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Game Developers On Gold Selling

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the ni-hao dept.

The Almighty Buck 424

Eurogamer has an article which takes a look at how various game companies deal with gold spammers in their games. Some, like Mythic, take a hard stance, literally telling farmers and sellers to "go to hell." Others engage in an arms race to block such behavior, sometimes to the detriment of normal users. "In fact, a former Jagex source tells me that when Jagex banned all IPs connected to gold selling, 'they lost 10 per cent of their membership, and still haven't recovered in terms of numbers since they did it two years ago. Even though they have almost stopped gold selling in RuneScape, it has cost them two million active accounts; i.e. there were four million players, there are now two million players, of which less than one million actually subscribe.'" Still more companies are experimenting with real money trading (RMT) to at least establish some control and security over the situation.

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That summary literally sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553769)

Some, like Mythic, take a hard stance, literally telling farmers and sellers to "go to hell."

They literally said that? Produce a quote please, or stop being a fucking retard and look up "literal" in the dictionary.

Re:That summary literally sucks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553773)

Maybe read the article and find out? Ass.

Re:That summary literally sucks (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553819)

I feel that it is my duty to even the score. When writing this letter, I had originally intended to segregate the pure errors of fact in Mythic's comments from the assertions of questionable judgment where there could be room for dispute. I eventually decided against that approach because you might say, "Mythic should stop and savor life, not discredit legitimate voices in the negativism debate." Fine, I agree. But its ebullitions always follow the same pattern. It puts the desired twist on the actual facts, ignores inconvenient facts, and invents as many new "facts" as necessary to convince us that every featherless biped, regardless of intelligence, personal achievement, moral character, sense of responsibility, or sanity, should be given the power to destroy our youths' ability to relax, reflect, study, and meditate.

Mythic wants us to feel sorry for the soporific muttonheads who weave its deranged traits, hateful deeds, and juvenile announcements into a rich tapestry that is sure to instill a subconscious feeling of guilt in those of us who disagree with its fulminations. I maintain we should instead feel sorry for their victims, all of whom know full well that that fact is simply inescapable to any thinking man or woman. "Thinking" is the key word in the previous sentence. I overheard one of Mythic's flunkies say, "Mythic's activities are on the up-and-up." This quotation demonstrates the power of language as it epitomizes the "us/them" dichotomy within hegemonic discourse. As for me, I prefer to use language to remind Mythic about the concept of truth in advertising.

The conflation of fatuous maggots and tendentious dingbats in Mythic's holier-than-thou attitudes is either dramatic hyperbole or a fatal methodological flaw. This applies first and foremost to a claque under whose superstitious brand of exclusionism the whole of honest humanity is suffering: Mythic's army of illogical, slatternly yobbos. If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem. At the risk of sounding hopelessly belligerent, Mythic sometimes puts itself in charge of challenging all I stand for. At other times, one of its comrades, who are legion, is deputed for the job. In either case, any claim to the contrary is patently false. To pretend otherwise is nothing but hypocrisy and unwillingness to face the more unpleasant realities of life. Let us now exert a positive influence on the type of world that people will live in a thousand years from now because in that is our only hope for the future.

Re:That summary literally sucks (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553911)

Let me be the first to say:

WHAT?

Re:That summary literally sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553987)

It's drivel from the automatic complaint letter generator. http://www.pakin.org/complaint/ [pakin.org]

Re:That summary literally sucks (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553995)

Ah, thank you. Successfully trolled I suppose.

Re:That summary literally sucks (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554267)

This has to qualify as some sort of limited Turing test, IMO.

Re:That summary literally sucks (1)

Leynos (172919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554461)

That's quality. Like some form of IRL denial of service attack. :)

Re:That summary literally sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554575)

tl;dr

Re:That summary literally sucks (5, Informative)

Onion (162470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553775)

RTFA. It has a link and a direct quote of the "Go to hell" comment.

Gold selling is a good idea (5, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553785)

Because when I see that people are actually PAYING someone else to play the boring parts of a game for them, it's easy for me to deduce that what we have is not a fun game, but a tedious grindfest designed to keep bored teenagers playing forever and ever.

The solution to goldfarming should be to find out why earning gold in the game is so bloody tedious and focus your design efforts on making the game fun to play. Games are supposed to be fun, not a second job.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (5, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553807)

Because when I see that people are actually PAYING someone else to play the boring parts of a game for them, it's easy for me to deduce that what we have is not a fun game, but a tedious grindfest designed to keep bored teenagers playing forever and ever. The solution to goldfarming should be to find out why earning gold in the game is so bloody tedious and focus your design efforts on making the game fun to play. Games are supposed to be fun, not a second job.

I couldn't disagree more. The fact that people are paying money in addition to their subscription means that the game is fun or has value to the player.

Personally, I never 'grind' gold. I play the auction house and can then do whatever I want.

"Oh, but see you are avoiding playing the game!"

No, I AM playing the game. I'm sorry you couldn't figure out a way to do it too.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553833)

I play games to have fun. If most of a game is fun but a portion of it (grinding gold) is not, I have no problem paying to skip it, if the part I do enjoy is fun enough. Just like in real life- I enjoy throwing a party, but hire a maid to clean up before it. I enjoy driving my car, but pay someone else to change the oil.

I could use alternate ways to make money, but I don't find playing the auction house fun. In fact, I find it highly unethical. You're taking advantage of people who don't know what things really should cost. That's flat out wrong. And anti-gold farmers complain about my ethics?

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (4, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553905)

I could use alternate ways to make money, but I don't find playing the auction house fun. In fact, I find it highly unethical. You're taking advantage of people who don't know what things really should cost. That's flat out wrong. And anti-gold farmers complain about my ethics?

I agree with the first part of your post, but ummm what? I'm unethical for buying peoples under-priced stuff and selling it for what it's worth, but it's OK to violate the TOS and buy from farmers?

You may want to rethink that.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554185)

1. It's unethical to take advantage of other people's weaknesses.

2. It's ethical to violate some company's TOS.

I don't see anything contradictory in those two statements. The first statement values compassion, the second one doesn't value a game's rules. I disagree with the second one, but it's not contradictory.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (3, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554213)

Fair enough.

But you seem to be suggesting that I contact players to let them know their auctions are too low. They put the price on it, that's what they want to sell it for. I'm buying something from them, not stealing it. It's not unethical at all. Claiming it's unethical is just silly.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (2, Insightful)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554093)

You're taking advantage of people who don't know what things really should cost.

