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Gold Farmer Documentary Preview

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the weird-world dept.

167

There's a preview up on YouTube of an upcoming documentary on Chinese Gold Farmers. Terra Nova links to the video in a discussion on the hypermobility of labour in the 21st century. From the discussion: "In watching the video, I am most struck by the intertwined empowerment/disempowerment that is occurring simultaneously for these Chinese workers. Their lives in these virtual worlds are brighter, but yet their interactions with American players (and associated slurs) are a constant reminder of their inferior socio-economic status. The disembodied hypermobility granted by these virtual worlds is, to a certain extent, dispelled when they are labeled as 'Chinese gold farmers'. For them, it is a double-edged sword."

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Is a documentary wise? (0)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917048)

Who is going to watch a program about people who do something so boring that many players pay them to do it for them?

Re:Is a documentary wise? (3, Funny)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917166)

Maybe if they get Morgan Freeman to narrate, it will become a huge hit [imdb.com] .

Re:Is a documentary wise? (3, Funny)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917251)

Morgan Freeman: If the Chinese gold slaves don't make 50 gold per day, it's quite possible they will die

Why would it not be ? (5, Interesting)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917178)

Tsk, behind gold farming, there's a lot more than gold. Why do they do it ? Why do we buy gold if we hate that ? Why do we hate that ?

Its basically putting a human side on gold farming. Most of these chinese farmers folks live in the worst kind of situation and they do what they do for a living. You gotta do what you gotta do to put bread on the table right ?

Most situations in the world would be quickly solved if we'd at least try to get a good understanding. Personally, ever since I've started thinking about the why of gold farming, I've found myself struggling between grinding my ass (and keep my pride?) or just buy gold (and play more!) to do my part to help these guys.

So to answer your question, I will be watching it....

Re:Why would it not be ? (2, Interesting)

Kamots (321174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917947)

If the gold farmers were earning thier gold in ways that didn't grief others or exclude others from content, then I and a lot of others would be focusing our wrath on the gold buyers instead.

However, when the gold farmers are at the same spot 24/7 with insta-claim bots keeping real players from having a chance at the mob that drops some great item...

When the gold farmers attempt to MPK anyone that tries to compete with them weather it be for a mob or a mining/harvesting/whatever spot...

When the gold farmers will 24/7 kill a mob that drop really nice untradeable and unsellable items... unless you pay them a large amount of gold... then they'll allow you to get the claim...

When the gold farmers will purposely find a fast moving profitable consumable to make, then sell it at a slight loss until all thier competition gives up... and repeating as neccesary as real people try to reenter the market...

When the gold farmers are causing this much grief, well, guess what? I don't feel much sympathy for them.

Now there may be gold farmers that don't use these tactics. If there are, well, I really don't have an issue with them, they're not working hard at screwing me over.

I see your point (2, Insightful)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918110)

Yeah, I see your point, I'm a wow player too. I've actually met farmers only a few times maybe that's why I don't share your PoV.

From the way I see it, they don't do anything that I can't do myself. Can we reprehend them from doing something the game allows them to do ?

Of course its annoying when you meet one because they literally camp the place. so you're confronted to either stay and compete for the grind and leave and find another place.

For the few times it happened to me, you know what we did ? we brought a few guildies and camped the place too. The place quickly became not profitable for the farmer so he went elsewhere, probably came back later but it did leave us some room too.

As long as they're not actually hacking the game to steal kills/items from me, its can only be called competition, as annoying as they get, its no different than we do (and tolerate) in real life.

Don't think I just approve what they do, I believe blizz could possibly tweak the game, the farmers farm a little less and the gamers tolerate a little more. This is not a simple problem and there's no simple solution.

Re:Why would it not be ? (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918642)

Its basically putting a human side on gold farming. Most of these chinese farmers folks live in the worst kind of situation and they do what they do for a living. You gotta do what you gotta do to put bread on the table right ?

Born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Since when has a desk job ever been the "worst kind of situation?" Boring as hell, sure, but as far as human employment preferences go, being seated with a roof over your head ranks rather highly.

Re:Is a documentary wise? (3, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917244)

Obviously the key to making a documentary is to make it about the business and controversy surrounding it, not the actual tedious gold farming itself. From what it looks like from the preview, the film maker hasn't accomplished this. Where's the interviews with the people pissed off about the practice? Where's the interviews with the people who buy the product? How about an interview with the game maker?

I don't play the online RPGs, but I'd certainly be interested in a well made documentary about gold farmers. This doesn't appear to be that though.

Re:Is a documentary wise? (2, Informative)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917247)

I'll watch it. Many people I know will watch it. It's a fascinating (and hopefully accurate) look at how the CGFs work. I'll bet there are many preconceived notions that will be demonstrated to not be correct, and there likely will be some surprises.

There was an article in the past that gave some insight into the gold farming business, and I recall it created quite a lot of discussion. Seems to me that means people find it interesting.

Yes. this documentary is very wise. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917286)

Is a documentary wise? Who is going to watch...


Plenty of people. IMHO, this outsourcing to gold farmers *is* the game for many people.


I think these guys aren't role-playing warriors&wizards but CEOs and CFOs - and all the fun is in the power they have over poor people in third world companies just like the aristocracy running US businesses.

  • first pay to get the game.
  • then go on ebay or somewhere to buy an already leveled-up character from some guy in India.
  • then go online and get gold by paying gold farmers from China.

It's all about the feeling of power you get when you realize that you too , and not just your boss, can outsource stuff to china.


I think it was very insightful of the documentary guys to catch on to this angle.

Re:Is a documentary wise? (3, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917304)

I saw the world premiere of High Score [highscoremovie.com] yesterday at SXSW. The film documents a person's quest to break the 25-year high score record for Missile Command, which requires him to be able to play for around 55 hours straight.

I think many folks on Slashdot would agree that 50 hours non-stop in any game doing the same thing over and over and over and over is really boring. And yet, watching a documentary about someone else doing it was actually very enthralling. (Of course they didn't just point a camera at the screen and leave; the filmmaker actually made a film.)

Anyway, so I think that the gold farmer documentary, if done well, might also be interesting. And I think that the gamer Slashdot crowd ought to check out High Score. (Both the star and director were quite nice; they invited me to the after-premiere party, where I had a chance to talk with them, and get autographs and a free T-Shirt.)

Re:Is a documentary wise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917322)

I see your point, but it's a poorly worded question. I could say the same thing about, say, programming, which I think is dreadfully boring. However, the (admittedly few) documentaries I have seen about programming have been rather interesting.

