Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

World of Warcraft Gold Market Soaring

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the making-a-buck-in-azeroth dept.

Role Playing (Games) 78

Gamespot has an article discussing the realities of Virtual World economics as they pertain to the real world. World of Warcraft is used as an example throughout, and they quote some staggering statistics that remove any last shred of hope that Blizzard's bluster may be having an effect on the gold market. From the article: "Sukow discovered that the top seller of WOW gold made more than $23,000 in April, just on WOW gold. And that wasn't even a good month--in January and February the number-one seller took home more than $44,000 each month."

cancel ×

78 comments

Its called speculation (3, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12460911)

Same thing as the stock market , Making a fortune off of money that does not really exist .
If i were a more supicious man ,I would think that blizzard are probably the top seller .Well they print(as in printf) the money, they would be crazy not to do it.

Re:Its called speculation (3, Interesting)

Jarn_Firebrand (845277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12460936)

I must be a more suspicious man than you, since that has been my theory all along. Now, where did my tinfoil hat go...

Re:Its called speculation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12460954)

lol makes sence, blizzard sells the gold, buyer pays, then is banned. oh wait then they loose the monthly payents of the buyer.

new plan:
-sell gold
- imform buyer he has suspicious gold amount
-gold is removed from player
-warn player about buying gold being bad

Re:Its called speculation (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12462380)

Loose the monthly payments? "loose" as in your mamma is a loose bitch? So loose it's like pushing a pencil down a hallway? I think you and all the other retards that spell it loose really mean lose as in how you can't lose your virginity. Loser.

Re:Its called speculation (1)

Young Master Ploppy (729877) | more than 9 years ago | (#12552290)

new plan: -sell gold
- imform buyer he has suspicious gold amount
-warn player about buying gold being bad

The scary thing is, if you replace 'Gold' with 'Weapons', and 'Player' with 'Third World / Middle East Regime', then you have American foreign policy for the last forty years in a nutshell.

Re:Its called speculation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12462274)

I don't think it's in Blizzard's best interests to sell gold. It causes inflation. Inflation makes people lose interest in the game and increases the probability that they will quit subscribing.

In March, Blizzard had 1.5 Million subscribers. That's 1,500,000 * $15/M = $22,500,000 / Month. $200K per month would be nothing compared to that revenue stream. If they sold so much gold that they cause significant inflation and lost even 1% of their user base as a result, they would lose $225,000/M. If word got out that blizzard was selling gold themselves, they could easily lose 5 times that.

Blizzard keep bitching (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12461162)

Blizzard keep bitching about people "gold harvesting".

This is bullshit how I cannot not make money out of this!

Plus these dudes use bots to automate teh process for them.

Life suxs

I wonder how long it will take... (5, Funny)

Matthias Wiesmann (221411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461231)

I wonder how long it will take for spam that proposes to move virtual gold out of disabled accounts
Dear Friend,

I request your assistance for an affair of the highest importance. I am Lalal 40th level gnome, whose account has been partially disabled. By hard work, I have amassed the total amount of 1'000'000 gold (one million golds) that is now blocked with said character. I solicit your help to move this sum to a new account. Due to changes of policies at Blizzard, it is of uttermost importance that this affair is conducted with the highest discretion. In reward for cooperation, I am ready to give you 10% of the total sum, that is 100'000 golds (hundred thousand golds).

In order for the transaction to take place, I need your account name and password. Be assured that I will proceed with uttermost discretion. /blokquote)

Re:I wonder how long it will take... (1)

The_Chicken_205 (723443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462230)

You Forgot All The Caps...


Dear Friend,

I Request Your Assistance For An Affair Of The Highest Importance...

OT: Re:I wonder how long it will take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12480452)

And you missed all the right places for all the caps.

For example, we take:
...total amount of 1'000'000 gold (one million golds) that is ...


and make it
...total amount of 1'000'000 (ONE MILLION) golds that is ...


while also changing the 10% value in the same way.

The prefered method would also mention the season ("Good Season to you"). I guess that's supposed to make the message sound more authentic or believable.

A normal 419 would give a more colorful backstory, but since everybody playing WoW knows about account cancelation a simple straightforward pitch would be more successful. It's sad that people fall for this type of scam, especially on the net with all its resources to at least make the potential victim aware of the situation before it gets ugly.

Re:I wonder how long it will take... (2, Informative)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12473767)

Today's Funny is yesteryear's Insightful -- my UO guild got taken for several thousand gold by just that sort of scam back in the day (when I was 16 and nobody would listen to me saying "Hey, guys, why are we giving him a key to our guild house again? Can't he just HAND us the money if he wants to give it over?")

Side effects (3, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461233)

While most people would probably focus on the issue of gold/gil/plat selling here, I think the more important issue here is the failure to curb these types of transactions. Blizzard had been saying that money would not be as important since the best items would be obtain from monsters, yet this happens. Simply put, either money still remains to be a major factor in the game or Blizzard totally messed up their monetary design and made it too difficult for casual players to get money.

