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The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question

fraud solicitors The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question
Quite an uncomfortable word.
Are you happy with your perceived reputation?  Are you comfortable with your World of Warcraft business decisions? Of course, we all want a pristine reputation; but what if you could do something selfish, make a load of gold, and you knew you would never get caught?
line The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question
“Evil” / Lawful scale

The Evil > Lawful scale will be familiar to World of Warcraft roleplayers. I’ve relabelled it for wow gold making, however its origin does raise questions about RP in gold making:  Do you RP in character in the Auction House, does your lawful paladin give pots and loot to new players? Yes, I know roleplayers who actually do that! Does your Warlock or Rogue ninja items in raids or practice inethical AH trading?

Here is the flip side of the Evil / Lawful scale:

line2 The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question
Flip side of the Evil/Lawful scale

Resale

Is it ethical to buy the White Kitten for 40s from Lil Timmy in Stormwind, then resell it for 450g in the Auction House?  Once, I would have said no.  Players would have to save up to afford the item, and would be angry or upset to find it was cheap to buy.  Then they would broadcast on /trade that you had ripped them off!

fraud073a The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question
S.C.A.M.  Not us, hopefully!

So does that make it ethical to buy the white kitten then repost it with a level one alt instead? It certainly raises some questions about whether it is morally right to use anonymous level one alts for our banking and AH mules.

business liar The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question

As WoW and the player bases has matured, gold making has become more acceptable, even expected. This does depend on the server though.  For example, on a small RP server, if you fish in my pool, you will be flamed to death for being a thief. A large PVE or PVP server, the reaction would be totally different.

Sourcing

Most of us would agree that buying gold from gold sellers is wrong.  But what about the ethics of buying cheap stock from a possible Chinese farmer, or a bot, or from a possible hacked account? My personal opinion, and this is a very personal topic, on which you must form your own opinion, is that I “see no evil”.  Unless someone tells me it is a bot, or a farmer, or a hacker, then I go ahead.

I believe in kindness, and in the business law of reciprocity, also known as the life law of karma.  What goes around, comes around. You get what you give. But I’m not a complete saint, I do slip up from time to time.  In this recent post I even bragged about poisoning the AH statistics for my own benefit.  Can you forgive me?

karma The Big WoW Gold Business Ethics Question

 

Be Humble.  http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Humble Once you have sold your integrity, you cannot buy it back.  At the end of the day, its not real money that you’re making here.  It’s a game, and for a sacrifice of a few silver – is it worth it?  Where do you stand?

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for adding your opinion, I'm glad it got you thinking. There are so many different opinions, and I don't think any of them are necessarily "good or bad". Even good and bad can be reversed as I described in the diagram, if you see it from another angle.

    This is one debate that will run and run.

    What's the kindest thing you've done with your gold? What's the cruelest?

  2. This is an interesting topic indeed.

    However, I think that the most important question is not whether or not I know that I'm buying from a bot/hacked account.
    In the end, one can't be sure, therefore it's not unethical to buy cheap items when they're offered.

    Now, imagine what else you could do to your server's economy if you're not sitting on your golden treasure, but using it for whatever doubtful purpose instead.

    This may sound trivial, but if you give it a second glance, you'll perhaps notice that there are far more severe things to do with a million gold, for example, than buying some cheap materials.

    I'm talking about things like total dominion of the AH, crashing markets, cutting supply lines here that could do the average player far more harm.

    Of course that's a bit overdramatic, as it's still a game and you cannot control anything for too long, but I know from experience that those things can be done. It has happened before on my server.

    Of course, you could also do more things with that much money, like "buying" (or rather, renting) a complete (PVE) guild, manipulating PVP ladders and possibly more if you're creative.

    It's not like in the real word, obviously, but there's more to it than a hacked account that looses all valuables once in a while.

  3. Thank you, its a topic that I have had brewing in my mind for a while.

    I definitely agree wtih pricing items higher than vendor cost, because you are being 'paid' for gathering and collecting the items to an easier place for buying. You're being paid for your time and your effort.

    Small heavenly shards are currently listed as more expensive than their larger cousins on my AH ^^

  4. Thought provoking post.

    I keep my AH toon name secret from everyone but that has more to do with privacy than it does with trying to hide after unethical practices.

    Early on in my WoW career my guildies found out my AH toon name–frankly, I didn't hide it. They soon began noting my auctions on the AH and either griefing me for selling things too low or too high, or sending mail asking for loans.

    Finally, when one flamed me in /g chat about not loaning him money for an epic mount, I had enough. I rolled an alt, named it something benign and transferred all the auctions slowly over a few days. Then I deleted the original mule.

    Anonymity does offer the dual benefit of allowing for more aggressive AH play. Is this unethical? I don't think so. Some practices I consider unethical but not keeping one's AH mule private.

    An example of a practice I consider unethical would be the ice arrow charade (http://www.justmytwocopper.org/2009/01/unethical-business-practices-griefing.html). Another would be to use /trade to create unrealistic demand as a ploy to sell something for a higher price.

    That said, other tactics are legal, ethical and effective. Players may not like being undercut by a few silver, or that campers cancel and re-list auctions, but these are viable tactics.

    So is buying cheap recipes, pets or other limited supply items from around Azeroth and listing for higher prices. For the player who doesn't want to travel all over the map to get cooking recipes, for example, paying 25g for a Talbuk Steak recipe may be a good option.

    I think this pricing model is very similar to selling high demand gems. As a JC, you spent the time doing the dailies to get tokens and learn the skill. If no one else did, or if you are the only one listing that cut, you should be able to charge what you want for the gem.

    "An educated populous is the finest guarantee against tyranny"–I think that was Ben Franklin but it has been a while since I took history. Same is true in WoW economics.

    Players should research about how things work in-game. Otherwise they will continue buying my Mote of Fire for 2.5g each when a Primal Fire is selling at 10g.