Trending Games | World of Warcraft | Overwatch | Elder Scrolls Online | Final Fantasy XIV

    Facebook Twitter YouTube YouTube.Gaming Discord
Quick Game Jump
Members:3,851,142 Users Online:0

Show Blog

Link to this blogs RSS feed

Gaming To Hell In A Handbasket

The trials, tribulations and musings of an MMO veteran trying to find the next holy grail.

Author: Strayfe

The War on Goldsellers

Posted by Strayfe Friday November 30 2007 at 1:42PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

It's getting out out of hand.  It's becoming ridiculous.  Goldsellers, chinese farmers, RMT.  Whatever you want to call them, they own your game.  They own your gaming experience.  They own you. 

"But I never buy any gold, I hate goldsellers!", you say.

I hate them too.  I despise and loathe them down to their very core.  They own me too.  Even if you decided that you were going to sacrifice your first born before you buy gold, they still have a profound effect on your gaming environment.

They ruin your economy.  They ruin your public chat channels.  They harass new players and veterans alike.  They monopolize rare spawns.  They monopolize rare gear.  They work in concert to make absolutely sure that one or more of their number infiltrates every last little niche of your game.  And then they rape it.  They break laws, EULAs, and they don't care.  In fact, they factor the risk of getting banned in their business expenses.  They factor having to buy additional copies of games into their business expenses.

They are Gods walking Azeroth, or Telon, or Middle-earth, or Norrath, or Vana'diel, and any other world out there.  They do whatever they want, with absolute impunity from any efforts taken to stop them.  If you report one, and it gets banned, it will simply return a few minutes later and pick up where it left off.

They own game developers, and they will continue to do so until game developers fight back.  Not with half-ass chat filters, or task forces, but really fight back. 

Why do these parasites exist?

They exist because some gamers who play 2-3 hours a week errantly believe that they can and should have the same gear and gold as players who play 20-30 hours a week.  Earth to casual gamers.  Society doesn't work that way, and neither should MMORPGs.  You get out of something what you put into it.  You do NOT deserve what you do not earn.  You are not special because you have a family.  You are not special because you work.  You are not special because you "have a life".

I generally avoid extremist opinions.  The world is full of gray areas.  I don't debate religion or politics with people, because there is simply no right answer.  I will, however, give you my opinion on people who buy gold.  I will not apologize for my opinion.  No amount of circular reasoning, straw man, or ad hominem arguments will change my mind.  There is no defense for what you do. 

You are participating in a hobby like the rest of us.  You do not deserve to buy your way ahead of people who work hard toward their goals in game.  If you buy gold, you are a miserable, despicable, vapid waste of microscopic particles which somehow, improbably formed into a miserable, despicable, vapid human beingYou are a cheater.  A filthy cheater.  There is no excuse for what you do.

It absolutely shocks me that older gamers defend their gold buying ways by categorically listing their real-life pursuits. 

"Duh h'yuk, ya I buys some golds 'cuz you know... well, I gotsa family, I gotsa jawb... I gotsa GIRLFRENN!  I buys some golds 'cuz well.. ya know.. I just can not keep up wif people who PLAY 24-7... and.. uh.. I should.. be able to!"

No, no you shouldn't.  If I play basketball casually, I shouldn't be able to go to the store and buy a pair of shoes that will give me the endurance, skill and jumping ability of Michael Jordan. 

If you want to be successful at something, YOU WORK TOWARD IT.  Or you accept the fact that, even though you enjoy doing it, you don't have the time to dedicate to become as good or as successful at it as other people.  This is alright.  Plenty of people pursue hobbies because they enjoy them.  If you enjoy MMORPGs as a hobby, you are like me.  I do too.

If you want to be successful at your MMO, you should have to put forth the effort.  Everything else in life, and every other genre of game takes effort.  Want to be good at FPS?  Practice.  Want to be good at Tekken 5?  Practice.  Want to be good at graphic design?  Practice, learn, work toward it.

Now, having said that, here are three simple steps to eliminating goldsellers.  It won't happen overnight.  It will take time for them to realize that there is no longer any money to be made from selling gaming currency, and here's how to do it.


Step One - Eliminate public trial keys.  Require registration with a validated billing address for game cards.

