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Role Playing (Games)

World of Warcraft For The Win 437

Posted by Zonk
from the we-can-all-go-home-now dept.
In a press release from their website, Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft has won. Or, more specifically, that the game "has surpassed 1.5 million paying customers in China - just a month following the game's commercial launch on June 7, 2005. The critically acclaimed World of Warcraft has now achieved another significant milestone as the largest MMORPG in the world, with more than 3.5 million global customers." Relatedly, Gamespy's OnLife column this week centers around the WoW duping story that we touched on earlier. From the article: "Needless to say, many players are a bit incensed that Blizzard isn't taking this as seriously as they feel it should. Others, though, are convinced that there isn't any duping actually going on. It's an urban myth, they say, which gullible forumites are unwittingly perpetuating."
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World of Warcraft For The Win

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  • by AlexTheBeast (809587) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:37AM (#13124728)
    As much as the WoW guys would like for us to believe it not to be true, the duping certainly exists. Guys like MickeyMouse describe the process in great detail. [tech-recipes.com] I know that he has buying/selling items for quite a while now to spread the money through the system to prevent getting tagged and booted. He sold several things to me. Heck, before this blew up, several other users reported people just handing them large amounts of money for no obvious reason (to hide the guilty among with innocent.)

    Screenshots [tokyo-web.org] show this as well.

    I know WoW needs some good press to balance out the bad... but don't deny the problem exists.

    The chinese connection is even odder... because most of them are FARMERS in WoW. Therefore, they are hurt the most by this dupe bug! These guys have been just working and working to farm-in cash... and others have been just getting the gold for free.

    This may be enough to break my WoW addiction... if I don't get booted and banned first.
    • by kaellinn18 (707759) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:40AM (#13124769) Homepage Journal
      I'm not saying you're wrong or that the dupe doesn't exist, but screenshots are hardly proof, especially with the prevalence of Photoshop these days.

      One would have to try the process themselves, and, in so doing, risk getting banned by Blizzard. I don't think this bug (if it does indeed exist) is going to have as big of an effect in the end as people think it will.
      • I can appreciate your skepticism, but when I've personally seen people selling 5 or 6 of the same epic equipment in the auction house I have to believe that this is a very real problem.
      • by _xeno_ (155264) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:50AM (#13125635) Homepage Journal

        You don't even need Photoshop. You can do that with macros. I had to split them into four macros due to the 255 char limit, but try these out:

        /script local i,n,b,c; for i=1, 7 do n = "BrowseButton"..i; getglobal(n):Show(); b = getglobal(n.."Name"); b:SetText("Krol Blade"); c = ITEM_QUALITY_COLORS[4]; b:SetVertexColor(c.r, c.g, c.b); getglobal(n.."ClosingTimeText"):SetText("Long"); end

        /script local i,n; BrowseNoResultsText:Hide(); for i=1, 7 do n = "BrowseButton"..i; getglobal(n.."ItemIconTexture"):SetTexture("Interf ace\\Icons\\INV_Sword_18"); getglobal(n.."Level"):SetText("51"); getglobal(n.."ClosingTimeText"):SetText("Long"); end

        /script local i,n,m; for i=1, 7 do n = "BrowseButton"..i; getglobal(n.."ItemCount"):Hide(); m=n.."MoneyFrame"; getglobal(m):SetPoint("RIGHT",n,"RIGHT",10,10); MoneyFrame_Update(m, 3009500); getglobal(n.."YourBidText"):Hide(); end

        /script local i,n,m; for i=1, 7 do n = "BrowseButton"..i; m=getglobal(n.."BuyoutMoneyFrame"); m:Show(); MoneyFrame_Update(m:GetName(), 3200000); getglobal(n.."BuyoutText"):Show(); getglobal(n.."HighBidder"):SetText("CmdrTaco"); end

        The end result? CmdrTaco is up to something! [xenoveritas.org] (Remember all real account names can't have mixed case - they're always with an initial capital and then all lowercase.)

        Ironically enough, because that screenshot wasn't "faked" per se, and is really what the ingame interface would look like, comparing it with the "dupe proof" screen shot shows that the dupe screenshot was faked in Photoshop!

      • The thing that makes me the most skeptical about these supposed duping exploits (which the developers have investigated and say are false) is that every single one of them has a line like this that is apparently crucial: "This only works early in the morning when the servers first load up, and the the instance server is still loading."

