Buying gold makes you a bad person, sorry

Buying gold is today’s topic thanks to this post by Suzina over that Kill Ten Rats. Admitting you bough gold is never going to earn you friends in an MMO, but it seems some people are downplaying the significance of such an act, and the goal here today is to flesh out just exactly what happens when you make that choice.

Let’s start with just the actual player to get the gold. In this case, Suzina bought gold because she wanted to get dual spec right at level 40, which costs 1000g. She did not have that amount when she hit level 40, so she bought it through a gold seller service.

As others have pointed out, 1000g at level 40 is not impossible, and according to some, not even that difficult. The impression that I get from buying the gold is that Suzina is playing with the “I want it all, and I want it now” attitude. My guess is had she made the effort to gather the 1000g herself, buying that dual spec feature would have felt a little sweeter rather than buying it for $10. Not to mention that gathering that gold would have been ‘content’ to keep her busy, but whether that is content you want or not comes down to each player. Still, not every single activity in an MMO is exactly what we want to be doing (the whole work for a reward aspect of anything), and this act to me shows that anytime you do run across something less-than-optimal, cheating is fine to get around it.

Moving beyond the individual player, it’s not surprising that others around you might think less of you after such an act. We all know MMOs are ‘serious business’, and as such we take pride in our accomplishments, be they grand or minor. For me personally, I tend to think less of people cheating to reach any goal, be it abusing an exploit, breaking in-game rules, or buying gold/items/accounts. There are levels to everything of course (afk macroing in DarkFall for example is bad, but not ‘stop talking to you’ bad), but in the end I still ultimately think it’s a reflection of character.

But I think the most important aspect of buying gold is showing support for that entire industry. Once you have used their service, you become part of the problem. Find gold spam annoying in-game? Thanks, you helped fund it. Service tickets taking forever to get answered? You contributed to others flooding the system. You or your friend’s account get hacked? You helped in that. Phishing email that tricked your friend into giving up a credit card number? You assisted in sending that email.

And I don’t buy the whole ‘not all bought gold is stolen gold so it’s ok’ argument for one minute. Sure, maybe not every single gold seller is also sending out phishing emails or installing key loggers through a website, but how do you know? You don’t. They are already breaking some of the rules, are you really going to take their word that they won’t break the rest of them to make a profit?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in MMO design, Rant, RMT, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Buying gold makes you a bad person, sorry

  1. pndrev says:

    Well said.

    Some people unfortunately hide behind “buying gold is not in the legal sense, illegal” argument.

    But the gold comes from someone, whose work of possibly years was destroyed. And THAT is the consequence of buying gold, that all players should be aware of.

    • bonedead says:

      Not all gold is stolen. They farm it too. They’ll even use a hacked account to farm hides and other mats. Happened to me, but when I regained control my bags were full of mats to sell on the AH for more money than I originally had. Not to mention Blizzard reimbursed everything that was sold (which I’ve never heard of them not doing).

  2. Stabs says:

    Word.

    Regarding the afk macroing in Darkfall for me it was a deal breaker. I’ve been a member of the DF community since 2004 but I’ve been uncomfortable with buying the game since it came out last year.

    I really hated afk skilling in SWG and I really can’t bring myself to play another afk botting game. Even though in most respects I love the idea of DF.

    • SynCaine says:

      I think on Monday I’ll have a post up about afk macroing in DF. Its a tough topic, because overall I don’t agree with it, especially for ‘get strong fast’ stuff like afk swimming. But there are spells like say Launch that unless you macro them, they just don’t go up from normal use. It’s one of the downsides to use-based systems. In a full year of active playing I might only cast Launch 10,000 times, but I need to cast it 100,000 times (just examples) to skill it up to 50. What other than macroing are you supposed to do when you need Launch at 50 to get into cities and such?

      • PeterD says:

        In a full year of casual playing I might only make 100 gold, but I need 1000 gold to get dual spec at level 40. What other than buying gold are you supposed to do when you need dual spec at 40?

        So, how’s that double standard feel?

        • SynCaine says:

          Wait let me just break down what you said for everyone else here, just so we are all on the same page.

          On the one hand you made up an almost impossible scenario (100g at 40) about a totally optional feature (duel spec), and compared it to an actual, in-game example that happens today, not just with one spell, but many?

          And in the first the solution was to buy gold from companies that hack accounts and steal CC numbers, while the solution to the second is to have a G15 keyboard run a “click left mouse” macro while I play my iPhone.

