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Debate: Power Leveling Services

Posted Aug 12, 2006 by Dana Massey

Debate: Power Leveling Services

This week, Kevin Tierney and Carolyn Koh debate the ethics of power leveling companies. These are companies that players can hire to build characters for them in popular MMORPGs. A large portion of the MMO community considers this a form of cheating, while others must obviously approve as the companies seem to do well. Here is what our writers think. After reading, let us know your thoughts.

Kevin Tierney: The problem I see with power leveling companies is two fold in my opinion. First, the game no longer becomes about living in a virtual world and advancing as you grow in skill, but rather who can pay the biggest amount of out of game money to have someone advance for them. The entire issue of using out of game money for in game advancement has always bugged me, and the power leveling companies are just a manifestation of this.

The other concern I have comes from a guild management perspective. When one recruits players, they normally want people who are dedicated to that game in one sense or another. I believe when you have those who pay others to level for them, what you have is someone who is simply looking to cut every corner in the game he can. There is also the fact that he will not be very skilled with his character, as he hasn't really played it. A classic example would be what we called the "Jebay" from Star Wars Galaxies. People would buy Jedis off of eBay (already fully templated.) The only problem was they figured once they were a full Jedi they had an "I win button" but were frequently vastly ignorant about how to play, and ended up causing more headaches than benefits. The same principle I believe applies here.

You can read more here.

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