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Square and Blizzard Drop The Banhammer 244

Posted by Zonk
from the splat dept.
Gamespot has the news that Square has banned some 2000 accounts from FFXI, and Eurogamer reports that Blizzard has banned 59,000 accounts from World of Warcraft. The bans come as game publishers continue to attempt to crack down on Real Money Traders in their titles. From the FFXI article: "The news follows Square Enix's crackdown of 250 accounts in June over money-farming and real-money trading, which is the practice of selling in-game currency for cash in the real world. Concerns over real-money trading prompted the Japanese government--particularly worried about large-scale money-mining operations in video games--to launch its own investigation last week."
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Square and Blizzard Drop The Banhammer

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  • by Drogo007 (923906) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:14PM (#15793546)
    Should be something like: Game companies expect revenue increase as banned gold farmers buy new accounts...

    Same Crap, Different Day
    • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GundamFan (848341) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:17PM (#15793575)
      Yeah really... The one thing I have to give to Eve is it's mature attitude towards PvP... players actualy hunt down the farmers and disrupt there trade. I would like to see a WoW player care that much about the health of there game.
      • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mrxak (727974) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:20PM (#15793616)
        There was some of that on my server, back when I played. But certainly not enough. It didn't take long before it was simply too dangerous to go into the farmer's territory. If you tried to tag mobs before they could kill them, they'd call in their farmer friends of the other faction to start killing you over and over.
      • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:5, Insightful)

        by milamber3 (173273) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:23PM (#15793641)
        A lot of WoW players do care about the game and farming just as much. Unfortunately the game is not setup the same way EVE is and there isn't a mechanism to allow anyone to go out and kill/impede the farmers. Some PVP servers may allow for a small amount of policing but the majority of servers don't even have that.
        • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <SatanicpuppyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:37PM (#15793796) Journal
          To police effectively in WoW, you have to be able to police your own side. It's too hard to tell who's farming on the other side when they're immediately hostile, and you can't talk to them anyway.

          I've been on guild "Squish the Farmer" events, but all to often it turns into a pitched battle because people on the other side misinterpret your assault on the farmers. Anyway, that's of extremely limited utility anyway, because the economics of the sides only impact each other through the little-utilized neutral auction houses.
          • I reckon Blizzard shouldn't have banned the accounts, I reckon they should have granted themselves some super-characters and gone in and slaughtered the farmers, and put them in mafia style debt down to negative a trillion dollars.

            • Or have the foot of God come down from the heavens and squash the farmers to a fart sound, show the farmers "and now, for something completely different..." and put them on a farm where all they can do is farm vegetables with no connection to the outside world.
        • Sure it's possible, especially as a priest - just psychic scream whatever the farmers are fighting, fade, and run. The feared mob should run around and pull friends, which will go towards a farmer and very soon he will start spamming 'cao ni ma'.
      • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Informative)

        by rpillala (583965)

        This would only be possible on a pvp server, where farmers often farm in cross faction teams and just kill anyone who gets close. Maybe with overwhelming numbers you could stop them for a short time but they'd just move elsewhere or stop for as long as it takes for people to get bored.

        • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Informative)

          by angel'o'sphere (80593)
          This would only be possible on a pvp server, where farmers often farm in cross faction teams and just kill anyone who gets close.
          thats not correct.

          The typical farmer controls 10 or more PCs and uses cheat tools to get to impossible positions from where he can shoot on mobs, e.g. Because he controls so many PCs je usually uses a hunter or a rogue, in very shitty gear. The rogues are usually 2 sword rogues and just do autoattack on mobs. Hunters usually also only send pet, without mark, and use autoshot.

          Some
          • How can you go about disrupting such a farmer on a pve server? Kill his pet? How?
      • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Interesting)

        by misleb (129952)
        I haven't played EVE in a while, and I've never played WoW, but doesn't farming have a different effect on the economy in Eve? Rather than inflation, doesn't it make things cheaper? If there is a huge influx of minerals, the price of them goes down and items get cheaper to manufacture. Where as in WoW you get raw gold coming in and devaluing the current gold that people have. Or am I way off here? What is the real problem with farming in Eve?

