World of Warcraft nixes bonus traits on relics, cracks down on raid RMT

    
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There’s always a disclaimer for patches and expansions on test servers that things can and will change over the course of their stay there. This is proving true for World of Warcraft’s Patch 7.2 this week, as the devs have decided to get rid of an order hall upgrade that would award relics with bonus traits.

“In the next PTR build, you’ll see that we’ve replaced the final order hall research (which caused relics to gain a second trait at random) with one that grants a chance for artifact power rewards from world quests to be doubled,” the team said. “We’re doing this for a few reasons, the largest of which being that we simply weren’t satisfied with the current state of the system.”

The build has several other adjustments to the formation of 7.2, including another pass at the new Nethershards currency system, tweaks to artifact traits, and a few buffs and nerfs for class skills. The devs will be focusing their efforts on play testing the arena over this next week and invited the community to join in with them.

Meanwhile, Blizzard has announced that it’s cracked down on guilds selling raids and dungeon-clears for real-world cash.

“Of the players affected, many were members of top raiding guilds. We want to be clear that everyone we’ve taken action against had illustrated full knowledge and intent to violate the Terms of Use. Going forward, in order to ensure fair play and competitive integrity, we’ll be monitoring these activities much more closely in order to make sure that the rules are being followed. This includes selling services for real money, account-sharing, and other violations.”

The studio requests that players who spy shady RMT report it.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

if you buy raid run with gold is fine, because we sell the gold to you.. but if you buy runs for real money its veryyy wrong cause we get nothing out of it.
I would expect from blizzard to ban all raid runs, not just RMT ones..

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Rottenrotny

Artifacts were one the worst things ever added to the game.
I’ve cleared normal and some heroic versions of EN, ToV and NH then grew rather bored with the AP grind and forced level scaling.
Might come back for the next tier but I’ve unsubbed and shelved WoW for now

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Ben Stone

Once you get to AK 25 its not that long to get to max just doing normal stuff.

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Angel

Honestly as someone who frequents LFR, I’m glad they are doing this. It has become increasingly difficult to find an actual Raid group in LFR instead of someone just wanting you to buy a raid clear.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

didn’t know they were doing it in lfr. maybe that’s why they finally cracked down on it?

i’ve only heard of it being done by higher end guilds once they have the current content on farm status and their members mostly geared up.

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Angel

It’s been all over LFR, it got to the point where the badboy spam addon even made changes to filter out the Spam on LFR.

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Ben Stone

He means the group finder raids, not actual LFR. Thats still random queue.

I agree though. Looking for normal nighthold on an alt and all I get is run sellers on the list.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’m surprised it took them so long to crack down on selling raid spots for irl cash. top raid guilds have been fairly open about it on their guild sites in public for like a decade now. it’s been pretty much accepted years ago that blizz wasn’t doing anything about it.

but then blizz has long asserted in court they have the right to fully monopolize wow. tho they still allow twitch and youtube partner program revenues for streamers/tubers. not that those are as popular as they once were either so…

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CloakingDonkey .

huh? On what grounds does that go against their terms of use? They’re not selling currency or accounts or anything else that impacts the economy… are they account sharing with this? Seems pretty overreaching to me.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

hint: anti rmt efforts by mmo devs has never really been about the economy or anything else they argue. it’s all about being only themselves making any money from the game.

they proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt when they all started selling gold themselves.

anyways i wonder how long until they’ll start content ID ing youtube videos and putting out notices against twitch partners for doing wow content LOL.

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Schmidt.Capela

Such a widespread Youtube and Twitch crackdown is unlikely, unless the guys in management dictating such crackdown have no clue whatsoever what they are doing. Acting against streamers/Let’s Play/review authors not only is bad PR, it also removes one big source of free advertisement game publishers enjoy.

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Dystopiq

It’s their product and service and they have an obligation to police it

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

well they haven’t with regards to this practice for over a decade so…

Upaya
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Upaya

I’m uneasy that Blizzard is cracking down on RMT at the same time that they’ve created their own RMT-ish cycle within Battle.net. At the end of the day you can’t get around the fact that WoW is now a grindpark for Overwatch loot boxes, and the “profit for me, but not for thee” thing is just unbalanced.

