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General: Buying Virtual Currency

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Joe Iuliani writes to give his opinions on the ups and downs of the Secondary Market.

"Pssst, Pssst, yeah you, you over there, if you keep this quiet and don't tell anybody; I got some gold, for ya. Ok, gold not your thing, how bout some platinum? No, what about Infamy, Credits, Scrip? Ok how about some Zuly, everybody can use some more Zuly."

Virtual gaming currency is an essential component to any successful MMORPG character. Although the time dedicated to generating this currency at most times is just ridiculous, hence the scenario above, it feels a little bit like it's out of a cheap 40's gangster film.

Read the whole editorial here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

«134

Comments

  • AzuriellAzuriell AntwerpPosts: 27Member
    Well, I have questioned that myself but then I came to some conclussion why, let's say Blizzard, doesn't allow these kind of exchanges.

    So my thought was, when people buy all these great in-game items (you can't buy the best ones in World of Warcraft) perhaps your interest in the game begins to fade, and it'll be like: "So, I've gotten far, I'm sorta done. There isn't really much to do now eh?" perhaps it would be like this.

    When you earn great equipment by yourself you'll be more likely not to quit so easily since you've worked hard for them.



    (Sorry for the bad English, but I guess it comprehensible)

    _____________________________

    I Am Special K.

  • darkmandarkman Marlboro, NJPosts: 767Member
    As someone who has bought Gold in the past (yea yea, go alert the police on me), I agree with some of your points. It's true, some of us just don't have the time (or more importantly, the patience) to farm for gold. However, we still are unbalancing the economy by buying gold. The more we buy gold, the more other players have to farm for the gold. In essence, we are partially the reason for buying gold. However, most of the blame should be put on developers, which you really didn't get into much. The point of a game is not to create a 2nd job (or for some, their 1st)  with it, but rather, to have FUN. Sure, we shouldn't have a game where there is no progression, that would take the whole RPG element from an MMO. We need to establish a medium though, where it's not ridiculously impossible to get gold, but at the same time, is still necessary.



    I think one of the better ways to go about this would be creating other ways to acquire gold. Seriously, we either farm, or we craft, which most likely ends up requiring farming anyway. So in essence, it's either you farm, or you buy gold. Why not create different ways to build up money, like mini-games for instance? Come on, who wouldn't like to pop in their favorite MMO and play a little bit of bowling or some crap like that? Also, hell, why not a casino? Yea, I guess that brings up gray areas with buying gold and then gambling it off, that technically it could be considered online gambling, but it's still an interesting idea to consider.



    Yea yea, we all know developers want to make their games as time consuming as possible so they will keep your money. That's not the solution. The solution is to keep your game as FUN as possible so you will keep subscribers.
  • NecrofimNecrofim Baxter, IAPosts: 1Member
    I think another issue that has to be looked at is security.  A lot of the services out there for buying gold actually log in as you and then farm for you.  This creates a security issue for the companies running the game. You as a paid sunscriber to their game agree to certain restrictions such as not running certain bots or third party programs that hack the system or unbalance the game.  These service providers agree to no such restrictions.  So you give them your login information, which is a violation of most subscription agreements nowadays in-and-of  itself, and they log in a use third party hacks and programs (another violation) to enhance their farming so they can maximize their time to farm in order to make more real currency per virutal currency farmed.  A lot of the people getting accounts closed are actually getting them closed for violating the other parts of the agreement, NOT for buying ingame currency.  There are plenty of sources of buying ingame currency that don't require the currency provider to log in as you, that I see as less of a threat.  The problem with these is as Darkman pointed out, the more ppl buying gold, the larger the need for more gold due to economy imbalance.  It is a problem inducing 'solution' to symptoms.  And I think it was originally started by impatient ppl with too much real life money as opposed to ppl with too little time.  I think the fix is going to take developers rethinking the economy algorithms and structure.  Just my 2 cents.



