Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
 
Scammed!

I played World of Warcraft for two-and-a-half years without falling for any of the numerous scams around. No longer, now I'm 125 gold poorer, and one experience richer. I thought I'd buy a [Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom] really cheap, but got sold a [Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom] instead. You don't see the difference? Neither did I! The one I wanted is the recipe that has been in the game since the beginning, with a 2% drop rate from the end-boss of Stratholme, living side. The one I bought is the new version, which you can buy and use only if you are exalted with the Cenarion Expedition. Due to slopply game design from Blizzard this recipe isn't bind on pickup, so once somebody is exalted, he can buy these recipes in endless supply for 4 gold, and scam people into believing they are the real thing, selling them for hundreds of gold.

And I can't even report the guy who scammed me, although I remember his name. There is nothing in the Terms of Service or EULA stating that you can't sell worthless crap for large amounts of gold. It's caveat emptor, buyer beware.
Comments:
Hehe. I don't mean to be rude, which i most likely am now, but beeing stupid doesn't make the other part of the deal a scammer. You can see things similar to this everyday.
I myself bought a shitload of leather just the other day, trade window full of same kinds of icons. Later on I noticed that i bought some gray shit with the same kind of icon that knothide leather has. Luckily it was a guildmate i bought those from, so we had a good laugh afterwards.

But you have a point there, it should be BoP. Though its not that spicy then, if you get what i mean ^^
 
Wow, that's a bummer. Good scam though, sadly.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the older system such that all the recipes that could be acquired through reputation with certain factions were bind-on-pickup? This stopped a single person from grinding the reputation needed with the faction and then buying an endless supply of the recipe and passing them on.

I don't understand why Blizzard changed this so that the items have a reputation-based requirement for use. It has the same effect, with regards to who can use the item, but it leads to situations like yours. Why not just keep it as BoP?
 
I had the Titans flask since before but just got exalted with Sha'Tar and Cenarion. I bought the Wisdom flask from the vendor. Wasn't even looking if it was BOP or not, guess I was so sure it was BOP.
 
it's also kinda strange that I haven't seen these on AH. I check regulary to pick up any recipe I might be missing. Maybe time to start selling them myself.
 
Tobold,

if you invest so many Gold, why just don't read carefully the Tooltip.

It clearly states "Needs Exalted"

The recipe can be sold to anyone, but nobody can learn it ,when he is not Exalted.

Many Alchemy Recipes are now availalbe, which were expensive or hard to get Before BC.

Anyway, i guess you've learnd your lesson.

And people missusing such situation don't break the rule, but aren't really nice folks too.

But the world is cruel.
 
Speaking of scamming, right now I have Simple Flour in my mailbox, from some name like Xszd, that says something like "A Gift from the Argent Dawn", and is COD for 333g.

Tobold's case is definitely bad design, on three levels.
First, items should not share an exact name.
Second, the precedent for rep items is BOP, and that should be preserved.
Third, anything that can be deceptively abused will be, so Blizz should shut the door on that possibility in cases like this.
 
@Tobold,

First: LOL.


Second: Why not try and resell the flask on the AH for $130 gold? Make yourself a profit? Maybe even undercut yourself just to get rid of it? $100 gold? Somehow I feel your too good of a gamer to do that. Thats what I would do anyways.

As for being scammed, it maybe that the person who sold that to you didn't even know it was a scam, he or she might not of even known of the real flask. Most likely they did....but who is to say for sure.......

Third: LOLLERSKATES!
 
I agree it's both bad design on Blizzard's part, but also a clear deception (scam) on the part of the guy who sold it. Since he's exalted with CE, I assume he wants to keep his rep on the server clean. I'd demand a refund from him by threatening to post on the realm forums and spam tradechat about what a jerk he is.
 
I got scammed a month ago, and don't even know how. I had 1500 gold, the next day I logged in and had 500. So I must have clicked some email, or bought an auction, or something.