Remove public trial offers on games, completely. 

Allow existing subscribers to officially refer their friends for a 14 day trial.  Keep a database of paying subscribers and all of their referrals.  If one of their referrals gets banned for goldselling activities during the trial, the person who referred them gets banned as well.  This will keep goldsellers from accessing the game easily, while the game still grows through word of mouth.

If the original referring account gets suspended or banned, every trial account associated with it will also get banned.  Obviously, if one of the trial accounts upgrades to a subscribing account, they will no longer be linked to the referring account.  Making people responsible for their referrals will cut down on goldsellers inviting goldsellers.  They will no longer be able to pop up again like roaches.

Game cards are the other offender.  They are an easy way for goldsellers to purchase game time anonymously. 

If the website doesn't have a credit card, or billing address on file, require a registration process in order to use game cards.  Lets say I go to the store, buy a copy of World of Warcraft, pick up a game card, and get everything set up.  I enter the code for the game card.  I get a note saying: "This account must be validated in order to use a game card.  Enter information."  Here, you would put in your billing address or home telephone number.  A letter would then be sent to you, or an automatic phone call generated with a validation code, which you would then input into your account.  After you validate the account, you would then be able to use game cards any time you want.


Step Two - Announce the war against goldsellers to your playerbase.  Dedicate 2-3 GMs to policing for ONLY goldsellers at all times.  Give GMs the tools to quickly and efficiently investigate and eliminate any offenders.

Have 2-3 GMs monitor all public chat channels at all times.  Obviously this is very tedious and boring, so it would be different GMs at any given time, but the idea is to make sure that any spamming related to goldselling in public channels immediately results in a ban.

Announce to your playerbase that goldselling will no longer be tolerated, and encourage them to start reporting at every opportunity.  Respond immediately (or ASAP) to reports.  Make your playerbase feel as though you care about them, and they will continue to report and fight goldsellers with you.

Give GMs a tool/interface that can flag players for "GM-screenshots" in order to deal with goldsellers sending whispers/private messages.  Basically, what this would do, is this:

When you report a goldseller, and get a response from a GM.  A GM would then activate a flag on the player allowing the player to take a single "GM screenshot" of the offending gold advertisement tell.  Said screenshot would then immediately upload to a server being monitored by the current on-duty anti-goldseller GMs, where the GM could instantly view it to determine the guilt of the accused.  This would allow screenshots to be used as evidence, since it would prevent players with photoshop skills from being able to doctor them in any way.


Step Three - Multi-tier banning

In step one, we cornered them, and eliminated their ability to breed.  In step two, we eliminated their ability to advertise.  In step three, we eliminate them, period.

When you ban a goldseller, BAN them, permanently.

Ban the account, ban the IP address, ban the credit card number, the validation number on their account, the E-mail associated with their account, the billing address associated with the credit card or game card validation, the phone number associated with the game card validation.

No goldseller is willing to move, get a new ISP, a new credit card, re-validate their account, and get a new phone number to continue their meager business, when the chance of them simply getting banned again is so high.

Using these three simple steps, we can finish goldsellers for good.  Who's with me?



ThalosVipav writes:

not sure about the steps to eliminate. It would cause alot of pain to the actual players. Now, granted, it would help in the long run. But so few of todays players see "the long run".

I do applaud the begining paragraphs of this blog. Very well said and I couldnt agree more.

Fri Nov 30 2007 1:54PM Report
JB47394 writes:

Blizzard addressed at least one issue.  World of Warcraft trial accounts cannot originate conversations.  They can reply to tells and they can /say things, but that's it.  CCP is not doing as good a job on that front.  Eve Online is full of people hawking ISK while I have yet to hear anyone trying to sell gold in World of Warcraft.

I've speculated that paying a security deposit would be one way to address EULA violations.  Pay $50/$100/$150/whatever up front and the publisher sits on the money until you end your subscription.  Then you get it back.  If you violate the EULA, you are fined up to your security deposit amount.  The fine is charged to your credit card.  If you choose not to pay the fine, you forfeit subscription and security deposit.

The fine for advertising in the game is the full deposit.  Make it easy for people to 'point at' violators and the farmers quickly find that they're losing money on each attempt at spamming.