Empowerment? (2, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917093)

These people are doing something that disrupts the economy in online games and, in most cases, is wholesale against the rules. They have to buy account after account because they continually get banned. Their presence is detrimental to the game in numerous ways - from their inability to communicate with other players to the spam mail and tactics they use to 'sell' their virtual goods.

How is this empowering? Sounds more like selfish to me. Stop playing my game! You're breaking the rules and making it worse for everyone!

Re:Empowerment? (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917192)

You're breaking the rules and making it worse for everyone!

No. They're making it better for people who find making money boring but are willing to pay for the more rewarding experience of having a rich character.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918103)

you wouldn't need to play as much to get a rich character if they wern't inflating the market. It's especialy bad when the people who actually play a lot are still relativly poor

Re:Empowerment? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918207)

But it's still a game design issue. The developers need to create more rewarding ways to get ahead in the game. The only way to stop people from buying from gold farmers is to stop them from wanting to buy from gold farmers.

You mean punishment (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918852)

They should ban the accounts of every person who has received gold from an account that they ban as a gold farmer. But they'd never do that, because then they'd lose those players and their subscription fees.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917215)

Please backup your claim that what they're doing is "wholesale against the rules". Please also backup the claim that they "continually get banned".

I'd be willing to bet that (unfortunately) I've played this game more hours than you, and across my multiple characters on several servers, I've only been contact in-game less than 5 times with direct offers from gold sellers. Meanwhile I've been begged for gold by English-speaking players dozens of times.

Most of the farmers quietly kill the same creatures in a given area over and over and over. They play a numbers game - kill more mobs and get more money, with more chances to get a rare item. Only a rare few of them actually use exploits or bots, or spam people to sell.

While I do think we'd all be better off without them, I'd definitely argue that their behavior is much less disruptive than the typical bad-attitude (kid?) English player.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917876)

Selling game-gold for cash is against the TOS for the majority of MMORPGs out there, including WoW. This is why it is against the rules, and why accounts that have been found to be selling gold for cash get banned.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918087)

There is nothing in the terms of service that says that earned gold cannot be sold to other players. If you believe otherwise, please quote the relavent section of ToS.

Now, accounts that sell gold that was earned from hacks or exploits, yes those can be (and do get) banned. That is why Blizzard warned on the forums that if you buy gold from a source that stole it (by gaining access to another's account) or earned it from expliots, then that gold will be removed from your account (or the items purchased with it).

Legitimately earned gold can be sold.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918171)

Quoted directly from the ToS:

8. Selling of Items.

Remember, at the outset of these Terms of Use, where we discussed how you were "licensed" the right to use World of Warcraft, and that your license was "limited"? Well, here is one of the more important areas where these license limitations come into effect. Note that Blizzard Entertainment either owns, or has exclusively licensed, all of the content which appears in World of Warcraft. Therefore, no one has the right to "sell" Blizzard Entertainment's content, except Blizzard Entertainment! So Blizzard Entertainment does not recognize any property claims outside of World of Warcraft or the purported sale, gift or trade in the "real world" of anything related to World of Warcraft. Accordingly, you may not sell items for "real" money or exchange items outside of World of Warcraft.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918252)

Excuse me for being anal, but this does not specifically include gold. It states that players may not make property claims (because Blizzard owns everything), but gold sellers are not claiming property ownership. They are selling access to gold.

The proof is in the enforcement though (or lack thereof). If Blizzard had a real issue with the sale of earned gold, it would already have made eBay cease to allow the sale of gold. Lastly, Blizzard has made additional official statements about this topic where they specifically mentioned that illegitimately-acquired gold (from exploiting bugs or using bots/macros) would be confiscated from any account that it had been passed to.

So from the lack of specific inclusion of the word "gold" or "money" in the ToS, and from the total lack of enforcement of a perceived ban on the practice of gold sales, I take that to mean that there is no such policy.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918369)

So from the lack of specific inclusion of the word "gold" or "money" in the ToS, and from the total lack of enforcement of a perceived ban on the practice of gold sales, I take that to mean that there is no such policy.

Wrong. It's obvious that you've bought gold, and that you support the marketing of in game property. That's fine, you can admit it. Lots of people do or else it wouldn't be so successful. But picking nits in the TOS in an attempt to rationalize to yourself that what you're doing is not against policy is just fucking stupid. Gold is in game property period. If you pay someone money and they give you gold, that is a sale plain and simple. That sale is explicitly against the TOS.

Re:Empowerment? (-1, Troll)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917270)

I would label you a bigot. If you're playing WoW (and chances are good), Gold farming in now way damages the economy. What it does do is put more gold into the game for casual players allowing them access to expensive items.

People like you are the ones that take honest, hardworking people and make them feel bad about their jobs. The men and women in China who are 'gold farming' are being entrepreneurs and shame on you for saying they have no right to be so.

Besides, give me one concreate example of a gold farmer ruining an WoW game economy that you were part of.

So my question is: Do your statements stem from ignorance or prejudice?

Re:Empowerment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917939)


I would label you a bigot


That's your response for someone you don't agree with? You call them a bigot? Don't you have a more intelligent answer than that, or is this something you always doing?

Putting labels on people is bigotted in and of itself.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

the chao goes mu (700713) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918173)

Not much of an economist are you? Putting more gold (money) into the economy causes prices to rise, making it less easy for casual players to buy expensive items. In additon, what exactly is bigoted about disliking gold farmers? Are you saying all gold farmers come from some subset of oppressed minorities? Is not that assumption the very bigotry of which you are accusing others?

Re:Empowerment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14918679)

It is very simple to see the damage gold farming has done to the economy of the WoW servers. Look at the cost of low level blue items on your server. Level 15-20 Blues on the server I play on run 30-40 gold each. Some high level purples (Staff of Jordan) cost 2000+ gold.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

xtieburn (906792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917296)

Oh well I guess ill go tell them to stop being selfish and quit making enough money to live so you can continue to play your game with the ample amounts of cash you earn...

'These people are doing something that disrupts the economy in online games'

Evidence?

The one study that ive seen in to how gold farming affects the economy in an online game actually showed it improved it. All these refrences to it destroying the ecomony appear to be based on nothing more than rumour and 'Well it just has to.'

Dont get me wrong im not saying goldmining is right. I think the situation is pretty messed up and people in China are doing more or less slave labour in order to get by. Thats a huge problem. Im glad, (and it probably is empowering for them) that its not all misery. It could be so much better though.

