The Remote Auction House Will Get Me Fired

The Remote Auction House Will Get Me Fired

So I’ve found myself somewhat adrift in-game until December 7th. I made a pretty concerted effort to tie up any loose ends before last week, as I wasn’t sure exactly what would disappear and what would remain in Azeroth Version 4.03a. My alts are leveled to 80, I’ve finished up most of the Northrend and old Azeroth achievements I wanted, and I am trying to resist playing my future new bear druid until her efforts will count towards guild leveling.

Instead I have gone back to my old friend the Auction House. I am kind of a nut for systems and charts and numbers (before WoW I was a shark on the Hollywood Stock Exchange), plus it’s pretty much the only way to make gold that I find palatable. Dailies are tedious, farming is even worse, and while I would like to become one of those players with an efficient crafting assembly line across characters now is not the time. Instead I am trying to stick with what I enjoy, which is buying low and selling high.

In that spirit I decided to buy a month of the Remote Auction House services. It’s $3 for 30 days, and you can use it though the Armory web interface or as an app on your phone (iPhone or Android).

Stop undercutting me, dang it!

I was quite surprised by the array of functionality available to remote players. I expected to be able to check my sales, of course, but there are also very clear and easy ways to relist items, check your mail, bid again when outbid, and conduct price checks. You can even relist items directly from your mailbox, which isn’t even possible in-game. In conjunction with a basic understanding of the markets and some research tools I can make sure some of my enchants are the lowest priced or respond quickly to a weird afternoon pricing bubble on Illusion Dust.

Plus, I’m not going to lie: I feel like a bit of a big shot, sitting at my desk in the middle of the day looking at supply graphs and pounding the “SELL” button on my phone. I just need a stogy in the corner of my mouth and a secretary to demean and I would be set. I mean sure, all this AH stuff is going to get me fired eventually, but I can always pay my rent in gold and Enchanted Brooms right? Right?!

Thank goodness for level 85 next week, is all I’m sayin’.

4.03a Pics and Q&A

4.03a Pics and Q&A

So how did 4.03a treat you yesterday? I admit that I hopped online, checked my auctions, and pretty much went straight to Hillsbrad Foothills to play Peacebloom Vs. Ghouls. And man, it was rad. I’m a serious Plants Vs. Zombies fan, so I didn’t have too much trouble completing the four (five?) rounds and getting the Singing Sunflower pet. The Sunflower is adorable — every so often it will stop and sing or hum perkily in a cloud of rainbows and flowers. It’s almost suspiciously happy. In fact, I think it might be plotting to kill me.

Anyway, enough of my paranoid theories. Let’s see some pictures!

The first female worgen I saw, with a face only a mother could love.

Gnome priest!?!

The new Stormwind (with updated textures) is very pretty.

Visitor Logs and Answers

I noticed that I got a number of visits yesterday from folks looking for specific 4.03a information. I can only imagine their disappointment when they came to the site and realized that I basically just write a blog so I won’t get banned from the official forums, not to provide useful details. But what the heck, huh?

Are there new mounts or pets in the patch?
Yes! There’s the Singing Sunflower pet I mentioned above, which is obtained by completing the Peacebloom vs. Ghouls quests by the Dalaran crater in Hillsbrad. There is also apparently a pet grub named Mr. Grubbs (cute!) which is a random drop off mobs in East Plaguelands, a new firefly pet from a questline in the Burning Steppes, and a pet from a new Darkshore questline that looks like a .. dying druid tree.

There were no new mounts added in this patch, although there should be some in the new Cataclysm content.

Is ICC getting nerfed before Cataclysm?
What, again? Over and above the 30% buff? And the incidental class buffs that came in with 4.01? And the improved gear availability with the old Invasion portal bosses, S8 arena gear, and lowered T10 prices? Have I asked enough questions that you’ve gotten my point?

