In-Game Advertising Policy

General Discussion
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Can you clarify if it's your realm's trade chat only, or if sellers are allowed to make alts on other realms to spam their trades? It's been happening increasingly frequently on my realm.
07/10/2018 02:07 PMPosted by Norpsela
Seems rather petty and I expected more from blizzard support. Every experience I have had with them has been extremely helpful and courteous and now you are telling me I'm SOL if I was to be scammed.

This isn't a new ruling CS wise. The stance has nearly always been in place for unsupported transactions. I'm just restating it to go with the update to how we handle the forums as well. The idea is that in situations where someone is scamming other players by selling runs, taking the gold, and not providing the carry, we will do what we can to verify reports of a scam and apply appropriate penalties based on what is found, including removing any of the ill gotten gains. We otherwise do not assist in recovering any lost gold/materials though because an unsupported transaction is just that, unsupported. If you decide to engage in a trade that our systems do not support you do so at your own risk.

07/10/2018 02:11 PMPosted by Shinrael
How are we defining "My realm"?

I think it's pretty easily defined as posting from a character that is used on that realm, this includes Connected Realms. I think it would be pretty obvious if you're posting from a level 1. This is something that the moderators can easily check to see if you're just doing it on realms that you don't play. We're not gonna restrict it by level of the poster because it will be very obvious to us on the back end. However, if you make these post on a level 1 character then you should expect to be reported and looked into to see if you actually play on that realm. The same goes for even having a level capped character but nothing else on that realm, so just going around putting leveled/boosted characters on realms doesn't work either.
07/10/2018 03:58 PMPosted by Ythisens
07/10/2018 02:07 PMPosted by Norpsela
Seems rather petty and I expected more from blizzard support. Every experience I have had with them has been extremely helpful and courteous and now you are telling me I'm SOL if I was to be scammed.

This isn't a new ruling CS wise. The stance has nearly always been in place for unsupported transactions. I'm just restating it to go with the update to how we handle the forums as well. The idea is that in situations where someone is scamming other players by selling runs, taking the gold, and not providing the carry, we will do what we can to verify reports of a scam and apply appropriate penalties based on what is found, including removing any of the ill gotten gains. We otherwise do not assist in recovering any lost gold/materials though because an unsupported transaction is just that, unsupported. If you decide to engage in a trade that our systems do not support you do so at your own risk.

07/10/2018 02:11 PMPosted by Shinrael
How are we defining "My realm"?

I think it's pretty easily defined as posting from a character that is used on that realm, this includes Connected Realms. I think it would be pretty obvious if you're posting from a level 1. This is something that the moderators can easily check to see if you're just doing it on realms that you don't play. We're not gonna restrict it by level of the poster because it will be very obvious to us on the back end. However, if you make these post on a level 1 character then you should expect to be reported and looked into to see if you actually play on that realm. The same goes for even having a level capped character but nothing else on that realm, so just going around putting leveled/boosted characters on realms doesn't work either.


So I raid in 2 guilds, if I do mythic sales with my guild on Mannoroth can I advertise on my Malganis raiding 110? Is the definition of my realm just my characters or the group I run with. You did not address this.
Very strange change after all these years. 99% of all carries naturally happen in a cross-server environment: M+, heroic and eventually mythic raids. if the activity is legal and cross server, why can't the advertising be cross server? this just removes carries from all smaller realms, forcing players there to perform carry transactions on discord etc where they are even more likely to get scammed.

removing carries spam from LFG tool can easily be done by adding an advertising channel. it's already removed with a simple addon... and there certainly IS crossrealm gold transfer - it's called selling a token with a level 1 on that realm, then giving the 200K gold to the carry team.
I think it's pretty easily defined as posting from a character that is used on that realm, this includes Connected Realms. I think it would be pretty obvious if you're posting from a level 1. This is something that the moderators can easily check to see if you're just doing it on realms that you don't play. We're not gonna restrict it by level of the poster because it will be very obvious to us on the back end. However, if you make these post on a level 1 character then you should expect to be reported and looked into to see if you actually play on that realm. The same goes for even having a level capped character but nothing else on that realm, so just going around putting leveled/boosted characters on realms doesn't work either.
QUOTE


Does this extend to making a character on another realm and spamming trade for a sale?
I do wish a new tab was added for advertising rather than outright banning it, perhaps with a pop-up warning that blizzard may not be able to assist if you get scammed.

I bought my heroic Argus kill with gold, they made a level 1 on my server for me to trade the gold to, I knew there was a risk but my current family situation prevents me from actively raiding.

I suppose given how quiet my realm is comparatively if I need this sort of service in future I'll need to Server Transfer a character with the gold to a more active server.