The problem from the point of view of some player who wants a nicer game experience... yeah not to bothered about that. Contact Blizzard (As the game creators it is actualy _their_ fault.) or stop playing it or something, you know options that the chinese gold farmers dont actually have.

Re:Empowerment in real money that is (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917324)

How is this empowering? Sounds more like selfish to me. Stop playing my game!

If you live in China or some other nation where $.25 per hour for a job is a dream come true, this is very empowering. Its either this or work a slave wage job in an unsafe factory or mine. That or turn to crime...

Sure it ruins our games, but we are talking about people who don't have it good as us that have more money than we know what to do with so we spend it on "virtual" items.

These people aren't doing this for fun... They are doing it to feed their families or eek a living. (well maybe not all of them)

I don't blame them because they found a way to exploit a living.

I blame the game companies for making a game that is so tedious to play and level that people are willing to pay others to do it for them.

Re:Empowerment in real money that is (2, Insightful)

Sandman1971 (516283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917484)

I blame the game companies for making a game that is so tedious to play and level that people are willing to pay others to do it for them. You're placing the blame on the wrong people. The blame is with the Me generation who want everything right now. Instead of working and EARNING things from their effort, they'd rather spend cash to get instant gratification. If you want to play that type of game, go buy a single player game with built in godmode.

Re:No, we are tired of the grind. (5, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917747)

You're placing the blame on the wrong people. The blame is with the Me generation who want everything right now. Instead of working and EARNING things from their effort, they'd rather spend cash to get instant gratification. If you want to play that type of game, go buy a single player game with built in godmode.

Truth be told, I don't play MMOGs anymore, but I can tell you that it results from the following two reason (which are related to gold farming).

1. I'm tired of killing things over and over again to level.
2. I'm not willing to spend money on paying other people to do this for me.

I've been playing MUDs since Legend of the Red Dragon and I'm sick... so sick and tired of the same old formula. Kill 1,000 rats and get to level 10. Kill 10,000 Goblins and get to level 20. Kill 30,000 orcs and get to level 30.

After Muds, UO, EQ, Shadowbane, and WoW I am just sick and tired of killing things with not a simple damn end game or something like direct player interaction.

Truth be told, Ultima Online was the funnest MMOG I have ever played until they care beared and tried to copy EQ down to every last detail. I want to play a game for at the most 3 months and have my characters stats to what I want to be. The rest of the game should be a sandbox and player interaction (housing, crafting, player vs player, factions and basically player made content).

If I want to kill things over and over again to get a higher level so I can get a more powerful sword so I can kill more powerful things so I can level to get a more powerful sword yet again... You are right, I can play Diablo 2 or Baldur's Gate... Or maybe Fallout 2 which has more story and enjoyment than most of thes MMOGs today.

Ralph Koster is right... We need to shift focus away from mass genocide of rats and orcs and make the games more than just leveling. We need virtual worlds. Not single player hack and slash games with a chat interface with other players.

The games are broken and until they find a better system of advanment, neither the MMOG companies nor the gold farmers will see any of my money.

Re:No, we are tired of the grind. (1)

Ricken (797341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917944)

I agree

Re:No, we are tired of the grind. (1)

hab136 (30884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918206)

Ralph Koster is right... We need to shift focus away from mass genocide of rats and orcs and make the games more than just leveling. We need virtual worlds. Not single player hack and slash games with a chat interface with other players.

Um, they have that. It's called the Sims Online.

http://www.ea.com/official/thesims/thesimsonline/u s/nai/index.jsp [ea.com]

Personally, I like killing stuff while chatting.

Re: tired of the grind. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14918519)

So what's the alternative? You can go entirely skill-based (as in a system based entirely on the gamer's ability to manipulate controls and the system). However, that markedly decreases player "attachment" to his or her avatars and can encourage shallow play. Pure skill means that everyone's avatar is equal; the gaming experience needs to be competitive enough or deep enough that skill and understanding of the game are primary and sufficient motivators to continue playing. You could go half-way, requiring limited amounts of avatar development before being put out into a "sandbox" to explore the game, but at that point you run headlong into the content problem under a traditional model. As for player-made content, one significant issue seems to be scalability. MUD/MOOs halfway floated through by often having players highly skilled at programming and content design and (honestly) rather low expectations; Neverwinter Nights got by with less skilled designers and very low player counts. Will Wright's upcoming meta-game Spore will be interesting to look at in this regard, but IMO its player-designable elements lack the scope necessary to create an interesting RPG experience. If all the players can do is make cities full of critters, as appears to be the case in Spore, then the end game will simply consist of killing the latest seven-armed, seventeen-foot satyr someone designed. Now, the concept works in pen-and-paper RPGs quite nicely; a smart GM/content designer can create all sorts of outlandish demons for the players to confront through both combat and interaction. An excellent pen-and-paper GM may have a flow-chart for every significant interaction s/he expects to occur, but is also ready to toss those charts out the window, fudge a few blinded rolls, and play on instinct when someone comes at the problem in a novel fashion. Unfortunately, at the MMO level, humans can't be responsible for driving MOBs; a computer program has to drive the thing. Moreover, it needs to be rather simple for the sake of the server. You can't have an algorithm as complex as the one driving Malcolm in Unreal Tournament running on every monster in the game. Menu-based text added to critters simply forces players to learn the right sequence of answers to optimize results; the second person to encounter the critter will upload his/her findings to Allakhazam and that will be the end of the mystery.

Since the original topic was on these games' economy, let's look at options there, as well. You can make the monetary system superfluous, as it was in Diablo II, but without fail, a barter economy is likely to surface to replace it (e.g. Chipped gems and Stones of Jordan). Either way, it's farmable, either by bots or by wage, and barter systems add to the confusion new players experience in entering the game. You can make all items NODROP or level-dependent in some fashion, but many people tend to feel that this discriminates against more developed players who want to replay the early game with superior, "twink" gear. Decay can be added to items, but this only hastens the inevitable quality inflation that naturally occurs as yesterday's elite gear becomes commonplace. Items/avatars can require some sort of mandatory real-time investment to become useful, as in EVE Online, but sans server resets/splits, this means that the first players in will eternally have an advantage over any later entrants if they choose to maintain it. The economy can even be drivien by the acquisition of "player-made" goods, but as the quality of these goods is formulaic, it is rather trivial for a number of "grinders" to optimize the equation and mass-produce the best quality-for-cost good possible and tank the market.

