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In-Game Gold Farming a $500M Industry 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the blizzard-wins-in-that-market-too dept.
SpuriousLogic brings us this excerpt from a BBC report: "Prof. Heeks said very accurate figures for the size of the gold farming sector were hard to come by, but his work suggested that in 2008 it employs 400,000 people who earn an average of $145 (£77) per month creating a global market worth about $500m. ... Already, he said, gold farming was comparable in size to India's outsourcing industry. 'The Indian software employment figure probably crossed the 400,000 mark in 2004 and is now closer to 900,000,' said Prof Heeks. 'Nonetheless, the two are still comparable in employment size, yet not at all in terms of profile.' Prof Heeks suspects gold-farming might be an early example of the 'virtual offshoring' likely to become more prevalent as people spend more time working and playing in cyberspace. " We discussed the life of a gold farmer last year.
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In-Game Gold Farming a $500M Industry

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  • by Das Modell (969371) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:04AM (#24715547)

    Might as well get it out of the way.

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/02/16/ [penny-arcade.com]
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/4/14/ [penny-arcade.com]

    • by narcberry (1328009) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:18AM (#24715611) Journal

      Game creators work so hard to stop these guys... Maybe they should realize their content sucks if people are willing to pay to skip it.

      Thanks China, for $5, you saved me two weeks of grinding!

      • by Das Modell (969371) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:53AM (#24715817)

        As far as WoW goes, the content doesn't suck but going through it multiple times is undoubtedly boring. Some measures have been taken to correct the situation, but they can't make it too easy for the players.

        The only thing that really needs to go away is reputation grinding. WoW is a grinding game but there's a difference between running instances, leveling up and grinding one spot for a week straight (or longer) for reputation points.

        • Well the thing is (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @06:29AM (#24717203)

          Some people LIKE to grind. Don't ask me why, I'll never get it but I know a number of WoW players that enjoy grinding. So WoW provides grinding for them to do, and rewards for it. Blizzard's theory seems to be that whatever you like to do, they are going to give you plenty of it to do and rewards for doing it. You want to do 5-mans? Go to it. Want to PvP? Sure. Whatever you like, you can do it.

          The problem comes from people who aren't playing the game for fun, but playing because they want to be better than other people. The want to have the best gear, most stuff, etc. Thus they run in to things that are grind rewards. They don't want to do those, so they buy gold instead.

          The grind isn't the problem, the people who don't play to have fun are.

          • by aurispector (530273) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @08:35AM (#24717715)

            The folks that like showing off and have and their egos at stake are a minor problem and easily avoidable - that's what guilds are for. The thing that made me leave WoW was the fact that the economy never really got easier despite getting epic gear. After playing the game for well over a year, it got really tiresome to constantly HAVE to grind, grind and grind some more just to pay for repairs, potions, etc.. I can understand making players do it when leveling up for the first time but not forever. That was a major aspect of the game I just never enjoyed and it was not possible for me to simply focus those aspects of the game I DID enjoy - raiding and group play with friends.

            The whole farming industry would disappear overnight if they would just sell gold as part of the game. They can't get rid of it, they can't even really make a dent in it, so why not control it? In one fell swoop you rid the game of thousands of non-players AND open a huge stream of revenue for the company. Know why they won't do it? Farmers pay for accounts and it lets Blizzard pad out the numbers.

            The hamster wheel gets rusty after a while, especially when watching gold farmers scoop up the resources you are forced to need just to play the game.

            • The more money they pump into the game though the more inflation will go up. If everyone has thousands to spend everything will cost thousands in the AH. Blizzard has put in a number of money sinks to drain cash (like epic mount costs) for this reason. I'd prefer to see some way to post server wide requests for items and services and also to see people's skill levels and available patterns easily. It would make crafing professions that much more valuable.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by DarkOx (621550)

            I think your are mostly corect about some people ruining it for the rest of the crew but you also have to look why they can't have fun and work toward getting the best gear at the same time. Its failure of the games economics.

