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IGE On Why Power-Leveling Is Like Day Care

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the everyone's-a-big-baby dept.

86

simoniker writes "In a rare interview with the COO of MMO item-selling giant IGE at Gamasutra, topics discussed include the ownership of in-game items, why gold selling can be a "great business opportunity" for Chinese suppliers, and why power-leveling (paying other players to increase your character stats) is something IGE will be moving into." From the article: "Clarke also noted that, in pure economic terms, paying people to level your character is 'a market which tends toward commoditization.' Of course, those handing over their character have 'a high degree of sensitivity' to what's happening to their virtual avatar — the COO quipped: 'It's almost like day care... you'd be amazed how much they check in.'"

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86 comments

Just enjoy the ride (5, Funny)

black6host (469985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981001)

I don't understand why folks don't just enjoy leveling up. It's part of the fun. Power leveling is like wishing your life away. It's not like the developers put all the good stuff in at the higher levels and just offer garbage in the beginning...

Re:Just enjoy the ride (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981014)

Huh? Have you ever played a video game before?

Re:Just enjoy the ride (3, Interesting)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981047)

I'd agree with you if it's your first character in a game. However if it's a re-roll then the levelling process can be VERY tedious. I've gone through the barrens on 3 characters in WoW, and I'd be happy to NEVER do that again. I don't agree with power-levelling, but I can understand the desire to let someone else do the grunt work for you...

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

CrankyOldBastard (945508) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983038)

I don't buy that at all. I used to play Everquest. Once you've got a toon to level 60, it takes about 40 hours to get the next one to 55, incluing doing things (class specific quests) you didnt do with your last toon. Now if all you do is play the best XP/hour or gold/hour zones and camps, then I guess it'd get pretty boring. But there is a lot of detail and fun to be found in other places. For example, take a group of 6 18-20 players and work the ogre camp in WK - that's a fun camp. And do you know where in EQ you could find frescos illustraing the old-time relationship between the Trolls and the Froggies? Rushing through the game misses out so much, IMHO. I personally found the 60+ game boring, as it was little more than "Raid, camp rare spawn, rinse and repeat", whilst the lower levels gave a great opportunity for Role-Play. I do realise that EQ is no longer even remotely like any kind of Role Playing game though. It became a "beat the system console game" with the "Dungeons of Norrath" expansion, when the last vestiges of a roleplaying game were killed off.

I often had people send me tells asking "Why are you in that zone? Come here to xxx where the XP is great". I'd convince me to come where I was and they end up having fun, although they wouldnt make 1kpp per hour, or a gold bbl per hour.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983985)

I've got to level 60's. A hunter I mostly soloed up, and a Priest that I levelled with a group of friends. We did tons of questing, hit all the instances, and took time to PvP at all brackets.

I didn't rush to 60 by any stretch, and if I rip to 60 on a new char, I won't be missing much. (unless I switch factions)

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 7 years ago | (#15985645)

It takes 72+ hours to get to 60 in WoW, minimum. That's the shortest amount of playtime I'm aware of, and it was done with a group of people specifically trying to see how fast they could get someone to 60. Powerlevelling in the traditional sense just doesn't really work in WoW. Solo grinding is pretty much the fastest way to level, disregarding the fact that you'll get ganked quite a bit if you solo grind in populated places on PvP servers.

Experienced players mostly get to 60 in about 7 days of playtime (when they're questing and grinding for the most part, but taking time to do instance dungeons for gear once in a while as well), while first timers generally take about twice that.

Having done it several times I'll say that, while I'd never pay money for someone to play a game for me, the pre-60 portions of the game do get old. I'd skip them when starting new alts if I could.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15983382)

And when you get completely ripped off by the "power leveling service" and come back to a nude character, you'll be getting what you fucking deserve.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (2, Interesting)

crystalattice (179900) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981053)

True. It kinda defeats the purpose of playing the game if someone does it for you. Okay, so your a level 60 badass. Did you have fun getting there? Oh wait, you wouldn't know.

If the game means enough to you to want to get a high level, then it should mean enough to earn that level. Otherwise, why are you playing? If the game play sucks at the low-levels, then why bother continuing?

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15982714)

I completely agree, and it's not just about earning your level, it's about learning your class. In my experience, people who haven't gone through the levelling experience for themselves invariably do not know how to play their class competently. In some cases I've met people who were ignorant of some of the most basic aspects of the game.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (2, Interesting)

Coffee Warlord (266564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981054)

Probably because in every MMORPG I've ever played (and I've played a whole lot of them), leveling is the most repetitive, dull, mind numbing time sink in the known universe?

There's no entertainment in killing slightly different colored sprites for 50-60 levels. It's a treadmill, and god awful boring.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981225)

I've never understood this mentality. If the game isn't any fun, don't play it and do something that is fun instead. Basically, if one thinks a game is the most dull, repetitive time sink ever (which a lot of them are) maybe paying a monthly fee to pay someone else to do the "work" is a horrible waste of money. By paying someone to powerlevel a character, the power-levelee is just admitting they've fallen victim to an enormous bait and switch: the odd concept of "end-game." The really mind-numbing thing is that the end-game is almost always just more and more grinding! People are paying a monthly fee to pay someone else to level a character only to do the same thing all over in the end-game. Stupid consumerism, yay!

I play an MMO that is notorious for it's lack of end-game (City of Heroes). I play it because I enjoy it (a concept apparently foreign to many-a-player), not to prove anything to anyone, gloat about my uber-high level characters, or make money in some zany e-bay scheme. The entire concept of games being fun is lost on a large portion of the MMO community because they're too competitive to realise they aren't having any fun (or even playing the game, I guess).

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

gozu (541069) | more than 7 years ago | (#15987762)

A lot of players make cyberfriends in their virtual worlds which makes it harder for them to leave. That's why they stay.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (3, Interesting)

linuxkrn (635044) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981139)

It depends on the game.

I do droks runs in guild wars for a few reasons. I've not only been the runner, but been ran by others myself. In guild wars the lvl cap is 20. You are free to change your secondary class as much as you want. But you cannot change your primary class. This means there are several other builds you could try out. However, before Factions, it took a very long time to get where the good stuff was. Droks armor is highest in stats (not best skin/but AC rating), plus the skills trader has more advanced skills.

If you've already played the game through say 4-5 times then doing it again and again for each new character type is boring and painful.

And before factions, we were limited to 4 characters per account. Which meant you had to delete your old ones before trying out different classes. Guild wars isn't a level grinder like most other RPG games. After you hit 20, that's it. You just focus on better skill combos and different areas. Why make the players go through the entire noob areas again?

If you look at factions, this is what the game devs did. They made it so you can level up to 20 in two days with 3000+ XP quests. In GW1 it took week(s) at 250-500XP per quest.

And finally, running is a quick, not always easy, way to make some money. They have nerfed all the good farming areas and made it so money is much harder to aquire. Granted green/gold drops help, it's a pain trying to do player-player trades. In one droks run I make 10-15k in 35 minutes. When a full suite of nice looking (15k) armor cost me 150k it's still hard work.

