Daeity Blog FAQ's

Posted by Daeity On Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When I'm not really researching anything, I'll check Google search history of incoming visitors to get a better idea of the type of stuff people are interested in (but can't find answers anywhere else.)

Mainstream news and information webpages all post the same old regurgitated garbage (plus it's hard to trust some of their information or reviews since the news website's parent company owns a stake in the game developers/publishers that they're writing about ). I like the idea of a small blog on the fringe that archives obscure or hard-to-find information. =]


Here's a list of search criteria and responses. I'll keep adding to this page whenever I get the chance too.


Q: "how does WoW count active accounts for its number"

A: Here is Blizzard's official statement:

World of Warcraft’s Subscriber Definition

World of Warcraft® subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees’ territories are defined along the same rules.
So, it's based on any account that has a paid subscription fee, a first month's subscription, have an active prepaid card, or Game Room players who have accessed the game over the past 30 days.

- A paid subscription fee would include subscriptions that stay active until the end of the month (whether they are being played or not), at which point they become expired or cancelled. If your account gets banned and you purchase a new account during the same month, you had already paid for that first account's month, so it counts as two active subscriptions. (Note: it's estimated that at least 100,000 accounts per month are banned.)
- A first month's subscription is very common, Blizzard even revealed that only 30% of new WoW players make it past level 10. You can also imagine that many of the "first month subscription" accounts are farming/gold trading accounts that are banned (and subsequently recreated) quite frequently.
- "Active Pre-Paid Cards" are very tricky. Pre-paid cards purchased in North America and Europe never expire. You can purchase a card as a gift, and it can sit idle for an entire year without ever being used. Blizzard shouldn't count those as active prepaid cards, though, they would only be considered "active" once the user registers the code online.
- When they say "expired prepaid cards", they mean cards where the time on them has been used up already. (Since the cards don't have a time limit / future expiry date.)
- Pre-paid cards in China also never expire, and you can keep adding time to the card. Many Chinese WOW players have multiple accounts and prepaid cards since the game is free, and it's inexpensive to pay the hourly fees.
- The largest WoW subscriber base is in China (more than NA/Europe combined), and when you consider the massive number of unused pre-paid cards, the number of pre-paid cards per user, and the number of WoW accounts per user, it can completely skew what you define as the total number of worldwide subscribers. It's all about the definition. Blizzard's definition of "active subscribers" is 12 million, but if your definition means "real players", that number might be closer to 4-6 million for example.


Q: "will blizzard ban you for cross faction transferring gold"

A: Nope, feel free to do as much Cross-Faction trading as you want. But watch out for Neutral Auction House "snipers". Some users have bots monitoring the Neutral AH scanning expensive items and quickly buying them.

Install Auctioneer and make sure to enable the Quick Buyout feature. As soon as you post the item, just buy it out quickly on the second account. If you do it within 3 seconds, you won't have to worry about being sniped.

Sniping is perfectly legitimate, but botting is not. Test them out using bait items (ie, gems) and see if it's an automated activity (ie, sniping over several hours) and report them.


Q: "wow ban whole account or char"

A: The entire account gets banned.. it might be temporary or permanent (Blizzard will send you an email to identify which). If it gets perma-banned, feel free to create a new account with the same IP address, computer, and billing information.. Blizzard doesn't care.

If you're using multiple accounts for botting/exploitation, however, you'll want to keep information unique on each account.


Q: "finding out if a player has alts on wow"

A: I've created a new post about that activity: link.


Q: "if i bu the digital cata do i have to install classic"

A: Yes. You need all of the previous expansion packs to play Cataclysm. The Digital Cataclysm download is actually just the 4.0 patch, so you would already have it installed if you had TBC and WOTLK. You really just need the buy the expansion pack to unlock new content/features for your account.


Q: "when do we know when new realms are coming up in World of Warcraft"

A: New realms as part of "Cataclysm growth" would include the months up to around May 2011. When WOTLK was released in November 2008, new realms were created in January and March of the following year. If there are no new realms by Feb/Mar, it's a strong sign of declining subscriptions.


Q: "when you buy cataclysm do you get game time"

A: No. You have to purchase the expansion pack and purchase additional game time to continue.


Q: "does the digital upgrade to burning crusade include a month subscription?"

A: Nope, same with Cataclysm. The expansion packs never included a free month's subscription unfortunately.


Q: "where's my free month with cataclysm?"

A: Sorry, you don't get a free month with Cataclysm. =[


Q: "death knight overpowered cataclysm"

A: Yup, but they'll be nerfed within a few months after Christmas. Blizzard did the same thing with WOTLK after Christmas/New Years sales dwindled.


Q: "why hasn't free wow servers upgraded to the new patch?"