            I don't play wow but I remember in UO that way to much commerce went on with NPCs rather then other players. It would work better if I could do something I like, say become the most efficent gold miner ever and buy the things I need like clothing from other plays more easily. I shou

          • by Narpak (961733)
            Well I never bought any gold in WoW at all. But getting 300 riding on two of my characters was insanely boring and pretty much killed off some of the enjoyment for me. In retrospect I wish I had just bought the gold online and saved the time. Then again seeing as cancelling my WoW account gave me loads of free time I guess it all worked out in the end.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Hoi Polloi (522990)

            I wonder what people who like grinding are like in real life?

            Normal Person: "Where do you want to go for dinner"
            Grinder: "Eh, same old place as before is fine with me"
            NP: "How about a movie after?"
            G: "Sure, let's see Batman"
            NP: "But you've seen it 50 times already"
            G: "Yah, but I want to see it again, and again, and again..."
            NP: "Arrrrrgghh!!!"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blahplusplus (757119)

          "As far as WoW goes, the content doesn't suck but going through it multiple times is undoubtedly boring."

          Games are based on repetition (that is cycling), almost every action you do in the real world is cyclical (thinking, moving, navigating, etc).

          Just think of you day and compare it to the next day, there's good repetition (fighting games, etc) and there's bad repetition. How many of us here watched really good movies more then once? If something is good we will constantly repeat it, like sex, it's all ba

          • Games are based on repetition (that is cycling), almost every action you do in the real world is cyclical (thinking, moving, navigating, etc).

            Except the real world is the real world and we usually play games to not be in the real world. Also, not all games are based on repetition. Singleplayer games don't usually have repetition in the MMORPG sense.

            • "Except the real world is the real world and we usually play games to not be in the real world. Also, not all games are based on repetition."

              Note I was talking about interpreting what is actually happening (what we interpret and call repetition) as cycles (i.e. not absolutely repetitive in the absolute sense) but in a general sense, you get up, you got to work, you go to the bathroom, not at the same time every day, etc. Same happens with games, you get an input (something moves/changes) you respond, rins

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MyIS (834233)

        Mod parent up.

        Blizzard should stop wasting time on anti-bot and anti-farming measures and instead put more effort into making the game not turn into a second job. When I used to play, being a level 60 was much less exciting than being a level 20. Too bad... It's a beautiful universe.

        • by WinterSolstice (223271) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @02:59AM (#24716449)

          Agreed.

          I played fanatically 1-55. Loved it, and then got above 55 and started having to grind for MC and all that stuff. Getting together huge Raid groups sucked too. It became a real job, and the differences between characters vanished. Hunters had to be spec'd and armored like this. Warriors like this. Etc etc.

          So I went and created a new player, and it was a BLAST doing it all over again.

          Gold farming exists to address the desire for an easy out. It's not so much the low levels (where a small amount will get you totally set) but the high levels where it takes 20 hours a week just to keep up.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061)

          This is not a 'mistake' Blizzard is making. It's part of their business model.

          They make it look like they want to stop gold selling as much as Microsoft pretends to try to stop piracy, or as Hollywood pretends to avoid spoilers of their yet-unreleased movies.

          When you are able to turn your product into a whole industry, the biggest the economy around your product, the better for you.

          Microsoft sells windows, and around windows we see a lot of other new industries: anti-virus, reg-cleaners, optimizers, more an

      • by dave1791 (315728)

        > Game creators work so hard to stop these guys... Maybe they should realize their content sucks if people are willing to pay to skip it.

        You sir, just summed up the root cause of RMT in one sentence.

        Unfortunately, solving the "how to keep people engaged for hundreds of hours without grinding" problem seems insurmountable with the current crop of game designers.

        • Certain players would not value their characters or the game if they didn't have to grind for weeks to get where they are. To some people grinding is good.