        What does that mean? The servers run 24 hours a day. They don't "first load up" early in the morning. The only time a server consistantly shuts down is the Tuesday maintenanc
    • by Chazmati (214538) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:43AM (#13124817)
      That screenshot looks photoshopped. Pull it into a paint program and increase the contrast, you can clearly see the same background texture copied on every line, and at the very bottom there's a horizontal line where the background doesn't match up. I'd post a link if I had the cohones (and bandwidth) to take on a slashdotting.

      But then again, that's not proof that it DOESN'T exist.
    • Seriously people...would you trust someone who told you this?

      "Hey man, I'll hold all of your money while you log off/on to dupe it!"
    • No, it just means that as soon as someone translates the dupe bug to chinese the farmers are going to be doing it.
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:31AM (#13125392) Homepage Journal
      Back in the early UO days I went off the deep end and published one of the more infamous dupe bugs in UO. Got banned for it and eventually reinstated by a VP at Origin.

      The thing was, the instructions I gave were so convoluted that anyone attempting to follow them would have been blatantly obvious. Of course it actually did work. Back then the only way to get the UO team to jump was to light them up in the forums. Even UO's Green Acres got clamped down after hounding the team in the forusm

      Yet at the same time many other postings were just bunk. You get copy cats who with just a slight variation manage to start wildfires that have no basis. This is best done on fan sites where certain words are known trigger fanatics into waves of frenzy. It is even easier today as many emulators exist which can be used to produce screenshots which are game engine generated and not photoshopped.

      Still there are some game companies that ignore the problems, or worse acknowledge them and do nothing. The best example is Turbine games who allowed and still allow cheating/macroing/etc in their first game Asheron's Call. They allow things that make other MMORPG developers flinch. What this does for the industry is cause all such cheating/macroing/duping to be considered a norm. On the really bad side it gives some players reason to believe that if you can cheat in one game everyone should cheat, or if someone is really far ahead that they are just cheating.

      Blizzard really has done a good job on being proactive. I think people need to realize that they cannot just swing the sword of banning without doing the research needed to ensure they get the right people. Collateral damage does not go over well in these games.

    • It looks like on my server (Bonechewer) there is no such exploit, at least not as described by everyone. Or at least, maybe not anymore??

      I've did a /who mara (which shows everyone in the supposedly bugged maraudon instance). Noone level 30. 2 level 60s, but they were in guilds apparently running guildies through the instance (5man groups). Everyone else was pretty much in the princess level range as well. Lowest level I think was 49. So all princess runs it looks like, nothing new there. Refreshed /
  • by kutsu119 (883719) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:38AM (#13124746)
    Never mind duping ITEMS, I think Blizzard must be duping Chinese players! No WONDER there are so many server crashes, bloody Blizzard's customer duper team (the duperheros)
  • I think this goes to show that multiplayer games are where the industry is now. I do not think publishers can be successful unless they release games like WOW that millions can play together at the same time.
    • Re:Good work (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PsychicX (866028)
      Can somebody please explain the appeal to me? I've seen FFXI, WoW, DAoC...I don't see how it's an improvement over, say, Baldur's Gate, except that instead of being in control, you have half a dozen idiots around who, at any time, may decide to do something completely stupid. Except for the players in your guild/clan/etc, none of the other players really matter to your game experience at all, with the exception of PvP. (And PvP in WoW is pretty lame, actually.) It's like Diablo 2 and Battle.Net, except you
      • by StreetChip (870758)
        "running past other players without paying any attention to them, except in the rare case that a fight breaks out or you need someone's help to finish a quest or kill some dude?" Thank you, you just summed up real life.
      • Re:Good work (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sgant (178166)
        You first start out acting like you've never played these but only "seen" them. Then you claim that the PvP in WoW is pretty lame...but if you've never played it, how would you know? Just wondering, not making a judgment.

        But any game like this is what you make out of it. If you really want to play WoW and never ever ever talk to anyone else or even acknowledge anyone else and that would be ok. Or you could be totally social and go on PvP raids, join and guild etc etc. You can do what you want really.

