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Bad Press For Gold Farmers Affects Chinese Players

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the pick-your-battles dept.

Role Playing (Games) 640

Next Generation is running a piece entitled Why PC Gamer Kicked Out Gold Farmers. Editor-in-chief Greg Vederman talks about why they decided to no longer accept advertising from 'Gold Farming' services for Massively Multiplayer games like World of Warcraft. Though there are moral grounds for this decision, it contrasts with a Eurogamer piece on the negative reactions Chinese players recieve on English-speaking servers. From that article:"Apparently there is a common belief among English speaking players that most non-English speakers are gold farmers and are only playing for commercial gain. As a result, players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected. Since you have to join groups to complete certain quests in WOW, this is presenting many Chinese players with a serious problem. "

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640 comments

If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own... (0, Flamebait)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495176)

Apparently there is a common belief among English speaking players that most non-English speakers are gold farmers and are only playing for commercial gain.
What prevents Chinese speaking players from playing on their country's servers [wowchina.com] ?

And that's why English speaking players feel that Chinese speakers are probably just farmers selling gold to players in the states for money. Because if all they wanted was the game, they would be playing on the many servers in China [slashdot.org] that Blizzard has licensed The9 [the9.com] to run.

I never have problems with French speakers on my server, why are they capable of sticking to their own servers unlike the Chinese on my server?

If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their native language server.

In fact, as I understand it [slashdot.org] , it costs less for a Chinese version of WoW and to play it monthly.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495231)

Gosh, I can think of at least a few good reasons.

  • Maybe he or she wants to play with his or her friend who lives in America.
  • Maybe he or she wants to play on a more/less populated server.
  • Maybe Americans/Europeans are better roleplayers or otherwise generally play more in a style he or she likes.
  • Maybe he or she has a nighttime job, and can only play when Americans are generally awake and playing.
  • Maybe he or she hopes to move to America or Europe someday and is using the game to also help practice English. (Two birds with one stone!)
  • Maybe he or she just likes Americans/Europeans. I know I always think it's pretty neat when I get in a group with a lot of foreigners, and often, I ponder the possibility of trying out a foreign server.

Like I said, those are just a few off the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty more.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (5, Funny)

zuzzabuzz (561231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495262)

All are good points. But God help them if they're trying to learn English in WoW. Chatting with some people there makes the part of my brain that learned English die a little bit every time.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495280)

i'm a chinese living & working in the states. and when i log on to WoW, there is no chinese servers for me to choose from. Simple as that.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495367)

Start one.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (2, Insightful)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495435)

You did, however, type three complete sentences. They are not grammatically perfect, but they are about what I'd expect on a MMORPG in response to a query.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (2, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495309)

This - unfortunately - just isn't true. If a player doesn't know current events and can't understand basic English or refuses to communicate, they don't belong in a group with me. It's the sad truth that these factors invariably point to a farmer. Why would you want to play a massively multiplayer game with people you don't know and with whom you can't communicate, with the game itself written in a language you don't understand, when all those things are readily available for less overall cost and better speeds in your native language?

Answer: gold farmer.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (3, Insightful)

Cali Thalen (627449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495382)


Add...maybe Blizz added the servers in China MUCH later than the ones in the US, and people wanted to play the game NOW! And once you have a high level player, it's not fun to start over...

By the way, much of this is FUD. I'm sure that the things in the article actually do happen, but they're so far from commonplace that it's barely worth reporting on.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495415)

Well, Solly Cholly!

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1)

Mullen (14656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495240)

Can Chinese Gold Farmers sell gold on US Servers? If not, there is the reason why they play on American Servers. So they can Gold Farm and sell on American servers and get paid much more than if they Gold Farm on Chinese servers.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (4, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495250)

As a long time non-american MMORPG player (I played from '99 to 2004), I'll tell you how I see it: first, localization usually sucks. Second, you don't necessarily want to meet the retarded 14 yo from your own country, at least on english-speaking servers you don't meet them, and since you're not playing during the top hours of the server you don't get hit by the TardTrains of the english speaking servers. Third, when you're playing on a US server as a european or asian, you're basically playing in the low-load hours of the server, while you'd be playing at rush hour on your own server, and it's much simpler and less stressing to play with a slightly lower population.

Other factors may include overseas/net friends (meet someone on the web, they introduce you to a game, you'll want to play it with them, even if you're chinese and the guy is canadian), desire to better your knowledge of foreign languages (spending 3+ hours every day typing mostly english can help there), ...

