Thoughts on WoW Token in Wrath Classic


We want to take a moment to talk about WoW Token in Wrath of the Lich King Classic.

The best way to start is to simply say that this wasn’t something we arrived at lightly. For the entirety of Classic so far, the WoW Classic team has been very resistant to the idea of adding WoW Token to any form of Classic in the Western regions (NA and EU). When WoW Classic started in 2019, adding something like token felt unimaginable to us, and that continued to be true for us–even late into Burning Crusade Classic–for a few reasons:

  • In Vanilla WoW, the scarcity of gold is a major factor in how you approach your journey in Azeroth. From saving to get your first mount at 40, to picking and choosing which skills you wanted to learn while leveling so you could afford a new weapon or piece of armor. Later on at level 60, some form of time investment is needed to “maintain” a character in an ecosystem where flasks, resistance potions, and elixirs are such a major part of the game, and resources are scarce and highly contested. This was true all the way through Burning Crusade, where potions and flasks could represent a significant weekly expense and the resources required to make them were still quite difficult to obtain.
  • It just didn’t feel “Classic”. It felt jarring, out of place, and was antithetical to what most of us wanted to relive about those early years of WoW.

However, what we want to do from a design perspective and what we need to do for the good of the community aren’t always aligned, and this is one of the more difficult things about maintaining a large online game like Wrath Classic. When we really looked at the state of things in Wrath Classic, and how different players approach the game, we saw that we cannot cause the demand for gold to be lower. The impact of illicit RMT is beyond just buying gold; it’s the entire black market that revolves around gold sales. The concept of bots gets thrown around a lot, but it’s not just “bots” that fuel this, it’s compromised accounts, credit card fraud, scams, hacked clients, and the tools that illicit third parties use to fuel the engine that is the RMT trade.

We hear folks say things like “just ban the bots” a lot. We ban tens of thousands of bots a week. It’s not visible to you just how much we do, and that is absolutely another problem in itself; we need to be better at surfacing these actions (more on this later). The truth is we’ve never been better and more effective at identifying and actioning malicious accounts, and our Game Security Operations (GSO) team that handle these actions are iterating and innovating on a nearly daily basis.

Unfortunately, in the history of WoW, the people perpetrating this illicit trade have also never been better at coming up with new methods, schemes, farms, and exploits to work around our efforts. As much engineering and analytics effort as we put into this, illicit RMT “workshops” put the same amount in, or more, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of these workshops out there all working around the clock to develop new technologies and techniques to counter our new technologies and techniques. It’s an arms race, and it never, ever ends.

We will never completely beat “bots” or illicit RMT. It’s an unwinnable war as long as there is money to be made by third parties. The ubiquitous nature of this type of thing in online games is an objective fact. It has always been a part of WoW, and every other popular online game for the past 25 years, and it will always be a part of online games going forward. It’s frustrating to fight this fight, but we will not stop fighting it.

While we can’t completely “win” the war, what we can do is mitigate the impact it has on the game. Is WoW Token the be-all and end-all to solve this? No, but it is a tool. It’s just one tool, though, among many. There is clearly a demand for gold for certain types of players, and that demand is only increasing. So, we are engaging a tool that we’ve used before to help mitigate the impact that illicit RMT has on the game. The more tools we employ, and the less lucrative we can make it for third parties to do what they do to make a profit, the less likely it is that new malicious actors enter the illicit RMT scene, and the more likely that existing malicious actors will exit the business. Ultimately, it’s taking incremental steps and using a multitude of tools that will reduce how impactful those third parties will be in Wrath Classic and beyond.

Wrath Design and the “Value” of Gold

Circling back to what was mentioned earlier about why WoW Token feels like a tool we should deploy now, we have to look at the base design of Wrath of the Lich King. Ultimately, this is what convinced us to reconsider WoW Token after resisting and refusing this path for so long. In Wrath Classic, your normal weekly activities are, for the most part, self-sustaining. Buying potions, flasks, reagents, and other normal necessities of endgame can be subsidized entirely by mostly just playing the game normally. Doing your usual weekly raid, a few dungeons, or a few dailies a week will net even the most fervent and well-prepared characters more gold than they would need to maintain themselves. Simply put, gold is more plentiful, and the base design of Wrath minimized the focus on needing to “farm” to support normal play.

