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What Is Your Opinion on Real-Money-Trade in MMOs?

Posted by AndyLee Tuesday October 7 2008 at 9:16PM
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The gold farmers in the MMOs are infamous to most players as they spamming in general chat channels and on various game forums. Designers and gamers alike are blaming them for the obstruction of gameplay and inflation in the game’s economy system. I used to agree with this point of view and thought that as a real gamer, one should not pay real cash for the virtual items. But as my gaming experience grows, my opinion has changed.

Game developers hate gold farmers as they may destroy the economy system in game, and consequently lead to efflux of players. On the other hand, the game designers, as the creators of the virtual world, keep adding new mounts, items, equipment, skills, scrolls and other dazzling items to suck gold from players. These items are usually essential for gamers to enter high-level/dangerous regions. Players have to spend more time on grinding (P2P) or turn into cash shops (F2P) if players want to continue their adventure. For example, Blizzard is constantly adding mounts and items to WOW and players who are hooked are spending uncountable hours to gather rare ores, herbs and other high value material to trade for gold. In this way, Blizzard is earning tons of money, the “real” kind of money. For those free-to-play MMOs, the status of a cash shop is even more critical as it is the only way that the game developers can earn money from the games. Look at Conquer Online’s cash shop, it has everything necessary to transform a noob into a superman –all you need is a wad of cash. So most game companies police gold farmers with an iron fist to protect their own interests. In a word, fundamentally, the game companies and the gold famers are just rivals who are trying their best to hook game money.

To gamers, rampant gold spamming is indeed annoying, as well as noobs with real-cash-bought super gear. However, maybe we shall observe the problem from a different aspect. As I stated previously, the MMO gamers are exploring a virtual world which is designed and controlled delicately by the game developers. To access the higher-level regions and new game content, gamers have to obtain decent items and experience, usually by grinding, to enhance their characters. But for those players who don’t have much time, like someone who has a real day job, they only have 2 choices: quit playing or find someone else to grind for them. If some extra bulk purchases can make the gameplay much smoother and help many couch potatoes to get a life, why should we still blame it.

I know many hardcore gamers are pissed off by the real-money-trade. But remember, in many aspects, the MMO community is just like the real world, where money can transform a zero to a hero in an instant. Don’t like trimming your lawn? Just pay someone to do it for you.

toddze writes:

So you support the person with a bigger wallet in MMO's. An MMO should be on a level playing feild where everyone has to earn what they get. This "I dont have time to farm" Is BS plain and simple. I work 70-80 hours a week in the oil feild and still find time to earn my in game currency. Buying gold supports the CGF's which makes its many times harder for the non buyer to farm their gold as the CGF's are in the good spots 24/7 7 days a week.  You dont see the CGF's saying "oh this guy is trying to earn his gold, we will leave him alone." Hell they will do their best to PK/MPK/harase any competition in the spot.

Devs need to track the in game currency and full CC, IP and any other ban I can think of for a person who buys currency.

Tue Oct 07 2008 10:52PM Report
Qinshien writes:

yes Gold farmers destroy game economy, but what I don't understand is why don't the game company find a way to regulate it? I know there is money to be made in there for them as well... or maybe it's all bs and the game companies are part of the gold farming... No matter what happens you can never completely ban farmers... it's been in there the very instant there is an economy... time is money... isn't that what we live on in our economy?

Tue Oct 07 2008 11:30PM Report
zymurgeist writes:

RMT isn't a root cause it's a symptom of poor game design. If people would rather pay someone else play the game for them it's because playing your game isn't fun to play.

Wed Oct 08 2008 12:40AM Report
craynlon writes:

i see mmos and other games as competition

if someone just have to grab his credit card to be better it destroys the whole purpose of the game for me.

in terms  of casual players id rather see developers open up different servertypes based on the clientel. for example "little league server" for casual games with restricted time and "top league" for hardcore gamers. this way drop rates, xp and money gain could be easier on "little league servers" providing the casual gamers with the same kind of fulfillment in terms of rare mounts, drops and so forth.

as for free to play games with item malls i wouldnt play these but i would strongly support the exclusive right of the game owner to sell gold/gear since its his game, his houserules and his income that  also translates back into funds for the development team to make the game better.

i see goldfarmers only as parasites

Wed Oct 08 2008 1:11AM Report
craynlon writes:

as for the real world comparison i think your wrong.

the gameuniverse just like the real world should be a closed economy. if i pay someone virtual gold to trim my virtual lawn thats ok. or lets say i pay someone 200ingame gold to assasinate another ingame characters. buying gold with real world money is pretty much different from that, more like printing your real world money in your basement.

Wed Oct 08 2008 1:15AM Report writes:
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