Re:Side effects (5, Informative)

matric (841988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461477)

Blizzard had been saying that money would not be as important ...

Money really isn't that important in WoW and Blizzard has accomplished a very good job in allowing the market for lower-level items to flourish (That is, it is easy for a low level player to sell their drops and make cash). There are very few top-tier items that you can buy, the rest are drops from which you must be a part of the group/kill. Nevertheless, there are still people who will pay 500+ gold for an item that is probably +5% better than what you could get yourself with a moderate amount of effort.

That said, money isn't irrelevant. At level 60, you still need cash in order to buy consumables, repair your equipment, and even save up for that pink elephant. IMO, the volume in the gold selling market is a testament to the lengths people will go in order to be 'King of the Hill' (IE, buy that item that is 5% better).

Re:Side effects (5, Informative)

Androclese (627848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461478)

Getting Gold is not at all difficult, what drives the market are the following 2 things:

- The Auction House, an in-game "eBay like" construct, lets you sell and buy items. For anybody with an eBay addiction, or for those that that want to upgraded their items for that incremental increase in power, this place place will suck your gold dry.

- If you want a Mount (Horse, etc) at L40 when it first becomes available, then you need to collect 90 Gold (minimum). If you want a Superior Mount at L60, thewn you need 900 Gold. These are the two *must have* you-are-an-outcast-if-you-do-not-have-it items in the game.

I am sure the argument can be made for other minor thing, but these are the main 2 reasons the market for Gold is so high.

That, and just like in Life, Money means Power to a lot of people, and they will do whatever it takes to possess it, even if it's only digital.

Re:Side effects (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12477220)

While most people would probably focus on the issue of gold/gil/plat selling here, I think the more important issue here is the failure to curb these types of transactions. Blizzard had been saying that money would not be as important since the best items would be obtain from monsters, yet this happens. Simply put, either money still remains to be a major factor in the game or Blizzard totally messed up their monetary design and made it too difficult for casual players to get money.

Getting gold is easy. VERY easy. INSANELY easy. It's just time-consuming. What you're buying here isn't a rare commodity, you're buying somebody's playing time. If Blizzard really wants to devalue gold (they don't, trust me), they'd stop changing Scarlet Monestary to make pharming more difficult.

Scary (2, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461621)

The really scary part is that people buy virtual gold.

Re:Scary (2, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461656)

When you think about it, is buying virtual gold that much different to buying real gold for the purposes of money transfer? While gold does have uses in the real world, it's value is far inflated by it's use as a form of currency transfer.. and if you have a pile of gold bricks, what use actually are they to you, except for the fact you can sell them on to other people who want gold bricks?

Re:Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12462735)

Blah? The price of gold is inextricably linked to its use-value and availability. Its value isn't inflated by its use as currency.

What else can you do with gold? Use it for jewellery? Use it for electrical parts? A bunch of other stuff?

Re:Scary (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 9 years ago | (#12477081)

exactly what I was thinking!

It'd be much better to trade, say, 6 chickens for a virtual goat. I mean, you certainly can't eat a gold brick, so it's really not of much use, is it?

I.e., "pay to cheat" (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461795)

Well, just like real money, money has no value by itself. The only value is what you can buy with those money. In this case: an undeserved advantage in a multiplayer game. That's what that RL money buys them.

Personally I have no respect for that kind of people. Cheating in a single player game is one thing, and I have nothing against that. But cheating in MP? That's the kind of thing that's already the mark of the low-life lamer.

Doubly so for those who actually _pay_ for that. I mean, FFS, at least the lamers with wall-hacks and aim-bots in CS have just downloaded those. But actually paying good money to cheat in MP? How desperate _can_ one get?

Methinks that that's well past the point where one should take a break and just think it all over. I'm a game addict myself, and all, and normally won't go "it's just a game", but... when one gets _that_ caught up with keeping up with the virtual joneses, when those virtual achievements become a _must_ at all cost, it's time to worry. Really worry.

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12462096)

I mean, FFS,

Hm. "FFS". A phrase I have never seen, except on the official WoW forums.

A quick Google indicates that it means "Facial Feminization Surgery", an important step for men becoming women to turn into their new self.

Good to know.

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#12473349)

Replace the word "Pete" in the saying "for Pete's sake", with a certain verb, and then abbreviate the three words down and you get "FFS". Pretty simple, huh?

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12473785)

Yes, interesting indeed... although the term "For Fuck's Sake" is rather popular in real life. I can see how cave dweller could get that acronym wrong.

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#12474382)

In this case: an undeserved advantage in a multiplayer game.

I know many multiplayer games take quite a bit of skill, but saying anyone deserves anything in WoW is like saying a rat in a skinner box deserved the pellet.

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12481156)

I agree spending money for gold while you play in the skinner box is lame.

