Warhammer Online’s Gold-Seller Hate Makes No Sense, Writer Argues

I’ve been playing Warhammer Online since it launched about two weeks ago and I’m thoroughly enjoying life as a squig herder. Might jump over to The Order on another server though. That Dwarf engineer looks like fun, too.

Right now my greenskin is a bit short on in-game cash to buy gear, but it looks like I’ll have to make do. That’s because WO developer Mythic is aggressively targeting gold sellers. In fact, Mythic co-founder Mark Jacobs recently wrote, “I HATE GOLD SELLERS WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING.”

Decaf, Mark…

Over at Gigaom, Wagner James Au argues that Mythic’s approach doesn’t make much sense:

When launching a big-budget online game, it doesn’t strike me as a very good idea to risk alienating nearly a quarter of your user base right out the gate. That, however, is likely to be the consequence of an extreme anti-gold selling policy at Mythic Entertainment…


In a study by Nick Yee, a PARC research scientist… 22 percent of players surveyed reported purchasing game gold, with those ages 35 and over most likely to do so… let’s face it: If you have kids and a mortgage, you only have so many hours a week left over to play games.


So if Mythic succeeds in driving away gold sellers, it seems inevitable that it will succeed in hurting Warhammer Online’s retention, too. For surely players who like to buy their way out of difficult quests but no longer can are likely to get frustrated and leave for another game.

GP: I’ve fessed up in the past to buying WoW gold, which led to the most hate mail I’ve ever gotten. In my case, though, it’s pretty much what Nick Yee found in his research. Kids + mortgage + job = less time to play.

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  1. Mabuti says:

    I have mixed emotions on this.  I have never bought gold but I can certainly see why people would because of limited playing time.

    The only issue is, as others have pointed out, that the spamming in WAR is out of control.  With that in mind I am "fine", using that term loosly, with non-spamming gold resellers.  Spammers are annoying and get out of control when you are sending and receiving alot of tells.

    So with that said, flame on.  😀

  2. lumi says:

    I’d be embarrassed to have a co-worker label the above post with his company name.  There is ONE legitimate point in there – damage to the in-game economy.  The rest is crap.

    "Kids + full time job + mortgage = less time to play" is a perfectly valid argument.  He has less time to play and let’s face it, grinding sucks.  It’s NOT fun, but it can LEAD to the fun parts of the game (especially the end-game).  Calling him out for having less time to play than a college student or profession MMO addict is disingenuous.


    Despite having legitimate reasons for wanting to circumvent the grind, it doesn’t change the fact that buying gold from gold farmers IS hurting the game economy.  If there were a way to quickly acquire gold, be it through real world dollars or otherwise, WITHOUT causing the massive inflation that farmers promote, that’d be fine.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee that the gold you buy is from an honest player who wants to cash out, as someone mentioned.

    I’m going to place the blame for this one squarely on the game designers themselves.  Is setting up a balanced economy easy?  Absolutely not, but it is one of the most important things an MMO designer should be pursuing.  It’s a hell of a lot easier to do it right the first time than to try and repair it after the goldfarmers have had their way with it.

  3. Falcon4196 says:

    I just say ban them all,  the sellers and the buyers.  The gold sellers in War are the most annoying, most persistant ones I’ve ever come across.  I get about 2 tells per hour and hoave recieved several messages in the mail.  The only reson that they would keep doing this is becasue someone out there must be buying what there selling.  The only thing I can do is keep reporting the sellers and putting them on my ignore list.  The good news is according to the games site over 5000 gold sellers have been banned to date.  Keep up the good work Mythic.

  4. phaetul says:

    ROFL, Let anybody stupid enough to buy this game, jump in and then buy gold do it. They will soon realize that they screwed up royally. The only thing I can see them doing and think they got their moneys worth is power leveling. As for me, I haven’t had any real reason to pay for gold. I just do the quests and RVR in my spare time when I can play and it builds up. And I don’t have the feeling that they are THROWING gold at you either.

    And even though all of my friends that play the game are no more than 10 levels ahead of me with the highest person in my guild at level 32 I’m not playing all the time and don’t feel the need to buy PL because I can still group with them and feel like I contribute almost as much at them.

    I played WoW and just about every other MMO out there from Beta and I guess I quit playing them before the Gold Sellers got as bad as they are here. I can’t create a new character and login 5 minutes without being spammed at least twice by a seller. Luckily I found an addon that not only blocks the messages from them before I see them but also reports them. Now I’m playing the game in peace.

  5. asmodai says:

    The one thing I absolutely agree on with some of the posters here is that there is zero need to buy gold for this game.

    At level 29, I have a mount (which I had enough cash to buy at lvl 15) and ~70g + both scavenging/apothecary at 160+.  I’ve bought a couple of items of the AH and some siege equipment.