When we considered that, we realized that the introduction of token wouldn’t be a temptation for most regular players to buy to help support their usual everyday gameplay. It’s simply not impactful to the average player who logs in, raids a few days a week with their guild, does a few dungeons and dailies, and then plays other games in between those activities. There’s no friction in that player’s experience that would tempt them to buy a token just to keep themselves afloat.

Better Visibility into Exploitative Account Actions

As mentioned earlier, we need to improve the visibility around what we do. We posted some weeks ago that we banned over 120,000 malicious accounts in World of Warcraft alone in a large wave, but those large waves that we talk about are actually a very small portion of the overall actions we take on a week over week basis. Using just the past two weeks as an example, here are the actions our GSO team have taken:

  • Total Exploitative Account Closures: 248,105
  • Total Exploitative World of Warcraft Account Closures: 73,057

This is just the last two weeks, and this is what our efforts look like very regularly, week-in and week-out. It’s an enormous effort and it’s many, many individuals’ full-time jobs to do this. This is an issue of sheer, staggering scale. We have the tools, and those tools are effective, but the malicious actors come right back with new and different methods every time. All that being said, we need to post these things more, and that’s something that our team wants to be able to surface more often.

Thanks you for reading, and thank you for your feedback.

The WoW Classic Team


Here are my thoughts… Go to hell with your low tier bs

I’m sorry but you have ruined the spirit of Classic. You cannot in all good faith say this was done for the players, it was done to maximise your profits. Not only does this paint you as hypocrites you have damaged the spirit of classic because the point of classic was to earn it, not just buy it even in Wrath.

Runescape actually consults their players on new content and even had polls to introduce Bonds (similar in concept to the token) into OSRS. All you had to do was have a poll and ask players before doing it. You did not. Just like you did not with Dungeon Finder and decided for the community instead of polling/asking on such a feature so massive.

Don’t try and bs players. You did this because your company is ran by greedy sods who need to milk out Classic before it’s over.

PS. Please this reeks of “we’re gonna add it to era but please trust us”… Pathetic beyond belief. I will not be continuing with Wrath as all you have enabled is even further intrusion of GDKP and Bots. If you introduce the token into Classic Era then I will not be continuing with WoW at all.


Thank you Blizzard! I can finally play classic!

I would rather see bots than a Token that incited the purchase of gold.

So by your logic you put in this post. If a lot of people cheat in a game like Counter Strike, Valve should gave all players wallhacks and aimbot, to counter the problem.


the token is reason i started my wotlk journey and am able to play for free… thank you blizz. now im not being locked on retail and can now switched between the two ^^

people seems to not understand what token does… you buy token for real money and someone has to BUY IT FROM YOU FOR GOLD… he gains gold you loose gold from the economy so nothing will change… AND as bonus it makes goldsellers and bots dissapear over time and allows people to play for free… its BIG WIN for wotlk

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As a day one Classic player, I can tell you the majority of the player base is with you Game Master Kaivax. Nobody in my guild gonna change their gameplay due to Token, so I guess it’s the same for everyone else … people are just mad at everything today.

I didn’t expected so many bans, you guys are doing the hard job. Keep going. People often say you don’t do anything against that, but the reality is different. Communication is key.

At the end, we want to see result.

And for people that complain over and over, remember one thing : a lot of players were buying golds on 3rd party website it’s not a secret. They can now do it legally instead of funding crimes and malicious scammer.

You are fooling no one you greedy little goblins.


The higher ups made you write a compelling explanation, cool cool

We know it’s for the money kekw, sorry you’re the sacrificial lamb Kaivax


“We ban tens of thousands of bots a week”

As a guy who was actually curious enough to add bots to my friends list and follow them around after reporting them find this one curious.
I’ve seen bots stay in the blasted lands for literal months, dungeon bots since classic through TBC until they went MIA. And they are incredibly easy to spot.
Does this “team” of Game Security Operations happen to be just an automated system? Because it sure doesn’t look very intelligent the way it does its job, 1 person could literally clear out a server faster, and then repeat for the new bots the next day ( I know I’m simplifying it, but I refuse to believe an actual person with time, experience and a few tools can’t identify and cleanse servers faster than what they’ve been doing so far) Hire a team, assign people to different groups of servers, and with time your problem is smaller.