It wouldn't work, of course.  Nobody would go to a game like that unless the publisher had an ironclad reputation (I can imagine them heading off with all the security deposits).   That, or as a variation on billing in a well-known game such as World of Warcraft.  Create a server that operated that way and players who wanted to have more bite in the EULA to discourage violators could go there.

Another approach is to eliminate anything that can be permanently transferred between player characters.  That would involve a rather different game, but it would stop the farming.  Character sales would continue, of course.  And there are ways to address that as well.  Mostly, all of this stuff involves restricting players because the farmers are not following the Golden Rule.  Remember that the next time you wish to open capitalist markets in a new country.  Be careful what you wish for.

Fri Nov 30 2007 2:00PM Report
Trollstar writes:

Not me, I'm a regular buyer, for all the reasons you've listed above and I laugh at your feeble attempts to win a war you've already lost. 

And do you know why you'll never win? Because I have more money than you; and the game companies know it.  I pay for 5 and 6 accounts at a time, I stay with a game for years at a time, and generally, I'm not rude, antogonistic, never get warned or banned because I have too much to lose in terms of real wealth.

Most game companies know all about me, who I am, what i do, and they look the other way  regarding my efforts.  When they cater to your demands its lip service only, just to give the appearance of hunting down gold sellers, in reality, many (not all)  of them welcome the sub fees of both me and the farmers

and even more importantly, I'm not alone. Although 'you' won't run across many of us, we are legion, but we're smart enough to only reveal ourselves to folks of a similar mindset

I'll toss you this one bone..... in reality gold selling, buying etc has far less impact on your overall gaming experience than you seem to understand....


Fri Nov 30 2007 2:04PM Report
Strayfe writes:

Sad, sad display.  I will only respond to your last sentence.

I do understand what effect gold selling has on my gaming experience, because I played Final Fantasy XI.  The bang of Christmas 2005 is legendary now. 

Because of the influx of gilsellers at the time, prices inflated as high as 4000% of their normal value.  Four thousand percent.  40 times what they usually went for.  That is not an exaggeration.   The economy came to a screeching halt, because the simplest things cost MILLIONS of gil.  It absolutely destroyed the game for anyone but gilsellers,

Fri Nov 30 2007 2:14PM Report
rafaelrehn writes:

Erm WTF? What percentage of the (actually any) game's subscriber base do you think  is made up of the ppl who live in their moms cellars and can play 30-40 hours a day. Not very big is it.  So the hardcore gamer is not the target audience. It never was. And if there is a need for it then there will be someone to provide the service now in place be it chinese or otherwise. Maybe YOU should leave your basement and look outside a bit because that's how the real world works. I don't think it's in the game companies interest to eliminate this since it serves the majority of subscribers (yes the ppl who can play 1-2 hours a day) and keeps them happy and subscribed. So go ahead and flame me before you start proposing concentration camps for farmers. I don't hate farmers I hate wankers who try to achieve respect by sitting at home living off society and playing games 24/7

Fri Nov 30 2007 2:23PM Report
rafaelrehn writes:

Yes I know there are 24 hours in a day

Fri Nov 30 2007 2:24PM Report
Strayfe writes:

The real world works exactly the opposite of what you just stated.  In the real world, people who put forth more effort into a task get more reward out of it.  People who buy their positions of power in the real world, are called corrupt.  Just to set the record straight, I work 45 hours a week. 

Fri Nov 30 2007 2:35PM Report
Strayfe writes:

One more comment, and then I'm done commenting on my own blog.  I have to thank you all for posting perfect footnotes to my article.  You did quite a nice job of articulating, in practice, exactly the type of people I was trying to point out.

Fri Nov 30 2007 2:36PM Report
Scre3m writes:

I registered a user name just to post a comment on this article. :-D

I'm totally with you. I loath gold farmers and gold buyers. Not only for the reasons you mentioned above, but also because the players that buy gold tend to be less skilled and so make worse members of guilds, parties, groups, etc.

In fact, I would happily pay more for a "premium" server where the EULA is enforced and where the gaming environment is "pure" so to speak.

  - Scre3m (Max)



Fri Nov 30 2007 3:03PM Report
Scre3m writes:


Fri Nov 30 2007 3:04PM Report
grimfall writes:

I've always thought that it would be much easier to ban gold famers than any of this other crap.  Just monitor when large amounts of gold are sent or traded with nothing (or nothing of significant value) given in return.  Then investigate (make sure the people involved aren't alts of guildmates etc) then ban both.