        But t
      • Re:Good work (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eln (21727) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:06AM (#13125092) Homepage
        This is exactly why I like Guild Wars so much. All of the battle areas are instanced for each player or group of players, so you can form your parties in towns, and go out to kill or complete quests without having to worry about some other yahoo screwing it up for you. Also, the missions are set up so you can play only 1 or 2 hours at a time and still progress through the game. This and the fact that it has no monthly fee makes it the perfect game for people like me, who can't spend 6 hours at a stretch playing these things.

        Die-hard WoW players see the instanced battle areas as Guild Wars' biggest weakness, but I see them as its biggest strength.
      • Re:Good work (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DerWulf (782458) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:10AM (#13125129)
        you act as if 15$ is a fortune. It isn't. It's going to the cinema twice. You complain about people doing *that*, too? I mean, you go enjoy your acting-less special-effect show. Meanwhile I'll pretent to be a hero in a fantasy world. If that makes me stupid, I don't know what it makes you.
    • Eh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:57AM (#13124986)
      I think this goes to show that multiplayer games are where the industry is now. I do not think publishers can be successful unless they release games like WOW that millions can play together at the same time

      Yeah, it's killing Rockstar. And are you aware of how many MMPORGs crash and burn, and how much more they cost to make compared to a regular game?

      There's a large gaming market of people like me - people who want to game ~5-10 hrs/week, which isn't enough time to become expert at a game, and who want to have fun without treating a game like a job. I have a job - that's what I'm escaping with the game. I also don't want to subscribe to a damned game.

      Put that together and single player games have a lot of life left in them.

      • Yeah, it's killing Rockstar.

        The next GTA seems to be going the MMORPG-way though (from early reports) : Then again, if they keep churning out sequels to GTA as good as they did until now, I won't lose hope in them releasing another great, singleplayer-focused, GTA game.

      • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:20AM (#13125247) Homepage Journal
        Yeah, it's killing Rockstar.

        And UbiSoft. Hell, just look at how many millions of copies of the Splinter Cell series were sold with their strengths as compelling, single-player games. And the most recent came out years ago - about .25 years ago!

        Same with the Thief series which has no multiplayer (although joint missions on that would be very cool if done like SC:CT coop multiplayer). Of course, Valve's Half-Life 2 was incredibly strong in its single-player method which killed it. {/sarcasm}

        Obviously, single-player games are still very much in demand if they're made properly (unlike classic blunders like Ultima: Ascension).

        Yeah, MMORPGs are just the only way to go. I've never understood that mentality. It's just as invalid now as it was over five years ago when the death of single-player was also held in strong opinion by many.
        • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Gravedigger3 (888675) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:02PM (#13125792)
          I dont see why it has to be either or. Why does it have to be "all games are going online" or "MMO games are gonna crash and burn."

          One thing i notice on the internet is that there is only one answer and everything else is 100% wrong. Intel vs. AMD, Nvidia vs ATI, Xbox vs PS, MS vs Apple, Windows vs Linux, etc etc etc.

          You have to pick one and everything else sucks. Why cant people just realize that you can have your cake and eat it too. I have an Xbox and a PS2 and i love them both. I play WoW all weekend and i love it but during the week while i have work i like to sit down and play GTA or Halo. My last card was an ATI and now I have an Nvidia and they both work great.

          My point is that technology, just like the rest of the world, is not black and white. There are shades of grey and different opinions. Not all games are going to go online and games that are online are gonna stick around and consumers will love them both for their own reasons.
      • Re:Eh? (Score:4, Funny)

        by demachina (71715) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:34AM (#13125432)
        Personally I suspect the introduction of WoW in to China is the first, long overdue, step in a U.S. counterattack against the imminent Chinese domination of the global economy.

        If we can get a few hundred million people in Chinese spending all day everyday addicted to grinds their economic productivity will crater and it will level the playing field with the West where everyone has been wasting all day everyday playing FPS's and dungeon crawls for a while now, which is a key, albeit relatively new, component in why Western economic productiviy and education is cratering. It was due to TV originally but TV is boring, and doesn't have the Pavlovian grip on people games do, so now everyone squanders their lives playing games to no productive end (unless you are eeking out a living farming and selling gold on Ebay).
      • There's a large gaming market of people like me - people who want to game ~5-10 hrs/week, which isn't enough time to become expert at a game, and who want to have fun without treating a game like a job. I have a job - that's what I'm escaping with the game. I also don't want to subscribe to a damned game.

