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General: Debate: Secondary Market

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Dan Fortier and Jeremy Starley got together to look at the idea of real world cash for game world coin in this weekly editorial debate. Check out what they have to say, then join the argument on our boards.




Dan Fortier: The buying and selling of virtual items and currency for real money is touchy subject and in most gamers' eyes, gold farmers and virtual dealers are one the main things that can destroy fragile game economies more than anything else. Who is really to blame though?

Most MMORPGs are based on a tedious grind in some form or another. Whether it's gold, the best items/weapons/gear, or simply levels/skill points, the creators have determined that whomever has the most time and/or friends will have an advantage over someone without these real life resources. Why is real life money any different? Should someone be blamed for the economic woes of the genre when all they want is to keep pace with those who simply have more time and guild mates? A good portion of the blame must rest with the game designers in this regard.

You can read the full debate here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • BelsamethBelsameth MaarssenPosts: 193Member
    Nice read, tho it is a bit like flogging a dead and decomposed horse.

    Nothing wrong with Ebay, I think, even if I would never use it. The only problem with ebaying is that you risk an invasion of clueless noobs at high level but that's it. The fact that it screws up the economy is utterly bullshit, most dev's are perfectly capable of doing so themselves. besides that it boils down to e-penis envy I think. "I spend 827364837 hours in <Random Dungeon 44> to get that omguber sword of utter pwnage, while an Ebayer just pays $100,- and has it as well. What is a problem with ebaying is the farmers. Those that camp the best gold/item farm spots 24/7 and keep "real" players away from them. As soon as that problem is solved I think there's very little reason to try and stop it. Hell, I expect more and more companies will slowly go the SOE way and offer their own selling/buying service. At least they'll get a piece of the pie as well then, and in the end that's what it's all about for those companies that're so avidly against it.


  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,231Member Uncommon

    A good debate on both sides.

    If we just played the games to have fun, and in the spirit of what they are about, we wouldn't have this issue.  The fact of the matter is, many of us who play the games have lost perspective, which is causing problems both from a design standpoint, and a playing standpoint.

    I agree with Dan Fortier in that there is too much grinding.  Whether the grinding is a design issue or a community issue is a matter of debate.  What I think we have to acknowlege though is that many of us seasoned MMO players look for where the grind is at within moments of starting a character.  Character advancement, wealth, and items are such serious matters these days that we tend to strip the fun right out of these games in order that we grind more efficiently, and more successfully.

    I also agree with Jeremy Starley in that out of game sales for currency, characters, and items disrupts the integrity of the game.  It crosses a line between recreation and professionalism that cannot help but disrupt the intent of what we thought we were doing.  Character advancement, wealth, and items, because they are serious matters, are also, for better or worse, serious business.

    The two sides may be opposed in this debate, but they share one thing in common.  For whatever reason, the games have become so seriously played, by too many players, that instead of grinding, games have become a "grind" for most of the players who play them.  And I'm not sure its a problem that is easily solved.  Back in the early days, we didn't have things like mandatory Ventrillo, Dragon Kill Points, killboards, and cross-platform guilds.  We didn't have macro, cheat, and exploit guides one could access for a fee.  We didn't have levelling services, and we didn't have a "secondary market," or at least outside of Diablo II, and that was rare.

    We took people as they were.  Held adventures spontaneously with whomever was there.  Roleplayed too, and took the loots as they came.  It really was a different and exciting time in the old days, but that was because we didn't have "grind as a state of mind," and our favorire MMO wouldn't spontaneously disappear after 30 days because of some boardroom decision.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member

    Dan Fortier is right.

    However, he is taking the "justification" approach.  Someone doesn't have to justify why a player who pays RL money to get edges is progressing faster than me, this is perfectly acceptable.

    Me, from a HARDCORE grouper and significant soloer point of view, I see no troubles with in-game buying, as long as it doesn't become the only way...as long as the cost is relatively high just to cut some time...if $2 save them an hour of playing, so what?  If $2 save them 100 hours of playing, assuming the upper limit is very high, I see a problem.  Sharing the upper success with peoples who pay RL money is hardly a problem from me.

    End-games mechanics on the other hand are problematics.  They artificially remove the best rewards of a gameplay you actually enjoy.  By doing gameplay C, you get better in gameplay A, which is wrong...especially if you can't progress in gameplay A itself.

    If the game is well designed, it will be extremely hard for companies to sell and buy in-games items since it is FUN to do it, and when it is FUN a means to avoid it certainly lose a lot of worth.  If the game is ill-designed, than these same companies are part of the solution, not part of the problem.  They force the games to adapt, to become FUN.