The game companies don't want to ban the buyers though, they just want to ban the sellers.  It's about as effective as harsher penalties for drug sellers than buyers.  If you give people 10-15 years for using drugs, that's going to cut the use a lot more than tryin to catch just the dealers.

But the truth is that the companies want the farmers, they just want them not to bother the non-customers.

WoW gold sellers latest trick is to invite you to a party, then spam you.

Fri Nov 30 2007 3:46PM Report
grimfall writes:

Oh, another good idea would be to offer bounties to 'snitches'.  Free month's subsription for every 5 gold sellers you snitch on that get banned.

Fri Nov 30 2007 3:49PM Report
AnotherNicky writes:

They are none so blind as those who cannot see ....

Sorry dude, but this is the worst shit I have read for a long time. You haven't understand anything about the gold farmer problem.

You think, only casual gamers buy gold? Come on, you little dreamer. Open your eyes and your mind. Maybe it 'll help ...

Fri Nov 30 2007 4:25PM Report
AnotherNicky writes:

Btw, Just somthing else for you to think about. The real reason, why gold sellers exist, are you. You elitist, high effort mmog snobs without a real life and way to much time ...

Fri Nov 30 2007 6:01PM Report
Astropuyo writes:

First off I agree with you to an extent.

Now, I don't like how you toned buyers as morons, a little biased but really.. A game is a game, it's not TO WORK FOR. The problem isn't the damn sellers nor the buyers it is the way MMO's are built.

They are built to stem greed and growth of characters. Items,gold,stats,sex points , or whatever . It's all growth.

Of course others want to compete but it's a VIDEO game in the end and nothing like a real spot. In a video game you can gain skill without much effort. A real spot takes true effort. I don't wake up to run 4 miles to play Doomhalo Online 4 , I do however run 4 for track,etc.

You seem to not realize a few core things about mmo's and I hope I can inform you how they work. THEY ALL ARE THERE TO GENERATE REVENUE. Pure and simple. Long grinds,gains,etc are built to keep you playing. So of course the gold sellers are going to profit, they make about 3% total revenue mmo's make. So ponder that.

BILLIONS go into mmo's. Change the game system or keep the system. The current is a perfect job ground for these annoying little rats. The former requires too much effort and would break the companies revenue chain system.


Welcome to the real world of mmorpg's!

Enjoy your stay.

Fri Nov 30 2007 7:08PM Report
vajuras writes:

I never paid for gold but no one has ever convinced how much farmers hurt the economy. I think of hardcore pve'er = farmer. Whether or not they use RMT makes no difference too me. They are all farmers. pretty much any MMO that has massive Farmer problems is a sucky, grindy MMO anyway as well. So maybe thats another reason I never really cared so much about farmers.

I like to kill them too I think they are good. I'd love to see a Farmer in a full loot, open pvp MMO :P

Fri Nov 30 2007 8:01PM Report
murphys123 writes:

Wow, you really missed the mark with this...Do you really think that the casual players are the majority who are keeping the farmers in business? Who is it that would place such a great importance on gaming as to spend money on virtual currency? Hard core gamers invest so much of thier time into games it is far easier for them to justify buying currency. Your attitude is very counter productive to your attempt to bring about change, not to mention misguided and rude.

Fri Nov 30 2007 9:26PM Report
Eridanix writes:

The next holy grail could be WAR. You can earn everything by PvP'ing in the long run. Currency has no much of an impact in the mechanics to reach top. Tell me how the Goldfarmers could install themselves in such a kingdom of reckoning.

Yes, i have my hopes. I try you to share a little of hope.


Sat Dec 01 2007 7:48AM Report
Shimmer333 writes:

I like EQII idea on trying to combat this.  There are two servers that have ALLOWED sanctioned gold selling / item selling / gear selling (they even help facilitate it).  If all games offered a couple servers that 'allowed' you to "cheat" to further your charc I think it would help things on several fronts. 

1.  It would help to rid us of the pure gold sellers - in essence everyone on the given server is a gold seller and they are safe from bans etc... That drives the prices way down.