Essentially, the problem is that the current MMO philosophy does not seem compatible with pen-and-paper or "sandbox" style gameplay. A minority of players engage in "role-playing" behavior, but such players could do the same thing over an IM program or a conference call; it's not specifically encouraged by the game software. Meanwhile, the majority "grind" at various levels of efficiency and the best reach the top and get bored. This is the problem novice pen-and-paper GMs encounter when they encounter severe "min-max'ers" who create half-orc warrior-monks and simply rush through the scenario bludgeoning every last intricacy into oblivion. Without live intuition and response of some sort, any algorithmic sequence can be optimized. In spite of this, the model, crude as it is, has succeeded in bringing in significant revenues in many cases. Go figure; I can't.

Re:Empowerment in real money that is (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918027)

Which is exactly why I don't like RPG's. I work at the office 8-5, then I goto class 7-10, then I get home...I don't want to work another couple hours getting gold. However starting up UT2k4 and blasting the crap out of some people online isn't anything like work. Am I spending cash for instant gratification? Maybe, however I also work quite a bit during the day and don't really see a problem with not wanting to *have* to work at something I supposed to be having fun doing.

Re:Empowerment in real money that is (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918457)

According to this news item [people.com.cn] from the PRC, the hourly wage for urban workers in 2000 was more like $0.42/hour.

Since income in general in China has been trending upwards since 2000, let's assume a modest 10% annual increase in income. Not too hard to imagine - the article showed a 13.1% increase from 1999 to 2000, and the Chinese economy has certainly been booming. If that assumption is correct, then your average urban worker in China is now earning around $0.75/hour. Pretty darn miserable, by western standards... not quite so bad if you're actually living in China, though. Having been there several times, it seems as if earning 50 yuan a day (or around 1200 yuan/month) would provide a much better standard of living than earning the same amount of money ($144/month) would in the US.

Re:Empowerment in real money that is (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918548)

If you live in China or some other nation where $.25 per hour for a job is a dream come true, this is very empowering. Its either this or work a slave wage job in an unsafe factory or mine. That or turn to crime...

In a way, they did resort to crime. They're breaking the laws of a virtual world to secure real-world cash. If EULAs and service agreements had any weight in courts, you could say that gold farmers were breaking real-world law as well.

Re:Empowerment in real money that is (1)

00Dan (903094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918742)

I don't blame them because they found a way to exploit a living.

I take it you also don't have any problem with those Nigerian 419 scams then? After all, they're just trying to make a living.

Re:Empowerment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917556)

I think gold farmers are great. Sure they ruin individual games, but hopefully they'll force companies to re-think how rewards are doled out. If the most efficient way to earn gold in a game is doing something really tedious like killing rats, then people will always look for others to do it for them. How about, instead, games reward players for just playing? How about people get rewarded for doing things that are fun? Or maybe the best way to earn gold is to add content to the game world, like creating quests/dungeons/items?

My point is, if a portion of your game is so boring, tedious, or repetitive that people are willing to pay real money to avoid it, then maybe the problem is with the game, and not the people that take advantage of it.

Re:Empowerment? (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917569)

It's empowering because gives them jobs, and therefore allows them to support a family.

I'm sure they're gutted that the thing that puts food on the table ruins a computer game for some spoilt Western geek...

Re:Empowerment? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918495)

Great, let's bring back slavery. I mean, "unemployed slave" is pretty much an oxymoron. Now that was an empowering institution!

Constant reminder of their inferior status (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917108)

If things get too tough, perhaps they could go to a virtual opium den or work on a virtual railroad, before getting fully assimilated into the virtual society.

Fascinating (5, Interesting)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917119)

Looking forward to a complete documentary.

Just like with "normal" players, there's a great variety in the behaviors. Some gold farms are friendly, even fun (and some are quite skilled in PvP), but some seem ignorant robots that do the same things non stop and repeat the same phrases in horribly broken English.

I've grouped with a few farmers before - even communicated to some degree with them (google for english to pinyin dictionary), but there are some universal behaviors they have. First and foremost, they will roll NEED on any item that drops, regardless of whether they can or would use it. As far as I can tell, they don't understand the difference between NEED and Greed.

In some respects they've done less damage than some of the other entrepreneurs - the ones who troll the auction house all day buying up every single item and repricing them higher. There's some guy on Eredar alliance side named Plate (and Platejr) who literally buys every single item within a range of levels and then reprices it roughly 4x higher than what it would normally sell at. That guy is far more despicable than people who churn away at Tyr's Hand all day.

Re:Fascinating (1)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917380)

Kudos for your comment. its more because of people like "platejr" (rather than gold farmers) that we end up with gas at 1$/L (CAD price) and bigmacs at 5$

But I think that a little education can help. Whenever I sell my crap on AH (flowers, leathers, greens..etc) I always sell under market price, just to counter the "PlateJr" effect. If every WoW'ers would do that, we'd realize we can be pretty self sufficient. After all, platejr and the likes still buy our crap, who cares if they re-sell 4x higher, I aint gonna buy it. You only gotta know what the item is worth, any price beyond its value, you dont buy it. At some point they will be forced to lower gradually their prices or get stuck with their inventory.

The only reason they're successful is because we're walking in their trap.

Re:Fascinating (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917455)

I sell under market too. I like being essentially guaranteed a sale.

The problem is that if you price it more "fairly" (what you think it's worth) and there's a big discrepency between your price and the AHbot's price, the AHbot will just buy it up and reprice it quickly.

I think they could put some control on the AH so that no one player could post more than X auctions within a certain period (like say no more than 20 auctions per hour per character). I don't mind arbitrage, but this is just cornering a market.

Re:Fascinating (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917536)

All this finger pointing revolves around a natural phenomenon called mudflation. More currency enters the market than leaves it, so prices rise. If someone is buying goods and reselling them 4x higher, and they are actually selling, he's not ripping off the system, he's selling at market value. There are deposits in place that hurt the seller for posting items that aren't selling. A lot of times it's one player recognizing a price rise that should have occured but hasn't, that can make a ton of money.

Chinese farmers don't drive prices up. An economy based on going out and looting walking treasure boxes (prefaced by a trivial combat scene) resulting in an infinite currency system drives prices up.

Re:Fascinating (2, Insightful)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918704)

You are wrong. There is not infinite money, because in WoW, time = money and there is not infinite time, at least for normal players. This is how the gold farmers hurt the regular players. They inflate time value by hiring shops of workers to "play" the game far more then the game was designed to handle.

The game's economy was designed to accomodate the average player who plays a few hours a day. When you have a concerted effort with people playing 16 hours a day, you are essentially inflating time, and therefore, money. This devalues the currency of normal players, causing prices to rise, and thus forcing the average players to resort to buying gold in order to keep up.