    Nec
  • vriggsvriggs Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 15Member
    Well, with BC expansion making gold for the 60+ crowd very easy to come by, it seems to me the ingame economy, looking at AH prices lately, has already went through the roof. I feel it should be MY decision whether I spent my rl hard earned cash for ingame gold and/or items. Thats my virtual two cents worth!

    Ferinzi
    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    -Ronald Reagan-

  • NytemareNytemare Btfd, ONPosts: 59Member

     My job takes too much of my time to respond properly to this....so......I will have to pay to have someone write a comment on why I pay for someone else to farm for in game currency.

  • AntipathyAntipathy SouthamptonPosts: 1,362Member
    Necrofim is right - gold buying as much a cause of the problem as a solution. It inflates expectations as to how well equipped the average player should be, and hence puts pressure on other players.



    Could the OP explain why he seems to think he has a right to "be competive" with people who spend twice as much time playing as he does? Most MMOs are about spending time to progress your character. If you aren't happy to do that, then perhaps you are in the wrong genre? Paying someone else to play your character for you just strikes me as sad.



    Then again, I only work a 37.5 hour week, so apparently my opinions don't count. Conversely, you are a gold buyer, so I don't have much respect for yours either.
  • AntipathyAntipathy SouthamptonPosts: 1,362Member
    Originally posted by vriggs

    Well, with BC expansion making gold for the 60+ crowd very easy to come by, it seems to me the ingame economy, looking at AH prices lately, has already went through the roof. I feel it should be MY decision whether I spent my rl hard earned cash for ingame gold and/or items. Thats my virtual two cents worth!
    Yep - prices of low level items have gone up alot. Makes it insanely easy to make cash with a little crafting / gathering / AH manipulation. Why you need to buy gold is beyond me.
  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon
    There's a lot of blind spots in folks who buy currency.  It's a lot like people who buy something hot from a card table set up on the street in NY -- "Why should I pay retail?"



    Dude, the person you're buying from is breaking the law, or at least a EULA.  They are those gold farmers you hate when you find a high reward MOB camped by a bunch of kids who speak very bad Korean-accented English (if any English at all).  You are supporting a sweatshop industry with bad working conditions.



    If you have a kid and family and a job (and hey, I do too), then maybe you need to back down your machismo from your powergaming testosterone height, and admit that you can't be the best equipped l33t in the game. 



    Change your gaming style -- you already have had to change your real life to accommodate being a grownup.  News:  it washes over into virtuality.



    Just remember, every time anyone in any game is cursing gold farmers -- by extension, they are cursing you, the johns.



    Shava
  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    Joe Iuliani in the editorial seems to come across as trying to rationalize gold buying.  It's cheating plain and simple, you can try to "sugar coat" it all you want.  A rose by any other name....

    Not to mention virtually every EULA and TOS says buying ingame items or currency is A Bad Thing.  You get caught and that toon you just couldn't level up because you are SO busy with your real life just went *poof*.  When that happens you get exactly ZERO sympathy from me.

    Allowing gold buying unevens the playing field.  Now Mr Rich Kid can have daddy just buy him all the "phat lewts" where he didn't earn it.  I get a feeling of satisfaction when I finally get That Nifty Item that I worked for, whether it took me days or weeks to get it.  Too many people are so dern impatient, they want it now and if paying some guy in china $$ rather than actually playing the game will get him it quicker he'll do it.

    At least ebay is finally doing the right thing by disallowing gold/ingame item buying. 

  • MezzumMezzum Conroe, TXPosts: 22Member

    How can you write an article about this subject, and leave out about 90 percent of the ACTUAL issues?  No disrespect, but next time you write an article, try doing... oh whats that called?   Oh yea... RESEARCH!