        -matthew
        • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Informative)

          by Wintermute__ (22920)
          I haven't played EVE in a while, and I've never played WoW, but doesn't farming have a different effect on the economy in Eve? Rather than inflation, doesn't it make things cheaper? If there is a huge influx of minerals, the price of them goes down and items get cheaper to manufacture. Where as in WoW you get raw gold coming in and devaluing the current gold that people have. Or am I way off here? What is the real problem with farming in Eve?

          -matthew


          The basic problem is the same, the devaluation of the curr
          • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Interesting)

            by misleb (129952)

            The basic problem is the same, the devaluation of the currency. The farmers in EVE sell the minerals in-game for ISK, the equivalent of WoW gold. Then they sell the ISK for real-world money, thus de-valuing the currency in-game. The deflation of mineral prices (which adversely affects players who have chosen mining as a profession) is a secondary harmful effect of their activities.

            But isn't the devaluation of ISK in EVE offset by cheaper hardware? When I played EVE, I was into manufacturing. When I could ge

          • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Informative)

            by hobbesmaster (592205)
            In EVE, farmers have to sell their minerals to other players who have put up buy orders. This means that no currency is being created in the transaction, unlike most games where farmers sell their loot/whatever to NPCs which generate money out of thin air.
        • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Interesting)

          by CherniyVolk (513591)

          I haven't played EVE in a while, and I've never played WoW, but doesn't farming have a different effect on the economy in Eve? Rather than inflation, doesn't it make things cheaper? If there is a huge influx of minerals, the price of them goes down and items get cheaper to manufacture. Where as in WoW you get raw gold coming in and devaluing the current gold that people have. Or am I way off here? What is the real problem with farming in Eve?

          EVE's economy is so in-depth and profound... "macro-miners" in EVE
          • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:2, Insightful)

            by westyx (95706)
            I like how you started out discussing EVE and then take a violent turn into what must be one of your pet hates, plus you managed to get +3 Insightful. kudos. I look forward to future rants of yours.
      • Lol,

        I kill all WoW farmers on sight. First of all they are easy to spot, if yoou get used to it, and second: they are completely unable to defend, so its a free kill.

        And I guess on a PVP realm most players do that!

        OTOH: as alliance warlock, you only can kill horde farmers ....

        angel'o'sphere
    • Re:Wrong Headline (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Durrok (912509)
      Lets see here...

      59,000 X $40.00 = $2,360,000

      Damn, time to invest in blizzard stock....
  • Good, Ban Them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrxak (727974) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:16PM (#15793560)
    Back when I played WoW, the server I was on was pretty much owned by gold farmers. They drove up the prices on everything, and unfortunately a lot of players just went along with it. People would buy in-game currency with real money to pay for things in the game sold by those selling the in-game money they got from those inflated sales. A vicious circle, but I guess some players felt it was worth it.
    • I only ever bought gold to spend on repairs and stuff like epic mounts. I almost never bought anything off the AH, and if I did it was a less expensive item or two that I needed to craft something. Besides, Blizzard built a game that renedered the economy almost irrelevant once you hit endgame. Endgame raiders can more or less remove themselves from the economy and surface once in a while to sell things for gold to spend on repairs. Most of the high level items are bound to your character.
    • I'm not a player so maybe this is a naive question, but in these games it's legal and somewhat expected to make war on other players, right? So couldn't a gang of disgruntled players mount an in-game vendetta against real-money traders -- pillage and burn their estates, kill their characters, and just generally get medieval on their assets? If you think about it, from a game perspective the Real World is kind of like another plane of existence, and characters trafficking in the real world are sort of like e
  • Oh Noes!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scott Lockwood (218839) * on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:16PM (#15793564) Homepage Journal
    Now what will I do?? - Oh wait - I know, I'll keep ignoring WoW like I have been since it first came out! How ANYONE can support Blizzard after the whole Bnetd thing is TOTALLY beyond me. Screw them. Screw them right in the ear.
    • Care to explain what you're referring to? I've never had a problem with battle.net...
      • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by dada21 (163177) *
        For Bnetd information:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bnetd [wikipedia.org]

        I don't buy anything from Blizzard based on this idiocy and support of unconstitutional laws in order to control content. No thanks.
      • Bnetd was an open source reverse engineer of Blizzards battle.net server protocol.