    You get 75s per 20 players killed for the T3 pk quest.  Looting a dead player in scenarios results in 4-6s per player in the 20-30 bracket.  Monsters drop 1-2s at ~30.  Junk sells for 5-10s.  Cash is not an issue.

    WAR =\= WoW pre-dailies.  Hell, with daily quests in WoW you get 100+g a day EASILY, which (surprise surprise) deflated the price of gold sales handily.  WAR learned that lesson well and made cash a less important aspect of the game.

    The problem I have with gold sellers and power levelers is that their method of play is disruptive to everyone around them.  Constant gold spam, bots/afk’ers in scenarios (farming xp/renown) which inevitably unbalances the game etc.  If someone wants to grind away making gold, that’s one thing, but these people openly use exploits and harassment (which forces you to interrupt your game play to deal with them) to run their "business".

    If you agree to play a "free to play with ads" game, that is one thing, but I’m paying a premium to play a game without annoying advertising.  These people do not have a right to use Mythic’s game as an engine to generate revenue and interrupt other legitimate users, no matter what your stance on gold buying is.

  6. Padwanna says:

     You Mr. Author, are the worst type of ‘gamer’ that dares to call himself an MMO fan! And you blight the very landscape that all _real_ MMO gamers inhabit.

    I have a long history of playing MMO’s. I love playing MMO’s, and always shall. I also have a job working as a middle manager in a tech startup, so the amount of playing time I have per week would be small compared to even the average gamer, and yet it doesn’t stop me really enjoying a game for the game itself. There is no need to have high end gear in any game, unless you are running high end raids, in which case you’re playing 6 hours a minimum 4 days a week. If you’re not playing that much, then I seriously doubt you are skilled enough to run a high end raid. So really you’re just buying gear because you’re a lazy sod, and your enjoyment comes from looking cool, rather than playing the game. Meanwhile all that gold you are buying seriously screws up the in-game economy which in itself is a contributor to the overall user experience of a game. So screw that up, and you screw up the user experience for everybody who plays that game. That’s pretty easy to understand, even for a guy with "Kids + mortgage + job = less time to play"!

    Do I sound a bit angry? Why yes, I would be! Because too many MMOs start out really good fun, and then slowly but surely suffer a slow angonising downward spiral of degeneration because people like you screw it up! Why? Because your support of gold selling is a clear attitude of, your fun is more important than my fun; your game experience is more important than my game experience; your vanity is more important than my genuine love of a game and enjoyment with my friends just playing!

    Mr gold-seller-fan, I seriously wish you would find some other game besides WAR to play! Please, just find anything else. Go screw up somebody elses playground instead of ours, the genuine WAR fans! If you can’t do that, then I hope the GM’s of Mythic find your account and ban you just as fast as they can!


  7. Afirejar says:

    Just how could you possibly see "selling gold yourself" as the next "logical step", when the company doesn’t want any gold being sold?

  8. gamepolitics says:

    I’m a fairly casual MMO player, On-again, off-again. Been playing WoW that way for almost four years and I’ve never been in the top echelon of players, if we define that by level.

    I find your willingness to call me a liar when you know nothing of my life or situation or time commitments or WoW history a pretty sad commentary.

    Have a nice day.


  9. Bennett Beeny says:

    "let’s face it: If you have kids and a mortgage, you only have so many hours a week left over to play games."

    And that means that it’s necessary to buy gold… why?

    EVERYONE has limited time to play games, but that doesn’t mean we all should be buying gold to get ahead.  I play LotRO about an hour per month, yet I don’t find myself worrying about getting to level 50.  Heck, I’ll get there eventually, and if not, so what?  I have fun even at lower levels.  It’s not all about being uber, and it’s about time that the folks buying gold realised that.

  10. ssoltero says:

    I understand that "gold sellers" in an MMO are a nuisance, and it seems to me that there has to be some breach of the EULA there since users are actually making money off of someone elses software, but that is just speculation.

    If they really want to stick it to all the "gold sellers" why don’ the dev’s just start thier own "gold selling" feature and put it in game? I mean, why don’t the dev’s cash in on all this extra money floating around. They could sell it cheaper and easier than the "gold sellers" in game too. Just have a button linked to your paypal account that lets you buy X amount of gold per level or something like that.

    At any rate, I’m not an MMO’er so I’m just putting an opinion down from the outside.


  11. Arathnar says:

    I have been playing this game consistently since it has been released and everytime I do get a message from a gold seeler I always report them, I consider it fun and well worth it to make sure this game has as few people selling gold in it as possible. In truth there is no need for them because it is so easy to make gold in game that to buy gold here just doesn’t make sense, save your money and spend an extra hour to make the money needed.