        World of warcraft has a system that rewards people who don't play for awhile, increasing the amount of benefit from experience. It is targetted specifically at the 5-10 hour players, like you. Sure yo
  • by pbrinich (238041) *
    Anyone know how much (in USD) it costs to play WoW in China? Also, I wonder how many of them are gold farmers :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:39AM (#13124760)
    I just read "World" "War" and "China" and thought Here we go again!
  • by tont0r (868535)
    great. that means that there are 1.5 million chinese that have lost their jobs and houses because they spend all day playing this game.
    • Re:good for china (Score:5, Informative)

      by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stineNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:01AM (#13125026) Homepage
      Actually, for many of these Chinese, playing WoW is their job. Read up on any WoW forums about the "sweatshops". Excerpt [worldofwarcraft.com]:

      In the average sweatshop you have 1 person manning 2 or 3 computers. The first 1 or 2 computers is a charecter being ran by simple macros(and looting programs) requiring minimal player interaction, farming scarlet monestary for example. The final one is usually a level 60 rogue farming difficult mobs, such as the elites in tyr's hand. ( If you go to tyr's hand on any server you will find about 5 to 10 rogues farming 24/7, all chinese)

      The biggest issue with the chinese farmer sweatshops where players get payed 37 cents an hour to farm gold, is that there are always employees that speak english near by. These employees who have a degree in english have 3 main functions.
      1.) Sell items to players in IF/ORG trade.
      2.) Assist other employees with player interaction.
      3.) Respond to GM tells.
    • I think you mean "there are 1.5 million chinese that have houses because they have jobs playing Wow all day".
  • In China ?.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gopal.V (532678) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:40AM (#13124770) Homepage Journal
    I thought china was behind a sort of Great Firewall of China ?.

    Anwyay, you'll find me a the local tavern where all the chinese play talking about Democracy and Fair market prices. If you visit you'll get a free sword of omens - identical to what I use. I'd like to see WoW ban me or block these chinese yuppies from hearing capitalist propoganda (like Google did).

    Face it people, they have the population, they have the money (thanks to US shipping manufacturing jobs there last decade) and they have the market.
    • Not only that, but they are about to have a population that is titled dramatically to the young male demographic.. which can only be a bad thing.. having a country with an "extra" 100M military aged males can't be a good thing.
  • by electrosoccertux (874415) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:44AM (#13124826)
    I don't know how they should fix it, but its like opium and any other drug.....completely removes the desire to work or do anything else.

    I've seen too many people waste hundreds and hundreds of hours on it....neglecting other, more important things. I'm not even going to touch it.
    • by KtHM (732769)
      There's a certain kind of person who gets addicted and ignores their responsibilities. If it wasn't an addiction to games, it would be drugs, gambling, drinking, what have you.

      Plenty of people play this game without any repercussions. I don't think it's the game's fault that people are getting addicted.
    • Personally, I don't find anything addictive about the game. I log on for maybe two hours a week, screw around and log off.

      Granted, I played a mud for 9 years and dealt with its addiction and I think I'm just sorta over it.
    • by Casca (4032)
      I'm living proof its nothing like opium or any other drug. I played it hardcore for about a month, then slowly drifted away from it. I think I logged in one time last month, and I'm cancelling the account when the next subscription comes due.

      Besides, whos to say whats important? Life is after all about the journey, since we all end up at the same destination.
  • by TobyWong (168498) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:45AM (#13124834)
    Ignoring the game itself, it's a pretty amazing logistical feat they have pulled off, all within a pretty short amount of time.

    They got caught flatfooted initially but I thought they did a pretty good job recovering from their early mistakes. Now with their massive global subscriber base they have turned into the real juggernaught in the MMO industry.

    Now if only they would get off their asses and release Starcraft 2 already. ;)

    • Personally, I don't see it lasting.

      I got into WoW during the CB1 era, and was playing on opening day. Yes, they got caught with their pants down, badly.

      It still surprises me that this game is retaining so many customers, though. Yes, it is very engrossing for 59 levels. You hit 60, though, and there is not much to do, besides PvP and run through the same dungeons over and over again.