2. game purists would have their server to themselves.  They could enjoy there game without the artificial impact of gold selling.

3.  people that want to buy gold / items/ accounts could do so safely without fear of banning etc... I would think that would make playing on that type of server attractive to those who like to buy gold.

In conjunction with the open gold selling services the game would then strictly (possibly using some of your guidelines for banning) the pure servers.  They would ruthlessly patrol the pure servers for any of that activity.

EQ even makes a very small commission on each sale.  Part of that revenue could then go to pay for the extra GMs etc.. to patrol / police the pure servers.

It seems to me that this idea would make both sides happy.  The only ones left out would be the greedy gold sellers.

Sat Dec 01 2007 8:26AM Report
JB47394 writes:

Shimmer, by making farming legitimate on certain servers, the farmers would congregate there, but the players would not.  That would make those servers uninteresting to the farmers as well as the players.  Both farmers and players want to be where there are few farmers and many players.  So the farmers would go right back to the places where they are today because that's where their customers are.

Gold farming is a symptom of a design problem.  Future games may well address it by continuing the Blizzard technique of lessening the grinds.  That's how farmers make their money - they offer the opportunity to bypass grind in return for money.

Those who continue to hope for games where they have to work hard for their achievements should probably also expect to encounter games that either require player skill to retain achievements or are structured such that all achievements are permanently bound to the character that achieved them.  So instead of gold, you'd earn faction that can be turned into favors for soulbound equipment, services and rights.  None of which can be transferred to another character.

Grind + transfer == farming.

Imagine if experience points could be transferred!

Sat Dec 01 2007 10:35AM Report
Terminus-Est writes:

It is difficult for MMORPG companies to discourage their users from using goldsellers when websites like this one openly support goldsellers by allowing them to advertise on their site.

Sat Dec 01 2007 11:31AM Report
RogueSeven writes:

i agree with strayfe

just a quick thing, on step three, i would suggest on going to more aggressive tactics, have developers talk between each other on IPs and MAC addresses that need to be banned (from my understanding the mac address is something in the motherboard that will ban the computer, not just the IP as the IP can easily be changed while a MAC address cannot be easily changed, if it can at all), so once they spread around MAC addresses and IPs between all the companies, bam, out of business gold sellers

Sat Dec 01 2007 12:19PM Report
SpookX writes:

There are so many gold farmers in Sword of the New world new players cant even use the zones to level, How many people could actually be buying Vis (gold) in a free to play game where Vis cant even be used to buy pay for in game items shop? It is destroying the population base in a game thats really not that good anyways. The AM/GM ignore the problem completely. Bots from Hell zones everywhere.

Sat Dec 01 2007 3:07PM Report
GrooMan writes:

Both IP and MAC addresses can be faked, So I'm not sure that would help very much.

Sat Dec 01 2007 3:16PM Report
pieaholicx writes:

Not only can IP and MAC addresses be faked, they can easily be changed up. Most ISPs give you a dynamic IP address, and the MAC address is based on the network card in the computer. A new ethernet card can be as cheap as $20.

Anyway, I do agree that there does need to be stricter measures taken against gold sellers. I've played FFXI on and off since 2003, and I've seen what it has done to the economy there. It's just outrageous. I can also say that even though WoW hasn't felt it too badly yet, it's only a matter of time. The reason it hasn't spread that badly is solely on the ratio of sellers to players. When the number of sellers starts to increase, the economy as a whole will begin to feel it.

Now, as for those people who have said "it's not just casual players", so what? It doesn't matter who it is that is buying it, it's just that somebody is buying it. Just because you've earned some of it on your own doesn't give you any right to cheat for the rest. If anything, I'd expect you to be mad at the casual players who more or less make a mockery of all the hard work you put in for your stuff.

Sat Dec 01 2007 4:58PM Report
murphys123 writes:

Pieaholicx- Did you read the OP comments? Noone is defending casual players who buy gold, they are taking issue with the way he trashed casual players..

Sat Dec 01 2007 7:19PM Report
Jimmy_Scythe writes:

The WAR ON GOLDSELLERS!!! See also Prohibition, The War on Drugs, The War on Terror and Roe vs. Wade.