    The problem is all in raiding enforcement/RvR enforcement on peoples who just want to group/solo in PvE, and as long as stubborns designers will resist pointlessly, these illegal selling/buying will prosper.  You wanna kill IGN?  Very easy, make the game FUN, with a solid design!  Resist this, enforce raiding, PvP or whatever else devious and evil you can think of and IGN will prosper!

    The problem is in the core of the game mechanic, the idea peoples have to play gameplay C in order to enjoy gameplay A, if you can't see this is wrong, then we have nothing to discuss.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • SteamRangerSteamRanger Great Northwest, WAPosts: 920Member Uncommon

    To think that gold buying doesn't damage the in-game economy is short-sighted thinking. The fact is that gold introduced by buyers inflates the market. First, there are the gold sellers, who will push the limit to how much they can sell their items for. If a Sword of Gnoll Whacking sells for a grossly inflated price, pretty soon everyone wants a piece of the pie and the inflated price becomes the standard. Enterprising individuals will camp the Auction Houses to buy up low-priced items and resell them at the inflated rates. Eventually, for the honest player, it becomes near impossible to purchase reasonably-priced gear to improve their character.

    Enter the gold buyer. He purchases a substantial amount of ingame currency because he has a credit card with a high limit and grinding is boring. He hits the Auction House and buys anything he wants at whatever price because he can. He has no concept of how long it takes to honestly make the money he spends in the Auction House, therefore it has no real value to him. When you're rolling in gold, the sky's the limit! And, if he sees something else he wants, he just buys more gold. The irony is that he is likely buying items from the same people he bought the gold from in the first place. It's a cycle that eventually destroys a server's economy as more people get the idea to advance their characters with purchased currency, thus driving the prices even farther out of the reach of honest players.

    It's cheating, no matter what form of selective code of ethics you want to spruce it up with.

    "Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they''re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were." - Scott Hartsman, Senior Producer, Everquest II
    "People love groups. Its a fallacy that people want to play solo all the time." - Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer, Rift

  • PuoltryPuoltry Honolulu, HIPosts: 956Member
    1st off let me say ive quit playing mmo's altogether.I keep the free version of AO on my drive but i rarely even play that anymore.

    Why?

    I dont have 4 hours minimal to get any decent advancement out of it.Lets face it if your a high school kid you have the free time to pursue this.

    This is a debate that will go on as long as mmo's gain in popularity.

    Ive always felt that as long as a development cycle is in this genre that safeguards could be coded in to police the populace.As far as im concerned the devs of these games allow 2nd party sales,and i mean they have deals that are unspoken and unheard of.

    1.14.99 a month to begin with mutliplied by say 20k players.Thats some good cash right?

    2.Allowing 2nd party sales gets more people playing longer.Why chase away your player base when you dont have to?

    Look at AO for example 20 bucks US gets you 100 million credits.Why would anyone NOT do that?Granted it is easy to obtain those credits if you know what to do in game but at the same time 100 mill is a great way to start off.

    If the games werent such a grind at higher levels there would not be a market for this at all.The devs shot themselves in the foot here.Anyway within say the next 1 to 5 years all mmo's will either have "stores" and free to play or will be lowering its sub rate considerably.

    The console market is coming online and it will take over.It will appeal to gamers like myself:An adult with a full time job and a family.XBOX live is a great idea,50 bucks a year at the low end and i can play all i want anygame i want that is online enabled.



    Want to ENJOY an mmo?

    Dont start a guild and dont be a leader or volunteer to be coleader or captain.

    Just play the damn game:)

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    First off there is a questionable legality of taking someone else's property (the companies virtual items) and selling it to someone else.  This is violating pretty much every TOS/EULA you agree to when you 1st install or launch a game.

    Second, this "black market" for virtual items causes problems ingame.  The Farmer is off killing Mob A, preventing a legitimate player from getting it.  The Farmer can (and will) use hacks or exploits to speed up the acquisition of the virtual booty.  The game balance was designed around people playing the game, not rich kid who buys the Sword of Uberness off Ebay.

    The game designers are not at fault, to suggest they are or share the blame is either naive or stupid.  Ebay is to blame for ignoring companies requests to stop accepting ingame items for sale.  Websites (such as MMORPG.com) are to blame for allowing ads for gold for cash.  Gaming magazines are to blame for showing ads from companies that sell other companies virtual property.

    SOE didn't help either when they changed their stance and added the Exchange servers.  They are now part of the problem as they are trying to make a buck off the "black market" of virtual items.

    I remember when I used to play EQ1 and account selling was beginning to show up.  It didn't take long for the ebayer to be spotted and almost immediately blacklisted from all raids and groups.  So some poor guy forked up $100's and now can't play because no one will group with him.  Sad really...

    Ask anyone who plays WoW if they think the secondary market is a good thing or doesn't bother them.

