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Reader Comments (51)

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:19AM Rhazes said

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The problem is that they are not really fighting it. You can't fight RMT with no employees or a few employees that take notes and some small department gets around to it weeks later.

I've seen the same spammer in general chat of games for days at a time. I've had 3-4 spammers sending me tells every 10 secs for hours and hours. How is that game companies don't notice someone sending 20,000 tell an hour? I've seen bots that are stuck on the environment for 8+ hours that not one GM would even come witness.

I would pay $5-10 more a month for a server that actually has a fulltime night and day crew that actively seeks out and removes spammers and bot farmers. I'm willing to bet there are another 5,000 just like me that would like to be on that server.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:53AM Fabius Bile said

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@Rhazes
my thoughts exactly. I'll agree with legalizing RMT when companies have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they cannot fight it.

Most companies dont even do the bare minimum required to fight it, then claim they lose sleep over it. hypocrisy at best, plain dishonesty at worst.

Maybe is a few of our hard earned dollars included in our sub fees were destined to hire more GM manpower instead of to buy the higher ups a new ferrari, we wouldnt have to be discussing this.

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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 12:40PM Faction 3 said

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@Rhazes

This is actually what worries me about D3. With the RMT Auction House or whatever they've called, it the In-Game Spammers and Bots will possibly be EVERYWHERE.

However, if any company has the means and ability to curb that behavior, it is surely Blizzard.

But Im still a bit skeptical.
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:34AM Dumac said

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Im kind of torn on the issue, arguing that virtual items have real value and getting something back from spending all that time in the game has it's advantages, but on the other hand we are talking about GAMES and that makes the idea repulsive at the same time.

I do want to say that if developers should legalize RMT, it definitely shouldn't be because "some people will always do it" and "people are idiots and get scammed", but because there is a direct advantage for everyone playing the game.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:39AM Arkanaloth said

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No I can't say that I am a fan of developer sanctioned RMT. It's bad enough that many F2P games with cash shops are steadily becoming "Pay 2 win" but diving headlong into full blown RMT where you can just buy "Uber item #45" or even buying fully decked out characters? What ever happened to actually PLAYING games?!?!?

I don't buy the "we're doing this for people who don't have the time to dive into the game", if they don't have time to play then maybe they need to sort out the priorities in their lives and take care of business? *THAT* excuse stinks of pure, raw, festering, corporate greed. I understand that all companies, despite my feelings about them, have one creed: "The bottom line is the dollar sign" but come on guys, at least *TRY* to hide that fact just a little.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:43AM slickie said

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I don't mind cash shops in MMOs when they're done right.

Unfortunately, I can only think of a couple that have done it right, and I know two-dozen plus that have gotten it wrong.

They all start out promising that only cosmetic items will be sold in the store, only to break the promise mere months later. Soon the store is replete with mounts, XP bonus potions, and other unbalancing items.

There is usually some protest from a good portion of the playerbase, but the developer waves these complaints aside. "We're making more money now," the developers assure them. "We can deliver more content more often for you."

But that's the thing. It seems to me like every MMORPG that goes F2P and opens up a cash shop actually releases LESS content LESS often, since a lot of resources seem to get devoted to making more unique mounts, gear, and other items for the cash shop.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 10:02AM Zenn said

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@slickie
I'd love to hear your thoughts in which you believe they have done right?
I know LOTRO might be one, but what are the others?
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 10:40AM slickie said

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@Zenn LotRO? LotRO is a prime example of what NOT to do with a cash shop.

Reputation mounts that take weeks to grind for are sold instantly for real money in the cash shop. You can spend real money on buffs that increase your XP, Reputation, and Trait Advancement rates. You can spend real money to improve your stats. With the upcoming expansion, you'll be able to use store-bought potions in PvP, something that is currently impossible.

No, the only game that truly pulls off a good store is City of Heroes. This month marks its second year of operation and they have yet to sell anything besides 'super boosters', which are packs of emotes, costume parts, and alternative animations for abilities. They're sold for a decent price, as well.

Honorable mentions for stores that don't unbalance the game include World of Warcraft's store and EVE Online's store. It's great that they don't confer ingame advantages, but they're held back by some of the outrageous prices they charge - WoW sells companion pets for $10 and mounts for $25, and everyone has heard of EVE's Monoclegate brouhaha.

These three games all have one thing in common - they have a monthly subscription. It seems to me like going Free to Play is a sort of surrender for developers. It marks the point where the developers of the game no longer care about balance or segregating their playerbase. Going F2P means the developer wants money above all else.

Yes, I know businesses exist to make money, but making video games is an art. My favorite games are games in which it's apparent that the developers lovingly crafted the experience and created a world they can be proud of. Cash shops in MMORPGs undo all of that, even when the game started off lovingly-crafted - like Lord of the Rings Online.
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 11:26AM EdmundDante said

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@slickie It's become a problem with our society as a whole - greed trumps over everything else - quality, quality of life, quality of environment - even the quality of the games we play.

Good post.

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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 12:32PM Saker said

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@EdmundDante Extremely well said!

"It's become a problem with our society as a whole - greed trumps over everything else - quality, quality of life, quality of environment - even the quality of the games we play."

Couldn't possibly have said it better! It's the Laissez-faire-style-capitalism thats at the heart of it. All the mad infinite-greed is born of that mad-philosophy that unbound-unregulated-capitalism is somehow holy and perfect (quite literally holy and perfect in those peoples madly-gleaming eyes)!
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 12:34PM Faction 3 said

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@slickie

I gotta agree with Edmund, I definately enjoyed reading your response.

You, sir, are top-notch.
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:47AM real65rcncom said

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Yes, I think it's the only natural progression.