          Me I would rather have a game that challenges me incrementally and rewards me with new content. Take Mega Man 1-8 for example. As you progress the jumping has to be more precise, your ability to dodge enemies has to improve, etc. It's a grind, but in a good way because you have to challenge yourself.

          Bad grinding is where you just keep killing the same eas

        • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @05:34AM (#24717003)

          > Game creators work so hard to stop these guys... Maybe they should realize their content sucks if people are willing to pay to skip it.

          You sir, just summed up the root cause of RMT in one sentence.

          Unfortunately, solving the "how to keep people engaged for hundreds of hours without grinding" problem seems insurmountable with the current crop of game designers.

          No silly, grinding is part of the plan. Look at how pasty, spotty and overweight a Wow player is after a few months grinding. His lifeforce has been sapped. Now lifeforce is conserved globally so that means someone else has gained it. Look at photos with Blizzard executives if you can find them. They look 20-30 years younger than their chronological age.

          It's like The Picture of Dorian Grey [wikipedia.org]. The only reason Blizzard charges is to increase the degradation of the players, the real money they make comes from rich people buying lifeforce from them.

          • by xant (99438)

            Then they really ought to be encouraging gold farming. It's a more efficient market, transferring the life force production to the third world instead of here.

      • Game creators work so hard to stop these guys... Maybe they should realize their content sucks if people are willing to pay to skip it.

        Thanks China, for $5, you saved me two weeks of grinding!

        This is far from the case. If you had experienced WoW prior to the explosion of gold farmers, you would have seen items with reasonable prices, where you could spend a day or two of grinding gold to pay for your new fancy world-drop loot.

        After the explosion of gold farmers on the server I was on, prices started to sky rocket as the amount of gold in play was reaching rather high levels, which was primarily generated by the gold farmers.

        If not for these vile creatures of the 3rd world, game economies would b

        • A fine example of things being screwed up is when a level 38 world drop costs more gold than you would be able to earn while grinding from level 1-60.

          Either it is because no one plays, or that the best items in game are BOA. That being said, in LOTRO, I rarely see spam for gold. The best items in game only require a 12 man raid. The items drop every time. Now, I thought that would turn out bad, but at 12 man, with a set of 6 items (8 with weapons) you have to run the raid 13 times with one group to get everything (The weapon drops once, so you have to run that boss twice). You can only run the raid once a week, so that turns into what? 4 months? That is

        • How exactly do you grind from level 1-60 without getting your very own level 38 world drop ... which you can then sell for enough gold to buy one.

        • Honestly, it seems to me that most of the inflation in WoW has been caused by Blizzard. When a level 70 can earn 200-300 gold a day just by doing simple daily quests, money becomes something that anybody with a level 70 (let alone more than one) doesn't worry about. I've got two 70's, conceivably I could earn over 500G day just doing 2-3 hours of dailies. So now when I see a 300G epic weapon in the Auction House for my level 37 I shrug and pay it. I can earn that in an hour or two.

      • by Megane (129182)
        Or maybe... game creators could get people to pay them directly [kotaku.com] and skip the middleman in China. (And that's a single-player RPG!)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Das Modell (969371)

      And to add something more, gold farmers have major marketing campaigns in WoW. An endless stream of seemingly different services are endlessly spamming capital cities, sending whispers and even in-game mail. Some spammers will first whisper something like "hello :)" and when you reply they ask if you want gold. I don't know if they're bots. Also, on one realm I encountered something way more irritating than that: group invites. Like, all the fucking time. It got so bad I simply had to get an addon that bloc

    • by vrmlguy (120854)

      Don't forget Cory Doctorow: http://craphound.com/?p=187 [craphound.com]

  • Oblig... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tmack (593755) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:08AM (#24715563) Homepage Journal
    Link [gameriot.com]

    I think they have stopped now, or got kicked out, I havent seen any more similar activity from the bunch....

    Tm

  • More proof (Score:3, Insightful)

    by narcberry (1328009) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:11AM (#24715579) Journal

    Just another example that I don't deserve my nice house and cushy job. Some people are pretty desperate for the spare change that falls from American (and euro, there does that make you happy...) tables.