Considering that someone not playing on a localized server is a gold farmer is stupid and sad, it's akin to considering everyone from out of your country a proven terrorist.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495350)

Well, allow me to treat you how they treat me ....

/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks
/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks
/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks
/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks
/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks
/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks
/w masklinn take me on MC, k thanks ...

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495372)

Allow me to show you how to handle that kind of annoyances:

/ignore spammer

WoW has an ignore list feature doesn't it?

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495400)

It doesn't come from one user. It comes from a whole nest of people standing around the entrances to high level instances with character names like lxpndxttt.

You should see the number of people on my ignore list.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1)

ejito (700826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495284)

Those servers weren't always there. I've met normal Chinese players on my server way before it was introduced in China. There's also the issue of recent immigrants to America. And some just want to play with family and friends overseas.

Even if all the Chinese on the servers were farmers, it still doesn't excuse the rampant racism that goes against all Chinese (making fun of their languages, etc).

Some gamers might applaud PC Gamers efforts, but those gamers are mostly hypocrites who use thottbot.com (still owned by IGE).

The whole issue of chinese gold farmers is full of speculation and made up "facts".

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495407)

Let's ignore the issue of where farmers are from for a minute. How about the fact that SELLING GOLD IS AGAINST THE TERMS OF SERVICE. Allowing cheaters to advertise on you site is wrong regardless of where they are and that's why PC Gamer should be applauded for this move.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1)

Darune (716587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495329)

What if the person isn't in China, and is learning English as a second language. I work in an R&D department with a lot of people who have immigrated from China to Canada, and they don't always use the best grammar, but they are Canadian citizens and would play on the North American servers. Brilliant people, they understand English much better than I understand Mandarin, but obviously English is not their first language. Heck, I'm pretty sure the grammar nazi's will tear me to shreds, because working here is degrading some of English skills.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495330)

So let them just play on their own servers... Who cares? Oh God, not more intolerance!

Re:Ultima Online (5, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495337)

If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their native language server.

I don't know about you, but when UO was released in Japan and Korea, a great many US players played on those servers.

1. Because there was a chance to actually have a place to put a house.
2. Most of the US servers were overcrowded and laggy at times.
3. It was soon discovered that the influx of foreign "noobs" were ripe for the theifs and player killers.

Ever have some guy scream at you in ghost language in Korean... No? Well... Its the same as US ghosts screaming at you in anger. Oh raiding Covetous dungeons... Those were days.

The funny thing was when we were building up newbie characters in the woods on the Ariang server and out of the blue (no pun intended) a red jumped out and went "cor por cor por!" and killed my friend and I shouted "wait wait! don't kill us we are americans!"

And the PK said... "Oh my bad" Rezzed my friend and went on his way.

So yeah... What you are saying works both ways. I bet a few Americans on WoW go on Asian servers to grief and their gaming sites are complaining about the American greifers.

Maybe she lives in America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495373)

If you live in America, you have to route through a proxy to get to a chinese server, yes? It is a lot easier to just use the American servers.

You may be surprised to learn that there are many people living in America who speak chinese as their native language, and have some difficulty with english. They speak it and write it well enough to do their job and grocery shopping, and thats all they need, so thats where their skill level stays.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (1, Flamebait)

derdracle (887901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495395)

"What prevents Chinese speaking players from playing on their country's servers?"

What prevents black people from going to their schools? What prevents them from drinking from their water fountains?

Maybe they shouldn't have to--- I think it's unfair to those gamers who simply want to play with, and perhaps experience the company, of people of a different national origin than their own, to experience blanket descrimination because of the actions of a minority of players of their same ethnic and national background. This type of gold farming is nothing new either--- UO was plagued by it, and the majority of that gold came from gold-dupers, hackers, and from the United States. By your same logic, you should be asking people the pledge of allegiance of a respective European country, or the name of the prime minister, to exclude American hackers and gold dupers from your midst. I expect you can see how you, as a probable American, wouldn't want such a restriction placed on you by the irrational and racist views of others.

I've played plenty of multiplayer online games created by Koreans (Ragnarok Online, Helbreath, Lineage), and I've yet to be descriminated against by a single korean player--- even though people from the west are actually well known to be hackers by many korean players, and often not legitimate players.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495404)

1. What prevents Chinese speaking players from playing on their country's servers?

I guess there are no Chinese speaking players with BAD English skills living in your country. Your country must be a great place to live, you stupid cunt.

