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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

I was doing some idle speculation and something came to my tired brain that makes a lot of sense. What if Blizzard were to run a gold and powerlevelling company? Let's face it, when the GMs can create gold and items at will, as well as level characters at will, so there's almost no cost to them to provide the service!

To completely level a character from 1-70 will run a player around $130-150 (depending on service used). Considering the character is already paying to play, why not tap this extra money source? Also, players will pay $100-250 for 5000 gold, so why not provide that as well? Blizzard would basically increase the income from that account by 10-20 times.

Now, of course, Blizzard couldn't publicly do this, or they would loose a large percentage of their player base. However, doing it behind the scenes makes even more sense. If you can covertly get paid and at the same time collect names of characters who do buy powerlevelling and gold, you can do something even more evil. After making them pay for their leveling and gold, you ban the account after a few weeks. They realize they got caught because of buying gold and powerleveling, and so they don't feel nearly as pissed at Blizzard as they are at the power leveling service. The character then buys another account (and another copy of TBC) and starts all over again.

Now, this is complete and utter speculation, but it makes a scary amount of business sense, provided the ownership in the gold farming company could be kept secret. Given the player-based rumor mills, allegations could be denied or ignored with ease, and as long as it was never officially documented, Blizzard could continue with impunity.

More on Warhammer's Crafting system later.

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