Blizz whacks 18,000

In keeping with Blizzard’s aggressive stance against cheating in World of Warcraft, we have permanently closed more than 18,000 accounts over the past three months for participating in activities that violate the game’s Terms of Use.

A majority of these accounts were found to be using third-party programs to farm gold and items. Such actions can severely impact the economy of a realm and the overall game enjoyment for all players.

That’s a lot of cheaters. There are a lot more left though.

18,000 of 5 million really isnt much. :)

I would like to say though I am glad they are posting this because it might keep people from trying it.

Eighteen thousand is a lot of accounts to close since there likely isn’t any way to automate the process by which accounts are inspected and then determined to be in violation.

Let’s say Blizzard gets it down to a 20-minute job from start to finish to look at an account and determine it should be closed and then close it. Eighteen thousand closures would represent 6000 hours of work. That’s a lot of time and expense to stop someone from paying you a monthly fee!


Really, its not that impressive if you ask me. 18k is a lot of accounts but measured over 3 months time against a total pool of 5 million?

I am disappointed they dont put more effort into banning the professional gold farmers.


They need to go after IGE and a few others like it. Banning individual accounts will be a fight they never win.

I dunno though – 18,000 is a lot no matter how you look at it. I think from the message those were the easy ones to find, the ones running macros and exploits. Trying to find people selling gold with the transactions taking place outside the game is probably much harder to do in terms of the time it would take.

Blizzard isn’t seriously interested in trying to track down everyone buying/selling gold in WoW. That would be far too difficult, costly, and given the numbers it would piss off (or if they ban them, eliminate income from) a substantial portion of their playerbase.

Amid the PR blurbs, you can see what they’re seriously going after: people using third-party programs. That’s what they’re moving aggressively about, since that’s what has the potential to seriously degrade the quality of the game for other players.

Speaking of, I found it interesting that CGM seems to always have a full back-cover IGE ad on their mags. Nothing says “I’m here to stay” quite as much as getting the other cover.

One way to judge the proliferation of gold farming and/or the effectiveness of Blizzards banning policy might be a tracking of the cost of gold. A few months ago 1000 gold was $90. I went to IGE’s site today and they were listing 1000 gold for $70. I should have been tracking this weekly. It would be interesting to look at the trends.

Anyway I would have thought that gold prices would have spiked up today. With all the farmers getting banned there would be less supply and so the price would rise. But the price has dropped?

For the price to drop the supply would have to rise, but that’s unlikely with the ban so has it maybe affected the demand. Has it scared the users, the buyers into buying less gold? I view this in much the way I view “the war on drugs”. Maybe blizzard isn’t just going after the dealers, but is banning the users/buyers? That might really decrease demand.

I only took basic econ in college so I’m no expert. Maybe someone here is a econ guy and has been tracking the gold prices on a specific server or even several. I’d love to see some type of forecasting, like when gold hits a certain level you can always expect some bans to show up. What do you guys think, why did the price drop and not go up?

Demand for gold lessens after you hit 60 and get your epic mount. After awhile there isn’t much to buy (besides repair costs if you do MC and such).

I have noticed that Tyr’s Hand is a ghost town compared to how it used to be. Before there would be 20-30 farmers working 24/7 there. Now I see less than 10. I’m not sure what is going on with that.

IGE probably has an oversupply of gold too. Are they still buying gold?

I wonder if there was a way to analize and automate gold farmer detection and resolution.

One way to detect this might be to have an area Mob Kills tracker on people. For example, Tyr’s hand. You could see how many mobs the typical player who is lagitemntly grinding for XP might kill, then triple that number. Then you could add an aggro scale based on (Number of Kills / 3 * N) where that scalar would be that persons aggro radious modifier as well as ‘chain-aggro’ modifier, as in how far other mobs from aggroed mobs will aggro too.

Then you could finally take that Number of Kills and decay it by a certain reasonable number per week. You could also only turn this on for indentified farmer areas such as Try’s hand, sandfury trolls, etc. You could also apply this to loot drops as well so that the mobs just refuse to drop anything but junk.

And the farmers create two alts apiece, ramp them up to farming level, and go back for more.

Thank you, drive through.


I quit DII becuz of the cheaters. I didn’t even give WoW a try becuz i saw it coming.

Make gold soulbound.


(actually there would be too many workarounds…)