Since its launch in 2004, World of Warcraft has changed gaming forever. It had become an online sensation, where even South Park creators were inspired to create an episode themed around this game. The game is alive and prospering 19 years after its launch despite its low-quality expansions (Shadowlands, BFA) in recent years.
However, one aspect of World of Warcraft that was nearly forgotten, when it was very popular among the player base a long time ago – gambling. Yes, many people today will say that the loot system is like a casino or even the weekly vault feels like slot machines that only spin once. But older players remember when /roll was used to gamble and win gold against other players. We will delve more into this topic and explore the history of gambling in World of Warcraft.
1. Origins: The Dawn of /roll Games
The in-game gambling phenomenon began simply by introducing the “/roll” command. This function allowed players to generate a random number between 1 and 100 (or other specified ranges). Of course, it is used to roll on items, but players quickly recognized the potential of this mechanic for gambling. Two or more players would typically agree on a wager, then use the /roll function. The one with the highest roll would win the pot. This laid the foundation for many of the gambling games that would follow.
2. Variations: The Evolution of Betting Games
As the game progressed and evolved and the community grew more creative, different types of gambling games emerged.
These are guilds or individual players offering various games, primarily using the /roll option. There were certain macros, custom-built text, and add-ons such as the Cross Gambling addon. They also included other games of chance where odds were set, and players could place bets accordingly.
When Arenas were introduced in TBC, players started betting on the outcomes of PvP matches. But this started, with the duel option back in Vanilla. Players or spectators would place wagers on which player they believed would emerge victorious and get their gold doubled or tripled even!
Race and Event Wagers
World of Warcraft has dozens of special in-game events or races. Usually, players would bet on outcomes or times, particularly during world events or challenges set up by players themselves. With the introduction of Dragoriding and tournaments, this really opened the way for new ways to wager against the winners or the position they would end up at the end of the race.
3. Downsides and Blizzard’s Stance
Usually player created activities have their downsides.
Honesty is a virtue, and in WoW, it was a bit of a problem. Scammers would create fake casinos, manipulate rolls, or not pay out when they lost. This risk was inherent in an unregulated system.
Large-scale gambling could create economic disparities within the game. A player could quickly gain or lose massive amounts of in-game currency, leading to inflation or destabilizing server economies.
Blizzard Entertainment stance
The company behind WoW has generally taken a stance against in-game gambling, especially when it comes to player-run casinos. While the /roll games were harder to police, casinos advertising in public channels or those reported for scamming faced penalties or bans. That’s why if a player wants to experience gambling in a safe and regulated environment, something that sites like https://wegamble.org/ offers to millions of players world-wide. The experience cannot be matched, and the winnings are always grandeurs.
4. Influence on the Community
Despite the controversies, gambling added another dimension to the game. For some players, it was a fun diversion from the usual questing and raiding, especially when those content draughts occurred. Even though it is regarded as an “underground” activity, gambling remains a testament to the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the WoW community.
To Wrap things up…
World of Warcraft has been and still is a place where we can have many adventures, find friends, and explore the deepest mysteries of the Warcraft Universe. Whether that be grinding Cenarion Expedition in Classic, or finishing all the 20+ mythic dungeons on time, the developers really paved the excitement and offered rewarding experience. However, one of the most alluring parts of the games is not scripted activities by developers but the ones that the players invent. This can be seen in this short summary of the history of gambling in WoW. It is a testament on how players can adapt and innovate within the parameters of a virtual world.