WoW is facing an inflation crisis as an in-game gold-making exploit skyrockets the price of the WoW Token to new levels.
The price of World of Warcraft’s WoW Token is skyrocketing as the game faces an in-game inflation crisis after a massive gold-making exploit reduces the value of gold. The latest reports put the price of a single WoW Token at over 350,000 gold as the value of the in-game currency plummets against the cost of its real-world conversion token.
The issue was first brought to the broader WoW community’s attention by Reddit poster u/Baldilox22, who explained the problem in a thread. Later that day, prices on WoW Auction House, an auction house tracking site, tracked the cost of the WoW Token surpassing 350,000 gold on US servers, an increase of over 50,000 in a single day.
What is a WoW Token?
The WoW Token is a purchasable item that gives you 30 days of game time for World of Warcraft. While it sells from Blizzard for $20, with regional pricing in effect, you can also trade the token for gold in World of Warcraft’s in-game marketplace. This, in theory, means that just by playing the game, you can earn enough gold to cover your monthly WoW subscription. But the reality is that the amount of gold needed to purchase a WoW Token is rarely sustainable by all but the most dedicated of players.
However, some criticism states that the WoW Token has, in practice, legitimized real money transactions (RMT) in World of Warcraft. Gold selling, the practice of selling in-game currency, has long been banned by Blizzard. However, the company has, in effect, created a legitimate market for gold selling with the WoW Token, simply adding another step in the process.
And now: Inflation
And this is where the inflation comes in. An in-game exploit has allowed bots and gold farmers (players who play to earn gold and sell it for real-world money) to make massive amounts of gold. The exploit, details of which are still a fairly guarded secret, has pumped vast amounts of gold into the game’s economy.
Around 1,000,000 gold has traditionally retailed for approximately $60 of real money for roughly the last year. But in the past months, the market price has plummeted to around $35 and sometimes lower with the advent of the exploit. The value of the banned RMT gold market and the cost of the WoW Token in gold are tangentially linked, but their relationship is usually a good indicator of how well the RMT market is doing. The lower the price of RMT gold, and the more gold in the economy, the higher the price of the WoW Token will rise.
So what’s Blizzard’s solution?
Unfortunately, unless the gold exploit becomes even more used, it’s unlikely Blizzard will take much action. An increase in the in-game price of the WoW Token actually helps Blizzard because the WoW Token, a legitimate way to purchase gold in-game, becomes more valuable. In turn, players would be more enticed to use official channels rather than risk potential bans or account breaches by using illegitimate gold sellers.
Ultimately, the hardest hit players will be those with no interest in purchasing gold, who will now see prices of other items on the Auction House increase. It’s a situation where only the most ordinary and casual players will be most affected.
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