  12. kagirinai says:

    You are right. I did miss that!

    Thanks for pointing it out.
    I can agree then, with the expressed positions of "Don’t do it, because it’s against the rules", though I don’t think the spirit of that rule is well supported by its text.

  13. Torven says:

    You have basically listed a number of items that are either expressly allowed by Blizzard or beyond the scope of their licensing and subscription agreements.

  14. Alex says:

    You missed a key passage in the TOS. Gold selling is most certainly explicitly discouraged, not just the practices that surround it.

    Ownership/Selling of the Account or Virtual Items.

    Blizzard does not recognize the transfer of Accounts. You may not purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, or offer to purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, and any such attempt shall be null and void. Blizzard owns, has licensed, or otherwise has rights to all of the content that appears in the Program. You agree that you have no right or title in or to any such content, including the virtual goods or currency appearing or originating in the Game, or any other attributes associated with the Account or stored on the Service. Blizzard does not recognize any virtual property transfers executed outside of the Game or the purported sale, gift or trade in the "real world" of anything related to the Game. Accordingly, you may not sell items for "real" money or otherwise exchange items for value outside of the Game.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  15. kagirinai says:

    Yes, yes! Ultimately, each player should be separated in their own sub server. That way, they won’t be able to negatively impact the play experience of any other player! It’d be PERFECT.

  16. wintermute says:

    So, if I ask a friend where the best place to farm a certain item is, and I get a great answer, would be both be banned?  What about mods, because even general UI mods can give one player an advantage over another.  Oh, how about performance PC gear, because the better gear you use IRL, the better your in game play could be.  They should do away with the auction houses and in game item sales, because buying an item with gold, even gold earned legitimately through gameplay, gives an unfair advantage to those who don’t have as much gold.

  17. kagirinai says:

    In regard to number 1: "It’s against the rules in almost all MMO’s.  You’d complain about almost every other kind of cheating, why is gold buying OK?"

    I totally agree; it’s against the rules. There’s this passage in the TOS:

    "Disrupt the normal flow of dialogue in Chat or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other users including without limitation posting commercial solicitations and/or advertisements for goods and services available outside of the World of Warcraft universe;"

    So is botting. There’s this passage in the WoW EULA:


    Of course, neither of these statements are specifically about Gold Selling or Botting, but they are encompassed.
    (And in fact, they don’t condemn gold selling, just the advertising of it)

    Now most users complain about Gold Selling because of how it negatively effects their play experience, since other players are given an unfair meta-advantage. I’m going to say Blizzard should go one step further, and ban players who are using any unoffical websites or resources, like maps, faqs, or location guides. That way, NO one will have a spoiled experience — You won’t have to worry about someone else getting great equipment any faster than you because they know where the awesome equipment is. Right?

  18. Danath says:

    When I was busy with work/college sometimes I only had a few hours a week to play my games for months at a time, but I still never had to buy gold, I just progressed slow, theres no excuse for buying gold because you "dont have time", if you dont got time, you move along slower, and Mythic banning these gold sellers who constantly spam me makes me happy indeed.

  19. wintermute says:

    1) It’s against the rules in almost all MMO’s.  You’d complain about almost every other kind of cheating, why is gold buying OK?

    2) Gold selling and buying hurts the in game economy.  That’s been proven in WoW time and time again.  Look at it through the eyes of the average gamer who doesn’t want to "break the rules".  You go to the auction house, or you go to trade privately with someone, with the money you’ve earned in game, you spent a lot of time earning it, and you’ve never bought gold.  You’re trying to buy an item you really need, and you’re offering a fair price for it.  Some random guy who might not even have a need for the item, but wants it because it "looks cool", makes an offer that’s way, way higher than yours, the kind of money you’d have to spend months and months gridning for.  This guy’s a gold buyer, he hasen’t done any more work than entering his credit card number on a website and ordering the money.  He hasn’t done daily grinds, he hasen’t farmed, there’s a decent chance he hasen’t even played the game much.Not only have you lost out on your bid for the item, but now there’s a higher expected price. 

    Now let’s say that 22% of the server population (NOT the entire player base for the game, just server pop) does the same thing, spends a rediculous amount of in game money on items just because they can.  Now they’re strong arming average players out entirely simply because they have the real world money to throw around.  Now the average player has two options, one, farm and grind their days away just to keep up with the gold buyers, or join the gold buyers.  Those who don’t have the time to grind, or the real world money to buy in game money are completely left out.

