Amusing news on various MMO sites, about a WoW player who is offering $1000 cash to someone at Blizzard who can unban his account. He posted his offer on Craig’s List in the LA area, and it seems serious; at least as far as anything listed anonymously on CL can be taken as such. The quote, from Lum’s writeup.

    I got my WoW account banned yesterday during the archaeology bot ban wave. I wasn?t a gold farmer or seller, never bought gold. I just botted archaeology because it?s a boring profession. I?m looking for a WoW Account Admin ([email protected]) to unban my account for $1000 USD. No questions asked ? your anonymity will be preserved.

    This is a serious offer. I live locally and can meet you in person wherever you like with cash, PayPal you money as a gift (non-refundable and non-disputable by me), leave an envelope under a tree, or pay you in any other manner you prefer. You will definitely get your money if I get my account back. You will have my full information ? name, address, everything. Email me and I will give you my phone number and we can talk.

    Assuming this isn’t just some kind of sneaky sting operation being run by Blizzard’s Internal Affairs to catch potentially corrupt CS employees, it’s an interesting issue. We have no idea how long the guy’s been playing or how much value his characters have, but clearly they’re valuable to him. (Couldn’t he just make a new account and pay some Chinese leveling service to recreate his characters for less than $1000? Complete with $25 flying donkeys?)

    As with many game world possessions, the real value comes from the time required to create them. After all, $1000 would get you more than 5 years of WoW monthly subscription fees, and the guy could just start playing again with a new account—but he wants his characters back.This sort of attachment to the digital things you’ve built is probably what Blizzard is counting on with their non-worries about D3 “cannibalizing” WoW’s population. They want their WoW players to try out D3… they just hope most of them will keep paying $15 a month, or come back after a bit of a break.

    No doubt Bliz will try to stagger their expansion packs, allowing at least six months between D3 and WoW expansions so fans have time to experiment with one before they swing back to playing the other. Will that work? How many of you guys think you’ll keep playing WoW or Rift or Torchlight 2 after D3 is released? Have you planned to take a few months off from other games when D3 is fresh, before reconnecting with your other game world addictions? Or will D3 become your world, your everything, your precious… to the exclusion of all other, lesser games?

    Update: I asked a friend about this, who is both a WoW player and an Archeologist (IRL). Her quote amused me:

    The worst/funniest part is, archaeology is completely flavor.  There’s absolutely no need to do it to improve one’s game.  Idiot.

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