        In a nutshell, it provided the ability to play the game online with a cracked CD, so they sued and had it taken down, thereby pissing off a horde of OS geeks who apparently can hold a grudge FOREVER. There are so many worse DMCA abusers out there, I really don't see the point of going nazi over one of the few cases where it was actually semi-legitimate.
        • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by syntaxglitch (889367) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:05PM (#15794073)
          I really don't see the point of going nazi over one of the few cases where it was actually semi-legitimate.

          1) Arguing that bnetd enabled piracy is dumb; pirated copies could still be played offline, over a LAN, or through other workarounds. Furthermore, the bnetd developers offered to add support for verifying CD keys against a Blizzard server but were ignored (yes, individuals running bnetd could hack the source to disable the check, but that'd make it pretty obvious what they were up to, and Blizzard could've nailed them, not bnetd itself).

          2) People are banned from bnet for other things, such as cheating, and there's a fair population of jerks on bnet. Someone with a valid license may want to play online but be unable or unwilling to use bnet. I own a legit copy of war3 but I'd definitely rather play with friends on a private server.

          3) Blizzard's (well, I think it's Vivendi's) management and legal department already had a reputation among a lot of people for being grand assholes, so people weren't inclined to give them any benefit of the doubt.

          I'll agree it's not the WORST use of the DMCA, but it's still pretty indefensible. People have a reason for holding this particular grudge.
          • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
            Considering the uses the DMCA is commonly put toward, a game company using it so say, "If you're going to play one of our games over the internet, you've got to use our free service" is so low on the list so as not to register.

            I'd love to see that crappy law thrown out and copyright intelligently reformed, but this is hardly the place to pick your fight.
      • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by LordKazan (558383)
    • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:27PM (#15793700) Homepage Journal
      How is this a troll? This is a very important opinion and one that I support 100%. Blizzard used the DMCA to blow an open source company out of existance (and take over their domain name and property). The attitude here should not be "Blizzard is doing this and that" it should be "Blizzard, the company that used the unconstitutional DMCA against individuals committing no property crime, is still in business. Let's remind each other not to ever buy anything by Blizzard or Vivendi again."

      I'm always shocked how pro-freedom geeks forget their morals when it comes to a game or a product they like. Blizzard is Vivendi, folks, and Vivendi is evil based on their corruption of Congress. Why are we still caring what they do to players who forgot they're evil?
      • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Have Blue (616) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:52PM (#15793948) Homepage
        Standard answer: Slashdot is more than one person. There are people out there who watched the whole Bnetd mess and really are not buying Blizzard or Vivendi products right now. There are people out there who ignored or missed out on the whole Bnetd mess and are buying Blizzard or Vivendi products solely on their own merits. There are even people who watched the whole Bnetd mess and decided the outcome and the issues it raised were not important enough to make them give up the experience of playing future Blizzard products.

        Also, it wasn't just some random company blown away because Blizzard felt like being mean. Bnetd was intimately tied to Blizzard's products and business model and they created this relationship without any cooperation or even permission from Blizzard.
        • Standard answer: Slashdot is more than one person.

          Very true. When you deal with large groups, often you really can't fairly characterize the group as a whole as hypocritical, only individuals. At Slashdot, different types of stories often attract different groups of posters.

          For example, if you looked at slashdot using just one type of story, you might think slashdot as a whole being anti-IP. In some other types of stories, the general vibe might seem to be the opposite, but I would bet that there are di
        • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Omnifarious (11933) *

          So, before I come up with a new use for a red swingline stapler, or feature one in some piece of media, I have to get the permission of the company who makes them? That argument just doesn't fly. I don't care what relationship that company had with Blizzard's product and business model, Blizzard had no right to do what they did. Or rather, they were granted a right by a stupid law that shouldn't exist and they should've had the sense not to invoke.