    3) If you need to buy gold, you’re doing it wrong.  Even average MMO players, those who don’t have 6 hours a day/night to dedicate, can make a decent amount of gold if they know how to work the economy.  If you know some good people online, or are in a good guild, even if you only have 2-3 hours to dedicate per day/night, you can run an instance/dungeon or two for gear, grind for gear, or farm items to resell/craft and resell.  MMO’s take TIME, the better the equipment or item, the more it it normally takes to get it, that’s the way MMO’s are MEANT to be played.  They’re there for companies to make oodles of money off of subscription fees, the longer they keep you playing, the more money they get.  DON’T RUSH.

  20. onewngdang says:

    Mythic just needs to take the logical step and start selling gold directly. It’s a simple question of time vs. money tradeoff. You can spend your time, you can spend your money, or you can spend both. There’s no inherent rationale for why the value of my time should be worth more than your money, if you spent that time making money in some other occupation and decide to invest it as a replacement for your time.

  21. Artifex says:

    So if you don’t really want to play the game in the way that it was designed — why play it at all?

  22. Historian says:

    "Kids + mortgage + job = less time to play" as an excuse to buy coins is a lie.

    You know it, I know it.

    The reality is that you just want to be in the top echelon of players and you are more than willing to buy your way to the top, than put in the time and effort to do it. So what if it takes you twice as long as that guy that seems to be online 24/7? What exactly have you lost by leveling slower than someone else?

    Have you really considered where the gold comes from?

    "Other players" you say? Yes, a small percentage does come from other players, but that isn’t efficient. To really procure gold in a meaningful way you need to farm for it. And while it is possible to pay for cheap labor to farm for you, it is much easier to make bot farms. These farms are designed to kill and pick up gold. That is to kill the mobs that normal players would kill to get gold for themselves. As these farmers pull the mobs from normal players, it makes the game more difficult for everyone. The time it takes for everyone to level increases, since the mobs that they would normally take for themselves are instead killed by the farmers. And there the cycle begins.

    Kids + mortgage + job = less time to play
    Buying gold = gold farmers stealing mobs from players
    Less mobs = more play time needed to for players to level

    I’m not even going to get in to the in-game economic impact these gold sellers cause with the constant flow of gold in to the economy.

    Yeah, you can easily say I’m biased, but I’m only offering a different persective as someone who works with the communities around games.

    David "Historian" DeWald
    Community Manager
    Acclaim Games Inc.


  23. lordlundar says:

    Considering that a good chunk of that 22% also beg for money from other players, even if that assumption is correct, I say let them leave.

  24. Overcast says:

    My whole question about this whole thing, goes along with my friend and others I’ll hear whining, "I’m bored" – well, let’s see if you are bored playing…. then find something else to do.

    But along those lines too – I personally find the journey and obtaining what I want the best part of the game. I mean, how many people – and you know there are likely some out there, who would pay to get a character with the VERY best possible gear, the highest level, max talents/abilities, and everything else….. so – why would you want to play at that point? What would there be to do?

  25. Freyar says:

    For WAR, the frequency of these messages are just.. horrible. It got to the point where I e-mailed(link) a company about it to see if they actually had any sense. Of course they didn’t, being overseas and having a thirteen year old at the keyboard.

    Point is: A majority of the MMO players don’t want gold farmers, don’t want gold sellers, don’t want gold advertising, and don’t want the minority BUYING their way up the ladder. It’s even more furstrating in games like EvE Online where money IS THE POWER.

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

  26. TaoJeannes says:

    Of course not, but EA makes the final decisions on things. How many times have you heard a movie director complain that his movie was screwed up by the distributing company?

  27. Alex says:

    Well, let’s be honest. Just because EA sucks doesn’t mean that Mythic and Bioware are made up of jerkwads too.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  28. Gift says:

    Of course the unspoken assumption here is that the 22% who pay for gold won’t play the game if gold farmers aren’t around. (To say nothing of those who will play if they know there aren’t any farmers.) The author of this particular piece needs to go to the back of the classroom.


  29. TaoJeannes says:

    Wait a minute… an EA company is displaying INTEGRITY?

    I just might have to give Warhammer a shot after all…

  30. Hevach says:

    I said much the same in WoW when it first came out – while the game didn’t throw gold itself at you, it threw a lot of valuable items at you which made accumulating gold quite easy, especially on a server already populated by higher level characters than yourself.

    When the game throws lots of gold at the players, though, the economy inflates, and prices go up to fit. WoW’s is remarkably stable, despite gold sellers, because of the huge numbers of easily farmed and easily sold items – lowbies who play the auction house can easily benefit from inflaed prices.

    Haven’t played Warhammer myself, but just throwing gold at players isn’t necessarily enough, if the item side of the economy doesn’t match.

  31. Lazier Than Thou says:

    I’d love to continue discussing this with you, but I have to leave to help my family.