Any time you fight against human nature, you're going to lose. Having said that, I want to address a few things in your blog that stood out as exceptionally stupid.

They exist because some gamers who play 2-3 hours a week errantly believe that they can and should have the same gear and gold as players who play 20-30 hours a week.  Earth to casual gamers.  Society doesn't work that way, and neither should MMORPGs.

Wait! Real life doesn't work like that? WTF?!

I know plenty of people who have worked damn hard their whole lives and have next to nothing to show for it. Likewise, it wouldn't take too much searching to find someone who has all the perks of life because their parents left them a trust fund or bribed an institution of higher learning to pass them into a cushy social position. Come to think of it, I recall hearing about the leader of a marginal democractic republic in the Americas that fits that very description....

You are participating in a hobby like the rest of us.

Go on....

You do not deserve to buy your way ahead of people who work hard toward their goals in game.

Hmmmm..... Work..... Game..... Working in a game? Do you see an oxymoron here? Games shouldn't be work. If people are paying someone else to play a game, then it's not a very good game.

If I play basketball casually, I shouldn't be able to go to the store and buy a pair of shoes that will give me the endurance, skill and jumping ability of Michael Jordan.

I wasn't aware that this was possible in real life. I was always under the impression that gear complimented your natural abilities. Come to find out, the gear magically grants you the ability. Who knew?

If you want to be successful at something, YOU WORK TOWARD IT.

Okay, full stop! When is the last time that you had to put effort into anything in an MMORPG? Be honest. Success in these games is a pure function of time and you can actually use a very small program to everything you need to do in order to advance. It's not working, it's waiting. Get it right.

Want to be good at FPS?  Practice.  Want to be good at Tekken 5?

The difference is that those games require the player to have skill. Success in an MMORPG is determined by a spreadsheet of stats and a few randomly generated numbers. I can play Battlefield 2 for 8 hours a day and maybe not become a better player, but in WoW everyone can reach the level cap if they just do the same boring shit over and over again without any deviation.

Sorry Strayfe, you fail.

Sat Dec 01 2007 8:09PM Report
Vexion writes:

Best way to eliminate Gold sellers is to ban entire subnet IP's, such as china. Make it so that no ip from china, or asia for that matter can cannect at all.

Sat Dec 01 2007 11:33PM Report
AnotherNicky writes:

Hey, Jimmy_Scythe. I'm glad there are still people out there with eyes to see and the wil to use them ....

Sun Dec 02 2007 8:14AM Report
jdela13 writes:

I don't buy gold and I have no inention of ever doing so because it ruins the fun for me.  However, as much fun of the battle cry against buying gold and gear is and as much support as it generates the very bottom line is that it is not profitable to fight it to try to stamp it out.  You can spend a ton of money to try and stop it and it won't work.  You'll wind up putting policies in place that destroy the fun for everyone and kill the genre.  Just ask RIAA how it is doing in its battle against downloading music.  It would have been better for RIAA to jump on board than try to squash it.  In the next decade or so the RIAA will be inconsequential because of its foolishness.

Secondly I like to think that I live in a free market society not in communist soviet union.  It means things like people are different and have different means.  I'll use the casual basketball example you did.  Someone with less time and more money can buy better equipment to possibly help their game, better shoes, ball, better gym membership, personal trainer, etc.  Maybe it will help and maybe it won't.  Same goes for buying gold and equipment in an MMO.  It gives that person better stuff, but does it really make them a better player?  Some people have time, some people have money, and some rare people have both.  They all wind up being commodities that you can use to your advantage.  Casual gamers years ago charged that there should be time limits on play time to "level the playing field".  The playing field is not level and it never will be unless the entire thing is locked down.  So now it is kill the sale of stuff.  This is just as unlikely and will have just as negative an impact overall due to the number of restrictions like "block entire subnets" or record every action taken in game.  We have enough of that going on already from our government, I really do not need it in games where I try to get away from reality for a bit.

The real problem of Gold and Equipment farming isn't that it can be done, but the in game problems.  The spam is a problem, the camping of mobs is a problem, and the changes that IMO have adversely affected gameplay is a problem.  I cannot stand the concept of locked mobs, tagging mobs, yelling for help, instances where you cannot truly interact.  The games have been dilluted since UO and EQ.  No those games were far from perfect, but the level of interaction and community was so much better.

