« Virtual Theft and Earth Law | Main | SWG 300K »

Sep 30, 2003




I do view many-many shortcomings in the current state of gaming expressing themselves as side-effects, essentially the creation of meta-games from cheats to guides and walkthroughs to virtual asset sales.
These things can't be put into the same bin from the player standpoint, as using a guide does not equate to cheating and leveraging 'extragame' assets does not equate to using a map. Then again, to some players even using a larger monitor or a well-lit room constitutes 'cheating'; It does make me sad to see so much win-lose thinking floating about.

Back to the subject. At the game-design (or Interaction-design) level you can clearly see that the game (weather single or multi-player) is not delivering the experience the user REALLY wants, or the user would be happy with the things that came in the box and have no need to graze those extras.

I believe a solution to the problem is actually beyond our current comprehension of human drivers, which is currently too gross and leaves many cracks in between where these things sprout up. It is also beyond our current simulator modeling capabilities, even if we could have a finer-grain model of human drivers, I doubt we would have a mechanism to lay down and model a unified self-adaptive expression of it. And last but not least, even if we had the model and enough vision as to draft a unified self-adaptive structure to encompass our model of human drivers, I don't think we presently have the technology to articulate it out as an interactive experience - let alone a multi-user one.

Then again... Who knows what wonders the future may hold...


This is an interesting view...something I've never thought of before.

I've personally never bought any virtual goods with real currencty, but I have sold some. I used to be a heavy UO player, and while playing the game and building skills/stats can be fun, it is often times mundane at certain points (particularly raising certain skills from 90-100 range).

It's been my experience that players who purchase accounts with good characters often times have played the game already with a very good character (either they had a previous account, stopped playing, then decide to come back, or play using a friends account then want their own). After playing a game like UO with a 7X GM character, it's very difficult to go back and start a character from scratch and build him up to 7X gm. Therefore, people will happily go out and spend 100-200 for a good account that has at least one 'maxed out' character.

The analogy that came to mind when reading this is broadband internet access. I've had broadband now for a couple years, and I don't think I can ever live in an apartment/home without broadband now. It's too frustrating. The same holds true for these games; after playing one of these games with a 7X GM character, it's extremely frustrating to go back and have to play with a 'newbie' character.


It is indicative of a design flaw, but not the one you probably think. The focus is always on the young kid who gets his parents to buy him a character so he doesn't have to level up, or the guild that buys a teleport or Rez mule, but the majority of the market *seems* to be something else: People who have outrun or been outrun by their friends buying a character to catch someone up and let them hang out with their friends again.

So the design flaw is that our systems stratify the players into narrow slices that cannot play together, and then make it easy for groups of friends to wind up in different slices even if they start together.



Hi, I'm new, so forgive me if I step on any toes.

Greg, most of your arguments against players that buy their way out of the tedium/experience of the actual game seem - _seem_ - to be rooted in a single-player RPG paradigm. Most of the arguments I see against ebayed characters tend to completely ignore that these games are primarily social and secondarily (usually) role-playing.

As social software, we often forget that the emphasis is on friends and relationships, whether real or virtual. We can't expect that everyone in a given circle of friends would have started playing and advancing at the same time and rate. A latecomer would naturally, in my opinion, want to "skip ahead" so (s)he could play with h(is|er) friends, whether via eBay or PowerLevelling, both of which are often regarded with equal levels of contempt by both the purist camp and the ultra-comptetitives (who did things the "hard" way, as should everyone else).

Setting aside the social aspect, not everyone wants to play a "lowly adventurer", even in games that pretend to be about the rise of lowly adventurers. Many people want to play a hero level powerhouse. They couldn't care less about _living_ the prewritten story that every single person in the VW must live, since everyone must start killing the equivalent of rats and snakes, then wolves and orcs, then bears and more orcs, then giant beetles and more orcs, etc. This player wants to play a role that _they_ have written that doesn't necessarily fit with the prescribed path that every other "roleplayer" is forced to play. This, in my opinion, belies greater creativity and (sometimes) dedication to actually playing a role than sheeping along with every other newbie. Why shouldn't this person be allowed, without discrimination, to play a powerful mage or a deep-space shipping magnate if that's the role they choose?
Forcing everyone to _do_ the same things ad infinitum simply reduces the opportunity for roleplay. I understand the mechanic - as you do these things and grow in power, you learn to play your character - note, this is not the same thing as learning to play a role, it's a metagame mechanic that imbues the _player_ with metagame knowledge. It's also a metagame mechanic that imbues the publisher with (they think) more subscription dues. (I posit that this is false, but not likely to change due to the logic employed by business decisionmakers.)