    Suffice to say, I don’t approve of gold buying and I have my reasons for it.  I know they can’t be stopped perminately, but that doesn’t mean that I think we should just allow it.

    The reason I bring up scamming is because it’s the biggest reason, in my opinion, to not buy gold because it directly hurts the most people.  I know that people are going to scam others for reasons that have nothing to do with buying gold, but that’s not really the point.  By adding a real world value to objects in the game you’re giving people ample reason to hurt others for their own selfish wellbeing.  Yes, I recognize that this is a problem that only exists in the minor(probably less than 20% of the people that buy gold get it from a scammed account, but I’d imagine that in the range of 75%+ of the accounts scammed are for the purposes of selling the items for real world money), but this is a serious thing, to me.  It hurts the game community and it hurts the game creator.

    Your recommendation has already been put into use by Blizzard and I’m sure it helps a lot.

    I suggest that people don’t buy gold and that they don’t support people that do.  I know this probably isn’t going to be a popular suggestion because it involves a sort of niavity that people actually care that their actions hurt others.  Unfortunately, this isn’t where I am the most talented.  I can only say that I see it as a problem, but do not have the capacity to explain how it should be fixed.  "Don’t do it because it’s against the rules" has always been enough for me, honestly.

  32. kagirinai says:

    This is very ‘War on Terror/Drugs’ of you. The rhetoric sound so compelling from the surface, but you refuse to attack the problem.

    Your concern here is scamming. People obtaining gold from people through scams and selling it. People tricking players in to keylogging scams and them using that information against them. And then you point to Gold Selling related scamming, and imply that all Gold Selling is doing the same thing.

    Sure, you can squash accounts like bugs and try and stamp out all the accounts using single-ban methods. But OBVIOUSLY that isn’t stopping the scammers. And the idea of giving out more gold to dissaude people from buying from the scammers ALSO isn’t working. So, what? What do you suggest?

    *I* would make a simple recommendation. How about Blizzard takes advantage of the clause in the EULA that says they’ll search for any unauthorized programs operating in RAM and ban those accounts? Here’s a clean way to do it: You’ve got a keylogger program abound — it HAS to be running to work. WoW starts up, finds the logger, tells the player it’s there and closes down — no logging in until the spyware is removed.

    Obviously, some loggers would slip through the cracks, but that’s what updates are for. And now you’re hitting the scammers, not the Gold Sellers. This would need to be coupled with some more agressive techniques for hitting the Scammer acounts, but since they are more likely operating outside the game, there isn’t much you can do about it from there. Still, this would help solve the problem and dry up a scammer’s ability to operate.

  33. Lazier Than Thou says:

    That’s unfortunately not the reality.  World of Warcraft has actually had to take some fairly extreme measures to counter act gold selling.  This came in the form of massive inflation from the daily quests.  They basically had to make gold so easy to come by that people wouldn’t be tempted to buy it, but ended up hurting the economy in the process.

    Personal experience isn’t enough?  Honestly?  Look, every day on the World of Warcraft General forums there are bots that link to websites with key loggers in an attempt to get gold.  Yes, you can ban the accounts of the people that do it, but the problem compounds when they used the keylogged accounts to post more of the same websites.

    This isn’t some little thing that I happened upon and have taken it upon myself to inform everyone about.  This is a serious problem.  This greatly effects MMOs because when people find out about the mess of botting and general cheating going on, it’s discouraging and leads people to not want to play the game anymore.  This is a bad thing for the community of the game and for the makers of the game.

    Buying gold online has the same effect as buying a bot for Counter Strike.  The only real difference is that you don’t get to see the damage being done as you’re doing it.

  34. kagirinai says:

    That’s a pretty sweeping generalization, and I’m betting you have nothing more than personal experience and hear-say to back it up. If your issue is scamming, then do something about the scammers; take scam reports, investigate complaints, ban people that way. You could even spend time educating the players more about scams and how to avoid them.

    The reality of it is, WoW, and I bet pretty much every MMO, doesn’t actually rule against Gold Selling, just against the advertising of the service. They’re concerned with players being irritated by Gold Sellers constant advertising, not their product.

  35. Lazier Than Thou says:

    The great thing is, I can condemn them based upon their parasitic nature, not just their scamming.

    The point isn’t that when you buy money, you’re only buying scammed/hacked money.  The point is that there’s a good chance that by buying that money, you’re could very well be paying people to screw other people over.

    There are plenty of reasons to not buy gold in an MMO.  This is just one of them.

  36. kagirinai says:

    This is true, but you can’t claim that all gold sellers are scammers, and you can’t condemn an entire group of people based on the actions of some. What if someone is getting rid of their WoW character and wants to sell of their stuff for real dollars before they stop playing?

