One thing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning doesn't lack is vocal front men at its developer Mythic Entertainment. Chief executive Mark Jacobs has used his first blog post since the game launched last week to lay into his pet hate: gold sellers.
Jacobs revealed that Mythic's "zero tolerance policy" had resulted in the bannings of roughly 400 gold sellers by Saturday night, just two days into the game's life. "We don't wait and let them stay in the game and ban them en-masse, my guys ban their useless, time-consuming butts right away," he said.
Jacobs has even extended his personal crusade against the gold sellers to the virtual equivalent of public executions - the public ban message.
"Players on our Phoenix Throne server have been treated to special messages when a gold seller/spammer is banned... Messages like 'Tchar'zanek has ordered the slaughter of [Spammer] and all others of his kind who weaken the Raven Host by providing wealth and power to the unworthy' have been seen all weekend," he said. "We will continue this policy and expand it to the other servers."
He also notes that gold selling organisations - "lowlifes like IGE" - have attempted to buy him off in the past. "I've been offered 'a piece of the action' both personally and corporately in the past if I will either turn a blind eye or help them in their actions... My answer was and always will remain the same: Go to hell."
Although the majority of MMO operators oppose gold selling within their games, it has proved impossible to stamp out in most - and a silent majority of high-level players of games like World of Warcraft use gold selling services to ease the grind and in-game expense of raiding. Will Jacobs succeed in stamping out the practice in WAR - and should he even be trying?