Booster services in games appeared... a very long time ago. The answer to the question "why" is clear and trivial - people want to get the most out of the game, without spending effort and time. Some justify this by saying that such people want to enjoy the game, not to exert themselves. Others believe that there is no pleasure in getting everything on a platter. Now let's talk more about it!
Boosting is already an integral part of the game, but its original role has changed markedly in recent times. Boosting in English means "amplification" and this term has always been used in relation to "instant amplification", such as getting some better equipment, increase in character's power. Now, boosting refers only to the services that sell something for gold or real money, and it does not matter what - equipment, achievements, mounts, reputation, levels.
History and Essence
Busting appeared in games almost immediately after the birth of the MMO genre. A young player, traveling through the expanse of a world, exploring it and not understanding what's what, he ran into various obstacles. He could not cope with them, but thought it was REALLY necessary... And then there were other players, Korean turbo assholes who were stronger, more experienced and could easily help a newcomer. Some helped for nothing. And others... Others learned the dark side and saw the needy players as potential hires... walking wallets! And began to sell services for one currency or another. In different regions boosting developed with different speed, but still developed and did not even think to languish. After all, the reason of boosting popularity growth was, is and will be demand for it from simple (relatively) players. Those who spent little time in the game, but wanted to get everything out of it, found a solution in those who spent VERY much time in the game.
The booster market was heterogeneous. Initially, wow boosters existed only on the expanses of virtual worlds, namely chat rooms. They advertised their services, enticed players and fought the competition like hagglers in a bazaar The first wave of boosters encountered all sorts of problems, from the inconvenience of trading in chat rooms and old forums, to bans in games, and maybe even broken faces if someone figured them out by IQ! After all, back then there were a lot of scammers who seemed to offer services, sometimes almost impossible, and then simply ditched naive players.
With the growing popularity of online games has grown and the popularity of boosting, enterprising friends saw it as a real market in which you can earn good money. But in order to make money, you have to somehow systematize it, because the occasional sale of services to bring a stable income, of course, can not. Ordinary players, so-called "baers" (users of boosting services), also were glad to centralization and systematization of boosting, because now they do not need to sit in the game for hours, monitoring chats, or crawling through various forums, risking to run into scammers.
Today, the boosting market is very firmly entrenched in online games, and interestingly enough, it continues to grow. For example, in Asian countries, only by creating your character in the BW, the first thing you will meet boosters, which will stand and spam in all kinds of chats. On the European and Russian servers, things are a little better, but still a lot of boosters, from small to large. And that's just the ones we see in the chats! And everything is not limited to in-game offers.
The fact is that the boosting market is divided into three areas - agencies, game exchanges, and in-game offers.
Boosting agencies are a whole business area. They work like advertising agencies and any other - they are an intermediary between boosters and boosters. Some form a business offer, others create a request, and then the work is done. Bearers desired benefits in the game, boosters money, the agency percentage. This method of boosting is, roughly speaking, official, the possibility of running into cheaters is extremely small.
Boosting exchanges are the same as agencies, only without intermediaries. On the exchange, the player can ask to spend it somewhere, and the booster responds, or vice versa. Here the guarantor is the exchange, which also receives a percentage, but in contrast to the first option, the players-boosters compete with each other, so logically prices should be lower. But the quality of services may suffer.
Game-boosting is something we see in chat rooms all the time. We guide, we help, we prompt, we wipe our asses. In chats sell services, mostly for the gold, because the developers ban for boosting for real money, the prices are often low, but you can simply throw.
Boosting is done both for real money (which I think is preferable for performers), and for gold, which is preferable for some customers. Some, because if a person earns a lot of money in real life, and the game spends a little time, he does not want anything there to farm and easier to give away rubles, which is logical.
There is an opinion that buying services for the gold is more profitable, but there is a question of time. For example, I'll be a long time to farm the right amount of gold for some epochal N'Zot. But the game wants to enjoy... But never mind, it's not about me.
Boosting and developers - war or a secret truce?
Blizzard Entertainment's user agreement regulates booster activity in a way. The fact is that in the game, first, you can not sell services for real money and for this can fly a ban, and secondly, you can not pass your account to third parties. Given that some types of boosting require account transfer, this makes things difficult, although not by much.
World of Warcraft is popular in many ways because it is an MMORPG that has been around for many years, and probably will be around for as long. Accordingly, there are a lot of activities in it, which, with all the desire, you do not have time to do. And a lot of collectible content, such as achievements, mounts, pets, and ranks. And some content disappears after some time, and players want to have time to get some evidence of his heroism, though it was not there at all.
Not all Blizzard games are popular with boosters and boosters. In first place, of course, is BW. Players buy everything from gear to level up, from gold to rankings. In second place is Hearthstone, where they sell accounts and ratings. Next, Overwatch broke into the top three, where they sell the same accounts, rating, skins.
Other Blizzard games are not popular with boosters at all, because there is nothing to boost. There are, of course, a few sellers and a few buyers, but it's a drop in the ocean.
As for the developers' attitude towards boosting... Of course they are against it. Against when the money bypasses their pockets and falls directly into the hands of boosters. But the token system allows players to buy it for rubles (almost three times more expensive than on various third-party sites), sell it for gold and spend that gold to buy services from boosters. Moreover, in one of his interviews Ion Hazzikostas, the director of WoW, even mentioned that they are thinking about introducing a special interface for boosters, so that sellers do not download chats. And openly stated that he was not against selling services for gold, because it does not harm the game. Like, imagine yourself a traveler in some world. You need to get the artifact, but not enough power. But there is a ringing coin. You can hire mercenaries, right? So why is World of Warcraft worse?
Boosting - good or bad?
So what happens, is boosting good or bad? Or a little of both?
We constantly see and hear criticism of boosters on the forums, in chat, under some videos, and everywhere in general. That, say, they spoil the game, the economy is spoiled, the chats do not breathe from the proposals and in general, the spirit of Warcraft killed, give me back my 2004!
On the other hand, as already said in the beginning, demand creates supply. If there was no demand, there would be no boosters. We're not going to trade fresh water near a lake with that fresh water, are we? But under the scorching desert sun is another matter! And what do we care what players spend their finances on, in-game or real?
Let's look at specific examples.
I don't know if there was a RIO system before BFA, I don't remember. But now it is and it noticeably messes up the lives of ordinary players, especially those who come into the game somewhere in the middle of the supplement. Such a person will not be taken in the high keys, even if he plays well, not bad dressed and can play his role in the dungeon. But there is no rating - there is no mythic. In this case, the player can buy a RIO boost and then quietly walk on their own mythic.
On the other hand, unscrupulous player can score a rating with boosters and then - ruin the dungeons of ordinary players who take it, because he has a high rating.
Getting achievements and rewards
Suppose I don't like PvE. Well here's nothing, does not go to me "big" PvE, such as raids in mythic and high key. But the ranks and maunts want to get! I will not cheat anyone by going on raids and setting up the team, I just get my non-combat rewards and be glad. What's wrong with that?
On the other hand, such awards must serve as proof of the exploits of players, their achievements, their strength. And if Pete suffered blood and sweat to get a rating in the arena and the rank of gladiator, and Vasya got it, standing on the rep, it will noticeably spoil an impression of his victory for Pete. After all, for some players there is no point in trying to get something rare and cool, if this is the same rare and cool you can just buy.