And if you're wondering, playing with skills and builds is what it's all about. I just got my ele to do 2,672 damage in one spell hit. (4x-668 damage to lvl 5 guys). =)
http://www.linuxlogin.com/public/2672damage.jpg [linuxlogin.com]
BTW, that's wine 0.9.19 running a test this morning. Why health bars overlap.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 7 years ago | (#15982257)

For all the complaining some people do about Factions, I do like the fact that it's so quick to level in it. I first started playing when Prophecies came out, and it took me a while to get to level 20. It's nice being able to do that again without running through all those areas again.

My opinion on why they designed factions that way though was because there were a ton of level 20s, they were selling it as a separate game, and they wanted the vast majority of the content in factions to be applicable to their current player base. Level people to 20 fast, and they can then enjoy the same content that your original prophecies characters can. So I think it was that they didn't want to create that much level 1-15 content that existing players wouldn't bother going to.

Better alternatives in game design (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#15985092)

Some games allow a "respec" with less work than re-leveling all the way. Examples:

-Neocron has "LOM pills" you can use to delete some skills and then re-spend the skill points. You will have to re-level a small part of the skill points, and LOMing it takes time. But it is way easier than starting a new character.
-In Tabula Rasa, a backup of your character will be saved at each major fork in the skill tree. You can then replay from that point.

I think this solves much of the problem.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (3, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981279)

Usually it is enjoyable the first time up. After that it becomes very tedious. Not that I would ever pay for this service, but I can understand why people would do it.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (2)

Jaeph (710098) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981699)

I think you are taking the wrong perspective on this. The question is why don't the companies look into the reasons players skip the content to get to the end-game?

I think part of it is the same reason I eat an entire cheescake even knowing it will make me sick. :-)

However, part of it is that levelling is still boring. It's fun for awhile, but at a certain point it gets old.

I'm waiting for the day that you can level up in "battlegrounds" (keeping that vauge) until you reach high-level. All advancement done through constant competition, team or solo. That sounds fun. :-)

-Jeff

Re:Just enjoy the ride (2, Interesting)

hazehead (316081) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981879)

Power leveling is the opposite of wishing your life away, it's like taking steroids. Same results as everyone else, but you get there so much faster!

The two MMOs I've played (FFXI and EverC) I would have paid decent money to skip certain segments of wandering through the same places, fighting the same monsters, over and over...

Depends on the MMO... (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#15982378)

Same MMOs make the mistake is practically offering you everything early on (such as Planetside or Guild Wars), the bulk of content mid-game (such as WoW or City of Heroes) or throwing nearly everything at your at the end-game (such as FFXI or Everquest.) Very few games successfully balance the spread of content throughout the experience. (And before any complaints about tier 1 and 2 gear sets in WoW, the 'game' doesn't start until 10 when you can finally choose talents and more or less ends at 40 when you get your first mount. Levels 40-50 are a grind thanks to insignificant XP rewards and 100,000+ XP TNLs and 50-60 a last chance to quit/re-roll a character or sell your soul to some hardcore, instance running guild.)

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983019)

Levels are lame. They've been around forever, but they're still lame. They're a barrier to playing with your friends, even in progressive games like CoX where you have sidekicking and exemplaring, since someone's character advancement gets killed if the gap widens. In games like the Everquest series and others they're the collecting point -- everyone moves towards the level cap, so everyone tends to collect there, and that's where all the groups, raids, and new content ends up.

They suck the life out of PvP by making it highly level-oriented. They ruin the game world by sucking the challenge out of "lower level" zones and trivializing big things that you did earlier. Wouldn't it be neat to have a game world where monsters didn't just spiral out of the newb cities in progressive circles of difficulty?

I think the future is games with levelling systems like Planetside or even old-school SWG. In Planetside your levels give you access to more diverse equipment loadouts, but doesn't make it more potent. A level 10 facing a level 20 still has a pretty good chance. In old-school SWG levels were pretty trivial to come by, and you could become an expert at a particular skill (i.e., shooting a carbine) without hitting the skill cap. Even in that game, people asked for "blue frog" servers, where you'd have a mechanism that autolevels you, because the gameplay really got interesting when you maxed out your template.

A temporary fix would be something like the option to bump up your EXP by 2x for every character you have at cap. If I've levelled three characters up, chances are I've seen enough of the game world that I don't want to crawl through it at a snail's pace again.

But eventually a clever developer will figure out a way to keep gamers interested without running the traditional treadmill, and that will be a great day for MMOs.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

L7_ (645377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983132)

uhh levels haven't been around forever. Ultima Online didn't have them. Neither did Asheron's Call. 2 of 3 of the "Original 3" MMORGP's.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983638)

Uhhh gaming predates the internet, let alone MMOs. Regardless, Asheron's Call actually had levels called, appropriately enough, levels, that let you allocate skills but still fostered pure numerical advantages between characters. UO I am less familiar with, the skill system is a step in the same direction, but I heard it was still a big grind.

The major point is not the "level" semantics in and of itself, it's that grind (or camp)-for-mo-power is almost the solely existing paradigm. Planetside has two major differences from most MMOs -- the "grind" is PvP, and its result is not exactly more power, but more options.

Imagine this kind of system (SWG had the beginnings of this in JTL but they mucked it up): your profession in the game is as a vehicle pilot. As you gain faction with a side by killing its enemies or completing missions for it, you open up the ability to requisition different vehicles. These vehicles aren't inherently better, they're just different. For example, you might start off in the grunt blasting ship, and then unlock some sort of artillery/bomber, and then a maneuverable but low-power recon vehicle, then a stealth short-range vehicle, and maybe finally some sort of huge machine with low mobility that takes a full crew to run but packs a big punch. And then just through time on-board or killing anything, you can rack up piloting skills that let you do useful but not strictly necessary things like reroute shields or systems.

Or you could have a game where you start off with a limited array of skills and then pick up more one by one, except each skill starts fully powered up. Something like WoW or EQ where everyone was max level to begin with and all the monsters were in that range, but you have to unlock your abilities.

It could be something even more fluid -- as I kill X monster, I learn a specific sword technique that's nifty for beating them but can also be useful in other situations (i.e., a jumping attack). As I use that jump attack more I get to customize it by tweaking sliders for jump height, damage, speed, physical exertion, range, etc. And when I use that jump attack in the presence of other people that use swords, it helps to teach them as well. Crafters can make weapons with properties that actually matter, where they allocate rate of fire, spread, max ammo, ammo in clip, sword length, swing speed, etc, with sliders that balance out the weapon in the end. You could make armor with different resistance properties and weights that affect movement speed/carrying capacity. So as I spend more time in-game, I get to tweak my character into what I want them to do so that I'm more effective with them, but there's nothing that makes them inherently and overwhelmingly stronger than Joe Newb.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988196)

yes, and we can call that sword technique, Sword Tech Level 1. And then the next Sword Tech Level 2. All levels do is give a numerical representation to amount of skill that one has in any given skill. Would it be better if you were given differently colored belts instead? Levels aren't the problem, its gameplay that is focused on them that is the problem.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#15990739)

yes, and we can call that sword technique, Sword Tech Level 1. And then the next Sword Tech Level 2. All levels do is give a numerical representation to amount of skill that one has in any given skill.