And finally, I hope, let's set both those aside, as they both are written in relation to specific types of MMOGs, RPGs, though pretty much all games are RPGs, abstracted far enough. I think the main problem is openness. Not in terms of open source or open mechanics, but in terms of flexibility. A game that is sufficiently open would allow people to play whatever part/role/character they want, within the storyline of course. A military MMOG shouldn't force everyone to start out as a private, you need sargeants, lieutenants, captains, majors, generals. You need cooks, surgeons, supply sargeants, snipers, etc. A sci-fi RPG needs parallels to this with the addition of plenty of civilian positions and levels. Fantasy RPGs need kings, jesters, scouts, wizards, smiths, soldiers(of all ranks), healers/witches, etc.
A game should allow me to be who I want to be without forcing me to be a clone of every other player out there and without forcing me to act out the exact same actions as every other player out there.

EBay is just a handy metagame mechanic for many players that would normally not enjoy the game to fast-forward to the parts of the game they actually want to play, with the people they actually want to play with, doing things they actually want to do.
Instead of robbing themselves of, as you say, "the enjoyment of the game," these people are actually making the game enjoyable _for_ _themselves_.

I've never been a proponent of eBayers, but your article and DivineShadow's reply made me actually think through the logic. Surprisingly, I came out in favor of eBay and with a better understanding of why MMORPGs are not fun for many people.

Thanks for letting me ramble, I love this place and the well-thought-out articles I read here.


"But I'm unaware of any MMORPG that has cheat modes"

I guess it would depend how we defined a 'cheat mode' but if we were to define it as a way to fast-forward the game play, then UO's Advanced Characters, might qualify.
The next logical step is for the industry is to make the selling of currency by developers commonplace.

Ok, so one of my favorite things to do is make predictions. But, here is one that has already been made that I like. MMORPGs will become MMOSs (S=sport). I think this is the key transformation that will happen with the proliferation of real life currency into VWs. Football is a game, NFL Football is a sport. Has money ruined that game? Nope. It has just turned it into a professional sport. This is true for a wide variety of games from baseball to poker, from dog breeding to lumber-jacking, the introduction of money just takes the game to a new level that we call sports.

So, here's a question, VW Jerry McGuire anyone?


Better than professionalisation of MMOGs, how about a VW equivalent of a travel agent?

A VW Account "holding company" of sorts, that has low, medium, and high-level characters on all popular MMOGs that they "rent" out on a per diem basis so that potential subscribers pay a nominal fee to try a game out at more than the newbie level and that doesn't require them buying software that they "can't return" because it's been opened.

Not that existing game publishers would allow that, but I bet it would make a bundle of dough from the "I'm curious but don't want to blow $50 on a gamble" crowd.

You're not likely to hook those people with rat-killing weaklings, but if they can actually experience the power of a hero-level character, they might buy in.

Of course, I prefer my first solution about flexible start-points, not that the two are mutually exclusive.

So, VW Tours, anyone?



Although there are games which are *very* heavy on stratification, there are also many games where this is not the case at all. Consider The Sims Online (which trades heavily on eBay) or other mostly-social games. I can even see auctions for items from chat systems, like vZones.

Then there are MMORPGs where stratification does not exist, yet they trade quite a bit. Ultima Online is a great example. No levels, and as a half-baked character you can follow your friends anywhere and be a significant 'part of the team'. Instant travel within 90% of all of UO also plays a key role in keeping groups of friends together through very-very long periods of time, these two factors combined together are very powerful community tools.


That would seem to be the exception that proves the rule, though. UO characters in and of themselves are not worth much, but their possessions, particularly real estate, are worth a lot (and since the real estate can't be separated from the character effectively, and not everyone has a house, that's a form of character stratification).

But that wasn't the point of the original article (which doesn't draw a distinction between buying advanced characters and buying stuff), so you win that point.

But maybe there should be such a distinction? When someone buys a character, they are "bypassing the journey" of developing their own. When they buy stuff, they are basically making a statement that the value of the thing is in the reward, and not in the process of acquisition.

Let me draw an analogy: If I want to own a classic Corvette, I have two choices:

1) Find a chassis that isn't too busted up, track down a compatible engine, suspension parts, fuel lines, re-wire the electrical system, paint it, re-upholster the interior, spend hundreds to thousands of hours refitting this shell into a showpiece, or;

2) Buy one from someone who has already done all of that.