That said, it is not cheating. Cheating would be gaining an unfair advantage over other players, like free teleports or invunerability or something like that.

Buying gold is just that, buying gold. You can join a guild and have them give you bunch of gold. You can sell a small item for a bunch of gold. Some guy could walk up to you and hand you a ton of gold because he is quitting. Or, you could pay some guy irl for the gold and he sells it to you.

Eitehr way it is not cheating because the gold isnt going to give you an advantage that other players can not earn on their own.

That said it is still silly to do such.

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12482618)

thank for pointing out the obvious to the mentally challenged.

it is assumed by teenie boppers and those of higher age and lower intellect that anything "virtual" has no value whatsoever.

apparently they feel that way when they go buy those "virtual" games on plastic discs too...

you are free not to spend a penny on anything you don't feel is worth it to you... but shut the hell up about others buying it, it's their money.

Re:I.e., "pay to cheat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12580755)

Come on buying gold doesnt give you a advantage over other players. Do you think before you talk or does Bullshit just roll out your mouth naturally.

It is in fact cheating the players that spend hours apon hours farming for thier money to get better gear. only to have a short lived thrill of seeind ten gold buyers wearing the same gear. One of the biggerst things to these games is like showing off your spoils to the next guy. Being able to just fuking buy them is retarded. If you want to cheat get a console and some tato chips and get your ass off our online community. You are not welcome.

Re:Scary (2, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462919)

> The really scary part is that people buy virtual gold.

And you have real gold in your wallet? Or do you have a little card that is money only because a computer file somewhere says you have that money? Even real folding money is virtual; what can you use a dollar bill for, other than give it to somebody who'll give you stuff for it?

Chris Mattern

Re:Scary (1)

WreathOfBarbs (804654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12482804)

You can wipe your ass with it. ;-)

Re:Scary (1)

sunami (751539) | more than 9 years ago | (#12482994)

And you have real gold in your wallet? Or do you have a little card that is money only because a computer file somewhere says you have that money? Even real folding money is virtual; what can you use a dollar bill for, other than give it to somebody who'll give you stuff for it?

Sorry, but these things have value in the real world (and don't say anything like, "We're in the Matrix! This isn't the real world!" because I can see that as a likely response). Unlike gold in WoW, money serves a purpose to your everyday life. The very fact that people are selling this virtual money shows that real-world money has value. A "little card" holds real money. That dollar bill stands for real money, all which can be used to buy goods and services. WoW gold gets you a flashy item or better monut, but when you log off, there's no change at all.

Re:Scary (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507197)

as anything else you can buy with "real" money, wow gold is just a commodity. just as you can pay money to watch a movie or play a game of pool at the pub, and when the movie is over, there is no change at all, according to your reasoning

Re:Scary (2, Interesting)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12463637)

I play WoW avidly, and I have never bought gold. However, I know people who do, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

We all pay to play. Some people pay a little more. Acquiring gold in WoW isn't particularly difficult, but it isn't fun, either. Acquiring gold generally requires grinding.

Let's say I'm level 60, all my friends in my guild have epic mounts, and they all like to go raiding the enemy. I, with my non-epic mount, can't keep up, so I don't get to play and have fun with my friends. So I need 900g. In order to acquire 900g, I might have to spend 15 hours grinding for it. Or, I could buy it off ebay for $100. Now let's say I have a job, and at my job I make $50/hour, or at least I know where I can pick up an odd job or two that will earn me $50/hour. I'm sure all of us know somebody who needs a network set up, that would take us an hour to do, and they'd pay us $50. Grinding for gold is not fun. Setting up somebody else's network is not fun. But I want to have fun with an epic mount. So, I can spend 15 hours grinding (not fun) to get the epic mount, or I can spend two hours working IRL (not fun) to get the epic mount. Which makes more sense?

Personally, I got all my gold by playing the AH. Buy low, sell high. I just spent 10 minutes browsing the AH every morning before work and then relisting stuff while I leveled, and I had 900g by the time I hit 60. Regardless, I don't have any problem with others who didn't plan so well buying their gold. It doesn't hurt me in any way. Oh, and I can farm HK off the chinese farmers :D

Re:Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12464637)

hmm... 15 hours grinding... for 900... i know where I can pick up an odd hooker or two... grinding is fun... i want to have fun with an epic hooker. so i can spend 15 hours grinding my mount IRL! spending money on fake gold doesn't make sense!