    They worked all day for the same money I made reading this article at work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      if you feel so bad about it you can send me the contents of your bank account to relieve that guilt. anything else is hypocritical
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsquare (530038)

      On the other hand, they're playing computer games for a job whilst we slave away to make money to come home and do the same.

  • by Kingrames (858416) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:16AM (#24715601)

    When I was unemployed, I saw the gold farmers as a scourge, letting people pay to get stuff for nothing.

    Now that I have a job, and next to no time to play the games I like, it pisses me off that I never have the in-game cash to get the stuff I'd need to play alongside my friends without letting them down.

    It's a real shame on both ends of the spectrum. Them, for giving people the easy way out, and the game makers, for requiring so damn much of a time investment.

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      Your new job is gold farmer, isn't it? Tell the truth...

    • EVE online does have some balance for the time strapped, and an indirect way to buy in game money with real-world money.
      I've got a post further up on it with crude attempt at more detail, but it's (just my opinion, fan boy-ish I admit) the only mmo I've played that didn't seem geared towards instant gratification of little whiny 12-14 year olds (they do try to put things in for adults, but only as long as it don't kill the pre/early teen cash cow, can't upset mommy or daddy'
    • by vikstar (615372)

      Try counter strike, or if you like character development: team fortress 2 (with unlockable weapon acheivements). Jump in, play for 20 minutes, and jump out... the time it takes to travel between some cities in WoW let alone start playing (grinding) the game.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Now that I have a job, and next to no time to play the games I like, it pisses me off that I never have the in-game cash to get the stuff I'd need to play alongside my friends without letting them down.

      I think your post is to the core of why gold farming and such exists. Objectively you could play at any level, but socially you'd want to play at the same level as your friends. But I don't think it's mainly because Blizzard wants to require a "time investment".

      Apart from stateless games where everybody starts out the same each time like say a FPS or car racing game you have a state be it levels, equipment, skills and so on. A large part of the fun is seeing that character evolve to do new things, use new e

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      When I was unemployed, I saw the gold farmers as a scourge, letting people pay to get stuff for nothing.

      So you were broke but you're too good to allow someone to pay you for something they want to pay you for and you don't need? When you quit playing the game for the rest of your life and have a level 70 character decked out in epic items, are you going to miss out on the opportunity to turn that into money too, just because you think it's a scourge?

      Personally, when I was broke I found selling in-game currency to be a relatively fun way to pay the rent (this was in EverQuest 1).

      Also, it's no more of "the easy

  • the existence of WoW is, overtly, to have fun

    but if you are employing someone to heighten your fun, all you are really doing is distancing yourself from the true pleasure of the game. you are talking about people who do not know how to enjoy the gaming experience

    why do people cheat in any game? its the triumph of ego over id. its people mistaking the pursuit of pleasure with the pursuit of heightening your self-regard. when you conflate the two, you actually destroy your own happiness (though you don't real

    • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:28AM (#24715671) Homepage

      The reason it seems odious is because the very act of farming highlights the paradox that threatens the very reason one plays: MMOs are work disguised as leisure.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The reason it seems odious is because the very act of farming highlights the paradox that threatens the very reason one plays: MMOs are work disguised as leisure.

        This. Farming gold is boring. I occasionally farm gold/rep/items when I have nothing else to do in-game, but I would much rather spend my time doing something with more challenge (such as pvp).

        I have limited time per week to devote to video games (I play around 6-8 hours a week).

        The formula is simple:

        if (gold farmed per hour < gold bought with 1 hour of wage)
        {
        work_1_extra_hour();
        buy_gold();
        }
        else
        {
        farm_baby_farm();
        }

        I am a well paid techie and I consider the co

    • by quanticle (843097) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @01:03AM (#24715873) Homepage

      why do people cheat in any game? its the triumph of ego over id.

