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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: May 3rd 2010 11:14AM Macabre 13 said

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Aww damn, at first glance of the headline, I thought it had something to do with Tera Patrick...

Move it along folks, nothing to see here.

Posted: May 3rd 2010 12:22PM (Unverified) said

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I thought the same thing
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Posted: May 3rd 2010 11:43AM Thac0 said

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Same here! LOL
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Posted: May 3rd 2010 12:17PM (Unverified) said

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Me too :)
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Posted: May 3rd 2010 11:34AM Dutzu said

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Haha, I was gleaning over the headlines looking for some interesting stuff to read when I saw this story's title. I was like boring, not for me, boring, not interested, Tera Patrick, more boring.... wait! Tera Patrick? SCROLL BACK! SCROLL BACK!.... Oh, shoot. False alarm.

Now about the contents, I understand that in free to play mmos it's difficult to stop gold sellers but if they monitor all major currency transfers going on, they should be able to find and ban gold buyers, thus at least convince some that it's not worth losing the account over it. Maybe a warning on the splash screen about things that get your account closed - with gold buying made evident in retina searing red.

Posted: May 4th 2010 12:47AM (Unverified) said

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It's nice to see that they are taking a realistic approach to the gold selling problem. I've gotten really tired of my games feeling like a police state.

Posted: May 3rd 2010 12:23PM Rialle said

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The solution to squashing gold farmers is difficult to arrive at, and multifaceted.

It is non-trivial to actually track every single transaction. In a game like WoW, there are likely to be an absurd number of transactions. Having a GM manually verify each one would be an insane undertaking, and how would you know for sure if a particular transaction was a result of RMT? It seems that there ARE methods used to detect suspected RMT, and people DO get caught all the time, but it is also apparent that many transactions fall through the cracks.

Sure, there are dead givaways. If the farmer hands you 10,000g and says "Thanks for using Susan Express," then you know and RMT transaction has likely just taken place. I'm sure swift GM action is taken when this happens.

I find it funny that I used to think that RMT was okay back in the EQ days, and that SOE was just being mean when they tried stop it. I was also naive in that my vision of RMT. Back then I thought that the seller was just a regular player, probably a college student or something, who had put his time into the game and wanted to make a bit of cash as a result of his work. Maybe back then this is really all it was at the beginning. I never used it, but I didn't have a problem when people did because I didn't realize how bad the problem would end up.

I slowly came to learn (especially in WoW) how damaging the RMT people were. Exploits, bots, and spammers were bad enough. Then I started to hear stories of people having their accounts stolen via phishing/keyloggers. These incidents have increased quite a bit over the years, sadly. It soon became clear to me that RMT was now a criminal enterprise, however it started out.

As a result, I now consider anyone who utilizes RMT to be completely complicit in the crimes perpetrated by the sellers. At this point, anyone who believes their RMT purchases are not (at least in part) coming from compromised accounts is deluding themselves. By utilizing RMT, you ARE indirectly stealing from other players, as well as providing further incentive to the criminals who continue to develop keylogging and phishing techniques.

I hope that game creators find new ways to effectively combat RMT. I doubt it will go away completely, however, as long as there are lazy players who are willing to buy.

Posted: May 4th 2010 1:05AM (Unverified) said

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You don't even realize that as someone completely intolerant of RMT you are just as much a part of the problem as the people buying the gold. Your intolerance is what keeps companies from taking reasonable steps to combat the problem, like using Eve's Plex system.

If you legalize the market, you can do something to control the market, and suddenly there is no profit in hacking accounts, phishing, or spamming. The sellers then dry up.

Pretending that a grind in a game is somehow more noble than a grind you already have to do in life is the height of self delusion.
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Posted: May 3rd 2010 2:20PM aurickle said

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As long as there is a demand, there will be people looking for ways to fill that demand. In the case of RMT that means crooks looking for ways to get around whatever systems the developers put in place. While it is important to go after sellers in order to drive their cost of doing business up, this doesn't eliminate the demand which keeps those sellers coming back under new accounts.

For a seller, an account is a tool -- nothing more. The farmers aren't attached to their toons anymore than the spammers are. For a player, and account is a large investment of time and caring. You play your character because you like it; not because that particular class just happens to be the easiest one to make money with. You also have friendships that you've developed in-game, gear that you've put time and effort into raiding for, etc. You CARE about your character, and are unlikely to want to jeopardize him or her.

This is where developers need to focus when fighting RMT. They need to have a zero tolerance policy concerning buying gold or leveling services. They need to make it very clear that they have this policy and that they are enforcing it ruthlessly. The message needs to be concise: If you don't RMT you have nothing to fear. If you do RMT, you're going to get caught and banned.

If a developer takes this hard-line approach it would have a huge effect on the RMT market because most people are not going to risk their investment. The demand would shrivel up, and the sellers would find that it's no longer profitable to operate in that game. They'd move to other pastures where the return on investment is much higher.

As long as a company just focuses on the sellers as the problem, they can't win. The only way to win is to kill the market, and that means being willing to lose some subscribers. Of course, those lost will be cheaters and so the game will honestly be better off without them.

Posted: May 3rd 2010 5:37PM (Unverified) said

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Yes! Some exposure for an alternative-language TERA fansite on Massively! It's a miracle! :D

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