It is kind of embarrassing, but of course that's how scams work. NO ONE is going to spend every second going over every single word they see in their entire life, which is the only way to protect yourself. So they just try to scam thousands, and then catch one person when they're only half paying attention, and that is a good enough return to make the scam worth their effort.

Luckily gold flows like water now, so I don't even know why people would have to scam, i guess instead of trying to make gold now they're doing it for kicks.
 
I don't get it - why would anyone think the person selling this item is not a scammer? People used to post things for 99g all the time to trick you into buying them (thinking they were 99s) before Blizzard changed the UI of the AH. Those people were considered scammers by everyone. how is this different?

Posting a security on an electronic trading system with a bogus price is considered unethical and can get you fined and/or fired on Wall Street. Blizzard might not be able to (or should not, in any case) punish those who do this, but this does not justify their actions or make them in any way ethical.

There is a mod that allows you to right-click an auction and add the seller to a "do not show" list. From that point on, auctions by that user will be filtered form the AH so you don't risk falling prey to them.
 
I agree on the "gold flows like water" comment. Last year losing 125 gold would have been big, this year I can live with it.

I checked out the seller in The Armory, but of course the guy was clever and used a level 18 alt to sell the recipe. So I can't find out what the name of his main is, and can't complain to his guild master or anything.

I remember in EQ when people did something bad, like a scam, people wouldn't report them to SOE/Verant, but instead to their respective guilds, which were policing themselves. But that was before guilds became just another commodity with WoW, I doubt that would even work any more nowadays.
 
I am on the suspicious side, but even still got scammed.

Someone was selling a blue pattern - linked it in trade channel, but when they traded with me they traded me another very similarly named (but easier and cheap to get) blue pattern.

The amount they scammed me for was only 10g or something like that. But I don't care if "gold flows like water", its the principal as they say. Its the idea of people scamming others that just simply stinks!

It breaks down that sense of a community of gamers.
 
Clearly a lot of people have been doing this since allakhazam has an 'average AH price' of 100g listed for the cenarion rep recipe.

If they guy used a level 18 alt to do the selling he obviously knew he was scamming. Intentionally tricking someone into buying something of little value for a large amount of money is a scam, regardless of whether it seems reasonable for someone to fall for it.
 
I agree that this looks like a scam, since there is a faction requirement to use the recipe.

Where is the line for 'scamming' versus 'leveraging other players laziness' though? For instance, when I played originally, I made the run to Booty Bay with my leatherworker at 20 (not an easy/safe run at that age!) to get a vendor sold recipe there. Since I picked up the flight path, I frequently went back and picked up additional copies of that pattern, which I resold -- bought at 30sp, sold for anywhere from 3gp to 5gp. And for convenience I have a level 1 banking/selling alt, so would look in the armory as though I was trying to hide my main.

I figured I had made a dangerous run, and frequently took the time to fly there, sometimes camping the vendor, I deserved some recompense; and those buying it either didn't want to bother with the run, or couldn't be bothered to find out where to obtain it.
 
I think the big problem is that WoW has a longstanding protocol where items with the same name are in fact the same. (The only exceptions I can think of are quest items and therefore no risk for scamming or AH confusion). If they don't decide to make the cenarion version of the recipe BoP, they could at least change its name to something like "Cenarion Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom".
 
"beeing stupid doesn't make the other part of the deal a scammer"

Um, yes it does. If you are depending on the oversight or ignorance of someone else to make much more from some item than any reasonable person would consider its worth, you are scamming them.

"Where is the line for 'scamming' versus 'leveraging other players laziness' though?"

Easy. You answered it yourself. If the other party wasn't interested in making the run or decided the value of the thing right then was worth more than finding out, it's not a scam. If they're paying based on a perceived value that's unrelated to the actual item (say, because it shares a name with a completely other item which is what they're really trying to buy), you're scamming them.

The fact that people even find this confusing is disturbing.
 
"If the other party wasn't interested in making the run or decided the value of the thing right then was worth more than finding out, it's not a scam. If they're paying based on a perceived value that's unrelated to the actual item (say, because it shares a name with a completely other item which is what they're really trying to buy), you're scamming them."