          Now maybe playing my iPhone is going to get someone else hacked, or spam in-game gold ads. I don’t know. And maybe that sulfur I have on me while casting launch can’t be looted in-game by PvP raiders, again you are the expert here. And maybe that 1000g is actually really easy to get in WoW, since you can get 10,000g by 20 if you glance at the AH. It’s been a while since I played WoW, maybe gold is harder to get now?

          But I totally get your point, and I’ll get right back to you on how this obvious double standard feels…

        • pndrev says:

          100g at level 40 is ridiculous. I have played for four weeks, am level 20 and already have over 300g…

        • Ep says:

          3 of us bought DF a few months ago. One hated the UI but stuck it out and 2 of us loved it. As soon as my one mate was clanned he was talking about bloodwalls and macroing to skill up. At that time i was hopping about whilst travelling etc to skill up. Once i heard and started seeing all that stuff the effort i put in seemed wasted and i just lost interest in the game. I realised i had to “buy gold” to compete and left after maybe 2 weeks :/

          Ive moved on to FE because of it. I love the FPSMMORPG games and id prefer a more pvp based game over FE but really what i consider exploiting was considered standard practise by most of the pop in DF. That wasnt gonna work

  3. Andrea Bargs says:

    I see it as a different means to the same end(game). People either play legitimately, cheat, or use cash. Legit gamers and gold-buyers are simply using the resource that’s most abundant to them: time or real-world cash. People who use hacks/cheats/bots, well that’s a different animal.

    At the end of the day, its just a game. But people get upset when they lose their “edge” in a game because other people take “short cuts.” Legit players want everyone to take the long arduous route they took, i.e. grind for a billion hours, or play legit-ly for a trillion hours, that in reality, not everyone who wants to play a certain game is capable of.

    Why do you think people macro? The only and real reason is these are the people who don’t have the same available game time as the legit players.

    Gaming arouses the competitive nature in ppl. And its that competitiveness that makes ppl look for the ‘easy’ button however way they can, esp. if time spent in game, i.e. grinding, is the source of the ‘edge’ of the other player they oh so want to pwn.

    • SynCaine says:

      “Why do you think people macro? The only and real reason is these are the people who don’t have the same available game time as the legit players.”

      That’s just outright wrong. I know a lot of players who macro and play WAY more than legit players. There are a lot of reasons people take shortcuts; some are just so hyper-competitive that they are willing to ruin their own enjoyment (skipping parts of the game) just to catch up to others, some see the shortcuts AS THE GAME, and still others do it because they perceive everyone else as doing it too.

      Regardless of the reason though, at the end of the day you are doing something to skip ahead. How that weights morally on someone depends on their character.

      • pndrev says:

        “I see it as a different means to the same end(game). People either play legitimately, cheat, or use cash. Legit gamers and gold-buyers are simply using the resource that’s most abundant to them: time or real-world cash. People who use hacks/cheats/bots, well that’s a different animal.”

        Unfortunately, those two are connected. The buyer use money to bet gold. The seller hacks into other people’s account and destroys their character to get the gold. We all would be much more indifferent about the issue if we didn’t know how goldsellers got their gold…

        • Andrea Bargs says:

          @pndrev: i’m referring to hacks in game used to by players to gain an advantage, e.g. radar in DF, not hacking into another account to get that account.

      • Andrea Bargs says:

        Lol just bec you know players who macro AND play at the same time does not make my statement ‘outright wrong’. Apparently for these players you know, 24 hrs a day is not enough and they have to do both, e.g. play in their waking hours and macro when they’re asleep, taking a dump, whatever, to reach end-game status. End game status and having a toon that they perceive is better than everyone else IS THE ENJOYMENT for these folks you described, so in their minds they really haven’t ruined enjoyment as you define it. Your enjoyment is different from theirs, and just because what they’re doing would’ve ruined your sense of “enjoyment” doesn’t really mean they’ve ruined theirs, so yea, flawed logic for you, syncaine.

        Bottomline is time is a finite commodity for all of us, and if getting to the end game of any game requires spending a considerable amount of this commodity, competitive people will use and do what’s available to them to get to the end game the fastest and easiest way possible, whether its cash, macro, hacks or whatever else.

        Why do people buy end-game toons for ridiculous amounts of money? Why do people buy gold? Why do people macro/cheat/use hacks? It’s all for the same reason (easy win all the time), with varying degrees of macroing/gold buying/cheating/exploiting to the same end, using the resource that’s most available to them so they don’t waste this finite commodity called time.

