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7-02-2007 @ 6:44PM
zomg its Silvertusk :) I got here from your post on the WoW forums four days ago... didn't get around to actually reading it (distracted by tangents) until today.Selling gold is wrong because it leads to people playing the game for RL benefit and personal financial gain, instead of for fun. Not only does this ruin immersion for other players, but it can lead to farmers doing things which directly impact the play experience of those around them. See, the hilarious lvl 2 speedhackers that went around ninjaing chests, or gold farmers who would spend days or weeks dominating an area for mob spawns. Not to mention even less legitimate, and more harmful behavior like hacking accounts. RL financial gain ruins fun.Buying gold is wrong because it cheapens the achievements of other players, as well as reduces solidarity within the playerbase. This first effect isn't entirely unique to RMT, however, since the practice of having a high-level main send gold and mats to low-level alts has a somewhat similar effect on the economy, and having someone else farm 100g at lvl 70 for your lvl 40 character's mount isn't morally very different from farming that 100g with your own lvl 70 character. So in WoW at least the macroscopic economic effect of gold buying/selling is pretty low, because the cash flow from "legitimate" farming efforts is already so large. But RMT still has connotation of getting what you did not work for in-game... especially, like Silvertusk alluded to, when it comes to buying characters and accounts! A high-level character is not something you would be able to purchase with in-game gold no matter how rich your main was, so there is absolutely no justification for an RMT purchase of such a character being fair to other players of the game. Achievements within a game are achievements nonetheless, and bypassing the effort normally required to reach a certain stage devalues the effort of anyone else who has reached, or who strives to reach, that stage.As for that second effect of buying gold, that of reducing solidarity? Why worry about the economic hardship of other players, the difficulty of, for example, obtaining the 5k gold needed at lvl 70 to buy at 280% speed flying mount, when you yourself didn't have to expend that effort, and instead just bought it from a gold-selling site with a purchase made possible from your ample RL financial abundance. Simply put, and apart from the moral connotations of such a purchase and the perception of such by anyone who learns about it (because that would be a circular argument), letting economic disparity in RL influence economic disparity in-game leads to divisiveness, and when you play a game for fun and to make friends while doing mighty deeds and slaying powerful dragons, you don't want the structure to discourage sympathy between players; you want it to encourage it.So both gold selling, and gold buying are bad for the game. Is this a very serious issue? Is it worth putting anyone in prison over, or hate rallies or impassioned diatribes against the percieved enemy of fun? Hardly. But it is worth modifying your actions over, to use only those intarwebs resources that do not actively work to reduce your fun in playing the game, and the fun of all other legitimate players.Which brings us to ZAM. cyamarin, you are well-intentioned, but really, you lie to yourself, and so does everyone else who works at your company whom you see as "pretty cool guys". You may see yourself as working for the good of the average gamer, but the truth of the matter is that the company was, and still is, run by those who see this kind of morality (which, again, is not THAT serious, but is nonetheless worth acting over) as nothing more than a convenience. ZAM is not involved with the RMT business in the U.S. anymore because it is simply not profitable. In the future, if for whatever reason it did become profitable again, your company leadership would have absolutely no qualms about reinvesting in RMT, as long as it could be in done in a way which did not negatively impact customer perception of the other "divisions" of your company so as to decrease traffic and thus ad revenue to your sites. Similarly, ZAM will not refrain from other ethically-shady activities which negatively impact the fun of future games; the only discriminating factor is whether it will positively impact the bottom line.I despise the kind of PR-talk used by John Maffei, and even apparently by Tim Sullivan. I'm sure Wowhead will continue to be "super duper fantastic and wonderful!! ^__^"... but I, at least, will not be around to see it.
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