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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WTFaid?: A Clarification of Stance

Welcome to another installment of WTFaid?, a semi-regular column in which I discuss things that might not directly impact gold making, but that I want to talk about nonetheless. If you're looking for gold-specific tips, check out my archive and blog roll! If you're looking to get some insight into the mind of Faid, God help you. Also, read on!

A few days ago I put out a video review of WoW Crusher.  I was surprised to see this generated a lot of buzz in the gold making community and a few bloggers have put out posts that seem to be spurred by my video.  This post is not meant to chastise anyone on any side.  I'm writing this because I feel that the anti-JMTC/anti-Markco sentiments in some of the posts may be applied to my video and I want to clarify my motives and message.

I'm not going to pretend I don't have opinions about each gold blogger and each gold blog.  However, if my opinion is not a positive one I try to keep it to myself in an attempt to not start drama. While my track record for this is not likely perfect I've tried to make sure that the only time I voice an opinion about a specific person or site is if I feel it serves a purpose more important than "airing my opinions."

With that said let's answer some questions I've had tossed my way:

If you weren't targeting Markco/JMTC why did you choose to blast his guide, of all guides?

I didn't lay in wait for Markco, new or old, to release a guide for me to rip apart.  I've always wanted to review a gold guide since I first found there was one.  However, I'm bad enough with real life money without buying game guides so I was never in a position that allowed me to try one out.  I would gladly have reviewed any guide an author provided me with.  The reason this guide was reviewed was because it was the first one I was given access to.  (I was not granted access by the author, but by a customer.)

Then why don't you review ___________'s guide?

I will! Any authors who have written a for-pay guide out there are welcome to grant me access to their material for the purposes of reviewing.  Assuming I don't get inundated with requests I would be happy to review gold guides.  Keep in mind that you are not hiring me to write an advertisement for you; I will write/record what I actually think of your guide. If you think your guide can stand up to some scrutiny it's definitely an opportunity to prove your guide worthy of someone's money!

I ask that it be for-pay only because, if it's free, I see no real reason to review it.  Reviews, to me, are something to show people before they buy a product so they know what they're paying for. If the guide is free they can just see the whole things themselves and come out no worse from the deal.

What if the author of WoW Crusher also wrote those other sites? Then it wouldn't be plagiarism!

One or two people have brought this up.  WoW Crusher's support is handled through the same service as the PvP Bible, one of the sites from which the WoW Crusher information is copied.  This has brought up some suspicion that these guides were written by the same person.

I personally do not know for sure; but I invite the creator of either/both of the guides to let us know what the case is.  However, I took a much simpler approach when considering the usefulness of this guide:

Is this information available elsewhere on the internet for free or for less?

I believe if it is then the selling of this guide is very unscrupulous.  As for the idea that he should be allowed to charge if he gathered information from many sources because he went through the work of doing that I disagree. 

First off, the sources aren't that few and far between, nor is the "gathering" of it all that hard. I can also Google "Arena basics," "how to duel," "firelands raid," and "gold making" but I'm not going to copy it all into a note file and sell it to you with some pretty pictures attached.

Beyond that is the fact that is that this is not advertised and sold as an anthology.  If you watch the WoW Crusher advertisement video the creator of the video claims he teams up with "Kevin" to create a great system and guide. That they put in hundreds of hours creating this. Hundreds of hours.  Perhaps if the author had said "I've gathered all the best information from around the internet all in one place!" they may at least be being honest to their customers. But they didn't. They said they spent hundreds of hours creating this and they lied, and that is what drove me to make this.

I didn't make the video or review to get up in anyone's face.  I did it to show would-be-buyers what they were being asked to pay for, nothing more.

I'm not chastising any community members for their posts, merely laying my motivations out for all to see so that people know where I'm coming from. 

Oh, and also, new Gold Rush video, enjoy!


  1. Lord, it's a dead horse. Can the gold blogging community stop this beating it already. Why does everyone feels they need to weigh in about this topic?

    I mean no offense, great job debunking the guide, a semi-intelligent person would've likely figured that stuff that wasn't available at Elitistjerks, Arenajunkies or the Consortium would most likely not make it into any guide either, but that's besides the point.

    The video was moderately entertaining, but now can you all please get back to providing some interesting discussions and debate focused on the WoW economy rather than this non-issue drama?

  2. @kera:

    As I said at the beginning:
    "Welcome to another installment of WTFaid?, a semi-regular column in which I discuss things that might not directly impact gold making, but that I want to talk about nonetheless. If you're looking for gold-specific tips, check out my archive and blog roll! If you're looking to get some insight into the mind of Faid, God help you. Also, read on!"

    As I said in the beginning and as is true with all the WTFaid? posts, this isn't meant to be a post focused on WoW economy. :)

    Because I know that this doesn't interest some people (such as yourself, it seems) I put the warning in so that people who do continue to read know not to expect gold information.

  3. I will bite.

    I apprecieated your 'teardown' of the guide; and agree with some of your concerns, but not others.

    You called it as you saw it: the guide is crap; a judgement call with evidence. I won't recommend a crap guide, but do not consider it a hanging offence to create a crap guide.

    You provided evidence that a lot of the material is not original; and in many cases is a direct copy. You also suggested that some of his information was paid for; properly sourced and acknowledged.

    I have real problems where material is used without permission. I have no problems where material is used with permission (explicit or implied). This is a seperate discussion to whether the use is paid for; advert sponsored or 'free'.

    I can accept charging for information created by others 'for free'. Sometimes this is accomplished by a direct charge. Other times it is accomplished by advertised sponsorship.

    Put another way. Do you approve of the undermine journal? I know I do. Does it bother you that they have a premium option that charges more for all of their features, even where they gather that information for free? It doesn't bother me. The undermine journal's 'value' is from consolidating good information into digestible chunks.

    I am not defending any guide. Plagiarism is bad. Being crap is bad. Advertising then charging for plagiarised crap - meh.

  4. Me being a simple person I watched your video and took the view that you were, amongst other things, pointing out that at least the parts you showed were direct copies from other sites and therefore I concluded that if these sites had not given permission for their intellectual property to be used then this was theft of copyright and therefore the guide should not be sold.

    And I had not seen any evidence that my conclusion was wrong, indeed, your video went on to indicate that there was a deliberate attempt to change the source of the material to "Markco" and "Kevin"

    Was I just being too simple there?


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