A purist looks down on the people who buy their classic hot-rods rather than building them up themselves. But on the street or the show floor, nobody knows or cares. And neither one will really care if the engine is truly the stock engine that originally shipped with that chassis, or an identical model from another car.



There's another option... that the value of the thing is in it's _use_, to wit, actually driving the classic 'vette, or in the original context, playing what the player _sees_ as the game instead working week after week to get to a point that they can play what they see as the "fun" of the game.


Well, you haven't managed to distinguish this activity, to me, from other examples of similar behavior in day to day life. When I wrote about two weeks ago on the subject, I compared it to fishing guides. Isn't fishing (fly-fishing at least) about the experience of being out there enjoying nature? That's the meme as presented in the tradition.

So why the explosion of fishing guides? I've used one... once. He was good at what he did, no complaints there, but not sure I'll do it again. But many, perhaps most, casual fly-fisherman use them. They catch more fish sooner.

How does this differ from killing more dragons sooner in an MMPOG?

If a certain portion of the offered experience is the one the player/fisherman/hobbyist/other is seeking, why should she not short-circuit the process to get right to it if she can, and can afford to?

I don't see an ethical issue. I do see a design issue. I think the meta-market resilves it pretty well, but I suspect an in-vworld mechanism could too.

Developers need to shake out of the RPG meme and rethink what their customers actually want and come up with a way to provide it that keeps MORE players happy than the current system.


I just want to say thanks to everyone for all these comments, which have a wealth of interesting ideas. Apologies for being kind of busy at the moment. But a few quick comments:

DS: Thanks for the validation on the idea that assets sales are a kind of "meta-game" -- and I guess you're right that perhaps these kind of meta-game patches can't be avoided or designed out of existence given the current theory/technology. (Is "human drivers" jargon in some circle or is it your invention?)

Bart: The analogy to broadband is interesting, as is the idea that you can get used to playing at higher levels. I wonder if the early parts of MMORPGs are stepping stones toward the latter parts, e.g., the higher levels are a kind of advanced game that n00bs wouldn't enjoy at first because playing at that level is too complex at first.

Dave: I think social processes play a big role in this -- but I hadn't thought about this as a social cohesion issue. I guess I should have after reading the TL Taylor article.

DuckiLama (great name, btw): I like the idea that ebaying is a kind of cross-reading of the game's "rise to power" narrative. Lots of other good ideas in that post...

Bruce: I never knew that about UO! Thanks -- good data point. You're right that it isn't really a cheat code -- more like a recognition that playing at higher levels has value that can be captured. Was there any outcry against this when it was introducted? Btw, the Borland and King book has a bunch of pages on professional gaming.

Dan: I'm not sure this kind of "cheating" is an ethical issue. (Though if you listen to that interview with Julian on NPR, it sure *sounds* like an ethical issue). My point, which I'm surprised that most everyone has seemed to agree with, is that it is probably *not* an ethical issue, but seems to stem from game structures that might be remedied through alternative designs.

And the rest is too complex to get into, but I want to defend my lack of distinction between buying avatars and buying items. I don't think there is much of a distinction.

Also, I think there are some interesting things to be said about the difficulties of designing group games to avoid these kinds of "flaws" given the various Bartle types who are operating in a single environment. But I'll save that for another post another day.



"Dan: I'm not sure this kind of "cheating" is an ethical issue. (Though if you listen to that interview with Julian on NPR, it sure *sounds* like an ethical issue). My point, which I'm surprised that most everyone has seemed to agree with, is that it is probably *not* an ethical issue, but seems to stem from game structures that might be remedied through alternative designs."

I listened to the interview. Apparently the point the listener (Mike, on minute 27) had was centered on protecting a group of entities known as "average player" and "newbie" and the activity of "grouping". Stating that the RL market would take away "newbies" from the "newbie" pool and prevent them from "grouping", and that individual instances of "average player", who has the intrinsic characteristic of "not much time on their hands", would be harmed in some unexplained manner. ... What he stated are clearly mechanics, and mechanics can be reworked. However, I do not believe he did an sincere job at saying what was on his mind because I'm sure if he had the mental capacity to discern causes and effects from outside the game branching into the game, then he should also be able to work out ingame machanic fixes that would negate the 'bad things' he states. I actually believe what he wanted to say was: "Everyone, please play the game the way that I play and enjoy the things I enjoy."


