By Bill Hutchens:
Play a “massively multiplayer” online game on your computer. The most popular
these days is
WarCraft, a role-playing game, or “MMORPG.” In
WoW, hundreds of players can log in to the same
server, or “realm,” for simultaneous adventuring. There are hundreds of
WoW realms all over the world, and
more than 5 million people pay monthly subscriptions to play the game.
Slay some enemies (also called “mobs”). When you do, you can loot their corpses
for items you can later sell to a computer-controlled merchant. In
WoW, if you slay a bear, for instance, click on its
corpse and you might see a column of icons representing teeth, fur, meat, claws,
etc. Click the icons to add them to your inventory. Some enemies yield, or
“drop,” weapons and armor as well as copper, silver or
WoW, players can carry as many as five
backpacks, each with more than a dozen “slots,” or spots for loot icons. When
your packs are full, head to a town or city and find a computer-controlled
Click on the merchant and then click on your backpacks to open them. Click on
the icons in your backpack to sell them to the vendor, who will give you coins.
Slay, loot and sell about a million times.
While you’re out slaying enemies, keep an eye out for rare items. These can be
weapons, armor, trinkets or even crafting patterns that other players might
want. You can tell how valuable an item is by looking at the color of its name.
Green items are “uncommon,” blue items are “rare,” and purple items are “epic.”
In most parts of the virtual world, epic items don’t drop very often.
If you get some of these green, blue or purple drops, put them up for sale for
gold on the in-game auction house. Sometimes epic
items are sold for real money in online marketplaces such as eBay or
When you have collected about 1,000 pieces of
gold (that can take many days of nonstop killing,
looting and selling), put it up for sale on eBay,
or some other online marketplace.
Here’s how the sale goes on eBay, for example: Someone who plays in the same
realm as you wants to buy your 1,000 pieces of
gold. He has a winning bid of $75, and the cash moves
from their credit card to your account. You arrange to meet him in the game and
give him your
WoW also has an in-game mail system for sending notes,
gold and items to other players.
Repeat this process 100,000 times. Or, as some have done, open a factory in
China, and pay 100 people a few U.S. dollars per month to do it for you.
The game development studio that makes World of
Short for “farmbot,” a playable game character programmed to automatically slay
enemies and loot their corpses. Creating bots usually involves hacking, a
practice most game companies do not endorse.
Noun: A single piece of loot. Verb: To appear, as sellable items do, in a loot
window when a player clicks on the corpse of a slain enemy.
Or “farmer,” one who plays a MMORPG solely for the purpose of harvesting and
selling loot, accumulating gold and then selling that virtual gold for real
money in online marketplaces such as dr-hu.com.
Noun: The items that drop from slain enemies. These can be common items such as
pelts or cloth to more valuable items such as armor or weapons. Verb: To take
The window that pops up when a player clicks on a slain enemy. The loot window
displays the items (as icons) that can be looted from an enemy’s corpse. Looted
items are added to a player’s personal inventory.
Massively multiplayer online game, a game played simultaneously by hundreds or
thousands of players
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game, a MMOG that focuses more on
fantasy role-playing and adventuring than, say, World War II shooting action or
the re-creation of battles from ancient history.
Computer controlled enemies. In
WoW, mobs are a mix of common animals,
fantasy creatures and monsters and human or humanoid foes.
A player who, when grouped with other players, steals loot from the corpses of
cooperatively slain enemies instead of waiting to divide it fairly.
A player who, when grouped with other players, steals loot with the intent to
A Web site that categorizes and cross-references the loot
WoW enemies. Thottbot also gives rough
estimates (percentages) as to the chance that particular items might drop from
The publisher of
WarCraft, the current top MMORPG with
more than 5 million players worldwide