  • vriggsvriggs Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 15Member
    Originally posted by Antipathy

    Originally posted by vriggs

    Well, with BC expansion making gold for the 60+ crowd very easy to come by, it seems to me the ingame economy, looking at AH prices lately, has already went through the roof. I feel it should be MY decision whether I spent my rl hard earned cash for ingame gold and/or items. Thats my virtual two cents worth!
    Yep - prices of low level items have gone up alot. Makes it insanely easy to make cash with a little crafting / gathering / AH manipulation. Why you need to buy gold is beyond me. Did I say I bought gold? Noooo, I said it should be my, aka an individual's, decision. Not yours or the developers to dictate to players.

    Ferinzi
    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
    -Ronald Reagan-

  • noctisnoctis Laval, QCPosts: 29Member

    Gold-buying and powerleveling is all about skipping parts of the game you don't like.  Not EVERYTHING in a game has to appeal to you for you to enjoy playing it.

    I'm not personally a consumer of powerleveling services or buying fully-leveled characters of ebay, if you're skipping 90% of a game, other games might be worth a look.

    Gold-buying, however, is a different thing.  Not many games make gold-gathering enjoyable, so I see a lot of potential to "skip the bad parts" there while enjoying most of the rest.  The way I see it, most games give you just enough gold so you don't get everything you desire.  If you want to get everything, you farm or you buy offline.

    Some people, like I do, enjoy a good, fair, PvP fight.  If I went up against people who played normally, did their quests got lucky once or twice with drops and have had a similar gold income as mine, everything should be fine.  But there are people out there willing to suffer the farming process just to get the edge and repeatedly kicking "normal" people's derriere.  No one likes to lose every time.  When you start to meet these "hardcore" people repeatedly, the part you liked about the game stops being fun.

    So either I quit playing, I suffer the farming myself, or I buy the gold.  Being the hardworking person that I am, my spare time is valuable, not expendable on boring stuff.  Quitting the game can only be done so many times before you run out of games.  So there's really only one option to "be competitive" and keep having fun.

    The solution is to lessen the impact of grinding (for gold, faction, whatever tedious process the game designers thought up) on the strength of your character. Someone who has more time than me should simply be higher level than me, and compete with other higher levels.  If I meet another level 30, maybe it's a casual guy who spent 6 months to get that far, or hardcore who started yesterday.  No matter as we should be evenly matched for PvP or equally useful to groups.

  • streeastreea Dallas, TXPosts: 654Member

    Hate to break all of the hearts of people who think "oh, I don't have the time to farm for gold, so it's okay that I buy it so I have more fun," but you're wrong.

    Your "buying grapefruit juice" idea falls flat on its face. You buying juice from a legal, valid company who owns the land and the entire process the juice was created with is different from a gold farmer, who's process basically involves stealing the fruit that grew on someone else's land and then processing it themselves. They're taking property that does not legally (and yes legally, that's why you have to "accept" the agreements made between you and the game you're playing) belong to them, put time into stealing it, and then say it's okay because they didn't steal the juice themselves...they put time into stealing the source and then making it themselves!

    Also...if you have a family, a life, a morgage, etc...those $200 could be better spent doing something that relates to your family. Take the husband/wife/kids out somewhere fun...there are plenty of legal ways to have fun while spending your hard-earned money.

    Then of course the point brought up about gold buying inflating the economy of the game. Anyone who buys gold is basically saying "well, I'm the only person who matters, so I don't care if my actions help ruin the experiences of others by making them work harder and fairer than I am."

    Finally, saying "well some games let you buy gold through the company" doesn't stand up either at all. That's that game, and they're allowed to say "we're the only ones who can sell the gold." They're not saying "other people can sell the gold and make a profit off of our work," they're saying "we're giving you a free game, so we'll provide you goods through a safe, secure, and LEGAL process." That's those games, but not all games do this.

    What it comes down to is that people who support the buying and selling of gold are constantly going "well what about my fun?" but what they're really saying is "Me me me me me."