          Can you sue your sewage treatment company for selling yo

        • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:2, Informative)

          by narfbot (515956)
          A few corrections. Bnetd wasn't a company, it was a group of programmers. When blizzard sent take down notices, they actually stopped development. It was hosted by an ISP. It was the ISP blizzard sued. The ISP had nothing to do with bnetd except they hosted the domain. So what blizzard won was the domain name and shutdown a small ISP.

          Bnetd wasn't intimately tied with Blizzard products. If you read the code, you'll find that it had third party support specified with it, and you'll find realization of the pr
      • shouldn't the free market decide if the gold farmers are successful or not? :)

        I kid, I kid. Screw the gold farmers for messing up in-game economics and screw Blizzard for selling out.

        I'm always shocked how pro-freedom geeks forget their morals when it comes to a game or a product they like. Fanboys will be fanboys, that's the reality of the situation.... Lots of these guys grew up on Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo, but the reality is that the Blizzard of today wasn't the Blizzard of your childhood.
      • Blizzard, the company that used the unconstitutional DMCA against individuals committing no property crime...
        How is the DMCA unconstitutional? (I'm not trying to be contrarian here; well, OK, maybe I am, but I'm honestly curious as well.)
        • by dada21 (163177) *

          How is the DMCA unconstitutional? (I'm not trying to be contrarian here; well, OK, maybe I am, but I'm honestly curious as well.)

          Good question. The U.S. Congress has very specific enumerated powers as listed in the U.S. Constitution. Anything that isn't specifically enumerated for Congress to govern/make laws for is considered a right of the State or the Individual.

          The DMCA has no provision in the U.S. Constitution. I believe that the law passes muster only because individuals of today have accepted an o

          • The DMCA has no provision in the U.S. Constitution.

            What about the Commerce Clause? Since the Commerce Clause has already been used to justify laws covering everything from marijuana (because it might conceivably be sold between states) to racial discrimination (because a discriminating restaurant has a snack bar with goods purchased out-of-state), I'm sure it could be used to justify the DMCA.
          • Anything that isn't specifically enumerated for Congress to govern/make laws for is considered a right of the State or the Individual.

            That sounds like a well-reasoned objection, though I am not an expert in this area.

            The DMCA and all IP laws show that you need to use government force to support inefficient and unprofitable businesses. Without government force, these businesses would be much more competitive, and new markets and profitable sectors would arise out of the creation of content. Unfortunately

        • It's a semi-shady argument based on the fact that reverse-engineering has always been protected by common law, and by the fact that the constitution only provides for copyrights lasting a "limited time", which goes against the DMCA's strengthing of copyright law.

          The whole problem revolves around the fact that the founders really had no conception of copyrights as applied to non-tangible things. Can't blame 'em. But now its a huge mess because the corporations want IP to fall under the same protections as, f
      • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SilentChris (452960)
        As with most things, there are some heavy shades of gray with the bnetd thing.

        Most people were using bnetd not only to emulate Battle.net servers, but pirate the games. There is no DRM on any Blizzard CDs. People were logging into bnetd because there was no CD key check like batt.net.

        Slashdot users cleverly ignore the fact that the majority (nay, nearly all) bnetd users were using it to get around buying the games from Blizzard. I personally get rather tired of this "Blizzard/Vivendi is evil" crap when t
    • Personally, I guess I just forgot to care about "the whole Bnetd thing". I have yet to see a reason why I should give a shit, honestly. But then, I'm not a politically-motivated open-source advocate. I doubt many of their customers are, considering that their products only run on closed-source platforms, and the most rabid of open-sourcies refuse to use anything that they didn't compile themselves, auditing every line of code and all.

      I like their products, and frankly that's good enough for me.

      m-
    • I was around when the Bnetd thing was going on. I think I used bnetd to play the Warcraft III beta. It was cool, and I wish it was still around, but think about this for a second from a companies perspective. On Battle.net you see ads right? Well being able to put the ads on bnet generated revenue for them. If tons of people started leaving bnet for all these different bnetd servers, they will lose that revenue. Furtheremore, pirates wouldn't have to pay for the games to play and compete online. Not t
    • Re:Oh Noes!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by angel'o'sphere (80593)
      Hm,

      Blizzard is one of the best game companies, for me at least.

