Morality in this game is often a touchy subject. Somebody without a trace of irony yesterday told me that bad people have always been in Azeroth, that suggesting this game gives people the chance to do wrong is not how the land is drawn. You’ll never be able to provision for this kind of aberrant behaviour because, like it or not, everybody has the chance to become toxic. While that is undoubtedly true, there are both ways and means to stop this happening in Warcraft, if that was something that mattered enough to the people who could. You could only make the Karazhan Mount drop to a group of five people with the same Instanced ID, for example. It would not be impossible to prevent.
However, perhaps the better issue to address is why selling things for Gold has become such a big deal.
Oh look, the Moose is back, forming a part of win trading that has been happening for a LONG time, before Pandaria and even as far back as Cataclysm, at least in my memory. The great DKP Gold runs that used to happen on my server probably go back even further, that in order to allow the raiding guilds enough cash to buy up every available BoP on release to augment their gear and progression towards Server First? You needed all the Gold in the World of Warcraft. Once upon a time Guild Perks would allow more money to be made, there’d be items dropping in instances you could use to help the coffers… but now there doesn’t seem to be that much concern over Azeroth’s economy. There’s a good reason for this, of course, and it is Token shaped. If you REALLY want to be first, if it matters that much, drop RL cash for 100k gold and nothing can stop you. That means if you’d like to own that 2 million gold Spider mount? That’s 400 Euros, give or take, which is about 330 quid.
I know some of you would be laughing into your morning beverage at the thought of dropping that much cash on a mount. Let me point you in the direction of WoW Loot Cards for a quick comparison exercise. A Feldrake will cost you $369. El Pollo Grande’s a shade under $500. This amount of cash for a mount is nothing new or surprising, and I will guarantee people are out there splashing the real life cash for the virtual swag life whenever possible, especially if it is to impress a partner or win over some friends, because this is what has always happened in the World of Warcraft. Whether it is ethically sound or should be encouraged is beside the point. The fact remains if it matters enough and you can find a way, people do and will. Often this will mean cheating and being fraudulent in game to prevent any effort at all, and if there are loopholes allowing this to happen? Then people find a way.
The Token has, like it or not, pretty much ruined the Economy for the players of this game who can’t or won’t grasp the changes Paying to Win has made to the landscape. Of course, many will argue that as you cannot buy AP or reputation, the notion of having cash to create an advantage is purely superficial, especially as Legendaries can only be farmed alone, and you can’t as yet secure true bleeding edge progression with a price tag. However, for just about everything else, there is now a price, as the Nightbane ‘fun’ mystery mount insertion reveal shows in spades. As soon as it was apparent what was possible if you were geared to do it, the ‘smooth easy runs’ were for sale on even my backwater server, and they keep being spammed almost as frequently as Guild Recruitment. In the Model of Free Market Economies, nothing is beyond sellable any more, and it really does feel as if nobody at ActiBlizz is even the slightest bit bothered.
Of course, if the game were more robustly policed? That could change overnight. If players were told, in no uncertain terms, that selling runs for cash was against the Terms of Service? There’d then have to be a fallback provided so that Guilds could still make money… or would there? On the flip side would long term gold makers be penalised for continuing to rake in the money by flipping other people’s laziness or coining it in from vanity and need? Ironically, with the Money Machines that Garrisons became in Warlords, the damage was already done. You can still make tens of thousands in that part of Legacy by the simple expediency of an hour’s work a day. I know, I’ve seen the video. As long as the company have no desire to nerf their own past in good time? There’s not much that will ever be done.
Mostly, there’s a Nobody Cares .gif I could insert here and that would have done just as good a job in place of these 800 or so words, but what the hey. The Economy of this game has been soundly fucked for some time, the Token doesn’t help and as long as nobody is really unhappy? There’s no real problem here.
You can move along now.