    *edited for typos*

  • ArddaArdda Albuquerque, NMPosts: 6Member
    This is an interesting debate to be sure. Both sides make some good points. One the one hand you have people who truly enjoy playing and feel cheated by those who basically buy up an item for none of the work they poured into getting it. One the other hand you have someone who really wants to play with enough money to make a decent start, and in some games, you almost have to. Otherwise you wouldn't have things like progression servers to give people a decent chance at starting into a game where the majority of the players are in the "end game."

    Personally, I've found that I rather enjoy earning what I get. Every so often, a member of my guild will help out with an item or money they earned. It's always good to be able to return the favor, either to them or to another struggling player. When things are just handed to me, there is this sense that I've missed out on something important.

    Now, the question really becomes is the secondary market a result of people who find that grinding is just too much trouble and effort to go through for items that may or may not be their final piece, or is it a result of bad game design? Really, why can't it be both?

    I remember the days when there was no secondary market. Do I feel that the secondary market is ruining games all around? It's really hard for me to say. In game economies can be shattered by too much buying and selling on this market. I feel that it takes away some portion of the game. It's a shortcut, and unfortunately, it's human nature to find the shortcuts. There will always be people who will enjoy the grind, the work, and the satisfaction of earning everything they get. There will also always be the people who want to find any way to get around the hard work. And even still, there will always be the people who want to make money from these types of sales.

    Personally, I think anyone who plays a game as a farmer to sell things on the secondary market are poor souls who have lost the meaning of fun. It's become a job, it's work. Really, another good question to ask is this: are we having fun? If the answer is yes, we're having fun, perhaps we really shouldn't worry too much about those who aren't. If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? Are we doing it to make a little more pocket money? If so, maybe you should cancel your account and get a job in sales instead.

    I'm a pragmatist. I can always hope that the in-game economy will only be controlled by the players - without a secondary market to create issues which can destroy economies or ruin the fun for others. But the realist in me knows that without a lot of work on the players part and on the designers and developers part, this problem is not going to go away. We can't lay it all on bad development or bad design. We, as players, are also to blame for letting it happen this way. We can complain all we like, but until we take the time to actually try to root out the problems together, players and designers alike, we will have to live with what we've wrought.

    Ardda


    "Perception is nine-tenths of Reality. Be careful what you perceive."

  • XenduliXenduli ooPosts: 654Member

    This topic has been done to death, but I will say it is IGE not IGN wrongly mentioned in the article. Why not have a cap on how much money one character/account can have, that way they either spend it or lose it. Like in Zelda the rupee counter goes up to 999, there is no reason to go beyond that. In other words the people who store the gold are limited. Why allow someone to store 100,000 gold in World of Warcraft, the most expensive bought item is a mount at 1000 or a lot less with rep (640g)? Yes you will end up forcing farmers to buy more accounts, but that will just make them easier to find. I'd really like to know why players accounts aren't capped, makes no sense to me. To get around broker prices they should be capped too, I remember playing EQ2 and someone for a joke put a incredibly common item on the broker for a ridiculous price like 43589201 plat and thinking why not limit how much you can sell player to player too as well? Casinos and Credit Card companies have limits.

    IF (player.money = 5000) then
    'Comment - account limit
    Else
    player.money += loot.value
    End if

    IF (item.value >4999.99) then
    MsgBox ("You have reached the brokers limit")
    Else
    auction.generateID
    auctionID.value = item.value
    End if

    Okay that's copyright so if you're gonna use it I want royalties ::::18::

    No annoying animated GIF here!

  • PuoltryPuoltry Honolulu, HIPosts: 956Member


    Originally posted by DrowNoble

    First off there is a questionable legality of taking someone else's property (the companies virtual items) and selling it to someone else.  This is violating pretty much every TOS/EULA you agree to when you 1st install or launch a game.
    Second, this "black market" for virtual items causes problems ingame.  The Farmer is off killing Mob A, preventing a legitimate player from getting it.  The Farmer can (and will) use hacks or exploits to speed up the acquisition of the virtual booty.  The game balance was designed around people playing the game, not rich kid who buys the Sword of Uberness off Ebay.
    The game designers are not at fault, to suggest they are or share the blame is either naive or stupid.  Ebay is to blame for ignoring companies requests to stop accepting ingame items for sale.  Websites (such as MMORPG.com) are to blame for allowing ads for gold for cash.  Gaming magazines are to blame for showing ads from companies that sell other companies virtual property.
    SOE didn't help either when they changed their stance and added the Exchange servers.  They are now part of the problem as they are trying to make a buck off the "black market" of virtual items.
    I remember when I used to play EQ1 and account selling was beginning to show up.  It didn't take long for the ebayer to be spotted and almost immediately blacklisted from all raids and groups.  So some poor guy forked up $100's and now can't play because no one will group with him.  Sad really...
    Ask anyone who plays WoW if they think the secondary market is a good thing or doesn't bother them.
    *edited for typos*


    If secondary markets are so "bad" for ingame economies then why hasnt 1 mmo even been shut down for inflation?