Perhaps I just look at the trading of real currency for virtual items a little differently than most, but I honestly don't feel that the existence of this phenomenon is due to a design flaw. To be honest, I actually feel that it's the opposite.

If it were a design flaw, by this reasoning, it would mean that the better designed the game; the fewer items would be in demand. If we look at a few, less than popular games (Asheron's Call 2, Everquest Online Adventures, Neocron) and use the aforementioned theory one must come to the conclusion that these games are designed better than the most popular games (EQ, UO, DAoC, SWG) as, per capita, per server, there is less demand for items being sold for real money.

Yet I don't think anybody who has played these games would agree to that. There is no question, the amount of items traded on one Everquest server gross far more than all the items traded in a game such as Asheron's Call 2. Yet the amount of people on one Everquest server and the amount of people on the most popular Asheron's Call 2 server (at least last time I checked right after they did the server merges) aren't that hugely different.

So if it's not a design flaw, we can look elsewhere for explanations on why people pay real money for virtual trade.

To me, the answer is not design flaws, but rather a combination of successful design decisions. The reason I say this is because I believe players won’t spend money on something they don’t care about. Perhaps this is a bit of a simple statement, yet as a player of online games, something I stand by.

If players subscribe, they care. If they care enough they will spend real money on virtual items or characters. This has to be true, as players know they don’t get anything really tangible for their money. They simply care more about what the money can get them in regards to the virtual world, as opposed to the money, and the time spent generating the money.

The better the design of the game, the more players will care about it, the larger real world economy will surround it concerning the trade of virtual items. This in my opinion has nothing to do with players wishing to skip tedious content; it’s more that the game has invoked enough caring to be worth spending money on.

Now this theory works far better for the trade of virtual items, as means to increase the status of the avatar, which very likely is the anchor for caring within a game, but it does work with high level characters as well. Generally those who purchase high level characters already have a character within the game.

MMOGs from a player’s standpoint are comprised of two very distinct games. The ‘low to mid level game’ and then the ‘high end’ game. The low to mid game generally has a set of content that, while expanded a bit from expansion to expansion, is both A) limited and B) can be done in reverse by a high level character.

Because of these factors, for somebody who cares about the game, but does not have the time to spend with the low level game, they can simply buy a high level character, experience all that content as well as participate in the high end game which features near endless content. Or, for somebody who already has played the game through once, while they may desire another high level character for a variety of reasons, most likely they will not feel the need to repeat the low to mid level content, and so at that point, the money becomes less important than the time needed, but the game is more important than both the money and the time.

Again though, both of these scenarios require a player to care about the game before they spend money on it, and caring would suggest some mixture of good design, not poor design, in my opinion.


My first reaction was that offline trading is a sign of a good game design but the more I think of it it's both a sign of an overall good endgame and an inherent game balance flaw.

Let me try to explain why I came to this conclusion. Take a look at EQ where most of you probably agree that the real fun is in the end game. Fun enough to warrant a lot of offline trading because people want to reach it as fast as possible. Isn't this a sign of a game lacking in the low to mid levels of the game? Lacking enough to cause a lot of players to try to skip it with various means from powerlevelling to buying a highlevel character?

In my opinion the flaw is uninteresting content at lower levels combined with a too long time to level up. It becomes tedium. People stop to roleplay and grind levels instead, knowing that the fun will come later. Add to this the problem with friends outlevelling eachother because they have different amount of time to play.

So why not drop levels and let players play their roles from day 1? You will still have to learn how to play your role but is a long tedious levelling really needed for this? Some would say a skill based game does this but for me levels are levels be it character or skill. It's the same thing. You still need to learn the skills which are not measured in ingame numbers. Like aggression management as an example, the most important player skill in EQ in my opinion. You can't buy this skill at Ebay.

Nobody wants to be a second class citizen in an MMORPG.

So in summary, in my opinion the level of offgame trading is a sign of how good the endgame is, not the overall game.


Greg: I am guessing that there were a few complaints, especially from eBayers that may have spent months leveling up a character only to be undercut at $29.95. Also, Borland and King's book does look like a must read.

Lan: I can only guess that the developers themselves would call it a design flaw. Either it is a game design flaw or a business design flaw. You really can’t have a built-in key feature that you later then forbid in the TOS and actually file legal action to enforce. I would guess that the only way legal action would make any sense is if the developers claimed (under oath) that someone was using their product in an unintended manner.