      You've got it backwards there. According to Freud, the (super)ego was the "higher" area of the mind, responsible for conscious, rational thought. The id was the subconscious, responsible for our baser impulses. Therefore, he would have viewed a cheater's conduct as the triumph of id over the ego, not the other way around.

    • Well its a paradox of requirements as well. To make a game challenging you have to build in things for the character to do to proceed throughout the game. No one would pay to skip missions in GTA 4 for instance though once they are tired of the game they might want to skip just to see what they missed. In a MMO the big draw is the social aspect of the game. But some people simply have more time for this activity than others. Like a real life competitive sport, some people may have hours a day to practice th

      • As stated by another, those games exist. They are called FPSes and RTSes.
      • WoW does attempt to reward people for logged off time

        Until you hit 70, and then the endgame content requires a time commitment on a whole different level. At that point it becomes quite detrimental to the player to be away from the game for any length of time because they're failing to make progress. That's when you see people spending real money on in-game gold rather than spend three solid weeks running the same damn dailies just so they can get their epic mount and not have to spend forever just get
        • While not entirely familiar with game content after the expansion, I did see many players literally freak out over not having enough gold to purchase their epic mount the moment they turned level 60.

          This always bugged me how people feel like they aren't doing alright in the game if they don't have everything by a certain level. My first character was on-foot a solid five levels beyond where he could have gotten his first mount and level 60 for probably two weeks before being able to afford an epic mount. I

          • When I'd mentioned "epic mount" before, I'd meant to say "epic flyer", which costs 5000 gold for the riding skill and an additional 200g for the mount itself. Even the slow flyer is still an 800g investment just to learn the skill, and there's plenty of content that is just not available to those players that can't fly in Outland.

            For my level 40 mount, I was in pretty good shape due to extracting every last penny out of the auction house that I could (was at 300 gold by lvl 30). Like you however, I had
      • EVE online is the only mmo I know that has one of the key progression metrics proceed regardless of online or offline statust (indeed regardless of paying customer status!), start a skill training and it'll keep training till you stop it or it hits the next level, and considering it can take weeks to train the 5th(last) level of some skills it's a good thing too.

        Mycroft
    • by Tontoman (737489) *
      That's an interesting opinion you have, and to for the most part it's true. But, think of the everyday blue collar worker who simply doesn't have the time or patience to farm lets say a netherdrake mount, that costs hundreds of thousands of WoW gold and that as you can imagine takes lots of time. It isn't like a beginning player is going to spend $30 for 2,000 gold to tweak his level one character; most of the people who buy gold have as I've come to learn have indeed their own max level character on their
      • The only thing goldfarming does is ruin a game - full stop. The only proper response is to make the bans easier to effect on known and unknown goldfarmers. We do not have any obligation to assist them, nor anyone who does so.

        Blizzard would prefer not to lose customers as any other company would.

        Time for regulation to put some teeth into those bans, ala Korea.

    • by MyIS (834233)
      you are talking about people who do not know how to enjoy the gaming experience

      Save your holier-than-thou philosophy for someone else. For anybody, there is no enjoyable gaming experience in farming the 100th critter for that 0.02% chance drop. No skill, no exploration, nothing. Chinese farmers do it for money. Western players pay them money to avoid same drudgery themselves.

      • ...and both shall be banned, the former blocked.

        There is no obligation to assist or permit assistance towards the developing world. It is more an obligation to hold them to the same standard - their population does not make it any more correct.

        • Blizzard would rather take everyone's money, really - yours, the gold-buyers, and even the gold-farmers. And you deserve the apoplexy that your rage about some guy who doesn't speak English running around killing bears to sell the gold is giving you.

    • by Znork (31774)

      that's just wrong in some extremely fundamental way

      What's even more wrong would be the fact that people are actually getting paid to spend their lives moving bits in a database that could be created by the trillions with the press of a button.