    Ill tell you why.Because it doesnt affect anything.If this was the case then AO,EQ1 and UO wouldnt be up and running anymore.These 3 games are the oldest around and perhaps have the cheapest prices for its ingame currency.

    EveOnline banned some folks in the last year or so for this practice but at the same time CCP buys back game time in exchange for ISK.Topic right off the EvE boards.This (in my eyes)makes CCP no better or worse than ANY 2nd party seller.

    How about Project:Entropia.Real world dollars spent on virtual currency.If someone were to counterfeit its in game currency and sell it for real world cash THAT would be an issue for its economy.

    When mmo economies start affecting real world economies that's when it becomes an issue for everyone.I find it interesting that in most EULA's its a bannable offense but they cant find a way to red flag players for this?You mean to tell me they can build a virtual world with a complicated code for everything involved in it but they cant setup a system to stop farming of ingame currency?

    If they havent learned anything from this in the past 5 years then the devs DESERVE to have farming happen to them.It isnt like this just started happening.The players that do this could care less about ingame economies and what it does.

    If you have 15 bucks a month then 20 bucks for 100 million ISK isnt going to hurt your wallet 1 bit.If the devs want this stopped then they should stop looking to the players to police the game they run.

    BTW the "rich kid"analogy just doesnt hold up at all as a legitimate argument.If that was the case then all the "rich kids"are playing the korean mmo's that are free to play but have stores FULL of virtual items.They are apparently playing EQ2 exchange servers as well.With your argument all of the "poor kids" are playing 15 dollar a month mmo's.Im pretty sure a "poor kid" wouldnt even have a PS2 to play much less a PC with a 200 dollar video card in it to run EQ2 at mid level graphic settings.


    Want to ENJOY an mmo?

    Dont start a guild and dont be a leader or volunteer to be coleader or captain.

    Just play the damn game:)

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,231Member Uncommon

    You know, when I read DrowNoble's argument, it looks a lot like something I would say a couple years ago.  I still agree with it, but as I have played online games more, I'm starting to agree more and more with things like what Puoltry is saying.

    I used to "slow grind" games like SWG.  I always thought that there would be no rush to do things like progress toward Jedi, go to the Death Watch Bunker, or master my piloting skills, because the game would always be there for as long as I needed it to be there.

    Looking back in hindsight, that was a big mistake.  The game would change, the requirements to get Jedi would change, and eventually, the game changed so much that all of the reasons that made me enjoy "slow playing" it were no longer there.

    I felt like such a chump, because I did not cause balance problems, I did not AFK loot or powerlevel.  There were times I would waste hours trying to find unscripted buffers, because to me, it was more important to foster the right sort of atmosphere, then to save a bunch of time by seeing a buffing mule.  I didn't "cheat" in all the ways that were so fashionable late in 2004 with lot swaps, templating, and all that junk that brought about so much imbalance.  And still, none of this mattered when it came to changing the game into something that disgusted me, and many others.

    In a certain respect, SWG players were a lot more fortunate than Asheron's Call 2 players, or Earth and Beyond players.  They don't even have a game anymore, and I think what I'm trying to say is that "cheating" is a many faceted thing.  You can cheat in the game, you can use 3rd party software to cheat, you can use your out of game connections to cheat, and you can use eBay to cheat.

    But I'm starting to think that the biggest "cheats" of them all are the providers, who nerf things, rebalance things, redefine things, and cancel things "for the good of the game," thinking nothing about the players who have always played by the rules, and postponed their enjoyment.

    What if your favorite game announced that in 30 days, it would shut down?  Wouldn't you regret you spent that spare hour here or there doing the right things, when you could have spent the time powerlooting, powerlevelling, and exploring all of the places you always thought would be there in a year?  Those sort of questions really bug me when I think about SWG.  All that time seeking live entertainment, or going buffless, or "hanging out" roleplaying could have been used out powergrinding like everyone else, who actually got to experience content I never saw, nor will ever see.

    THAT, more than anything else to me, justifies this "secondary market."  Because the games are so unpredictable.  They change, reinvent themselves, and get canned too easily for anyone to ever be confident that they'll ever have the opportunity to ever enjoy them fully.  And as long as the live development teams continue making up the rules as they go along, you can't blame players for taking measures to take some of the uncertainty out.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • PuoltryPuoltry Honolulu, HIPosts: 956Member
    Can anyone name even 1 mmo that has been shut down due to a "broken" in game economy?