I have also had some doubts about another tenet that has been thrown around, and that is that the rate of trade between virtual goods and RL currency is an accurate measurement of the health of a virtual economy. This would be like measuring the health of the US economy by only measuring our exports. In fact, with VW goods on eBay, this method is even less accurate, as it is clear that many VW/RL trades are the reselling of items previously bought on eBay, and depending on how many times an account gets ‘split, sold, re-split and re-sold’ we may be counting those exports several times over. Again, its like looking at a car being sold to Japan and not just counting the value of the car at distributors cost, but again when it gets sold at wholesale and again when it gets sold at retail and again when it get sold as a used car. Would this really be an actuate measurement of the US economy? What about the products and services that never get exported? Are they increasing? Decreasing? How would we ever know if we only looked at resellability of exports?

Now I am not saying that eBay isn’t useful when measuring the relative value of VW to RL goods. It’s great. I am just wondering if the correlation between the volume of VW/RL trade and the actual health of a virtual economy isn’t as direct as we might hope.


I want to lean in on the side of the folks who think ebaying is a game design problem. For me, the reasoning involves the public good of 'world atmosphere.' Simply knowing that some of your fellow players took a road outside the world to get where they are, breaks the spell a bit. Protecting the spell is really important.

As a result, you have a conflict here between individual rights and community rights. The answer to it is to identify and gratify the desires that lead to eBaying, but do it in a way that exists inside the game and coheres with it in spirit. Hard to do, but that's what I would like to see happen.


Thinking about Ted's comment, now I'm starting to wonder if I'm wrong... at least a little bit wrong, sort of, about this "design flaw" idea.

Suppose you analogize EQ to a track meet. The organizer of the track meet makes a rule prohibiting the use of (legal) performance-enhancing drugs. One in ten of the competitors buys the drugs. So is the rule against the drugs a "design flaw" of the track meet? I guess it depends on who you're designing for.

If you think you want to design for the entire community (including those who want to "cheat" and won't play unless cheating is possible), then yes, you've got a design problem because these people don't want your game without the "patch" of cheating.

But if a minority wants to "cheat" and a majority, like Ted contends, won't be happy unless the cheaters "play fair", then you've just got a practical business (and quasi-political) problem of two divergent groups you're trying to please.

I'm not sure which case we've got here. Assuming the owners don't see this as a design flaw, and they just want to please the "play fair" crowd, the question would be how far do you go and still maintain your sanity and business model. The "cheaters" in this case can make a living wage (so Jules reports) by writing a RL mod onto your design decision. So for companies, it boils down to whether you think your "play fair" subscribers would cough up the costs of stopping "cheaters" through increased subscription fees.

My impression is that companies are so overwhelmed with other issues and more dramatic exploits (e.g., duping) that stopping mundane eBaying of assets (e.g., selling one tower) probably isn't worth preventing. I guess a query for Julian (and others) might be whether you inevitably find that the dupers and exploiters who can really threaten a game's integrity are at the upper eschelon of virtual asset trading?


"The answer to it is to identify and gratify the desires that lead to eBaying, but do it in a way that exists inside the game and coheres with it in spirit. Hard to do, but that's what I would like to see happen."

I agree 100% here. If you can get your fill of thrills exclusively from the game (the way the game presents it to you and at the rate it does so) and within the spirit of the game, you wouldn't touch the extragame market. As a game company your goal is to embrace and channel all that enthusiasm for the game into the game in a manner that maintains it's spirit. Fighting fiercely against this enthusiasm is simply fighting against your potential user base to the detriment of everyone involved, from your revenue numbers to the good players that get caught in your "Virtual Inquisition".



The parallel you are putting forth doesn't match well to the VW situation.

In a VW all avatars have the same *maximum* capabilities. All are created equal, they start equal and their maximum potential is exactly the same.

When a bunch of VW avatars face off in a competition, it makes no difference if one of them was an avatar bought at an auction, if another one has a sword bought at an auction, or if a few used PowerLeveling services. Unless they are actively using a cheat/hack to boost themselves above this boundary of performance set by the game, the outcome is not affected.


DS & Ted: I agree that, in many cases, this trade is a problem warranting an in-game fix. And it would be great if it could be solved through better design. But even if we agree that extragame markets are giving some people what they want, maybe designers don't always want to give all people what they want -- because some of the other people don't want them to do that. Then what?



Yep... Good comment. That happens constantly. It becomes a nightmare when people's desires involve a control/constraint over how other people behave and expect the medium to enforce those controls in order to deliver their desires.

I've argued before and I'll say it again: I don't believe we have the knowledge, the process or even the technology to create a simulation that would keep everyone happy.