Re:If they weren't farmers, they'd be on their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495430)

I was in china recently and while hanging out at a dark smokey internet cafe with a room full of chinese game addicts I got to speaking to a few gamers who were certainly not gold farmers but did play on american servers. Like many people in china, gamers play in english because they would like to use every opportunity they can get to practice english, a skill that has definite value in terms of getting someone ahead in life, even if just a job at one of the fancier McDonalds, or as a tour guide. It isn't just gaming, I can't tell you how many people sat down to eat with me in fast food joints and cafeterias in hopes that they could practice some English, nevermind that all I wanted to do was practice my Mandarin.

You also overlook that not everyone in the US has perfect english, and some recent and not so reccent arrivals are still working on it. Should my neighbor from Xi'an who has been in NYC for about a year, but still has problems with the language play on servers in China??? Give me a break!

I've studied many languages and I'm glad that I haven't run into this kind of crap when I enter chats and games in spanish, or italian or german or whatever... most people are understanding, but I guess some people will use any excuse to give their bigotry a whirl.

Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (5, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495182)

So if you're a gold farmer, hanging around with your gold farming buddies at the gold farming office, wouldn't you just team up with them instead of trying to solicit groups with American players, who are likely to just slow you down?

And if you are a non-gold farming player, and someone wants to team up with you to help accomplish missions, what difference does it make what their motive is? Given that gold (or influence or whatever) is required to get stuff, to some extent, aren't we all gold farmers? For your practical gaming purposes, what makes a player who is accruing it to sell different from a player who is accruing it to buy a neat new sword (or new enhancements or whatever)?

If someone doesn't want to team up with foreigners, I'm guessing that there's something going on other than not wanting to support gold farming. It's probably because either a) for roleplaying purposes, you need to be able to communicate with your teammates (optimism), b) the farmer is not playing they way the group leader wishes and puts high pressure on him or her to rush through the missions (neutral), or c) they just don't like foreigners (pessimism).

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (1)

Narff (864819) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495227)

The gold farmers team up with each other sometimes! Its hilarious to watch 2 groups of gold farmers from opposing factions battle it out for a lucrative farming spot.

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495272)

And if you are a non-gold farming player, and someone wants to team up with you to help accomplish missions, what difference does it make what their motive is?

The difference is that gold farmers ninja loot.

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (5, Funny)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495297)

If someone doesn't want to team up with foreigners, I'm guessing that there's something going on other than not wanting to support gold farming.

I use the German client, just to get practice on my German. Every item I link is in German on the text bar. One day someone asked me why everything I linked on the chat was in German, and I said 'cause I'm using the German client, and he said.

"Sorry, I just can't support those who didn't support us during the war." Then left the Guild.

Now, be entirely aware that I am: a.) american, and b.) support the war.

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495447)

Which war did he refer to?

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495303)

Unfortunately, I think your pessamistic view is right.
Look at the first poster of these comments for a prime example.

replace online game with bus and we have travelled back 50 years.

I can only see one reason why online gamers "appear" to stick together: ping times.

As broadband is getting quicker and global bandwidth increases, expect more from the worldwide gamer.

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (1)

Vicissidude (878310) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495321)

The motive does matter. A gold farmer would be more likely to choose need over greed for any high level item, making it less likely that someone who actually needs the item would get it. While we are all gold farmers in a sense, non-gold farmers realize that they need to play fair in order to stay in the good graces of other players.

Further, someone who does not speak the language or who understands it poorly is unable to comprehend complex directions in the short period of time you have to give those directions. Given the stressful situations that these groups already face with native speakers, it's only natural to not want to deal with any language barriers on top of that.

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495366)

All it takes is for one guy with a Chineese name to 'Ninja Loot' an epic item during a raid.

Re:Don't farmers just work with other farmers? (4, Informative)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495377)

So if you're a gold farmer, hanging around with your gold farming buddies at the gold farming office, wouldn't you just team up with them instead of trying to solicit groups with American players, who are likely to just slow you down?

Gold farmers often join groups with regular players to "ninja" the loot drops. Basically the whole group works to get a good item, then the farmer grabs it and runs. Not only does that mean they steal the item, they leave the group shorthanded and angry, so the group usually gives up and disbands right away.

In Asia... (-1, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495197)

Gaming is not just a way of life. It's a 24/7 JOB. They make money selling items on e-bay and the like. The players are nothing more than the gamers version of a day/stock trader. In fact, they prolly don't even like the game. It's just another source of real-world income.

Re:In Asia... (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495202)

Either way it's gotta be better than working in a factory making junk for the US.

~S

Re:In Asia... (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495268)

Gaming is not just a way of life. It's a 24/7 JOB. They make money selling items on e-bay and the like. The players are nothing more than the gamers version of a day/stock trader. In fact, they prolly don't even like the game. It's just another source of real-world income.

