Mythic throws down the hammer

What is the big deal about buffbots? If a person wants to pay for two accounts with one keeping the other alive, how is that hurting anyone. He’s paying for the accounts so how is it different from two people teaming up with one being the “buffing” person and one being the tank?

The argument against buffbots is that buffbots are usually safely out of harms way. This eliminates the ability of the enemy group to take out the buffing characters in your group and remove buffs from the entire group.

I suppose they see IGE as being harmful to their game. How would PC game publishers feel if CGM ran adds for tools to crack copy protection? That’s a bit more dramatic example, but I suspect that’s the line of thinking – IGE harms us, so we don’t want to support any publication that helps to promote IGE.

Yeah, but the real objection is that players feel a need to have a second account for their own buffbot to remain competitive. They resent that.

It would have been simple enough to eliminate buffbots – you could place NPC buffbots in every city if you wanted and let them buff an unlimited number of players, or just changed the way buffs worked so the buffer had to be in some kind of reasonable range of the buffee. It’s pretty clear that Mythic would have taken a hit in revenue if they’d done that.

About IGE, why doesn’t one of the game companies go after them in court? If they really are damaging the game, sue them and get a court order to make them stop?

I think the game publishers are afraid to take it to court lest they lose and open the floodgates to this kind of activity. I would like to see it resolved one way or another.

They aren’t breaking any laws, they’re just breaking the EULA and the rules. It would be very difficult to explain and convince a judge how and why selling gold hurts your game’s bottom line, and IGE has perfectly valid arguments in their favor also. If it was ruled legal there would be no effect, positive or negative, as everybody assumes it’s legal right now anyway.

You talk about this as if the floodgates weren’t already open! =)

I’m amenable to the idea of gold-farming as an outsourcing of limited time, but I think the ball is in the hands of the developer/publisher on how they wish to deal with the issue.

I think Blizzard should just cash in, though, and maybe just sell gold in-game themselves. The concept of BoP items really restricts the true value of gold anyway. As far as I am concerned, gold just gets some of the more annoying stuff out of the way (like trying to get a mount, which cuts down on meaningless travel time). The economy should eventually right itself given time.

I’ll respond to the Camelot specific points here, and not to the corporate anti-IGE stance that we have. (Since I’m Camelot’s Producer and not the official Mythic IGE Spokesperson)

Yes, welcome to class design in 2001, when buffs were on short 10 to 15 minute timers in many other games - so a concentration pool was introduced in Camelot, where the shocking new concept of “Not having to recast your buffs” was introduced.

And yes, this (along with many other factors) led to people not playing the buffing classes, instead ‘parking’ them in place and keeping those sweet sweet buffs up for everyone.

And we’ve done many things to buff classes in attempts to make them more fun to play and less likely to be parked.

Still has a lot going for it. We’re moving forward with our expansion for the fall, we’re introducing lots of things right now, our last two patches have been extremely well recieved by our community.

Yes, it is hard to get press these days, but we still have the best working RvR endgame of any major MMO.

Yes, by banning everyone using the favorite macro/farming/radar program in the game. But that didn’t catch much press.

We tried many things to address this issue for years before we arguably ‘solved’ it with the classic servers.

And no solutions are ‘easy’, as someone who knows quite a bit on the inside.

-Walt

Only if you spell my name right :-P

Buff bots aren’t morally evil or anything, but in a PvP focused game like DAOC they raise the bar on being competitive to uncomfortable, and to many, unreasonable levels. Going into the Frontier as a melee class particularly, without a buff bot sitting back safely at the zone entrance, you were dead meat. It also made a mockery of the whole realm vs realm “war” dynamic, in some ways, as was mentioned above, because you couldn’t really strip the buffs off of people by killing the buffers.

Over time that changed, not only with the Classic servers, but with buff shears that in theory at least allowed you to strip buffs and force people to go back and rebuff if they were using bots. Given how high you had to spec in the support classes/lines to get the good shears, though, the solution wasn’t that optimal, though it was interesting.

I like Mythic a lot, and I like DAOC, but I do think it’s a bit naive to think they weren’t well aware of the extra revenue their buffing system brought in. Not that that’s evil or anything, just annoying in some aspects. I also understand, though I do not agree with, their anger at the gold farmers. It’s their game, they can take whatever (legal) steps they want to run the farmers out of business I guess. Whether such steps are always wise is another question, but time will tell.

