He may be a little rusty...

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Character Gender Ratios

You can see the start of the data I pulled from the new Armory API on MMOC finally, hopefully more to come soon! One I didn't get to post is below.


Video: Viva la Vanilla (When I Ruled at WoW)

I'm not sure how this manages to be good and bad at the same time.


This made the rounds on Reddit a while ago, I just never got around to posting it.

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The Blue Post Tracker picked the long weekend to stop working correctly, all should be running smoothly again. It appears the Armory API is on it's way, which is a good thing for those of us who enjoy making semi-useless graphs. You can read all of the API Forum Blue Posts here.

As far as posting WoW related news, I will continue to do so from time to time, but anything interesting will show up on MMO-Champion anyway. As long as people keep using the Blue Post tracker it will remain running as well.

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Extreme Gold Farming

There was an interesting article in The Guardian about where some of the gold that people buy comes from. Most people understand the poor conditions the farmers work in, but it appears some of them were essentially slaves. Twelve hour unpaid sessions of gold farming, more profitable than the normal physical labor that is used as punishment. The man being interviewed was beaten when he couldn't keep up with his quota, keep that in mind next time a farmer steals a node from you!


Netease reported their profits recently, a 63% growth in Q1 with a profit of $112 million. It seems WoW is doing just fine in China.

Amusing Images

As always, /r/wow/ has provided some funny and true images recently, here are my top picks!

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Activision had their Q1 2011 earnings call today and it didn't paint an amazing picture for World of Warcraft. They posted $357 million in revenue and $170 million in operating income, an increase from last year. However, with a lack of Cataclysm in China they are down to 11.4 million subs, down from October of last year when they announced 12 million. Combine this with the lack of new raid content and the people that are burned out from playing for so long and you can see why they took a small hit. The results from the quarter after Cataclysm's release in China may tell a different story. Take a look at the not updated yet chart below from MMOData.

On the plus side, he does mention "increased player engagement and higher daily concurrency" and the availability of the various microtransactions in China. The losses may also be due to loss of players to other new MMOs, Kotick saying "It isn't the first time though that we have strong competitors into the MMO market. What we have seen in the past is, we tend to see our players leave for some period of time, try out the new MMOs and then good percentage of them historically have returned to World of Warcraft. So, so far I haven't seen anything to indicate this will be different.".

As always, he wouldn't comment on player churn in Cataclysm, but he did say that players are going through content faster than ever before, indicating that churn is not where they would like it to be. Morhaime gave a nod to Facebook when talking about games coming to the consoles, saying "I think Facebook has done an exceptionally good job of introducing interactive entertainment to customers, who in the past never actually engaged in game playing of any kind".

Hopefully the population stabilizes after the influx of players that came back for Cataclysm or got the game for Christmas. The full transcript can be found on MorningStar.

Kungen "Retires"

It appears Kungen has finally quit, he accomplished a good deal of raiding when he played, and the community is mostly sorry to see him go. The full story is on Manaflask.

Fake Tilt Shift

Someone over on Reddit posted some nice attempts at making WoW Screenshots look like the popular Tilt Shifted pictures, take a look!

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$800k to Make a Wish

Blizzard finally got around to donating they money from Moonkin Hatchling sales, a whole $800,000. That means roughly 160,000 people decided to pay $10 for a non combat pet in just one month. You can see why they love to keep adding new models to the store to sell. At least some is going to good causes!

4.2 Questing Part 2

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4.2 Quests

Blue Post Tracker

Everything is running smoothly again!

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Romance in WoW

The NYT has another fluff piece about WoW, this time looking at a few relationships that come out of the game. They manage to get Prince Malchezaar's eye color wrong, but it is still a decent piece. Has an interesting point as well,

"More than 40 percent of online gamers are women, and adult women are among the industry’s fastest growing demographics, representing 33 percent of the game-playing population — a larger portion than boys 17 and younger, who make up 20 percent, according to the Entertainment Software Association, an industry group. "

I guess it ensures you have at least one thing in common with the other person! The press hasn't been all good lately however, some illegal romance almost took place...

"Alex Trowell wouldn't take no for an answer. In December, police say he climbed in car and started driving from his house near Boise to a 12-year-old girl's house in New Mexico who he'd met online while playing World of Warcraft."


I added a search feature to the blue post tracker, still tweaking the results order. I may get around to adding some filtering by forum, blue poster, expansion, etc eventually, just pressed for time right now.

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Virtual Gold

Money.co.uk recently took a look at some interesting statistics for three large games. World of Warcraft was included of course, producing the interesting graphs below. Read the full infographic and take a look at similar statistics for EVE and Second Life on their site.

Also gold related, ArsTechnica recently talked about Fair Trade gold. You may be familiar with Fair Trade coffee, where coffee is bought from the people that grow it at better prices than they could get otherwise. The idea behind it is that the growers can better their lives through better pay and working conditions, along with improving their community through the program. They give a brief overview of the hierarchy that is behind every gold sale.

The 75 page report (pdf) has some interesting tidbits as well. They look at microwork that involves tasks that are easy for humans but harder for computers, saying "For instance, one delivery center is located in a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. The workers there are mostly refugees from the neighboring war-torn state of Somalia. According to Samasource, training provided by Samasource staff allows even refugees who have never seen a computer before to earn money as microworkers". A similar model could be applied to gold farming, with workers being paid more directly and the training and funds helping them to improve their situation.

They also take a look at outsourcing social media, such as paying for Likes on Facebook. A case study showed that a company paid each person that clicked Like a small amount, a short and easy task that earned them a small amount of money. This cost the company almost nothing compared to the contract they got for it.

Many of the people who worked on virtual currency farming are from companies that number ~100-200 workers, being male dominated. 38% of the workers were previously unemployed and 56% previously had a job, but only 6% were students, indicating that it isn't a first choice for many fresh graduates. A majority of workers in the small sample size complained about their families negative perceptions of them, as well as the long working hours, with over 38% of them working more than 60 hours per week. Generally 40 hours per week is considered full time in the United States for jobs that pay hourly. The average wage is only $2.70 per hour, with one respondent making $13.40 per hour. Most of the money made in each gold sale is going to the gaming studio that employs the workers, with the next largest sale going to the Retailer.

With conditions like these, you can see why fair trade might be something to keep in mind when buying gold. (Although the type of person who buys gold likely doesn't care!)


Everbloom has managed to level to 85 while doing no quests, no dungeons, and getting no kills. No battlegrounds were played either!

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It is like Friday, but better!

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