Yeah, but day traders don't fuck with the mechanics of my relaxation.

[reads that line again]

I'll let you parse that however you like.

I hate to break it to them... (5, Funny)

Winlin (42941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495199)

but I can after 5 years on EQ1, I can pretty much predict that anyone who will only group with people who can type 2 complete sentences without mistakes is doomed to a lifetime of soloing.

Re:I hate to break it to them... (2, Interesting)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495288)

but I can after 5 years on EQ1, I can pretty much predict that anyone who will only group with people who can type 2 complete sentences without mistakes is doomed to a lifetime of soloing.

You are dead wrong. Up til I quit WoW last june, (we downed Onyxia and Domo) I was in a guild where everyone could type more than 2 sentences. Smart people and nice people. Oh and I never ever looked or had to look for a random pickup group.

Plenty of good guilds/clans exist with smart people who type more elaborate sentences than "d00d u ned any1 to fill grp?" or "OMGLOLZ!!!!!1111oneonetwo!!!. You will find these guilds in any MMOG, just have to do a bit of searching.

Re:I hate to break it to them... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495440)

Up til I quit WoW last june, (we downed Onyxia and Domo) I was in a guild where everyone could type more than 2 sentences.

Yeah you quit when they caught you using the word "til" and spelling "june" without a capital initial.

When gaming meets the economy. (0, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495206)

Like it or not, such games reflect a real-world social situtation. And when we have such situations, economies often develop. That's just the nature of human survival, be it in real life, or while playing as an elf in some online game.

What interests me the most is the attitude that is being taken towards those who are able to produce goods with a comparative advantage. Those questions are much like a tariff, for instance. They inhibit the free trade between those who harvest gold in these games, and those who wish to buy.

With the move towards free trade worldwide, it will be interesting to see how the games adopt. Indeed, it could be quite a scene to see riots of sorts taking place in these game worlds, much as happens in the real world, when tough economic issues are involved.

Serious Problem? (3, Insightful)

Steendor (917855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495207)

In other serious news today, some WoW gamers cannot complete their quests...

I know a lot of native English speakers... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495209)

...who cannut be countid on, to submit a coupel of errorfree sentences of proper correct and tpyofree English themselves.

Re:I know a lot of native English speakers... (1)

conJunk (779958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495255)

...who cannut be countid on, to submit a coupel of errorfree sentences of proper correct and tpyofree English themselves.

i don't know what you mean! [cafepress.com] ;)

Cry me a river ... of Gold (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495215)

IF some Chinese dude was willing to give a certain amount of gold to the group... He is in! Unless, of course being chinese, he decided to play on the chinese language servers so that he wouldnt be confused and feel rejected by the language differences.

Of course I know plenty of english speaking people, myself included, who sometimes cant type or write correctly.

What about Zonk? (4, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495217)

If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected

Are you always playing WOW alone?

from a multi-nation server perspective. (3, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495218)

Playing FFXI unlike WoW everyone is on the same server. Even here despite some of the rivalry that exists between the NAs and JPs BOTH along with the EU gamers are pretty much in agreement that all chinese players are gilfarmers. Even with there being a few HK LSs.

I think the underlyiing factor is that no matter ow many legit players there are, way too many ARE infact there for the selling reason. Its unfortunate that such descrimination exists now, and I can tell you at first it didnt to this extent. But way too many people ruined it for the few.

On the oposite side of the coin, many NA are accused of buying gil by the JP for the exact same reasons.

Fake computer game gold...? This is a story...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495226)

You guys know that the gold is not real... nor are any of the items in an online game. You guys know this, right...?

Re:Fake computer game gold...? This is a story...? (1)

TIMxPx (859220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495363)

Neither are the play chips at pokerstars, etc. But people seem to be interested in buying them, even though it's fairly easy just to win them from some chump. Then again, if you're buying play poker chips, you're probably doing yourself a favor, because you stand to lose alot more with real $, and you obviously have not succeeded in winning play chips, which is arguably much easier to do. Also, i hear that people lose play chips on a friend/lover's account and have to replace them for fear of some type of reprisal or argument. Other than those reasons, i really can't figure out why anyone would buy any item that can only be used (and virtually, at that) in a game. Personally, i'm saving up real gold for when we return to the Gold Standard (tm).

Re:Fake computer game gold...? This is a story...? (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495374)

Selling virtual online gold (and other items) for real life cash is big business. You do know this don't you?