Different things are of different value to different people.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554593)

I find it highly unethical. You're taking advantage of people who don't know what things really should cost. That's flat out wrong.

You must have a lot of issues with ebay, craigslist, yardsales, fleamarkets, and just about any other human endavour where goods exchange hands...

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (5, Insightful)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553841)

Sounds like you fit the mindset of EvE players. The game can be a relentless grindfest or a fantastic exercise in playing the market. It's all in how you choose to play the game.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (2, Insightful)

MozzleyOne (1431919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553909)

That's fine, if playing the market is the "game" you're after.

My experience is WoW, and the problem is that the majority of people play MMOs for the PvP and the raids, and farming gold is just a necessary evil to do that. Accept that not everyone likes playing the market - I personally loathe it and find it intensely boring.

It's weird - I want to log on after work, go into a dungeon for 3-4 hours and want to just have fun killing things but I can't do that. For some reason, MMO's have a requirement to grind for things (in WoW's case; enchants, consumables and repairs).

*THAT* grind is what people are paying to avoid when they buy gold. I don't care if playing the market is fun for some people - I don't like it, and I don't like that every player is forced to take part in this "gold acquistion" game regardless of what they actually want to do. I don't force auction-house players to come do dungeons with me, nor are the forced to do PvP to get gold. Why should I have to get gold to goto dungeons? Why is partaking in the game's economy so necessary? Why can't I just go about my own game without having to go repeatedly kill things to earn money?

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (4, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553935)

Why is partaking in the game's economy so necessary? Why can't I just go about my own game without having to go repeatedly kill things to earn money?

Because if you could do that, anyone could have anything they wanted whenever they want it, and that's what makes a game shitty. Reward needs to be proportional to the effort put in. Remove effort and the reward becomes pointless/worthless.

PS - Get auctioneer and put in 10 minutes when you log on, you'll have plenty of money in no time. It's not like it takes any real effort.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (5, Interesting)

MozzleyOne (1431919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554005)

Because if you could do that, anyone could have anything they wanted whenever they want it, and that's what makes a game shitty.

But gold doesn't get you everything you want, even now. MMO's almost never let you just buy the best items from gear. The only 2 avenues to getting the best gear in WoW are raiding and PvP - there are really no good items you can just buy. If you dumped 500,000 gold on my WoW character now, the only thing that would change is I would stop having to farm gold. My character wouldn't be better, no-one else would be affected - I'd just have more fun. Imagine if no-one needed to farm gold - you could just log on and start doing what you wanted to do.

PS - Get auctioneer and put in 10 minutes when you log on, you'll have plenty of money in no time. It's not like it takes any real effort.

I don't want to put in 10 unfun minutes when I log in. I don't want to NOT have fun when I play a GAME. I want to log in, have fun and then log off. Why do we need to do unfun things before fun things in MMO's? I do things I don't like in order to get things I do like in my everyday job. There's no boring, unfun grind in FPS or RTS games before you can start having fun.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554101)

Even though it won't be as good as T7, T7.5, or whatever the heck gladiator gear is available this season, you can get some pretty decent stuff by purchasing the materials and finding a trustworthy smith/tailor/leatherworker/jewelcrafter/enchanter. In fact, one of the better maces in the game, is a player made item, the hardest part is obtaining the titansteel.

Of course, there are mounts to be had for achivements, and life is a lot easier with riding skill maxed out.

Gold is definitely an important part of WoW's economy, and having a fast mount to run around areas such as Storm Peaks (with Ulduar coming out soon), Icecrown, and other places makes it actually fun.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554135)

Wow, someone thinks -1 = disagree tonight.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554113)

Perhaps wow could introduce a new class that wasn't able to use any gear. It could be a monk or something. Players choosing this class could avoid farming gold, becuase their abilities would depend on XP.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554541)

In other words, you want to play a game that has no economy whatsoever.

That's fine. It means WoW isn't actually aimed at you. Instead of cheating, go play a game that plays the way you actually want it to.

Playing the action house don't work (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554153)

I can only take the example of WOW where I start playing recently. For established MMO (aka : not the first weeks or evemn few first month) the target of opportunity for new player is lost to game the auction house. On WOW this is exarcerbed as everybody and their grandma have a twink or half a dozen on the realm where they most play, often with multiple profession. And if they do not, they have huge amount of gold. The NET effect is inflation on all goods. So, for example, some low level (15) items go off for 7 or 8 gold coins (and not that rare item either, like silver stab for disenchat) which at the level you want to get it to use it as roughly 150-250% of a REAL newbie total fortune depending on your secondary profession. So only twix buy them because they have the money. The net result is that you need to "farm" for hours some stuff to get the money, or jsut give up on it. Don't get me started on some of the superfluous stuff like mount (with 45 gold 100 to 200% the real money of a newbie at level 30 unless you never had to buy anything at all) or bags. I such circumstance, I can imagine why someboy would INDEED skip the boring part and try for sold money.

Re:Playing the action house don't work (3, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554327)

The net result is that you need to "farm" for hours some stuff to get the money, or jsut give up on it. Don't get me started on some of the superfluous stuff like mount (with 45 gold 100 to 200% the real money of a newbie at level 30 unless you never had to buy anything at all) or bags.

No, the net result is that you can sell a level 15 green-quality sword for 2-3 gold instead of for 20 silver. People with high level characters think nothing of paying a few gold to kit out their latest alt, which means that it's very easy to make gold fast as a lowbie. Hell, stacks of copper ore sell for 20-30g on some servers. My wife recently started her first Alliance-side character, it's now level 23 and has well over 50 gold.

Re:Playing the action house don't work (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554467)

Works out that way for alot of people.
the only problem is that after about level 30 the value of items sharply drops, as Twink items have their biggest values in the level 10-19 and 20-29 Battlegrounds bracket. After that the next big twink level is 50-59, where people are buying up the Outland gear to play in the last bracket of Vanilla WoW, but the value of those items is sometimes less than a level 29 item.
So for new people, making money at low level isn't the problem.