        Ironic, since by playing a game with long grind to reach end-game status, they are already wasting time anyway.

      • Andrea Bargs says:

        “Regardless of the reason though, at the end of the day you are doing something to skip ahead. How that weights morally on someone depends on their character.”

        First off, be honest. Did you at any point macro/afk swim etc. with your DF toon? If yes, then yea, you’ve done something to “skip ahead”. And if other players want to skip ahead more so than you in a more hardcore manner, then you can’t really wag your finger at them.

        And even if you’re “morally upright” in your DF career and have spent every single second of your game time excitedly watching the crafting timer finish, judging everyone else who does not follow in syncaine’s morally upright gaming philosophy is just bad taste and would elicit a quick forumfall “QQ moar”.

        Buying game gold with real life money does not make a person bad, neither does macroing, afk swimming, etc. Maybe its bad for the game, and the legit players feel “cheated” and rage quit, but it does not make a person ‘bad’.

        Oh and did i mention ‘ITS JUST A GAME’.

  4. Luk says:

    Buying gold does not make you a bad person, it just shows that someone has an unhealthy obsession with gaming. Why would anyone spend a dime on virtual goods and compromise their conscience while doing it is beyond me.

    On the other note, just because Syncaine condemns someone for buying gold, doesn’t make him any better either. As if he has never compromised on anything because of his obsession with DarkFall? The sin is in the eye of the beholder, we all have done it, and confession is good for the soul.

    • Eric says:

      Thats easy. Buying gold allows you to circumvent the perceived mundane aspects of the game to spend your time on those qualities which attract you most. I have no remorse for buying gold as long as the gold was achieved honorably.

      There is a caveat however. I will use conflict free diamonds to illustrate my point. Just because I overpay someone for diamonds that they claim were not procured at the cost of peoples lives does not mean that by me buying said diamonds I am not also contributing to the conflict.

      The same can be true in buying gold.

  5. Bhagpuss says:

    “I still ultimately think it’s a reflection of character”.

    QFT as the kids say.

    Also, a quote from a book I’m reading (“Unhooking the Moon” by Gregory Hughes):

    “Can’t go wrong doing the right thing”.

    The reverse also applies.

  6. Adam says:

    To me goldbuying is a pretty trivial method of evaluating someones character. Using a trivial method to make that serious of a judgement about someone is just profoundly flawed (if you are dumb please just jump to the conclusion I buy gold and skip the rest ;) ).

    This is kind of a question that you might ask in real life of “does this person cheat on their taxes?”. Do you ask this question of people in your life? I don’t. FWIW I doubt buying gold tells you whether someone cheats on their taxes or vice versa.

    In Darkfall there are for more interesting questions that get asked and answered.

    Does he hit the guild mine and not deposit in the guild bank? Does he keep a few steedgrass when hitting the farm?

    Will this guy back your play even though he knows he’s going to lose a fat gear bag for sure?

    Does he whine when things don’t go his way? Does he whine when he dies?

    Does he shittalk the plan even when he doesn’t have one himself?

    Does he start nasty fights in clan chat for attention?

    Do you trust him as the master looter?

    Does he suck up to people to their face and shittalk them when they are not there?

    Does he rage out and run into a fight and get everyone wiped?

    Does he keep all the loot he just looted or give away the loot he got from a fight?

    I seriously don’t really even speculate if someone buys gold (or pays their full irl taxes)… there’s just so much else going on.

  7. Shawndra says:

    I read the post on Kill Ten Rats, but unfortunately am not able to comment, yet, because of filters on my internet at work. Somehow, they let this blog through. :P

    I heartily agree with the “buying gold is bad” crowd. I am the current guild mistress of a group of friends who are pretty casual about the game. Because of gold selling and leveling services, our guild bank has been decimated quite a few times. Now, the person who wrote that post over at KTR might have been unguilded, for all I know, but damage can still be done to others. Buying from “reputable” gold sellers opens everyone on every server that person plays on up to gold spammers (we all love that, don’t we?), thinly disguised gold “farmers” selling bulk crafting items at hefty discounts(and bringing down the prices for honest sellers), and graffiti in the form of dead level 1 bodies spelling out sites most players wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

    A shortage of funds when gold is needed for a purchase can be handled in so many better ways. Some involve a bit of a wait, farming and questing for the gold. Even grabbing a loan from someone (most people have at least 500 spread across their characters on a server), would be preferable.

