World of Warcraft China: Interesting Facts - Part 5

Posted by Daeity On Thursday, August 19, 2010

Because virtual currency is so easy to procure, easy to sell (it's a $2 billion legitimate industry in China), encouraged by World of Warcraft operations, and has such real value you can imagine that a lot of players are involved in the amassing (and selling) of gold.

Many users still play the game for fun (they have jobs or alternative sources of income). But there are also professional farmers (what they do all day) and players who play for fun but also farm "on the side" to pay for gadgets, gifts, subscriptions, etc.

Although no official statistics on that exact breakdown exists, there are enough to the point where it has completely reshaped the economy and industry of WoW China.  So it's definitely a lot.

Many of the activities that take place on WoW China realms would be completely unrecognizable on NA/EU realms. Here are some examples of the types of services offered by many players in CWOW:

  • Users can be paid based on each task completed, flat rate, pay by the hour, or pay by the day. Real currency or in-game gold plus others are acceptable.
  • You can pay users to go out and collect items (mining, herbalism, skinning), mats (disenchants) and/or quest items (if shareable) for you.
  • Pay a user to grind Rugged Leather for you, you pay them based on what they bring back.
  • You can pay a user to play your account for non-leveling related services. Crafting, questing, etc.
  • Pay a person to sit on the Auction House all day and sell/buy certain goods for you.
  • You can pay players to scout for you (whether it's a location, the AH, or a vendor for limited supplies)
  • Pay a user to run errands for you, deliver goods to users who are not near mailboxes, etc.
  • Any task you can think of is open up to negoiation. (The Chinese government is trying to crack down on virtual sex trade and gambling too, so that can happen as well although it's more black market.)
  • You can buy high level guards (Level 70s on CWOW) to escort you while you quest ("Hire-a-Carebear").
Other than those services, two of the big ones are:

Power-leveling Services
  • You can pay using QQ Coins, virtual gold, or real currency for a set number of levels (or all the way to 70).
  • It's extremely cheap to get power leveled and it's very common for users to be sharing accounts. You never know who you're playing with. =] It's also the reason why account hacking is so common.
  • High level players will also hang around Stratholme, Scarlet Monastery, Shattered Halls and ZulFurrak selling power levelling services or dungeon runs (for items). Sometimes they sit in the zones or in large gathering spots advertising publicly or whispering travelers. It's also not unusual for a high level character to hang around starting zones selling leveling or dungeon running services - pay by gold if it's an alt, or pay in real currency/QQ coins if they are new.
  • It's interesting to note that on NA realms there are gold beggars in major cities. But in China, there are no low level gold beggars. Instead it's the reverse: all of the high level characters are begging for gold in the starting zones. That's how valuable WoW gold really is!  =]
Raid Auctions
  • There are several "Gold PUG" groups that raid on a daily basis. Many options are available to you.
  • The teams are made up of about 20-25 experienced raiders who bring along a group of "customers" with them. No vent or speech software is used.
  • They will clear out Black Temple, Sunwell, etc. and kill everything (even level 60 dungeons). After each boss, the customers will bid for the items that drop (100g for example) and the highest bidder pays gold before receiving the item. At the end of the raid, all of the gold collected from the customers gets split amongst certain members of the raid party (depends on their reputation, work status, if their gear contributed to the success of the raid, etc.) Some of the raiders need to work their way up before they can start earning more. A normal raider can earn anywhere between 300g to 1000G per run. If the raiders are skilled, they can reduce the total number of gold earners and profit even more per player.
  • Originally from Korea, these are gaining in popularity on NA/EU realms except that they're called "Gold Bids" or GDKP's.  (More Information)
More interesting stuff about WoW China in Part 6..