    If someone is willing to pay for it, is it unjust?

    And plenty of scammers are scamming for their own benefit. Just because they’re not selling gold, does that make their behavior ok? (EULA say no, but I’m speaking in a more ethical way)

  37. kagirinai says:

    It was actually something of a slippery slope fallacy, as far as I read it.
    "Gold selling is ok, just like theft is ok. Therefore, if we allow gold selling, we should also allow theft."

    I’m saying that your comparison sucks. Exaggeration of that magnitude doesn’t make your point, nor did it really adress HIS point.

  38. TaoJeannes says:

    It was a rhetorical critique, dude. If gold farming were exactly identical to grocery theft it would be called "gold farming" and not "grocery theft".

    Learn basic communication technique and try again.

  39. Lazier Than Thou says:

    There’s more than one way to collect gold in an online game.  It is actually very effective to scam and hack people.

    Suppose you bought your gold from an online seller, how would you know where that gold came from and if you were supporting things like keylogging and scamming?

  40. kagirinai says:

    Wow. Seriously?

    Foremost: Let’s break apart the example and the analogy.

    Gold Seller collects gold, Players buys it.
    Behavior is discouraged because it offers advantage to players in exanged for meta-game influence.

    Grocery buys food, theif steals it.
    Behavior is discouraged because it is theft. (Theft is discouraged because of fundamental scarcity of resources, making the protection of property a matter of survival)

    HMM… Comparable? No. Don’t be asinine.

    Gold selling in MMOs is a problem because of SPAM and because it violates SOME players sensation of satisfaction because someone else used a different kind of currency (money, instead of time) to acquire advancement. IN A GAME.

    If I buy Gold in WoW, no one is going to starve, except maybe me.

  41. TaoJeannes says:

    Stealing a smoked ham from the grocery store only breaks the law because the law is designed for a specific type of society. There is no fundamental right for a government to protect private property.

    Sorry… just using your logic.

  42. kagirinai says:

    But you’re not adressing the problem. These are players who are circumventing a portion of the game they find uninteresting. (and really, who can blame them?)

    People pay to get in game gold because the effort of procuring it themselves is laborous and dull. Why do it if you don’t have to? That’s why I’m suggesting there’s a problem in the way the game is designed. What ends up happening in these games is a straight exchange of YOUR time for in game currency, in a way that isn’t particularly interesting. Why not make that time spent more engaging?

    If there were enjoyable ways to earn cash in game, then people wouldn’t be as inclined to circumvent the methods in which to obtain gold normally.

  43. wintermute says:

    Gold buying occurs in most MMO’s.  What’s not "rewarding" is the fact that almost all MMO’s take TIME to play.  The core of the MMO is questing, grinding, and PvP, all of which take up a decent chunk of time as is, and the more difficult the task, most often the better the reward.  Rewards come in gold/in game money, items/gear, and experience.  Most general questing in MMO’s, the kind you can do yourself, comes with gear good enough to level your character, and enough gold to sustain you.  PvP can be used to get better gear and items than normal questing, and grinding can net a very good sum of gold.

    But most players don’t want decent leveling gear and items, they want the high end stuff, the kind of stuff that’s usually only rewarded for players who take the time to complete even more difficult quests and grinds, and nobody wants to dedicate the time to those just for the reward, they want to blow by everything and get to the high end gear and end game content, so they buy gold and pay to speed level so they can keep up with their friends.  So, what you have is a group of people who want to buy their way to the end of the game.  They don’t really want to "play" the game, they more or less want to be "in" the game.

    If you really want to play the game, and really need the in game money, you’ll find ways to make it with the limited time you have.  I’ve found pleanty of ways in WoW to make pleanty enough gold to do what I need, and I’m nowhere near "hardcore", nor do I have as much time as most players.

  44. Neeneko says:

    That is the real back-end issue, and it is one that MMORPG developers are going to have to address over time.  Originally these games were really designed for hard core players that wanted a time/effort->reward system similiar to D&D.. i.e. people who play more, are more uber, and thus should have more.. ahm… member-extending equipement.

    This model starts breaking down when you get casual players who are there to have fun rather then pissing contests… yet developers still think in terms of themselves and the hardcore playerbase so they keep building games around that assumption.

    Gold sellers exist because of this design decision, and will continue to exist until they do something about it.  Ultimatly, pulling from games such a GURPS rather then D&D,.. or better yet, pull from 4X games rather then FPS as a basic model would go a long way to evening out grind.

  45. jmcc says:

    "Then the question has to be, how can we make any/all of these tasks more rewarding as an experience, and not just an end product?"

    The solution I come up with after thirty seconds of thought, is to make all items in the game craftable. So, if you want to a magic sword, learn magic and swordmaking and make it. Some might argue that it’s just replacing gold with level grinding, but there’d be greater than one-time utility to knowing the skills.