I don't get it. (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495229)

Isn't there a whole other set of Warcraft servers for the asian market?

Are they referring to Chinese players living in North America or Australia? Those versions of the game are in English, how are they differentiating Chinese players at all? Or is it that so-called "Chinese Gold Farmers" have US accounts as well? Perhaps that is necessary for transacting with NA players, I've never engaged their services so I'm not sure how it works.

You know, sometimes.... (3, Interesting)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495233)

The "one or two sentences in English" thing doesn't sound like a bad idea. I'm not so sure that's the result of gold farmer paranoia.

These screeners must solo a lot. (1)

mjperson (160131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495234)

I read the teaser from the article and laughed. I can't remember the last time someone joined my group who could type full English sentences without spelling mistakes, unless I knew them ahead of time.

CUL8R F00lz!

I mean, really....

How about American players? (2, Insightful)

shrik3 (581113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495239)

...this is presenting many Chinese players with a serious problem

How about most of the American players, how will they do?

"lol u wan me 2 tyep u n00b ur gay anywy"

That is the way a huge lot of native english speakers actually type.

Punctuation and sentences are unknown concepts to them. They routinely replace you with u, you're and your with ur, to with 2. And the most advanced ones even subconsciously type in cuss-filter speak too: sh1t, $hit and f*ck are in their natural vocabulary.

Wait, What? (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495243)

Why should it have anything to do with anti-goldfarming sentiment?

Seems to me that one good reason to have an English test would be to keep illiterate asshats from ruining your group...

And as already been mentioned, surely if there are so many Chinese players, what's stopping them from forming their own groups, where English competence isn't a requirement, and English incompetence isn't a communication barrier?

Re:Wait, What? (3, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495267)

and English incompetence isn't a communication barrier?

Doesn't seem to be a problem on /.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495414)

Seems to me that one good reason to have an English test would be to keep illiterate asshats from ruining your group...

Why not have potential groupers submit disertations and book reviews on 19th century Jane Austin books and then perform the Gettysburg address from memory.

Or maybe explain Einstein's spooky distance idea in 1000 words or less or why the Communists won the Russian Civil war in 1921 and what was the economic results of it was in turkey.

Just because you know how to read and write correctly doesn't make you a well rounded person. You have to do something with that ability. (and I jest because I have poor grammar and hate Jane Austin)

Pass a grammar/spelling test? (1)

TroubleMagnet (529417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495244)

I find the claim of descrimination based on a few grammar/spelling mistakes a bit far fetched. Anyone who has played these games, or chatted on-line or read /. knows a lot of native english speakers can barely spell and the rules of grammar are right out. Insisting on someone having at least basic language skills is more likely and should be expected on the ENGLIGH servers since there are Chinese ones too.

Re:Pass a grammar/spelling test? (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495403)

LOL, nice joke!

Or mabye they just want people who can communicate (3, Insightful)

Aziel777 (927534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495251)

As a result, players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English.


Just because they are asking people to pass a literacy test doesn't mean that they are descriminating because they dont like gold farmers. It might actually be beneficial to be able to talk to the people you are playing with, if just to be able to set up strategy. Nobody wants someone on their team who cannot communicate because that person might get the whole group killed for not paying attention to directions.

Re:Or mabye they just want people who can communic (1)

andykuan (522434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495399)

Plus, part of the enjoyment of these games is socializing with people you're grouping with. It's a lot more fun to group with someone who has a command of the English language and who's witty, clever, and funny than it is to group with a donkey with no language skills and writes in crappy 1337-speak.

Whats the point (1)

Intangion (816356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495253)

what would be the point of letting players who ONLY speak chinese to join english speaking guilds? you cant communicate with them, i accidently recruited a few and they never participate in any guild events cause they don't understand you when you tell them about it. But i have seen a few non-english speaking players who are obviously not farmers.. but also totally worthless as guildmates ;)

Laughably false (4, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495254)

As a result, players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.

If this were the standard WoW players were held to, there would be very, very few groups indeed!

However, I do know plenty of people who have kicked group members for not being able to type well enough to communicate with the group. I have grouped with people like that (Chinese or otherwise, I have no idea), and I must say it sucks. The whole point of grouping is cooperation after all, which is pretty damn difficult without communication. I have a pretty high tolerance for all manner of bad grammar and spelling in MMORPGs, but if I flat out cannot make heads nor tails of what another character is saying? Some multiplayer quests in WoW take several hours -- if my hours are wasted because a party member can't understand an instruction, I'm going to be understandably pissed off and reticent to group with such people in the future.

Keep an open mind? Absolutely.

