World of Warcraft gold and Auction House blog

WoW Crusher Massive Scandal

WoW Crusher Massive Scandal

What the bloody hell is going on?

That was my question to a friend on Twitter a few days ago.  I’ve been on holiday to Serbia to meet up with a guy who makes PvP movies professionally.  I had no mobile internet on my smart phone, but I did manage to get into some WiFi towards the end of the last week.  Anyway, as far as I can tell, all hell broke loose on Twitter and in the Gold Making Community when “Just My Two Copper” (JMTC) launched WoW Crusher late last week. Yes. I’m late to the party, as usual.

This week, JMTC got whooshed off the Undermine Journal TUJ and Consortium BlogRoll.  Consortium Link.   Personally, I think that’s a shame, because the guys who write for JMTC now are obviously new to it and could do with all the support they can get.  That said, I believe they are paid for their work. Can anyone confirm/deny?

Anyway, the big scandal this week was the introduction of WoW Crusher.  The main sticking points seem to be:

1) Price.

2) “That’s not Markco!”

Price

WoW Crusher is subscription based, rather than a one-off cost.  I don’t approve of paying a lot of money for a load of crap.  Lets just say that if the content matches the price, then there should be no issue.  Does the content match the price?  You’ll have to see for yourself, to be honest, it’s a subjective opinion.  This is my affiliate link.  That means that if you do decide WoW Crusher is worth the cash, then I’ll receive a bonus from WoW crusher as a thank you for introducing you.  If you don’t, no harm done *wink*

That’s Not Markco!

Anyone who was friends with Markco during his time running Just My Two Copper will recognise that Markco from the WoW Crusher movie isn’t the same person as the Markco from 20kLeveling.  Markco sold the rights to JMTC and to the name “Markco” about a month ago for about 50k.

In the UK we had a similar marketing FAIL, but more publicly on the TV adverts, when Captain Birdseye was shuffled off to an early grave and replaced by a rugged, 20 year old.  Read about that on Wiki Here.  I think the problem lies in how familiar and friendly old-Markco was to everyone, and how he has been replaced by a ‘brand’.  It sets off everyone’s “lie detector”, because they’re used to seeing “Markco” as a person, not as a brand.  Most of the TV adverts use actors for their brands, not home movies of real people in their own homes.

Wait, I see The Gold Queen on their sales page!?

You spotted me!  Yes, I was contacted by the JMTC team, first for the 20k Leveling guide 4.3 patch update, and then for a series of high def gold guide movies.  There are 4, about 10 minutes each.  I’m still learning how to make wow movies, so I’m proud of how well they came out.  About 8 hours each, with research, filming, directing, voicing, and editing.  I used Blizzard’s own music because WoW rocks.

Are you profiting from this too?

Hold on there!  I made them free.  I don’t get paid for this.  I was offered a large payment, and turned it down. 

If you want to see my movies, they’re also free to readers/viewers.  Just put in your email address and they’ll send you them.  They’re not my best “tips” because I don’t like farming, but if you want to learn about:

Which Ore to farm, where to get Herbs that sell well, how to multi task, or to see the enchanting part of my Elementium Shuffle in action. I demonstrate gatherer, carbonite, trade skill master, big picture (yes that really is 25,000g worth of enchantments on the AH!) and auctionator addons.

If you want my best tips, enjoy the archives here at The Gold Queen, maybe I should make a “best of” guide?

Have I sold out too?

No, silly.

Anyway, hope that clarifies a little my feelings on WoW Crusher.

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gqsig WoW Crusher Massive Scandal

19 Comments

  1. It’s starting to come out that most of the WoW Crusher guide is complete copy and pastes from other sources without attribution and credit.

    From what I’ve seen from someone else’s review it’s really, really bad and a complete rip off. Which is pretty much what I thought the first time I saw it pop up on blog rolls, but now I know for sure.

  2. As a fellow blogger I had spoken to Chris (the original Markco) before he had sold the rights to JMTC. I have also spoken to the new owner but after giving him advice and telling him how he should be focusing on 20KLeveling and JMTC it got to the point where he ignored every email and I was bombarded by emails of WOWCrusher. In my opinion JMTC needs Chris to operate at the standard it was originally at. JMTC has lost a long time reader.

