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Controversial Imagination Conversation or CIC (prenounced sick) for short

Dig deep into the basis of MMOs, controversial or not it needs to be discussed. Let the heads roll and the children cry its time to get CIC.

Author: FlyingSquid

Beating Down the Gold Sellers

Posted by FlyingSquid Friday April 11 2008 at 5:35PM
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Hey folks, I figured since I’ve been slacking it is time to deal with another issue.  This issue has been on my mind for quite some time and just recently I finally had an argument for it.  The problem in all MMOs is gold sellers known as gsers in MMO lingo.  The solution has always been there just never done right.

When you log into an MMO you expect a community of some sort chatting about something in game, be it looking for groups, getting a pickup party for quests, or just general chatter.  These days if you login you are going to get hit with gold seller advertisements flooding the channel.  Seems like something simple the developers could stop right?  Well it’s not and they have yet to perfect the anti-gold seller campaign and will never do it unless the industry turns to one important aspect.

That’s right folks the answer has always been there just avoided.  The solution you ask?  Simple, make the MMO fun to play!  If there is no grinding and players actually enjoy playing the game then there is no reason for gold sellers.  It really is that simple, we need to get out of this idea that MMOs need to be level based or a huge grind to keep the player subscribing.  The key point here is you don’t need all that fluff to keep a player base you just need to make your game enjoyable and new content to flow out in a reasonable amount of time.

Would this model completely wipe out the gold sellers?  The answer is no, there would still be some out there trying to run on what little they can.  Would it decrease the amount of gold sellers?  Absolutely, with little demand only the big companies will be able to survive on the little demand they have and eventually if not worth it will leave that MMO for something they can better exploit.

Developers are still going about it the wrong way and blinded to the right path.  I remember when Rappelz was in beta, they came up with a new system that they said would stop gold sellers.  Far from it, it just pissed players off.  What they did was place things on the ground around mobs everywhere, if these things were hit long enough it would send the player to the pit where you couldn’t get out and stuck like a prison.   The problem with this was, it was hard to get around without clicking on these damn things, thanks to the point and click model.   In the end it didn’t do anything, bots and gold sellers quickly designed a client that would avoid the objects.  In many other MMOs they just use chat filters by getting rid of the www. and .com tags but quickly are exploited using other symbols.  These little things are not going to stop anyone and will always be a way around these systems.

I’d say Blizzard has done the best to target these companies.  There is a reason for this though.  WoW has the most subscribers, most traffic, and most problems with this type of crowd.  Blizzard is basically obligated to enforce something while other developers can ignore it or say they are working on the problem since their MMO isn’t on a global scale

What you think?  Give me your 2 cents on the issue.  Have a good weekend folks.

Let the heads roll and the children cry.

telebreth writes:

I would agree that Blizzard has done the best to combat the Gold Sellers, I also agree as to how they are able to as well as they are. What I disagree with is your means to combatting it.

I firmly liked the concepts in Guild Wars. You would never have to worry about someone selling your character or items because you could create a character at max level for PVP. Nice touch. I think a model like this will revolutionize MMORPG Gaming. Giving players the ability to start from scratch or start with everything. Or at least be the ones to sell items and characters or what have you.

I firmly believe had Blizzard started selling Epicced out Level 70 toons on WoW's Website most of us would never have to worry about being hacked and our toons stolen or goods taken again. It would have been a pointless industry mechanic that very few people could ever get rich off of.

Fri Apr 11 2008 6:38PM Report
GaminKWB writes:

I must disagree with almost every bit of your post.

First off, making a game fun does not mean that you will eliminate the demand for buying gold. Our society thrives around the notion of instant gratification. If something will take two weeks to earn the gold for, that is still two weeks of time. Fun or not. If a person has the option of paying X dollars and be able to get said item in two minutes. People will still do it. The demand will be unaffected. Fun or not.

As for having the ability to create characters at full ability. You will have many people just not play the game. I am a solo player. I know this style isnt the most common, but I play for my own reasons. The reason I prefer an online MMO environment, is that my character means something. My accomplishes mean something. Granted beating a single player game is still a large undertaking, it doesn't mean as much to me because noone else can see this. I can 'say' I beat it. But the glory is having proof of your accomplishments. If any company 'sells' full level characters in their game, I wont play it.

As for stopping gold farmers. It is a very tough thing to do. And I applaud any company that spends time and efforts into controlling this issue. Attempting such tactics as invisible mobs (that can be tabbed to or selected via 'nearest enemy') are neat tricks, but the fact third party programs can thwart them make it difficult. You can ban whole lists of IP addresses, but is a company get a new ISP then they are back in the game.

Your ideas are interesting, but unfortunately I don't see them as being the answer to the problem. I hope you have a good weekend yourself.


Fri Apr 11 2008 6:50PM Report
hermit000 writes:

Turbiune did a great job in diminishing the influence of the gold sellers who spammed your inbox. they seperated yoru inbox into 2 categories, one from people on your friends list and the other from everyone else. unfortunatly they can still psam the chat channels, but not getting junk mail anymore was a relief as on average you could expect 5-10 messages a day

Sat Apr 12 2008 6:24PM Report
kesleri writes:

You should check what RuneScape done to get rid of the bots and all the gold sellers, and it worked... no more bots nor farmers the game is clean!

Sun Apr 13 2008 5:46AM Report
prowall writes:

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Sun May 10 2009 7:47AM Report
prowall writes:

At 950 USD an ounce I think gold is over priced so neither am I trading nor investing in the metal commodity exchange. Any trading tips are welcomed.

Mon May 11 2009 7:51AM Report
prowall writes:

Well if even the big companies are going to find it hard to keep the MMO alive and kicking then the end will come as a natural one where there is no demand and sales will seize to exist.


Tue May 19 2009 1:23AM Report writes:
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