      Bnetd is a clone of Battlenet, disrupting blizzards way. It was completely leagal for them and in my eyes completely appropriated to go against Bnetd. And if the poor (my pitty) developers of Bnetd had any clue about anything they did have not done that stupid project. Everyone working as creator (programmer) should have some basic idea how copyright works.

      How ANYONE can support Blizzard after the whole Bnetd thing is TOTALLY beyond me. Hm I'm n
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First off, no one cares about FFXI outside of Japan. But even pretending anyone does:

    No one cares about Blizzard doing it, either. Why?

    Because they've been banning accounts all along. It's not news. Blizzard bans more gold farmers, twice as many spring up. It's not going to go away just because some accounts were banned.

    Now, if this were news about how Blizzard was planning on redesigning their MMORPG to make gold farming a non-issue (and, to be honest, it really is already: the best stuff is gotten th
    • The news with FFXI is that the Japanese government [gamespot.com] is looking into gold farming. (That's the link from the Slashdot summary, you might want to read the entire thing.)

      Plus, if you actually read the articles, they mention that the banning activity has greatly increased this month.

      So, yes, it's news: MMORPG companies are banning more accounts over gold selling activies than they have been.

  • i report farmers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SolemnDragon (593956) * <`solemndragon' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:19PM (#15793602) Homepage Journal
    Inflation in games is a lot easier to trace than inflation in the real world. It's a much smaller economy- until you drag the 'outer' economy into it.

    I think we should be banned from BUYING gold, too.

    Report sellers, report bots, the next time someone whispers to you ingame to visit their WoWgold site, report it under the behaviour tag in the reporting options. This becomes especially important for casual players, who just can't compete.

    I know, isn't that just an artificial control? No, it's more like cracking down on forgery- this is wealth that was created for the purpose of selling it, which makes it an otherwise unnecessary element in the economy that hurts the whole.

    I say yay, keep up the farmer bans.

    On an unrelated note, every time i clean out my bookbag, i wish vendors in real life bought the trash...
  • by entmike (469980) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:22PM (#15793624) Homepage
    (Bannings) -59,000 * $15 = -$885,000/mo
    (New acct) 59,000 * $40 = +$2,360,000
    (Monthly fee) 59,000 * $15 = $885,000/mo

    Looks like the business model is working for the farmers and Blizzard. Kind of like a farming tax. :)
  • Good Job! (Score:2, Funny)

    by BigNumber (457893)
    I would like to congratulate the Japanese government for solving all of its countries other problems. I mean, they must have solved everthing else if this is somehow now a priority to them, right?
    • I would like to congratulate the Japanese government for solving all of its countries other problems. I mean, they must have solved everthing else if this is somehow now a priority to them, right?

      I'll assume you're just relatively ignorant and haven't spent much time living in Japan. As it is, they keep a very tight grip on the economic reins in a number of areas, and money laundering and taxation are two of the big ones. These are serious issues for anyone doing business in / with Japan, as banking and

  • Lesson to be learned (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thelost (808451) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:28PM (#15793706) Journal
    There's a lesson to be learned from this, banning gold farmers and the people who buy from them doesn't work. 59k accounts banned in WoW? That's ridiculous. It tells me the economics are still not working (I played WoW for a year and saw how bad they were). If games companies want to solve this they will have to come up with some stronger defence. such as:

    a) better economics.
    b) no tweaking.
    c) tie characters to credit card details (will cause problems with gamecards).
    d) better economics.
    e) allow gold/character selling, but moderate and oversee it.

    Blizz and any other games company who thinks about doing another MMOG better get this sorted before they write the next blockbuster, as otherwise I foresee thousands of bald programmers in darkened rooms pulling out their hair and screaming as they have to deal with the intricacies of propping up dying economies and stopping farming rather than writing stuff they actually are interested in.
    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <SatanicpuppyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:02PM (#15794048) Journal
      Every time someone starts screaming about the game economics being utterly broken, I have to wonder about their actual evidence. I've played seriously on about 5 servers, and I currently play the auction house on two, and all I see are very predictable supply and demand fluctuations. Stuff goes up today, and down tomorrow. Prices run up on the weekends, and taper off during the week.