  • RagemoreRagemore Kalamazoo, MIPosts: 51Member

    Hey joe, I have a 40+ hour a week job, and recently I helped with a PodCast on this issue, so to prepare for that, I did a little research, and it seems that the Developers are more concerned about who makes the money to sell, and the fact that security for a player who uses a power leveling company is comprimised, and lastly they look at the virtual economy.

     I think the big problem comes in that sweat shops in third world countries are being used to "farm" this gold, yes it is true that many average americans also sell things on Ebay until the listing were taken down, but a growing number of reports point more and more to farmers and farming methods that may be questionable on a moral level. I believe they look at this issue as a "if we let them buy gold, then we have to let them buy all the other stuff, items, characters, levels, etc..." so instead of debating each new thing they used a blanket statement and said "this is our property, do not sell it to others"

    We have to respect that, it would be very similair to someone coming over to your house and planting a garden, then they harvest everything from that garden and sell it for money, making a modest income off of your land. You pay the taxes on the place, you paid the money for it, and it doesnt matter that you never planned to do anything with it, what matters is he is making money off of your property, that you have to go to work, day in and day out to keep. Maybe the anology isn't quite right, but it is close, and I dont blame a company for saying this is our product, do not sell it, or stuff from it, to other people. I am equally ok with a company comming out and saying players are allowed to sell these things too each other. It is a choice the are allowed to make, and we should respect the decision.

    And the above arguement assume games like WoW, DAoC, EverQuest and such which have a player market, and an npc market but isnt featured as a game mechanic per se. Games like Eve Online is a different story, a touted game mechanic is the Market and how it works, it is a player driven game mechanic, so that is a vital part of thier game, and if they see something a player does to break the mechanic then they have to step and fix it. If that means banning farmers, then thats what they will do.

    I think a great solution to this problem is staring the developers in the face. They should offer these same services to thier player base themselves. This help the casual player, this controls security, and this allows them to limit or stop selling something that may break a game mechanic. Before I used to think the Player bas themselves would whine and cry if they did this, but as outside companies seem to be doing this very thing more and more, I see very litte opposition from the player base on this issue. The Hardcore gammer gets what they want becuase of the time they can play, the casual uses some of their hard earned rteal money to make things better in the game they want to play, and if the companies keep control of these purchased options then they can be sure the game isnt hurt, it is a win win solution.

    I want to buy things I dont have time to play for, I dont want to buy it from Chinese sweat shops, or even off of ebay, I want to buy from the company who made the game.

    Rage - Head Honcho of the Revilers
    "Ragemore and Whine Less"

  • streeastreea Dallas, TXPosts: 654Member
    Originally posted by noctis
    So either I quit playing, I suffer the farming myself, or I buy the gold.  Being the hardworking person that I am, my spare time is valuable, not expendable on boring stuff.  Quitting the game can only be done so many times before you run out of games.  So there's really only one option to "be competitive" and keep having fun.



    You don't see what you're doing though. By making yourself "competitive," you're basically adding fuel to the fire. Sure, you might be able to get a leg up on some of the competition, but when you come up against people who haven't bought gold and actually oh...earned their gear? What do you say to them when your gear is higher than theirs? "Sorry, you should just buy gold too"?

    You're cheating other people out of their fun so that you can have fun yourself. Is that "fun" to you?

  • OtizOtiz Jacksonville, FLPosts: 15Member
    Like I've said before:  If you can't beat them- join them!  THEN BEAT THEM!
  • TechleoTechleo Grants Pass, ORPosts: 1,984Member
          As many above have said, its not the issue of buying in-game money with real money. Its the issues of how the people collecting the money affect there peers. Generally people use bots which degrade the entire gaming experience. Not only that, if the game has any mechanic built into the game which requires competition between players then classism arises. You see people with real money taking lands and property the poor cant. Thats not the intent of a competitive mmorpg. Its supposed to be a skill based playing field. Not a competition of who makes the most at the work place.