Okay, you're making a pedantic semantical argument. Yeah, you can shoehorn the level terminology into any game. But the entire point of my example was that the ultimate system is one in which you gain skills in a non-linear manner, where one is only situationally better than the other. There is no Sword Tech Level 2 because which one you pick up second is different for everyone. If we assign levels to characters based on the number of skills that they have, your Level 500 character can be just as effective as my Level 5 character. If we assign levels to say how much customization you're allowed with each individual skill, level still does not tell me anything because you can manipulate that skill in a hundred different ways. I can't assign levels to monsters. Levels tell me absolutely no useful information besides roughly correlating to /played time.

The first sword attack you start with might just be a regular slash. It has 50% range, 50% recharge time, and 50% strength, just for argument's sake. As you use it more, you get the ability to customize it, but by a slider system that keeps it relatively within the same strength range. For example, maybe you've been using it for a year so that you have 50 levels of skill in that one attack. That lets you change the differentials by 50 percentage points while keeping the total the same. So maybe I tweak the skill so that it has 100% range, 25% recharge time, and 25% strength. So it's four times weaker in terms of DPS but it has twice the range -- and maybe this skill is more useful to me that way.

Now I start fighting flying creatures. Every time I fight a flying creature I accrue experience towards learning skills that are useful against them. I kill 100 of them or something, and boom, I've learned a jumping attack. This starts at 50% jump height, 50% range, 50% damage, 50% knockdown, or something like that. Once I use it enough, I can start tweaking it around. So I can give it let's say 25% height, 25% range, 100% damage, 50% knockdown. Which means it does twice the damage but I've lost half of the vertical range and half of the horizontal range. Or I could put the points into knockdown, which means it knocks the flying enemy down twice as far or keeps them stunned twice as long or something. After a while you'd develop so many different attacks that you can't even rotate them all in battle, which is the point -- more skills gives you more strategic options, not ++DPS. And there are some enemies that take more damage from the jump attack and some that take more damage from regular slash, and they're mixed in throughout the game. Maybe there's a flying creature that takes more damage from regular slash, so you want to knock them to the ground with jump attack and beat on them with regular slash.

The point, anyway, is that n00b_01 doesn't have the skill diversity of expert_1337, but they're still valuable as team members. Sword Tech 1 never gets replaced or becomes more powerful, it just gets adapted to the needs of the user. N00b_01 is the grunt that deals appreciable damage but can't do much else, while expert_1337 can knock enemies out of the air, or block their hits, or do a bunch of other things that help themselves and n00b_01 get the job done more expediently.

My favorite example of a weapon that has different kinds of settings like this is from Planetside, where there's a shotgun that lets you adjust the spread and refire rate on three settings: narrow spread and slow rate, medium spread and medium rate, wide spread and fast rate. In my example, you'd start with just medium spread and medium rate and get the ability to adjust it anywhere along the continuum as you "level."

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#15991146)

eh, its still levels of something. you're just describing a much expanded skill tree. nothing wrong with that, just different metaphors. I don't think its possilbe to decouple these types of games from "levels" In either of our examples, they're simply a way of saying that you're better than you once were. Whether that's represented by having Sword Tech level 8532 or a 10% speed bonus is irrelevant.

Re:Just enjoy the ride (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983624)

Because there are hundreds of people that don't want to enjoy the trip. They want to have that lvl xx toon right now, so they can brag about what they have.

Why do you think people buy accounts on eBay?

Heck, folks call anyone that can't seen to play their class worth eBayers. We just assume they either bought the account, or their friends played the toon to top level.

You see them in every game. In other words...

Keep moving, people. Nothing to see here!

Do you want to get rich, or do you want to get ... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981010)

Do you want to get rich, or do you want to get ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981164)

http://www.fuckedcompany.com/den [fuckedcompany.com] That's right on topic, because it's about the previous dot com company run by the founder of IGE. Maybe Brock Pierce's parents should have checked in on the kind of day care he was getting from Marc Colon-Wrecker?

http://www.fuckedcompany.com/den (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981325)

Apparently Brock Pierce's gold farmers also have Slashdot mod points! Do you want to get rich, or do you want to get fucked? http://www.fuckedcompany.com/den [fuckedcompany.com]

Re:Do you want to get rich, or do you want to get (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 7 years ago | (#15982162)

Speaking of which, isn't he still wanted by the FBI over the child molestation charges, along with the embezzling of funds?

"Day care" attitude not surprising (4, Insightful)

Parallax Blue (836836) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981044)

People who use power-leveling services are in somewhat of a quandry: on one hand, they want to be the best (even if it means hiring someone to do all the work for them) but on the other hand they're worried about being ripped off (understandably) and losing their character/avatar/items/gold etc. Basically, their desire to be the best is at war with their obsession over the game and how horrible it would be to lose stuff due to a scam.

Then there's the amount of money invested in the service, which is usually a couple hundred dollars. Combine those two and it's not surprising to hear that they check in often.

-Parallax

Re:"Day care" attitude not surprising (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981106)

I don't think getting ripped off is the biggest concern. It's your reputation that is. As far as the rest of the playerbase is concerned, that is you running around levelling. So you will need to deal with the consequences of the power-levelling services actions.

If the guy levelling your character gets you a bad reputation, you're screwed.

Re:"Day care" attitude not surprising (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15982798)

On the contrary, I don't believe that there is a quandary. People that make use of power-levelling services (almost) by definition can never be the best, because they lack the knowledge and skill that they would have been picked up during the levelling progress. Add to this the fact that other players will often shun those who make use of power-levelling services (partly because of the lack of skill, and partly just because of the power-levelling) and you find that there are very few sensible reasons for power levelling. The only conclusion that I can draw is that people who make use of power-levelling services simply have more money than sense.

Re:"Day care" attitude not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15998945)

Someone should make a game based on that internal war.

Enough with the analogies (2)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981050)

The world of online games is chock full of people trying to be clever by seeing how they can draw analogies to the world before online games. Or be even more clever by trying to be the first to spot something "totally new!" Get over yourselves!

Re:Enough with the analogies (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981305)

Actually, I agree with you. The reason we have analogies is so that we can take something complex and hard to understand...and make it easier to understand by comparing it something that another person can easily identify with. Power leveling is not complex. It makes sense they check in a lot since they have paid a large chunk of change and that the other person could be ruining their account.

See, that's saying it without being cute (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981443)

If people go this ga-ga over online games, the singularity will just make them faint.

Re:Enough with the analogies (2, Interesting)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981905)

Pretty much why I just have my brother do it for free. I just let him keep most of the spoils. He'll call me and tell me he's gained two levels on one of my char's every once in a while. But he's the kind of guy who enjoys the grind. And I am not. I like the interaction, and getting things accomplished. So I level my main, but the alts don't offer much of anything new except editing your strategy in killing different MOBs in WoW. Just my 2 cents.

I'm just going to say it. (3, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981084)

Gold farming, loot farming and power leveling suck the fun out of all MMOs. I don't care if someone is making a living off of it, I don't care if it is so commonplace that most players accept it and even use these services and I don't care if you think I am being snooty. Don't sit there and whine about a broken economy... DEMAND that it be fixed!

