World of Warcraft Season of Discovery The Blood Moon event

Blizzard confirms actions up to permanent bans for GDKP runs in Season of Discovery

After the recent news about the ban on GDKP runs in Phase Two of World of Warcraft: Season of Discovery, Blizzard has affirmed that serious consequences await those who break the rules in Phase 2.

Blizzard revealed this week the ban on GDKP Raids in Phase 2 of Season of Discovery. GDKP stands for Gold Dragon Kill Points. In GDKP dungeons or raids, participants compete through bids for items, and the highest bidder is the one who secures the item by paying the most gold, simpel.

The publisher isn’t a big fan of this player-created loot system, although it understands that there are some benefits to acquiring gear in this manner. This move is largely motivated by the developer’s strong stance against third-party gold buying.

Blizzard’s stance on penalties for joining GDKP runs is as follows:

GDKP in Season of Discovery - (source)

Starting with Phase 2 of Season of Discovery, we are going to experiment with a policy change: We will no longer support or allow GDKP or “gold bid” raids and dungeons in Season of Discovery. We’ve seen many questions about this policy change, so please read on for our answers and more information.

What is GDKP and why is it being restricted in Season of Discovery?

GDKP is a loot system some players use that essentially allows all loot to be purchased in a dungeon or raid using gold rather than being rolled for or awarded using another loot system. How this typically works is that an item drops and is then put up for gold bid among the members of the group. Players will submit their bids in gold, and the highest bidder wins. After the item is won, gold is traded to the loot master, and then that gold is usually divided among all the raid members.

It’s fair to say that GDKP has some benefits to individuals who don’t want to be tied to a guild or set raid schedule. GDKP raids are, while mostly transactional in nature, another social activity in the game, and we’re hesitant to discourage anything that gets people into groups to play together. However, we’ve been concerned that GDKP erodes traditional guild and social structures that are in many cases the basis of our most fond memories of early versions of World of Warcraft. It’s also undeniable that GDKP contributes to and drives a lot of illicit activity, such as real-money trading (RMT) and botting, as it creates a demand for in-game gold that would not otherwise exist. GDKP can create an “arms race” effect that encourages participating players to purchase gold to be able to compete for the best items.

We’ve seen a lot of feedback and requests from players for us to try putting restrictions on this system, and since Season of Discovery is highly experimental in its nature, this seems like a good opportunity to try to support a version of WoW without GDKP. This is something we’ve been discussing for quite some time, and this is not a decision we’ve arrived at lightly.

What exactly constitutes a “gold bid” or GDKP raid?

  • We’re defining GDKP as any raid or dungeon run where items are awarded in exchange for gold. Please note that we have multiple detection methods for GDKP that are effective both inside and outside of dungeon or raid instances.

What are the penalties for engaging in GDKP in Season of Discovery?

  • Account actions up to and including suspension and permanent account closure.

When exactly does this policy go into effect?

  • We’ll enact this policy alongside the release of Phase 2 of Season of Discovery on February 8, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. PST.

Does this policy change affect WoW Classic Era, WoW Classic Hardcore, Wrath of the Lich King Classic, or any other version of World of Warcraft other than Season of Discovery?

  • No. At this time, this policy change will only affect WoW Classic: Season of Discovery.

Have there been any changes to policies around what is allowed to be advertised in Trade or LookingForGroup chat in Season of Discovery?

  • Yes. To go along with this policy update in Season of Discovery, it is no longer permitted to advertise gold bid/GDKP runs in Trade, LookingForGroup, or any other in-game chat channel.

Player feedback is what led us here, and we’re still keenly interested to hear your thoughts and feelings on this topic. Ultimately this is a test, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll revisit this policy for later phases of Season of Discovery. We really appreciate the feedback we’ve already received on this topic which helped us arrive at this decision.

Thank you!

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