But you’re right. You’ll never defeat it until its not profitable. But you can’t know if its “an arms race that never ends” because you’ve never really put enough resources into trying in the first place. You’ve got the capital to hire the manpower to do so, which might not be profitable once you’d start, but with the issue more under control, who knows? We all know you can trace gold being sent around, so then we also know you could have hit gold sellers stashes. But you can’t have tried. I refuse to believe you’re that incompetent.

It has to be greed, Theres no other explanation.


Kaivax I love u bro but this was not something ppl in Classic thought was a fun idea. You guys have no idea how to make faming gold fun in the game.

it literally does not ruins anything and you are able to play for free… again… people need to buy token from you so nothing in economy changes… you buy token and need to sell it… you gain gold and he looses same amount…

Must be really hard to figure out what’s causing increased demand for gold in Classic WotLK. Not like any of the bigger realms isn’t constantly flooded with one form of player activity that thrives on people bringing in tens of thousands of Gold. Ever thought of doing something with that?

Oh and it’s rather sad to see the same copied and pasted anouncement like that. Not that I expected anything more.

Now apologies for the constant editing. I feel it’s just better than replying multiple times.

But why have you been so secretive about it? Why didn’t you engage with any discussion with your community you so claim to value and listen to feedback before implementing change like that? Why not explaining your reasoning beforehand instead of dropping the feature and only speaking up when the community lights figurative fire under your butts?

For me it feels you don’t care for feedback, you don’t care about community and you only now do it to control the damage.


You misunderstand the people’s problem.

Our problem is not that gold value inflation is taking place. That’s what WoW token solves, yes. But our problem is that this is against the spirit of classic. Adding to all this is that they didn’t even care to announce it before release. This implies they knew they were doing us dirty and didn’t want the sh*tstorm to change their plans. This is clearly mischievous behavior.

It is simply outrageous to claim that RMT is an arms race just like Hacks/Cheats are. It’s not. Blizzard has so much player (and bot) data at hand to easily train an AI to detect this, just like Valve did in CSGO. The odds to win this are literally at their favor if they invested any real amount of effort into it. But instead, they give up. They go the route of easy money pretty obviously, sacrificing what little of their reputation is still left. I wonder if blizzard will even exist in 5 years from now with all this BS going on. Who would want to work for a company like this wtf.


Botting,GDKPs and gold buyers was allowed so blizzard could profit off it and here it is the result they’re throwing in the towel and the game is now p2w goodjob blizzard, this goes further than just the wow token this action shows they’re done moderating the game and yea I highly doubt most of what was said in this post it’s damage control that is all , no bots are banned no hackers stopped its all a lie to profit blizzard, this proves classic was a cash cow all along…

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Spoke about this with my guild yesterday and we are almost all aligned that this is a ridiculous addition to Classic. How can you even still call it Classic? I’m scared of the changes to the Interface UI as well, if you’re gonna copy Dragonflight…

Classic WoW means working for your reward, not just very easily getting it. The WoW token will only increase the amount of bots, because people are making money from that. They will then buy the WoW token, the value will drop significantly, which it already has. And then what? There’s still a TON of bots and people paying for that.

The WoW token will not change a thing for the better, it will most likely make things worse and potentially destroy the economy.

Never, ever, ever should a company or country or whomever in country step in to “fix” the economy of a location (unless it’s completely unsuable of course). This was a bad idea and will only make things worse. The “average” player will be jealous of the average+ player playing WoW with in-game gold and then quit playing alltogether because they can’t do the same.

Please revert this.


Seen as you’re so keen on being transparent in terms of banning bots, you surely have statistics over how long these bots have been active that have been banned. Could you please provide this information aswell? Because that’s a really substantial part of information when talking about fighting bots effectively. If you ban bots that have been reported after 2 Months of being flagged as a bot, you will of course end up banning a huge amount of bots weekly, but that doesn’t say anything about your effort. It’s just an amount of bans happening, which could be months after getting reported, which would align with the communities observations.

Please provide this information, if you really want to be transparent.

Also why is this about banning bots, when the main cause of the problem is not really the bots, but the buyers themselves? How many gold buyers did you ban in the last year? How many of those Accounts were just World of Warcraft Account-Bans (implying they pay 13$ for a middle-man-account to buy the gold) and how many were Battlenet Account bans?