Re:I'm just going to say it. (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981203)

That's got nothing to do with the game economy, that has to do with the real economy.

How do you plan on fixing that?

Easy Fix (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981318)

The game occassionaly asks for random digits/letters from your credit card number + CCV, bank account number, home address or some other bit of information you used at signup and are not going to pass around lightly.

The gaming company already has it, but do you really want to tell a power leveler that kind of information?

Re:I'm just going to say it. (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981328)

Power leveling has nothing to do with the in game economy. It makes a lot of people have no clue how to play their characters, but it isn't really a problem as most people who play WoW don't know how to play their characters (from my experience anyways) :)

Re: I'm just going to say it (2, Interesting)

26reverse (305980) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981507)

With respect to the specific WoW problem... the reason most people don't know "how to play" their characters is because the game setup encourages bad habits. For example, I got to 60 with a warrior by dumping everything into damage. My reasoning was simple: kill it before it kills me. But once I got to 60, I had NO idea on how to keep aggro contained... and I had a very rude awakening while trying to tank.

My entire skill set had to shift from dealing damage (while solo-ing) to taking massive amounts of damage and holding aggro. There was no learning curve for this. The game doesn't "teach" you along the way... like most "leveling" based games do.

Re: I'm just going to say it (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981807)

If you soloed to 60 then you avoided all the content that would have taught you to tank. (Instances) The learning curve is there, you just aren't forced to learn it.

Re:I'm just going to say it. (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 7 years ago | (#15995939)

Broken economy in games is caused by people like me who buy up a certain good on the market to produce a shortage and then jack the prices up. When you have tons of gold because you played wow from the start, its very easy to make gold.

Re:I'm just going to say it. (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15996162)

I may not agree with that tactic but at least you are playing within the rules.

Part of the reason prices inflate like that is the glut of farmer gold in the hands of people who haven't "earned it" and don't assign any in game value to it.

Want to stop gold farming and powerleveling? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981130)

If you really want to stop gold-farming and power-leveling you have to design your game in a way where skill, rather then time invested, is the primary attribute that determines advancement in your game. Consider (for a moment) that you're using a Mouse/Stylus or Wiimote to draw Runes onto your screen in order to cast or choose your combat action, with this setup you can have hundreds of possible actions you could perform at any given time; if rather then 'auto-blocking/resisting' you have to draw the appropriate block/parry rune or the correct counter spell rune there (suddenly) is far more skill involved in the game. In a game like this you might consider the experience a person collects to gain a level as a trial before further training. Equipment (in a system like this) is almost un-necessary thus gold suddenly takes a back seat, and powerleveling is useless because higher level spells would require more complicated runes (which would be difficult to draw quickly, in the correct situation, without the practice from leveling).

Re:Want to stop gold farming and powerleveling? (3, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981405)

Congratulations, you have just created a game that no one would want to play! There are games that exist that require skill to play...they are called FPS. We are talking MMORPG...and WoW actually does do a very good job of making it so that farmers aren't really a big deal. The best drops are things that you can only get when you are in a group with other people running instances. You can not sell these things so they are meaningless to the economy. These items are much better than things you can purchase. People still buy gold because they like a shortcut. And even in FPS, people use cheats to get ahead. In your game they would just get a program that recorded mouse movements so that they could create the runes with a single click thus removing all skill from the game other that the small amount of strategy left (which will already be figured out what is the best thing to do and probably be scripted).

There is only one way to curtail (and that is the best you can do) gold farming/selling greatly. And that is to ban the people who BUY the gold. The gold sellers will always come back with new characters to sell gold. But if their market is too afraid to buy because they will be banned, then they can't make a profit and go find something else to do.

Re:Want to stop gold farming and powerleveling? (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981708)

the only way to get rid of it is to remove unfun time sinks. I swear, people would play WoW just as much if there were no

= pots to farm for
just retune the encounters to make pot-mandatory encounters not pot-mandatory or, even better, just have vendors sell the pots for free: you're ridding Azeroth of dangerous monsters (theoretically), the populace should be happy to support you!

= time-based PvP grind
go for skill instead (it seems this will happen in BC)

= repairs/durability
it's just a gold sink, again, the citizens should be grateful to repair your stuff

= super expensive enchants
it's another gold sink, just make crystals BoP, boom, problem solved

= easier/less boring rep grinds/collect x of 0.1% drop rate items
I mean, cmon, if I kill a faction's evil nemesis that faction should become automagically exalted, why would somebody collecting 20 million scarab shells (say) be more revered?

with all the raiding instances available, the PvP, and so on, there is already a TON of (fun) things to do even if you play 8 hours a day without having to spend time getting bogged down with these obvious time sinks. 0-60 is great, 60 could also be great if only you could play the game and have fun instead of 'working' to 'earn' enough in-game currency to enable you to game.

Re:Want to stop gold farming and powerleveling? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15990029)

Uhh, that would do nothing. If you remove the cost of everything, the economy would be flooded with too much gold causing insane inflation. How do you measuer skill in PvP under the current system? Kills? Certain classes will have an insane advantage over others. Gold sinks exisit for a reason. Rep grinds I do hate, but they put those in place for all the people ahead of the curve...they have something to do until the next dungeon. But make a game as fun as you can, there will still be people buying shortcuts.

No one? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#15985130)

Congratulations, you have just created a game that no one would want to play! There are games that exist that require skill to play...they are called FPS. We are talking MMORPG...

I'm looking for a new MMORPG/FPS hybrid after I gave up on Neocron due to too many unfixed bugs (years after release). Might try Planetside...
anyway, the reason is that I find Click&Wait combat boring. Since fighting is a large part of most MMORPGs, I want combat to be fun and challenging by itself. Can only be done by requiring some skill, and when you control only one avatar, the obvious way is to add some FPS-like twitch skill to the mix.
A MMORTS game might also be OK, but that is off-topic here in another way ;-)

Re:Want to stop gold farming and powerleveling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981859)

You can't however have skill as the primary design element. That honor belongs to FUN. If you think WRITING is fun... well, your game isn't gonna keep customers.

I'm an Idiot. But My Character is Smart. (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981929)

That's why I play a Fantasy Role Playing Game. He's got an intelligence of 200 sumthin sumthin, so he can do all that runey stuff. My character is also a lot braver than I am, which is why I'm not interested in a game in which my Real-Life chair is wired to jolt me with 500 volts every time the on-screen bad-guy whacks my avatar. My character, he's brave, and that's reflected In his thousands of hit points, so he stays and fights even though he's getting shot by lightning bolts while his nuts are being eaten by zombies. Me, I'd be back in the tavern, ordering a double.

It's Role Playing Game. Not a first-person shooter/twitch game.

Congrats! (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15984879)

You just described Puzzle Pirates, which while it still has equipment, often pales in comparison to the skill needed.

Good on you!

