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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

RMT in Vanguard: Let's keep it simple.

Posted by beauturkey Friday March 13 2009 at 1:16AM
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Ok, such a basic thing makes my mind whirl. So I am going to talk really simply for MY sake, not yours.

Here are my arguments for it, or at least against the standard sub model:

1) No, that 15 dollars a month is not just paying for "access" to the game, nor is it paying for "time in game." You are RMT'ing, right now, if you pay a sub. You paid 50 bucks for a BOX, which is the only thing NOT virtual. RMT is the trade of real money for virtual items.

IF you only paid "for access" (airhead on the Massively comments section) then what does access entail? The avatar? Oh, but you HAVE to have that, right. Ok. How about the avatars newbie stuff (weapons, armor, space ship?) How bout that newbie horse you might get, or that newbie special item for being you know, a newbie?

Just because those items are almost standard within MMO's does not mean that they are a law in MMO's. If anything, this argument of   "I ain't RMT'ing, I am paying for timed access..." simply shows how flawed and silly the "standard" model is. After all, I get just "timed access" (there are still limits to limitless amounts in MMO F2P games...after all, servers must shut down and they can do whatever they want with my time) for FREE in a F2P game. You are paying 15 DOLLARS for it. HA!

Anything above (depending, of course, on the game) MOVING is a luxury item. Being that there are no rules at all (unless player created) on how you enjoy something like a video game (Sally enjoys the scenery while walking, Bob enjoys killing dragons) than there are no rules for what has VALUE. Paying real money for something MIGHT create value, but you still do not own that sword, not if you paid for it with your monthly sub OR with a cash shop. You have paid for the USE of that sword, just like the guns at the lazer tag place (that smells like urine.)

You might value that cool sword, but I think it is poop.

So, you, standard sub model, are just a form of RMT'er.

2) "A player with real money has an advantage over me":  No, he doesn't. Unless the MMO is crafted ONLY around the premise of "He who has the first cash shop bought item WINS and the game is closed down forever" then there is no such thing as competition in an MMO. After all, even in MMO's that have "rules" such as PvP or "uber gear" are there other activities besides participating in those pursuits. Just because role-play, crafting, or exploring is not as valuable to you, (some of you) does not mean it does not exist as a choice or that it does not have value.

A player buying a sword that you "worked for" (remember we are talking video games here, a recreational activity) does not take away the value of your memories. If you think so, you are so easily swayed that I would like to ask you to send me, blindly, 4 million dollars. Because I need it.

I admit that it is possible, and even very likely, that players will feel de-valued by a cash-shop/RMT type of system in a game. Sure. But those players need to stop worrying about it, simply put. Do you find that most communities in cash-shop (FULL cash shop) games are only filled with players worrying over others players gear? NO and NO. They accept it for what it is: something that other players might be able to afford to do, while they cannot.

3) A player with multiple accounts is somehow OK with the "no cash shop" crowd. Somehow, (this boggles my mind) they do not see that multiple account holder as having a financial advantage over them. They see them as, I don't know, dedicated? Somehow they do not connect that player and his insta-team (tm) with an advantage over themselves, yet see a player that has a cool looking sword that cost 5 bucks as the downfall of their game.

4) The economies will survive. Players with more gold and more items spend more gold and trade more items in game. Just because I can go and buy potions in Mabinogi does not mean that I never buy things from players. Especially because there is not one single MMO out there that uses cash shops and RMT that allows access to the best, most sought after items in the entire game ONLY through the cash shop. Do they offer some GREAT items? Of course. Not without offering choices.

If I bought 100 plat for 100 dollars, that does not mean I will ignore your armor in the AH just because I can buy it in the cash shop? That means, more than likely, that I will succumb to (you guessed it) IMPULSE BUYING. I will shrug off the MORE expensive items (compared to the past, because you got greedy and raised your prices) because I have 100 PLAT! Everyone gets richer. It all balances out.

We are not talking thousands of dollars here. We are talking, on average, what that multi-boxer spends on his additional account. You know, the dedicated guy.

5) Most SOE players do not care about the cash shops/RMT. They were recently dropped into EQ2, and the response has been so good that they have hired additonal staff to work on the shops. That means either they are stupid, or they are making some money. Players are not quitting in droves, and neither will most of you, cash-shop haters.

6) This has to do with the EGO, period. With the value one places on other players reactions to his/her stuff.

Here's the deal, though: the whole idea of "uber items" needs to pass. Uber items, if anything, are a false sense of achievement. After all, there are reasons that players trash those uber items for another, better one. That's because they like the thought of uber-dom, not the item. But the problems start when you give another player that same uber item, and tell the original player that the uber item can be gained in easier ways.The original player has an issue with another player "not earning" his/her item, the same way he did. Instead, the "easier" player earned it with real life money, which takes real life work to get. After all, every player is acting in REAL LIFE to manipulate his character, so how is acting as a employed person any different than acting as someone with 6 hours a night to kill?

I can't wait for this to pass. Cash shops/RMT are/is the future, thankfully. If I am going to paying real life money (sub) for virtual items (every single thing in the game that is not real) then at least I want to control where it goes and for what.