Its Not Virtual Gold, Its Real Time (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12473811)

This strain of comment always makes me want to bump my head into the wall. I've got a Level 60 in WoW, took 16 play days (not bad, incidentally -- 4 hours a night, 4 days a week, with a bit extra on weekends, from November through March or so). That would be a large time investment if WoW wasn't my main entertainment activity and if I had consistent non-work commitments like, say, raising a family. For a lot of people, some of those 16 days are wasted -- for example, a solid day of that was at level 42 killing the same 6 guys over and over and over again to get 40g to pay for my mount (if you've never played: 60% increase in overland movement speed outside of combat -- saves you literally hours and hours of time travelling and a necessity to engage in any sort of PVP because you know the other guy has one and will chase you down with it). Buying 40g for, lets see, $16 or so isn't buying a virtual good from the perspective of the buyer -- its buying advancement to the point of having the mount without the intervening 24 hours grinding those poor Kurzan I massacred trying to get enough money to afford mine. Its essentially buying a bit of your own life back. And thats bloody cheap -- I've got a business sideline, for example, with inconsistent project-based work that gets me about $30 / hour (I do it because I like it, not for the money). Buying advancement makes a HECK of a lot of economic sense for me. In fact, given the rates of return it probably makes sense for almost everybody.

So thats the psychology/economics. I'm still 100% against buying/selling content, and wouldn't do it myself. But its eminently rational if you like playing the game (and, yes, the game is designed to be more fun at level 60 than level 1 -- thats half of the reason the slow, inconsistent advancement treadmill works as a hook in the first place).

Some people have no life (3, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461702)

"It's a validation of your game when people are willing to spend upwards of $2,000 on a character," Kramer said.

OMFG.
Right, I've now officially heard it all. Excuse me while I tie this rope around my head and kick out the chaalsifysfwgbvwe fafg.g.g..

NO CARRIER+++

Re:Some people have no life (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461915)

While I agree, it's absurd. There are a few thousand things I can think to spend $2000 on. It is true that it must be one hell of a game for people to spend that kind of money on.

I think I'll go buy a motorcycle or soemthing with my $2000 though . . . .

Re:Some people have no life (5, Funny)

rufo (126104) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462019)

NO CARRIER+++

No wonder he commited suicide, the guy's on dialup!

Wha-huh? (4, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12461945)

"It's a validation of your game when people are willing to spend upwards of $2,000 on a character,"

What's it validate? That your game is so boring that people don't want to spend the time playing to earn their gold/levels?

Re:Wha-huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12462159)

Thats not all. Some people enjoy the bragging rights of having a high level character with cool gear. It doesnt matter that someone else did it for them.

Re:Wha-huh? (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462647)

That people are lazy and are taught that getting something now is more important than working for it, and that instant gratification is to be encouraged and exploited.

Re:Wha-huh? (2, Informative)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12476662)

Which is all the more ironic since an inexperienced player at level 60 is basically worthless in the endgame content. The only thing I can think would go easily is ganking people of way lower level where skill isn't as much a factor. Although I have seen the pvp go wrong for some of those eBay level 60s.

Re:Wha-huh? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12490715)

That's not what irony [tri-bit.com] means.

Re:Wha-huh? (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12490761)

touche maybe I should have said "futile"

Easy fix (2, Interesting)

kongjie (639414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462313)

The article talks about the possibility of monitoring large transfers of currency between players. Why not just eliminate currency transfers? It would have the additional benefit of eliminating all the begging in cities.

No doubt the farmers would find a way around this, like setting up auctions where they bid enormous amounts for commonplace items...but then something like that would be easy to spot.

There's another way to discourage this, by taking a tip from The Untouchables. When they couldn't get Capone for his blatant crimes, they resorted to nabbing him for income tax evasion. I would guess that a good percentage of these top farmers aren't paying taxes on their eBay incomes. Call the IRS and sic 'em, boys!

Re:Easy fix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12462546)

You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they kill a mob, you delete an account. He sells one piece of gold, you nuke the entire guild! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get gold farmers! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?

The "Chicago Way" (3, Funny)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462627)

If you really want to go "Untouchables" on their asses, you need to go a bit further than that...

"How we gonna get the gold farmers, then?"
"You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a gankfest, you pull a slaughter. He sends one of yours to the graveyard, you send on of his to permadeath! That's the Lordaeron way, and that's how you get them gold farmers! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?"

-Trillian

(With appologies to "The Untouchables." The original quote: 'You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send on of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?')

Re:The "Chicago Way" (1)

kongjie (639414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462778)

Right--that's the player/guild solution.

I've retired my WoW account because my machine/video card is a little outdated and the lag was impossible to live with in high-level instances.

But while I was playing, interfering with known gold farmers was quite a bit of fun. I always felt that it would be great to be part of a guild whose mission statement included anti-gold farmer activities.

Re:Easy fix (1)

Aadomm (609333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462902)

Um, that is how they actually did get Capone isn't it?

Re:Easy fix (3, Insightful)

theMightyE (579317) | more than 9 years ago | (#12463983)

Instead of removing the ability of players to trade cash I wonder if they could set up a tracking system that monitors how much money each character gives to other characters per unit time.

Passing a few gold here and there to guildmates or newbie players is normal, but some guy who hands out hundreds or thousands of gold per week would stand out from the crowd. Have a GM monitor him for an hour to establish that they are really meeting up with and giving cash to nearly random folks, then kill the account along with all the farmbots that are colleting the gold. Maybe nuke the accounts of people who were buyers just to attack the market from the demand side too.

