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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Rant: Gold Spammers

Posted by Paragus1 Thursday September 25 2008 at 3:23PM
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Rant: Gold Spammers

"They should be kicked down a burning flight of stairs covered in broken glass and AIDS."

These were the words a guildmate of mine recently used to describe his feeling towards the parasites of the MMO genre we have all come to know and hate, the gold spammers. Every major MMO in the last few years has been infested with the likes of these scumbags. It doesn't matter if the game is big or small, these blood-sucking leeches are ready to offer you their dubious services in order to make your gameplay experience a more enjoyable one.

They always seem to find you. Most commonly many of us will receive the random tell from a gentleman with an almost unprenouncable name, probably generated from rolling his face over the keyboard. These worldly scholars mysteriously also seem to share the same commanding mastery of english language. In more recent games like Age of Conan, they could be seen shouting in general chat and filling your in-game mailbox with advertisements. Hell, even some MMO based websites find their forums and blog sections infested with these dingleberries clinging to the ass of the genre. For only few measly dollars, they promise to introduce you into lifestyles of the rich and stupid of whatever virtual world you find yourself inhabiting.

2-Sided Problem

On one side of the coin you have to deal with how these people directly effect the game. To the honest player, they are an annoyance first and foremost. Often times they can obstruct the gameplay of players. Gold farmers who gather the money will identify an area that enables them to generate the most wealth per hour. This can in turn lead to bottlenecks in these areas which often times are places that normal players will have to pass through during the natural order of progression. If left unchecked over time, the flooding of gold into the online economy can often time lead to inflation driving up the costs of items sold between players via the auction house.

The other side of the coin is the fact that players are to blame as well. These spammer would not be in the business they are in if it were not profitable. It is profitable as long as players are willing to take the low road and shell out real life cash for in game cash. Let's say a farmer buys a box for $50 to play the game, and manages to send an advertisement to every player on the server one time before being banned. In many cases, that farmer only needs to find one or two players willing to do business to justify the $50 for the new account that gets banned.

The Solution

Most MMO's that are infested by these shortbus-riding window-lickers are proactive about trying to shut them down as fast as possible. Final Fantasy 11 was notorious for having tons of gold farmers, but oddly enough, no spammers. The reason why they don't bother the player I am guessing is due to the fact that Square-Enix has been known to wipe out thousands of accounts at a time. Anyone who has ever played this game knows how hard it is to get to a level to make money so I can only assume they fear the time investment in releveling in this old challenging MMO.

I want to take some time to talk about Warhammer online as this seems to be the hot topic at the moment. Mark Jacobs at Mythic has expressed his feeling towards this in a recent blog entry where he says...

"I hate gold sellers/spammers. No, that’s not strong enough, let me try again. I HATE GOLD SELLERS WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING."

I think I speak for most of us when I say that we feel the same way. Nobody would shed a tear if these people decided to take a bath with their toaster, drank a bottle of Clorox, or took a leap down a slip-and-slide naked while carrying a scissors... but I digress.

Mythic has literally had the gold spammers invade Warhammer Online right at launch. The good news is that Mythic has put themselves out in front of the problem right away to face it head on, in a very transparent way. The first thing they have done is make it very easy to report the spammers. They have also built into the game's mailbox mechanic a waiting period between sending mail to players of 20 seconds. This helps prevent the kind of mass mailings that Age of Conan still suffers from. When bans do come down, players have been receiving pop up boxes that have become somewhat comedic letting the players know certain players or sometimes entire guilds have been banned. I actually read a thread today where some people were actually complaining that the ban pop ups where just as annoying as the spammers, an argument which may get amplified over time. It was also pointed out to me today that Mythic has a counter on the War Herald site showing the number of bans handed out so far.

It's good to see that the devs of all MMO's are fighting back. Mythic seems to be leading the charge right now, so we will see how steadfast they remain as their game grows in popularity. Money is so easy to get in Warhammer right now, and other than buying a mount, I don't see the demand for gold to be high enough to justify paying for it. I hope fellow WAR players will realize this and make it unprofitable for them to spam us in game.

One final note, a part of Mark Jacobs blog did jump out at me and raise an eyebrow that makes me question some of the other devs out there...

"I’ve been offered “a piece of the action” both personally and corporately in the past if I will either turn a blind eye or help them in their actions. This would have netted me and/or Mythic a very, very tidy sum, far more than we would see from box sales. My answer was and always will remain the same:

Go to hell."
 

Paragus

Co-Leader of Inquisition

www.inqguild.com

FatGamer writes:

I hate gold spammers and gold buyers as much as the next honest player. However, this blog failed to delivery anything or remotely entertaining. It's full of "look at me, I'm so clever" one liners. The kind that if in a movie would go straight to video. This blog could be summed up in these words, "Mythic lets gold spammers know they are unwelcomed, check out their banhammer @ insert url here". Instead of this wall of meaningless text, what a waste of bandwidth.

Thu Sep 25 2008 3:40PM Report
temerarious writes:

Eh, I have to agree with the other poster. This blog reeeeeeks of suedo-cleverness that just does-not-deliver-period. Though, I think it is great that mythic is at war with the gold spammers, I hate gold spammers! Almost as bad as I hate cheesy blogs.