      Sure you see items that are overpriced, and sometimes those get purchased. More often, however, you see the same item up for sale for a week or more, and get to watch its price trending gradually down until someone buys it.

      It's not rampant inflation. It's exactly the sort of cyclical activity I would expect given variable supply.

      So give me some data on this completely broken model, because I'm not seeing it.
      • The broken part is that there's only one activity in the entire game that is "profitable." hunting/mining. People that need gold, but have lost interest in this aspect are pretty much up a creek without the goldsellers.
    • thousands of bald programmers in darkened rooms pulling out their hair

      If they're bald, what hair are they pulling on? Ewww.
    • How about. 1: Sell gold, items and characters themselves, thereby short-circuiting and defeating the whole "farming" industry in one fell swoop. 2. See one. 3 Profit! Seriously, you're buying the option to play a game, it's like buying a ticket to go to a basketball game, if you want you can pay more and set right by the court and yell directly at the players, or you can set in the cheap seats, or you can go for the open source option and shoot hoops in the park with your friends, but at no point should yo
  • by JavaLord (680960) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:29PM (#15793723) Journal
    About 2-3 months ago Blizzard really started to crack down on the buyers and the sellers of gold in World of Warcraft. Before that they would sometimes ban farmers if they caught them. What they've started to do is take back gold from the buyers when they ban seller accounts. This led to a large jump in the price of gold. Where gold was selling for around 2000G for $125 USD a few months ago, it's back around 1000G for $169 USD. That is a huge jump.

    I've actually heard of people quitting WoW over this, because the only way they thought they could compete with full time players was with buying gold. Between the growing gear gap, and increasing price of gold, it's making some people reconsider playing.
    • Gear Gap (Score:3, Funny)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      Between the growing gear gap, and increasing price of gold...

      I think a lot of politications would do pretty well in November running on a platform to eliminate the "Gear Gap".
    • I wonder if the same people, seeing the incredible gap between their own income and that of high-level players like Donald Trump and Bill Gates, are considering quitting the game called Real Life(tm) as well.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      1. It is a _game_.
      2. No matter how big someone else's equipment is, yours is good enough to play, have fun, and be happy.
      3. Trying to compete with others for time, money, or equipment size is always going to leave you lacking.
      4. Trying to play with "full time players" if you aren't one is a waste of time. Find "part time players" and play with them. The full time players aren't having more fun.

      Please, if you have to compete by purchasing gold to "catch up" then don't play.
  • Gold farmers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:30PM (#15793730)
    I always thought the best way to remove farmers was to create a game that's fun to play in ALL regards; farmers only exist because part of the game is so tedious that many players don't want to bother with it. Personally, I'd be insulted if people were paying money NOT to play my game...
    • by Von Rex (114907) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:03PM (#15794059)
      I wish I had mod points today. You are exactly correct, people buy gold so they can skip a lot of the game. The reason they do this is because WOW is perhaps the most boring RPG ever created.

      I borrowed a friends discs once and bought a month's worth of access just so I can see what all the fuss was about. I simply couldn't believe how bad this game is. All of the quests were of the "find ten of these useless things and get back to me" or "kill that asshole over there" variety. My seven year old son's Putt-Putt and Freddi Fish games have more depth.

      And I really hate how everything seems to "charge" you in time. Cast a spell, wait a few seconds. Open a chest, wait a few seconds longer. It's like the whole mechanic of this game is to make me sit here wasting my life watching progress bars while charging me $15 a month to do so. And then there's the fact that half the game experience is watching your character's back while he trudges slowly across the landscape.

      And there's other really dumb things in the basic interface. You click on a guy attacking you from behind with your sword and it says "facing wrong direction". Well no fucking shit, man. I thought I communicated my intention to turn around and whack that fucker when I right-clicked on the monster. The game is filled with stuff like this. I had far, far more fun playing Diablo online.

      I'm just not getting why this is the most successful game of all time. Maybe it gives obsessive-complusive people something to do? Seems like the best play here is to just not get involved in it in the first place.