It's when you get to max level that money becomes an issue, or supposedly becomes an issue.
I say supposedly, because I'm in a guild who clears Naxramas twice a week (normal and heroic) - with a few spots taken up by random non-guild members. That's right, we PuG end-game content. And we rarely wipe. This means that I can make 200G easilly on one Naxxramas run (with say two or three deaths). Not only can I make gold reasonably easilly in WoW, I can do it with a group of friends and run the content we find fun.

Also, SpamSentry is an awesome mod for blocking gold sellers...

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554157)

I used to do what you still do. And let me tell you - that is NOT a game, it's a job. Admittedly, some stock brokers call their job a game.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554237)

I used to win railroad tycoon (don't remember exactly what version) just by buying competitors stock, and see them skyrocket. I didn't need to do any of the boring micromanagement parts dealing with trains and tracks, and I could bankrupt my competitors just by destroying their company after they margin buy stock in their own company. Believe me, it's a game to some people. YMMV.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554283)

Personally, I never 'grind' gold. I play the auction house and can then do whatever I want.

In other words, the grandparent is right, large parts of the game are so boring you prefer to spend real money buying gold so you can avoid playing them.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554321)

No.

In other words:

1. I don't buy gold.
2. I don't farm gold.
3. I have enough gold to play the game.
4. You don't have to farm gold either.
5. Profit?

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554417)

No, you wrong!

In other words:

1. I can't buy gold; TOS violation + Poor.
2. I hate farming gold because of the ruined economy, but sometimes I have to because everything is so expensive.
3. I don't have enough gold to play in the inflated economy.
4. See #2 above.
5. Thinking of quitting MMO's.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554419)

Yeah sure, whatever justifies spending hours a day on gaining imaginary money.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

disi (1465053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553821)

I agree, gold shouldn't be that important at all. I know a game, where you can get enough money in like 30min to buy the best equipment, if you have the licences to actual buy it. Which means you have to play to get the experience and even then there is no much better ship and weapons. It is not the size which matters...

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553839)

There's no real gold grind in WAR. The game has a relatively simple economy mostly based on consumable items.

However, that never stopped the gold sellers from trying to come in and spamming everyone in tells, although Mythic ultimately was successful in stopping that. I still get some goldspam through in-game mail, but nothing too bad.

Keep in mind that allowing these guys to proliferate also aggravates "MUDflation" issues that these game economies are prone to. Even if the game doesn't have a gold grind built in, spammers may create one by imbalancing the economy.

Talismans? (2, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554001)

The patch before the last was pretty much an invitation to gold sellers ... the last patch made the prices a little more sane, but some of the higher level ones are still only affordable by people who abused the crafting opportunities early in the game to stockpile and sell after the last patch. Mythic created a large number of very wealthy players who will be soaking up anything valuable for quite a while and driving up the prices.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553863)

If they charge you to buy the game, and charge you to play the game(monthly), them balking at gold farmers doesn't hold water. It doesn't disturb an economy to acquire wealth. Somebody earned it doing something.

The only reason why these companies should be pissed is because it saves the users time, thereby possibly shorting their monthly subscription. Some people's time is worth more to them than dicking around grinding for gold. In fact, if you are charging a monthly fee, that would mean that the majority of your users would save money buying rather than grinding.

It smells alot like sudden "morality" of gambling, sex, and drugs. Governments don't want you to buy it unless you're buying it from them. Then it's A-Okay.

If your online game creates an actual economy, you don't get to pick and choose what that market will become. It's supply and demand. If you make users spend days grinding to buy a mount or weapon, then you can damn skippy figure out that spending 20 bucks will save them 16 hours of wasting their lives.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (0, Flamebait)

Celc (1471887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553975)

The only reason why these companies should be pissed is because it saves the users time, thereby possibly shorting their monthly subscription.

Yeah, I only pay for two days of my monthly subscription.

It smells alot like sudden "morality" of gambling, sex, and drugs. Governments don't want you to buy it unless you're buying it from them. Then it's A-Okay

I wish my government would sell me sex and drugs, it's quite frustrating and highly inneficient having to troll 4chan to figure out where the back channels are. Judging from your insight, I guess the first step is to replace our current one with a game company.

Also,
Your moms A-Okay.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (5, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554043)

I actually think one of the reasons why WoW is popular is precisely because it's mostly boring.

Imagine if the game were all about instances and non-stop PvP. You sign in and it's like, oh, Unreal Tournament. That's the fun stuff, right?

There's enough of that to "reward" you for playing. But of course, that's all spaced out over a lot of tedium. Most people playing WoW are bored most of the time they're on it.

The tedium is essential because it means you start getting attached to menial stuff. You go into guild chat and have SUPER-DRAMA over who gets which raid spot and why did that hunter roll on that shaman gear. The tedium is necessary, of course, as a step in the direction of uber-ness, to get your quest or your experience or your crafting materials or whatever. And so at first you tolerate it. And then you get used to it. And eventually you depend on it.

Like playing the slot machines; most of the time you lose, but you win often enough that you just have to keep putting in quarters.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (5, Interesting)

smallfries (601545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554253)

That's a really good description of an optimal reward-schedule for addiction. Of course, most (all?) people can't distinguish between addiction and fun, hence the huge popularity.

I tried to find a decent description of this on the web (I remember reading an old analysis of how to optimise the payback in slot machines that went into reward schedules) but failed. This [google.ie] is the closest that I could find. The main point it makes is that tedium is essential to addiction. It serves to highlight the non-tedious bits and space out the rewards randomly. Nice to hear a personal, non-clinical, description of it for a change.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554361)

Hm... I'd argue that tedium (or rather, significant time investment required to achieve certain things) is important because that's the only way to really give real-world value to items. If an item is too easy to obtain, then it becomes worthless.

Witness the honour PvP gear during Burning Crusade - it was pretty easy to build up a full set of gear as good as anything you could get from 5 or 10 man raids, so *everyone* had it. For most roles the gear was so good that it made most of non-raid PvE gear completely obsolete.

All you had to do was spend 100-200 hours in battlegrounds for your full set of gear, which ended up making it obligatory to spend that time in order to begin being competitive. There was also an epidemic of AFK bots, making battlegrounds frustrating for people who did want to actually earn their gear.

Grinding *Is* the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554097)

Grinding is what makes the game fun. There is no sense of accomplishment if you have not put work into the game.

Going to go after a strawman here, but do you honestly believe that if they just gave everyone unlimited gold and experience the game would be better?