Kind regards to all who made it through my post <3
07/02/2018 11:32 AMPosted by Ljiljana
Bad change imo. By all means crack down on the ads with a URL that are obviously selling for real life money, but banning boost for gold groups from the group finder is a bad change. It just means either more trade spam or missing out entirely on cross realm groups which do exist. I bought a boost for gold from an advertisement in the group finder once. It was cross realm but the leader had a character on my server so it wasn't a problem to exchange gold.


And the way to move gold cross-realm or cross-faction is to buy a battle pet with the toon who has gold, add it to your pet collection, then have the poor toon put it in a cage and post it to the ah. (So carry-selling groups just need a bank alt on every realm who can buy a pet with the gold you give them, then have their main on the other realm cage and sell the pet.)

That said, cutting the group finder to active groups forming and ready to go, vs clicking in and out of groups to find a legitimate one, seems fair enough to me.
07/10/2018 03:58 PMPosted by Ythisens
07/10/2018 02:11 PMPosted by Shinrael
How are we defining "My realm"?

I think it's pretty easily defined as posting from a character that is used on that realm, this includes Connected Realms. I think it would be pretty obvious if you're posting from a level 1. This is something that the moderators can easily check to see if you're just doing it on realms that you don't play. We're not gonna restrict it by level of the poster because it will be very obvious to us on the back end. However, if you make these post on a level 1 character then you should expect to be reported and looked into to see if you actually play on that realm. The same goes for even having a level capped character but nothing else on that realm, so just going around putting leveled/boosted characters on realms doesn't work either.


I imagine this is just for people spamming other realms with their carries when they don't play there, rather than just buyers on other realms, but...

Can people who are interested in buying a purchase post on other people's realms sales thread without penalty? Some groups will accept gold from any realm since they will use it to buy wow tokens. Not quite an issue for me anymore (my realm has lots of carries), but it could be an issue for people on not-popular realms who may want a carry.
07/10/2018 03:58 PMPosted by Ythisens

I think it's pretty easily defined as posting from a character that is used on that realm, this includes Connected Realms. I think it would be pretty obvious if you're posting from a level 1. This is something that the moderators can easily check to see if you're just doing it on realms that you don't play. We're not gonna restrict it by level of the poster because it will be very obvious to us on the back end. However, if you make these post on a level 1 character then you should expect to be reported and looked into to see if you actually play on that realm. The same goes for even having a level capped character but nothing else on that realm, so just going around putting leveled/boosted characters on realms doesn't work either.


This is dumb, so now people on low pop realms can't get runs without going to another server? When people sell runs for token prices it doesn't matter what server they play on, they can buy a token and then get battlenet cash.

All this does is make it harder for people that want to buy a run. Not the people selling. Why not just ban paid carries outright at this point?

It would be easier to have a section for paid carries under the group finder. Then you don't have to worry about spam in normal groupfinder. And who knows, maybe you could catch the actual groups and people selling runs for real money.

This just seems like a lame way of saying "We don't want people paying for carries,but we can't tell you no outright, so we'll make it harder."
07/10/2018 09:35 PMPosted by Blàze
This is dumb, so now people on low pop realms can't get runs without going to another server? When people sell runs for token prices it doesn't matter what server they play on, they can buy a token and then get battlenet cash.

All this does is make it harder for people that want to buy a run. Not the people selling.


This. Ten thousand times this. I understand that the group finder spam was annoying some people, but forum posts seems a bit excessive, and it's just making it harder for those of us on lower pop realms to get the help we need. Not to mention the hostile environment that Trade Chat is these days...

It's virtually impossible to find a guild doing these kinds of runs on many servers, and even more difficult to find a decent raiding guild half the time. I suppose the answer to that is move to a high pop realm, but I'm not a huge fan of queuing to log in, or of the hostile environment these high pop realms tend to be.

07/10/2018 09:35 PMPosted by Blàze
It would be easier to have a section for paid carries under the group finder. Then you don't have to worry about spam in normal groupfinder. And who knows, maybe you could catch the actual groups and people selling runs for real money.


This, however, seems like an excellent solution. Perhaps a forum section for in-game trades as well? It could even be used to sell things like pets and transmog that are account-wide rewards.

I just hope to the Light that the next step isn't to outlaw carries for gold completely. I see no reason why guilds shouldn't profit a bit from their hard work and teamwork by helping the less fortunate and less able of us access some of these things, as long as you insist on taking them out of the game at all. :-( If someone has the gold, is willing to risk it, and wants the kill for a mount, and another someone has the desire to dedicate their time and effort for others to get a chance at the mount, they should be allowed to make the exchange--and advertise their willingness to do so where those that need it most can find it. I know there are free runs out there, but I frankly preferred to pay gold for mine, and did so willingly. I know it's hard work getting a perfect boss kill like that and I want to be fair to whoever might be carrying me.