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Arktouros

That was my reaction. I just see people trading in game gold now instead and then using that in game gold to convert to RMT via tokens. Things will shuffle and now that Blizzard is getting their cut of the profits they’ll likely go back to turning a blind eye to it.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

once mmo companies get into the RMT business they tend to be in a very good position to use their admin powers against their competition.

which blizz already goes to court against RMT companies, no reason to think they’d do anything but clamp down further on it.

buy our gold and only our gold or get banned – mmo companies.

Upaya
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Upaya

I came to the conclusion recently that Blizzard just isn’t the company it used to be, at all. I mean, we all knew this for years and years, but I think I’m actually accepting it deep inside. They’re just another AAA studio that is falling into the same stifling creative rut that they sparked with WoW over a decade ago. They’re not taking chances anymore, and their development is so bound by their need for mainline approval that it is just impossible for them to create anything like Warcraft (RTS), Starcraft, Diablo… ever again. They just need to please so many people with such boring and simplistic desires that they’re stuck at lowest-common-denominator accessibility and pavlovian loops because that’s how you get ’em to pay more cash.

I really think f2p of some sort or another is coming for WoW, it is just that Blizzard are being their usual super conservative selves and taking baby steps. The fact that WoW is now a “Blizzard Currency” printer means that there exists a huge benefit to them opening the vehicle for creating pretend-currency to a wider audience to pump-prime their own ecosystem and economy. Slowly WoW has been shifting more and more toward cash-shop and toward the kind of restricted RMT that makes WoW a game to be played because it gets you stuff (and more than just little cross-promotions) in any Blizzard game.

And it all lines up with Blizzard’s huge focus on their optics and their genuinely savvy business lines. Incremental changes to WoW over time, each with small revenue boosting potential, are far easier to stomach than large, sweeping changes. Small, incremental changes are rarely noticed.

It all adds up to Blizzard putting a f2p plan in place in a super slow and super conservative pace where they are, essentially, putting various pieces into the game bit by bit to protect the revenue stream and pad against negative press (all at once and you risk alienating and creating a big narrative). At any time if they get serious pushback, they can retool and rework the needed element of the larger plan with players none the wiser that Blizzard is playing a subtle game of “will they accept this?” with their players.

Brilliant, really. They’re squeezing blood from a stone by doing so bit by bit, slowly and methodically. An approach which allows them to also keep collecting subs until the moment the whole machine is ready to be turned on whereas all the revenue bits of f2p monitization already exist and have been accepted for awhile. Players are cool with the cash shop, and it has existed for a good while now. Players are cool and rather positive about Tokens, first in the WoW-only realm and now in the “All of Battle.Net” (or whatever that new name is) ecosystem. The idea of people playing without directly paying real money for a sub is normalized. WoW has also, through all of this, become very much a game that is rather “manageable” in smaller doses which just further encourages people to be able to grind some golds in WoW and then play some Overwatch before finishing out with a few rounds of Hearthstone or DOTA or whatever.

That f2p may even be years off still, but this is where the groundwork is actually starting to become slightly clearer. I cannot imagine WoW not becoming a Blizz$ farming park eventually.

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Danny Smith

Only recently?

Upaya
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Upaya

I came to the conclusion recently that Blizzard just isn’t the company it used to be, at all. I mean, we all knew this for years and years, but I think I’m actually accepting it deep inside.

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually Blizzard isn’t innovative. Every one of their big successes was clearly based on one or more pre-existing games.

What Blizzard does a great job of is better polishing already existing game concepts. Warcraft and Starcraft took what made older RTS games fun and doubled on it; Diablo was basically a rogue-like-lite with action controls; Rock’n Roll Racing was Micro Machines with tighter controls and vehicle weapons; and so on.

semugh
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semugh

Diablo was new. It’s a genre definer. Up until then (1996) RPGs were slow paced and/or have no replay value. (Examples: fast paced/no replay value: EOB. Slow paced/replayable: Rogue.)

semugh
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semugh

> WoW a game to be played because it gets you stuff

erm, no… and this is a pattern in all of the posts here. Blizzard is fine with you grinding gold in WOW. Because you need to buy WOW+expansion plus sub for a few months before you can grind. They are very ok with this.
Also they are ok with grinding gold for Overwatch because OW is a full priced game.
I think this cracking down of raid spot selling is the first step making raiding into an e-sport. Also I think they’re very misguided if they think this will work.

Upaya
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Upaya

That’s such an oversimplification I can’t even respond without pointing right back to my original comment.

semugh
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semugh

It’s that simple really. Also WOW will never be F2P. Ever.