Put up with people who do all manner of stupid shit AND we can't communicate with each other? I don't think so.

Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495256)

Nice to see PC Gamer taking a stance on such an important moral issue.

As if American players can spell (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495258)

"As a result, players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected."

Anyone who has ever played an online game knows that this cannot be true, because most American players do not have a good enough grasp of written english to pass the test!

new flash: people act in their own interests... (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495269)

It's not racism or anything if you only group with those who you feel will help you most.

If you feel they'll snatch items, you won't group with them.
If you feel communication will be a problem and so cause you to lose battles, you won't group with them.

It's just acting in one's own self-interest. I find that people do this all the time, and the insulating effect of sitting along in a room with "society" on the other end of an ethernet cable only increases it.

It's just tough luck here.

If I played on Chinese or Korean WoW servers, how would I make out?

I know this article doesn't explicitly people are being racist about this, but it seems to be the undercurrent. Just trying to nip that in the bud.

wow is racist (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495275)

Yes wow is racist. There are many times when people will be ostracised because they are percieved to be a farmer. These people are called names, insulted and eventually ignored by the server populations.

I believe that there is a good reason behind this however.

I have been in plenty of pickup groups where people cant speak english. it is VERY HARD to communicate with people if they dont speak your language. I've seen people pull and whipe whole instance groups because we cannot communicate to them that they should not pull when people arent ready, or that they arent the main tank. This is why people get ostracised most of the time. If you arent doing business with someone because they cant speak the language, thats another story, and i would argue more detrimentally racist.

I dont blame chinese people for inflating the market, as many people i know do. But there have been occasions where i would make water for someone, a few stacks, and they would demand i make them more. like just constantly opening the trade window saying '200' '200'. these people do not take no for an answer and it quite upsets me sometimes.

Bottom line, no matter what your race, if you cant follow orders in a raid chat then you will not be in a party very long.

Chineese Gold Farmers (0, Flamebait)

SquisherX (864160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495276)

I have no sympathy for these players for the following reasons 1. If they live in China, play on a chineese server. Period. 2. If they live in North America, learn the language. It pisses me off to no end when there are immigrants in this country who live in packs who talk in their native language, who have no intention of ever learning one of our national languages. 3. You arnt being pulled over and beaten by cops, you arnt getting your land stolen from you, you arnt being forced to build a railroad. FIND ANNOTHER CLAN. FIND ANNOTHER SERVER. LIVE WITH IT!!!

Re:Chineese Gold Farmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495453)

Amazingly enough (sarcasm), you are extremely racist AND you can't spell worth a damn! Next time try learning how to spell certain conjunctions and words properly before out-right verbal bigotry.

Gold Farming? (2, Insightful)

Mullen (14656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495281)

Can someone fill me in on what Gold Farming is?

Re:Gold Farming? (5, Informative)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495376)

Gold Farming:

Large numbers of very poorly paid people play WoW for hours with the sole purpose of collecting (in-game) gold. Said gold is then resold to players who dont mind putting $70 worth of WoW gold on their Visa cards. Since the "farmers" are so poorly paid, there is plenty of money left to pay the workers and give the middleman a hefty cut.

The New York Times had an article about this [nytimes.com] a few months back. I don't remember it being interesting enough to pay for, but you never know :)

Re:Gold Farming? (2, Interesting)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495384)

Can someone fill me in on what Gold Farming is?

In these online games the currency is gold, platinum or some rare magical rings (Stone of Jordan, D2). Some people repeatedly kill the same bunch of monsters (who respawn and have treasure some amount of gold) and amass a big quantity of currency. These same people sell this ingame currency to other players for real world currency, $$. It has become a plague in some games, like WoW, where people hire many people to "play" and gather gold. Boss sells this gold for real world currency and makes a killing out of it. Chinese enterpreneurs are the most known "farmers", they essentialy hire many many people to work in shifts and play the same set of characters 24h a day doing the same mundane repetitive task of killing the mob, getting gold.

The "Eurogamer piece"... (1)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495292)

...isn't a piece at all. They're just reprinting a press release [pressbox.co.uk] from one of the gold seller groups out there.

I guess they got tired of always getting turned in by players and generally harrassed for what they do. Why would Chinese players be playing on the US servers and *not* the Chinese servers? It's not like FFXI where everyone cohabitates the same servers.

Common in FFXI too. (3, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495296)

Though the issue wasn't as loudly protested in FFXI as it is WoW, there was quite a bit of segregation between American and Japanese players as well. Japanese would refuse to group with Americans for reasons I never precisely found out, but the common sentiment was that Japanese felt Americans were too stupid to group with.