How to fix those problems?  That is the answer that is worth spending some time and money and research on.  Squashing gold farmers by any means necessary will not solve the problem and wind up in games that are less fun for everyone.  Understand it cannot be stopped unless the need is dimished.  If the need is there, understand that point and work to fix the problems associated with it.  Perhaps sony has it right with creating its own system for buying and selling that it can control.  I honestly do not know, but truly hope the issue is addressed in a reasonable manner that includes fun since that is most important for a game.

Sun Dec 02 2007 9:32AM Report
thirdechelon writes:

I'm kind of neutral on the issue, I don't support gold sellers by buying their products, though if a friend or guildmate used the service I wouldn't care honestly. Ads are very annoying though especially if you get a PM'd advertisement. I do believe this problem will be fixed over the next generation of MMOs.


I'm skeptical about the Impact of  'gold-sellers'. The amount of gold flooding a server would have to be massive to increase Inflation significantly. The game economies have places to drain excess currency to keep inflation in-check; a well designed game economy  will keep inflation low. I could be wrong but i see no evidence that gold-farmers could "destroy an economy" the FFXI example does'nt say exactly how gold sellers increased prices 4000%.


And also, banning IP addresses won't work when 99% of people have Dynamic IP addresses. Verifiying customer details to activate accounts is a very non user-friendly thing to do, it's time-consuming,  and costly, and will have an affect on subscriber numbers and complicate people who use multiple accounts...


Perhaps even game developers will increasingly add more products to sell to subscribers then just a monthly fee, why not sell in-game assets? Just a thought.

Sun Dec 02 2007 9:34AM Report
banaaantje writes:

Ill write of my own experience from the buying side, and as a normal non-buying gamer.

I bought gold once - and it was a small amount. The amount of joy i got from the amount of money i spent, was far superior. Also the time i would waste in getting the gold in game, was far far more than the amount of time it would take to earn the real life money. Therefore i decided it was worthwhile for me to buy in game currency.

Now many people think like this, because they just don't have time to farm hundreds/thousands of gold (just saying "gold" for ingame currency), becuase they have real lives, jobs to attend. If the game is only driven by items that can be bought by in game currency alone, and not by anything else; then yes, an "ebayer" could get on par with a person that plays 40h a week. But most games have levels, grind, reputation, bind on pickup gear, etc to make you still not as strong as a person who plays a lot.

Now, i play a lot of Lineage 2. ALL servers are infested with farmers. And its a great thing... Items are of a normal price, people can get weapons for a somewhat acceptable price. A full top weapon drop has a chance of like 0.000014% from a monster. So its very very unlikely you will get lucky and get a weapon on your own; nor have the money/drops to trade it for the weapon you need. Because of the farmers, all the crafting materials, weapons, etc are of a decent acceptable and buyable price. You don't necesarily NEED to buy in game currency to get that weapon. It is, because of the farmers, perfectly doable to farm money for that item yourself. It will take a long time still, but its a lot of damn time shorter than it would without the farmers.


In conclusion: Farmers are a good thing in game. As long as they stay on the background and not directly interfere with the gamers (ie: spam, clan wars, etc). Farmers make the economy in full free economy driven games, and it is a good thing.



Sun Dec 02 2007 10:53AM Report
notsaying writes:

Farmers = scourge. 

Heres probably the key fact no one has mentioned. goldfarmers are theieves, but NOT JUST in the game world. where do u think the money comes from to buy new accounts? their hard earned farmer profits? ha. it comes from phished paypal accounts, credit cards, and bank accounts. the act of goldfarming is 100% profit, because other then the initial cost of buying a computer, they have no expenses at all. Its all done by robbing people from all over the world and using their hardearned cash to buy game accounts and items that they then sell for even more cash. not a problem u say? on a bad weekend the losses can be in the range of $40,000 to $60,000 in stolen cash, PER GAME! literally millions upon millions of dollars r stolen from people who barely even know how to use a computer to finance the gold farming trade. Do you people in support of gold farming have any idea how many people have had to miss bill payments because theyre hard earned cash was spent on a WoW account that was banned 28 hours later? all in game problems aside, and trust me, they are numerous, gold farming is a CRIMINAL business that hurts people the world over. next time your buying gold, gil, plat, whatever, try to remember that your contributing to one of the most massive organized fraud systems ever developed.

