Open Season On China

Last night I was lying in bed thinking: how in the world are we going to beat these Chinese gold sellers?

Since the advent of MMO’s, gold buying and selling for cash has been a known frivolous activity. It’s even known in popular culture, as seen on Person of Interest.

In this post, I’ll be talking specifically about WoW gold selling.

You may have the questionably written private messages with links to gold selling sites. You may have seen the full-plaza ads with dead bodies. You may have even purchased gold yourself (shame on you)!

Gold farming and selling is a serious business in China. People make a living off of playing World of Warcraft hours on end. According to Nymh’s song, 10 cents an hour is good money when you are Chinese.

It may seem harmless, but it has a dire consequences on server economy. These gold sellers keep characters logged off at mining and herb nodes and just log in when the timers are up. They basically have the monopoly on many items and become the kingpins of the market.

Prices, in turn, are super-inflated, and many professions become much harder to work with.

Not only do these Chinese farm gold, but on vanilla private servers, they also farm honor rank in battlegrounds. They always run in pre-made groups and eventually end up selling their accounts for real money.

Finally, the worst part about these gold sellers: they don’t interact with you. They’re like robots, but then again they probably only speak Chinese anyway.

So what’s the solution?

First, we must look at how these players connect. Firstly, most of them are in China, because it’s actually legal there. 80% of gold farmers are Chinese, with over 100,000 people there being full-time employees for gold-selling sites (hilarious, right?).

So if most of them are in China, we can just ban any Chinese IP addresses. Done.

Now we’ve got them all using proxies and VPN’s to get around this. Okay, there’s a way to ban those too. Now they’re gone… but now we have a different kind of problem.

Case study: Kronos, a vanilla private server by Twinstar, banned Chinese IP’s as well as all proxies and VPNs. For the next 5 weeks, their servers were DDOS’d nonstop by the Chinese gold farmers, preventing anyone from playing at all.

I just find it insane and hilarious at the same time that this happened.

We got on the China’s bad side.

So to prevent this, we can upgrade our DDOS protection, no?

Well this isn’t always an option, especially for projects done completely voluntarily with no cash shop, such as Nostalrius.

So this brings us to ways that players can mitigate the gold selling plague.

Firstly, the pacifist approach: install an addon that will filter all gold seller private messages and chat invites.

This method will basically remove all chat spam, and you will no longer need to ignore every gold seller that messages you.

The problem: players that buy gold will still buy gold, and as long as there are buyers, there will be sellers.

On the other hand, we can take the aggressive approach: kill the Chinese farmers.

Open Season on China.

If we can slay them before they can ruin the economy as well as camp their bodies, they will realize, using their epic math skills, that playing on the server isn’t worth it. There just won’t be a profit.

Unfortunately for PVE servers, this is not a viable option, as you don’t get auto-flagged in contested zones.

However, this is, in my opinion, the solution (at least for now) for PVP servers.

For already established servers, this technique won’t be as easy. However, for new servers like the Nostalrius fresh realm coming out on January 7th, everyone will start at level 1, meaning if we specifically target the gold farmers early this will impact them the most.

So how can you tell if someone is a gold farmer? Usually, they have Chinese-like names, with sounds like Xing, Mei, etc.

The most obvious indicator, however, is that they won’t interact with you. Nothing you do will stop them from farming, as they’re on the clock working!

So here’s what we got to do: if you see anyone with a Chinese name, or are suspicious of someone being a gold-farmer, just do a simple /wave or /dance. If they reply with a heart hello or something of the nature, they’re clear. It’s the signal.

If, however, they fail to reply, don’t hesitate to send them home in an ambulance.

If you want to learn more about the Open Season on China, or OSOC movement, check out this video and see some of Itsreal’s other videos.

Nostalrius Returns, Today!

You read that right!

Nostalrius, the vanilla WoW private server that kept hundreds of thousands entertained, is returning today, December 17th, 2017 at 11 am central time. Both PVE and PVP servers with all the old characters will be making a comeback.

Watch the epic trailer here:

The most popular and most blizz-like private server of all time, boasting record highs of over 18,000 players playing simultaneously on one realm, was shut down in April of this year. You may remember that I made a post about it.

The team behind the server was invited to Blizzard after over 200,000 vanilla WoW fans signed a petition for official legacy servers. This meeting took place in the summer, and it consisted of the Nostalrius team showing Blizzard how everything was done and how easy it would be for official vanilla servers to become a reality.

They were offering their own code – and even supplied solutions for Battle.net integration.

Time passed, not much was done, and eventually Blizzcon came along. Still, not a word at Blizzcon. So the Nostalrius team took action, saying that if Blizzard did not “honor their core values”, then the Nostalrius team itself would be the one to do so.

Fast forward after not one, not two, but three stress test, with over 10,000 players simultaneously bringing the server hardware to its limits, and we have made it to the official launch day.

What are the official details of the relaunch?

Well, first of all, these servers have been put in the hands of the Elysium team, which itself has about half of the original Nostalrius team members. Elysium, for those not up to speed with the current private server scene, was a server that came out in the summer and was dedicated to creating a blizz-like experience, similar to Nostalrius.

The new Nostalrius will have three realms, the first two of which will be released today:

  • Nostalrius PVP
    • This server will contain all characters from the old PVP realm as well as characters from the Elysium realm. It is currently on patch 1.8, and the War Effort event will start in a few months.
  • Nostalrius PVE
    • This server will contain all characters from the old PVE realm. It will be the only PVE realm. It is currently on patch 1.5, and Blackwing Lair will be released in January.
  • Fresh PVP
    • This server will be a fresh start for those new to the game or those looking to start on an even playing field. The official release date will be announced on December 24th 25th, though the team has stated that it will be released some time in January so as not to hurt the old realms’ populations. The realm’s official name is Elysium.

You can learn more about the realm progression on Elysium’s Timeline.

Will the server be shut down again?

Contrary to popular belief, Blizzard did not force Nostalrius to shut down. Nostalrius decided to shut itself down.

Most, if not all, popular private servers receive C&D letters from Blizzard. Almost all of them are ignored, because these servers are hosted in areas where it is difficult to Blizzard to have legal reach.

In Nostalrius’ case, they were hosted in France, which is in good terms with the United States. That, and the goal of convincing Blizzard to start their official legacy servers persuaded Nostalrius to shut down.

Why would the Nostalrius team put so much more effort into this project if they were to just shut it down again? In my opinion, the only way Nostalrius would be shut down is if Blizzard announced that official legacy servers would be released.

Honestly, anything is possible. But I think it’s worth it to take a chance in life. Take the risk, or you may miss out! Otherwise, you may never have this amazing vanilla WoW experience.

Where do I sign up?

Elysium’s Account Creation Page has all that you need to get started. You could even transfer your old characters to your new Elysium account. Just make sure to have your old username and either email or password handy.

If you’re new to Vanilla WoW and don’t know where to start, that same sign-up page has free downloads for Windows and Mac. Make sure to edit the realmlist.wtf file as it says on the page, or else you won’t be able to connect!


So what do you think about Nostalrius coming back? Is it all just a big bait? Did you have characters on the old realms, waiting to be played again? Let me know in the comment section below!