Americans would refuse to group with Japanese for the same reason.

The game didn't really require much communication to be able to function in a group, and any communication that did need to happen could be done by building comments with pre-translated keywords. And yet the two sides almost exclusively played in their own little world, despite sharing servers with others. Only the bilingual folks were able to exist in both worlds.

Based on my experiences with FFXI, I think the anti-Chinese sentiment in WoW is simply a human's innate tendency towards racism. Don't get me wrong, a lot of gold farmers are in fact Chinese, but a lot of them are European and American as well. Yet, everyone "knows" that all the farmers ruining the game are Chinese.

Racial Harmony (2, Interesting)

mrobin604 (70201) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495298)

MacKay doesn't have an instant solution to the problem, but says that English-speaking WOW players should "Keep a more open mind and trust people a little more.

"This would go a long way to bringing some racial harmony to World of Warcraft and the world in general."


It's ironic to talk about racial harmony in WoW, since the game is completely setup along the lines of race war. You can't even talk to players in the other faction; it's prevented by the server code and if you try to circumvent it you get banned. The result is a high level of distrust between the opposing factions, which I am guessing is completely by design.

It would be interesting if Blizzard opened some servers where Horde and Alliance could communicate; I wonder what would happen (and I'd certainly start a character on one!)

Wrong reasons (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495306)

I don't group with people who can't speak english because they fall into 1 of 2 camps:

1)Foreigners who will have limited ability to communicate strategy with them. They may be decent players, but if we can't talk we can't team well.
2)US morons. I won't team with them because morons get you killed.

Gold farming has nothing to do with it. Hell, I like gold farmers- they save games with horribly broken implementations that require you to grind for gold. Without gold farmers MMOs would be unplayable. Using them minimizes the boring, pointless parts of the game and lets you get on with the fun parts.

WOW is too complex to have language barriers (3, Insightful)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495318)

I can't be trying to do a quest and have people who can't understand "Ok, sap that guy." or "Please don't break that sheep"

Most end game raids require CTRaid, Ventrillo, Decursive....So non-english speaking players set this up with ease? and then communicate on vent easily? No...it's a matter of "is this guy gonna wipe us..." the answer is usually yes.

Unless you are Boccd.

Rejects can always work as tech support... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495319)

players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.
So you have to be able to form two consecutive correct English sentences to play a damned online game, but not to get employment as tech support to English speaking American customers?

(Heh - my confirmation word is "griping").

the other problem with non-english speakers (2, Interesting)

NetMunkee (905279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495322)

As an english speaker, the main problem I have in grouping with non-english speakers is that it's hard to coordinate what the group is doing. So there is confusion on loot rules, who attacks what and when, etc. It's just a lot more fun to play with people you can communicate with easily. I would expect that Chinese players that don't speak english wouldn't want me in their group for the same reasons. At least half of the time I've been in a group where there was a problem with loot distribution it was because someone didn't speak english too well and didn't understand what the rules were for the group. The times that I've seen ninja looting, it's normally english speaking jerks that are quickly black-listed. I don't mind gold/item farmers being in the group, so long as they follow the loot rules.

Should stop more than Chinese... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495325)

>> If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.

That will keep out over 85% of American players, too.

Re:Should stop more than Chinese... (1)

thrillbert (146343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495355)

>> If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.

That will keep out over 85% of American players, too.

And 98% of Slashdot users.

This is why Esperanto would never work (1, Offtopic)

flicken (182650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495326)

Without foreigners making English spelling and grammar mistakes, we'd never be able to tell them apart from us native speakers on the internet. Don't learn Esperanto, it evilly equalizes us all!

What's the problem? (1, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495328)

First, communication is essential to every group in an MMO. People don't form a group to go off and do their own thing at a task, they from a group to work together. If it's an English speaking group and someone does not speak and understand English, they'll be unable to do what they're supposed to in the group, and it will cause the whole group to fail. Making sure everyone speaks the same language is only common sense when forming a group.

Second, Warcraft has servers in most of the world including China. There is no legitimate reason for a Chinese player to be playing on an American server.

Much to do about nothing.. (1)

SWG_Eddie (760714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495331)

Truth is credit farmers are easy to pick out as they are 99.9999% in their own groups doing the same missions repeatedly. If you've ever watched them work you know that they are very systematic and mostly uncommunicative. I can't imagine that most gamers would take the lone non-native speaker as a credit farmer given how these farmers operate. Sure maybe their are cases here or there with some fool blowing off a non-native speaker but I cant see this as a systemic problem.

