Blizzard chief Mike Ybarra caused a stir over the weekend by tweeting about a “heroic SoD (Sanctum of Domination] sale run” he would be participating in with his guild. Non-WoW players may find it a simple invitation to watch and invite others, but the “sales” refers to an offer to take other less-qualified players through high-end raids in return for in-game gold. This practice is known as “raid booster.”

To be clear, raid boosting isn’t against World of Warcraft rules and is actually quite common. It’s simple. I am a novice (or just terrible) WoW player and want to get the swanky loot. I give you some in-game gold to help me through the toughest raids. Even if it happens, which I almost certainly will, my share of the reward will still be mine when it’s done.

It’s not about vanity. Redditor KiriyamaSTRIX said that raid boosting is an important part of high-end raiding for players.

They explained that there is a website called Warcraftlogs, where every player’s performance against bosses can be viewed. This is the MAIN metric guilds use to recruit players.

“Boosting gives you the ability to bypass the gear grind. This allows you to gain access to lower-end guilds that might not be recruiting anyone with gear. After you have been accepted into the guild, you will need to hunt for good parses. You can continue this process until you are able to join a better guild. You should do this again until you find a guild that suits your goals.

Guilds can also offer their services to tour guides for a practical reason: Mythic raiding costs a lot of money, so selling services is the best way to make that money.

Raid boosting is seen by many players as a form cheating. Players are getting access to equipment and experience they haven’t worked hard enough. The problem is magnified in Ybarra’s situation, as he should be aware that raid boosting is bad for the game.

Real money transactions are a key part of raid boosting, making matters even more complicated. The World of Warcraft forum post by Denial of Service, Ybarra’s guild, lists that the Sanctum of dominion is 300,000. WoW Tokens can be used to purchase gold indirectly, but gold cannot be bought directly in World of Warcraft. The tokens can be purchased for $20 and can be used to redeem for $30 of game time, $15 of Blizzard balance or they can be sold at the Auction House for gold. Although prices can fluctuate, online listings show that the average token sells for around 200,000 gold. You would need to spend $40 to ride the entire Sanctum of Domination if you don’t have a bank account.

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