Even then, there are ways to maintain a good majority happy. As long as all the parties are willing to cooperate on just two points: *Suspension of Disbelief* and *Ignorance is Bliss*. Those two are the main roads to virtual happiness.

If a group of players likes a totally pure game (one that follows the rules on the 2-page leaflet of a manual to the letter), and they agreed that ignorance is bliss, then let me remind the group that none of the games out there have links to eBay while they're playing. They should not even know these extragame markets exist. Their impact should be null, and if they're really trying to keep the suspension of disbelief they wouldn't even try digging further.

The problem seems to always stem from a lack of commitment to "just having fun" (suspension of disbelief and ignorance is bliss). When this group goes to the movies and sees The Matrix's Mr. Smith multiply like crazy, do they think he's using a dupe cheat and call Hollywood? When Terminator walks faster than a car, do they get up and yell "I can't watch this movie, that guy is using a FastWalk cheat"? ... Many in the community couldn't care less if others bought a character/item or not, they are there to play the game and the game happens inside. Some others abstract themselves out of the game and play the meta-game of trying to control what happens inside through external means, peering over the fence to see what their neighbor is doing.

What do you do to appeace everyone? Nothing. Well, almost nothing.
You stick to your ideal of providing an immersive experience, so you are not putting in eBay links inside the gameworld. At the same time you take a clue from those customers that build these "crutches" for your game's shortcomings, because they are serving a group of players that needs those "crutches" to walk in your gameworld; The move from rejecting to accepting and into embracing and celebrating diversity is fundamental in every aspect of life, and this is no different. Game developers/designers should be people knowledgable enough to understand everyone is unique and brings unique value to their world when properly managed.


Fixing the design flaw?

NCsoft and Origin are trying to resurrect the spirit of single playing RPG into MMOGs thru the concept of "private spaces".

-Tabula Rasa Interview with Richard Garriott

-Ultima X : Odyssey Adventure System

While Nexon's EXINE gave up no ending, linear system, instead adopted cycling metempsychosis system to make MMORPG more dynamic.



The number of current user playing 'Kingdom of the Wind',the first serviced(since 1996)MMORPG in Korea, is over 30,000 (max: 52003, last month).

Interestingly, although the amount of in-game item trading has been very low comparing to Lineage or Mu-online, the popularity is still high.

The reason of low trading is

(1) So System let items decay as times go by and bank items overbrimmed from the inventory box, that players have to pay item repairing fee or item storaging charge. Therethrough, items are (re)allocated to whom deserve them.

(2)average age of players is around 13-15(they have not enough money to buy itmes)

(3)solo-playing is handicapped, while party -playing is supported.

While Lineage(notorious for ingame item cash trading) is featured by no item upkeep, adult player,and solo-playing.

Unggi Yoon


Great discussion which, alas, I just found a week late. Two quick observations.

First, as per the idea that gaming is social and the buying of higher level characters is a "fix" to allow RL friends to play together, City of Heros has an interesting mechanic where a higher level super-hero can "sidekick" some lower level ones to bring them along for an adventure. As long as they stay relatively close by, the lower level folks fight as if they were at the higher level's power. I think that's a clever in-game solution for that genre.

Second, what if a game offered the ability to buy whatever level character and equipment the player wanted, right at start up? Folks who buy higher starting levels and powers get to play on servers which only have such augmneted avatars, while those who like the purist, time-intensive grind get to play on a different server. Would that undercut the market for ebay-ing sweat-equity characters? Anyone who gets tired of the grind could always (from in-game) "up-level" and transfer over to the other server. Just a thought.


Jesse, I do not feel this is an adequate solution. I have only sold virtual goods, but I believe that when people purchase goods from extramarkets, they are doing so because it's almost cheating the system. They're taking a shortcut to get something that was difficult for others to acquire. On specific servers where extramarkets were allowed or even encouraged, the players would not feel as if they were deriving as great a benefit.

Also, these players would face ridicule from others on servers without a character purchase ability. It's been my experience that when it's divulged that one paid for something, whether it's items or a character, their status goes down. Again, value is lost. This status loss does not hold true for previous max level players who have left and rejoin with a purchased character, but this situation would not likely occur on a purchase server.


Playing the best blue deer http://bluedeer-fifth.beplaced.com blue deer on the web is fun and exciting. Great Site - really useful information! Visit also blue deer for more details on blue deer betting and gambling. Get clever in the famous blue deer http://bluedeer-fifth.beplaced.com blue deer.

The comments to this entry are closed.