Sunday, October 11, 2009
Rather doing it the legal way
I am playing World of Warcraft on two different servers, due to having more alts than are allowed on a single server. Most of my Horde characters are on one server, most of my Alliance characters on the other. My wife also has characters on both servers, which allows me to transfer gold or items from Horde to Alliance or vice versa. On my Horde server I'm rich, as I have two level 80 characters, and my glyph business there. On my Alliance server I'm poor, with my highest character being level 60.
This morning, in the early hours where the server wasn't very populated, and my wife was still sleeping, I borrowed my wife's level 80 shaman, who happens to be a miner and jewelcrafter, to mine saronite and titanium ore to get some gold for my paladin. The paladin is trying to level mining and blacksmithing, and is currently level 25. That means he can smith mithril items, but in the zones where he can go at his level he'll only find tin. Having the somewhat irrational desire to max my blacksmithing skill I therefore need to level mining and smithing with ore from the AH, which is expensive, or with ore gathered with my wife's high-level character.
So while I was trying to farm some gold via mining, I got a tell from a level 1 character asking me whether I wanted to buy some gold. Now usually I put such characters on ignore immediately, but as I was in the process of gold farming myself, I at least checked out the website the guy spammed me. Not sure what the going rate is, but on that site the gold appeared to be expensive, over $100 for 4,000 gold. And I didn't really want to buy gold in WoW, because I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to rules and laws. Hey, I don't even fileshare, so while I wouldn't have problems buying gold in a game where it was allowed, I didn't want to do it in WoW, where it isn't allowed, and I theoretically could even get my account banned for doing so. Or the gold seller could scam me, which is probably the bigger risk.
Then I started thinking of whether I couldn't find a cheaper, safe and legal method of getting a lot of gold for my paladin. After all, the reason why the gold from the gold seller seemed expensive to me was that I had tons of gold on my Horde characters. And then I remembered that I had recently done a business deal I regretted: I had bought 5 Crusader Orbs for 5,000 gold with a Horde bank alt, because my auctioneer had told me that the regular price would be nearly twice that. Only I hadn't realized that since the last patch you can buy Crusader Orbs for Emblems of Triumph, and in spite of predictions that prices would rise again, I only managed to sell one orb for 1,600 gold, before the prices on the AH crashed to around the 1k mark, and I was sitting on 4 unsold orbs.
So, still using the fact that it was early morning hours and quiet, I used the neutral auction house to transfer the 4 Crusader Orbs and 500 gold to an unused Alliance toon on my Horde server via one of wife's characters (you can't buy from yourself, not even on the neutral AH). And then I paid Blizzard 20 bucks for transferring that character to the server where my paladin is. Crusader Orbs also just cost around 1k there, but at least the orbs got me past restriction on the amount of cash a low-level character can carry when changing servers. And assuming I can sell the orbs quickly at that price, I effectively got my paladin 4,000 gold for just 20 bucks. Completely legal, safe, and cheaper than buying gold.