Re:Easy fix (1)

kongjie (639414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12464305)

I like your last idea. Make it clear that it is against the TOS and that buying farmed gold out of game puts your account in jeopardy.

Re:Easy fix (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12467388)

Yes, it's an easy fix. Too easy.

Here's your rule: It's violation of the TOS to give away large amounts of gold, and it's a violation of the TOS to accept large amounts of gold. Your account will be killed and your CC# banned.

Here's the first effect of your rule: There are no more "charitable" donations. No snappy replies that there is no such thing. If this point became visible enough I guarantee that we could document such occurances.

Here's the second effect of your rule: If I want to get rid of you, I offer you one or more large gifts. Unless you've read about gold farming and/or the TOS, you'd accept the gift and get punished, because as we all know, human beings can't resist free stuff. Again, no snappy replies that everyone would know. Billy can run out to the big box store and buy the game, but there's no guarantee that Billy reads Slashdot games or subscribes to computer-magagazine-du-jour (frankly, I'd rather hope not). If you want to catch the demand side, then that means your rule must scale with wealth and level, so that the little donatee gets squished and the big donator argues, if necessary at all, that it's a charitable donation of, say, 10% of their wealth. Bring out the inevitable but near meaningless threats of "I'll sue."

The GMs have a hard job because they have to amass some sort of evidence of selling of items and/or gold farming. Your metric is useful, but I'd rather see the GM investigate and discover the farm rather than nuke people based on the fact of the "gift". Under your rules, if I were a farmer, I'd consider it a cost of business to make a large number of moderate donations to innocent buyers so that the rule inflicted the maximum damage and controversy possible in Wow in an effort to make enforcement back off. After all, $10K/mo is less than $20K/mo but better than $0K/mo.

Re:Easy fix (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12478732)

The simple solution to your issues is to simply warn players on the first questionable activity. A player who is simply accepting a single random gift wouldn't do it again. However, the account that is sending out many of these "gifts" will have many, many suspicious activities on their record, so...

Alternatively, you could simply only punish the "giver", and just negate all the givers gold... the punishment for the person who recieved it would simply be that they lose the "dirty" gold.

Re:Easy fix (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12482656)

they go to such lengths to set up an "Economy" but do nothing to monitor it.

the fact that several million gold appears and disappears instantly apparently means nothing.

online gaming used to be the holy grail. but most people who have ever partaken in it, can tell that it is complete and utter crap.

either only play with your friends or give up and go back to single player (which is far superior in most respects).

Bounties (1)

Rod Dowel (882186) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462706)

Why not offer players rewards for turning in other players who are selling stuff? I know there are tons of players out there who would rather get items/perks that only admins could provide instead of buying something that anyone else can buy too. The only problem I could foresee is people starting accounts and subsequently turning themselves in with another account.

Re:Bounties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12464076)

Because most people have penises and not vaginas, thats why

Re:Bounties (1)

BigTunaCan (812319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12478240)

YES!!! That was truly great. I about LOLed for real! And at work no less! If people are willing to pay for it then let them. This real world/game world economics hoo hah is just bullshit. I play WoW. I don't sell my shit, but I don't care if other people do. The only people whining about it are a bunch of losers that 1) Suck at WoW and don't have the good items. and 2) Can't afford to buy the items. The people that buy the items are. 1) Losers that suck. and 2) Have money. and 3) Have no self repect. So go for it! Sell that WoW stuff on Ebay or wherever. At last Everquest is actually incorporating this into the game and embracing it. Wake up and smell the roses Blizzard.

solutions? (2, Informative)

astralpop (856161) | more than 9 years ago | (#12462865)

There is really no way to eliminate this type of behavior. One poster commented about stopping currency transfers between players. People would then begin trading in items. Much like the "stone of jordan" in Diablo 2. It has happened in other games as well. The most they can do is too monitor large sums of money or several smaller sums of money over small time frames. It is done in the real world. I believe the US Federal Governemt tracks any money transfer over 10,000. Another poster mentioned using a reward system to turn other players in. That is not something you want to begin. That only turns your player base against each other. Using the same greed that promotes gold selling.

Re:solutions? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12490735)

Sure there is. Disallow player->player trades and exchanges.

Granted that's a brutal and severe way, but it also works. The real question is, is there a good way which doesn't harm the game as seriously as what I just suggested would?

Many people say no, but then again, many people have said "this can't be done" about dozens of things in gaming; there aren't really very many MMOs (maybe 100 in history,) so there's a lot of room for novel behavior.

This is the kind of thing that makes designers rich. Someone might just find it yet. Hell, I have a system I think would work, and I've been implementing it in a small-scale online game over the last two months, testing the water for a larger deployment.

