World of Warcraft: Classic has already exceeded everyone's expectations. Countless full servers, dozens of new ones created by Blizzard, a top spot on Twitch for nearly 3 weeks now, and an overwhelmingly positive buzz amongst players is proving that, at least for now, the nostalgia of Vanilla is real.
The nearly 14-year-old MMORPG still has the gameplay to hook gamers of all ages.
However, as is true with every MMORPG that becomes popular, there will always be a group of players that, in clear violation of the game's terms of service, sell for profit in-game resources to players desperately seeking an unfair advantage.
One of the most popular gold selling sites (that won't be listed here to discourage use) is currently listing the price for 1 piece of in-game gold as roughly $1.12 USD. The cost of gold varies per server and some sellers are attempting to undercut the market by selling their smaller amounts of gold for slightly cheaper, but the average remains about 1.12 USD.
On some of the most popular servers, in-game gold is even more expensive. On the classic server Fairbanks, some sellers are posting prices as high as $1.87 USD for 1 piece of in-game gold. It is a market defined by fast delivery and maximum purchase limit. Simply put, the more quick gold you can sell, the more expensive you can sell it for.
You can even by gold for the latest retail version of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. However, that ratio is much different -- retail gold costs around $0.00015134 USD for 1 piece of in-game gold. On some retail servers, the price is even lower -- $0.000072 USD for 1 piece of in-game gold. This drastic difference in price is likely due to how difficult it is to gain gold in WoW: Classic and how popular the game is currently.
While many players might justify the purchase of in-game gold, the truth is, much of the gold being sold is procured maliciously.
Gold sellers are notorious for hacking accounts or using key-loggers to steal the Battle.net passwords of the very people that purchase their product, eventually logging into their account, liquifying absolutely everything of value, and selling the gold gained. In some cases, they even sell the account they hacked to a willing buyer who wants a high-level character without having to earn it themselves.
Not only does this completely ruin the spirit of WoW: Classic, but if Blizzard does detect any gold purchases, that players account with be banned indefinitely. It is a huge risk to take and hopefully, most players understand that doing so is never really worth it.
A 2019 demand.
Despite this, the market only exists because of consumer demand and, as WoW: Classic becomes more popular and players sink more time into it, in-game gold because even more valuable. Nearly all of the games best gear and impactful upgrades require extensive amounts of gold and, with in-game-purchases and immediate gratification being the gaming norm in 2019, buying gold may appear normal to many of the MMORPG's newest adopters.
It is up to Blizzard to identify gold-sellers and buyers within each of their classic servers and protect the honest players that gain gold the hard way: one quest, kill, or trade at a time.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.