Dont Trust IGE and Their Offspring sites (2, Interesting)

Croakyvoice (986312) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981182)

Just so you know, IGE are also the people who own the QJ/PSPupdates sites who have also tried to buy out sites like PSP News [dcemu.co.uk]. The QJ sites charge 3 dollars a week to forum users so they can remove ads/popups (which firefox moves ok), Like IGE they are buying out the competition, the recent buy was a Podcasting site, they have also Paid Homebrew coders Like Fanjita for exclusives and threatened Legal proceedings against PSP Homebrew sites who didnt link to them for the release. For the "premium forum acess" QJ people get money off vouchers for other sites owned by IGE. All in all a real scam network

Re:Dont Trust IGE and Their Offspring sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15982079)

They pay fanjita? Source please.

Right observation, wrong motivation (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981187)

It's almost like day care... you'd be amazed how much they check in.

He makes it sound like people are checking in because they love their characters like they love their kids. I think a more accurate assessment is that they're checking in to make sure they aren't getting ripped off.

Re:Right observation, wrong motivation (1)

AudioEfex (637163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15985034)

"He makes it sound like people are checking in because they love their characters like they love their kids. I think a more accurate assessment is that they're checking in to make sure they aren't getting ripped off.

Uh, have you ever played an MMO before?

Many people who get freakishly into it do "love" their characters in that way - it's very scary. The "ripped off" part is just a piece of it; it all boils down for their love of "living" in a world that does not exist and mommy/daddy/girlfriend (let's face it, we can leave the last one out as anyone who is "into" an MMO enough to pay someone to play it for them prolly doesn't have a GF) can't bother them while they strike with the Enchanted Red Hammer of Boorishness.

However, this whole topic is just astounding. I'm a casual MMO player (played 3 or 4 of them), and anyone that is so frigging retarded that they PAY someone to play a videogame for them is just beyond help. Paying someone to play a game for you? Wow...that's just, incredible to normal people.

If you don't like they game, not only are you not speaking with your wallet by leaving the MMO, but you are spending MORE for some smacktard to sit and play for you...just so you can play through the last few levels?

What a crazy world, when people are so goddamn lazy they can't even click a mouse for themselves.

AE

Re:Right observation, wrong motivation (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15985627)

Uh, have you ever played an MMO before?

Since 1999, and I played MUDs before that for another five years. You know, like most people on Slashdot.

Many people who get freakishly into it do "love" their characters in that way.

The people who pay for levelling services don't love their characters like children until the levelling service is done with them. Feeling parental love for your character happens because you spend such a huge time playing a character, which usually implies that you are no longer in the market for a levelling service, having long ago maxed your character out.

Time is money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981219)

Many WoW players already experienced the joy of leveling up. When it comes to a second character however, it's just a grind. Powerleveling saves time, and it's worth every penny for most anyone who has a job and wants to spend their time PLAYING the game instead of mindless leveling.

Re:Time is money (2, Interesting)

Wornstrom (920197) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981307)

What I would like to see from blizzard is a feature where if you are on your 2nd character and you already have a level 60, then you have the option of purchasing rested XP from the innkeepers in major cities. Like, check into a room, and you have full rested XP, they could even pro-rate it, based on how far from fully rested you are.

Re:Time is money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981399)

What I would like to see is a system where if you already have a lvl 60 character, then you can create a new lvl 40 character so you aren't starting from scratch. Sure, you would still need to grind the last 20 lvls just to learn your class, but it would be a nice little veteran's reward. DAoC had something kind of like this where you could slash level and get a new lvl 20 character.

Re:Time is money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981451)

anyone who has a job and wants to spend their time PLAYING the game instead of mindless leveling.

News Flash! The game IS "mindless leveling".

Re:Time is money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15982291)

Mindless leveling is not the game. There is a 60 level player tutorial, and *then* the game BEGINS.

Re:Time is money (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15987553)

a few bits to use in a game

1 9 houses of magic (say 20 levels of each)
2 each casting/feat requires Scryon of X amount (+ each level of each house requires a base amount of Scryon per day with mild to major damage if you don't have it)
3 each person has a preset amount of Scryon toxicity (causes a max level of Scryon that you can have)
4 each group has a Common Scryon Pool (so you could end up with a single house level 2 character that has a massive Scryon level banking for a group of 20-30)
5 balance the spells/feats so defensive spells are cheaper (earth water space life houses have 2/3 the cost of fire air time death houses with the mind house having 25% extra on top [plus needing to be max on six houses to even see mind house spells])
6 have certain characters that are blind to magic but come in handy to the Uber Player (like a farmer that raises crops that just happen to have 8X the normal Scryon or
a priest that has a chapel that is in a NO MAGIC ZONE) sort of like the HP concept of "muggle"

in short put stuff in the game for the new characters and the old ones

Clarification (3, Informative)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981338)

Powerleveling isn't necessarily paying someone else to buff your stats, but rather using "unlimited resources" to gain exp and thus levels faster.
For example, to buy a load of mana potions to be able to spam your strongest spells early on and repeatedly, at prohibitive costs for a standard character of that level.
Some people make calculations as to the exact best way to level, "normally" and by powerleveling. Knowing which mob has a good respawn rate compared to how much time it takes to kill it compared to how much exp you gain from it.

Surely sometimes the fastest way to level includes different players who party with you so you get some of their earned exp.

The point still stands that games that force you to grind are probably not that fun, but rather just addictive.

People who buy from IGE are spoiled morons. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15981407)

Powerlevel services, huh?

You'll get a level 60 character you have no clue how to play, and you'll have trouble finding a party to go to any instances after you gain a reputation for being an idiot who wipes your party. That is, if you can find a group in the first place. Likely, people won't party with you since they've seen your character running around in a bot-like manner and an inability to speak English. Your character will likely already have a bad reputation, in other words, because people who have seen your character will assume you're a botter/gold farmer.

You'll also probably be in crappy level 45 greens that are not befitting of any Level 60 character. You can be guaranteed that any lucky blue or purple BoE drops acquired by your character would have been sold off by the guy running your account, along with most of your money. You won't have any BoPs from instances in many cases, and even if your character had managed to get them, they probably would have been sharded and again... sold for money by the gold farmer running your account.

A good player can get a character from 1-60 within 3 months for their first character, 1 month for alts. That's for a normal person with a full-time job. A good, smart level 60 player can get 4/8 Tier 1 epics nowadays within a month after that. A good, smart level 60 player can earn a lot of gold from a couple 5 man runs a week. There is no need to pay some gold farmer to power level your character, and certainly no need to buy money from IGE or similar slimeball organizations.

Re:People who buy from IGE are spoiled morons. (1)

Zed is not Zee (996730) | more than 7 years ago | (#15987727)

A good player can get a character from 1-60 within 3 months for their first character, 1 month for alts. That's for a normal person with a full-time job.
Considering an average of 16 days /played from level 1-60, to hit 60 in three months you're looking at six hours a day, five days a week. That's pretty extreme for a normal person with a full-time job and basically impossible for anybody with a family.

It's taken me the best part of a year to hit 60, but that's ok. I like questing out in the world of Azeroth and it's perfectly doable thirty minutes or an hour at a time. Now if only I could pay somebody to take my character on those bloody five-hour raid instance runs!