  46. Pinworm says:

     You get the most gold in this game by doing pvp. It’s easily the easiest game to get gold on, they really worked hard to make sure that worrying about gold isn’t an issue.


    The fact that there’s gold farmers is only because there’s gold farmers in every game; and while I’m not at end-game yet, I can’t see many people actually buying gold for this game. I don’t think farmers will be successful in this game at all.

  47. kagirinai says:

    I still say this is indicitive of a fundamental problem in how the game (and pretty well all MMOs) are executed.

    If people are willing to pay REAL money to skip the effort required to get your FAKE money, that implies that whatever method they need to do to get said fake money is not rewarding — the players are bored at the prospect of having to collect gold, and so they find a way to avoid doing so.

    I haven’t tried Warhammer Online yet (frankly, I’ve always found the mythos painted by Games Workshop to be rather boring and generic, with some wacky exceptions) but I imagine that the gold situation is the same as it’s always been. (And please, correct me if I’m wrong) You gain gold for Killing Monsters, Finishing Quests, and Selling Items. Right? Then the question has to be, how can we make any/all of these tasks more rewarding as an experience, and not just an end product?

  48. Lazier Than Thou says:

    I’d say the worst part of this whole situation is that when people begin putting a monetary value to something in game, it changes the game dramatically.  Imagine, if you will, that you could write a simple code to access another persons computer to log their keystrokes in order to get their account and password information.  With this information, you could steal their items and gold then turn around and sell that for real money.

    This happens all the time and is created almost entirely(not completely, there are some jerks out there) out of greed.  Buying/selling gold in an MMO is effectively supporting hacking other players and screwing them over.  Why?  Because you can’t be 100% sure that your money didn’t come from some ignorant player who got a keylogger.

  49. linenoise says:

    Gold selling also opens up all kinds of holes – once you tie virtual money to real money, you can make the argument that it should be governed by laws.  Remember Second Life’s virtual gambling?  And how long before the gold you make in-game is taxable?  It IS worth something, at that point, and they already tax you for gains in stock that you have not even sold yet.


    The biggest problem with the gold sellers is the constant spam.  Every few seconds, another /tell from an automated bot trying to sell you something, and no way to block it without turning off the entire channel.  You won’t lose people by eliminating gold selllers, but you WILL lose them if the spam doesn’t stop!

  50. Alex says:

    While gold buying has its appeal, let’s face it.

    1. It IS an underground thing. It’s going to be against the rules in pretty much every MMO you find. That Warhammer is taking its aggressive stance a little farther is interesting, but not really all that surprising. You can’t really talk about "alienating" a group of people who know perfectly well that what they’re doing is against the rules in the first place.

    2. There’s no way to keep the gold sellers down for good. Right now they have a "task force" of GMs whose job it is to roam the servers looking for gold spammers to ban. That’s all well and good but I’d be willing to bet that even then enough gets through, and as the game grows they’re either going to have to increase the size of that team (which will eventually become very cost-ineffective) or keep the team the same size to keep from having to spend too much on it, which will allow even more gold spam to get through.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  51. Neeneko says:

    *shrug* it only breaks the rules because the rules are designed for a specific type of play style.    There is no fundemental right in game design that requires the developers to reward extra hours of grind with better stuff.

  52. Parallax Abstraction says:

    I’m sorry but I have to agree here too (well not the last sentence necessarily but you know.)  Kids + mortgage + job = not an excuse to cheat at the game in a way that breaks the ToS and potentially ruins the fun of legitimate players.  I’ve been anxious to try Warhammer Online but I run my own company which takes a phenomenal amount of my time and am also getting ready to move.  The solution?  Don’t buy it until I have the time to put into playing it legitimately.  That’s the way things work.  What you do in single player games is your business as it doesn’t impact the experience of others but doing this is no different than using hacks to cheat at Battlefield or CoD4.  And the mass number of people doing that now has made playing both those games very frustrating and a lot less fun.

  53. Sigvatr says:

    Ooh, kids and a job, ay? Is this some kind of honorable position that everyone else needs to make amends for?

    This is exactly the same as my room mates asking (not so much asking, it was more like demanding) that me and my wife do their dishes because they work five days a week and I only work two (although they still haven’t seemed to pick up on the fact that I am an indie game designer in my spare time).

    Deciding to have a big career and lots of babies doesn’t mean I’m going to treat you any differently from anyone else. If you want a big career and lots of babies then this is your full and complete responsibility. If you want to change the rules, then you can lick my butt and suck on my balls.

  54. kagirinai says:

    I’d agree, almost.