Re:Fascinating (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918068)

See here's the problem with the "price it under market price to counter the effect" plan. Your leaving money on the table. You sell it for slightly less then it's worth, someone buys it and resells it for 4x the price, they make a profit, and do it again to more items. Your only feeding the man. If anything you should price at his price, or slightly under, as then you would recieve the most money, and would leave little for anyone else to buy/resell.

However they enable people like Plate (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917441)

If people weren't able to get tons of gold with no effort, all his rebuying would be for naught. The items would expire, unsold, and he'd simply lose money, eventually running out of captial to keep trying this. However players that buy gold don't see it as worth much, after all they can simply buy more, and thus are willing to spend inflated prices.

Re:However they enable people like Plate (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917565)

I do wonder about this. I actually think most of the people who buy the overpriced junk are actually alternate characters of players who already have established (reasonably wealthy) 60s. They start a new character, and they can afford to pay 1g for a level 20 robe.

Seriously I doubt that he makes much money doing this disservice, but I could be wrong. Much of the stuff I see overpriced are items that really no smart player would wear anyway.

You're right though, people who buy gold are more able to overpay and are less likely to care, so they contribute to the problem. But all this really leads to the issue of how WoW's economic simulation is poor. I'm not an economist, and my command of their vocabulary is poor, but there's some name for an economic system where the money supply grows and grows (leading to inflation) and there's nothing to suck things out. Since equipment doesn't ever permanently wear out, the only way gear ever goes away is by becoming soulbound (worn or equipped), and then discarded as a player outgrows it. But the rate of that compared to the rate of influx of found equipment is way out of whack.

If I were making an MMORPG I'd completely drop the focus on gear though. Ultima Online was vastly less focused on equipment than more recent games have been. As a GrandMaster Swordsman you would typically choose between buying a GM-smith-made katana or halberd (you'd buy both to cover different situations). Here every piece of gear has some fancy name, such that there must be 10s of thousands of items in the WoW item database. Everyone just becomes desensitized. Ultimately it's not the gear that makes the game, it's the areas, the mobs, the quests, and the AI. The gear is just candy or icing, and yet that's what most people totally focus on.

I could rant for hours, but I will spare the readers :)

Re:However they enable people like Plate (1)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918497)

In UO, you could run around naked with a DP dagger and inflict tons of damage to things.

In WoW, once you hit level 60, gear is the only way to advance the character.

Re:Fascinating (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917690)

"First and foremost, they will roll NEED on any item that drops, regardless of whether they can or would use it. As far as I can tell, they don't understand the difference between NEED and Greed."

Um....what part of "they sell loot to get gold to sell for cash" don't you understand? They roll NEED so they can increase their revenue...its not a question of Need vs Greed...its a question of "how can I get more crap to sell".

Re:Fascinating (1)

HybridJeff (717521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918071)

Well if theyre running in a group, might they possibly make more money by not getting kicked out for needing evreything?

Re:Fascinating (1)

Damvan (824570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918755)

There should be zero tolerance in groups for such behavior. I immediately leave any group where someone rolls NEED on an item they can't use. Groups are easy to find, I have better things to do with my time than run through a dungeon to make a farmer richer.

Re:Fascinating (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917696)

People get all upset with the chinese farmers as if they are 'stealing' something or doing something dishonorable or dispicable. But get some perspective. Most slashdot readers work a half-hour to pay for a month. I bet most farmers work all day for a couple bucks.

The relative disparity in wealth is the cause of gold-farming, played out through market forces. But what's really ironic is that their farming makes you richer. How did you afford that 100-stack of water you bought for the instance run? Because the value for the vendor price is lessened through inflation caused by the farmer's gold creation. The things you sell at AH go for a higher price because gold has less value. So the ironic thing is that farmers actually give everybody more buying power.

You may be at a disadvantage re: people who buy gold from farmers, but that's exactly the same situation the farmers are in (being disadvantaged by being relatively poorer to you that they have to work all day playing a freakin video game). If you think that the you are being put upon but don't feel sympathetic for the farmers then you are just a self-centered hypocrit.

Re:Fascinating (0)

Damvan (824570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918769)

Come on, if you feel so sorry for these people who have to work all day for a couple of bucks, then how much of your paycheck do you send their way each month?

Re:Fascinating (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14918874)

The majority of gold farmers make heavy use of bot programs, exploits, hacks, griefing (such as mob training), ninja looting, and other things that are considered by legit players as bad form and cheating. They are also explicitly breaking the terms of service of most games for some of these things, as well as the act of selling gold/items for RL cash. So yes, they are cheating.

How did you afford that 100-stack of water you bought for the instance run?

The mage made it for free. Or maybe the fact that I can buy a stack of vendor water for what I get from mob drops because neither of those things suffered from inflation.

So the ironic thing is that farmers actually give everybody more buying power.

No, they don't. There are at least a dozen Foror's Compendium of Dragonslayings on the AH on my server.
Gold farmers are selling them between 1000-3000g. If a legit player puts one up for a reasonable price (say 500g), there is a very likely chance that the farmer will buy it before another legit player even has the chance to see it... and then they'll immediately put it back up for 1000-3000g. They can do this because they've got bot programs running their main farming characters, and have a lowbie alt constantly refreshing the AH at the same damn time. VERY FEW are buying them for the price the farmers want, but the farmers refuse to lower their prices because they are trying to increase demand for their gold selling services. Find a sucker who will pay $150 for 3000g, sell him the book, resell the 3000g you just earned to another sucker...

On my server, the prices of even green items on the AH are inflated enough such that a legit new player (who doesn't have help from a high level buddy who's been playing a year) will have a more difficult time acquiring decent items for their level. The reason is that their primary source of money, quest rewards, mob drops (both money and vendor trash) has not increased with inflation. It is still the same as it was in November when WoW shipped. So they either need to get a lucky drop, get some veteran players as friends, OR give in and buy gold from the very people who are ruining the economy.

If China's citizens are forced to actively ruin a GAME to earn a living, then maybe they need to consider blaming the government that keeps them in such a sorry state (despite billions of US dollars being funneled into their economy).

That makes no sense (1)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917961)

That 'Plate' scheme you describe doesn't sound like it can work.

You're saying that he buys X at an auction for 5g and then reauctions it for 20g. Why didn't the people who buy it for 20g outbid him in the first auction?? Why can he get people to pay 4 times as much at an auction than others can??

Re:That makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14918011)

He doesn't buy anything over a threshhold... I've talked to the guy, and he has a very smart learning algorithm (smarter than my spelling of the word) to know when you can sell for a profit.