Power leveling makes for horrible players. (2, Insightful)

Aaul (695153) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981479)

I've played MMORPG's for years (from EverQuest, to Dark Age, to WOW these days) and it becomes very easy to tell the difference between a player who paid for power leveling services (or just had a friend power level them, as was the case in EverQuest and DAoC more often than not) and someone who actually played the game from level 1 to MaxLevel. Almost without fail, the person who was power leveled has no clue how to play their character and knows nothing of common game concepts (pulling, tanking, whatever). Worse still, it usually results in players who have no respect for the other people on the server. It's not uncommon for power leveled players to "ninja loot" (steal an item that drops for a party, then immediately leave the group) and cause other forms of grief to others.

These types of players end up getting a bad reputation eventually, so it becomes easier to avoid them; however, it's still a giant pain in the ass, especially if you're trying to get a group together to do something and you need to fill a spot with someone you haven't played with before. You take a huge risk when you invite a random person along to go do a quest or complete an instance. Will they know how to play their character or will they suck and end up causing the group to die and have to start over multiple times?

There will always be people who just aren't good at playing their character, but usually anyone who plays from 1 to 60 (or 50 or whatever) becomes at least decent at their role. Power leveling services compound the problem by introducing even more crappy players into the world, and that's the main reason why I hate them. I'm not fond of the gold-buying services either, but they aren't as big of a problem. If someone spends a couple hundred bucks to buy 10000 gold so they can go buy whatever it is they want, it's no skin off my back.

The unfortunate thing about IGE is that Blizzard will probably not try to solve the problem with litigation. If Bliz took IGE to court, and IGE won (thus proving in-game items and currency are owned by the player), services like these will blossom overnight and there will be nothing Bliz or anyone else can do about it. So instead, Bliz will just keep trying to track the farmers down and ban them, which is a never-ending battle.

Aaul

Re:Power leveling makes for horrible players. (1)

Lectrik (180902) | more than 7 years ago | (#15984264)

It's not uncommon for power leveled players to "ninja loot" (steal an item that drops for a party, then immediately leave the group) and cause other forms of grief to others.


heh, earlier on in WoW i remember when us warlocks were the rarest class... and there'd always be that one person, on the rare occasions that I would group, that would tell me to not ninja all the soul shards.

These types of players end up getting a bad reputation eventually, so it becomes easier to avoid them; however, it's still a giant pain in the ass, especially if you're trying to get a group together to do something and you need to fill a spot with someone you haven't played with before. You take a huge risk when you invite a random person along to go do a quest or complete an instance. Will they know how to play their character or will they suck and end up causing the group to die and have to start over multiple times?

There will always be people who just aren't good at playing their character, but usually anyone who plays from 1 to 60 (or 50 or whatever) becomes at least decent at their role.


I'm a very casual gamer and I actually prefer to not group, which is why I have a hunter and a warlock and everything up to level 60 can be done solo, but there is very little end game content that I would solo... then again I haven't touched the game since last october except for the 2 times I tried to play and ended up either downloading patches I missed or the servers being down.

I never got the knack for doing the total damage output that warlocks are supposed to be doing during raids, because I spent 50 levels trying not to pull the monster off my blueberry and 40 levels making sure I wasn't waking the monster up with my DoT spells while charging up a bolt.

I had an okay reputation with my guild and always had all the other stuff down that warlocks are supposed to do (what's that, summon the entire raid group?... well I need two other people to walk there with me at least), i just never got the rhythm or the +damage equipment to add a lot to the raid (my soloing gear was pretty decent, and the Engineering profession ended up being a gold-sink... but an entertaining one)

Interview? what interview? (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981490)

Did anyone actually read the article? It doesnt read like an interview at all. After reading the first paragraph, i knew that this was going to be simplified down to the level of "clueless n00b". I tried to skim and read ahead, but couldnt find anything but a few quotes spliced in here and there. Im not going to read 4 pages of gold farming 101, so can someone actually reprint the interview here? I simply couldn't find it.

It's a market force to improve games. (2, Insightful)

Onan (25162) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981625)


The viability of powerleveling/goldselling/etc as a business is directly proportional to how much of the game is simply not fun for players.

The real solution is not to try and enact policies and game systems to make powerleveling difficult, but instead to design the game to make it undesired. If a leveling/farming market springs up, that's your cue that this is an area of the game which needs reinventing as something that players actually _enjoy_ doing.

Re:It's a market force to improve games. (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#15983040)

As long as people continue to differ on what they enjoy, the problem cannot be solved by making a particular aspect of the game more enjoyable. 'Enjoyable', you see, is neither constant nor universal.

To put the point another way: there will always be a percentage of people who simply enjoy cruising around with an uber-powerful not-home-made character, and so a market will do its darndest to arise to fulfill that desire.

Re:It's a market force to improve games. (0, Flamebait)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989305)

"directly proportional to how much of the game is simply not fun for players."

There is no reason for any game company to go out of their way to please everybody. If there are some players that don't find the game fun any more, it is time for those players to move on to something else that is fun. Blizzard (et al) are making enough money that they don't need to cater to such people, especially when doing so could seriously harm the playing experience of everybody else.

The world does not revolve around you.

Another Analogy (2, Insightful)

GodaiYuhsaku (543082) | more than 7 years ago | (#15981833)

Wouldn't it be more like,

"Leaving your child with a felon who runs a crack lab, and if the felon gets busted you lose your child and all parenting rights forever"

Since if your character is caught hacking/botting/being power leveled it can get the account banned.

Does IGE have a garuntee in case the charcter is banned?

powerlevelling is good. (1, Insightful)

Xiph (723935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15982369)

Powerlevelling is good, because it lets people play the part of the game they enjoy, and that's what gaming is all about.

I know some people don't like it, they say that people don't work to get their character to level 60 or whatever is max.
I say that's a lie, i say people choose to work at their job, instead of doing what many consider a chore (ingame) to get those stats.

If you have 3 friends playing WoW and they're all maxxed out, but because you just started in a lawfirm,
it'll take you half a year to get there, or it'll take you half a days paycheck to be able to play with your friends, I know, what I'd choose.

And as many people have already pointed out, they can't buy skill anyway, so why on earth are you whining about it?
powerlevelling is the only way people with jobs can stay in the competition.

This on the other hand can be used by any gamer before joining up on an mmorg: You should look at what people offer on ebay,
there you will see which parts of the game that are boring.
Nothing in game would be for sale unless it's either difficult to get or boring to get.
If enough people want something which is obtainable there will be a market for it.
Nobody wants boredom, so it feels unfair when others can buy their way around it, but you didn't do it.

i foresee games where everything is for sale for real (possibly also ingame) currency. When you realize you only need that one crystal to finish your monolithic spaceship of doom, you pull out a menu, and purchase it, without ever leaving the game OR you decide to spend 5 days getting to chasing your goal if you like to go adventuring for stuff, either way it will mean that people can play the game as they want to.

Second life is already doing this to some extent, although in many ways i'm not sure whether to call it a game.
I foresee much more of this, including games where it's much easier to do product placement and the likes, if can live with that, you save 2$ a week.