People may complain about it, but the "grind" is what gives the game meaning so to speak. Finding a rare item will have a lot more weight behind it if you have sunk a few hours into getting it. You cannot get a sense of achievement or accomplishment from something that you haven't invested any time into.

So what about dailies? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554121)

People who grind the raids don't generally like having to do the daily grind to fund their raiding though, no accomplishments to be had there ... only pure and utter grind.

Re:So what about dailies? (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554553)

People who grind the raids regularly are likely good enough at it to turn a profit from it.

Naxx is so easy and has so much gold in it that if you really have to go farm gold, you suck. Even PUGs make money in there.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (1, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554143)

No. It is just proof that a good percentage of the population have no moral objections to cheating.

Since the beginning of multiplayer gaming, maphacks, bots and other cheating devices have been created to serve weak minded losers. It has nothing to do with wether the game is fun or not.

If there is a way to gain an advantage by cheating, a certain percentage of the population will do so. How large of a percentage depends on the type of people in question, but I would wager that it is largely dependent on the behavior of leaders and public figures as well as cultural pressure.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (4, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554381)

How many people do you think would pay extra money to get an extra queen in chess? How many people would pay to get some more "e"s in Scrabble, even when just playing with friends, if they wouldn't get caught? People like to be the best, and lots of people want to do it without skill or work.

Re:Gold selling is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554497)

same reason why we need to have poor people in the World.

Since most MMOs have some sort of crafting system, the crafter will distribute the created goods by charging credits. If every player had unlimited amounts of credits or if he/she would be able to earn the required credit in a few minutes then the item would have no in game value.
It also takes some time craft the big items so the crafter would be running around like a mad man trying to keep up with sales.

High prices are a form of control, they ensure that valuable items are not sold too quickly.

Wait what? (2, Funny)

KeX3 (963046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553793)

After all, barbershops and even paid-for sex changes have come about due to player demand in World of Warcraft.

Uhm. Paying for sex in WoW?
Exactly how deeply entrenched in your parents basement would you have to be to do that?

Re:Wait what? (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553803)

"sex change" != sex

however what your suggest would not surprise me.

if your bored and search around for free mmo's, eventually you come across all the adult themed ones, there's lots of em, but none of em are free.

Re:Wait what? (1)

KeX3 (963046) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553811)

Oh lookie, "sex change".
I fully blame this (freudian?) slip on the wallclock, indicating a time before 10am.

Re:Wait what? (2, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554371)

What is this "wallcock that you speak of"? Oh whoops, "wall clock"...

Free ebook (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553813)

Free ebook [appspot.com]

Why oppose it? (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553837)

Seriously, why?

Players obviously want to do it.

Is it just a matter of developers wanting to be cocks to the people who are already /paying them money/ to play their game?

Re:Why oppose it? (2, Informative)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553861)

Some players want it. In my experience, most hate it.

Re:Why oppose it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553867)

Is it just a matter of developers wanting to be cocks to the people who are already /paying them money/ to play their game?

Really? That's the best explanation you could come up with? How about developers wanting to ensure their game is a level playing field, rather than having it devolve immediately into "more money = better player"?

There are plenty of MMO players who want to cheat, as well - should developers allow them to do that, since these players are already paying them money?

Re:Why oppose it? (4, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553875)

I suppose it's for the same reason they can't sell the gold themselves.

Players who don't want to buy gold feel at a disadvantage and quit.

And when the majority quits, the game dies.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553889)

In extreme cases, it totally screws up the economy. The very best armor becomes so expensive that a new player will never afford it without resorting the some measure that violates the TOS/rules of the game.

In other cases, the developers are just being dicks. They have a narrow view of how the game should be played, and anyone who sees beyond that view is guilty of "exploiting" the game.

In the case of Runescape, they CLAIM that all the gold making drones were located in China, and that the drones were employed by the Chinese government, to benefit that government. The drones made almost nothing, while the government reaped millions of dollars, all at Jazex' expense.

Without access to Jagex' logs, I can't call them liars, but, there are things that I don't much like about them.

The fact is, they have a new chief, and some past decisions are being changed. For better or worse, it's hard to say right now.

Re:Why oppose it? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554019)

I have to say, I'm incredibly dubious of that bit about Runescape in the summary.

In fact, a former Jagex source tells me that when Jagex banned all IPs connected to gold selling, 'they lost 10 per cent of their membership, and still haven't recovered in terms of numbers since they did it two years ago. Even though they have almost stopped gold selling in RuneScape, it has cost them two million active accounts; i.e. there were four million players, there are now two million players, of which less than one million actually subscribe.'

For a start, by what manner of confused mathematics does two million out of four million consitute 10 per cent? Or is the claim that they lost 10% of their paying subscribers, and then a whole ton of players who were not paying them any money anyway? In any case, I think this chart [mmogchart.com] should tell you everything you need to know about how well Jagex has recovered from this "setback". They've shown a considerable growth in the aftermath of the gold selling cull, because gold selling really was having a massively negative effect on the in-game economy. And a current Jagex source tells me that their non-subscriber membership has seen even greater growth. Quite a few of these players then do go on to subscribe. I'm honestly entirely confused as to how anyone could claim that this was somehow a loss for Jagex. In every MMO that I have played, any time the developers have taken action against gold selling, it has been an unequivocal win for the developers, for the players, and for the game as a whole.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554103)

Why? Well, a game should be - a game. That is what most people expect, I think, that it is simply a game, something fun to do for a while instead of watching tv or going outside on a rainy day.

I find it highly dubious that "players obviously want it" - gold farming is similar to cheat sheets and drop stealing (in games where you fight monsters, they drop something and then somebody else steals it). If you are playing alone and don't have the patience or talent to do well in the game, perhaps it is OK to cheat, but in MMORPGs most people just want to get to higher levels by doing the work themselves; it gives a sense of achievement. And of course, skipping over doing it yourself means that you loose out on what is supposed to be the fun part: playing the game. If you buy yourself a highlevel character, it's like buying someone else's holiday pictures and bragging about how great it is to have those photos.

