Money rules the world! And gold rules Azeroth and the Shadowlands! Although most things in WoW are still soulbound and many things can't actually be traded between characters, there's really nothing you can't buy in WoW. Whether it's the special mount of the mythical end boss, a certain arena or mythical-plus rating, unique pets or special equipment - everything can be obtained for the right amount of gold or money.

At least, that's what the offers of most boost groups promise, which aren't exactly unobtrusive with their advertising. And even though Blizzard has already spoken out on this issue umpteen times, clarifying what is allowed and what is forbidden, no one is really interested. Rules are bent or circumvented, and Blizzard sits idly by - be it out of helplessness or disinterest.

11:05
World of Warcraft | 10 features WoW urgently needs - column by Philipp Sattler

Group search tools full of advertising

"Hey, back there! Behind the 27 advertising groups, someone is still looking for real players!" - that or something like that was a conversation I took part in just recently when I logged onto my Horde Twink again.

That's about what the group search looks like for many players. Source: buffed The group search tool, which should actually help to find fellow players for various occasions, is now more like an advertising exchange. Without suitable addons, which directly filter out most groups based on keywords like "wts", "boost" or "carry", you can hardly find any real group searches.

Blizzard has already officially forbidden this, but ... well ... in case of doubt nobody cares. Because the consequences for being caught are more or less non-existent. And in the worst case, a new account is opened for advertising. Where Blizzard has tried here at least superficially to do something against it.


By the way, the boosting issue will get even worse with patch 9.2.


A trade chat full of "trade".

A look at the trade chat - my Horde twink plays on EU-Blackhand, by the way - also made me shudder. The trade chat is quite busy, that can be said. But instead of any real trade, only the ads of the boost groups rattle through there - every second! Everybody wants to sell you the newest and even better Sylvanas kill or bring you to the keystone master extremely cheap. "Quite cheap and guaranteed success, we swear!"

On Blackhand, it looked similar to this reddit user:

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According to Blizzard, this is okay. Because such boost groups are declared by them as "trade" and are allowed as long as no real money changes hands. That alone stinks to me, because even if they don't want to ban boost groups, advertising for them should still fly out of the game in my eyes. I like to compare this with cigarettes. They are also allowed, but since everyone is aware that they have a bad influence, advertising for them is extremely limited and completely banned in many places.

In principle, of course, I am free to leave the trade chat to avoid being exposed to it. I did that immediately, of course, so as not to let my blood pressure go through the roof. But can this really be the right way? Because the actual purpose of the trade chat for me also falls away. If Blizzard really wants to keep this going, why not just have a separate "boost advertising chat" while continuing to use the trade chat for everything else?

Boosting is allowed, after all ...

... As long as no real money changes hands. So it's no wonder when you always read about 100K gold and such in the ads. But for two reasons I think this is nonsense.

For one thing, gold and money are almost the same thing. I can turn my money into gold via WoW token and sell my gold to gold sellers for real money without any problems. The latter is of course not allowed - but who wants to forbid my char to give 100 million gold to some other char? And every player who has accumulated millions of gold (e.g. through a lot of AH-trading) has probably been contacted by such gold-sellers to ask if they would be interested in selling their gold.

On the other hand, many boost groups do not stop at gold. Sure, they also sell their services for gold and smaller groups probably only for the in-game currency. But if you answer one of the advertisements of one of the better-known boosting communities, it's not uncommon to get an offer after two messages that you can pay for the service in euros if you want - then you'd get away with it "cheaper".

It sucks - and obviously not only me

The mere existence of boosting groups annoys me, because it actually contradicts everything that WoW gaming means to me. But so be it - everyone should be allowed to play the way he wants. But why it's allowed to advertise it so aggressively that it interferes with everyone else's gaming experience remains a mystery to me.
Blizzard CEO Mike Ybarra has faced a lot of backlash for his open participation in boosting groups. Source: buffed
Well, not really. After all, Blizzard is known to earn a few euros with every WoW brand. So why should they stop that? Therefore, boost groups will not disappear from the game anytime soon. And even if Blizzard should ban advertising for them, that won't change much - the group search tool shows that quite clearly.

Still, it would be a positive statement for me if Blizzard would at least officially ban it. But whether that will happen in a world where Blizzard CEO Mike Ybarra himself is involved in boosting groups?

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I am by no means the only player who is upset about this. Many threads in the forums or on reddit show that there are a whole bunch of people who are annoyed by the entire boosting community and its advertising. And at least felt the amount is growing as fast as the amount of ads in trade chat.
Which side do you guys belong to? Are boosting groups something negative per se, does just the amount of advertising for them stink or do you think my little rant is completely exaggerated?

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