I clicked new entry, intending to write a Part 2 on my goldseller rant, when it occurred to me that it wouldn't do the least bit of good.
Occasionally, I have bouts of idealism, where I feel like if someone were to merely point out the obvious, everyone might suddenly wake up and realize that what they're doing is wrong. Then I realize that all these people know what they do is wrong, and they simply don't care.
Amidst the hail of straw man and false cause arguments in the comments section of my last goldseller blog, there were a couple points that did stand out. Most prominently: developers don't care. That's the one that really hurts to think about. The idea that Jianggongchung and Qfdsfds' $15/month is worth just as much as yours. The almighty dollar trumps common sense, decency, fair play and logic, once again. In the back of my mind, I wonder if there was ever a time when principles won out over money.
And... in the back of my mind, I realized exactly why RMT bothers me so much. In real life, you can buy anything and anyone. Everything has a price. When I go to a virtual world to not have to think about real life for awhile, it's disconcerting to see that everything in my game has a real world price as well.
So, for the hell of it, and for the sake of being objective, I went to IGE, which is apparently the most popular goldselling website. I decided to see exactly what sort of price is put on my gaming, what I could afford on my budget, if I wanted to taint my gaming experience. Now I realize exactly why these people do such good business.
I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, I work as a Paralegal for a Los Angeles law firm, and I make a decent amount of money, but certainly nothing extraordinary. I can comfortably afford to purchase nearly 7000 gold in World of Warcraft. Per month.
That's without cutting into any portion of my savings, affecting any of my bills in any way, or using my credit cards. Theoretically, if I wanted to make a significant investment, I could probably swing 10000-15000 per month.
You can go out and buy 1000 gold for nothing more than the cost of a newly released game. If you're a gamer and you spend all of your time playing WoW anyway, I can see where it's easily justifiable to spend that. Does that mean that I will? Not on your life. But I do have a better understanding of exactly why it's so lucrative.
Unfortunately, until game developers release a game that's self-policing, you can expect to see gold farmers continue their rampage, unabated, until the value of game currency is next to nil.
The new crop of games looks promising for this, most notably Darkfall. I don't imagine RMT will have much luck trying to farm when a contingent of angry players descends upon them, slaughtering them wholesale before they have a chance to spam one broken-english laden sentence.
But anyway, on a lighter note, we now move to the title of this entry, "Thrice Damned".
In case you're wondering what that refers to, that'd be me. I resubscribed to World of Warcraft again.
I started playing when it was released. I too thought it was the best thing I had ever played, but for me, that didn't last. I never much cared for the bureaucracy involved in raiding, so I had a 60 warrior with mediocre gear, most of which I got from PvP, because, toward the end, that's all I really did. I quit well before BC was released, when they removed PvP titles and merged all the servers into battlegroups.
I resubscribed when BC was released. My friend bitched at me until I did. My warrior made it one more level to 61, before I got fed up and cancelled again two weeks later.
Now, almost a year later, I've done it again. Thrice damned. My third time in WoW.
I've ranted and raved against it for a long time now, but I must say that Blizzard has made a lot of positive improvements to the game since I last played with any regularity. My friend, needless to say, was shocked that I came back. Hell, I'm shocked myself.
And then again, maybe I'm not. While I wait for Age of Conan and Darkfall, WoW seems just as good of a place as any to game. Vanguard was pretty, but the magic didn't last. LOTRO was pretty, but the magic didn't last.
WoW isn't pretty, but for some god forsaken reason, it keeps drawing us back, time and time again, after we swear and swear that we'll never play the stupid thing again. And we sigh, and endure the cries of "Hypocrite", as we walk the familiar paths that we know and not necessarily love.
With little to do over the weekend, I started a Mage on Friday night, and quickly leveled to 30 by the time I left for work this morning. I wouldn't have believed someone if they'd told me that Blizzard made it even EASIER to level, but the proof is in the pudding.
It's also worth noting that WoW seems to be a lot more acceptable to people, overall. I wasn't able to convince most of my friends to try Vanguard or LOTRO when I started playing them. Yet, as soon as I came back to WoW, they were more than happy to start new characters with me over the weekend. Something just becomes so ingrained in your mind that you can't help but be biased towards it, I guess.
So I'll wait for Age of Conan and Darkfall. The latter I'll probably be waiting for 3 years from now, but... meh. I, like everyone else, will try Warhammer when it's released. I may try PotBS, but chances are the heavy use of instancing is going to make me hate it. Until then, however, I'm going to reluctantly gobble down my WoW dog (as someone so eloquently put it), and remain thrice damned.
We'll see how long it lasts this time.