My personal feeling is that this is not something you can ever stop. As long as there is a market there will be people to supply that market. And MMOs, with their time/reward equations, create that market inherently.

Amen to that.

As someone who’s been playing DAOC on and off since launch, I think Mythic’s been on the right track with the buff bot issue for some time now. Adding buff shears to the buffing classes brought them into RVR in a functional capacity, and forces buff bot users who get sheared and win a fight to make a lengthy trip back home to get rebuffed. Then the classic servers completely remove it from the equation entirely, so folks like me who don’t feel like dealing with having a bot anymore can play there, while people who prefer the bots can stay on the standard servers. It’s been a problem in the past, yes, but now I feel that you have the best of both worlds, really.

As far as gold farming goes, I can definitely see where it hurts the game economy, and I have no problem with them doing whatever want to discourage it. Sometimes it’s a lone voice… but sometimes others chime in. All it would take is for a Sony or a Blizzard to follow suit, and then it’s a much bigger deal to magazines to not accept advertisements from gold farmers.

What’s the difference between the classic and normal servers?

Also I’ll third the best RvR stuff. I don’t care about the PvP aspect in WoW at all. All PvP possibly adds on my (PvE) server is a gear upgrade path. Whee.

On DAoC, I could play PvE whenever I wanted, but I was lured into the PvP because it made a difference. If we were doing well I got bonuses from relic capture. Tying the PvP into the PvE is a brilliant mechanism IMO. It made me care if our team was winning which, in turn, made me want our team to win and even get out there and try to help them do so a couple times.

I don’t think you could nail IGE on breaking the law, but you might be able to bring a civil suit against them. The real issue is who owns the gold, items, and accounts that are being traded and sold? If the game publisher owns them, then I would think the publisher could get a court order to stop the trading of this stuff, and anyone who facilitates the trades could be in violation of the order. Ok, I’m talking out of my ass since I’m not a lawyer, but I’m sure there are at least arguable grounds for bringing suit. It’s just scary to the publishers if the courts might decide that players do own the gold, etc.

You’re never going to stop private trading, but you might be able to stop the kind of public trading that IGE is engaging in.

You can pay an attorney to argue whatever you want. I could bring a suit against IGE for discriminating against kangaroos. Doesn’t mean I’d win.

Everybody assumes it’s legal now, so a ruling labelling it legal would have no effect. If it were ruled illegal, IGE would close their NY offices and stick with mainland china. They’re selling intangibles, much like online gambling they are nearly impossible to stop through legal means.

In the next 10 years the supreme court will hear and rule on a landmark virtual property case. Thing are coming to a head, it’s inevitable. But it won’t be about selling gold in a MMO, that’s too frivolous and too difficult to explain to the court. It’ll be about DRM and fair use in a digital medium.

But wouldn’t that be how a regular player who’s role is primarily buffs play it anyway? If I was a Shaman in a group and had little offensive power, I’d stay back too!

All this boycotting of gold farming is probably the best advertising gold farming ever got.

That, and some people didn’t want it to change. It’s a complicated argument, and there’s no point to hash it out here - if you don’t like buffbots you can always play on the classic servers now. The majority of the people that still play DAoC do not play there though.

You wouldn’t get any rewards for standing back at the keep, but you would if you were out there with your group. You’d also contribute other things - healing, resist buffs, and buff shears.

Classic servers have ToA turned off - you can’t access the zones, get the artifacts, or get ML’s. They also put on a range for concentration buffs - you have to be in IIRC 5000 range for the buff to effect you.

ToA also just went under a massive revamp that made it a lot easier than it used to be, so if you quit the game over ToA you should come back and try it now :P

I’m no fan of gold farmers, but I don’t think that this sort of boycott will accomplish anything.

As near as I can tell, the only real solution to this sort of behavior would be for the makers of the games to co-opt the farmer’s markets and make it more convenient to operate through official channels. The market demand for the products of farmers is so high that efforts to meet that demand will always outpace the game’s efforts to stop them. But the game could meet that demand itself, and out-compete the farmers.

I think there is a lot of good info that could be gleaned from looking at the Collectable Card market.

One thing that I don’t see these games doing is occasionally shaking up the value of things. Making “hard to get” objects easier, or occasionally flooding the market with gold.

With the number of newbies that fill the servers, and (I’m guessing) the way that alts fall of the map, I’m sure you could work out a servicable plan that would level the playfield a little between those who pay for power and those who don’t.