    Want to ENJOY an mmo?

    Dont start a guild and dont be a leader or volunteer to be coleader or captain.

    Just play the damn game:)

  • ManyangManyang NijmegenPosts: 2Member

    If you want to play a game, you should play it by the rules. By going through the secondary market you go outside these rules and this will make people angry. Let's take this principle out of the virtual world and into the real world shall we?
    Two people sit down for a game of chess. One of them has all the advantages needed for the game, he's invested a lot of time in practice and knows how the game works. His opponent is a proffesional boxer, he's brilliant at that, but because of all the hours he spends in the gym, he's not quite as adept at playing chess as his opponent.
    Now when the game is played by the rules the first player will win most games. But since our boxer isn't willing to accept that fact, he searches for other means to allow his assets to give him the edge he desires. So he punches his opponent in the face from time to time.

    I'm sure the secondary market fans will credit the boxer for ingenuity and reflect that he has better things to do then practice at chess.

    To me he's just a sore looser and a cheat. If you cannot accept that you're second best, either put in the work or do something else.



  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 993Member Uncommon

    I have never bought in-game items with cash and can't see ever doing so, in these games it's the actual questing of items that makes the experience having it handed to me through a credit card isn't any fun. I deeply hate gold-farmers, and twinking in general, it destroys the entire experience of the game. These are supposed to be fun diversions form the real-world, not tedious miserable work in themselves. The devs are very much to blaim for this situation, but not in and of themselves so much as the "money-men" are really to blaim with pushing projects out the door, always pushing for "expansions", and "end-game" content (which is just another of the basic problems with these stupid level-based games, this need to constantly create more "end-game content" to keep the subscriptions renewing). If developers had the time and freedom to build better systems I strongly believe we'd see much better more realistic immersive worlds. Level/class based games are a bad idea in general, they need to be scrapped. You can't buy skill in a skill based game as easily as items can be in a level-based game. The questing for special items can be alot of fun, I would never want to do away with that, but having weapons degrade (eventually to the point of being unusable) over time is also realistic and has some positive effect on the economy. Haveing items that are forever, and require no maintenace is very stupid. Games that basically require grouping doesn't help, this sets up a situation where you end up needing these giant uber-guilds (because otherwise you don't have people of your level range available at various hours to be able to group, and thus be able to play) that control the static spawns (another very bad idea), and end up controlling servers, campin spawns 24/7, ridiculous!

    I've been playing on the Everquest progressive server (nostalgia, free 30days re-opened old account). And it's a perfect example of whats wrong with these games today. A hand-full of massive uber-guilds doing constant camping of much lower level spawns with their 50 level characters just farming items for their twinks and guilds, where's the fun in being handed out all this loot. I passed through one area and saw the same guy in the same spot (static spawn, drops acouple items) day after day (was thee yesterday, probably there right now) for at least a week. Maybe he's getting his stock ready for sale, I don't know.

  • PuoltryPuoltry Honolulu, HIPosts: 956Member

    CCP allows players to sell game time for ISK does this make them as bad as a secondary market?Or how about the EQ2 servers?

    After all it is their intellectual property right?But not all players will use this method to "get ahead" so are the devs that control their property just as bad as a 2nd market provider?



    Again name 1 mmo that has been shut down because of the 2nd market providers.



    Want to ENJOY an mmo?

    Dont start a guild and dont be a leader or volunteer to be coleader or captain.

    Just play the damn game:)

  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,514Member Common
    Personally I think Fortier hits the nail on the head.  The problem with all ingame economies is that there is no limit to the amount of money that players can farm.  When game designers make these games its completely centered around time sinks, rather than money sinks.  Sure you can say, as Starley does, that repair, travel etc are money sinks they really arent.  Its just another form of time sink because there is no limit to the amount of money being "printed" by the game.  When there is no "cap" on the amount of money being produced within the game currency will always be devalued, look at real world economies and this point is proven.

    Starley tries to differentiate real world money and real world time placing more importance on time than cold hard cash.  The problem is both are valuable real world comodities and he can bemoan the ebayers all he wants but his arguments are based in no way shape or form on logic.  Just a personal bias against those with less free time and more expendable cash to spend as they want on a hobby.  This is not something that only Starley does, but in every debate I have read since the secondary market has come about has been the exact same.

    Personally I do not buy money, but I dont care if someone else does.  It has no effect on my gameplay whatsoever.  If someone farms for 60 hours a week to get several hundred gold/platinum/whatever they are going to have the exact same effect on an ingame economy that joe blow who goes to ige on a friday afternoon and buys several hundred gold/platinum/whatever does.  Prices will continue to rise as more money is farmed by the playerbase as long as there is no limit to the amount of game currency available.