Re:Why oppose it? (5, Insightful)

Morlark (814687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554119)

Developers being cocks? Sorry, I actually facepalmed when I read that. I take it you've never played an MMO? Gold selling thrives in MMOs because, at the end of the day, there is one fundamental truth that applies both in and out of game: (some) people are stupid. Gold selling has a noticeable and significant negative effect on the game. Sometimes this means they've got their bots out keeping a given zone completely barren of mobs, so that any actual players who want to do anything in the zone are unable to do so. Sometimes it means that the gold sellers flood the auction house with the items they have farmed up, meaning that any legitimate player who wants to sell some items for a bit of gold can't do so because the going rate for those items is so low that they can't turn a profit. On the flip side, the people who have bought gold now have so much money that the market price for other (non-farmable) items goes through the roof, meaning that honest players can't afford the things they want. Gold selling absolutely ruins the in-game economy, which makes the game a lot less fun for everybody, and that means the developers lose subscribers. That is why.

In fact, in recent years, things have got even worse. As the developers get better at spotting the behaviour of the gold sellers' farming bots, the gold sellers change tactics. Instead of targeting the game, they target the players - through various trojans and keyloggers and whatnot, they compromise a players account, strip it bare of gold and items, and then sell the proceeds on to other players. Of course when the player discovers this, they immediately go crying to the devs demanding that their items and gold be restored. The dev company then has to spend god knows how much on employing extra customer support staff to deal the player's own lax account security. That is a direct cost to the dev company caused by gold sellers. The claim that the developers are being cocks by protecting the interests of both themselves and the players is laughably ignorant.

Allow me to finish up with a little personal anecdote. An acquaintance of mine in WoW once had his account compromised by gold-sellers. I don't know how, since he's usually a fairly tech-savvy person, but everyone slips up once in a while. The gold sellers stripped his character completely clean, took everything he had, and passed it on. When he finally got his account back, and was waiting for his items to be restored, you know what his first response was? He went straight to the gold sellers and bought some gold, to cover what he had lost. Yup, he went to the very people who had stolen his (imaginary) gold, and paid them real money to get it back. And he never once made the logical connection that the people who had taken his stuff were the same people he was dealing with. The average person really is that stupid.

It's only a minority that actually does buy gold, so you can't even claim that "players want it". But when the developers have to fight an uphill battle against both the gold sellers and that stupid minority, so that they can improve the game for those very same players, you do have to have a bit of respect for what they do.

Re:Why oppose it? (0, Flamebait)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554193)

Sometimes this means they've got their bots out keeping a given zone completely barren of mobs, so that any actual players who want to do anything in the zone are unable to do so.

In four years I've never seen it or heard of it.

Sometimes it means that the gold sellers flood the auction house with the items they have farmed up, meaning that any legitimate player who wants to sell some items for a bit of gold can't do so because the going rate for those items is so low that they can't turn a profit.

That's counter productive on the farmers part. Why would they want to sell it super cheap rather than the actual market price? Makes no sense.

On the flip side, the people who have bought gold now have so much money that the market price for other (non-farmable) items goes through the roof, meaning that honest players can't afford the things they want.

No. If it's overpriced, less people will buy it and the price will go down.

It sounds like you actually have a problem with people cornering markets, not gold farmers.

Also, shame on you for making up that anecdote about your friend. They don't need your account info to trade gold (it's either mailed or you put up a shitty item on the auction house for whatever amount of gold you bought). Or your friend is certifiably retarded.

Re:Why oppose it? (0)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554291)

Seems like you're the one who is 'certifiably retarded'.

Sometimes this means they've got their bots out keeping a given zone completely barren of mobs, so that any actual players who want to do anything in the zone are unable to do so.

In four years I've never seen it or heard of it.

Try playing WoW. It's been a couple of years but I used regularly come across level 60s grinding mobs around level 40. And the same toon would be doing it for DAYS. Either being played by gold farmers or a bot, I don't know, but they wouldn't talk to me, and when I had a quest that involved me having to kill the same mobs, it was difficult to find them, since they were all already dead.

Sometimes it means that the gold sellers flood the auction house with the items they have farmed up, meaning that any legitimate player who wants to sell some items for a bit of gold can't do so because the going rate for those items is so low that they can't turn a profit.

That's counter productive on the farmers part. Why would they want to sell it super cheap rather than the actual market price? Makes no sense.

Supply and demand. If there's lots of an item being farmed, then the market price drops. Come on, this isn't exactly hard.

On the flip side, the people who have bought gold now have so much money that the market price for other (non-farmable) items goes through the roof, meaning that honest players can't afford the things they want.

No. If it's overpriced, less people will buy it and the price will go down.

No moron, the price goes up because a minority of people have bought themselves a pile of gold and will bid stupid prices on these things on the auction house. Meanwhile, the people who don't buy gold can't afford the items any more. It's like if 10% of people suddenly had 10 times more money - you can bet property prices would go up in response.

Also, shame on you for making up that anecdote about your friend. They don't need your account info to trade gold (it's either mailed or you put up a shitty item on the auction house for whatever amount of gold you bought).

See, now I'm not even sure if you're really this dumb or you're just trolling. The goldfarmers hack your account, then they sell your gear for gold, which they in turn sell for real money. They don't steal from their customers - they steal from EVERYONE - at least everyone unfortunate enough to have their account compromised.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554393)

Try playing WoW. It's been a couple of years but I used regularly come across level 60s grinding mobs around level 40. And the same toon would be doing it for DAYS. Either being played by gold farmers or a bot, I don't know, but they wouldn't talk to me, and when I had a quest that involved me having to kill the same mobs, it was difficult to find them, since they were all already dead.

Played for the last 4 years. Never seen or heard of it.

Supply and demand. If there's lots of an item being farmed, then the market price drops. Come on, this isn't exactly hard.

Exactly. When an item drops to a point to not be profitable, why would you keep grinding it?

No moron, the price goes up because a minority of people have bought themselves a pile of gold and will bid stupid prices on these things on the auction house. Meanwhile, the people who don't buy gold can't afford the items any more. It's like if 10% of people suddenly had 10 times more money - you can bet property prices would go up in response.

No, the price won't change much. You were talking about non farmable items, meaning gear I'm assuming. You only need to buy it once, the price doesn't fluctuate at all really. Cloth and other items bought in bulk do though. And 10% of players don't buy gold, its probably more like 1% or .5%, which doesn't matter. Also, other players who sell X item profit from it too, the money doesn't disapear.

See, now I'm not even sure if you're really this dumb or you're just trolling. The goldfarmers hack your account, then they sell your gear for gold, which they in turn sell for real money. They don't steal from their customers - they steal from EVERYONE - at least everyone unfortunate enough to have their account compromised.