A rather cynical impression (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495344)

After RTFAing, I found myself with the impression that the magazine was quite happy to take money for ads until their subscribers started threatening to cancel their subscriptions. Yes, I know ad revenue is bigger than subscriptions, but if enough people cancel, you don't have a magazine any more.

Um, some legitimate reasons for this ... (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495349)

It's somewhat difficult to give instance directions to someone who doesn't understand them, leading to wipes.

Ditto on loot rules. I've never had a problem with people who were foreigners but spoke decent enough english to be understood *shrug*, but when someone kills you because they didnt follow the plan and agro'd mobs they shouldn't have ... I can definately see why communication is a lot more than just a way to descriminate against gold farmers, but perhaps mislabeled.

Why not just form Chinese groups? (2, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495352)

OK, I don't know much about WoW, so maybe the answer to this is obvious, but... if Chinese players aren't accepted into English-speaking groups, why don't they just form their own groups? I'd think that that's what farmers would do, anyway - work together in groups to maximise "profits" without having to wait for/rely on "regular" players.

Or am I missing something?

Re:Why not just form Chinese groups? (1)

digid (259751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495416)

That's what a guild has done on the server I play on. Since French Speaking Quebec is part of the American servers the french speakers created a Guild called "Les Protecteurs du Lys" It's a very large guild.

Discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14495359)

As a result, players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.

This is grossly unfair. The Slashdot editors should be as welcome in these games as anyone else.

Bogus (3, Insightful)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495361)

I can't belive that both /. and Eurogamer fell for this! It's obviously a bogus article POSTED BY A GOLD SELLER to get hits on his site.

The idea that people are using English typing skill tests is ludicrous. Anyone who has played an online game (such as many of the people who have posted comments here already) will tell you that the average level of writing skill on such games is abysmal.

Yeah, sure... (1)

Gadzinka (256729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495371)

...I just see average Americans with there spelling writing about something they could care less... ;)

Robert

totally unfair (1)

rich42 (633659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495387)

that would be like blocking all email from chinese and korean servers on the premise that all that ever comes from those networks is spam.

oh wait...

if 97% of stuff that comes from a certain section of the net is spam / otherwise unwanted traffic - its going to get blocked by service providers. the other 3% can find a proxy (or in this case, learn English). there's nothing racist or nationalistic about it. there's certain address blocks from the netherlands I block for the same reasons.

TG Daily Story Mentions Quest Coordination (1)

CCMCornell (930509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495397)

I saw a recent article at TG Daily [tgdaily.com] that describes the problem as more related to finding a common language to coordinate quests more effectively. It also mentions a history of the English test dating back to Everquest and it's relation to weeding out gold farmers.

Holy crap (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495402)

If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.

This must be the most exclusive gamer clan in the entire universe, second only to the 1337chix0rs clan with their "check for boobs" pre-screening exam.

I think they missed the point. (1)

1000StonedMonkeys (593519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495411)

As a result, players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.

That's not to get rid of chinese speakers, it's to get rid of 13 year olds

.

One or Two SEntences, sans typos? (1, Funny)

Glamdrlng (654792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495413)

...players are asking anyone who wants to join a group to type one or two sentences in English. If the sentences contain spelling or grammar mistakes, the player is rejected.
Dude, this disqualifies damn near every gamer I've ever encountered.

Most Predjudice on WOW is Founded (0, Flamebait)

Hack Jandy (781503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495424)

If you can't speak english, why are you playing an english text based PC game? Sure you can hack and slash, but 90% of WOW is reading -- either the chat text or the quest text or whatever.

HJ

speaking of simple tests of english... (1)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495426)

"While their has been recent publicity about the gold farm factories in China, it by no means justifies thinking that every Chinese or non-English speaking player is a gold farmer."

Well, he failed the test. He's not joining our group.

No one finds it ironic... (1)

Dr Zubi (660522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495427)

...that the initial post misspells "receive" in the third sentence?

PC Gamer Raciest!! (1)

jdun (310373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495433)

Their high moral grounds is to be raciest! MOD UP!

Any Organized, Professional Griefers? (2, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14495455)

Are there any organized, professional griefers in these games?

I would figure that if a professional Chinese-mafia would have no problem profiting from the ruination of the barbarians.

Your perception of it would be that Chinese characters were teaming up on you, robbing, you, etc.

You'd expect some typical "social identity" processes to kick in: white people would organize against the Chinese, figure out how to spot them, etc. That seems to be exactly what is happening (e.g. "type two lines in English").
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