      Bugs that are a detriment to gameplay take months to get fixed, if at all. A bug that caused players to disconnect if t
  • by cprincipe (100684) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:45AM (#13124835) Homepage
    Are actually farmers?
  • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:47AM (#13124872) Homepage Journal
    You miss-spelled "Teh". -Rick
  • by Xzzy (111297) <setherNO@SPAMtru7h.org> on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:48AM (#13124878) Homepage
    More like 1.5 million sweatshop farmers.

    On some servers there isn't a single high level area that doesn't have a handful of suspiciously silent level 60's killing the same stuff over and over for hours. The macroing is advanced enough that if you follow them for a short while, you'll quickly notice them taking the exact same route time and time again, especially in areas that have chests to open.

    I know it's not fair to generalize the entirety of China's playerbase as farmers, but it's well known that it is happening, and is also well known that much of the farming is done by people in Asian countries.

    On one hand it's interesting to see such an industry spring up, channeling money into poorer hands, but on the other, it'd be real nice to play an online game without having to compete against people doing a job.
    • by eht (8912) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:19PM (#13126016)
      But they'll only be able to sell to other sweatshop farmers, the servers aren't mixable, the North American/Australian/New Zealand server are seperate from the Korean servers are seperate from the European servers, the Chinese servers are sperate from all those other groups.
      • only if you happen to buy a certain regions edition of WoW. If I went and bought an American copy or Korean even though I'm in europe I could play on the other regions. I play on eu-thunderhorn and there are plenty of chinese farmers on there from my experience.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was under the impression that farmed items/gold must be farmed on the server they're sold on. Therefore gold/items farmed on a Chinese server can only be sold to people on that server. Chinese farmers must be on a US server in order to sell items to players of that US server. This is why the 1.5 million players on the chinese servers cannot be farmers, at least not to US players.
    • You are correct, however, most of the fuckheads who play the game are racist. They will deny this vehemently of course saying they don't use the "N word" etc, but apparently they fail to understand that not using the N-word doesn't stop you from being a racist.

      I can't tell you how many times I hear about this chinese farming crap in guild chat, or how often I hear phrases like, "jew down", etc.

      I played EQ for 4 years and there were racists in that too but nothing compared to what I've experiencd in WoW.
      • What do you expect from a gang of suburban, socially reclusive white kids who probably only see someone who isn't their race at the mall, or the one neighbor that mommy and daddy don't talk to? Do you expect them to believe the propoganda they hear at school about tolerance? That's just about as effective as telling them to abstain. Those that do don't do it because some teacher told them too.
  • So, there's rumors that Lance's avatar has been duping? Hasn't there been enough speculation and testing?

    That's what happens when you launch in Europe - They start accusing the Americans of using high tech duping methods that get past the officials.

    Look. If Blizzard says he's not duping, he's not.
    Get over it.
  • by badmammajamma (171260) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @10:52AM (#13124923)
    I see people going on and on about Chinese farmers. I see this in game too. It's really sad. Yes, there are chinese farmers. It does not mean that every chinese person playing the game is a farmer. Recently I left my guild because of this kind of racism. Of course, it always starts with chinese farmers and then it leads to more controversial types of racism about jews and blacks.

    Honestly, I'm very close to quitting the game over this kind of crap. Every guild I join is litered with racists and the leaders don't do anything about it (some even join in).

    I reported a guy for racism in barrens chat and I got flamed to high heaven for it. Pathetic.
    • That wouldn't be racism as living in China does not mean you are of the Chinese race (and does that mean Han Chinese, Manchu, etc...). As China contains many many different races, all of whom are happy to work for wages that would be substandard in the USA. I think what you are describing would just be plain stereotyping. But hey, pull out the race card, everyone enjoys that.
      • Here's a clue: stereotyping is a part of racism.

        Also, if you don't know what "playing the race card" means then DON'T FUCKING USE IT. It's just as bad to call someone for playing the race card when they aren't as it is to actually do it.
    • I don't really get what you're seeing. On my server, I never hear anyone use any derogatory term to refer to Chinese people.

      People do refer to farmers in a derogatory way, and a lot of time, they refer to them as Chinese Gold Farmers. But in all fairness, a lot of the farming shops are Chinese shops. That's not to say that there aren't white, black, hispanic, German, French, Korean, Japanese and Inuit farmers as well. It's simply a numbers game.

      When something happens one way 99% of the time, people get la
      • Overgeneralizations are a precursor to racism.

