Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gold Sellers - How do you defeat them?

Myself, I have no issue with Gold Sellers.
I know so many do.

But, really, what do they do but eat up the economy.

If you play the game as is, do you really need an economy? Is the economy such a needed commodity to play your MMO of choice?

I digress. What I guess we need to ask there a way to eliminate the Gold Seller?
There are many facets of the MMO that could be changed to get rid of these nuisances.
Lets see how these play out...

A strange phenomenon has been noted in relation to Gold Sellers and in game Auction Houses.

Lets take some popular games that have an AH, and note something..
Do a Google search for the terms "Game name" and gold

For example:
WoW gold - 13.6 million pages (to be expected)
WAR gold - 13.1 million pages (Note the huge amount of sites already)
Or how about smaller games
LOTRO gold - 3.5 million
AoC gold - 3.5 million

Now, take a game without an AH

Guild Wars gold - 1.5 million pages

That is still a lot of pages. But, it does show a trend of AH in game and the relation of gold sellers.

Bind on Pickup - All color coded items should be BoP. Period.
I know this sucks. But, if the developer would take just a moment to make sure items that drop correlate to the class, and make them BoP, we would see less of a need for gold.
This could also kill social interaction. But, we do not know yet.

Now, another option may be make color coded items non-saleable, but tradeable.
This could bring back the social atmosphere. And make it so trade for something whether it is mats, or other items. And NOT for cash.

Create a breakables system to remove the need to buy mats.
All items in Guild Wars are breakable to some core components. Make THESE items (white class for example) break down into components for crafting if needed.
Most people pay for mats as they do not want to spend the time harvesting. Thus, some resort to gold sellers.
So, make it EASIER to get the items needed.

Force friending to trade.
You cannot announce yourself to another unless you know their name. Of course remove searchable databases for players.
This could cut into social interactions. But, this would not include "say" or "ooc". These could be open for anyone, which as we know, we can turn these off in most games.

These are a few off the top of my head.
But, do we know if this could work?
Do you have any ideas?
Voice them in comments....



Hudson said...

I like WoW's approach also with the token system

Bildo said...

My only issue with limiting the stress on gold is that I like the economis of MMOGs. A lot of folks do. I think that the first person to find out how to keep "gold" and AHs in their game while simultaneously weeding out the lure to gold sellers will be lauded endlessly.

It's part of the allure for me in an MMOG. The concept of money and finding a way to make it, as well has having something to spend it on. Call it my materialistic nature in general, but I dig earning gold and spending it when the amount needed is reasonable and in tune with the amount earned.

WoW's inflation has gotten out of hand, but Conan's is a bit better, and obviously GW avoids it almost entirely by not stressing gear as much as earnable abilities for your characters. But I personally, think that the latter takes away from the game.

Find a balance, before a game launches, between the amount and pace at which players can earn game-money, and the amount they need to get the cool stuff when available is crazy hard.

Maybe getting rid of AHs would be helpful, but I think a lot of people have come to expect them, and I know quite a few who play the AH as a side-game of their favorite MMO.

Openedge1 said...

What is funny about your comment Bildo
think a lot of people have come to expect them, and I know quite a few who play the AH as a side-game of their favorite MMO
Is this became the ONLY thing my wife did in EQ2.
We quested and adventured, but she spent more tim on the AH than going out to play.
I was stuck being the "gatherer" and would give her all of my gold as I earned it...
It became too much like real life, so I had to quit.

Bildo said...

My wife's uncle had rarely ever touched a PC before we got him into WoW. He's level 63 or something now with his Paladin (named after his daughter) and my In-Laws go to him for loans because he works the AH like a pro.

Something ridiculous like 3 or 4 thousand gold before he's even 70.

Jesse said...

Restrict your customers to fight the gold sellers? Why not enable your customers to fight the gold sellers? Eve online is an excellent example of this where players can trade game time for game currency and vice versa. There are still some gold sellers in Eve, but they have a hard time selling when the player can get his gold without worry of banning. This idea of restricting the innocent leads down a dark path. Next you could restrict your customers to fight software pirates, and then restrict human rights to fight terrorists.

Openedge1 said...


Hello, and welcome to my blog.
(complete with anti-terrorits rebuttal)

I like it...
Now, about EvE. Could you explain this mechanic more?
How exactly does a player trade this "time". Would we correlate this to RMT?

How has RMT input within games worked in the past?
Asian MMO's?

Why not empower the player to pay extra for stuff they want?
I enjoy that idea and also have seen it is an alternative to monthly subs as well.
Imagine if you paid small fees of real cash for land plots for housing.
How about groceries (food to recover health while in the field..and YOU must create the food, or pay someone for the food in game?)
Many options exists.

But, restrictions was one possible avenue I see. Since the AH has become the bane of MMO's and leads to massive gold selling..

RMT is another..

Openedge1 said...

I seem to be on a roll for typos today..
Forgive me...
Actually doing umpteen million things today...
Kind of distracted...

Good conversations though folks...keep it coming.

Jesse said...

Thanks for the welcome, Tipa from West Karana linked to you and your blog has been an excellent read.

Basically, Eve has implemented a secure way for players to trade in game currency(ISK), in game characters, and prepaid game time codes. Selling in game currency or characters directly for real currency is still against the EULA though. Links to Eve Timecode Bazaar and Character Bazaar. This enables players to effectively buy their way into the game, but also insulates the player base from raw gold selling. This system is also balanced in game by requiring some amount of skill to succeed. A new player can buy his way into the game, but unless he is very careful or has someone walking him through everything he can lose his investment very quickly. And when something is destroyed in Eve it stays destroyed, no easy trip to an equipment repairer to get it back.

Also, I disagree that Auction Houses lead to gold selling. Players with more money than sense and/or time drive the gold selling business. Removing the in game Auction House will only lead to players setting up their own brokerage systems via forums or guilds, meaning this will not stop the players who buy gold from buying in game items from these sources.

Openedge1 said...


Money just needs to be handled differently. It also needs to be devalued is my opinion.
If gold is the only way to gain power for example, then people will buy gold..
It is too bad that stupid people feel the need to buy the gold.

Games are entertainment, and when it turns into a job is where this issue lies.
I thought we were suppose to be having fun?

I am personally of the opinion that NOTHING will ever get rid of them.
And every time I have dealt with economies of the game with the gold sellers, I always seem to see a downswing in prices.

I think this is what ticks people off.

Myself, I consider my characters middle class citizens of that world, and cheaper prices work for me.

EvE's system looks promising and I wonder why no game has copied THAT mechanic, and instead continue to copy the old ways, which of course leads to the Gold Selling in the first place.

But, that would lead back to companies having to be innovative, and as we have seen so far...innovation does not sell very well.
Otherwise EvE would be the #2 MMO right now...