Once again account hacking and gold selling has reared it's ugly head.There has been a lot of talk on how to solve the problem ranging from tighter personal security to Blizzard actually selling gold themselves in an effort to drive the sellers out of business.All of the suggested solutions are based on a simple but flawed assumption.
"Gold sellers are the problem and they need to be stopped."
This is straight up bullshit.
Gold buyers are the fucking problem.Without the buyers there would be no market for stolen gold.
As it stands right now if you find someone selling gold you report them and Blizzard bans 'em.Problem solved right?
Nope, because the account that was banned is either a temp account for spamming or a stolen one they don't care about.The gold seller doesn't give a rat's ass if the account is shut down.They will have a new one up and running in minutes.So let's go after this from another angle.It is time to target the gold buyers themselves.
Blizzard should set up a system that flags any transfer of gold between players over a certain threshold.It will also monitor the AH and flag any sale that is obviously grossly inflated.When a questionable transfer of funds is found a GM will contact the offending player and have them explain themselves.(Transfers between guild mates or toons on the same account would be excluded.)If the reason for the transfer is legit then no harm no foul.If not then it is punishment time.I actually have a two tiered plan for punishment that I think will stab directly at the heart of people who find the need to buy gold.
First let's consider why someone would buy gold.
Given the fact that gold is insanely easy to make and the only real gold sinks are all vanity items there is only one reason why people would buy gold.They are too lazy and stupid to earn their own but want all the frills so folks will think they are cool.So let's make the punishment for gold buying crush their lazy sheeple dreams.
For the first offence of buying gold they will get a flag similar to the PVP flag.It will announce to the world they were found guilty of buying gold and at the same time open them up to full world, both faction PVP.This flag will be on all their toons and will remain there until they have logged 72 hours of playtime on their toons.
For the second offence it is the same but with 120 hours required for the flag to lift and Blizzard will pay a small bounty to anyone who kills them during that period.
For the third offence it is a permanent ban of their account.
Embarrass,demoralize and destroy gold buyers.With buyers gone the sellers will vanish.
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