      There are barely words for the economic waste that implies. Talk about make-work. Imagine the extra wealth that could have been created had they simply handed those bits to the players who want them and spent the money (and the time of the farmers) on something more pr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:26AM (#24715659)

    THAT'S NOTHING... I farm Karma on Slashdot for $0.12/hour

  • While gold-farming does go against the game's policies, there is not much that Blizzard can legally do about it. Gold-farmers are stationed mostly in China and Japan, and players are willing to buy buy their products such as gold / armor and items. it is disappointing but I don't see how that should affect gameplay, as some people do not have the time to farming gold and armor. Players use their virtual money to enhance their character, yet Blizzard feels that this is against the game's policies, which in
    • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:31AM (#24715687) Homepage

      Gold farming is in some ways comparable to illegal immigration in the US. It is technically against the law, but covertly tolerated, because things would break down if it didn't happen.

      The day that players start getting banned en-masse for buying gold is the day that Blizzard gets tired of making money.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Blizzard has had pretty good luck suing the bejesus out of these guys. Those guys may be in China and Japan but threaten to have them arrested if they ever set foot in the USA and they WILL sit up and take notice. There's plenty of unpleasantness a US Judge can apply to make his displeasure known. And I wouldn't be surprised if many of those companies had US citizens at the top. Cheap labor is all well and good, but exploiting cheap labor is something Americans excel at.

      I bet Blizzard could make more crim

    • Block them, and have enough proxy detection to reduce them low numbers. Then hand the accounts to verified US citizens by a contest.

  • If that money or the items bought with that money could be destroyed or lost in game.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Greyfox (87712)
      Yeah, With EvE online you can lose all your stuff when you die, and isk farmers TOTALLY aren't an issue there. Oh... wait...
      • No you can't.

        You can lose your ship, your implants, your pride, and if your really stupid, your skill points.

        Unless you set yourself up for it, people can't plunder your items. Last time I checked half a billion of my assets are still, sitting safely in a station that Band Of Brothers took from my alliance 3 months ago. It will be there forever assuming I don't sell it. Of course depending on the ship, and the mods, you can negate part of that cost with insurance.

        Eve is a step in the right direction. Greate

  • News flash! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakonik (1193977) <drakonik@gmail.com> on Saturday August 23, 2008 @12:41AM (#24715743) Homepage

    This just in! People get paid to do work others don't want to do! Details at 11.

  • To Blizzard and friends. Seriously, the party that owns the world can make anything they want, in any quantity, for essentially zero dollars, and they see that half a billion worth gets sold every year?

    Sure, they currently make money on the gold farmer's accounts; but they just have to be salivating at the prospect of cutting them out of the action. They'd take flack for it, though, so a means of laundering would need to be developed.
    • by xant (99438)

      Who's to say it hasn't already been developed? Lots of those gold farmers might just be accounts set up with $gold = 10000000 by Blizzard.

  • More power to them (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NotQuiteReal (608241)
    Another item on my list of things I don't buy, but support their right to earn a living;

    Fashion designers, Dry cleaners, Professional Athletes, Nail salons, and now, virtual gold miners.

    Bless you all - as long as you are earning money and keeping off the welfare roles, I applaud you.

    • by Blackhalo (572408)
      You forgot, telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, and advertising account executives and the other fine members of the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet, Ship B
  • Where can I find the company that will let me out-source by posts at slashdot? I don't have time to make clever witty comments, and the quality of my postings were low anyways. By out-sourcing my posting my productivity will jump 100%!

  • If they want to quell gold farming they need to introduce Postal worker as a profession. All mail from that point on is handled by an in-game post office. As an added perk, all Postal workers are always in PVP while making deliveries, and if they're killed while doing their route their mail can be stolen by whoever killed them. That'd add a new fun element to the game at least.