  3. ya, that’s not markco lol. This new guy’s voice is kinda annoying to be honest. I got tired of him half way through the video and just bought the dang thing. lol, maybe that’s what they were going for. I’m not sure if he actually plays WoW as he claims or if it’s just clever marketing, but it doesn’t matter because WoW Crusher is good stuff.

    It’s pretty dang good and I do recommend buying it. It’s one of the best guides I’ve read….but honestly it’s still a guide. I’ve been looking at Tycoon Gold Addon to automate most of what wow crusher teaches about gold and AH and after reading crusher (you need to read it! Seriously) I’m still going to get the tycoon addon. I read a review at wowguidenews.com that pretty much sold me. The review didnt convince me a whole lot, but the comments at the bottom of actual users who have the addon did. Well worth reading.

    My advice – click Alyzande’s link above and buy WoW Crusher (seriously, she deservs it). Read it, learn it, then get tycoon gold addon too. Use them both together and watch the gold flow like water.

  4. Excuse my English in advanced because it’s not my first language.

    First you realize that by posting this, WoW Crusher gets even more sales from the free publicity… right?

    Second, i actually joined it the first hour it was released. mainly because I trust Markco. i didn’t know the site has changed hands though. but that’s not important to me. Markco is probably not his real name anyway. Think of it as a brand.

    But anyway, i actually liked the product. It’s light years ahead of all those $37 “gold guides” in the market right now. I found the addon pretty cool. The videos very refreshing, including those videos by you Gold Queen ;)

    just my two copper (pun intended)

  5. Nice article…He’s worked hard enough to get where he’s at and I didn’t know, nor did I care that he had sold his site off for a handsome pay-off a few months back. Whatever methods he chooses to ‘monetize’ that gold-site is his business really. And like the poster above said, anyone who has heard his podcasts will know that the ‘Markco’ in WoW Crusher is not the same guy.

    It also seems that many are stretching the definition of what constitutes spam – I’ve been reading some of their posts and although there are some that miss the mark in terms of quality – on the whole I find that the writers are pretty knowledgeable and passionate about their work. Please remember that it’s FREE and there is always that UNSUBSCRIBE option.

    As a buyer of WoW Crusher, to be honest, I’ve not been particularly blown away by the content but the content is well-organized and thought out and the gold videos are good stuff. I can’t vouch for the quality of the addon since I’ve never paid for one before this but so far I haven’t encountered any glitches with the addon, but its still early days so my sentiment might change.

    my 0.02 cennttss

  6. I’ve followed JMTC ever since I had 60 gold in my name 8 months back and today I have over 300k. And I have Markco to thank for it.

    You guys are talking as if it’s a crime to monetize off a website and everything should be done for free.

    I’ve been on WoW Crusher for 6 days now. Learned a ton and have barely scratched it’s surface. So Markco made $17 off me. Great. In turn I saved countless hours and frustration and money I would have otherwise spent on buying gold. And beer.

  7. “Squidchin November 2, 2011 at 14:01

    Huh, well that probably explains the HUGE explosion of junk in my spam folder recently. Sad really, but JM2C has been junk for months. I don’t even bother reading it any more when it pops up on my RSS feeder”

    thiis pretty much sums up my opinion of the whole thing jm2c has gone to shit the last few months reposting their old content and guides passing them off as new i havent bothered to read it in the last month and now this whole wow crusher thing which is basically them charging for their shit guides is hallarious they dug their own grave as being a credible blog.

    on a side note if marko really made 50k selling his name thats awesome for him

  8. When the rumors of his blog sale started I predicted M$kco most likely to do something new in the Ethically grey area. I was a follower of Gevlon early on and even way back then I knew this M$kco guy was going to be trouble. I’m a little bit troubled by anyone running paid gold guides/services because all they do is attract problems.

    Look what happened in the old feud between M$kco and Gevlon…more recently was another problem with M$kco and the mysterious fortune guide guy. Then there was questionable content for paid wow addons (against blizzard TOS.) There were problems with him ripping people off on the “Coaching,” program he tried to promote. The list just goes on and on.

    Over the years my opinion of M$kco is that he is trying to out-do China. He’s done so well to lie to himself that he’s able to believe his own bullshit and even convince legit bloggers to carry his ads. Very disturbing, please stop doing this. Now he will have a new Diablo3 gold blog that will probably be run under a different name…and just watch the bullshit he tries to pull in THAT space.