Re:That makes no sense (2, Informative)

Jurrasic (940901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918092)

It takes time and patience to make that scheme work. Eventually, when he holds all the items in question in that level range and none are availible, his price becomes the 'going' price. People coming into the market to sell will sell at or near his price, (or be bought up by plate) and new buyers are forced to pay the 'going' rate as that's what it is. You have to speculate for a long time and prepare to lose some gold before you start earning it back in bucketloads, but it does work. A guildie of mine did this as well, and lost his shirt a couple times figuring out the right items to do it with. (dont try it with any tradeskill supplies)

asd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917151)

dsa

well, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917173)

frosty pistle!! did i succeed it?!?

Double-Edged Sword (5, Funny)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917189)

[Ironforge - Trade Channel] xengzi: u buy [Double-Edged Sword] 600g?

breaking of rules = OK! (3, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917218)

but yet their interactions with American players (and associated slurs) are a constant reminder of their inferior socio-economic status.
Or maybe its a constant reminder of how their tactics and what they do ruins a game people pay VERY good money to play.

I just dont get this need to feel sympithetic to people who play for free, make money (even if it is dirt) to do it, and ruin something I pay to play myself. Some sellers are nice guys, I have helped out one group in FFXI more than once simply cause they help others, and share their loot if you work with them. BUT I cant stand the majority who disrupt the game killing players, stealing mobs, price fixing items, and break the game rules get caught get kicked then manage to get back in as someone else.

They are criminals, there is no sorta catagory. If a homeless man steals your money, they go to jail. Someone breaks into your computer system, they go to jail. Why is it someone is alowed to steal your money (which is what they are doing when they restrict you from doing something you paid for unfairly), and its ok cause its a game?

Re:breaking of rules = OK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917300)

Never mind the fact that these documnentaries and articles sympathetic to farmers are usualy backed, if not created by, the pimps that are selling the gold, pocketing all the profits, and paying these poor farmers so little in the first place.

Re:breaking of rules = OK! (2, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917385)

Why is it someone is alowed to steal your money (which is what they are doing when they restrict you from doing something you paid for unfairly), and its ok cause its a game?

Huh-wha?! Correcting the spelling and grammar mistakes, I still can't parse that into anything meaningful. I'm going to assume you meant "paid for fairly" and not "paid for unfairly" because that makes more sense. So, presumably, you meant:

Why is it that someone is allowed to steal your money (which is what they are doing when they restrict you from doing something you paid for fairly), and it's OK because it's a game?

Well, there's the obvious answer, which is "because it's a game, and we don't send people to jail for cheating in golf." Suggesting that stealing actual money is on the same par as selling gold in games is - well - ludicrous.

Besides, it's the responsibility of the game company to police their virtual world. If they decide not to spend the effort to crack down on people "disrupting other's gameplay" then your only recourse as a player is to simply not play the game. Since it is, after all, a game and not real life.

Re:breaking of rules = OK! (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917875)

Suggesting that stealing actual money is on the same par as selling gold in games is - well - ludicrous.
Are you paying 12-15 dollars a month to play a game?

Don't you think being unable to progress in a game not because the game is hard, but because a outside entity has decided to make it so that you cant progress in the game without either working way harder than you should or paying them money is not extortion in a way?

We are not simply talking about cheating and taking two off your stroke, we are talking about people who despite being constantly banned breaking in in new ways to push their same wares on people. I spent 3 weeks camping one item because it was a item I really want to wear, and a item that had been previously relitivly easy to get. What had happened was gilsellers saw how many people bought the item, sent teams of 6-12 people down to camp the item using third party programs, then raised the price over 600%. Now its actually a relitivly rare item, not because its not hard to get, but because the price has made it well beyond peoples means for a low lvl item.

You can say its the companys job to get rid of these players, but how is that possibly when the sheer mechanics of how MMOs work allow for a willing hacker or even a Credit Card their to get into the system. Many of these sellers use US credit cards, and many infact are using stolen cards to spoof the system into thinking they are US players. The WWW makes it very easy to spoof servers into even thinking a shack in China IS the US, this just recently happed in WoW infact.

Games use tactics to remove sellers all the time, FFXI infact just implimented a mailbox block to prevent large amounts of in game money to be sent to players, but this comes at the cost of the playerbase themselves who are made to be treated like criminals simply because some asshole pervert in the US (IGE's CEO who has had criminal charges against him) decided that for 50 cents a hour to some kid in china, he could make millions of dollars, with very little startup captial.

While it might be a new type of crime, whats going on IS a crime, but the same courts who would rule that extortion is illegal in real life, when it comes to the internet gets all fuzy since it is real money converted to fake money converted to real money again.

Re:breaking of rules = OK! (4, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918113)

Are you paying 12-15 dollars a month to play a game?

Actually, yes, I think it's $14/month for my two characters in FFXI. By the way, FFXI is a lot more fun when you don't take it so seriously.

Don't you think being unable to progress in a game not because the game is hard, but because a outside entity has decided to make it so that you cant progress in the game without either working way harder than you should or paying them money is not extortion in a way?

Who made the game like that? Did the gilsellers? Nope. Did Square-Enix? Yep. I remember years ago people were complaining to GMs about players monopolizing spawn points, and Square-Enix's response was "that's fair play." Take it up with Square-Enix, not the players playing within their rules.

While it might be a new type of crime, whats going on IS a crime, but the same courts who would rule that extortion is illegal in real life, when it comes to the internet gets all fuzy since it is real money converted to fake money converted to real money again.

I disagree that it's extortion. Poor game design, maybe, but not extortion. It's a game! You don't have to play it. You can just quit, like I've done twice and my brother does weekly. (It's becoming a bit of a joke. "That's it! I'm never playing FFXI ever again!" Fast forward to the next day. "So, whatcha doin'?" "Um, hunting pirates in FFXI." "I thought you quit FFXI?" "Yeah, well, shut up.")

Back when it was released in the US, FFXI was set up such that it made gilsellers able to monopolize content. Square-Enix has slowly been changing the game to try and make up for this flaw in their game. But it's Square-Enix's job to police their game and not the courts. If the player's get fed up with the game world, they can just quit! No one is making you play FFXI. You're free to play any other MMORPG. Maybe World of WarCraft is more your speed. Maybe you'd rather play EverQuest II or Guild Wars. If you're that upset with the way Square-Enix is handling gilsellers in Final Fantasy XI, stop playing!

But please, don't involve the real-world legal system in a problem caused by poor game design.