Why does everyone think this needs solved? (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12463571)

In order to solve it, there has to be a problem and this really isn't a problem.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (2, Interesting)

tprime (673835) | more than 9 years ago | (#12463972)

It is a problem for Blizzard. When you can actually tie system uptime to a player's real life finances, it causes a problem. Since I don't play the game I am going to use a hypothetical situation. If a player pays $500 for a large amount of in game gold and the servers run into problems (not uncommon these days from what I hear) and they have to roll the characters back to the point just before the gold was given and after they paid for it, they will be out of luck. While the player may not have a legal leg to stand on, they can make problems for Blizzard both legally and in terms of public relations.

On top of all that, since the system is being used to generate the gold that people are selling, would blizzard be required to file any REAL financial documents? This is different from eBay where people list items bought or created somewhere else, these sold items are created in game.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (2, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12466203)

"While the player may not have a legal leg to stand on, they can make problems for Blizzard both legally and in terms of public relations."

You have to agree not to hold Blizzard liable for this every other day if you play WoW. So your right, they wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on. If someone wanted to create a PR nightmare but have no legal leg to stand on they can do that now without virtual gold. In fact, I would argue that someone who spent 50 hours earning an item and then losing it to a time warp is more likely to raise a stink than someone who spent $50 on one.

"On top of all that, since the system is being used to generate the gold that people are selling, would blizzard be required to file any REAL financial documents? This is different from eBay where people list items bought or created somewhere else, these sold items are created in game."

I am not sure I really follow your logic here. The gold can be likened to say magic the gathering trading cards (or pokemon or whatever). The value of the cards is only as a collectable. Wizards of the coast (the makers of magic) are only responsible for their profits on producing and selling the cards, not for the collectable value of the cards among traders.

There could be a good argument that those who are profiting on selling/exchanging the gold should be paying taxes on those gains, but I imagine how the collectables are valued for inventory is already covered under tax law.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (4, Interesting)

Gerad (86818) | more than 9 years ago | (#12465167)

There actually are a number of problems generated by the buying and selling of in-game characters, items, and gold. (I'm not writing on any one specific game here, although my experiences are weighted towards EverQuest and WoW).

One problem is that the associated "value" of items often leads to anti-social behavior and the breakdown of in-game ettiquete. For example, if a powerful magic staff drops in a group, a warrior might roll on it (distribution of item drops are handled by random number "rolls"), despite the fact that the staff might be much better used by a wizard type character. This can lead to the breakdown of friendships and general ettiquete in the game.

"Okay", you might say, "so you need to find new friends and people you can trust". That may be the case, but sometimes the desire to earn these items leads people towards disruptive anti-social behavior that effects people even outside their group. For example, in EverQuest, known eBay farmers would frequently attract the attention of huge packs of monsters, far beyond the ability of any group to deal with, run up to a competing group, and use the "feign death" ability. This would cause all the monsters to lose their focus on the eBay farmer and instead turn towards the nearest target: you.

"Okay", you might say, "but World of Warcraft staff will ban disruptive player slike that, plus it mitigates this problem by creating instanced areas for groups to fight in, avoiding disruption by outside players." While this is true, it takes a fair amount of time for an eBay farmer to get caught, and they will not always be. Often, Customer Service staff must actually witness such an event happening, and it can take hours for them to respond.

While instanced content really alleviates this problem a lot, you still have the problem of pickup groups. To some extent, almost everyone is forced to group with strangers at one point or another. Grouping with a stranger who has relied on items they would never be able to naturally obtain, or who purchased a character can often result in hours of frustration as you deal with warriors who don't know how to hold the monster's attention, priests who don't heal, and wizards who are inept at dealing damage. It's just not a fun situation overall.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 9 years ago | (#12466249)

"One problem is that the associated "value" of items often leads to anti-social behavior and the breakdown of in-game ettiquete. For example, if a powerful magic staff drops in a group, a warrior might roll on it (distribution of item drops are handled by random number "rolls"), despite the fact that the staff might be much better used by a wizard type character. This can lead to the breakdown of friendships and general ettiquete in the game."

The perceived value is there among groups who do not exchange real cash for virtual items as well. The value comes from the desire for more gold. The gold exchange is the result of that same desire, not the cause of it.

"For example, in EverQuest, known eBay farmers would frequently attract the attention of huge packs of monsters, far beyond the ability of any group to deal with, run up to a competing group, and use the "feign death" ability. This would cause all the monsters to lose their focus on the eBay farmer and instead turn towards the nearest target: you."

And for every eBay farmer there are 10,000 guys who do that just to be pricks. The problem is the way mobs agro in EQ and the Feign Death ability, if someone can do that, it is a bug. In wow mobs will generally ignore other non-grouped players (unless attacked) while they return to the area where they spawned after combat ends.

