WoW: 16,000+ more accounts banned or suspended

True, but I like how WoW’s design kind of nickel and dimes the players in barely noticeable ways to pull money back out of the economy. Costs for listing things at auction, costs for flight paths, costs to repair items, buying up usable stuff like food/potions/recipies. I really think Blizzard needs to offer even more (optional) ways to pull money out of the economy.

Like, how about every flight path has an option to instantly teleport there instead of fly, only it costs 5X as much? Cheapskates could still fly and be slow, but the rich can dump more money out of the economy and be fast.

To lay my cards on the table, the only convincing arguments I’ve ever heard against commercial farmers focus on their efforts to break or exploit the game, or on the more general principle of respecting Blizzard’s intentions.

Well this could turn into a huge debate that will run away with the thread, and that’s going to probably happen anyway, but…

the general problem with gold farmers is this:

If it’s allowed to happen, all the best stuff in the game that’s at all tradeable becomes unaccessible to “normal” players, because it is being farmed 24-7 by teams of chinese kids working in shifts. Even though raids are instanced, it’s likely that much of your big raid group is farmers and they’re going to spend their DKPs or whatever on the best tradeable loot. This loot doesn’t go in the AH or whatever, it goes up for $$ at IGE.

Before you know it, you have a situation where you don’t have to play the game to get ahead, you just have to spend more $$. And worse, if you’re not willing to spend $$ buying from a farmer, you stand a much lower chance of ever getting the phat lewt.

It’s not the effect on the in-game economy that’s the problem. There’s no problem with farmers who don’t sell items for cash, but for in-game money. Let 'em grind all day for the same drops over and over and sell 'em on the AH or whatever. Cool, fine. It’s the linking of in-game economy to real-world economy that’s the problem.

If 40 IGE employees form a raid together and sell the BOE’s on the AH afterwards, good for them, but they’re not guaranteed any BOE drops and most of the loot they get is BOP, course, they could then sell the characters with full tier 1/tier 2 epics, but thats gonna take a lot of time, probably more money gained from easier-to-sell-merchandise.

Most 40-man Raid stuff is BOP (unfortunately).

I dont see it as a problem at all, if I want an item, I can farm it as anyone else, if the other guy already there is a chinese farmer or another player, does’nt matter - who gets target first wins price. If they teleport exploit into caves to get rare mines etc, course thats a bannable offense, but if they fight-to-farm like everyone else, why should I complain just because he has 2-3 guys working the same account?

There are normal players who do the same, should we complain about them as well.

The only reason I can see for anyone to complain about gold-farmers or ebaying is because they are envious that someone else can aquire stuff easier than they themselves have (or failed) at it…

I have not heard anyone in our 100+ account (200+ chars) guild complain about farmers, and I do not think anyone in the guild are IGE employees. A few have bought stuff from goldfarmers, they dont go bragging about it, and we dont talk about it either, its just not an issue.

If I did’nt have access to a large guild, being able to do all the high level instances, I would either have done the PVP grind (after quitting my job and getting a lot of coffeine pills) or bought some loot online, or made a few alts until I got bored with the game and quit.

Based on my experiences I’d say that those who play the AH are responsible for the high prices on some items, whereas the farmers make more items available. Hey, I’ve even played the AH myself, but I did’nt feel like spending my ingame time there…

So from my experiences I’d say that the “server economy” is fine, regardless of how many farmers are working on it. Perhaps it is a problem in other games, but WOW is unaffected by it. If it is : Where is the proof?

The server economy sounds nice, but there is nothing special about it…
Either an item is available or its not.
Either an item is too expensive or not.
Either you buy it or you dont.
If I cant buy it, someone else will, or wont, and the item will be resold at a lower price, or not.

“Stuff Happens™”

Why doesn’t Blizzard just offer to sell gold directly to people? I think it’s interesting to consider the reasons why they would (or wouldn’t) want to do this.

Also, doesn’t Project Entropia actually use real money? (For that matter, is it even still around?)

  • Alan

Dude. What kind of raid group are you playing in? :-P

EDIT: I didn’t meant to sound quite that glib. You make a good overall argument: I doubt it would be a good thing if WoW was more like Magic cards.

Man, 16000 accounts. That’s like all of DDO’s player-base.

No, they fuck over the casual player too.

My one run-in with a bona-fide farmer was in the Maul in Dire Maul when one of the loot mobs was up. The fucker was teleport hacking while we were killing our mob, trying to kill our priest so we’d die and he could get the loot. (Of course he couldn’t because he was a hunter who counted on teleport hacking to keep him safe, and this particular monster had some type of ranged attack which fucked his plan up.)

I’ve done that particular fight once and had a run in with a farmer. Maybe I’m just the unluckiest SOB in the world. Or maybe the permissive farming environment leads to professional farmers being assholes and constantly spam inviting you to pop instance timers, hacking to kill stuff, and spamming you with gold offers.

I know which of the two theories I believe.

The reason things cost 500 gold instead of 30 gold is because other people can do the same thing. In other words, remove the gold farmers, and you would be able to buy the same thing for 30 gold instead of 500 gold, without going through the “Send a check to China” step.

That doesn’t really matter to me. If I’m going to devote an hour of my productivity towards buying something in WoW, I’d rather NOT be grinding shit/running mining circuits. I rather enjoy my real job. I don’t enjoy farming in WoW.

May I ask where you can farm at a rate of 30g/hour

You can make a lot more than that by AoE grinding Hearthglen or another good spot. 4-5 manning ZG trash for Bijous. Soloing for silithid chitin if you are a skinner. Mining rich thorium veins and ganking the ever-loving shit out of the people you run across – that’s actually the best way. I really miss having mining…

and do you have to be kitted out in phat MC/BWL purples to manage it?