    Crafting is great, and I highly support that ability in any game where it’s suitable, but it’s normally not made in to an actual task. I always found that Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates! had the single best crafting system I’ve seen to date — Each of the items you can craft is acommpanied by a themed mini-game. (Which of course, is the model of the game; every task is about a mini game of some sort)

    It does, however, change a mundane task in to another game. Surely other MMOs can find something similarly engaging?

  55. Joop says:

    This.  Kids + Mortgage + Job + any other kind of responsibility = you probably shouldn’t be playing an incredibly time demanding game simply to satisfy your entertainment desires, and if you are going to play it, it doesn’t give you the right to skirt the TOS and ignore the design of the game.  It seems like a softer version of an athelete justifying their steroid use because they don’t have enough time to devote to training.

  56. mogbert says:

    "Oh noes! They are going to alienate 25% of the players!" The other option is alienating the other 75% of the players.

    I’ve played a lot of MMO’s, and gold sellers are the MOST annoying part of almost any MMO. Even griefers don’t come close. For example, in Age of Conan (which was a good game when it launched) you not only got chat spammed, your online mail box would get FLOODED with spam. They also did chat buffering if you were offline. When you logged in, you would get 3 pages of gold seller spam.

    I think gold sellers suck, but if you WANTED to defend them, then let them sell gold somewhere else on the web. The majority of people getting banned aren’t being banned for selling gold. They are getting banned for SPAMMING THE SERVERS. If someone wants to buy gold, they can do a google search. Don’t annoy everyone in the game with spam all the time. Even the people who want to buy gold don’t need to know about it every 30 seconds, or 25 times when they open their mail box.

    In short, if you don’t approve of Warhammer’s treatment of these scum, then you are likely someone who opens ever e-mail offering you cheap "v1agra", "r0llex" watches, and "g00d st0cks t0 buy n0w!!!"

  57. Pinworm says:

     I’ve played a lot of MMOs and the gold spam in this game is absolutely miles and miles worse than any other mmo in history.

    I have a mod that blocks them and for kicks, I made it put in a ticker that averages out the spam per minute.

    Some times I’ve had over 1mpm (message per minute). It’s simply ridiculous. And I don’t blame Mythic, they’re doing an awesome job with it.

    My point is that yes, this hate is more than *****ing justified. And if people actually have to play the game to get money, boo hoo. It’s not Mythics job to help illegal companies exploit poor workers to make a profit off of their own game.


    Down with gold farming.

  58. hellfire7885 says:

    As an MMO player, it is rather frustrating to work to get the cash to pay for better gear o nthe auction house, only to see some douchebag payed ten dollars to come overseas company to get the gear i nless than a day.

    Right now in WoW my Warlock is nearing level 70, and I have been saving my gold to afford my flying mount. Soem jerkass shouldn’t be able to buy it in under a day thanks to some company.

  59. DeepThorn says:

    What about banning the transaction of gold or any items on one of the servers?  Would that not be fair?

  60. Demontestament says:

    "When launching a big-budget online game, it doesn’t strike me as a very good idea to risk alienating nearly a quarter of your user base right out the gate. That, however, is likely to be the consequence of an extreme anti-gold selling policy at Mythic Entertainment…"

    But that quarter of the user base is a bunch of people who are ruining the game for others and annoying everyone with their "X Website sells 1000 gold for $25.00 US. Power level services, end game in 3 days" adds. I have not expressed interest in playing WO, but I must applaud their anti-goldselling practices.

    "So if Mythic succeeds in driving away gold sellers, it seems inevitable that it will succeed in hurting Warhammer Online’s retention, too. For surely players who like to buy their way out of difficult quests but no longer can are likely to get frustrated and leave for another game."

    Buying their way out of quests? Hell if you need to spend real money to get out of a quest in a game then maybe you shouldn’t play it. I am not apart of the Hardcore crowd, I haven’t been since I have stepped into the real world. I work a full time job, have a girlfriend, spend as much time with my friends as possible and yet I still have time to log on and complete a couple quests a night on whatever MMORPG I might be playing at the time. If they get up and leave the game is better of without their cheating asses. Most MMORPGs now are leaning more towards the casual crowd than the hardcore, saying the game is too hard is not a reason to cheat or break the ToS of the game. If you need to pay real money to some over seas company to play a game, chances are you shouldn’t be playing it in the first place.

  61. Galbrezu says:

    I’ve yet to even have the NEED to buy gold in Warhammer Online, the game just throws it at you and it doesn’t seem to let up (26 Marauder :D). The gold spammers however have readhed a new annoying high though i’ve NEVER been spammed so frequently in ANY game. In short, I applaud their efforts to remove gold sellers from the game ,they’re nothing but a nusance to people who actually want to play the game.

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