      • by brkello (642429) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:06PM (#15795057)
        Actually, no, neither of you are correct. It doesn't matter how fun the game is, there will always be people who want to get ahead of others by any means possible in an MMO. As long as some person with more money than sense wants to be greater than other people, this will be the case. If there is no economy in the game and characters progress on their own merits, then the accounts will be sold. Buying gold has nothing to do with the boredom, it has to do with getting ahead.

        You played a little of the game. You are right, a lot of the quests are fairly boring kill and fetch sort of things. But for the most part, you have no idea what you are talking about. Abilities you have take time because this game has PvP elements in it. If everything was instant, then it would be overpowered and make playing against other players less interesting. The same with the turning and facing your enemy. If there wasn't PvP, fine...make you turn and face and whack away. But this game was designed with PvP in mind. Controlling you chracter is essential when competing with other players.

        Beyond this, the best items in the game can not even be purchased with gold. All of it has to be done through working with other players to down interesting bosses that require teamwork and strategy. This is really where the game begins. Whacking a few bunnies at low level isn't going to show you anything.

        It is more successful than other games because it is more accessible to people who don't have a lot of time. Other MMOs force you to group up and spend hours online just to level. With WoW, you can solo your way up to the highest level at your own pace.
      • I'd venture a guess that it's the most "successful" game in terms of the bottom line. It's a centralized network subscription service, not an independent software title. That means no pay, no play. It's successful because it's got a relatively foolproof way to coerce payment fom players.
      • by coldtone (98189) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:03PM (#15795374)
        I just hit level 40 and wanted to get a mount. That would take about 90 gold, and I figured it would take me about a month to save that much. (I'm a casual player, maybe 5 hours a week). For $12 I got all the money I needed, in an hour.

        New the game is fun again, and I travel / level faster.

        Why is this wrong?
        • I just hit level 40 and wanted to get a mount. That would take about 90 gold, and I figured it would take me about a month to save that much. (I'm a casual player, maybe 5 hours a week). For $12 I got all the money I needed, in an hour.

          New the game is fun again, and I travel / level faster.

          Why is this wrong?

          Which brings us full-circle to the point made by the GP - the game is setup in such a way that players are forced into long hours of tedious tasks in order to get enough goods/gold/equipment/levels be ab

        • Because you're supposed to have to make hard choices. I knew I wanted my mount the instant I hit 40. Therefore I saved my gold as I levelled. You didn't and as such you should have just suffered. Instead you contributed to the inflation of the in-game economy. Personally I hope they finally start banning the accounts of people who buy gold, not just the farmers/sellers.
    • One fact that you're going to have to face is that there are people who invest LOTS of time into these games. Dozens of hours per week. For these people, if they aren't getting something extra, then they aren't going to play. As a simple matter of time devotion, they are going to amass a lot more gold and items; this means they can afford to splurge a lot more.

      Basically, it's a lot like real life. If you worked one day a week and brought in $10k per year can you legitmately complain that the guy working
    • always thought the best way to remove farmers was to create a game that's fun to play in ALL regards; farmers only exist because part of the game is so tedious that many players don't want to bother with it. Personally, I'd be insulted if people were paying money NOT to play my game...

      Removing the boredom of farming would go a long way, but people will always pay to have an advantage at these types of games.
  • preferred solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aapold (753705) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:41PM (#15793831) Homepage Journal
    Blizzard has probably banned more players than the peak populations of most other games... What would make more sense is just to transfer the characters over to a "banned" server. Let that economy fight itself out... Just need a good name for it....
  • When will MMORPG makers realize that when you create a capitalistic economy you're going to get capitalists?? I'm not convinced that banning people is the right solution, it seems fairly doomed to failure. Though if they're going to do these things I wish they'd clean up what's left of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
    • I don't think banning is a good solution either. There has to be some ingame mechanism for dealing with this type of thing. A better economy, for example. Or an in game, player controlled, police force. Also, I think people need to just accept some of these things as an an unintended "feature" of the game. Fact is that there are some greedy assholes/criminals in this world who don't want to play nice. Why should a game which seeks to simulate a world be any differnt?