I suppose so.

That’s not what people get banned for. They get banned for selling it for real-world money.

And it’s not that 40 IGE employees form a raid together. If only. What happens is there are 5 IGE members you don’t know about in YOUR raid group, and they intentionally spend their DKPs or what-have-you on the BOE items that drop. Then instead of selling them on the AH (fine), they sell them for real cash. Or sometimes, sell them on the AH and then sell the gold for real cash, which someone purchases and then spends buying the IGE-found items on the AH.

It’s cool, Dave. It’s a bit worse than Magic cards, though. Magic cards are bought with an element of randomness (you don’t know exactly what cards you’ll get in a booster pack, so you could spend very little money and get awesome stuff, or vice versa). Also, no magic cards are “soulbound.” ;)

I think the environement that Blizzard is trying to promote is one where the playing field is level within the game rules. Everybody who pays their $15 gets to play for a month and has the same opportunities to get good stuff. Some people can devote more time than others, sure. But the good drops aren’t “locked out” by farmers and you can’t spend more cash to get better.

The argument for the other side is legit - why NOT spend more cash to get better? But that’s not Blizzard’s game, the rules are clear, and I for one applaud them for bringing out the banhammer. I wish they’d do it more often. If you want to play a game where more real-world money = better stuff, there are options out there.

See… I do. But I can’t fucking do it because there are teams of farmers running endless loops on all the mining spots because those ores are worth gold and there’s no natural end to when they want to stop trying to monopolize the resource. You get bored trying to do so really quickly. I get bored far more slowly, but at some time I sit there and look and say “Okay, I’ve mined 120 iron ore today, that’s enough for a bit.” The farmers look and say “120 iron ore today… but there’s another 4 hours left in my shift, I need to get 120 more” And when their shift is over, someone else’s isn’t.

We’ve done this dance before. But by removing the natural ennui that doing repetitive actions in the game eventually engenders in players by directly linking the repeated actions to real world rewards, a fundamental design philosophy of the game is broken. And there’s not an (easily seen) way around it. If you limit the amount of ore anyone can mine in a day, you’ll invariably punish folks who just really like to mine as a method of playing the game. They alone don’t hurt the game experience, because the overly obsessive subpopulation of just about anything, even in MMOs which seem custom tailored to bring about obsessiveness, has a natural falloff to it as that obsessiveness progresses. However, that doesn’t exist in businesses, because a business is generally pretty single-minded about goals and accomplishing them and doesn’t deal in such ephemerals as “fun” or “boredom”.

I can’t sell my potions on the AH anymore thanks to the diremaul stuff. Major mana pots and health pots are going for pennies. I feel stupid for picking up alchemy, when it’s easier just to buy the pots on the AH now, rather than spend the time picking herbs for them.

Mongoose pots still perform moderately well, but I’m not getting much out of it anymore.

Anyways, I think the conclusion to the last thread on this topic was “We’re all morons, because this is all conjecture. Our armchair analysis doesn’t necessarily account for all the variables at play.” Just throwing that out there to see if it stymies the frantic ego inflation that happens when it’s near impossible to be definitively right or wrong.

Also: Jason Cross for Warchief. I want pay-for-instant-flight-path action.

WoW always sounds like one huge grind. The PvE grind, the PvP grind, grinding to get better stuff so you can rind harder.

Where’s the appeal?

Dopamine release?

If Blizzard were banning accounts for selling items, rather than hacking, there’d be a lot more than 16,000 accounts gone.

Just as an aside, I checked the Dire Maul population on my server a few minutes ago, and there are still plenty of hunters in there. :\

With all the level 50+ hunters we had farming Dire Maul in the last few weeks, I’m glad Bliz did something about it. There are alread warriors on Steamwheedle Cartel that are walking around with Foror’s Compendium… and the server isn’t even a month old.

Depressing. At least they seem to have taken care of it, although my last /who of Dire Maul came up with 3 new unguilded hunters. They could be legit, but I dunno…

Since I’m out of the loop, anyone care to share what a solo hunter is able to do in Dire Maul these days?

Last time I was there solo, it was with my level 48-53 mage. Which took about two days, and gave me about five good blues and a bunch of gold. Glad I got in on that before it was nerfed, good times, good times.

Our (EU) server has been hit by the same thing. 5 copies of Foror’s on the AH being sold by Level 1 alts. Joyous.

I’ve occasionally run into people who speak Mandarin on my Euro server,
but that doesn’t have to mean anything. Probably. There have been a few
verified farmers, though, and resulting bans. Blizzard might actually be
capable of some detective work if they really want to.

I do see the occasional character named Vendorsomething or other names
implying they’re “auctionbots”. Playing on a roleplaying server means I can
report them on a name basis alone. The GMs are nice and contact be about
it, asking if I have more problems.

And this is bad… why? You’d prefer only one being sold? Or none?

The complaints mystify me.

So?
My lv. 10 alt does nothing but wandering between the AH and the mailbox and she’s selling plenty of high level blues. That’s how I - and many others - make our gold. I don’t speak a word of chinese and what we’re doing is well within the rules.
In my experiece farmers are actually lowering the prices on the AH. They have much more volume to sell, they need to convert it to gold so they’re much more cutthroat about prices than me and my fellow AH players are. Whether those that eat my profits with their nasty undercutting are chinese farmers or just regular catasses I don’t know. And it actually doesn’t matter.
I buy low and sell high, the farmers sell low, I move on to other items and nobody is breaking any rules.