        Just because a lot of people that are in jail are black doesn't mean that all black people are criminals.

        However, when you say something like that enough, you start to believe it.
    • by demachina (71715) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:26AM (#13125317)

      Fortunately there isn't any racism in the actual game, you know like the alliance and horde constantly trying to kill each other and if PVP is off giving each other rude gestures, etc.

      So why is racism OK in the fantasy setting and you are totally hyper about it in the fantasy setting when its applied to meatspace races. Try subsistiting Horde for Chinese and vice versa and tell me whats the difference.

      The more interesting Chinese angle to me is what happens if you create a "Freedom and Democracy" guild and you spend all your time in chat talking about "Freedom and Democracty" in guild chat, and advocating the overthrow of communists governments. Are the Chinese monitoring it, or did Blizzard add "Freedom" and Democracy" to the in game censorship list for all Chinese logins.

      WOW was fun for a few months but it eventually starts to feel like a time wasting, repetitive grind like all dungeon crawls. The instances are the cool thing about WOW but once you've done them all a few times they get old, like all weak AI driven NPC dungeon. PVP would be cool but unless you have balance on the server between the number of Horde and Alliance playing PVP, which almost never happens, it sucks. In this case the racial split sucks.
  • So how does the Chinese government keep "radicals" or enemys of the state from meeting in these online games? It's not like lurking in a chat room.

    Could we see pro-democracy people in China meeting in some strange dungeon or cave in the game to talk about things the Chinese gov does not want them to?
    • Could we see pro-democracy people in China meeting in some strange dungeon or cave in the game to talk about things the Chinese gov does not want them to?

      It depends. Since money is involved, it is easier to trace people. Maybe the government introduces some characters in the game with pro-democoracy sounding names. Something inconspicuous and subtle. Enough for other simularly minded people to notice, but not the masses. This guy then leads you into a cavern, to talk pro-democoracy. The whole time, the g

  • Make the game fun, accesible, and re-using an existing universe that people love (it doesn't hurt that they are adding content at a decent rate, despite the odd hiccup), and you'll easily pass the "hardcore" MMOs whose modus operandi seems to be forcing the player to spend all their time in frivolity.

    Everquest didn't peak near these numbers. Why? It's just not fun.
  • Do customers in China pay $10 USD or would it be lower since their incomes are lower? If so, then what's to stop an American player from signning up as a customer in China via a proxy (human or digital) and then connect to the servers?
  • If there are 1.5 million chinese players why are they crowding the US servers as gold farmers and cheaters then? Go cheat on your own servers!
  • We should all boycott Blizzard for using the DMCA to shut down bnetd.
  • Not the first time (Score:3, Informative)

    by Montressor (34631) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:11AM (#13125133)
    Diablo II had a duplication bug as well. The system became inundated with Stone of Jordans and other copied objects.
    These duped items, however, had some internal identifier in common. Blizzard deleted all the copied items, leaving a lot of people who had bought them quite sad. I would not be surprised if the same would be true in WoW.
    I doubt gold has the same feature though - the stolen gold is probably here to stay. However, I bet there's records of people going in and out of instances - people are going to get busted if this really works.
    I haven't seen any sign of this exploit happening on my server.
  • chinese wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zammo (882452) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:13AM (#13125152)
    The average person in China could not afford the $15/month that the west can pay. IIRC The game is downloaded for free, CD keys are ~$2USD and $0.05USD per hour (IE: every computer in every internet cafe in Shanghai has WoW installed on it)... Blizzard is probably making 1/20th the amount of $$$ from the chinese player then their making from the US player.... Based on all this, you could expect to see 10M WoW players in China by year end, and Blizzard gets to inflate their numbers! The economics here are very interesting.
  • Okay, let's look at this.

    $50 per game x 3.5 million = $175 million

    $15 per month x 3.5 million = $52.5 million per month

    $52.5 million x 12 months = $630 million per year in subscription fees.

    I'm in the wrong damn business!

  • Guild Wars (Score:4, Informative)

    by revery (456516) <charles.cac2@net> on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:26AM (#13125322) Homepage
    You should give guild wars a try

    • No monthly fee
    • Excellent "end game" content
    • PVE advancement supports PVP
    • No monthly fee
    • Fantastic graphics
    • Skill based rather than item/experience based
    • No monthly fee!!
    • Everyone is on one big server in the US
    • All your characters can share money and treasure amongst themselves.