      When I played EVE there was one character
      • When I played EVE there was one character who was infamous for kill-stealing and stuff like that. Everyone knew his name. Many wanted him banned. Sure, it sucks for the people who got cheated, but why should a game be completely sanitized? Personally, I thought it was neat to have infamous people like that. I thought it made the game more interesting to have real problems to deal with, talk about, and think about instead of just the more mundane things that are programmed into the game.

        The other cool part

  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768NO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:53PM (#15793956) Journal
    In FFXI land not all the 2000 accounts where banned (most got 3 day suspensions) and most where not for RMT. The users in question had been using flee/pos/warp hacks and or engaged in MPK or other offences. A large portion of them happened to be endgame players who where using cheats to steal or easily beat high level monsters instead of playing fairly. SE is now flagging accounts for punishment if they are caught cheating and depending on the level of your offence you could be subject of a ban.
  • Or you can do what I do - play a game [entropiauniverse.com] where the economy is based on a real currency. I think there are others like it. I'm guessing they don't mind if I sell currency - after all, they do, too. OTOH, why would you want to? There are few reasons why you would.
  • Every time I read a story like this I think of Cory Doctorow's Anda's Game [salon.com]. It's an interesting thought-experiment for both sides of the issue. While I certainly don't condone game currency sales, it's not a terrible way to get another perspective on who is really affected by it all.
  • Money Sink (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KylePetty (990568)
    I don't know about WoW, but in other MMORPG's I have played, there is simply too much money in the economy. The game had several ways to make money, but few ways to take it out of the economy. The effect was rampant inflation as the total amount of money in the economy kept increasing. If a new skill or event was created that would take large amounts of money off the economy, inflation and money farms would have less of an effect.
    • WoW has a ton of money sinks. Repairs, ammunition and pet food (for hunters), poisons, vanishing powder and blinding powder (for rogues), reagants for many spell-casting classes. Crafting could be considered a money-sink, since you have to use a tonne of resources before you get the ability to make anything useful/saleable. Then there's mounts. 100g for your first mount isn't too bad, but it's still a considerable amount at the level you can first get it. The epic mount available at 60 is 1,000g, which is a
    • Actualy the problem is usualy created by end game characters who have nothing better to do. They go farm gold and then start new characters with it driving up the lower level economies.

      Do I have a good solution to this? Nah... but I wanted to point it out anyway.
  • by wadevondoom (961477) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:36PM (#15795797)

    I used t play WoW. I am quite bored with it now but I played for about a year. I played through to lv 60 twice and enjoyed everything but the buying and selling. Epic items cost way too much for me (a hardcore gamer to my wife but actually a casual gamer to the Slashdot crowd no doubt) to get many.

    In the last two months of playing I made a discovery that just about blew my mind. For those not in the 'know', Blizzard allows a certain amount of mods to be used in game. These do various things such as map enhancements, custom button grouping etc. Now one of these is called auctioneer [auctioneeraddon.com]. What it does is make you money. Not just a little bit but a whole CRAP PILE of money. This mod will NOT get you banned from WoW that I know of either.

    How does it work, you ask? Glad you asked. Its very simple. If you have ever heard the phrase "Buy low. Sell High" well no truer words have ever been spoken about this addon. It scans the auction house for items that are being sold under the mean asking price. So if the average price of a stack of gold bars is 2g (for instance) and there are 5 auctions with bids below it will flag them and allow you to bid on them. You can say show me items with a bid

    I struggled with the morale of using such a tool, but as my subscription was running out I wanted to see how much gold I could make in my last 30 days. I tried to do this on paper for a few weeks early in my WoW career but it is a tiresome process. I had about 6G in the bank. I would run this once a day and by the second to last day I had over 1000g in the bank! Broken or what? It was then I realised I would never play again. What is the point? If its that easy and I can buy whatever I want then there certainly is little use in playing.

    Oh well. y other $0.02 is that I don't think I can support Blizzard too much any more. I loved Diablo2 and WoW for a time but I can't stand it when companies treat their customers like criminals. Close the loops you idiots! Don't blame the guys that spent possibly $100(s) on your @$%^ games. Its THEIR (read: Blizzard's) fault.

    End rant.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.

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