    Then when it comes to other players physically transferring farmed gold to one another in game, Blizzard could just make some sort o

  • by Saffaya (702234) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @02:44AM (#24716375)

    Excerpt from Brandon Sheffield article on Gamasutra :

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=18510 [gamasutra.com]

    It was Blueside who first introduced the idea to me, cynically stating that consoles won't succeed in Korea until players start just playing games for fun, instead of treating them as work. I laughed then, but subsequent meetings only served to confirm the theory.

    Companies from Gravity to Ntreev to Nexon agreed that a very large number - varying from 30 to 50 percent, depending on who you ask - of players in South Korea are playing games as a job. Generally, people didn't feel too good about it either, which at least indicates that people aren't designing them with that as a goal. But it's still disconcerting.

    And as any player of Lineage2 can attest, some Korean MMOs really ARE designed to be grindfests and farming prone.

    From L2 official boards :

    PushyCat on official boards:
    So, Koreans play and sell in their own servers and it covers the cost of their PC Room and meals. This is a normal aspect of Korean games. Listen to me while I say this. Ebaying is NOT CONSIDERED CHEATING in KORea. It is an important element of mmporgs. With game money, not only can you sell it to make cash, you can also order pizza, buy computers and accessories (like auto mouses, keyboards, macroprograms), and pay for your monthly fee (for those who play at home). In Korea, game money is an accepted tender for Real Life. Noone posts on message boards about cheaters, ebayers, and bots because EVERYONE does it. In Korea, the game is played much differently than in North America, and asians have different cultural backgrounds that make gameplay different as well.

    • Lineage II in NCNA isn't being enforced with a large enough hammer. There's your problem.

      Keep the banhammer running and start doing some serious blocking(read: the few that get through get banned) of botting countries. It has worked in the Philippines, it can and will work in farmer-infested parts of NCNA.

      1.4 billion(and more) people are a problem solved by permanent exclusion from the game.

  • ...who make a justification to violate the rules(and ruining the game). It happens about every time goldfarming comes up.

    This is the developed world, and it has no obligation to assist developing nations in any way. That includes those who aid and abet them. It also includes those who wish to obstruct the US/(pre-expansion)EU, within and without.

    • by u38cg (607297)
      If you create a game with economic transactions without understanding economics, then you get what you deserve, just like Cuba, or Zimbabwe, or $COUNTRY that doesn't or can't manage to lay the game correctly.

      As for assisting developing nations: there's no requirement, but it's in your country's best interests. Try reading Smith's Weath of Nations sometime.

  • I don't trust the numbers. There are about 10 million people playing WoW, and WoW has ~80% market share. That works out to about 1 farmer for every 30 players.
    But most of those 30 only play a few hours a day, and they only need to level up once or twice, many choose not to use a gold farmer at all. Farmers work more than 40 hours a week. That does not compute.
  • by PieterBr (1013955) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @07:30AM (#24717437)
    While goldfarming is a problem and in my opinion hurts the game in the long run, there's something that bothers me more. Account hacking. Account hacking is a professional business these day and it hurts players directly. Their accounts are robbed from every penny their gear which they obtained over hours of doing dungeons or farming, playing the game gets sold for a bit of cash and they're left with one ore more naked Characters. While people may say: gold buying is harmless, it's from Chinese farmers anyway, that's not true. If you are buying gold, you are paying someone else to hack into your fellow players accounts. Think about that.
  • If I want to pay extra to have more fun, more power to me. Maybe you find grinding in the Outlands for seven hours just to get the gold you need for an epic mount to be fun, but I don't.
    • What MMOs have done to fun: they've hamstrung the idea of intrinsic reward. It used to be that things were fun because they were fun, but we've become so beaten down by the work ethic, that we can't even enjoy ourselves anymore unless we feel we've "earned" it. It's even gotten so that we don't enjoy ourselves unless we feel like we're earning something.

      So people will take their leisure time - and work. Unproductively. That 7 hours grinding in the Outlands benefits no one. It isn't volunteer work, it isn't

  • by curiuz (587795) on Saturday August 23, 2008 @11:28AM (#24718893)
    put the words "free tibet" somewhere in the game.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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