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Reader Comments (78)

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 9:21AM (Unverified) said

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Originally, OH YES! If someone wants to create different alts, where they play each one as if that is their only character then its fine. But when people create alts specifically so they dont have to trade with others, have more bank tabs or inventory slots - then I think its just wrong.

People can play and abuse the gam however they want - we all see it. For me though, a REAL mmoRPG player is someone who plays their mmorpgs THE WAY ITS INTENDED TO BE PLAYED.

Lately, however, a lot of big name AAA mmo companies have talked about alts and mules as a now part of the game. But then again, this could be the lazy devs catering to the vocal minority so they dont lose subs.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 9:23AM (Unverified) said

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There should be some way of determining the ip address, or even better limit the number of characters per pc.
Gamers have their own computers so this shouldn't be a problem.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 9:23AM (Unverified) said

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The GREAT thing is that players that rely on alts, mules, level-rushing, quest text skipping, grinding, farming, macros, ui changes, etc.... they ALL end up SUCKING when they get to their precious max level. So in the end, all the time they spend abusing and changing the game for their needs, it doesnt happy many in the end.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 9:39AM ElfLove said

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So...hang on here....If I wanted to have one of each class, because I want to have some variety in my game. If I want to play as one of each race, because I want to experience the game form different angles and storys.

I should be restricted from doing so, because I could trade gear between them?

Are you seriously suggesting, 'one' character per account?

How does that even begin to be fair, when the games themselves allow for multiple characters to be made.

Restricting Alts in a game just frustrates players who want to try out races and classes...or who want to have a different perspective and a break from their 'main' when they play.

Alting is NOT cheating.


Posted: Nov 7th 2011 9:52AM MMOaddict said

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I love my alts. Don't even go down this line of thought, thanks. It's bad enough that games like Rift and soon SWTOR suck at alt leveling paths I don't need my alts taken away completely ahem, like Darkfall, ahem.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:01AM Utakata said

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I pretty much agree with everyone who says that if it's allowed ingame, it's not cheating. And I don't think I really need to add any further to that.

It does however, raise an interesting issue of what we subjectively define as cheating...or let's say, "questionable" even if it is allowed. For me, it's any cash shop item that give you ingame advantages, even if it's experience boosters. Followed by mult-boxing. And then perhaps Heirlooms and twinking...

...but seriously though...when and where does this all stop? To the point where anything we do is considered "questionable"? Even pulling mobs away from other groups of mobs using line of sight mechanics? Crowd controlling? Rest bonuses? Those all give players advanatages too. Sometimes even arguably unfair ones.

So I guess this is why we need to hold to first point; that is, "if it's ingame, it's not cheating". Because I think we'll end up driving ourselves nuts over this otherwise. And not to mention, if you as a player think it's that bad...then just simply don't do it. So if Ms. Royce for example, wants to roll one character per server on game that has multiple toon slots available, because she thinks it's the right thing to do, then more power to her. :)

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 11:47AM Brianna Royce said

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@Utakata Hey I don't think it's cheating either. I'm just asking questions here! :D You don't want to know how many SWG accounts I have lol. Is it a lame circumvention of the "rules" available to players with more disposable income? Yep, but it's legal, so it's fair. I'm with the guys who think that if people feel the need to do these things, the problem lies in the game design, not in the players. I just I thought it was a neat topic to ponder!
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Posted: Nov 7th 2011 2:17PM OutThere said

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@Brianna Royce

Nail on the head there, Brianna. The problem is in game design. If games are 2 or 3 years in development, no matter how well made, they will be behind the times when they are released. We are literally playing games that are years old even when they are new. How long will SWTOR have been in development when it's released? How about GW2? Yup. Game design lags player evolution big time!
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Posted: Nov 7th 2011 2:38PM Utakata said

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@Brianna Royce

Oh okays...but my example was purely hypothetical; I really don't know if you are against or for alt features ingame using to alts get around issue that newb players have to deal with. But since you where the one asking...it was easy for me to make you the example. :)
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Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:04AM Acesfury said

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The Game Mechanic towards skills and content are the most important factor on weather Mules are in fact cheating. As it's been stated here previously games that have a resrticted number of skill points or limited content access like Fallen Earth, or WoW, These games require multiple characters just to be able to utilise all the aspects of the game. games such as Wurm Online have open content and unlimited Skill points, thus you can try out every aspect of the game on just a single account (Except priest which would require a second account)

Also I agree with Matix that if a Scripting program is being used to control the extra accouts then it is most certainly cheating.

