Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A simple measure of success

How do you know if a MMORPG is a success? Easy! Check your spam folder and look for phishing mails telling you to log onto some fake website with the threat of your account getting banned otherwise. I now get several of those per day for World of Warcraft, and at least one per week for Aion.
More accurately, it tells you how much of a market for gold buying there is in those games, and as you've argued before, that as at least partially due to design factors, as well as popularity.
I get it for Aion to and i never had any contact with the game. Beat that!
I'm now getting so much spam from phishing sites that if Blizzard were to send a real e-mail that my account is hacked I probably wouldn't even notice it.

It's relatively easy to check if a message is spam: check the source and look at the source address:

Received: from ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);

Received: from ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);
I actually got one about a supposed Darkfall duping technique the other day. That was in my blog's email address, though, and I appear to have finally made the cut to start getting unsolicited press materials from minor MMORPG companies, so this might not be proof that Darkfall is bigger than EQ1/2, Lineage, FFXI, et al. :)
But how many tonns worth of phising and scam mails have you recieved about Darkfall?
I'm at 96 scam/phishing e-mails since Jan 1st, and counting.

What scares me most about this, is that I have never used this e-mail addy for ANYTHING but to register my Blizzard account.

I still maintain that Blizzard has had some kind of internal security breach for these people to have access to an e-mail that was never used elsewhere. It's a very unique user ID as well, and not something easily botted/spidered/crawled.
I mouse over the link in the email where they tell me to click and sign in to my account. If a URL comes up which is anything but a or URL then I know it's a phishing attempt (and they always are).

What I find particularly scary is the emails are often well written, articulate, use correct grammar and spelling, and even suggest you call Blizzard's Customer Service number. They even list both the correct phone number AND link to Blizzard's Cust Svc page. Often the only clue that it's a phishing email is the URL they ask you to click on but even then they'll make attempts to have similar URLs like

An intelligent adversary is far more terrifying than a dimwitted opponent.

I'm also getting Aion alerts, and even Runes, but nothing for Wizard 101...yet ;)
I just checked the spam folder in my gmail account and searched for "blizzard" or "warcraft". Came up completely empty. Then again, my accounts have been inactive for 8 months.
I don't really get spam. Never have, not in any significant quantity. I've never really understood how people start getting it.
Well, having your e-mail address highly visible on your well frequented website sure does the trick. :)
Email bombers target domains and send to almost every permutation of names and numbers it doesn't matter if you have never even used an address you will still get spam.

I've set up two new domains recently and for the first month I got nothing, after that I would get about 10k a month spam mails on a single domain.
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