If anything, this might make VG enough cash for more adverts, more staff, whatever they need. Perhaps the communities methods of "Let's talk about the same 5 issues (that have nothing to do with communtiy sites/activities) over and over" is not working.

Beau

Vrika writes:

I don't want to pay of virtual items, because as you told yourself in your blog, those uber items are a false sence of achievement.

But if a game is good enough, I'm willing to play a subcription fee to be allowed to play it and have fun.

 

Fri Mar 13 2009 7:15AM Report
beauturkey writes:

 But you are not paying for uber items in either pay model. You are getting them by playing the game.

 They are the same, that's my point.

 

 Beau

 

Fri Mar 13 2009 11:41AM Report
fansede writes:

 You make a good case for RMT.  Now should all games be Free to play and we buy our virutal items from gold farmers and skip through the content as we buy the powers/skills we want to enjoy the game?

So, in theory the millions of dollars and years developers invest in creating a game now depend on the return in investment to go to farming companies. Who may buy hundreds of accounts to level up their zombie toons and farm gold and rare items for the player base to sell to them. Sure a game could have an item mall, but what if ai can get a better deal from farming companies?  What then?

if the item mall model was so superior to the subscription model, i think all the MMO games would go that route. World of Warcraft hasn't , so I don't expect it to change completely.

All in all, a good perspective

 

Fri Mar 13 2009 12:20PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 More games in the world USE the cash shop model. WoW is by far not the largest populated game in the world.

 What makes you think that buying stuff from a cash shop is buying stuff from a gold farmer?

 Are you trying to tell me that somehow, the cash shop (that is owned by the developer) is giving all it;s profit's to "gold farmers?"

 The cash shop games are not filled to the brim with gold farming. WoW is as much as any F2P game. You DO see gold farmers in WoW right? They are everywhere.

 And how would gold farmers "buy accounts" in a cash shop game? IS the SOE model selling characters? Yes. Not accounts.

 In a truly free game, though, there is no charge. A "gold farmer" can get as many characters as they want. But so can a "normal" player.

 

 All the gold farmers are doing is selling GOLD, not items. That's because even a F2P game doesn't sell the best items in the game (which has become a staple argument against cash shops) without having a better item available to non cash shop users.

 I know, I have played pretty much every normal MMO out there, as we as 30 sum odd F2P game.
 

 

 

Fri Mar 13 2009 1:10PM Report
beauturkey writes:

"..we buy our virutal items from gold farmers and skip through the content as we buy the powers/skills we want to enjoy the game?"

 Also, look at what you are saying here.

 You are talking as though they are forcing you to buy the items, which doesn't matter because you are enhoying yourself.

 You are making choices, according to your scenario, and still having fun doing it.

 And don't you think, at all, that players are already getting through content as quickly as possible, many times to get to the "end game?" 

This is not an issue of anyone being forced to do anything. This is an issue of choices, and of players choosing the way they want to play.

 In a F2P game, no players bemoan the other players financial "advantages" in real life. They just play the game.

 

 

 

Fri Mar 13 2009 1:17PM Report
fansede writes:

 Point taken. Now I'll play Devil's Advocate.

If you set up an item mall, wouldn't you want people to buy your items? So, while yes I do not force a player to buy my virtual goodies, I would sure like some way to pay for the item mall setup and maintanence.

On a side note, whats your view on in game advertising?

Fri Mar 13 2009 3:23PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 In game advertising is fine. But, is it a way to pay for the game? What are they advertsising? Is the game free, or does it have a sub model?

 Whatever a game wants to do does not matter. There are only (possibly) bad choices in MMO's, not rules or laws.

 In other words, if a game decides to start in game adverts as a way to pay for their game, or just to be "greedy," then each individual will have to make this decision as to play it or not.

 They have product placement in movies. I might see a movie that has it, and be a lil upset that there are "ads" in my movie, but I will either not see the movie again, not pay for the extras, or do what I am advising so many people to do: let it go.

 It is just entertainment.

 I am addressing these people that use words like "force" to describe what game makers are doing. As though there are set rules to not only how you enjoy yourself, but with what items and where.

 Could they one day make a game that indeed does force you to pay for things to play the game? They already do, every standard MMO model forces you to pay 15 dollars a month wether you play or not. Also, every item/character/thing in any standard MMO is not owned by the player. They are trading real life money for the use of those items, and access to the game.

 Same thing any cash shop player is doing.

 And yes, if I have a cash shop, I want people to buy from it.

 I never say that these games do NOT get very creative, and in some cases, make very strong arguments for the use of their shops.

 But like I said, the in game gold spammers are selling gold (illegally) because you cannot buy in game gold with a cash shop, and there are items within the virtual world that are obtained without touching the cash shop, and yet are very very desirable.

 

 Beau

 

 

Fri Mar 13 2009 4:32PM Report
beauturkey writes:

Seems to me that some people have THEIR mouth shut.

 

Sat Mar 14 2009 7:58PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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