Re:breaking of rules = OK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917901)

Why is it someone is alowed to steal your money (which is what they are doing when they restrict you from doing something you paid for unfairly), and its ok cause its a game?

Huh-wha?! Correcting the spelling and grammar mistakes, I still can't parse that into anything meaningful. I'm going to assume you meant "paid for fairly" and not "paid for unfairly" because that makes more sense.


You can assume, but I am sure what he meant to say was:

"which is what they are doing when they unfairly restrict you from doing something you paid for"

Well, thats what goldfarmers deserve (2, Insightful)

jtwronski (465067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917289)

It amazes me that these people will actually whine about being treated differently than other players, when their actions do nothing to help the greater good of the game. In FFXI, the'yre called gilfarmers, and I've never once heard anybody attack them racially. Nationally, sometimes, since the common opinion is that they're probably from china. Their existance in game makes everybody else's in-game life more difficult and time-consuming, since they camp NMs all day and inflate prices on high-level gear. Gilfarmers are singled out as a nuisance, because the common opinion is that they are are a nuisance. it doesn't matter if they're from China, Russia, USA, england, or the moon. If you make everybody else's life a pain in the ass, you're gonna get treated badly by other players. Also singled out, at least on the server I play on, are the folks who admit to buying gil, accounts, or items from these purveyors. I've seen people get kicked out of my LS (FFXI speak for guild) for helping to sustain the business model.

Oops (1)

jtwronski (465067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917337)

OK, before i get flamed into the seventh level of hell, my aplogies for not capitalizing England. Typos happen.

Re:Oops (1)

sidyan (110067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917526)

You mean the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, right? Or were you willfully trying to discriminate against Welsh, Scottish & Northern Irish goldfarmers?

Burn!

Re:Oops (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917557)

Can I flame you for the lack of paragraphs instead? How about misspelling "apologies?" Plus, Hell should really be capitalized in that sentence, and you should always capitalize "I." :P

On a slightly more serious front, I have seen actual racism in FFXI against Chinese players. I actually remember a Chinese-American player who eventually quit because he got tired of hearing the racist remarks against Chinese players. Although this was a good two years ago, things could have changed since then.

Re:Oops (1)

jtwronski (465067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917660)

Flame away. If I were an English major, I would probably be reading something other than Slashdot. Here comes a new paragraph for ya.


I do find it unfortunate when folks bring racism to a game. Its not like its easy to tell who is black/white/green/etc. I do, however, get a kick out of the playful "racist" comments made about the different character types. I play a taru, and get to hear endless jokes about having a stick shoved up my ass and roasted over a fire for some galka to eat.

Re:Oops (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917973)

Pft, Tarutaru, damned asexual tree-worshipping midgets!

Re:Oops (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918675)

"I play a taru, and get to hear endless jokes about having a stick shoved up my ass and roasted over a fire for some galka to eat."

Pity the poor Galka, he has no MP (not to mention they're built like Ken dolls).

But of course, if the Galka doesn't want to be healed (or, in my case, covered), then that's his choice and his experience points to lose. (Repeat after me: Bastard Tarutaru from Hell)

In general, though, it seems most Galkas are assholes like that. The Galka mages seem OK (really, you gotta respect that), but Galka melee types seem too impressed with themselves to have a conversation with beyond "Ha ha, I'm sitting on ur taru!" That's when you let the Galka monk tank instead of the Tarutaru paladin ("What's the matter? I thought you had more hit points than me!")

Re:Oops (1)

jtwronski (465067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918783)

But of course, if the Galka doesn't want to be healed (or, in my case, covered), then that's his choice and his experience points to lose. (Repeat after me: Bastard Tarutaru from Hell)


Nah, I never just let people die. Even if they really did piss me off for some reason, It just creates downtime. Usually, I'll just make some dumbass remark about them being big and dumb, ie "Roasted Taru, huh? Hmm, I didn't know that Galka had discovered fire yet.", or some other childish nonsense.

Re:Oops (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918835)

"Nah, I never just let people die."

Then you're not evil enough to truly be a Tarutaru!

Re:Well, thats what goldfarmers deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14918826)

Turn off your /shout chat filters in Lower Jeuno. At least on Ifrit, there's a ton of racism. It's getting a little out of hand. Everyone loves to blame these guys for wrecking the economy and what not, but really, it's still not that hard to get gil, just the uber items like a KClub or Speed Belt or Thief's Knife. It's certainly got my server's community up in arms, there's a thread over on the Allakhazam server boards [allakhazam.com] that might be of some interest.

That being said, most of the people posting on that thread are incompetent fools.

Build better bots (2, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917357)

Manual gold farming is inefficient. We need to build better bots to compete with offshore low-wage countries.

Re:Build better bots (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918448)

Sad thing is this is true: http://www.openkore.com/ [openkore.com]

There were several open source versions at one time, but most have closed up by now

Sympathy for the devil? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917521)

Farming and selling the goods for real life money is "illegal" in most games (read: Against the terms of use). Selling, and in some games buying, in game content or services in exchange for real life goods, services or money can result in suspension or ban.

So I doubt many hardcore gamers who kinda "live" inside their games will have a lot of sympathy for them. They're breaking the rules, the "law" of the game. Now, would society have sympathy for outlaws in the real world?

Unless the laws are unjust and thus the majority of people supports breaking them, few people would feel sympathetic to people breaking those laws.

Now, I consider the law that selling in game stuff for real life money is fair.

Why should I feel sympathy for farmers? Why should I support them? Why should I wish them anything but NO luck at rolls, NO luck at drops and thus a very crappy paycheck?

I Don't See Why Farming is Bad (2, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917699)

Paying for someone to transfer you gold accumulated by him is no different than, let's say, paying someone to sit at your home computer using your own char to farm for items and gold while you work.

Granted, WoW's EULA forbids your from both purchasing gold from a 3rd party and allowing someone else to play your account, even your brother (the account is considered exclusive and non-transferable). Also, it's obvious that any online "gold" is Blizzard's possession, not the player's possesion. But other than that, I surely don't see why farming, leveling service and gold selling is bad.

By the way, the argument that gold farmers disrupt the server economy would be valid if they farmed only for gold, with the offer of goods remaining the same. This, by standard monetary inflation rules, would push prices up. But the actual fact is that they also obtain lots of items, many of which end up in the Auction House, what by the same logic makes prices go down. Actually, if those tons of itens did not go into the AH, the farmers wouldn't obtain lots of gold in the first place. So, things end up in a more or less balanced state, and the gold farmers interference in the economy isn't all that big.