And how do they hack your account? Magic?

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554571)

From grandparent post:

See, now I'm not even sure if you're really this dumb or you're just trolling.

I'm leaning towards both. We've got someone who doesn't understand basic economics or security compromises petulantly digging in when they're clearly wrong. You'd do well to stop replying to the troll before the "conversation" devolves into them sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la la laaa..."

Anyone who doesn't grasp how gold farming is bad for a game is either profiting in a gold farming company or an imbecile.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554405)

Actually, if it's overpriced, more people will farm it until the supply rises and prices drop. I have, personally, had trouble with bots before; at one point the quest I was trying to do required a drop off a mob type that two levelling bots were camping, and (being bots, and in the states, and thus having superhuman reaction times) they managed to tag every single mob before it spawned on my screen. I ended up having to skip that quest for a couple of days until they moved on.

Re:Why oppose it? (3, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554239)

I'm sorry but most of the market destruction on my realm is from no-lives who farm up everything then undercut with auctioneer until crafteds pull in less than 1/4 of their mat costs.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554433)

No. People that play the auction house don't make money by undercutting. They make money by buying undercut items and selling them at the market value. The undercutters are the people who are actually grinding things and have no patience to sell stuff for what it's actually worth.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Mcgreag (957526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554163)

Why? Because 3rd party gold sellers are no saints.

If you think they are just macro farmers using normal payed or trail accounts then think again. Account hacking is the norm and when they do pay for accounts they are payed for with stolen credit cards, or with real cards where they after having received and used the game time they go to the bank and says they didn't receive the service. The bank issues a charge back and the MMORPG owner won't get any money and get higher CC transaction fees and penalties from the bank in the future due to the large number of charge backs.

Check the second half of this interview with the CEO of SOE if you don't believe me.
http://www.massively.com/2008/01/14/a-ces-interview-with-soe-ceo-john-smedley-pt-2/ [massively.com]

So please think again before using a 3rd party gold seller service in any game in the future. These people won't think a second about hacking your account to steal the gold back or use your credit card to pay for more farming accounts.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554285)

Why? Because 3rd party gold sellers are no saints.

No, that's not a good reason. If gold selling is allowed, then it would be trivial to buy through trusted third-party sites like eBay (although eBay's terms disallow that right now) or from the game company itself.

There are lots of good reasons not to have gold selling, mostly relating to perceptions of integrity and fairness by the player base and developers. Especially in smaller games, some semblance of market stability is a consideration, as well.

Many Chinese MMOs sell gold directly and some do quite well at it, so there's prolly a market in the West for such a thing (but I won't be part of it). Items purchased for real money and fungible in game, like EVE's not-so-innovative PLEXen or the Kingdom of Loathing's Item-of-the-Month are a compromise (particularly in a self-styled casual game like KoL).

Do I have a solution? No. Although I think the market is ripe for a major western MMO with gold selling as a profit center. With luck, it'd draw enough gold buyers out of other games to make spamming/farming less tenable.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Mcgreag (957526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554527)

Just because the game have legitimate gold selling doesn't mean there won't be shady 3rd party sellers going for a lower than the official price. If you think that EVE's plex selling removed the hacking 3rd party sellers you are sadly mistaken. Reduced them a bit sure, removed them no way. Fact of the matter is that 3rd party gold buying is a huge gamble where you are not only gambling your game account but the content of your bank account and the existence of the game itself.

Re:Why oppose it? (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554289)

The problem is it creates an uneven playing field. Players who can afford to spend real money buying gold get ahead of those who cannot, until it creates a situation where you pretty much have to pay for gold to keep up with the other people in your guild or spend many, many hours grinding. At that point you realise that either you are spending far too much money on the game or far too much time grinding the game and cancel your subscription.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554469)

Well think about it - gold farmers are using bots to farm this money 24-7 - its an artificial money supply injected into the game (because no one player actually earned it).

Which causes the money to be worth less.

WoW already has a pretty terrible economy where nothing sold is actually worth the effort to farm it. I honestly think its cheaper just to buy materials/potions etc from someone than to put the effort into getting the stuff yourself.

Re:Why oppose it? (1)

TechnoFrood (1292478) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554569)

CCP (the makers of EVE) are really tough against in game currency sellers, however they also allow people to pay for their subscriptions with in game currency. This is done using game time cards, and the providers for the time cards for the people who are buying with in game currency? Other players.

Basically you buy a time card with real world money from a supplier, then post a listing on EVE forums (or you can advertise in game, or anywhere else I guess), with what you are expecting to get in in game currency (the average seems to change with the economy in EVE, current average is 600 to 650M ISK an amount which is close to getting you a smaller capital ship minus fittings), someone will usually respond soon, you then HAVE to use CCPs official escrow system (to protect both parties, they monitor large cash transactions where no goods or services have been traded), where by you enter the time cards code the buyer and price, the buyer then has to accept it and if they do you get the in game currency from their account and their account gets the time allocated to their account.

A rather round about way of doing it, but the price of the time cards in game currency is pretty much decided by the in game economy and what people think is a fair price. There doesn't seem to be much moaning from players who don't do it, plus it has the advantage that if you can generate enough in game currency you can essentially play with no subscription fee. Of course to do that (at the moment you need 600-650M ISK every 60 days) you would have to spend a huge amount of time playing EVE (from my experience, I stopped playing a while ago, but have friends who still play and am informed the new wormhole exploration is very profitable).

MMORPGs and the 'Something Shiney Effect.' (2, Insightful)

KyoMamoru (985449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553913)

MMORPGs as a whole are designed to spread content through the level range, where equipment is relatively scaled to what you need at the time. In WoW, you can easily survive till level 50 by just using the loot that you find on enemies you defeat. If you stick with the quests that are given, you get great level specific hand outs. Unfortunately, once through in the existence of a higher level, players will not care about the content that they are already in. It is this style of player that is prayed upon by the Gold/gear sellers. They want to experience the high end of a game, and don't care at all about the low end. They do no care about the quality of the level 10 quests, or anything else that doesn't gratify them instantly. No matter what a game developer does, they will never be able to prevent this manner of thinking without abolishing the entire working model of an MMORPG. People love progress. They love the thrill of leveling up and gaining near gear. Gold Farming is just an byproduct of the system.