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  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,514Member Common


    Originally posted by saker

    These are supposed to be fun diversions form the real-world, not tedious miserable work in themselves. 

    I've been playing on the Everquest progressive server (nostalgia, free 30days re-opened old account). And it's a perfect example of whats wrong with these games today. A hand-full of massive uber-guilds doing constant camping of much lower level spawns with their 50 level characters just farming items for their twinks and guilds, where's the fun in being handed out all this loot. I passed through one area and saw the same guy in the same spot (static spawn, drops acouple items) day after day (was thee yesterday, probably there right now) for at least a week. Maybe he's getting his stock ready for sale, I don't know.


    It may be a personal opinion of mine, but I believe in the first sentence in the above quote, these are supposed to be fun diversions from the real-world.  I myself am probably the poorest end game character on my server because I can not stand sitting in an area hour after hour day after day battling other players over the spawn of mob x that drops the occasional loot and a few coins.  I do not see spending 8 hours a day in a game grinding and farming in order to raid or do other endgame content as anything but work.  Someone else may have fun with that mind numbing task, but there are people that enjoy accounting work.  This is probably why most mmo's have very short lifespans with me.

    image

    image
  • PuoltryPuoltry Honolulu, HIPosts: 956Member


    Originally posted by DrowNoble

    First off there is a questionable legality of taking someone else's property (the companies virtual items) and selling it to someone else.  This is violating pretty much every TOS/EULA you agree to when you 1st install or launch a game.
    Second, this "black market" for virtual items causes problems ingame.  The Farmer is off killing Mob A, preventing a legitimate player from getting it.  The Farmer can (and will) use hacks or exploits to speed up the acquisition of the virtual booty.  The game balance was designed around people playing the game, not rich kid who buys the Sword of Uberness off Ebay.
    The game designers are not at fault, to suggest they are or share the blame is either naive or stupid.  Ebay is to blame for ignoring companies requests to stop accepting ingame items for sale.  Websites (such as MMORPG.com) are to blame for allowing ads for gold for cash.  Gaming magazines are to blame for showing ads from companies that sell other companies virtual property.
    SOE didn't help either when they changed their stance and added the Exchange servers.  They are now part of the problem as they are trying to make a buck off the "black market" of virtual items.
    I remember when I used to play EQ1 and account selling was beginning to show up.  It didn't take long for the ebayer to be spotted and almost immediately blacklisted from all raids and groups.  So some poor guy forked up $100's and now can't play because no one will group with him.  Sad really...
    Ask anyone who plays WoW if they think the secondary market is a good thing or doesn't bother them.
    *edited for typos*


    Ok so its not right for SOE to actually control the game they own?

    SOE eliminated the 2nd market providers by doing it themselves and allowing in game sales for items and currency yet you seem to think that is bad as well?How can it still be called a black market if the company that runs the game is doing out in the open?

    All they did was give the consumer what they wanted.If i recall the exchange servers are the most profitable of all the EQ2 servers.

    Id be willing to bet you complained about subrates going from 12 to 15 bucks a month and you kept playing.

    More power to them i say.It is their intellectual property not anyone else's.

    Gimme a break already and make up your mind.

    Want to ENJOY an mmo?

    Dont start a guild and dont be a leader or volunteer to be coleader or captain.

    Just play the damn game:)

  • headcacheheadcache San Antonio, TXPosts: 61Member

    I guess it's been a few months since this debate was last posted?

    I wonder if the whole news post can be considered trolling?

    =P

  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member


    Originally posted by LordDraekon

    It's cheating, no matter what form of selective code of ethics you want to spruce it up with.



    I see raiding as cheating while I see someone buying with RL $ merely twisting the rules.  The fact the peoples building the rules include a cheating system doesn't make it anyless cheating­.  If the judges are corrupted, the leagues are corrupted, it become governmental cheating if you want, cheating nonetheless.  Life basics rules supercede any silly idea an individual or a company might have.  Chronicly spreading this idea against the wishes of the majority of your players is silly and will invariably lead to extinction.  End-Game is a side aspect of a MMO for many players, so a side-aspect of the MMO is slowly, but certainly, leading the game toward the bottom.