The only thing that some gold farmers do that is very wrong is to cause social disruption (read: spam). Other than that, their presence is almost inocuous and hardly noticeable.

Blizzard and other MMORPG manufacturers would do well if they simply regulated this market so that it wouldn't be a black one anymore. If done right it might become a new profit source for them, a way to not discourage casual players who're unable to farm by themselves, and a means to make farmers behave in a more appropriate way.

Re:I Don't See Why Farming is Bad (1)

YodaToad (164273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918556)

The prices tend to get inflated, though, because when the farmers put the items up for sale they're not putting it up for common-sense prices. They're putting up the items for inflated prices so they get more gold that they can sell. In turn people buy that gold so they can afford the items the farmers put up for sale in the first place. It's a vicious cycle, but the opposite way that you explain it.

Re:I Don't See Why Farming is Bad (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918741)

Not true, because the farmers will be competing among themselves, what drops the prices to market levels. What you describe would happen if they united in a cartel. But even so, a cartel in a free market works only so far as no new non-cartelized merchants enter it, for when this happens it's very that they won't put items at a little lower price than the one practiced by the cartel. After a while the cartel breaks due to lower sales and full blown competition returns. Were Blizzard to allow only 'x' gold farmers per server, all registered, and no more than those, and a self-sustaining cartel would surely arise, increasing prices without end. With a random number of gold farmers this is simply impossible: the market wins.

In short, it's very hard to disrupt the offer vs. demand curve, even in a MMORPG. The game manufacturer might create this, for it would work as a government, with the powers of government. But other than that, there's no way for that to happen.

Re:I Don't See Why Farming is Bad (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918708)

Granted, WoW's EULA forbids your from both purchasing gold from a 3rd party and allowing someone else to play your account, even your brother (the account is considered exclusive and non-transferable).

What if the account is owned by a Limited Liability Partnership formed by you and your brother?

Re:I Don't See Why Farming is Bad (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918795)

It's simply not allowed by the EULA. The EULA states that the only situation where you, being the owner of an account, is allowed to let others play it, is when you're a grow up purchasing an account for your children to play. In this case the account can be shared between you and him/her, and that's all.

Of course, most people don't give a damn about this. I myself have a shared account with my brother. :) Anyway, Blizzard has the right to terminate my account if they so which. I don't think they'll do it because that would mean $15 less for them each month, but the possibility surely exists.

Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (1, Offtopic)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917724)

I've not seen a single thing that leads me to believe this is going to be a revolutionary or even GOOD game. Frankly, any game claiming to provide an all-encompassing open-ended experience is a pure unadulterated lie. Please, someone explain why this is getting any attention at all. The press releases and marketing machine of EA is in full swing, but /.'rs are actually believing it???

In my years I've seen too many examples of how to poorly implement a scenario to believe a complete evolution of a civilization into morpg would be possible. Sim Earth to CIV? Ask yourself, how simple the game has to be to make that work. It would be TERRIBLE. One of many unlikely scenarios is Spore will be a puzzle game to level abilities of a single genetic line then onto a tradewars-like environment with your planet serving as base. Not that that's going to be much more fun. In any case, the initial development is all Single-player grind to get to abilities. Yay? Then onto a new playfield that has to keep 1 played from growing large enough to stomp anyone else and has to be able to run 24/7. Good luck with that.

Re:Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917902)

I don't know how this has anything to do with the documentary or Gold Farming, but leave it to /. mods to mark it as "Interesting" instead of "Off-Topic."

Re:Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917925)

Well done. You've blown past beginner slashdot training: "Not reading the article and posting anyway" to advanced slashdot training: "Posting about the wrong thread entirely"

Re:Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917926)

Often wrong but never in doubt.
I am Jack9.
Everyone knows me.

And your in the wrong thread. /boggle

Re:Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918239)

sure nuf!

Re:Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917986)

whoops trolling the wrong thread.

Google Spore video, as there is quite an interesting video floating around where Will Wright demos Spore. It seems that you can pick how you evolve and then enviroment evolves around that.

Like in the video he adds an extra pincer which means it's easier to kill these black blobs, so they evolve into black lines which are harder to hit.

Re:Over Hyped - Fan Boys need to shush (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918947)

Did you watch the video? It is (at this point) not a realtime MMOG. Yes, you get content downloaded from the internet that's been created by other players, but you don't interact with them like you do in WoW, etc. From the demo it sounded like it's pretty much a single-player game.

Jesus Christ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917915)

Was the "staring at your shoes" documentary too dynamic and risky?

Welcome to the free market economy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917929)

Trying to stop people selling goods for their true worth is futile, counter-productive and illegal in most developed countries. Price fixing is typically associated with command economies - e.g. communism - which most folks here are hyper-quick to condem. So leave the goldfarmers alone - anything else would be hypocritical.

They dont like being gold farmers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917962)

then get a fucking education and/or be a real farmer instead. I dont give a rat's ass how they are treated, they took the job, they dont like it.... quit! It is that simple. I know they are treated like hell, but it's their problem.

This wont gather any sympathy from me, in my opinion it's cheating the system of a way the game was intended to be played. They can quit and of course they are going to be treated like garbage by other players, those players are hip to their ways.

Documentary, geez, but to tell the truth I'd be interested in seeing it just to prove my point, it wont change the way I feel.

Like momma used to say: (4, Funny)

Kelz (611260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918109)

"Don't loot that! There are starving people in China!"

It's been said before... (2, Interesting)

Haroshia (961146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918294)

...but I'll say it again. You wanna stop goldfarming? Don't make it boring and tedious to get gold, or don't make massive amounts of gold helpful. How can this be done? Make better skills equal better gear, and get rid of non-player bound world drops. Get rid of massive goldsink things, such as 900g epic mounts. Get rid of gold entirely by having an economy based on bartering and exchanging crafted goods. People will always pay others to do things that they don't want to spend time to do themselves. If it seems like work, people will find a way to get paid for it. For example...I mow my own lawn. I enjoy mowing my lawn. I would not pay somebody to mow my lawn. I also make money mowing my neighbor's lawn, because my neighbor does not enjoy mowing his lawn. My neighbor enjoys playing football on his lawn however, and would therefore like a nicely mowed lawn. The money he spends for me to mow his lawn, is worth him avoiding the displeasure of mowing his lawn, so he can play football on his lawn. If he could play football on a lawn that wasn't mowed, I'm sure he'd rather do that however...

I like the Sims +10000 gold (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14918596)

makes gold farming a waste of time, IMHO.
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