A: Cataclysm is still very new - it launched just last month. Have patience.. it might take another few months (there are very few programmers developing those private servers). Even regular content updates can have a 2-4 month lag.


Q: "does blizzard look at your ip when gold buying?"

A: They can see your IP, but they really don't care. If you get banned, just create a new account from the same IP address. Gold selling/buying in WoW is actually pretty safe - it's when people REPORT you (or associated accounts) that accounts get banned.

If you're transferring gold with a gold farming account, you might get banned by association if someone has reported them for exploitation, botting, or farming.

Blizzard's wants to provide a pleasant customer service experience, so most of their activities are in response to complaints (not proactive monitoring and policing). They don't go out looking for trouble, unless it's affecting someone's game-play experience.

The only other thing they have is place is automated software detection (Warden) and server side metrics. Reporting is far more effective however.


Q: "do first day sales include preorders?"

A: Yes, Blizzard incorporated preorders into their last Expansion Pack sales figures as well. Cataclysm "first day sales" also included Digital Downloads and the first 3 days of sales in NA/Europe/Asia/etc.


Q: "what happens if blizzard catches you botting?"

A: You might get a temporary or permanent ban. Botting is pretty safe as long as no one catches and reports you. If you're botting, you should always be sitting near the computer to monitor (ie, whispers, other players in the area).


Q: "what happens to my characters if i get banned wow"

A: If it's a permanent ban, they're all gone for good. You can create a new account though with the same billing information, Blizzard just banned that one account. You can appeal the decision (low probability) - mmowned.com has some strategies on getting accounts unbanned. It really just depends on who you talk to though.


Q: "why doesnt blizzard ban botters"

A: Blizzard does ban botters quite frequently, but you have to REPORT THEM. Blizzard doesn't pro-actively police WoW (they don't have enough resources available) and they rely on players reporting the activity.

Once you create a support ticket, it will typically take 2-4 days before anyone even READS the ticket. Once they read the ticket, it gets sent into another queue. It might take a week or two before they even investigate the account. They will monitor the player for a short amount of time (as there are MANY other accounts that need investigation), and come back to them later if they don't see any botting/exploitation.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of FALSE botting reports too. Invisible node theft, for example, might just be a normal player in a different phase.

Blizzard can tell right away if a player is botting/cheating though (player statistics for example reveal a lot), but they need to be caught red-handed when botting (sometimes they make mistakes though, but it's rare). Once that happens, Blizzard's judgement is swift and decisive.

It's just like racial epithets in Trade Chat - it's completely against policy and Blizzard WILL ban players for this type of activity, but it HAS TO BE REPORTED!


Q: "alchemy specializations 4.0.1 removed"

A: The icon's were removed in 4.0.1, but the specializations still existed. (I can confirm that transmutations still worked back then, even though "Transmutation Specialist" wasn't in my spell book anymore.)

In the latest patch, though, your alchemy specialization should be fully visible in your Professions tab.


Q: "percentage of WOW player races"

A: You can find that kind of census information for NA/EU on Warcraftrealms.com.


Q: "starcraft 2 13 million digital sales"

A: SC2 sold 1.8 million copies on the first day (excluding Korea). Figures include both Pre-Sales, Retail, and Digital Purchases.


Q: "is there a way to keep your real id friends from knowing your on"

A: Unfortunately, no. Simply remove them as Real ID friends and give them a really good excuse so that they're not offended.


Q: "world of warcraft player figures inaccurate"

A: Yeah, no kidding. Look at my earlier posts of actual WoW subs.


Q: "world of warcraft retention rate"

A: Blizzard stated that only 30% of new World of Warcraft players make it past level 10.


Q: "will blizzard ban for sending large amounts of gold"

A: Depends on the amount, but it has been known to happen. For example, purchasing a 150,000G item on the Auction House can result in a ban. It depends on the investigator and sometimes it's just for large "unusual" purchases that are outside of norms. Other times, it's for purchasing an item from an account linked to gold farming/selling (but it's impossible for you to know this.) I wouldn't recommend transferring more than 50k gold at a time if it's for a friend.


Q: "I bought cataclysm from blizzard can I install it in 2nd pc"

A: Yes, you can install it on multiple PCs and login with your account on any one of them. You can also login to your WoW account from a friend's PC (or an internet cafe), since they'll all be running the same updated version. (Be wary of key-loggers on the PCs that you use however.)

After you install World of Warcraft, all of the Expansion Packs, and the latest patches, you can should make a backup of the entire WOW Install Folder. You can make WOW portable, and even copy this folder to anywhere you want and run it. You never need to reinstall WOW and you can save yourself hours of work.

You can also copy the WOW folder to a USB Portable Harddrive, and run WOW from the harddrive (full resolution, no issues). That way, your WOW install (and all plugins/interface configurations) can be "on the go" with you wherever you go.