I must admit, i myself am somewhat annoyed with char building, there's a reason i refer to it as grinding, i'm sure you know the term.
I love doing pk (or pvp if you want) because that's the place where you're facing human adversaries.
It is also my experience, from various games, that killing mobiles is not proper preperation for fighting players, although it can help getting group fighting tightened up.

from a foreign aid point of view, this is one of the ways you'll be able to give money directly to the poor people of poor nations. Don't be mislead, those are the people working the sweatshops. The only big problem I see, is that people don't make requirements to those they buy services from, i guess i'd prefer to buy my chars Max Havelaar style.'

anyways, i'm heading off topic, cyas and i hope you'll think about why it is people will pay to avoid parts of a game.

Re:powerlevelling is good. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989384)

"Powerlevelling is good, because it lets people play the part of the game they enjoy, and that's what gaming is all about."

How much enjoyment could you have with what is essentially somebody else's high-level character? A good deal of the enjoyment of having such a character is remembering the effort it took.

"I say that's a lie, i say people choose to work at their job, instead of doing what many consider a chore (ingame) to get those stats."

If it is such a "chore" that you equate it with "work," then quit the game. The publisher and the entire game community are not required to cater to your whims and putting up with your high-level but utterly inexperienced character. If you don't like it, then it is on you to quit, not to ruin it for other people.

"And as many people have already pointed out, they can't buy skill anyway, so why on earth are you whining about it?"

Because level is the only real metric left for measuring the potential skill of other players, and what you're adocating breaks even that. You are making it so that I can't reasonably rely on somebody else's level to be useful information on how well they party.

"Nothing in game would be for sale unless it's either difficult to get or boring to get."

Nothing would be for sale if people didn't want an easier way of getting what others worked hard for. Ants, grasshopper, little red hen, etc.

If you don't like it, quit. Take some initiative for once in your life.

"When you realize you only need that one crystal to finish your monolithic spaceship of doom, you pull out a menu, and purchase it,"

What would be the point of having that "monolithic spaceship of doom" if everybody has one? If that's the way it's going to be, why aren't you satisfied with starting gear, or why should they even put such an item in the game to begin with? The ultimate conclusion to your argument is that nothing in the game should require any effort to acquire, thereby eliminating any value to any attainable items. You'd have a game full of Paris Hiltons.

"Nobody wants boredom,"

That's where you're wrong. It's unfulfilling boredom that people don't want. You're assuming that everybody would be equally satisfied with instant gratification as they would be with that which is not easily attainable. If that were true, we'd all still be living in caves.

I will admit that this is mostly a matter of personal satisfaction, but your pursuit of instant gratification through the use of gold sellers and power levelling affects me by ruining the game economy and burdening me with unreliable party members such as yourself.

If you want instant gratification, go get an offline game and an Action Replay and leave the rest of us out of your masturbatory fantasies.

"Second life is already doing this to some extent,"

And you don't think this has anything to do with Second Life's rather small market share?

"I must admit, i myself am somewhat annoyed with char building,"

Then don't do it.

"I love doing pk (or pvp if you want) because that's the place where you're facing human adversaries."

Then play a different game.

"rom a foreign aid point of view, this is one of the ways you'll be able to give money directly to the poor people of poor nations."

Does the term "sweatshop" mean nothing to you? You will not be giving money to the workers, you will be giving it to their employers.

"anyways, i'm heading off topic, cyas and i hope you'll think about why it is people will pay to avoid parts of a game."

Oh, I already know. "The world owes me."

Re:powerlevelling is good. (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15990089)

"How much enjoyment could you have with what is essentially somebody else's high-level character? A good deal of the enjoyment of having such a character is remembering the effort it took"
If it's made according to how you wanted the character made, You paid for it, it's yours.

"... then quit the game."
There ARE aspects of the game payers like, why not just let them play those parts?
Their subscriptions help pay improvement of the aspects you like, just as much as yours does

"[Your argument is] nothing in the game should require any effort to acquire"
No, my argument is nothing in the game should be a boring to acquire.

"You'd have a game full of Paris Hiltons"
If a game is made so that one strategy dominates the others, then the game is already flawed, please read about game theory.

"You're assuming that everybody would be equally satisfied with instant gratification"
No I'm not, i actually state that if people prefer the adventure of getting the item through adventure, they should have the choice! I'm just not assuming that everyone plays the game to achieve. Personally I'm an explorer/killer as gamer. From what i read about you, you're mainly an achiever/socializer(nothing wrong with that) but please try to understand the other types of players [mud.co.uk].

"Then play a different game."
But I love pvp in this game and I pay my subscription like everyone else.

"Does the term..."
You failed to detect sarcasm, I'm sorry that's partly my fault.

"Oh, I already know. "The world owes me."
You said that, I didn't :)

Re:powerlevelling is good. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#15993440)

"If it's made according to how you wanted the character made, You paid for it, it's yours."

I can go down the street to the trophy shop and buy myself a trophy to my exact specifications. Heck, I could probably spend a little effort and get myself an exact replica of an Olympic gold medal. Does that make it the same? Does that mean it's worth as much to me as a trophy I won?

"There ARE aspects of the game payers like, why not just let them play those parts?"

If those aspects of the game were meant to be the main part of the game and less a mini-game, do you really think it'd be treated as a reward for reaching a certain level or completing a certain series of quests? If you want a PvP game, go out and play a PvP game.

Not that that is all you're interested in. If all you want is PvP, then I wouldn't have to put up with you in my experience point or quest parties. You want to be able to do it with the same equipment and such as others who have put in the commitment, all without any commitment of your own.

"Their subscriptions help pay improvement of the aspects you like, just as much as yours does"

But their mere presence detracts from my enjoyment, more than their subscription fees. Why should I have my game ruined by people who can't be bothered to play by the rules?

"If a game is made so that one strategy dominates the others, then the game is already flawed, please read about game theory."

It's called "cheating" for a reason.

"they should have the choice!"

Choose another game.

"but please try to understand the other types of players."

Please understand there are other games.

"But I love pvp in this game and I pay my subscription like everyone else."

But you can't abide by the rules and design of the game, unlike everyone else. All your subscription entitles you to is access, nothing more, no right to dictate the terms as you see fit, especially when the vast majority of other players are quite content with the terms of access and what you ask for would detract from their own enjoyment.

"You said that, I didn't :)"

Essentially yes, you did. You don't care about game balance, you don't care about the enjoyment of other players, you would ruin both just so that your character can have some unjustified bling. Your entire post is about how everything should be all about you and what you want and how everybody should cater to your tastes, even to their own detriment and even though you amount to nothing much more than a lone voice in the wilderness in your MMORPG of choice.

Re:powerlevelling is good. (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15994479)

First off, the main difference is, that you see your character as a trophy of your achievement, i see mine as a tool for having fun.

Secondly, you seem to think im referring to the particular game that you're playing, which i don't even know which one is.
I admit that i might've been a bit carried away in my reply to your first post and have overlooked that you were being very specific.

Thirdly you make the mistake of assuming that spending money on something is not a commitment. You're wrong, it is!
I will agree on one aspect though, the person paying for the character wouldn't have your experience, and it would be nice if there was some other way this was visible. The previous generation of persistant multiplayer games did make time spend and similar things visible
Seriously, quit being angry about it, just because i go out and flaunt my new Hasselblad H1 with a p45 Phase One back doesn't mean professional photographers get angry with me, they might laugh at me for being unskilled and spending tens of thousands without proper training.

