of people. Now the net is worldwide so if a percentage of people are a-holes then you just have that many more a-holes to deal with.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282843)

Oh, it was a veritable utopia. We came together, enjoyed a good time, cooperated on projects...

It ended when we let the masses in.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282847)

Yeah those cheaters using money instead of skill to win in... WoW? Wait a second what the hell did skill ever get anyone in WoW? Oh I see they're using money instead of TIME to win... Well that's just wrong! Exchanging money for things which take time to do yourself shouldn't be allowed!

I'll agree that constant nagging is annoying, but bitching about someone paying for things that you'd rather do yourself is kind of pathetic.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282969)

Utopia doesn't exist, it's litterally the meaning of the word: Greek ou, not, no; + Greek topos, place.

Every society can be put somewhere on the line between absolute lack of individual freedom = totalitarianism and absolute lack of societal control = anarchy. None of those are without troubles, and it would be foolish to think any point inbetween is. Even the best examples of democracy and rule of law are flawed and imperfect. Utopia can only exist where all the inhabitants act in an utopian way, with the interst of society as a whole at heart. Cyberspace was presented as a place outside traditional societal control, a free haven which in many ways is an anarchy. However, since cyberspace was virtual most saw this as just fine - sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me, right?

Well, it turns out the truth is a little more complicated than that. "Cyberspace" doesn't exist in a vacuum like Star Trek, and even there it's ridiculous people don't steal replicator rations and holodeck time, steal holodeck personalities to use in their private sex fetish and so on. Virtual things have real value, virtual ads are a way to gain real money, real-world crimes like child molestation turns into cyberspace child porn. If you look up Supreme court decisions around the first amendment, long predating the Internet you'd find there's plenty reasons to curb free speech - libel, slander, commercial speech, threats, frauds, grooming, age limits on pornography and whatnot. Somehow, none of those problems were going to exist in Cyberspace. It was naive and the illusion got shattered, that's what happened.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283045)

You create this new online world, and pretty soon it's just as crappy as the real one - full of cheaters using money instead of skill to win, ads everywhere constantly nagging you to buy stuff, and anonymity being stripped away in hopes of curbing irresponsible behavior. Whatever happened to cyberspace as a virtual utopia?
People.

Re:Wherever you go, there you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283443)

"Whatever happened to cyberspace as a virtual utopia?"

Human nature, same as with every other "utopian" society. Face facts: we are, as a group, a bunch of assholes. Individually we can be quite nice and friendly, but the more of us you put in one place, the worse we get. It's stuff like this (plus my complete lack of interest in the genre) that keeps me out of MMORPGs. If I want to be harassed and abused, I'll go to talk.bizarre; THAT, at least, doesn't cost me $10 a month.

Hang on for a second... (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282371)

Hang on here... People PAY to play this game online, and they get spam? Spam comes via email because nobody owns the SMTP/POP system, per se. But this is a closed environment. One company owns the infrastructure here. There should be *zero* spam.

What kind of idiots put up with that? Could it be that it's a subset of the millions of people pay to watch commercials on cable TV, too? I can't really wrap my head around this one.

Re:Hang on for a second... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282421)

Way to chime in on something you know absolutely nothing about.

The term "spam" has grown to encompass more than just email, bub. Two clues: 1. Welcome to 2007. 2. English is a dynamic language.

Hell, here's a third one: 3. Yo momma ugly.

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283519)

I have no fucking idea what the point of what you just said is.

Re:Hang on for a second... (3, Informative)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282423)

The game needs a way for the player to communicate with other players.

Spam is unsolicited communication.

If you can't wrap your head around that.. well.. yeah.

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

nekozid (1100169) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282427)

The spam is usualy from compromised accounts (If anybody says 'hacked' I will beat them with a dictionary). So even though a payment is required, which deters 99.9% of spamming, they aren't the ones losing the money.

Re:Hang on for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282515)

"hacked" ... runs away

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

BlueBat (748360) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282967)

nekozid says:

(If anybody says 'hacked' I will beat them with a dictionary).

In case you didn't know, the english language is constantly evolving. The word ain't used to be considered anathema but is now in the dictionary. If the word hack and its derivative hacked isn't in the dictionary yet they will probably soon be.

To support my claim, look at history. If you were to travel one hundred years into the past, you would be able to understand what people were saying but there would be a few linguistic oddities. If a person were to travel two hundred years into the past, Understanding would still be possible but many pronunciations would be different as would the meaning of the words. To travel three hundred or more years in the past, most likely unless you were a student of olde english you wouldn't understand much of what was being said.

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283475)

Well, if you really want to get technical, you could say the accounts were hacked. Just because Blizzard's servers weren't compromised doesn't mean the accounts themselves couldn't be "hacked" from their owners via social engineering (keyloggers, etc). Social engineering is still hacking.