I myself have 3 accounts on Wurm Online, 1 main, 1 priest and 1 spare miner, but I still control all 3 accounts manually either with 3 windows open or using multiple computers.

However the fact is people who have multiple accounts PAY for multiple accounts, so it's in the game company's best interest to allow it.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:17AM VikingGamer said

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Perhaps the pervasive use of alts and mules are an indication that the game design if fundamentally flawed.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:27AM DarkWalker said

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Abusing alts is definitely a way to manipulate the game in order to remove some limitations imposed on the players. In other words, yes, it might be seen as cheating, particularly when the devs specifically state that they don't want the practice.

On the other hand, the devs are not dumb (usually). They know about the practice. If they don't speak against it, this usually means they don't regard it as cheating.

Multi-boxing, and using alts across multiple accounts, is a bit more of a gray area, since it's something that a common player, with a single account, can't do. Besides, there are games that explicitly state that those practices are frowned upon. The dominant position among developers, though, seems to be that having multiple accounts - and even playing them at the same time - is just fine, as long as there is no bot or other kind of automation software used.

As for whether or not I think abusing alts / dual boxing should be considered cheating, I don't think so. Most situations where abusing alts actually help are times when the devs tried to use artificial character limitations to force players to interact among themselves, whether they want / like or not. This is something I really don't think developers should force unto players, so I see in a positive light anything that allows players to escape such forced socialization without flat out cheating.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 2:23PM OutThere said

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@DarkWalker

I think this is the main problem players who frown on alting have--that it somehow violates the rules of the community, to which you should belong, even if you don't want to, because they want you to. So anything that allows a player to successfully opt out is going to be viewed as cheating or nearly so.
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Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:37AM Ulfgaar said

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If it's allowed by the game, it's not cheating. I play multiple classes in any RPG with classes that I play. I'm sure everyone has their reasons, but for me its about trying different things, checking out the other factions, races, etc etc.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:42AM EuchridEucrow said

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Alts broaden the enjoyment and experience of a game environment, stave off boredom with variety, and extend the "life" of a game. Enough said.

Mules are just an example of the player meeting the demand that the game design isn't meeting. For instance, there was no mailing system in Everquest, at least not when I played it, so if you wanted to transfer money or whatever from one character to another you would either have to trust a third party or, as I did, find a remote out of sight place and drop your money on the ground and re-log with the character you wanted to have the money and pick it up off the ground. It was, in my mind, an acceptable way to meet a demand that the game design wasn't meeting.

Mules and alts are perfectly legit ways to go about playing a game to me.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 10:49AM SaintV said

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Bad game design. It gives players a shortcut to make the game easier for them.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 1:51PM drunkingamebar said

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@SaintV I agree, though it's not really cheating. I much rather people have 1 character, imo it would improve games significantly, but sadly it's been the norm, and some people can't be happy unless they have 1 of every class, and think it is "fun to level/gear up/pwn in pvp" with alts. I much rather games that are hard as a bitch, and where you need a helping hand out in the wild.

Early WoW vs Today's WoW = Night, and Day's difference.
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Posted: Nov 7th 2011 11:02AM kevinrahl said

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Not cheating, alts are a normal part of the game.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 11:31AM Yog said

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You can't play Eve without two accounts...it's as simple as that. It's also a practice CCP strongly encourages as seen by their discounting a second account. Calling it cheating just means you don't know anything about the game. I don't know anything about SWG so it might be true there.

Posted: Nov 7th 2011 11:35AM Lucidus said

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No cheating. But it's a darn good way to sidestep having to need other people to craft for you.

It's a lot faster to whip up a new sword and mail it to yourself than to hunt for a crafter or run back to the auction house.

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