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Battling the MMO Mass Market

I play, I test, I enjoy MMO's, but there is a dark side to Games, Players, and cheaters. I will expose them all in a no holds barred style....

Author: Chronis

China Gold Sales Modus Operandi

Posted by Chronis Sunday November 21 2010 at 6:02PM
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Whats the fastest way to make gold in WoW?  The answer is : DON'T play the game.  Seriously, chinese gold sellers dont play, its not wrth their time.  Ok, thats a bold statement, but lets look at the average player and how they make gold.  For comparison reasons, we will only look at that guy in mom's basement who plays about 10 hours a day, every day.  He is the only one to compare to the chinese professionals, a casual player simply does not have the time to make tons of gold.

This guy knows how to make gold.  First, he has capped a tradeskill, and sells things int he AH that sell at a good price and fast.  An example would be Alkemy Flasks, everyone needs em and the average price for one flask is about 12g.  Our player will spend about a day just gathering herbs so he can make a ton of flasks at once.  (1 day out of a week, prolly spread out over the week, but cumulatve is about a day)  Then he makes the flasks and (if smart) puts em up on the AH about thursday, to maximize his exposure to the majority of players.  A good run of herbs can net him about 1000g a week in just flask sales.  (I know this because I am casual player and can make about 400g a week in the pitiful amount of time I spend gathering)

Now our guy also spends a lot of time in VOA, ICC, and heroics.  With the drop rate of decent items that are BOE, he prolly has an average of 1 great item to sell and a couple minor ones to sell.  The great one should net him about 300g and the minors about 100g each.  Now just to the amoutn of time he plays, considering all the trash items just vendored, add in another 200g.  This brings us to a total of about 1700g a week.  Now since I know there are many other ways to make gold if you really want to, I'll round that up to 2000g a week for the dedicated and serious Scrooge McDuck player.

Now some math :)  If a chinese gold company had 5 guys on a server doing the same thing, then they would bring in 10kg a week to sell.  Hmmm, thats not a lot of gold to sell across an entire server population.  Theres no pofit in that ratio of workers<>gold farmed<>gold sold.  Gold is cheap by the hundreds, even 10k gold sold is less than two hundred real dollars!  So the sales of gold on a particular server MUST be much higher than that, and thus, the need to have gold for sale is greater than I am picturing here.

Remember I said the chinese farmers DONT play wow?  Why should they bother to spend countless hours og boring farming when you, the player, already does it for them!  All they need is access to your account for 5 minutes.  Ok, now take those same 5 chinese scumbags, and instead of laborously gathering, farming and AHing, you give them a list of players that have had their accounts hacked.  They log in to your account, change the password, add an authenticator to your account, and then get to take their time selling off your stuff, and consolodating all your characters on ALL the servers you play on into gold.  If any of your characters has access to the guild vault, that will be cleaned out too. This is much more worth their time than simple farming.

A Casual player account can net them about 7k gold. (I base this on MY worth as a casual player)

A Hardcore player account could easily be double that or even better!  There are many 80's out there that have nothing to buy anymore, and such just stack gold in their bank.

The potential for obtaining gold by theft is staggering, much more than people realize.

Now how do they do it?  Well, if you have been following my blog at all, you have already seen one method; the phishing website.  This is where you get a letter from blizzard telling you there is a good reason to click on the link in the email and enter your login and password at the resulting page.  Well, if your STUPID, you might just do that.  The place you go to is not blizzard, but a page made to look like a real blizzard page.  You just entered your account information and sent it directly to a chinese hacker, who is prolly accessing your account before you have even left the phishing page. Oh, and guess what? Not only did you just give your info away, but you also just got a nasty worm/virus designed to steal your future passwords too.  The chinese hackers have no issues with revisiting your account after you got everythign restored and doing it again.

They also run brute force attacks as well.  See they have a huge list of logins and passwords and can see interesting trends, this gives them an advantage when trying to match up logins and passwords.  I will mention here as a side note; If you are just a complete moron and use the same password for everything (banking, paypal, wow, etc) then these guys can also raid your bank accounts too.

Oh but the funs does not stop there kiddies!  If your are the flip side, one of those JERKS that actually buys gold, then its only a matter of time before you get hacked too.  When you went to their 'legitimate' gold selling website, you were prolly infected with the worm/virus to claim your password as well.  They will wait a while, but then suddenly your wiped out again.

A couple tips to keep you safe:


2. Use a virus scanner. Cant afford one, then get AVG, its free and really good.

3. Run Malware detection often.  Can't afford one? then Use Malwarebytes scanner, its about the best.

4. Never click a link in any email from blizzard.  Login directly to rather than any link in an email.

5. Invest in an authenticator.  You cant be hacked if your using one and also do 1-4 above.

A note on the authenticator, it IS possible to be hacked, however its very unlikely.  How unlikely? well the auth code changes every 60 seconds.  There is a virus out there that intercepts the auth code you type in and sends blizzard a fake one.  Then you cant login and have to try again.  However the virus just send the valid unused code to a waiting chinese hacker to use.  This guy prolly has about 30 seconds to login with the code before it goes bad.  So its really unlikely, first you have to have this worm, and there has to be someone ready to use it on the other end within 30 seconds.  If you run both virus and malware scanner with up to date packages, you should be free of the worm.

Well, this is a lot to comprehend, but hopefully yall might just get a glimpse of the scope of whats going on out there.  Next time, how this effects the gamers....