Re:Hang on for a second... (4, Informative)

xpccx (247431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282459)

It's not spam, as in unsolicited email. The game has a built in chat system for people to communicate and quest together. What they do is create a character with the 30-day free trial offers (my guess is they can't be tracked since there is no credit card). They then use macros/addons to harvest who's playing (character names) and send chat messages to all of them, advertising their website. They then delete the character and get another 30-day free trial offer and start again. What Blizzard has done is put in limitations so they can't do this anymore.

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282739)

I do remember I had to put my credit card details when I signed up for the trial, but that's on the euro side. Maybe it's different on the US side.

Of course, nothing stop them from using fake/stolen credit card info, AFAIK credit card info is mostly used to prevent the same people from signing over and over to trial... but in any case if they did that, it might give Blizzard some more legal ammo, since IIRC using fake or stolen credit card information is actually illegal and could be used as a criminal case instead of just civil.

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283311)

I do remember I had to put my credit card details when I signed up for the trial, but that's on the euro side. Maybe it's different on the US side.
Actually, no. I've registered a trial account on the European servers without providing any credit card details. You can provide them, but it's not obligatory.

Though trial accounts are somewhat limited - you can't write to the in-game chat channels, for instance. And now with 2.1, it seems you won't be able to whisper random people from a trial account, either. Along with the other measures, this will get rid of at least 50% of all spam, in my opinion. Thank you, Blizzard!

Re:Hang on for a second... (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283721)

I do remember I had to put my credit card details when I signed up for the trial, but that's on the euro side. Maybe it's different on the US side.
Weird, I just signed up for a trial account about 15 mins ago (never played before, thought I'd give it a try) and It completely skipped over the CC pages. The account creation gauge at the top had a big green EXEMPT over the grayed out section dealing with payment info. I am in the US, so I guess it is different.

Re:Hang on for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282473)

With any product there are good points and bad points. As long as the good points outweigh the bad points, people buy the product. The product isn't perfect, but nothing is. It doesn't mean people are idiots for buying the product.

You're absolutely right that there shouldn't be any spam. One company owns the infrastructure. They gave the users the freedom to interact with each other while enjoying the product that they've paid for. They noticed there's a problem with a small group of users and released a patch. Problem seems to be going away. If only it were that easy in the real world. What's there to wrap your head around?

Re:Hang on for a second... (2, Insightful)

Mahler (171064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282813)

Any system where you allow people to interact with eachother though electronic message can be used to send spam. When there are more users to a system, spam will be an attractive marketing method. Unless every message goes though an administrator who has to approve them, you can't stop ALL of it. But you can stop most of it, which is what they did with the latest patch... and automated administrator checking messages based on keywords and spam-reports.

PROOFREAD (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282375)


Wow thats bizzare that Blizard wood soo them four moni lik thet. I meen with ate milion subsribers youd think they had enuff incom.

IRS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282389)


just report these spammers to the IRS and perhaps a quick tipoff to get their systems audited by the BSA

Re:IRS (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283765)

The spammers are chinese, and the chinese have a reputation of "not giving a fuck", so I have no idea how you expect the BSA to fix things.

Blizard (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282393)

Hooray for CowboyNeal!

Re:Blizard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282403)

are you still playing wow cowboyneal? i quit myself a month or two after the expansion, and haven't looked back.

just wondering

FFS, /. janitors... (-1, Offtopic)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282409)

... what the hell are you playing at? "Blizard"? "Suing"?

Haven't you people got spellcheckers?

Re:FFS, /. janitors... (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282453)

What's wrong with "suing"?

Re:FFS, /. janitors... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282469)

Ok, that's an ambiguous one. "Suing" is probably ok. "Sueing" is UK English.

Re:FFS, /. janitors... (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282523)

Neither the Cambridge Dictionary nor the Oxford Dictionary contain "sueing". Both do, however, list "suing". I think you got ahead of yourself.

zzz (0)

Frogg (27033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282441)

>Blizard Sues Virtual Gold Seller

Great wizzards with lizzards!!

Re:zzz (4, Funny)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282521)

So that's where the missing Zs went. Give them back, scoundrel!

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282445)

I've only played the trial period of WoW, but every single time I was spammed with advertisements, it was always "Peons4hire" doing it. I suppose getting them to stop spamming should decrease the spamming overall quite a bit.

Peons of the WoW unite! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282605)

Peons upset by the harsh treatment of "Peons For Hire" decided to stage a work stoppage and form a labor union. Officials at Blizzard had threaten to send the boys from South Park in to crush the union.

Oh great (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282649)

BNetD and FSGS all over again!

stop suing people blizzard!~!@~!!