You misunderstood me about one point (i didn't make it very clear), I don't it's alright to trade in characters if you've signed (or otherwise accepted) a contract not to. I just think that it's a stupid clause to have.

What part of "If a game is made so that one strategy dominates the others, then the game is already flawed, please read about game theory."
makes you say "It's called "cheating" for a reason."?
This is actually pretty central. A game is not fun if one strategy (or playstyle) dominates the others,
If you think there is one optimal superbuild for your character, then either You're wrong or the game will always suck, even if the people you don't like leave.
just to rephrase this, a game is not fun if there's only one best way of doing things.

"But you can't abide by the rules and design of the game, unlike everyone else. All your subscription entitles you to is access, nothing more, no right to dictate the terms as you see fit, especially when the vast majority of other players are quite content with the terms of access and what you ask for would detract from their own enjoyment."
This has to go both ways.

"Please understand there are other games."
Please, please, please read some computer game theory about the different types of players and how they interact, how there can be a balance between them and how they can improve gameplay for eachother. If you think the game will be fun if only those who play it in your own style will like it, I suggest you play single player games, or only coop with your closest friends. I honestly think that will be more fun for you, possibly something like diablo 2 and playing only on password protected servers.

"Essentially yes, you did. You don't care about game balance, you don't care about the enjoyment of other players, you would ruin both just so that your character can have some unjustified bling. Your entire post is about how everything should be all about you and what you want and how everybody should cater to your tastes, even to their own detriment and even though you amount to nothing much more than a lone voice in the wilderness in your MMORPG of choice."
I feel that you assume I'm an asshat and an idiot, only out to ruin the fun of others, steal their time and make them miserable. I'm not.
I'm not asking everyone to do as i want them to, merely to allow me to play the way I want. If Elder Scrolls: Oblivion was an mmorg, i'd be happy to pay someone (including the people running it) to max my alchemy skill, it's one of those things i find fun to play with, and i refuse to think that me playing around with alchemy ruins the game for others.
What i wouldn't do was buy x amount of various ingredients, because i think gathering them is one of the fun things. I know others would prefer doing it the other way around, or all by themselves, and i'd be fine with them doing that.

I'm not currently playing any mmorpg, mostly because i've realized how i like character progression and npc+pc interaction to be, which no current game offers, besides a few text based muds (i still play those). I do claim that i know my shit when it comes to player-player interaction, I've never nerfed a class to unplayability or juiced one to überness nor have i made a change that made two classes basically the same.

If you reply again, and I hope you do, please let me know which game(s) you've played where this has been a major issue and what parts of those games you enjoy.

Re:powerlevelling is good. (1)

Sodade (650466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15993614)

Your responses clearly indicate that you do not understand the basic level structure of WoW, which is, by far, the most popular MMOG out there. Being level 60 means nothing - you are defined by the quality of your gear, the best of which can only be obtained by long hours of raiding, which requires (relative to the game's parameters) a large degree of skill. When you inspect my level 60 rogue decked out in Tier1/2 epics, it doesn't matter if I paid a powerlevelling service to get there or not (I didn't). Certainly it would be lame for a newb to go buy a decked out char on ebay - no question that is problematic, but I have a level 60 char - I do not want to suffer through the levelling process again because I want to play a different character type. Powerlevlling has its place...

The Power part of Power-leveling (1)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15985367)

Perhaps a small part of the appeal of power-leveling (what a meme!) is that you are paying someone else to do stuff for you. You get to be the boss. It's a power relationship that might not otherwise exist in a gamer's real life.

In fact, I'm trying to think of things in my life that I could "outsource". Aside from coding, which I actually like to do, I don't have many opportunities to hire someone. I have no need of a gardener, or a babysitter, or even a dog walker. I take a cab sometimes, but that's different from hiring a driver. So as pitiful as it may be, paying someone in China to play videogames is one of the few ways that I could exercise direct economic control; to appease my inner capitalist, as it were.

Very interesting.

Ironic, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15985647)

I find this highly ironic and hypocritical that IGE is the one coming out against this. I play FFXI, and gilsellers run rampant in that game. There are some items that gilsellers like IGE have so camped that it's virtually impossible to get because they all camp the spawn. So if you really want it, you either camp it and get lucky, or you have to buy it from them. They've killed the economy with inflation. They ruin the game in a lot of respects.

Square Enix bans them as they find them, but it takes forever and they always come back.

Gil Sellers Are Evil Incarnate (2, Interesting)

TheZorch (925979) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988474)

Around December of 2005 gil sellers were killing prices on the Auction Houses of Final Fantasy XI. Prices were outrageously high. Not long after SquareEnix banned several hundred players and removed several billion gil from the game. After that prices returned to normal. A few months later I noticed some characters with funky names running around a zone farming mobs. They were moving like a highly trained squad. This was not typical player behavior. Their names were something like "BK1A, BK1B, BK1C" and so on and so forth. I asked around on my Linkshell about it and they told me they were gil sellers.

Around that time wierd things started to happen in the AHs. Prices on items that players would normally put up there in order to make money were dropping rapidly. Someone was undercutting prices like crazy, and outrageous amounts of items were flooding the AH also. Take Fire Crystals for instance. Crystals are the basis of the crafting system of FFXI, without them you cannot craft at all. A stack of 12 Fire Crystals would normally sell for 8,000 gil were undercut to 1,000 to 2,000, and you'd see 60+ stacks on the AH. You'd think that a drop in price for these items would be a great thing, but for players who sell crystals on the AH to make money its a bad things. It makes it harder for players to make money needed for upgrading armor and weapons, and otherwise being able to buy other crafting materials. The overall economy suffered as a result and is just now starting to recover.

To combat gil sellers SE implimented a number of countermeasures. The servers, all 32 of them, have packet sniffers which watch for bot programs that snif packets watching for NMs to pop. Now, there is a delay between the initial packet sent from the server to the client announcing the pop of the NM so that bot programs can't claim it first before the players can.

Another countermeasure they did was to put an EX (Exclusive) flag on certain items dropped by NMs associated with popular quests. EX items cannot be sold on the AH or traded. Characters can only have one RARE flagged item in their inventory. This includes personal inventory, MogSafe, and Mog House storage. You can store then in the delivery box by sending them to yourself. Many quest items dropped by mobs and NMs have both the RARE and EX flags.

Lastly, the amount of gil that can be sent to any character via the delivery boxes is limited to 1 million gil. All of this is common knowledge.

Now that Chocobo Raising has been implimented and Chocobo Racing is just around the corner now comes the issue of rampant gambling. Gambling has been in FFXI for a long time thanks to the /random command. It lets you do a dice roll. Typically gil sellers aren't involved the in this form of gambling because Chinese gil sellers don't like drawing too much attention to themselves. However, gambling on Chocobo Races could easily be exploited by gil sellers. SE must decide to impliment a game-supported gambling system for the races or risk having gil sellers run even more rampent than they already are.
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