  9. Today I get to stick my head in the noose. Mostly because I enjoy reading this site, and a few others
    for gold tips.

    I write for JMTC. Have been for going on two months when the last batch of writers were hired
    to add posts for content. (Mommar is my writing name on the site)

    Yes. as a writer I am compensated. I won’t say the exact amount but it pays for the 6 pack per week that I can consume
    when I’m writing. To be honest I probably would be writing for free. But I still check the paypal account every month
    to make sure the billing went through. It isn’t much, but I do like beer money

    As far as the selling of the site. I wrote for the site 2 weeks before it was sold. But when I accepted the position I knew that the site would be sold. It had an interesting business model and I could see where it would make money. If it was just left at the same spot where gold guides were sold and access to the premium website. For me, I’ve never considered paying for a gold guide and probably won’t. I get enough tips from the different pages and trial and error that I’m sitting on about 1.5m gold
    plus non liquid assets. So I must be doing something right.

    As far as the writers go. I can only speak for myself but to my knowledge we have nothing to do with WOW crusher or the gold guides. We write our articles, edit them and post them ourselves. And each writer has tried their best to come up with different views of how to make money. There are some articles I”m proud of having written, and some honestly that I probably was on autopilot to write. But each of those articles are ours. And they had a specific point to make. Whether it was everyone’s cup of tea, or was just rehashed information, it’s difficult to say. I would ask they they be looked at separate for the difficulties people are having with the questions of the “new markco” and “WOW crusher” issues.

    As far as out of date information, there are multiple writers, and we have been assigned different days. Many times we will post up a draft to make sure that we are not stepping on each others writing ideas. But due to the flux of changes that could be very quick, information may seem out of date. It’s an unfortunate difficulty that with working with each other we may be able to deal with in the future.

    As for the undermine journal removing JMTC from the blogrolls. That’s unfortunate, because it will effect mostly the writers
    and the hits they receive. And yes, as a writer I check to see if people read my article. After my day of personal angst about my article, I will go back and read any comments as well as how many people directly read it. I encourage people to give me constructive criticism because I want to be a better writer, and I feel slightly obligated to the wow community to help when I can. Will I give you a loan? No, but I will give you any advice I have that you might not be thinking about at that time. Plus sharing of ideas is enjoyable to me. Name calling and “you suck, you can’t write” do not make me want to have discussions with people.

    Hopefully this gives you a glimpse of at least the writers portion of the JMTC website. It is seperate from the wow crusher and even the forum portion of the site. Behind the keyboards we are humans, and we are trying our best. It’s important to support sites both like her majesty’s here and JMTC and many sites. Otherwise everyone will be going to Wow insider and mmo champion for your gold making information.

    Thanks for everyone’s time

    Joseph Douglas

  10. My primary issues aren’t really either of the above mentioned issues. It’s that the blog on JMTC that originally “endorsed” the addon was an advertisement. The poster admitted that in the JMTC forums, saying that that’s why comments on that blog entry were turned off. However, at no point in the blog itself did it mention that it was an advertisement. In addition, since it was done as a blog entry, it got picked up by blog rolls, basically spreading the advertisement without compensating any of the sites spreading it. The whole thing left me feeling like someone was gaming the system for their own profit.

    That was when I became aware of the addon. The next time I see mention of the addon in any forums/blogs that wasn’t related to the initial blog advertisement, it’s someone asking about if the addon is as good as it claims. Except that it turns out the link to the addon in the post was a referral link, leading most of the people in that thread to come to the conclusion that the thread was just another advertisement, especially after the OP never followed up.

    Yes, the fact that there is a cost associated with the addon is an issue, but not one that bothered me until grouped with the other issues. While I’m fine with people wanting to make money from their work, it still violates the API ToS, which includes services associated with addons. At the time I looked at it, the sales pitch site made no distinction that you were paying for support, had no link to download the addon without paying for it, etc.

    So basically, my overall issue is that I don’t trust the ethics of the people closely involved with this addon, and that taint rubbed off on JMTC.

    • Good points Eric, I hadn’t consider the piggybacking on other peoples blogs.

      Given that Markco is now pushing ‘how to get lots of followers on twitter’ and, presumably, how to monetize this it is pretty clear that he is moving into the get rich quick by telling people how to get rich quick side of things.