    Oh, and there is no monthly fee.
    Seriously, you should try it out. You don't even have to go to the store, you can download the client [guildwars.com] and then use it to purchase your account online.
    • Re:Guild Wars (Score:4, Interesting)

      by glsunder (241984) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:28PM (#13126135)
      My wife and I used to play WoW, but with RL, which includes children, we often dont get much uninterupted time to play. GW is a much better fit for people who get interupted a lot or can't play very often (like maybe 8 hours a month).
    • Re:Guild Wars (Score:4, Informative)

      by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#13126753)
      WOW!

      Interesting that they have a few ex Blizzard people [arena.net]!

      Mike O'Brien, Founder and Programmer, was also a company director of Blizzard, where he worked for four and one-half years. He was most recently the team lead and lead programmer of Warcraft III, and personally developed the game's 3D rendering engine. Mike was the original creator and architect of Battle.net and was lead programmer on that project. He was also a senior programmer on StarCraft and Diablo, as well as the author of the network code for both games, and was a programmer on Warcraft II. Mike was featured as one of the 25 most influential people in the game industry in PC Gamer's September 1999 cover story, "Game Gods."

      Patrick Wyatt, Founder and Programmer, was previously Blizzard Entertainment's Vice President of Research and Development. He was most recently the team lead and lead programmer of Battle.net. Previously, Pat was a senior programmer on both StarCraft and Diablo, and wrote the multiplayer code for both games. He was also a producer and senior programmer on Warcraft II, for which he wrote both the networking and multiplayer code, and producer and lead programmer for Warcraft I. Pat also worked on Lost Vikings, Battle Chess, Rock and Roll Racing, Death and Return of Superman, and Justice League Task Force. Pat was employed at Blizzard more than eight years.

      Jeff Strain, Founder and Programmer, was the team lead and lead programmer of Blizzard's massively multiplayer role-playing game, World of Warcraft. He was also a senior programmer on both Warcraft III and StarCraft, and a programmer on Diablo. Jeff was the creator of the StarCraft Campaign Editor and was employed at Blizzard for four years.

    • Re:Guild Wars (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tuxedobob (582913)
      When you bastard make a Mac version, maybe I'll try it. Until then, you aren't the same people who left Blizzard.
    • Re:Guild Wars (Score:4, Informative)

      by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @01:50PM (#13127341)
      "Excellent "end game" content"

      Sorry Guild wars does not have "excellent" end game content, the only "end game" content is eaten up rather fast, the item and skill system is horribly redundant, do I neeed 4 blocking skills which mostly do the same thing in different tree's when I can only carry around 8 skills at a time?

      "PVE advancement supports PVP"

      Blah, many PVP'ers hate the fact that they have to go through the single player game to get the best items and skills. I wouldn't exactly call that a feature.

      "No monthly fee"

      Well gee GW is not an MMO, its more like a super Peer-2-peer hub, whenever you enter the gameworld you can only have a maximum of 8 human controlled characters (depending on town)

      "Skill based rather than item/experience based"

      What the hell are you talking about? The computer AUTOMATICALLY attacks for you you click icons and you can't really effectively run from certain battles if you're not playing with other human beings. If you want a "real" skill based RPG look at diablo, way more skill is involved because you have way more freedom over your characters movement and even that is stretching it, a true skill based game would take fighting game mechanics and wrap them inside an RPG, think Soulcalibur 2 gameplay mechanics inside a game like diablo.

      "All your characters can share money and treasure amongst themselves."

      Which doesn't matter because the treasure, skills and magic item system is so damn shallow it makes even the diablo series look like God compared to GW. Guild wars once you get high level becomes insanely boring because you run out of things to do, with low level caps and only being able to take 8 skills with you, on top of having little reason to fight monsters for better gear because most of the gear in GW is so undifferentiated from each other for the sake of pvp "balance" that it totally kills the PvE experience.

      GW is only a good game, not a great game, Diablo and Diablo 2 were superior games. GW may be more fun then any MMO out there but as a game, gamers play games for fun. And GW simply isn't even remotely as good as games much older then it.
  • Cheating (Score:4, Insightful)

    by John Seminal (698722) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:30AM (#13125377) Journal
    If I paid a monthly fee for a game, where there were other human players, and some were able to buy items off-line, by spending money to get better characters or weapons or hard to find items, I would be very pissed off.