    Best groupers deserve to be groupers, not raiders or PvPers.  No amount of talking will change this FACT.  Resisting such basic common sense lead to hurting your own fanbase.  If someone enjoys to group, then you have only 1 thing you have a right to ask from him:  TO GROUP.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • AureliusLHAureliusLH WetherbyPosts: 24Member

    "Jeremy Starley: Yes, someone did earn the items that other players buy. If you yourself earned the in game currency to purchase it, then it's all fine and dandy. If you bought it using your Discover card on Ebay, then you just tipped the in game balance using a real world resource that not everyone has abundant access to. That's bad for everyone but the people who can afford it. "

    Nope. The amount of gold, items, or anything else within a game world is controllable by the programmers for that game, and all the buying of stuff outside the game does is shuffle around the contents of the game database. The 'balance' issue is really founded on the question 'What, exactly, is in the game database and how is it valued by players?'. Whether people 'earn' money in-game, buy it on EBay, give it away to friends or leave it in piles on the virtual streets, really is not relevant. What is in there is the heart of the matter.

  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLPosts: 1,658Member Uncommon

    Articles that begin with the premise that cheating is a debatable issue merely serve to support the gold selling market. Once you promote the idea that this is an issue where a person merely chooses a camp, like being a Celtics or a Lakers fan, people come away with the idea that "well I'll just do whatever I want because after all, there's this big debate going and I'll choose the side I like."

    This was something the cigarette industry was accused of doing; i.e., they fomented the idea that scientists were in disagreement on whether cigarettes were actually harmful. Faced with this faux debate, a lot of consumers decided they would "side" with the scientists who thought smoking was a harmless thing, because they found that notion reassuring and convenient. Of course, the "debate" was illusory and nothing more than an ad campaign.

    From time to time I see this website, which is a pretty good website with this one glaring exception, trot out this so-called debate over whether cheating and breaking EULAs is good or bad. That this could straight facedly be suggested as an issue that could go either way could only be advanced by a website that itself profits from gold selling ads.

    Why not next month have an article: General debate: Cheating on college exams. See if you can argue pro and con why cheating your way through school is a good or bad thing? Or are these merely ethics of convenience that only apply when the debator is making money from taking a position?

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • AureliusLHAureliusLH WetherbyPosts: 24Member

    "Jeremy Starley : Hundreds of thousands of real world economists are trying to fix them every day, yet they still run rampant. What chance does a small team of developers have to conquer utter chaos like that? "

    A horribly flawed argument. In the real world, economies are driven by people fearing death, injury, illness, aging, hunger, the fate of loved ones and relatives... the distribution of essential resources for food and manufacture... the effect of the weather...

     Within a game world, every one of those is completely within the control of the game designer.

    The fundamental problems is this - when designing any mmorpg, there will be some sort of economy - item based, money based. status based, whatever - in that game. When you are designing the world, you need to decide what impact you want that economy to have on the way the gave develops, either making cooperation vital, having a 'capitalism let rip' world, sharing the 'wealth equally, forcing adventuring/crafting/farming/whatever. That decision should be based on the questions 'what will happen with this economy model 1,3,5 and 10 years down the line?' and 'will it make the game develop in the way I as the designer want it to develop?'.

    There's no right or wrong economic model for an mmorpg, just different moralistic stances on what it is doing and how. The real test should be - does it keep people involved and the game popular, while doing what the game was designed to do?

  • PalaPala MoonPosts: 134Member Uncommon

    I like the way AO makes alot of the good end-game items nodrop so they cant be traded between toons,the only way to get them is to raid for them or to buy a toon which already has them.  However, I cant understand why someone woud buy an end game toon, and miss 99% of the game.

    Nodrop ftw:)

  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member


    Originally posted by Amathe

    Articles that begin with the premise that cheating is a debatable issue merely serve to support the gold selling market. Once you promote the idea that this is an issue where a person merely chooses a camp, like being a Celtics or a Lakers fan, people come away with the idea that "well I'll just do whatever I want because after all, there's this big debate going and I'll choose the side I like."
    This was something the cigarette industry was accused of doing; i.e., they fomented the idea that scientists were in disagreement on whether cigarettes were actually harmful. Faced with this faux debate, a lot of consumers decided they would "side" with the scientists who thought smoking was a harmless thing, because they found that notion reassuring and convenient. Of course, the "debate" was illusory and nothing more than an ad campaign.
    From time to time I see this website, which is a pretty good website with this one glaring exception, trot out this so-called debate over whether cheating and breaking EULAs is good or bad. That this could straight facedly be suggested as an issue that could go either way could only be advanced by a website that itself profits from gold selling ads.
    Why not next month have an article: General debate: Cheating on college exams. See if you can argue pro and con why cheating your way through school is a good or bad thing? Or are these merely ethics of convenience that only apply when the debator is making money from taking a position?


    But you disregard the main aspect that interest me, as a player.  Is that affecting me negatively?  Nope, it isn't.  Devs really should focus on IMPROVING the game rather than on silly stuff that "plague" poorly designed games, just make sure a grouper has only to group to master grouping!