     
  • KoolaiderKoolaider Tampa Bay, FLPosts: 450Member

    I'm studying to be a neuro-surgeon.

    But I have to agree, a lot of Developers have just lost their way, they stopped caring about the fun and now it's all about money. Which is why I think that WoW is one of the worst things that have ever happened in the 21st Century to date. Game companies are now becoming fierce, (i.e. SOE) in changing their game client to 'better fit' the new gameplay genre.

    But if you are a person of Far-Eastern descent, and are looking to sell me gold, uber lootz, or things of that nature, I support your cause.

  • noctisnoctis Laval, QCPosts: 29Member
    Originally posted by streea

    Originally posted by noctis
    So either I quit playing, I suffer the farming myself, or I buy the gold.  Being the hardworking person that I am, my spare time is valuable, not expendable on boring stuff.  Quitting the game can only be done so many times before you run out of games.  So there's really only one option to "be competitive" and keep having fun.



    You don't see what you're doing though. By making yourself "competitive," you're basically adding fuel to the fire. Sure, you might be able to get a leg up on some of the competition, but when you come up against people who haven't bought gold and actually oh...earned their gear? What do you say to them when your gear is higher than theirs? "Sorry, you should just buy gold too"?

    You're cheating other people out of their fun so that you can have fun yourself. Is that "fun" to you?



    I don't know about all of you, but when I spend money and time on a game it's to have fun.  If I can bring fun to other people while doing it that's a nice side-effect, but unfortunately, yes...  It's all "me me me"! 

    The person who suffered to ruin my fun was all about "me me me" too.  The person who whines that I bought gold is all about "me me me" as well.  We're all out to have fun.  I'll do whatever I have to do to make the most fun out of my time, just like everyone else playing this game.

    I didn't set the bar, the first no-life did.  I'm certainly not part of the solution by following suit, but I didn'T cause the problem either.

    For the record, while I'm not against gold-purchasing, I rarely do myself. (10$ worth in 7 years of gaming)

     

  • Parsifal57Parsifal57 Hampton, GAPosts: 267Member
    What is this support gold seller week ?



    Is MMORPG.COM in such danger of loosing advertising revenue from the gold sellers and power levelers that they have to come out and practically admit they support it ?



    I did used to have some grudging respect for this site, but if the last two editorials are any sign of things to come then i'll be finding a new site to look at.



    Why should anyone profit from playing a 'game' , the sellers aren't in it for the good of the game they are in it for profit pure and simple, why is people don't want to wait to earn things from in game achievements and have to have everything now ?



    If people playing MMORPGS have to buy items to feel better about themselves or Pwn people in PvP then they are playing the game for the wrong reasons and they are cheats because they obtained items/money outside of normal game mechanics.
  • Parsifal57Parsifal57 Hampton, GAPosts: 267Member
    Originally posted by vriggs

    Originally posted by Antipathy

    Originally posted by vriggs

    Well, with BC expansion making gold for the 60+ crowd very easy to come by, it seems to me the ingame economy, looking at AH prices lately, has already went through the roof. I feel it should be MY decision whether I spent my rl hard earned cash for ingame gold and/or items. Thats my virtual two cents worth!
    Yep - prices of low level items have gone up alot. Makes it insanely easy to make cash with a little crafting / gathering / AH manipulation. Why you need to buy gold is beyond me. Did I say I bought gold? Noooo, I said it should be my, aka an individual's, decision. Not yours or the developers to dictate to players.  Wrong it should be the developers that dictate how get money, and most games clearly state that buying currency/items outside of the game is against the TOS, and they have every right to ban you from the game for breaking the TOS.  You are just another of these people who feel that they can enter an agreement but when you find bits you don't agree to you just ignore them.



    I can bet you'd be the first to wail if you entered an agreement for work with a General Contractor and he decided to do things the way he wanted to do them instead of the agreed way.