TL;DR: Please consider a solution like the group finder section for advertisements!
It seems like you guys are just trying to push people towards sellers who aren't playing within the rules. Its really weird that you're throwing up a bunch of arbitrary barriers for people who are actually trying to not cross the line into breaking the ToS/rmt while this does absolutely nothing to stop people who don't give a damn about your ToS.

I don't see the intent behind this outside of trying to protect forums/group finder from carry spam. Just make a tab in the group finder dedicated to that specifically if you want to contain it.
Blizzard, this is a really bad change. I hope you will continue to monitor this but there are most likely only bad outcomes with this change. You are either forcing people on low pop realms to move to different realms (unlikely many would choose this costly option) or you will force players on low pop realms to simply quit playing WoW. The fact of the matter is that there are simply not enough players willing to carry someone with no cost, nor without some form of advertisement (see free runs for charity and the such).

I fully understand Blizzard doesn't and likely can't create an in-game tool for something for which players can be easily scammed with, but extremely limited trade chat makes it that more likely people can get scammed through places such as Discord.

Please, Blizzard, I implore you to reexamine this change because it is too likely it will cause players to get scammed more and too many to leave the game. If you want a healthy game with a healthy player base, this change is just counter to that.

(I hardly ever post but this change is just so wrong for me to not say anything. I want WoW to stay healthy and this change can only end badly, mainly because you happen to be on a low pop realm or once your realm's population dwindles.)
While we are on the topic of in-game advertising, could you guys also stop advertising non-blizzard games (Destiny 2/CoD) on the WoW section of the B.Net launcher? That is driving me insane.
07/11/2018 06:20 AMPosted by Reldey
While we are on the topic of in-game advertising, could you guys also stop advertising non-blizzard games (Destiny 2/CoD) on the WoW section of the B.Net launcher? That is driving me insane.


This is a great point...

Even for Blizz games.

I don't play Hearthstone, I've never played Hearthstone, I have no interest in Hearthstone...

Please stop begging me to play Hearthstone...

I can see Hearthstone's icon to the left just fine, If I were interested I could click that, and see it's front page, and have that tell me to log in to claim my super limited time restricted content that in no way appeals to me in any form.

Is Hearthstone struggling perhaps with retention?.
07/11/2018 04:50 AMPosted by HaragaFFF2E9
Blizzard, this is a really bad change. I hope you will continue to monitor this but there are most likely only bad outcomes with this change. You are either forcing people on low pop realms to move to different realms (unlikely many would choose this costly option) or you will force players on low pop realms to simply quit playing WoW. The fact of the matter is that there are simply not enough players willing to carry someone with no cost, nor without some form of advertisement (see free runs for charity and the such).


This right here, is another concern, this could potentially force people with the money, and people who really care about carries to have to move realms, and others to quit, or get it by other means.

To be honest, trying to browse forums, and locate someone willing to take gold on your server for a run you would like to pay for becomes a giant hassle, and honestly not worth the time.

Not that I am for, or in any way endorse people selling runs for real money (I report anybody that directs me to a website, or that I need to paypal them money for a run) you would spend less time going to a sketchy website and buying a run and by doing so, breaking the TOS and potentially getting banned, or scammed.

I think this change is terrible, and should be handled in a different way. It's going to increase the chances of someone getting scammed for gold, or getting scammed for real money since a lot of people find that option easier, and don't know it's against the TOS.

This just seems like a push to force people that do end up wanting a paid run, to spend more money moving their character to another realm so they can do it "easier".

And I haven't even gotten into the "You can't post with a level 1 character, or a boosted character you don't play" issue with posting in Forums or advertising in Trade Chat. Because again, this argument is invalid since gold is basically transferable to any realm with a 25% loss

The best options really are, if you want to remove any trace of advertising from the Group Finder, fine. But allow Trade Chat advertisements no matter the server you play on. And, as was mentioned previously have a specific Forum discussion dedicated to people offering paid runs by way of Gold.
07/02/2018 12:00 PMPosted by Etherealness
I often do carries for gold in cross realms (actually, that's the majority of my runs) and I use the gold to buy tokens. I NEVER had a problem with anyone trading the gold first (largely due to raider.io score and last runs) and if it happened of my group not being able to complete in time I'd just finish that one (for loot) and start another if the guy had the time or give them the gold back.