Were DKs nerfed in 4.03a?
I am not a Death Knight, but I consulted my team of DKs experts and they said that DKs received a slight nerf to their self-healing abilities, as did any other DPS class with a self-heal, their DPS should be the same as always. Now in exchange for this answer, dear DK reader, promise to not steal aggro from the tanks in LFD. Thanks!

How do I get to Darnassus now?
I know, right? The portals are gone, Menethil sank into the sea, and I am so lost. According to WoWWiki, the boat that previously ran from The Exodar to Auberdine now runs from Stormwind to Rut’theran Village, and from there you can fly to The Exodar.

The above advice is probably only good if you’re Alliance. If you’re Horde, find your own way into Darnassus and stay the hell away from Tyrande. <3

Is it 5’o’clock yet?

It is now? It is now? It is now?

I don’t even have a plan for tonight except to run around saying, “Oh my god, it’s all gone.” or “What the heck is this?!” Well, that and fuss over my auctions a lot. (If you are planning on selling netherweave bags on Uldum, I will see you on the auction house battleground.)

I felt a little melancholy last night. I remember taking my first in-game flight, from Darnassus to Auberdine, and having my breath taken away by the view. I remember running Zul’Gurub over and over again back in Vanilla, and as we slowly progressed from Jeklik to Hakkar watching the guild grow from 12 people to 15 to an entire raid group. I’ve sat on the bleachers at Shimmering Flats and watched the races go by, stood on the rooftops of Orgrimmar, and danced with the Dwarf King Magni. (Oh Magni. :( )

I have spent a lot of time fighting and laughing in Old Azeroth with a lot of people, many of whom don’t play anymore but who were still around in my head every time I, say, took that flight from Stormwind to Booty Bay. So I’ll miss Old Azeroth. I’ll miss it a lot. And I miss those good times I once had there.

Plus there is the little matter of some giant metal-faced dragon who caused all this death and destruction in the first place. It might take a year or two to prepare ourselves, but we’re coming for you! For Magni and Cairne and Gweneth Bly’Leggonde and all her turtle carcasses and everything else that we’re about to lose today — we will be coming.

Okay, is it time to go home NOW? Let’s gooooooooooooo. I want to make some new memories in the New Azeroth.


A follow up on yesterday! Here is what I think happened:

Hackers got a hold of my email address (aka user ID), which was pretty publicly available. They probably matched it with my full name, which is also not difficult to find. Somehow, whether it was through the web or through a packet or something, they asked Blizz to reset my password, probably under the “I lost my password” feature. Blizz resets it, and sends me an email asking me to pick a new password.

Here is where it gets fuzzy — I’m pretty sure that they weren’t able to hack into my email. I can’t know for sure, though. What I do know is that the hackers were unable to actually complete the password resetting process and pick a new password, either because they couldn’t get into my email or because Blizz locked down my account within 7 minutes.

Even if they had managed to hack into my email and change the password to my account, thanks to the Authenticator they would not have been able to log into the game or log into the important bits of my account.

So: Authenticators are good! They protect your account, even if hackers can still make your life difficult. Also I strongly recommend picking a Battle.Net ID/Email addy that you don’t use on any other site.

I Am A White Collar WoW Criminal

Note: There has been a change since I wrote this this morning. See it here.

I woke up this morning to an exciting little email. “Hello / Hola!,” it started, in what I thought was a very cheery tone. It then continued, “Account Action: 72 Hour Suspension. Reason for Action: Terms of Use Violation — Exploitative Activity: Abuse of the Economy.” This was distinctly less cheery. In fact, this was downright bothersome.

This weekend I tried to wrap up all my old Azeroth and Northrend tasks. I finished grinding Wintersaber Trainer rep, ran ZG one last time, and made Netherweave Bags to sell to the new class/race combo rerollers. I also looked at my achievements and noticed all the incomplete gold-based ones. I had a pretty good stockpile of gold on my AH alt from flipping things earlier this year, but I was loathe to spend it. It was the last weekend before The Shattering, though, and I’m awfully close to 9000 achievement points, and what’s the point of having gold if you don’t spend it…

And so I did. I got a Dalaran ring and both passenger mammoths and a Harris Pilton bag. It was a pretty crazy spending spree, and a lot of fun. I bankrolled it with my AH alt on the same account, who just mailed a pile of gold off at the start.