That's pretty much where I draw the line -- in EQ, it was pretty common to see people selling things that had the same, or very similar name, taking advantage of confusion. I consider that a scam.

I regularly sold items at a markup where the buyer was paying for convenience -- I consider it fair enough, but I have had others accuse me of 'scamming', which is why I brought it up. Because really, in a way I too am taking advantage of ignorance, since some probably were unaware of their options. In general though, I figure people are paying for convenience -- for that matter, sometimes I am the one doing that (I bought the First Aid books on the AH despite knowing full well where to buy them, and what they cost. On the other hand, I made the runs for both the fishing and cooking books myself).
 
I have not been the victim of a scam this large, but it's great to hear about them here. It makes me more educated and aware. I have been tricked though, and I didn't like it at all. Tricked into PVP on a non-pvp server (I HATE non-concentual pvp). They duel challenged and I declined. They flagged themselves pvp and stood near the mobs I was killing and when I let loose a multi-shot, it hit them = me ganked. Another time I was duel challenged and declined they flagged themselves and kept jumping around the mobs I was looting. I right click a lot = me ganked. The lost time and pride I can handle, but I can't get over the negative feeling of being duped into it. In both cases they were way higher level than me. Well, lesson learned. I am now more carefull and aware. I know this is not related to scams, but it brought out the same feeligns in me.
 
"Um, yes it does. If you are depending on the oversight or ignorance of someone else to make much more from some item than any reasonable person would consider its worth, you are scamming them."
It is not the sellers job to ask if the buyer is aware of the problems that might be involved with the item for sale.

I find it really annoying that people so often start whining and shouting AFTERWARDS. How about doing some research before jumping in? Maybe ask in guildchat or someone else, instead of eyes glowing for purplz pay whatever someone might ask.
 
Sorry, but I don't see this as a scam. Motes of primal water/fire/earth are free, yet when combined into Primals, they sell for up to 40g per. You are paying for the time the person spent farming these materials. Pay attention when spending your gold.

The First Aid manuals sold in Arathi for one gold can be found on the AH for up to 10g. Is that a scam?
 
To the Anonymous poster mentioning the First Aid manuals:

These examples are apples and ornages. Motes and primals are NOT free, they require labor and time to collect. What you are selling is that labor and time.

First Aid manuals sold at a premium are for those who don't want to travel all the way to Arathi to pick up the manuals. Once again, you are selling your labor and time (the time it took to go to Arathi, pick them up, bring them back and post them). Is that a bit overpriced? IMO, sure. But for some, spending a quick 10g to save around 20 minutes of time is worth it.

If Exalted was ONLY required to purchase the recipe, not to learn or use it, then there would be some value, as the purchaser would essentially be purchasing with gold the need to get Exalted status with Cenarion to purchase this recipe. But in this case, purchasing the recipe still requires that you do all the work to get to Exalted before you can use it.

Of course, posting it on AH at a premium does save some a trip to the Quartermaster, but that isn't worth 100g-150g, maybe 10g or 20g. They are OBVIOUSLY depending on purchasers to overlook the rep requirement and mistake it for the original drop from Strath.

This is not a debate about the relative value of someone's time and labor in procuring an item being sold, because in the case of this recipe, they CANNOT sell you the time and effort it took them to get to Exalted.
 
Addendum: And if you still believe this is not a scam, then you MUST according to your rule set accept that "gifts" from the Argent Dawn with C.O.D.s of hundreds of gold for wrapped trash are also perfectly ethical and not scams in any way, because the receiver should have been more careful when opening his mail.

In your world, police are no longer necessary, and everyone should stock up on canned food and shotguns.
 
Speaking of scamming, right now I have Simple Flour in my mailbox, from some name like Xszd, that says something like "A Gift from the Argent Dawn", and is COD for 333g.

Doeg, if you still have that mail, mail a 16-slot Bag to the same player, COD for 1000g. Use the title Bag of Void Crystals, or something like that. Then hit Send :)

You'll either get the bag back, or a very nice surprise :D
 
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