Re:MMORPGs and the 'Something Shiney Effect.' (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553963)

In WoW, you can easily survive till level 50 by just using the loot that you find on enemies you defeat. If you stick with the quests that are given, you get great level specific hand outs.

Works till 80.

Unfortunately, once through in the existence of a higher level, players will not care about the content that they are already in. It is this style of player that is prayed upon by the Gold/gear sellers. They want to experience the high end of a game, and don't care at all about the low end. They do no care about the quality of the level 10 quests, or anything else that doesn't gratify them instantly.

Sounds like you've never raided. I'd hardly call working on a single boss 3-4 hours a night, 4 nights a week for a month instant gratification.

Star Wars Galaxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27553919)

Fixed this problem by introducing the CCG to the gameverse, sure you still get people trying to spamsell you credits but many folks now instead by packs of the ccg cards using in game credits despite having purchased the ccg packs with real actual money.

Thus far SOE have accepted this as allowed.

A different point of view (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553927)

How much people would play chess if players could pay 20$ to change one of his pieces into a queen?

Chess is an extreme example but the point is, some people play to compete. Maybe not in a direct confrontational way but they like getting some kind of advantage by playing "better".

Having people who directly buys advantages in the game makes it less interesting for the competitive players.

Usually, there are more competitive players than players willing to spend money for an advantage, and the game creators try to keep the bigger group.

If the spending players weren't heavily outnumbered they'd be a better marketing target and more games would be based on the "Buy the better gun" model.

Re:A different point of view (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553989)

I don't understand this attitude if any amount of gold can by had simply by spending enough time to gather it. What possible difference does it make to any competition between you and someone else if instead of spending a year mindlessly grinding for gold, he paid someone a hundred bucks for it?

Re:A different point of view (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554051)

What possible difference does it make to any competition between you and someone else if instead of spending a year mindlessly grinding for gold, he paid someone a hundred bucks for it?

The differece is that some people consider time as one of the optimizable factors. So, if they do the same in less time it's as valuable as doing it better. For example, being the first to reach a certain point.

Aparently, unlike the world outside, being the richest in the server is considered less of an achievement.

Paying $100 doesn't teach you how to play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554249)

So someone who's put the time in will be a more proficient player than if they'd just paid to pass that by.

Not exactly (2, Insightful)

wantedman (577548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554325)

The gold farmer often hack other players and use game exploits to obtain their gold. They obtain gold outside of the game's mechanics. They are an outside force in the game between monster drops and marketing for gold.

Gold farmers increase the supply of money and therefore increase the price of everything. I've seen games where farmers have gone nuts and drove the price where it was impossible to earn enough gold through legitimate means to play fairly with people who have enough gold.

Worse, is that the gold farmers, especially those that use an exploit take away that area for normal players. No one can train or farm for gold legitimately, because a gold farmer has ruined the training area for everyone else*.

*An example would be a vacuum hack, which causes all items to be vacuumed into a hacker's inventory and far away from legitimate players.

Gold farmers also ruin the community, because they don't play to be part of the community.

Re:A different point of view (2, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554379)

In Runescape, the difference was that gold seller controlled bots made it almost impossible for human players to compete for certain resources.

If you chose to ignore the fun parts of the game and did the boring grind through 60 levels of woodcutting in the free version of Runescape, you could eventually unlock the highly profitable ability to chop yew logs... but you'd find that every yew tree in the game was surrounded by dozens of bots, meaning you had little chance of actually getting any logs.

Re:A different point of view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554439)

You've never earned anything in your life have you?

Re:A different point of view (1)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554047)

take a look at competitive team sports... basketball, baseball, american football, regular foodball (soccer if you wish)... do teams spend money to put them at an advantage?

as will all things the main thing is to maintain some sort of balance.

as long as the rules are optimised to maximise enjoyment for the most people i'm happy with that.

i just wish people were more reasonable... oh well...

Re:A different point of view (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554085)

Chess is an extreme example but the point is, some people play to compete. Maybe not in a direct confrontational way but they like getting some kind of advantage by playing "better".

Where's BadAnalogyGuy?

The best I can come up with is that your analogy sucks and it's more like paying someone to set up the chess pieces for you before a game and pack them up for you afterwards so that you can spend your time playing the game without mucking around with the fiddly stuff.

The solution, as someone else pointed out, is to make earning gold more fun or competitive too so that there isn't a perceived distinction between "earning gold" and "playing the game".

Re:A different point of view (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554451)

Except that its really not, because with more gold you really can buy better pieces of gear, and for a good while now that's been true--from BC where you could buy mats for high end craftables (the ones using nether vortexes, or sunmotes), and now in WotLK where you can probably purchase ~15-20k worth of high end gear (the kirin tor rings, the cloaks, various other pieces of craftables).

The fact that you can pay someone to get you a high end character, then pay someone to give you gold and use that gold to quickly get up to speed with gear, and then do it with 3 alts, may seem harmless enough--after all, you're just making it more fun for yourself, right?

Unfortunately, that completely misses what it does for other people. When you are able to easily fork over 2k for $epic_crafted_cloak, the price rises, and others have to deal with it, and we have to either break the rules and spend our own money to break even, or we have to spend days grinding the additional cash to compensate. Further, for raiders, if i have a dps class that I've worked my ass off on, and you roll in with your shiny new bought character with bought gear with the same stats, you've done no work, and can replace me, and cause me to miss out on content that I've worked for. The same is true in arenas--if anyone can snap their fingers, fork over $600, and have an arena-ready mage, that's GREAT! Except now my character is less valuable, and I have fewer potential partners to work with. That's not a problem if you had put in the same amount of effort (or skill) into it, but having paid for it is about the same as the analogy that GP made--instead of working for success in a game, you're paying for it. And that sucks for people who actually spend time trying to get good at the game so they can succeed within the game's rules.

Economics rule. i.e. it is an economic rule (2, Interesting)

Ontheotherhand (796949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27553985)

Economics. the allocation of scarce resource. If it is not limited, then there is no ecomomics.
In these games, time is the scarce resource, and maybe patience!
People sell their time (collecting gold or whatever) to people who want it.
The problem for the Game developer is that they do not have a real economy. (hey, just like the real world!) that is, the money created just appears and floats upward, whereas in a real economy it circulates, and is never "used up" (present circumstances excepted). Unless the game can simulate an economy successfully, then there will always be problems with currency in game.
This means work, or some simulation of it, which is by definition not that much fun. (software developer excepted, of course). So I would conclude that they are, um, wrong to ban external labour simulating in game labour. so far, the free market has proven to be the most efficient distributor of resources. well, till now, anyhow.