It's like marijuana; take the crime element out of it and you can control it. If you make RMT developer featured, then the service will be better with less theft and headaches.

Those players who do not want it can still play great games without spending a dime (it's not like they will charge money for health pots, anyone saying so just is silly) or they can choose to go with the games who won't have that model.

Either way, the gaming company or the people using the RMT won't miss them one way or the other, and the money can be used to futher new innovations which detractors usually say aren't in the games in the first place.

Gaming is too expensive nowadays and people are too busy not to add this feature. I personally don't use it as even with FTP games I never buy any products, but I don't think my PERSONAL bias should keep someone who wants to use RMT legitmately from doing so.

I could either play or not play and no one will miss me.. same with any of the typical ranters.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 8:59AM (Unverified) said

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I must say, having recently taking a WoW Sabbatical to try LOTRO, I am a fan of the cash shop, even in the "pay to win" vein, because I found it immediately killed any sensible player's impulse to try any sort of PVE dick swinging, since it's understood that anyone can "buy a bigger dick". The effects it had on the community at large were a much more laid back, less cutthroat and trollish experience. Now, this maturity I experienced could just be the audience that the Tolkien IP attracts, but as an extremely non-competitive PVE player, it honestly doesn't bother me at all that someone is stacking the deck with cash, I honestly can't see the point of view of anyone who would care, to be honest, any angle of complaint just seems, in my opinion, to lead back to the kind of overtly competitive impulse that PVE shouldn't be about.

Now, games with true PVP (which LOTRO is not), that's a totally different ballgame, and I can't comment on that.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 9:22AM Nerves said

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@(Unverified)
It's more a function of the Community than the store, there's no doubt the the LOTRO community is more mature than most others. There's also relatively little e-peen displays because everyone knows that the game is, and always is PvE based and relatively easy. There are few real challenges - ability to defeat the hardest PvE content is more a function of how much time you can spend at it than player skill. After world and server firsts, no one really cares.
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 10:06AM Budukahn said

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@Nerves

I agree on that. Lotro's community, from my experience, generally seems more mature than other games I've played and always has been. Personally I credit the lack of flashy graphics, wizards hurling fireballs, PVP and competitive raid game as being largely responsible for that rather than the cash shop.
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 9:01AM Genkides said

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It definitly is one of the inherent issues involved in gaming. One side is that a company makes a game where the mechanics allow for 'farming' of gold, then someone saying hey we can make money on this.

If the orginal company wants to fight it they can 1)create mechanics that would make that harder to trade gold. Which limits alot of a in game economy. 2) As Rhazes said, actually have people that can track or boot the bots and farmers with in hours not days. That is a part I am sure a company has to make sure they do right as to not boot wrong people.
If that can not be resonably done, the I believe the next best thing to do is to take that money out of the RMTers hands and into the companies pockets. Beat them at their own game so to speak. Since it woiuld be extra income they can undercut the other sites by alot. I think people would be more confident to give their money back to a company they like and trust when they know their information is more secure then random sites. If it would be a better deal with the company, they could have say a limit on how much you can buy per month so you can't go crazy on how much you spend.

I will add as small side note, that some may feel that if gamers spend money on something for a game, whatever it may be, is that well they must be able to afford that. That is not a correct assumption. I worked in a casino as a dealer and with any addiction, people do and will spend money they do not have. It is easy to assume everyone there is spending/gambling their spare money. But this is not always true. This can apply to those that spend alot on in game gold/items. This makes it harder to know because almost everyone is a faceless name and we assume they have that extra money to spend.

So for me, as much as I would probably would not pay for gold, I would rather the company take it into their own hands if they can not, do not actively remove the offenders on a daily, observable basis. It is something they would have to consider carefully how and what they sell.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 9:02AM (Unverified) said

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I wish I played mmos back when the entirety of the mmo population knew what an RPG was and [played correctly.

nOW, mmos are flooded with grinders, farmers, rushers and just plain ABUSERS looking to get things fast.

I think its sad that instead of getting rid of gold farmers with permenant ip bans, gamnes are opting to SELL gold, that isnt earned?

the point of an rpg is to EARN as you progress in the advebture

damn

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 1:17PM SnarlingWolf said

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@(Unverified)

I played The Realm before UO existed. I was a kid then and we used to trade in-game items for accounts since back then parents thought it was absurd to pay a monthly fee for a game. We even scammed people to get the items to trade for accounts, and sometimes even scammed the accounts. Like I said, I was a kid. It was wrong.

When UO came out we setup simple macros (such as a weight on a key) to attack a target dummy all day to max a skill, or to keep casting flame wall so we could keep stepping in and out of it to build up fire resistance.

I played EQ when it launched. A month into the game a case came out where a guild had found an exploit and used it to level a few characters to max level within a couple weeks of the game launching.

Don't believe what people say. Item selling, macroing, exploiting, abusing the game, etc. has all existed from the exact moment MMOs came into existance. People always want to get ahead and that will never change.
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Posted: Sep 6th 2011 9:03AM Mykell said

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Whilst i am against it as long as there is demand someone will look to supply it. And demand just seems to be increasing as mmo's get more popular.

I'd prefer it to be developers rather than unknown 3rd party companies who spam chat channels and run accounts to farm gold via in game bots to sell.

As long as its in the background, not in my face and has no discernible effect on my game play then i'm fine with it.

Posted: Sep 6th 2011 11:46AM EdmundDante said

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@Mykell That's the problem. At first in most games it won't be. But I suspect over time the cash shop will be in your face all the time.

For example, I have an original LOTRO foundation account before the F2P and cash shop were introduced recently. Used to receive emails talking about the latest coming features and upgrades or festivals.

Now every email I get from LOTRO is some kind of cash shop discount. It's almost like I'm being spammed by the company all the time.

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