    Devs might as well debate religions, Leban, Taiwan or whatever topic, it wouldn't improve my game experience anyless.  Good designs have very little to fear from these "illegals" activities.  Poor designs that reward players doing activity B by making them better in activity A are the only designs that have a reason to fear, since in their weakness these guys find strenght.  A strong design make the best groupers peoples who actually group and invest themselves in their groups, not raiders, PvPers, tradeskillers or whatever other silly that is not group oriented.  Group uberness belong to groupers and to a lesser extand, solo uberness belong to soloers.  I play for the grouping component, this is why this is the MAIN factor.  Solo is the secondary reason why I play a game and why it should get the second most important priority IMO.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,231Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by AureliusLH

    "Jeremy Starley: Yes, someone did earn the items that other players buy. If you yourself earned the in game currency to purchase it, then it's all fine and dandy. If you bought it using your Discover card on Ebay, then you just tipped the in game balance using a real world resource that not everyone has abundant access to. That's bad for everyone but the people who can afford it. "


    Thank you AureliusLH for pointing this out (its been awhile since I read the whole debate).

    After re-reading this notion of using "real world resources" going beyond the scope of the game to gain an advantage, it just made me think about all of the "real world resources" that players and game companies think nothing about that have a far greater impact than the secondary market.

    Take for example account sharing.  Every EULA forbids it, and for good reason.  When players give out their account info to guild members and game associates, they can effectively play without being there to play.  It also gives account sharing guilds huge advantages over others, because they don't actually have to log in individually to be of service.  And yet, how many times have we seen stuff go missing or stolen?  Oftentimes from people who, had they have known the account was compromised, trusted the player actually being who they said they were?

    Account sharing is one example of going beyond the rules to gain an advantage.  And when you peg the guilds and folks who do it, when something is "missing," and the whine to CS wanting compensation, you tell them the same thing the providers say about account info.   They all come up with the same answer as the eBayer, but think that while eBay is bad, account sharing is necessary, saying "if we couldn't do it, then we couldn't be as successful as we are."  Well no sh!t, dudes.  If I had the ability to log on to everybody I do business with, so my business could get done, I'd be successful too.

    You see, the powerclan who says, "oh noes!  Our loots got stolen by those who shouldn't have had access" gets all sort of sympathy by the other forum squatters, and CS in many cases gives them a pass, and even interviene to restore security, and property.  This ties up so many CS resources, creates balance issues, and creates serious uncertainty within games, that I would argue account sharing is much more damaging than eBay and IGE sales.

    Yet account sharing is tolerated, and in some cases, tacitly allowed.  Part of the reason may be that it is near impossible to enforce, but then, what is the reason that the person who doesn't have the logon details of 20 accounts of friends denied the opportunity to make up for this by going to the secondary market?  The only way to balance one out of game advantage a player does not have access to is to use another out of game advantage a player does have access to.  Otherwise, the games are never going to get anywhere near a level playing field.

    Most of these games design themselves around the exclusive use of the chat box.  As many in my voice app research have said, and I agree with to a point, no game provider "forces" you to use a TeamSpeak or Ventrillo server or client.  All games claim they are playable without it.

    Yet this does not stop those who want the advantage to use a third party, "out of game resource" from using it.  In some games, players will even give you the cold shoulder just because you don't adopt the out of game resourse that they have adopted.  I heard that in EVE, they'll even pod you for showing up to operations not on TeamSpeak.

    Clearly, this is the use of an "out of game resource" that goes beyond the game to play the game as designed.  It effects the game opportunities at a fundamental level that is beyond the scope of the developers to control, just like secondary markets like IGE and eBay do.  Just like eBay and IGE, voice apps use real world assetts.  The only difference is that while eBay and IGE take real world assetts directly for the advantage, a system of voice apps require the investment of real world assetts like high-speed service, the purchase or rental of a third party server, and peripherals.

    Now if you are deaf, or have difficulty speaking, have issues with bandwith, or simply want to play the game as it was offered to you without third party voice apps, then you may not be able to use the out of game advantage voice apps provide.  But then, what is going to make up for it to restore the balance?  The secondary market is one way, and in the cases above, it may be the only way one can in some way mitigate the out of game advantages that the "TeamSpeakers" and "Ventrilloists" have acquired.

    My point is that "out of game" advantages influence how these games are played every day, and they are used specifically because they offer greater advantages, greater enjoyment, and greater success over those that don't employ them.  Given things like voice apps and account sharing, its no wonder why players who cannot or will not use these "out of game" advantages gravitate toward IGE and eBay.

    And I'm not even making the claim that account sharing and voice apps are wrong in every case.  What I am saying is that we need eBay and IGE to provide a "counterveiling force" to those who do not share accounts, and do not use voice apps.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

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