"While instanced content really alleviates this problem a lot, you still have the problem of pickup groups. To some extent, almost everyone is forced to group with strangers at one point or another. Grouping with a stranger who has relied on items they would never be able to naturally obtain, or who purchased a character can often result in hours of frustration as you deal with warriors who don't know how to hold the monster's attention, priests who don't heal, and wizards who are inept at dealing damage. It's just not a fun situation overall."

And this is different from your average idiot... how? Maybe 1 out of 100 players actually can play their character decently. In even the best groups there is usually at least one idiot who doesn't play their character right. Either they have been pl'd up, or they play two accounts to get double pts/loot but can't really keep up with it, or they are using a friends account, or most commonly, they just aren't any good at the game.

Part of the problem may be that you come from an EQ background. The real problem is that EQ has been hacked and botted all to hell and people have been doing it for years. By the time WoW reaches the point EQ has, the game will be at the end of its reasonable life anyway and it will be time to move on to the next good game.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#12474431)

The solution is Permadeath! You will have almost no dimbulbs at the higher levels. OTOH, the real world price for a leveled character would skyrocket.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (1)

Xentor (600436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12478886)

Ugh, I've grouped with plenty of those...

Rogues who never stun or expose enemy armor (Or worse, waste stuns on enemies that are clearly stun-immune)...
Priests who use mind blast at the beginning of combat (Which makes it very difficult to pull the monster away from them)...
Warriors who charge into huge groups of enemies (Then complain when two priests can't heal them fast enough)...
Druids who never shapeshift (That's only the one greatest strength of the druid class)...
Mages who use area spells when we're trying to single-pull (Yay, let's piss off every monster at once!)...
Hunters who can't control their pets (See comment on warriors)...
Warlocks who put damage-over-time spells on sapped (stunned) enemies (Which of course prevents them from being stunned/sheeped/etc)...
Paladins who don't use their seals and judgements (The only thing that makes them more than a walking tin can)...

No complaints on Shamans yet, as my two horde characters are my lowest, only 13 and 19.

The newbies I can excuse and just try to teach (I created one of every character class, so I could learn enough about each to do so)... But when I inspect their gear and see epic armor and weaponry that had to cost hundreds of gold each, it's time to kick them out of the group and find someone else.

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12467284)

So you're saying that the virtual world for some off reason mirrors the real world, whether it's a group of lower or middle class people buying a winning lottery ticket in a pool, or a group of soon-to-be upper class adults/children inheriting a fortune from an estate...

minus the huge packs of monsters...
or maybe the con artists and lawyers are the monsters...

Insightful!

Re:Why does everyone think this needs solved? (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12482700)

thats why i keep saying that single player gaming will be around for a VERY long time and will usually be the best option for gaming.

as long as one has to put up with the crap of other people, then no matter what MP gaming brings to the table, it's not worth a damn.

Ca$h for credit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12469583)

I never understand why people would fork out real money for virtual money unless this is just a manifestation of lazyness creeping into our soceity. However it does make for an interesting commercial paradigm shift as we now are allowing for virtual prostitution by having people play games all day and turn around and sell the "credit" to another. We allow prostitution of nothing at all in our soceity yet allowing for any other form seems to shift to a negative pardigm in your thought... But why?

Re:Ca$h for credit... (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#12474446)

It's common in society for people of means to pay others to do grunt work for them.

Why are you playing MMORPGs? (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12474608)

Jesus, I am absolutely stupefied that people do this.

I've already written one comment [slashdot.org] about this in a different article and mentioned it in a blog post [blogspot.com] at my blog, so I'll try not to repeat that stuff here.

But for real, I'm truly saddened that the "RP" in MMORPG means so little these days. Everyone keeps taking about how much they hate grinding levels. Funny, when I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with my buddies, I never seemed to mind that my wizard was only level (whatever). Why? Because the point of the game wasn't to win, it was to have fun and (gasp!) socialize. Those of you who remember the old pencil-and-paper games, can you imagine a player offering a game master five bucks for 1,000 freebie gold pieces? If I were the game master, I would immediately figure out some heinous irrevocable death for that character.

What some people see as mindless grinding through levels, I see as an opportunity to meet other players, some of whom are rather interesting. What some people see as farming for game currency, I see as an opportunity to roleplay and boost my reputation. Not this silly reputation by ownership of a cool gametoy, but the reputation as someone who is fun and interesting to run missions with.

My MMORPG of choice is City of Heroes [coh.com] . One of my favorite characters is a Taxibot [taxibots.com] . We hardly ever level. We can't kill crap by ourselves. We have a lot of fun. The fun of the game isn't mindlessly killing mobs of enemies, although I do get fleeting enjoyment from figuring out strategies to defeat particularly tough enemies. The fun isn't even getting that new high-level power, although I do get fleeting enjoyment from seeing the cool effect of it. These things are supposed to add to the enjoyment of the game, not to be the enjoyment. My advice for MMORPG players (most MUD players figured this out a long time ago): If you really want to get long-term enjoyment from the game, get over that stuff quickly.