NI HAO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282663)

ni hao ma

  GIVE ITTAM 10G Ok?

xin nian kuai le

My Own Research (5, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282703)

I've been playing WoW since beta.

Up until now, since the release of WoW, gold spam has followed a nearly expontential curve. At first it was almost zero. Slowly over time it built up. Recently it exploded and you couldn't go five minutes without getting a whisper from some character named something like "Fahzhizdaj" asking you to go to their website and buy gold or powerleveling etc. After patch 2.1.0 spam has not disappeared. It has morphed into different forms. Instead of receiving private messages from spammers they have resorted to different means. Now you cannot run through the major cities without getting bombarded with local messages from the "say" or "yell" channels.

This means that the gold spammer literally had to run a character from the starting town, at low level, to the major city. While not difficult, it certainly added an extra step to the spammers' setup. And once that person spams in a major city they will be reported much faster than if a million players all got individual private messages. People in the game in a common area will communicate with each other about stuff like this. The spammers can't possibly last long.

So you might be wondering, where does a spammer get an account? Most people think they use trial accounts, or they buy accounts. Of course, both are usable. Trial accounts are locked down for many things, but they aren't locked down to the local 'say' channel. So camping a trial account spammer at the auction house in a major city will net a pretty big payoff in terms of impact vs. time spent, especially since the trial account is free.

Spammers also get accounts in other ways too. People who purchase power-leveling services, for example, are at risk of allowing their account to be compromised to a spammer. People who go to websites claiming they have WoW exploits/cheats are at risk of using a keylogger and compromising their account. Then there's stolen credit cards and false account numbers. The actual numbers on all of these are impossible to determine for me. But nevertheless, these are some ways the spammers do it.

The real crux of the issue though is that spammers, and more generally, gold selling, wouldn't even exist if people didn't buy the services! Because demand is so high it is not reasonable to expect in-game ads to disappear completely. But what Blizzard has done is definitely a giant step in the right direction -- IF you aren't one of the large minority of people who have actually purchased gold. If you are, you probably liked the spam sometimes, because usually it provides up-to-the-minute price info and increases competition between the sellers.

You might be wondering: does one run the risk of getting scammed purchasing gold from these people?

I didn't know the answer to that, so, I looked into it deeper. I went to their sites. There were numerous ones advertised but, after getting deeper into each site, eventually I was taken to a specific site almost every time: gold4power.com Of the eight or so websites I visited, every one of them led me to this one site. And it wouldn't amaze me if Peons4Hire was actually behind this one.

I have no idea who runs this site, but I wanted to see how legit they were. So I sent them a small amount of money through paypal and, lo and behold, 30 minutes later, the gold was in my mailbox. I figure at least they aren't just scamming people completely.

Anyway, spam is bad, yada yada. Get used to it, or download a mod like SpamSentry and put a stop to it.

TLF

Re:My Own Research (3, Funny)

Bajskorv (1107701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282953)

I have no idea who runs this site, but I wanted to see how legit they were. So I sent them a small amount of money through paypal and, lo and behold, 30 minutes later, the gold was in my mailbox. I figure at least they aren't just scamming people completely.
Pete Townshend, is that you?

Re:My Own Research (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283763)

I'll admit it, I had to wikipedia (if google can be a verb then so can wikipedia, although it's funny that I used google to find the wiki, lol) Pete to find what this meant.

Still, having trouble making the connection. You're talking about his... ahh.. website visiting choices?

Enlighten me.

Re:My Own Research (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283345)

I was getting an epic amount of spam from Peons4hire. About time Blizzard pimp slaps those assclowns.

Re:My Own Research (0, Flamebait)

redKrane (672370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283387)

Just a note that certain sites like wowmine.com and ign are reputable, at least in my experience of purchasing 3k gold over 3 different occasions. Got my gold quick, with no account loss or anything,

Blizzard entering secondary market! (5, Funny)

DaveG, the Quantum P (664195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282711)

Surely though, Blizzard winning damages from this company means that Blizzard has directly gained money from the selling of in-game "Gold" which is against their own EULA. Ironic eh?

Re:Blizzard entering secondary market! (1)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282781)

Or you could believe, (as most people tend to think after considering the fact that there are still sites selling items for diablo and diablo2) that blizzard recieves a payment from most of these sites. The ones that don't pay up, get shut down (like ENZO), the one's that do, get thier share of money. Sorta like the crime families of yester year. Least that's my belief, as well as my guild(wow)/clan(diablo).

Re:Blizzard entering secondary market! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283235)

Blizzard is not suing this company to get money, they are suing them to put them out of buisness.

In order to fix, SCREW (1)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282721)

GREAT!!! They finally get so that I can report with ease, oh wait, but now the drop down disappears just as fast as it appears. Can't they ever get it right?