What other solutions to this problem were considered? Why didn’t they get implemented, but the WoW Token did?

Those are all questions you could have answered, even before implementing this feature. But you chose not to, and instead just sneakily sneak the WoW Token in there. What is your reasoning behind this?
If you really try to engage with the community, please at least provide real arguments, and be fully transparent if you think we otherwise don’t believe you.

Don’t go all “but we can’t win guys :((” on us without honestly telling us why you can’t win.

My two cents. Have a nice rest of the year.


People have to remember that paying for subscriptions its powerful tool.
Unfortunately for us, looks like they want only our money for little effort but unfortunately for them its our money.
They just understand well that people are stupid and gonna pay rather play so they use them to make money, sadly.
This HC mode was like rain from the heaven for them.
Almost 0 effort, they just use hype as a fuel to make even more money from people that gonna at last pay subs to try it.
Anyway, like i said before. Its their company but our money.
If they start carry about customer maybe ill renew sub. Now is no point.

I think the Classic community in many ways got what they deserved here. On the one hand there are many, many players who got really upset yesterday because they don’t buy gold and they’re disappointed, but on the other hand I know so, so, so many people who buy it. These people don’t understand that they’re not just ruining the game’s economy, they’re ruining people’s accounts and even causing damage to their livelihoods.

You have done absolutely nothing to communicate to us just how bad it is to this since… MoP? Where you made a really nice article? That’s like… 13 years ago? And you admit this, so that’s a start.

But unfortunately you admit this after you start selling gold yourselves. You don’t communicate or talk about what you do or what is happening or anything else, you just release the token, nobody writes anything or explains themselves until after the fact, you don’t hype it up like you do anything else or talk about it. You just put it in there with no consultation even thought you know how big of a turning point it is. It was cowardly.

Here’s the thing - there are two exploiters in this transaction. The first exploiter is the one who sold the gold that was most likely earned illicitly. Those guys are, like you said, difficult to manage for a few reasons, most notably the fact that they simply don’t need to buy anything or do anything other than a sub, and they lose nothing when you ban them. It’s just an endless supply of low-effort worthless accounts that are supplying this market.

However, on the other side of this, there are players with tens of thousands of hours of work on their account, and if you ban those guys then you’re effective, and these are the real exploiters. These are the people who seek to cheat, and they do. Buying gold is cheating - you are skipping gameplay elements and restrictions that keep the economy alive and fun in order to gain an unfair advantage.

I personally know dozens of gold buyers. I have to admit I haven’t ratted them out, but I know for a fact that they’re buying gold directly on their main account or using these burner accounts that then immediately trade all the gold to their main account, but neither burner accounts or regular accounts have been banned. So why don’t I? Because I knew it was so common that to ban it would now be an unfair disadvantage, but that doesn’t mean I thought it was okay. It’s just a problem on a scale that I can’t solve because I’m not you - I don’t have the tools and it was a part of the culture now.

These guys are basically using illegal performance enhancing drugs, and you just do nothing to the people for whom it actually matters. So nobody is afraid and they just keep buying gold and it becomes part of the culture. You say nothing, you do nothing, you’re just fighting this amorphous ghost in the background completely ineffectively, and you don’t tell anybody about the scale of your woes.

This is a larger amount of exploitative account closures than I thought it would be, but why didn’t you confront your playerbase about their abusive, stupid behaviour first, asked the community what they really want vs. what they say they want second, and THEN took the consequence of that response? Which could have been the token. Why didn’t you ask them about GDKP? Why didn’t you ask them about all the gold they’re buying? Why didn’t you even attempt to ban players who were buying it? I mean I literally think just getting half the buyers, all of whom would probably be buying it directly on their main accounts and would thus be easy to spot using a transactions log, would’ve killed one in five raiding guilds on every server. That would’ve been noticed.

I really think this was weak. I honestly do, I’m sorry.


Honestly Blizzard. You just make things worse writing such long posts explaining why you did something obvious.
I didn’t even wanna read it to the end cause I already see it’s full of BS.
Hire someone with common sense who will approve your decisions cause you are terrible at it.
Here is what you should have done.

a) write nothing at all instead of this.
b) answer short and on point. “We can’t moderate all the 3rd party gold selling so we rather profit out of it ourselves”

Don’t treat your players like morons. I would respect Blizzard more if you were honest.