    I think there will be a lawsuit. Gamers demand that the people running the games keep play within the rules.

    Personally, I never liked the on-line games. I preffer to play single player games. Back in the day, Bards Tale, Wizardry, Might and Magic were all awesome games that did not need 20,000 on-line players to make it fun. There were puzzles, you built your team, and if you could, you beat the game.

    What happens with on-line games? Somebody with more money than brains goes to ebay and buys a FireSword +25 fire damage, and DiamondHelm -15AC, he also buys 5 bottles of healing potions. He then sets out, and defeats monsters that should be a challange, he does quickly. He advances a few levels. Then he meets some other character owned by a real person. They are the same level, so it should be an even fight, the one who plans better should win. But it is not a fair fight when the ebay buying guy whips out his Scrolls of Instant Death, and kills your character that you spent a month developing. Gee, I did not see a level 3 character unleashing a scroll that does 150 points of damage.

    What can a player do to get even, go to ebay and cheat too. Let the black market take over.

    And what is even worse than the ebay people who buy stuff for their characters they should not have, are the ones who find exploits in the game, ways to manipulate it. I've read reports of people running scripts to advance their characters. The human owner does not even have to be at the computer. They just run the script, go to bed, and wake up with a character that gained 10 levels.

    Games are only fun if everyone plays by the rules. It is like baseball, it stops being fun when you catch the pitcher rubbing the ball against sandpaper in his glove. Or when the batter corks his bat. Then it becomes a cheater who makes the game frustrating for everyone else.

    There should be some way of keeping track of human players honor. If someone is caught cheating at one game, they are not allowed in another.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @01:01PM (#13126687)
      It's amply clear you have NO idea how World of Warcraft works, or indeed most other MMORPGs. So I'll cover WoW since it's the one relivant to this /. article and the one I'm playing right now:

      No matter how much money you spend on your character, you will never be uber. Period. There are monsters, lots of them, that you will not be able to kill by yourself. Doesn't matter how much of anything you bought, you can have the best equipmetn in the game, you still will die to them in less than 5 seconds. There are monsters that require 40 people to kill, not only that, they require those 40 people to be a cross section of different classes, and to be well coordinated. If you fail to properly execute your strategy, you die.

      Now speaking of buying of items, you cannot buy the best items in the game, for any amount of money. Many items in the game, including all the most powerful, bind to your charater when picked up. That means you can never give them to someone else. So you actually have to go out and do the necessary steps to get the item.

      And there are no scrool of instant death, or anything like that. No matter how powerful you get, other players will always be a challenge for you. Even low level ones. I've seen a mob of level 10-20 players whack a level 60 player. He killed quite a few of them, but they won in the end. No such thing as irresitable superiority.

      Speaking of death, it's no big deal. They don't kill you and you're done, they kill you and you are able to come back after a bit, and keep playing. You don't lose your character or anything.

      They are fun, a lot of fun, and though cheating happens some times, generally those that do get their asses banned.
  • by spyrral (162842) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @12:03PM (#13125799) Journal
    [09:38] spyrral@mac.com: dude, this slashdot convo is surreal
    [09:38] spyrral@mac.com: http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/21/ 1341215&tid=209 [slashdot.org]
    [09:55] ephardtthatcher: what's the big deal?
    [09:55] spyrral@mac.com: it's an argument about chinese gold farming
    [09:55] spyrral@mac.com: straight cyberpunk
    [09:56] ephardtthatcher: hahaha
    [09:56] ephardtthatcher: amazing
    [09:57] spyrral@mac.com: the funny thing is, I read a short story about this basic subject that was set like 10 years in the future.
    [09:57] spyrral@mac.com: you know what's next right?
    [09:57] spyrral@mac.com: vigilante anti-farming groups
    [09:57] spyrral@mac.com: then labor organisers
    [09:58] spyrral@mac.com: the the farming companies start hiring mercs to protect the farmers
    [09:58] spyrral@mac.com: oh god
    [09:58] spyrral@mac.com: I'm rock hard.
    [09:59] ephardtthatcher: Anda's Game?
    [09:59] ephardtthatcher: I loved that story.

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