Sun Dec 02 2007 1:05PM Report
AnotherNicky writes:

notsaying, it might be one fact (a fact, i admit, i didn't knew), but certainly not a key fact. At least from the gamers point of view.

Okay, if someone steals my hard earned money, i would be rather angry. But criminal activities are nothing new to the WWW. Phishing is no invention of chinese gold farmers. And at the end i couldn't blame the farmers as a hole, if some (or even many) of these guys fool me or other players.

Every player who buys gold should be aware that it's illegal and that he hasn't contact to the trustworthiest persons on this planet. From their point of view it might be even justified to rape people, which are *decadent* enough to pay others to play for them. It's a risky decision in many ways. But no risk, no fun (yes, the final reason for buying gold is gaining fun, not neccessarily penis comparison, the way Strayfe would see it).

After all you have to be careful with everything you do in the www. No great surprise buying gold is no exception to that.And on the other side you couldn't blame the players who buy their gold for the criminal activities of other people, namely some farmers. This would be ridiculous. If the player would expect that he (or other gamers) could be fooled, he wouldn't buy the gold.

if you are right (and cause I don't know better i assume so), then there is amuch stronger need for *officlal* money and item trade than I would expect.

But at the end It makes no difference. Gold Farmers and buyers are reality. And they will remain so as long as the "fooled to satisfied" ratio of this business is small enough, that most people get what they pay for.

It's very sad for all the fooled ones. And maybe some gold farmers or better their bosses are really bad man. But I think that's not the core issue of this blog. 

Sun Dec 02 2007 6:34PM Report
lilune666 writes:

Eliminate any trading whatsoever between players.  Problem solved, and a whole new set of problems created.  But hey,  it would work right?   Now, in my opinion there is nothing heroic about buying gear, it should be a reward from a memorable, challenging experience.  Farmers farm, and adventurers adventure, right?

Sun Dec 02 2007 6:49PM Report
WSIMike writes:

Excellent post, Strayfe.

I love how those who want to defend breaking a game's EULA feel that throwing out unfounded stereotypes somehow makes them right.

Only players who have no life/job and live in their mother's basement and play 24/7 don't buy money.

What a frigging crock.

I work 40+ hours a week, have plenty of responsibilities and do not play even 6/7, much less 24/7. Yet, I do not buy my way through the game and make progress just fine. Is it as fast as others who do play more or buy their way up? Nope. But then, as Strayfe, it shouldn't be. I am rewarded for the effort I can make in the time I have to play, and that's how it should be.

A friend of mine has a full-time job, a wife and a child, and he has made fantastic progress in FFXI in the limited time he has,without buying his way through.

See, the problem is that too many people have this feeling of entitlement. They want it, therefor they should have it, now. They don't want to be challenged for it. They don't want to run the risk of failing and having to try again, they want it the first time, and with as little effort as possible. The idea of "risk-to-reward" is some evil ridiculous idea to these people. "Why should I have to put any effort into achieving what I want? That's so unfair!"

Every MMO out there provides every single player the same risk and challenge to achieve a given goal. Games are supposed to be challenging. The best rewards are supposed to come for the more difficult challenges. That's the point of playing the game - to be challenged.

If you don't have enough time to play to achieve what you want in the time frame you want, then it's an indication that either you need to adjust your expectations, or find a different game that better suits your schedule. It is not an excuse to buy and cheat your way through.

Make all the excuses you want. Blame it on the devs. Blame it on the "kids who live in their mommy's basement". Point the finger all you want. In the end.. to thyne own self be true... it is what it is. Cheating. Sounds like a lot of whiney sour grapes to me. "I can't play as much as others do and can't keep up, so I'm going to mock them"

When a MMO is out that includes buying money from eBay or where ever as part of the intended gameplay, you have an argument. But, in the case of  the majority which expressly prohibit it, sorry... Your logic fails.

Cheat all you want. You will anyway. But please don't try to play it up as some "right" of yours. If you buy your way through a game instead of playing it, you're a cheater and a hack. Plain and simple.


Tue Dec 04 2007 10:46AM Report writes:
Login or Register to post a comment