Reading an article over at OutDPS about gold buyers being the real problem with gold sellers made me think a little about the issue as a whole. I agree with him that the gold buyers are the problem and not the gold sellers. However, it goes both ways. If the sellers where not offering the buyers would not even consider buying because there is no one to buy from. It is a circle. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
It is simple supply and demand. Whether someone looked at their gold and said, wow I have so much, let me try and sell some or someone said, I have no time to make gold, I'll ask if anyone is willing to sell it to me, really does not matter. Someone is offering a service and someone needs a service. As long as those two things exist then there will always be gold buyers and gold sellers.
The way Blizzard has used to try and stop people is making it against game rules. For most people, that is not a big deal They just buy and hope they do not get caught. Personally I do not buy gold because I am a pansy. I am not willing to take the chance and lose all I worked for in game. Most people are willing to take the chance and figure that at the worst case scenario they can always buy a new account that had everything their old one had if they get caught.
That is really where the issues lies from making it against game rules. If people are willing to break game rules they are usually willing to accept the fact they got caught and they move on. No biggie, they bought once before and they will buy again. Making gold buying against the rules does not limit it much.
It stops me and some others. But I like to play the auction house and I can make 8K in two hours if I really put my mind to it. Not everyone enjoys that and lets face it, not everyone has the gray matter to understand how to do that. That is why there is gold buying. They think it is unfair that I can make gold so easy and they can not. So they can spend 20 or 30 or 40 bucks and make the same thing I did and we are now even.
So how do they fix the gold buying to make it so they do not feel they have to buy gold to make it fair? They don't. Just like someone can get gear from 25 heroic ICC and I can't because I do not have that skill level there should be a difference between me and someone that does not know how to use the auction house.
Blizzard already had a series of checks and measures in place. You can only get so much gear from buying it. You can not get top level gear (without letting someone on your account or being carried) with gold. You can not get top level PvP gear (without letting someone on your account or being carried) with gold. You still need to work for it. No matter how much gold you have to spend and gear you bought with it, even if you did let someone on your account, it will not mean you know what to do with it or are even capable of doing it with it. That alone should be a good enough reason not to buy gold. Why have top stuff if you do not have the skills to do anything with it?
Blizzard then went to the next step. Scare tactics. Buying gold is the reason people get hacked. That is what they tell us. There might be a little truth to it, but over all I would say that 95%, if not more, of the people that get hacked usually were at a site they should not have been or downloaded something they should not have. Most people that get hacked have only themselves to blame.
If I ever got hacked I would think where I recently signed up at or what I recently downloaded. I would know it was something I did at some point. I would not blame the gold sellers, I would not blame the gold buyers, I would blame the person that deserves the blame, me.
So here is my golden tip on how to buy gold without having to actually buy gold or risk your account. Buy trading cards. Simple as that. When the new card set comes out there is a Hippogyph that I would die for. If I can find the card on e-bay I would pay 50, maybe even a little more for it. If someone else has it and is selling it in game for 20K or even 25K gold, I would buy it that way in a heart beat. There you go, buy the card, redeem the code in game and it will give you a bind on use item, sell the item in game for gold.
No one knows your game name or anything when you buy it. It is just a card. There is no way buying that card off e-bay or from a hobby shop will get you hacked. You effectively bought gold. You did not encourage account thief, you did not give the money to a gold seller, you did not become a gold buyer that fuels the sellers to steal accounts and farm all the areas dry.
That is the next approach that Blizzard needs to go to in an effort to try and stop gold sellers and gold buyers. Sell things for people to resell. It already does it with the cards. Millions in gold has been exchanged buying and selling cards and will continue to happen.
I have always been against selling gear in game and I hope it stays that way and gear is never allowed to be sold. However, you can easily sell other things that can be resold in game. Make them crazy prices, pets and mounts that can be resold. Talbards and shirts that can be self designed and sold. Maybe even go as far as to sell easily attainable items like stacks of herbs or ore or leather to be sold.
This will help Blizzard make tons of cash and keeps the gold in the game so to speak. So what is the big deal that I am willing to farm for a couple of hours and get a stack of frost lotus and someone else is willing to pay 100 bucks for it. Heck, if he is willing to pay 100 bucks for it and sell it cheap on the auction house it would save me hours of farming. I can just buy it cheap from him.
Sure, this now goes into the realm of "the kids with daddys credit card" will have everything but it really doesn't. Remember, money can not buy gear, money can not buy skill and money can not buy you a good reputation with people. All that needs to be earned and will still need to be earned.
This would remove the needs for gold buyers to risk an account ban and in turn remove the demand for gold sellers. Sure, there will still be some, but much less then there is now. Why risk an account ban buying from a gold seller when you can buy from Blizzard and support the game and still get the gold you want.
I see this being the next step for Blizzard. Now lets hope I can get that hippogryph cheap, in cash for the card or in gold in the game. Seven more days until it is released.