Artwork for World of Warcraft's WoW Token item

[Update #2]: Wrath of the Lich King Classic will be getting new dungeons and the legendary Icecrown Citadel raid on October 10. 

[Update]: World of Warcraft: Classic has now launched Hardcore servers, and I'm happy to say they're quite fun!

WoW tokens are items that can be purchased with real money and then sold to other players for in-game gold. Those that purchase the tokens with gold can then use them to either add 30 days of game time to their subscription, or to simply add a portion of the value to their Battle.Net balance that can be used to purchase Activision Blizzard games.

The reason this is relevant is because a recent and completely unannounced update added these WoW Tokens to Wrath of the Lich King Classic. This, unsurprisingly, did not go over well with the community who saw the addition of WoW Tokens as Blizzard essentially legitimizing gold selling - an issue that has been plaguing the classic version of WoW for a very long time now.

After a brief period of complete and utter chaos, Blizzard finally decided to do what they should've done from the very start - explain why exactly the WoW Token was added to Wrath of the Lich King Classic. The answer is a bit complicated, but it boils down to Blizzard realizing that they're losing the battle against botters, scammers and gold sellers and that drastic measures need to be taken.

“We will never completely beat 'bots' or illicit RMT [real money transactions]. It’s an unwinnable war as long as there is money to be made by third parties,” reads the developer update. “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.”

“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.”

While I can definitely understand why people are upset, especially about the endless sea of bots that seem to infest every corner of the game, I find it hard to be angry at Blizzard when it's the players themselves that are perpetuating the broken system. If a good chunk of raids didn't use an auctioning/bidding system for item drops, and if players didn't feel compelled to buy vast amounts of gold from the shadiest of places, none of this would've been necessary.

Alas, this is the reality we live in, and in that case it makes sense for Blizzard to step in and at least try to regulate the whole thing. The WoW Token won't fix everything as we've already seen in the modern version of WoW, and it sure as heck won't make bots go away, but with a bit of luck it'll at least make a bit of a dent in their operation.

Should anything major change, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read more about the WoW Token and Blizzard's plans over at the official website.