Thu Sep 25 2008 3:42PM Report
Graymantle writes:

Wir or not, being able to read a post or not by these last two posts the fact remains the same.

There are more then enough hard core gamers out there that would love to find these farmers and do unpleasant things to them.

Instead of trying to be witty or make light of the situation that these last two posts seem to think this problem deserves, this is what I suggest.

1) These spammers usually leave their website information. Why not FLOOD them with comments or emails telling them exactly what you think of their business.

2) Throw up facebook topics on the more aggressive farming businesses out there and get support from as many people as you can. Sooner or later the voice of thousands can even shut up the idiotic nonsense these fools try to dump on us while trying to enjoy a game made by hard working developers as they deserve.

3) Don't give up! By letting them continue this insult to the gaming community the real damage done are the voices that don't speak up. Make you give it your best effort to tell them they are not wanted, anything along those lines anyways should come from the game itself. By that I mean they created it, they should have sole rights to decide what part of their product can be sold. I'm not saying the devs should be sellouts, but rather make it more difficult for these farmers to carry out their vile work by any means necessary.

Signed,

Can never punish farmers enough, legally or otherwise.

Thu Sep 25 2008 4:23PM Report
Cosytus writes:

((It's full of "look at me, I'm so clever" one liners. The kind that if in a movie would go straight to video.))  This one line is the dictionary definition of "ironic".

FatGamer - it's obvious you have aspirations of being a world-class critic, but I wouldn't give up your day job of cleaning mommy's house in exchange for "computer time".

Paragus1 - Great blog, keep fighting the good fight.

Thu Sep 25 2008 4:24PM Report
redmartian50 writes:

is it me or didn't anyone read the heading that says this is a rant???

Thu Sep 25 2008 6:01PM Report
BarakIII writes:

"I hate gold spammers and gold buyers as much as the next honest player. However, this blog failed to delivery anything or remotely entertaining. It's full of "look at me, I'm so clever" one liners. The kind that if in a movie would go straight to video."

What do you expect, it's a blog, that's what they're for! Give me a break.

Thu Sep 25 2008 6:09PM Report
DrSpanky writes:

Nice blog, Paragus1, and as usual, well written.

Thu Sep 25 2008 10:46PM Report
Daedren writes:

I hate gold spammers as much as the next guy, but I wouldn't wish them bodily harm. The guy that writes the "C1al1s" emails... perhaps.

Fri Sep 26 2008 3:47AM Report
Gravarg writes:

I hate them too.  The UN should have a special anti-GS taskforce that goes from nation to nation and burns convicted gold sellers at the stake!  hmm that may be too easy for them.  ok, bash thier hands for about 30 minutes with hammers, break thier arms and legs.  Then while they're riving in pain, do the same to thier entire family while they watch.  Then finally pile them all into thier house and douse it with gasoline and light a match!

Mon Dec 08 2008 5:00PM Report
Baromen writes:

My experience in EQ was that I had my epic 2.0 yet would NEVER get my 1.0 due to gold farmers perma camping the mob that dropped a piece of my epic.  I tried multiple times to reason with them, to be there when the thing spawned, running there when the servers were reset... 7 years in game.  6 years on the quest.  No 1.0.  Just wanted it to say I got it.  Thanks a lot, Sony.  You couldn't have made the damn AoN NOTRADE????

Wed Jan 07 2009 1:23PM Report
Orthedos writes:

Whether farmers makes good money depends partly on game design.  Bind on pickup, notrade is the best.  If the farmer has to form a team and clear with you to the boss for a 5% chance at certain item drop, before he can charge you money, it will no longer be a properous business.

Providing alternate sources of gear also helps.  A similar quality gear can come from PVP, PVE, crafting and whatever route will mean that a gamer can get it in either one of the playstyle he enjoys.  So long as he is playing, no matter which style, he will get the quality gear.  There is no need to buy, no point to buy, with real money.

For games with such built in design, there is no need to bother with the farmers.  Let them spam and yell, just move on.  They are just the random chats of NPCs.  My gaming experience is full without any attention paid to them.

In game cash shops are a cheap shot at directly undercutting the farmers.  Indeed if the cash shop prices itself lower that the farmers the farmers will go out of business immediately.  Personally I hate games with cash shops, but for gamers who really need to buy they way thru with their cash in real life, why not let the developer earn it, and reinvest in the game.  Farmers won't reinvest in the game, developers might.

Wed Feb 18 2009 9:35PM Report
undead17 writes:

the sad thing is there must be a market of it other wise ppl wouldnt do it, i have a freind they work long shifts and alot of days she buys gold on line , she puts it like this i want to rvr and kill dont want to farm dont have time to quest i have 6 hours once a week i want to buy what i can and go out and kill elves dwarfs and men asap .

i think  its annoying getting spammed endless for buying gold i think they need to be banned but honeslty while theres a market , ppl will still sell gold online

 

Tue Mar 03 2009 12:43AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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