Mail Basics and Using CODs

I think it was on a recent episode of Call to Auction that the hosts discussed the fact that a lot of players don’t understand how the COD mail system works, and therefore they are afraid to use it.  (By the way, Call to Auction is fantastic — I’m so glad they are back and I really hope they stick around and keep the ‘casts coming).

I’ve noticed this as well.  I don’t generally buy or sell in trade but occasionally I do respond to people selling things there.  And if I suggest a COD more often than not the person doesn’t want to do it.   Even though we’ve been playing the game a long time, some things have changed over time and we forget the details.  So I thought I’d provide a quick overview/review of the mail system basics, including how COD works.

In-Game Mail Basics

The exact size of your mail box “behind the scenes” is unknown outside of Blizzard best I can tell.  However many pieces of mail you have, a maximum of 50 are displayed at a time.  To see messages beyond the first 50, you have to remove (read and delete) some of the first 50 to make room, and re-open or refresh the mail box.

Unlike a lot of mail systems outside the game, you do not retain a copy of mail you send.  (There is no “sent items”).  There is also no way to recover deleted mail.  The system is designed for mail to serve its purpose and be removed promptly thereafter.

Mail Expiration Times

  • Normal mail expires in 30 days, after which the message is deleted
  • Mail with attachments expires in 30 day, after which the items are returned to the sender
  • COD messages expire in 3 days if not paid for, after which the items are returned to the sender
  • Returned messages and items will expire from the original sender’s mail after 30 days and be deleted.  (In other words, they will not bounce back and forth.)

Delivery Times

  • Text only messages with no attachments arrive immediately
  • Mail sent to a character on the same account as the sending character will arrive immediately
  • Any mail, including those with attachments or money, sent between characters in the same guild will arrive immediately if the guild has the guild mail perk, awarded at guild level 17.
  • Without the guild mail perk, mail sent to a character on a different account from the sending character with items or money attached will take one hour to arrive.
  • Items purchased from the auction house arrive immediately in the buyers mail.
  • Money received from the auction house to the seller of an item takes one hour to arrive.
  • Returned mail arrives immediately
  • Money received from COD sales arrives immediately.

Cash on Delivery (CODs)

When you send mail with items attached, you have the option to require the mail recipient to pay an amount of gold for the items by selecting the COD check-box and entering the cost of the item or items.  You enter one total amount for all the items attached to the mail.

When a mail recipient opens the COD mail and attempts to take any of the attached items they will get a dialogue box asking them if they agree to pay.  If they do, the money will automatically be withdrawn from their gold total and sent to the sender/seller.

CODs are convenient for many uses.  Not only can you buy something from a seller in trade without either person traveling, you also don’t pay any auction house deposits or fees.  You can set up an ongoing deal with a materials farmer to send you everything they farm for a set price, and then not even be online at the same time.  And in conjunction with the guild mail perk, it’s a very convenient way to do business with guild mates since the mail is delivered immediately.

In the past there were issues with CODs being used in gold scams or for other under-handed purposes.  I’d rather not outline the tactics here.  But there have been changes made that make it pretty hard to take advantage with someone using COD.  As a seller you can be assured that you will either receive payment for your items or you will receive the items back within 3 days.  And as a buyer, you need to carefully review what is attached to the mail and what price the seller input before you accept the item — that dialogue box appears for your protection, so use it and don’t just click blindly!

 

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: The Nicest Thing Another Player Has Done For Me

The Blog Azeroth shared topic for July 2 – July 8 is:

What is the nicest thing another player has ever done for you in-game?

This was another of my topic ideas and unlike last week’s topic I had something in mind before I suggested it.

I played WoW for a long time as a solo player.  I had three characters capped at 60 when Burning Crusade came out, but I’d never even ran an instance, much less done a raid.  Famously, I had no idea my first character, a human paladin, had a “bubble” — the spell seemed useless to me because it only lasted a few seconds.  It was a real life friend that I’d introduced to the game who actually told me what I needed to do if I wanted to experience more.

I re-rolled and prepared a new character (the shadow priest who remains my main today) for raiding.  During that process, I just luckily joined a very large social guild and actually made friends.  I met people I would have never ran across in real life from all over the globe.  And we raided Karazhan — I thought I was a real player then.

One of the people we raided with was a prot warrior with a gruff exterior.  Turns out he had a heart of gold.  As the expansion progressed I went back to my older characters to level them to 70, and decided to try tanking on my warrior.  My prot warrior guild friend crafted me gear, got into vent to help me set my UI and rotation, quite literally held my clueless hand through the process of what to do.

Turns out I’m not cut out to tank, not by a mile.  And honestly, I can’t explain why the kindness of this guild-mate struck me so, but it did.  After playing solo for so long he opened my eyes to the fact that we can do more together than alone.  And that insight has far outlasted anytime I spent tanking.

 

Reward of the Week: Pimp Your Guild

“It’s better to give than to receive.”  Do you find this to be true?  Sometimes it’s hard to truly feel rewarded by giving something away, but in this case I think most people would.  Consider rewarding yourself for achieving that hard earned gold goal by giving some of that gold to your guild.

By “your guild” I don’t really mean your bank alt, storage, or vanity guild.  I’m thinking more of a guild that your main or other active character plays, raids, PvPs and/or socializes in.  In most cases your “main guild” has helped you achieve your goals via guild perks, etc, so giving back some just makes sense.  But more importantly, you can buy things for the guild that will make it more fun for all members, including yourself.

One option is to just donate some gold to the guild bank straight out.  This money could be used in anyway the GM sees fit — funding repairs, buying supplies, etc.  If you give the gold without specifying how it should be used, you should be prepared to accept the GMs decision even if it’s not how you would spend it.  Think through how you’ll feel and consider what you know about your GM before you proceed.

Another way you could go is to buy items to donate to the guild — raid consumables, enchanting supplies, materials required for an achievement, or even BoE gear that you know people need.  This way you control exactly how the gold is spent.  You could also offer the money for a specific purpose, like buying an additional bank tab.

When you decide to give a gift like this consider how it will be perceived and your relationships with the people involved.  You may want to give anonymously to the degree possible.  And just like in real life, don’t give if you really don’t want to.  Don’t expect anything in return and don’t be resentful when people don’t seem grateful enough.  Give the gift, enjoy the benefits it brings, and feel pride in knowing that your persistence enabled you and the people you play with to have a little more fun.