Shoulda listened to Mom (1)

dexmachina (1341273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554013)

TFA:

when Jagex banned all IPs connected to gold selling, "they lost 10 per cent of their membership...there were four million players, there are now two million players, of which less than one million actually subscribe."

Lost 10%...went from four million to two million players. Maybe someone should have spent less time playing WoW and more time doing their school work...

Re:Shoulda listened to Mom (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554219)

To parse that very badly written sentence, you need to know that Jagex calls subscribers 'members' and free players 'non-members'. What the article is trying to say is that is that they lost about 10% of their paying customers and 50% of their non-paying ones.

Re:Shoulda listened to Mom (2, Insightful)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554307)

TFA:

when Jagex banned all IPs connected to gold selling, "they lost 10 per cent of their membership...there were four million players, there are now two million players, of which less than one million actually subscribe."

Lost 10%...went from four million to two million players. Maybe someone should have spent less time playing WoW and more time doing their school work...

That's not what TFA says at all. I should report you for ellipses abuse.

What the article actually said was that once instance of banning gold buyers and sellers bumped 10% of their users; since then, their efforts have further reduced their player base to about half of what it once was.

Time = Money = Power = Cocaine (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554075)

Which is fair..

A lawyer working 60 hours a week, buys a 600 hour character and a million gold for 5 hours of income.
or
A student, retired, or independently wealthy person who plays 60 hours a week? Always gets the best non-instanced content first (sometimes blocking it for over a year to other users).

---

The game company sells levels, gear, experience for money.
or
The game company sets up quests so you if you can be logged on continuously for 14 to 24 hours you have a 100% chance of success.
If you can log on 24 hours in 2 hour chunks, there is a good chance you will *never* finish the quest (25 to 30%)

---

Who is more skillful
The person who can log on at 1pm, get the best camps, play for 12 hours straight, and reach the new level cap in a week?
The person who uses a cheating macro program that lets them see what loot the monsters are carrying and where the monsters are even when their characters are "blind"?

---

None of these are fair. I applaud the efforts by the game companies to make a game fair.

But morality is such that mmorg gamers would feel it was fair to be able to buy extra cards in poker or to get the best hands because they could show up earlier than the other players, or win merely by virtue of being able to stay at the table for 18 hours straight.

---

Games have rules. The rules for chess, checkers, acquire, dominion, hell even D&D, are not based on "the person with the most money or time wins".
When people try to play MTG and other CCG's like a money game, they quickly lose the ability to play with ordinary players and get stuck in their own brackets even at tournaments.

It's pretty disgusting.

Friend banned for buying gold while comp. in shop. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554197)

My friend was once banned for buying gold while his computer was away for repair.

They held his account hostage for 4 weeks until a copy of his service receipt finally filtered up the chain of command.

If people are buying gold it's indicative the game has costs which are out of proportion with the rest of the gameplay experience.

They made a poor game design choice, and it's given rise to a third party market to correct it.

When will game designers learn to stop penalizing their customers and start listening to the community.

Re:Friend banned for buying gold while comp. in sh (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554583)

No. If people are buying gold, it means that they want to feel like they won the game without actually doing anything to get there. It's no different then people using cheats in other types of games.

Very misleading summary (4, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554263)

This has nothing to do with Jagex IP-banning gold sellers, they always did that. The reason so many players left Runescape is that when IP-banning wasn't working, Jagex made a massively unpopular decision to remove a huge portion of the gameplay in order to stop the gold sellers.

Overnight, it became impossible to kill other players and take their items, to give gifts of any substantial value, to sell items for prices more than 5% away from a value assigned by Jagex, to have duels for worthwhile stakes, and to do a lot of other things that would take a lot explaining such as the World 66 Laws company.

Basically, they threw so much of the game away that a large portion of their playerbase quit (I'm guessing much more that the 10% of paying members mentionied in the article), overnight it went from being a Massive Multiplayer Online Game to being a Massive Singleplayer Online Game with chat features. Even if (like me) you didn't enjoy the player vs player part of the game, the changes were very bad news, as much of the economy was based around making supplies for player vs player combat.

Eve solved this problem (5, Interesting)

bigmacd24 (1168847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554331)

Hey, I like CCP's solution to this, in EVE, you can buy extra months of subscription, and sell them to other players, on the market, for Gold (ISK). I play the game for free, because I have enough isk to sell to folks who want more of it. Eve's economy actually works pretty decently, dudes get alot of use out of having extra isk, they can fly bigger ships, gamble more, pay folks for whatever they want. I always suggest to my friends that they buy three months of game time when they start playing, 1 month for themselves, and 2 months to sell to the market. Everyone gets on a nice, even playing field pretty quick that way, (and it's still cheaper than starting alot of MMO's). To ramble off topic for a while, market manipulation is incredibly easy in eve, I play for free because I spend about 3 hours a week looking over trades in three regional markets. I had to put in a bit of work to get enough money to afford it, but the cash I have is still chicken scratch (barely floating a billion isk, and most of it's tied up in one thing or another)

EVE solved nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27554383)

Pray tell why are the start corp channels awash in a sea of ISK-for-cash spam?

Why, pray tell, are there veritable legions of macrominers laying complete waste to all high-sec belts?

No, CCP solved nothing; the only thing they did was get in on the action.

runescape? (1)

Turiko (1259966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554547)

runescape is a bad example; trades where shackled,prices where set up by jagex with no way around them. Of course that will make your customers run away! an MMORPG is nothing if the MM part is replaced with npc's! It's basically an RPG with chat system now.

Good! Grind will die! (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27554563)

I played MMOs like 12-15 years ago. They were as addictive back then as they are today. Eventually, I managed to shake that addiction naturally, and not it has no hold on me.

Don't get me wrong, I -want- to like it... I just can't sit there for hours straight doing the same mindless crap over and over.

Anyone who is in my position and has tried a 'high rate' pirate WoW server can tell you that it's a LOT more fun. (Less addictive, but more fun.)

Eventually, we'll get through the current group of addictees and everyone will be looking for fun instead of addiction. At that point, there's going to be a HUGE market for fun MMOs. In fact, there's probably already a pretty nice market as it is.

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