TBF all of my "customers" enjoy the run, they usually don't have the time to wait hours looking for groups nor want to be part of a pug that when the first thing goes wrong everyone starts pointing fingers and calling names. They also get all the loot and learn quite a bit. Some of them eventually start doing their own runs with guildes once they have enough gear or knowledge.

It's also one of the very best ways to gear a fresh alt.

Consider putting an "advertsiment tab" for carries in the group finder. No RMT allowed of course. Letting it to realm trade chat only is very inneficient and will make me play a lot less this game, because majority of my time in the game now is doing runs.


Got an Argus carry the other day from a person like this, who is also a streamer. I had originally found him via GF, but since it was after the 2nd he is no longer advertising there, I now know why, and I only knew about the run because I had looked up his stream/discord prior. He moved to trade chat to advertise (I saw after joining the raid). As others have suggested, adding an advertising section would eliminate the issue for players looking for pugs and help players like myself. I was an active raider until last fall when my health declined. I was unable to raid this tier as a result. I'm really grateful to that streamer and the crew he was working with - one of the other players earned my gold based on a roll, and I was quite happy to pay the cost of a wow token (which I earned in game) to be able to get the spellwing mount. No cost to me, just my time, and they get the game time I farmed up. That's a win in my book.
This isn't a new ruling CS wise. The stance has nearly always been in place for unsupported transactions. I'm just restating it to go with the update to how we handle the forums as well. The idea is that in situations where someone is scamming other players by selling runs, taking the gold, and not providing the carry, we will do what we can to verify reports of a scam and apply appropriate penalties based on what is found, including removing any of the ill gotten gains. We otherwise do not assist in recovering any lost gold/materials though because an unsupported transaction is just that, unsupported. If you decide to engage in a trade that our systems do not support you do so at your own risk.
CS should do better, If I ever get scammed and you don't help me get my gold back, then I'll leave this game and your bnet platform.
07/10/2018 01:10 PMPosted by Ythisens
Just wanted to add an additional note here on this thread about how this affects forum posts.

Advertisements for carries are to only be placed in your realm forum (standard spam rules apply for bumping the thread). Any posts outside of that or on realms that are not your own will be treated under the advertisement rules and subject to deletion.

For reiteration this means you have two places to place advertisements for carries for in game gold only, those are Trade Chat and your realm forum. Please keep in mind carries are still not supported by Customer Support, if something goes wrong CS will be unable to recover any losses. Note: They still may investigate and take action on verified scams.


I can understand wanting to lower the spam in the group finder. Perfectly reasonable. Why limit forum posts though? You allow cross server raiding, so many people looking for carries often have to look cross server.

Just create a sub-forum for sales. It's very easy to do, you've done it multiple times in the past few months with the alpha, beta, ptr forums etc. Do that and perhaps your decision will make a bit more sense, but not allowing it all is silly.
07/11/2018 01:20 PMPosted by Fiascoh
Just create a sub-forum for sales. It's very easy to do, you've done it multiple times in the past few months with the alpha, beta, ptr forums etc. Do that and perhaps your decision will make a bit more sense, but not allowing it all is silly.


Being able to do a thing is one thing. Should do a thing is another. Technical solutions are generally easier than the questions raised as a result of them. Can they do as you propose? Absolutely. Should they? Maybe not.

I'm not saying this because I approve or disapprove of carries. My view is that they've gone on for almost as long as WoW has been around. Some websites even made money (much more per run than you'd ever see with the in-game gold even after conversion). I think Blizzard wanted to end that practice and it is still against the ToS. But... in game gold, they've never said they want to discourage that.

But, here's where it gets sticky. Some localities have different rules regarding what you can and cannot do - even in the online context. Sure, Blizzard has its ToS/Code of Conduct. Unfortunately, that doesn't cover all legalities (nor can it) in all jurisdictions. While the US is the primary user/consumer of the US based forums and US realms, they're not the only ones. North American realms have users from other countries as well.

When dealing with compliance and legalities, you almost certainly have clashes between what one regulation compliance says vs another. What do you do in that scenario? You take the most restrictive of the two. In the end, you come up with a set that is more restrictive than either, but meets both. I'd be very careful about generalizing their motives on this. While your jurisdiction may end within your state or city, theirs does not. (Having dealt with (and currently dealing with) multiple legal and regulatory compliance requirements, I can honestly say this is not fun.)

When a situation exists in a specific locality and doesn't extend beyond that, your legal predicaments are usually straight-forward. Even then, lawyers can still find issues (for or against). The moment you introduce more than one additional jurisdiction, the legal headaches escalate more than geometrically. Not fun. Not easy. And almost certainly why Blizzard would retain counsel on retainer if not on staff.

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