I get frustrated because I often wonder how many people even bother to read the mission descriptions they're given before they go to empty a warehouse full of villains. Sometimes I'll be in a group of people and I'll say something game-related ("We can't let Ubelmann succeed!"), and I often get responses that indicate that the people in my group have no clue ("Who's Ubelmann?"). Needless to say, those people don't get invited to run in a group with me again, and the people who do run with me regularly have lots of fun "grinding" levels, even if it is the 100th time we have been to disable the Rikti portal devices.

If level grinding has got you down and you've having so little fun that you feel the need to buy stuff on eBay or Sony's Station Exchange to use in the game, I'm begging you to play Progress Quest [progressquest.com] instead. We'll all have more fun, and you don't even have to spend a dime!

I know what the first replies to this post will be: Wah, people play games for different reasons. Yeah, well, if your reason is so that you can brag about your über-whatever with a gazillion gold to the lower levels, you're not playing at all; you're being a pompous ass that the game would be better off without. Do you go around in real life bragging about how much more money you've got than people on welfare? We're not impressed.

Damn, so much for keeping this post short. Oops, maybe I'll do better next time we have an "Buying virtual goods is a good thing" type of story.

Re:Why are you playing MMORPGs? (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12478777)

WoW has certain servers that are RP-oriented, others that are PVP oriented, and others that are PVE (Player Vs Environment) oriented. Most of your points are quite valid... if you are playing on one of the RP servers.

Re:Why are you playing MMORPGs? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 9 years ago | (#12480853)

So, to get certain itmes in the game requires a large amount of money. Maybe the person love to role-play with their friends, but doesn't want to put in hour after hour to get some key item. So they go online, buy some gold, and continue role playing enjoying the game. So there is not this split as you see it that people who buy gold hate to role play, it could be the opposite. (note: I have never bought anything online, but I can understand why people would).

Certain people get their thrills out of leveling as high as they can as fast as possible. They want power and will get it any way they can. Wow, that sure sounds like a role to me...sounds like the dark side:P These games are popular because of the social aspect, not because of the level grinding. These games would fail fantastically as single player games because they take too long to make progress. It's the social aspect that keeps them coming back. I agree with you on some of your points really...people who are sick of level grinding should simply opt out of it and do what is fun. Maybe it's the peer pressure in the game...what, you are still level 12??...that causes people to need to go out there and do something they don't like.

This is all outside of gil selling, though. This is just about enjoying the game. People don't necessarily buy gold to impress new players. They buy it because they hate that part of the game. This way they can do exactly what you say...enjoy the game (and even role play). Maybe you believe they should just stay poor to be true role players, but really, if people put value on those items with real life dollars (and can afford it), might as well let them enjoy it that way. I don't like your viewpoint just because you are looking at it from your side (that is easy to identify with) and telling others how they are supposed to enjoy the game.

Re:Why are you playing MMORPGs? (1)

Jaeph (710098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12481301)

"Yeah, well, if your reason is so that you can brag about your über-whatever with a gazillion gold to the lower levels, you're not playing at all; you're being a pompous ass that the game would be better off without."

What exactly was your reason again? If I understand correctly, you're proud that you can play in a hollywood set and pretend it's the real thing. How is that superior to people who are competing?

-Jeff

MMORPG - revised (2, Funny)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12475992)

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Paying Game

very simple way of.... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12482528)

ending this industry or cutting it down to size.

simply ban the bastards who use bots to "farm"

that'll end the situation so quickly it'll make their heads spin.

imagine if they actually had to sit there and click and click over and over for 12 hours a day... yeah, they wouldn't.

the fact that there is an industry in the first place is because those cheating punks have a lot of stolen accounts, so on the !extremely! rare occurence of getting banned, they're right back in the next day where they left off. while anyone else who wanted to run a bot would get their only account banned.

basically, things are bad as they are because those lousy punks running the games are leniant as hell on cheaters.

and i blame the companies more than the cheaters. they have the real power to make things balanced for honest players. lowlives will always cheat, given a chance... but they normally would be slapped down hard with a ban; not so with online gaming.

hence i'll never play an online game so long as those idiotic motherlovers are in charge of allowing those cheaters to prosper.

yeah and sony is for once right... at least profit from it themselves and leave less for those cheaters.

m........do not know if it is good (1)

jacobbg (885570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12590853)

do not know if it is good, but i did purchase 200 gold form www.brogame.com their service is good,i got gold within 10 mins, it is amazon, and i enjoy it very much. forgive me. jacob

Re:m........do not know if it is good (1)

jacobbg (885570) | more than 9 years ago | (#12590898)

http://www.brogame.com/ [brogame.com] oppps ,my fault.

good news (1)

lickemcb (885572) | more than 9 years ago | (#12591038)

hey guys
i just take free $5 from
http://www.brogame.com [brogame.com]
the code is : brogame001
use it and get $5 off your order
enjoy :)

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...