This morning, I’m a suspended player.

I’m kind of going back and forth on this one in my head.

On the one hand, and almost ironic at this point, I hate gold sellers and buyers. In my opinion it’s not only against the Terms and Conditions of WoW to buy gold, it’s also tacky and kind of cheating. And gold sellers — they spam us in-game, steal people’s accounts, liquidate guild banks that they don’t own. They’re basically huge jerks. I am very supportive of Blizz bringing down the hammer on these guys in a big way, and sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omlette.

On the other hand, I mailed 15,000g from the guild vault of one character to another character on the same account. Now sure, 15k gold is a pretty solid amount (although not huge in this era of AH moguls) but why is this unacceptable behavior? Between accounts, sure, but gold transfer on the SAME account? Where is the limit? Can I send myself 10k gold for purchases? 5k? At what point does spending my account’s gold become the target of security measures? My bank character is level 10 and even a cursory glance at her history would show that I collected my gold over the period of months of auctions.

So now it looks like I’m going to miss the last night of Old Azeroth as well as The Shattering tomorrow. I won’t finish my Dire Maul achievement. I won’t be able to put those Netherweave Bags on the AH nice and early. I’m pretty bummed out.

White collar crime doesn’t pay, kids, apparently whether you did it or not.

Well this was unexpected! I spoke on the phone with Blizzard, and apparently early this morning my account was hacked and someone changed my password. Blizz locked down the account within 10 minutes of the password being changed. I very much commend them for being quick.

I feel a little violated now in a weird digital way, and confused. Security is important to me, which is why I have:

  • An authenticator (physical one on my keychain)
  • Up-to-date and active antivirus software
  • An alphanumeric password that I don’t use anywhere else
  • Chrome with the NoScript extension

How did someone get past all that to change my password? :( So yay, I am not a gold buyer, but boo some ass tried to get his greasy paws on Liore and all my Azerothian possessions. WITH an authenticator active. I’m not sure this is any better, although I’m sorry for yelling at Blizz for being stupid earlier.

Save the Guild Relations Forum

As of today the old WoW forums have been set to read-only access, and we’ve all migrated to the new community portal. I like a lot of the new forum functionality — like the avatars! — although I’m not totally sold on the design. One very disappointing aspect of the new site, though, is that the Guild Relations forum apparently did not make the cut.

The Guild Relations forum was created in 2006 to be a “place for the open discussion of any item important to guild structure” (Eyonix). It went along with the Guild Relations Program, which seemed to be Eyonix’s pet project. A handful of guilds were chosen as Program representatives, with more to be apparently added later. Nothing really came of the Program, but the forum thrived without it.

Over the years the GRF created one of the few civil, self-policing places on the old site. For the most part things stayed polite, if heated at times, and above all very helpful. Not sure which loot system you want to use? Need a second opinion about how your raid leader treats you? Do many guilds require authenticators for bank access? If there wasn’t a sticky already covering the topic, a slew of people with all kinds of guild-related backgrounds were happy to share their experiences.

Cataclysm is bringing in changes that emphasizes guilds, and I think the new 10/25 lockouts will foster the creation of a lot of 10-man groups. It’s almost ironic that Blizzard should decide now to cut the Guild Relations Forum loose. Worst of all, it’s been done without a word from the folks upstairs. There were threads asking about it on the old and new forums, and at no time did anyone respond. It’s kind of disappointing.

Whether you’re a guild leader or a member or someone who is looking for the right group, losing the GRF is losing a great resource. If you agree, I encourage you to post in this thread and ask Blizzard to reconsider. Thanks. :)

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