Black market gold selling has always been a problem in the World of Warcraft. Typically, to get some of the most elusive weapons and professional skills in the game, you had to dedicate an incredible amount of time an effort. Unfortunately, this status symbol of being wealthy has all but diminished due to third-party gold sellers that offer in-game currency that is usually acquired from hacked accounts. As it is much easier for someone to spend a few dollars then grind a profession for hours on end, it can simply be too tempting for many gamers to earn their wealth honestly.
Blizzard has come up with an idea that will hopefully combat this problem by introducing the Guardian Cub pet. Typically, vanity pets in WoW that are purchased using real life currency are Bind to Account, meaning that they cannot be traded from one player to another. Because there is no formal trading system in place for people to buy such pets with in-game currency, scams happen all too often.
The new Guardian Cub is different from every other pet though. It can be purchased from the Blizzard store for $10 USD and then sold on the in-game auction house for whatever the market value is. This will allow for a perfectly legitimate way for gamers with a couple of extra bucks to earn a pretty chunk of change without violating the EULA.
On paper this seems like a fantastic idea, but in practice it’s difficult to know if it will work well or not. If a flood of gamers all attempt to make gold this way, the supply will greatly surpass the demand, which will create a surplus and cause the gold value of the vanity pet to fall drastically. Examples of this in the past have been met with mixed emotions – we all remember how gamers were outraged at the relatively high price of the Horse Armor DLC in Oblivion that had virtually no purpose considering the game had no multiplayer interaction. Still, considering Blizzard’s innovative moves regarding Diablo III’s auction house that will utilize real currency, perhaps they may be ahead of the curve on this one. Only time will tell for sure though.