Gold Farming is Big Business (4, Informative)

kabz (770151) | more than 7 years ago | (#19282815)

NPR covered some of the human aspects of the gold farming story a while ago. Audio Link [npr.org] for your listening pleasure.

12 hours a day playing Warcraft, getting beaten up by higher level players. It's sounds like a pretty ugly life.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19282985)

I hate those bastards. I haven't played in some time, and every time I logon to my account to see what's going on, I have probably 50 messages from them.

Funny (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283023)

On the linked page there were 4 or 5 "First Page" comments.....

Greeat (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283039)

Great! So now the large guilds that make the market unusable for anyone in a small org. Yea fuck the little guy and let the big guys get richer.

Untill blizard fixed the problems with the markets on some severs being runined by large groups flooding the market, they should of left things how they were.

Blizard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283139)

Blizard?? Blizzard, it's in the description *twice*.

Re:Blizard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283323)

NOOBS its Blizzard not Blizard. OMG L2SPELL KTHXBYE

Typo in article title (0, Redundant)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283217)

There are two "z"'s in Blizzard.

YES! (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283219)

I'm sick to death of those assholes at peons4hire! Sometimes I'd be getting spam from them every five minutes! I hope Blizzard sues these assholes out of existence.

L2SPELL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283223)

NOOBS its Blizzard not Blizard. OMG L2SPELL.

Awesome, now fix the stuff patch 2.10 broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283255)

So now this is all well and good but nobody mentioned that they seriously broke the graphics engine in WOW with the new patch. Things like simple flashing in the background to creatures not being texture mapped at all. Not only that but a lot of people can't even launch the game anymore! They goofed up big time with this patch. Hopefully they'll fix it in time before the masses who can't play realize there's a world of...uh, the real world too.

Imagine... (1)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283363)

Imagine putting peons4hire on your resume as an employer.

Fixing the Economy (2, Interesting)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283417)

I play WoW for over a year until I no longer had the time and money to committ to the game. (I'm still not quite over the withdrawal symptoms.) I've recently been playing around with Puzzle Pirates as an interesting time-waster and they've come up with a really interesting solution to the problem of buying game currency.

The problem with WoW is that you have people with time and skill, but not a lot of money. They hate people who buy gold because, to them, they're cheating. Then, you have people with money but not a lot of time and/or skill. They're willing to spend $50 on gold that might have taken days or weeks to collect in-game. Blizzard wants to keep the former happy AND they want to get as much money from the latter as possible.

Puzzle Pirates has what they call "doubloon servers" that utilize two types of currency. In-game "pieces of eight"(PoE) that you get from just playing the game, like gold in WoW. Doubloons are a special currency that you use to buy access to more advanced parts of the game, better clothing, equipment, etc. You can buy doubloons from Three Rings (game dev) directly for about $.20 to $.25 a piece depending on volume. Or, you can trade PoE's for doubloons and vice-versa in the game with players.

If Blizzard implemented something like this in WoW, it would essentially legalize buying gold, but it would eliminate spamming and other account abuses. Say, for example, you have an epic mount. Blizzard implements "Epic Feed" that can be purchased for $.20 a day by anyone. The people who have money to burn can buy extra feed and sell it at the AH. People who balk at the idea of spending extra money on the game can buy feed at the AH. The people who can afford neither probably don't have an epic mount.

Re:Fixing the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283621)

..

No

Flaw is inherent in current MMOG P2P model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283439)

Any game that requires its users to "grind" for hundreds or thousands of hours in order to progress in the game is going to suffer from this no matter what they do.

It is an obvious flaw in the current pay-to-play model; hold your customers for longer periods by requiring them to perform tedious tasks for thousands of hours instead of simply providing constantly new, fresh and entertaining game content.

Such laziness on the part of these game designers and developers will always have this result. If MMOG developers had scruples and actually provided quality entertainment for their monthly fee, then this would not be a problem. Greed and laziness begets greed and laziness.

Perhaps they should try a little creativity and originality in their game design?

Note:
MMOG = Massively multiplayer online game
P2P = Pay to play

having trouble finding a vacant frequency? (-1, Offtopic)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283491)

http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/vacant [radio-locator.com]

plan you trip with some presets!

Re:having trouble finding a vacant frequency? (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283533)

oops.... wrong story

WOW GOLD NOW (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283617)

WOW GOLD! 10% OFF. VISIT GOLD4WOWNOW DOT COM. $100 FOR 1000 GOLD. POWER LEVELING SERVICES TOO, 60-70 FOR $50. %10 BONUS FOR NEW BUYERS!!!

The Blizard Animal. (2, Funny)

lullabud (679893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283679)

It's a mix between a Bee, a Lizard and a Shark.
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