    You join games knowing the rules so stick to them or leave the game , it should be that simple.
  • noctisnoctis Laval, QCPosts: 29Member
    Originally posted by Parsifal57

    Why should anyone profit from playing a 'game' , the sellers aren't in it for the good of the game they are in it for profit pure and simple, why is people don't want to wait to earn things from in game achievements and have to have everything now ?



    If people playing MMORPGS have to buy items to feel better about themselves or Pwn people in PvP then they are playing the game for the wrong reasons and they are cheats because they obtained items/money outside of normal game mechanics.

     

    To me it's not exactly about the "waiting" part.  Some others may feel differently.  It's about tediousness.  If something requires 20h of faction grinding or otherwise boring stuff to do, I'd like to skip that if I can.  If there's a 20h series of quests, exploration or just plain out normal leveling, I have no reason to want to skip that.

    There are no "wrong" reasons to play a game...  Everyone gets something different out of this.  While I have no respect for some of the ways people like to "have fun", they have as much right to their fun as I do.  You either find a game that prevents this behaviour or you find a way to fight it in some way.

  • darkmandarkman Marlboro, NJPosts: 767Member
    Originally posted by Techleo

          As many above have said, its not the issue of buying in-game money with real money. Its the issues of how the people collecting the money affect there peers. Generally people use bots which degrade the entire gaming experience. Not only that, if the game has any mechanic built into the game which requires competition between players then classism arises. You see people with real money taking lands and property the poor cant. Thats not the intent of a competitive mmorpg. Its supposed to be a skill based playing field. Not a competition of who makes the most at the work place.



     
    Yet every MMORPG rewards the gamer who spends the most time playing?



    That's the whole basis behind the buying gold argument, that players don't have enough time (or patience) to put in hours and hours into the game to end up being the best. If an MMORPG rewarded skill over time, then we wouldn't be having an argument like this. However, that is far from the case.
  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 453Member Uncommon

    I know my opinion won't be popular but it is mine. I don't agree with buying/selling virtual property that is not supported by the company who owns the game the property is coming from. I don't buy into the arguement about not having the time either. If MMORPGs is the game one wants to play and have fun then live with the way it is designed. I see people say "But I want to be UBER also" when they say they do it or support it when not approved of by the company. I personally would be playing a different game if I wanted to be UBER. Yes there are benefits to having more time but generally that will come down to how one uses it.

    I have spent days hardly accomplishing anything just to explore and have fun. Was not about finishing quests or getting gear. Was just to take my time and explore some other parts of the world that I was high enough to handle that I couldn't at a lower level. Has made it where at times I get 10+ levels behind my friends but I don't worry. They can only go so high and if friends then will help me catch up. I have hardly ever had a character in full gear that was level appropriate. I seem to always have some low level pieces on me because I get them when I happen upon them. The time needed doesn't work for me.

    I will not support and do not want to deal with people who are buying/selling virtual property. I have read what I agree to and it says the virtual property is not mine. That does mean that I am breaking a contract and so I don't want anything to do with it. This "me, me, me" is fine for most but that is also why I end up being solo alot. If friends are not around (and most times play times for me is very erratic) then I don't just jump into what happens to be nearby. This is a game being payed to play. How many expect to have a high score at an arcade with the limited time one has to play there?

    OH, WAIT!!!! I forgot, this is about "me, me, me" gamers who think they have a right to get what they want and ignore the rules. Sorry I guess those can just ignore this then.

  • BullbyteBullbyte Vancouver, WAPosts: 9Member

    Sweat shops my Ar$e ... If there is a SWEATSHOP that you get paid for playing a friggen video game all day where do I apply!

    I cannot believe the comments from some of you suckup spin doctored idiots that believe everything your fed by the hype machine.

    If you think these kids that are working for companies that sell on-line currency are being DEPRIVED of something .. you need to stay in school .. or go back to it.

     

    My 2 cents

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