Altolycus has a post about ... those tireless suppliers of mats, and Blizzard reaching an agreement with those that assist them. I am also going to assume that Blizzard are serious about stopping those that are truly tireless; and the jury is out on this one.
Now, if this works, we will see higher prices on the AH. I will start to stockpile mats against a mid-January 'famine' - but not a huge stockpile.
I have a different scenario for you. Lets pretend there is a persistent competitor on the AH. He continuously undercuts you, and is a pain. You offer a bundle of gold for him to stop competing; and he accepts it. Oh look; those toons no longer post auctions, but all of a sudden a new set of level 1 toons start posting auctions with exactly the same posting patterns. Didn't that agreement work out for you?
I expect that after a brief pause, tireless farmers will continue to be tireless, even when their support network is removed. I also expect that a renamed (or possibly even new) support network will step in.
I don't support automation. Well apart from addons like TradeSkillMaster and Auctioneer for the AH; and Deadly Boss Mods/Ensindia Fails/Player Score; because they are 'legal'. And those that sell my mats on the AH.
[(mostly) sarcasm] Tireless playing is bad when the others have it; and I don't. [/(mostly) sarcasm]
Most players don't like tireless automatons (or even players) that compete with them; but love those that supply to them. Personally I get annoyed when I am swiped within 1/10 second on the neutral AH. I am annoyed by campers continuously undercutting me on the AH (both tireless playing and live players). Secretly I love players regularly putting up pyrite ore; whiptail; etc on the AH. Broke players are already complaining about 250g cut inferno rubies yet will not mine their own; without tireless farmers; this would easily be doubled in price; and would result in more players mining.
I do have some cheese to go with my whine.
Currently we have the ability to 'vote to kick' from a random group. We can report for spam out of trade chat. Blizzard also has community volunteers that help with the official forums. Sites like slashdot use community moderation in some form or another.
Start with something easy - like the gold selling networks.
Give those players that already have moderator status on the forums the option to have moderator status 'in game.'
Track those players currently using 'report for spam'. Blizzard already has these stats. Give those that have a high true positive / low false positive record a moderator status as well. When 3 (1? 10?) moderators 'report for spam', then the account holder is warned first. The second (or third?) time it occurs, the account holder is suspended for 24 hours; with right of appeal to either a fresh set of moderators (from another realm), or even Blizzard.
Extend this to reporting especially tireless toons - with guidelines for how to determine whether toons are inappropriately tireless. When reporting tireless toons, evidence (screenshots, dates, times) would be required; and reviewed by a moderator from another realm. Again, first offence is a warning; second (third?) offences result in a suspension.
Again, there would be an appeal mechanism. Successful appeals would 'mark down' the reporting moderator; unsuccessful appeals would 'mark up' the reporter.
The advantage of such an approach is that it would be quick; and give an (in game) financial incentive for competitors to report each other.
The disadvantages are that: it is extra work; would be abused by competitors; and would result in false suspensions.
The market would be a very different place without the tireless players. Some players would adapt; some wont.
ps. There are times I go out of my way to avoid terms or names. This post was especially difficult to write while not using a certain term.
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