      There should be warning bells ringing, just look at the recent proliferation of pay addons. I can see new games disabling addon functionality as a result. Not good for the gaming community as a whole.

      It seems Blizzard cannot be bothered to ban such addons, at the moment at least. But it may only be time before they consider selling the players such features themselves at which point things could get pretty nasty. Certainly if I was running things at Blizzard I would want a piece of the action.

      So imagine if they made a ‘feature’ that was a levelling guide that you paid extra for, how do you think the playerbase would react. If they made something like WoW Crusher and charged $17 per month well it would make the real-id thing look pretty tame.

  11. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve been told there is currently no way to unsubscribe from wow crusher (or it’s very well hidden).

  12. Sorry this is got quite long :/

    I am not sure that all hell broke loose, maybe I am not following the right people on twitter. But yes they did get dumped by The Undermine Journal pretty quickly. WoWCrusher wasn’t the only reason I think, we already had the Tycoon pay addon which didn’t go down with a few folks on the forums there. In addition some people on the forums started recieving spam email shortly after the site and Markco ‘brand’ were sold.

    I don’t have a problem with the ‘real’ Markco making some money out of his site, $50k is very impressive. Although if you read his reasoning http://www.diablo3goldguide.net/2011/10/why-i-left-and-why-im-staying.html (read his comments as well) you can see he did very well out of it. I am surprised the new owners didn’t put a clause in that he would do voice over work on any promotion videos. Anyone who had listened to his videos or podcasts knows that ain’t the same guy.

    Is Markco (WoW) a brand? I think we will find that people trusted what was there because it was Markco the blogger. I am pretty dubious you can really copyright your name in that way, he thinks so but if someone were to start using the same name (for example posting in a forum) would the courts really act? While a forum post is not the same as blogging, there can be some pretty detailed posts. Also there is the fact that different laws apply to the internet depending on where you are based.

    I think I read somewhere that contributors to the blog are getting paid but not very much. $5 per article maybe? Not much of an incentive given the regularity of the posts, oh and quality control is an issue. They recently posted a piece that was already out of date. It was fine when submitted but they are slow to publish the posts.

    I did watch the whole 12 minutes or so of the marketing video and it makes some pretty bold claims. Anyone can play like a Pro if they use this addon? I am too old and cynical to believe that. Destroy all your enemies in PvP? We have advertising standards in the UK, I am pretty sure they would not pass that advert as being legal, honest, truthful.

    As regards Markco himself, the real one. I follow him for the D3 stuff. The marketing stuff he constantly tweets is like the commericals in a tv show. A shame he doesn’t let the marketing twitter feed stand on its own feet.

    Anyway just some of my thoughts on this issue.

    • No apologies needed for length, silly :)

      I suggested to Markco before he sold the site that what he needed was not a bunch of new writers, but a paid editor. Not sure he even heard me.

    • Huh, well that probably explains the HUGE explosion of junk in my spam folder recently. Sad really, but JM2C has been junk for months. I don’t even bother reading it any more when it pops up on my RSS feeder.

      Grey, I had the same feelings when I got the adverts for WoW Crusher, I smelled BS from a mile away. I’ve been busy so I haven’t been frequenting the gold forums, interesting read.

      • Odd – I’ve been on JM2C’s list for over 10 months, and have not received any spam to the email I’m subbed with.

        I did not know that Marcko sold his site – that’s actually pretty cool. More power to him IMO.

        • Thank you for the honest coverage of what’s going on here.

          I have sold my website and am personally in no way associated with WoW Crusher or JMTC. They have full resale rights to use my WoW character’s name and profile to sell their own products now. They’ve chosen to go this route, and more power to them. However, I can completely understand why a good number of people are turned off by the changes going on.

          They must be doing something right though… they’ve sold probably a few hundred copies already. Was it worth the falling out with old members? Who knows.

          Diablo 3 is going to be a little different this time around. I’m thinking of producing a cheap gold guide for like $7-$17 and then a membership area for forums/podcasts/etc that will be a monthly fee. This way people who want a cheap yet effective gold guide can have it and those that want to be part of a ‘secret community’ can also have what they want.

          Remember guys and girls, if people didn’t want to buy these products then they wouldn’t sell. People want to spend money and get the best gold tips available, and that’s the same reason people like The Gold Queen are succeeding with their online business.