There is controversy about a paid gold guide and the player involved. I am not going to mention names; if you care, have a look at the links on the right hand side of this blog.
TL; DR. Don't copy other peoples stuff and claim it as yours. Don't expect a guide to be original.
For the record; I would not be where I am today without one of the actors in question. The pageviews I got from his links were invaluable in establishing this blog.
I have not read the guide in question. I have previously seen paid guides for a variety of games; professionally produced; and been unhappy with every one of them. I wouldn't buy one, but then exploring the game is part of my enjoyment. On my first toon I read the text of every quest; and refused to install "quest helper" (an addon that did just that) just so I could see the game with fresh eyes.
My understanding of the complaints are :
- the guide is paid for;
- it isn't original;
- it isn't complete;
- it isn't 'best',
- it may have been pushed aggressively.
I have no real issues with a gaming guide costing approximately a month's WoW subscription. I feel the same way about charging for a guide as I do about ad suppported sites; I want it all, and I want it free; but acknowldege that real life gold can help with motivation.
There are plenty of players I know that could use a comprehensive guide. As a reader of this blog - you know players that could use one too. There are some players that I would love to hit over the head with any cluestick - and they are still broke. Consolidating material provided by others is valuable. Wowpedia, MMO Champion and even Google all provide information provided by others and charge (via ad sponsorship) for this service. If there was permission to include other sources, then I have no problem here. If there wasn't permission, then my problem is in claiming rights the guide didn't have.
It isn't original? No? So what? Not many good ideas are. However, if you are going to use other's material verbatim, you are required to quote your sources. You also need permission. Many (but not most) items on websites can be deemed to have permission. As I said above, permission is conditionally granted for my material. I am unsure about some of the guide's sources. Having not read it, I am unaware if his sources are linked or quoted. It is generally considered wrong (and even illegal) to claim authorship for someone else's work. As a community we write great material, but are horrible at providing a consolidated reference for a newbie.
It isn't complete? I don't think there is such a beast in WoW; You can specialise or generalise. From what I saw of the largely negative review (not having read the original guide), it seemed to cover a broad cross section of WoW. I know marketing material says it can do it all. If you think that you can get it all and get it quick; well I've a bridge (or even guide) to sell you.
Is it best? Best is subjective. I can't even get Critical Goblin to agree that I'm right and he's wrong about glyphs (yet). However, there is better and worse. I use raiding guides, it doesn't mean that I expect to be a server first heroic raider because of them. I like 'why' more than I like 'what'. Apparently the guide in question contained some of the why, but could have provided more. It also contradicted itself in a few places (i.e. mistakes in editing).
It has aggressive marketing. Well, I've read some of the suggested methods of getting our goods sold. Some of those methods are not nice. Walls, deep undercutting, camping, locking someone out of a market, fake trade wars, real trade wars, fake bidding and worse. I am now hard to surprise for 'in game' gold making. How can I be surprised at real life gold making? I don't like some of the things I have read about obtaining third party endorsements. And that can also be said of endorsements for gaming guides too.
- Verbatim copying of other peoples material without permission or attribution is wrong (both legally and morally). I encourage getting permission and then re-using good material.
- A gaming guide, (paid, ad supported, or gratis) can start you off, but won't complete your journey. Some players are ... not capable of their own research or reading. A guide is good for these players. If you get need a guide you will be able to pay for repairs, but are unlikely to ever reach a gold cap.
Coming soon; real pixel gold stuff and less controversy.