    At one time in our guild some members subsidized one of our college aged members who were better at the gold game, paying them for the gold instead. No account info was exchanged and no outside parties were involved. This is still slightly on the shady side, but it is so much safer than trading with the unknown.

  8. Hudson says:

    Dual spec’ing at 40 is worthless

  9. Carson says:

    I was reading over WoW’ EULA in order to write a response to someone on that thread, and I found an interesting thing (which caused me, in the end, to not post my response): buying gold in WoW does not appear to actually violate your agreement. Only selling. Unless I’m completely mistaken. I was surprised – it doesn’t change my absolutely negative opinion of the gold trade and anyone who buys from it, though.

  10. Malakili says:

    I’ve never bought gold, and I never would, but I really just don’t care enough to label someone a “bad person” because of it.

  11. rulez says:

    You forgot to mention botters / paid farmers who ruin everybody’s fun by dominating spawns and gathering nodes for example.

    The spawn rate of mobs in WoW might be so fast that this in particular is not a real obvious problem in WoW. But ever failed to advance a heritage quest in EQ2 because named quest mobs that also drop nice loot where constantly farmed by gold/plat-sellers?

    So yes, buying gold directly helps to ruin the fun for everybody else. Not because of whatever you might buy with that gold, but what is done to “produce” it.

    How anyone who not just started playing MMOs could still not grasp this is completely beyond me.

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  13. Callan S. says:

    So if someone held you up with a knife, took your money, punched you in the gut and ran off, it’s bad like that?

    I’m thinking your ostracising people for deeds which are completely out of sync with what actually is bad stuff. Perhaps your upper middle class or lower upper class, and don’t actually know what is really bad.

    • Lomax says:

      No idea what this class thing is you speak of, I work and earn money. Class “speak” is just something that left wing intellectuals make up to create some nice neat and tidy groups to sort people into in my opinion.

      And as for the example, so if stealing someones account isn’t as bad as robbing someone then its ok then? Really not sure what your point is, either its an acceptable thing to do or it isn’t, cheating, exploiting etc are never good things to do.

  14. sid67 says:

    I never see this idea pushed, but you can make the legal argument that Gold Selling (and Buying) is illegal.

    And I mean, illegal in the sense of breaking copyright law.

    The WoW EULA specifically claims ownership of all in-game intellectual property, including objects, characters and inventories.

    In other words, you don’t own your in-game Gold, Blizzard owns it. As such, the distribution of such in-game intellectual property through RMT breaks copyright, which is enforceable as a criminal fines and prosecution.

    I’ve yet to see Blizzard pursue such persecution against individuals, but arguably that is something they could legally pursue.

    • Sean Boocock says:

      Actually, Blizzard and other MMO developers have used this argument in the past to get Ebay to close auctions for accounts/gold/items/etc.

    • keystone says:

      I wonder if something would change if they won a lawsuit against a gold seller? What I mean is, would a successful lawsuit open the door to more taxes? The “p” in IP stand for property, and it’s not like the government doesn’t already tax other forms of property…

  15. ZaoZao says:

    Totally agree. Buying gold with real money is nothing more than cheating on a MMORPG and people who do that are supporting gold farmers who use cheats, exploit bugs and dupe for making profit.

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  17. Kyff says:

    Amen

    (Btw. I know some people might suggest I have some firm objects stuck in my behind but the post shows an unusual number of spelling errors.
    “it seems” not “it seem”
    “dual spec” not “duel spec” etc.
    usually your writing s well above that level.)

    • SynCaine says:

      Naw I always appreciate the corrections. If you saw the first draft of any post you would be horrified, grammar and spelling have always killed me, and spell checker only goes so far.

  18. Malthesia says:

    Yesterday, two members of our WoW guild had their accounts hacked. The second guy actually was around when it happened and watched as the hackers transferred his characters to another server. Luckily, he got in contact with Blizzard very quickly and they were able to get his account back in his control. Out of curiosity he logged into the character that had not been deleted yet. He found the character sitting in the Storm Peaks farming crystallized fire from the Seething Revenants. It was fairly obvious that he had been hacked by gold sellers.

    So, to those of you who seem to think that gold selling doesn’t hurt anyone; my guildie had to spend his entire evening dealing with his account being stolen instead of playing. Our Guild Leader had to spend time sending e-mails to Blizzard customer service detailing what had been stolen from our Guild Bank instead of playing. This is what happens because idiots buy gold, they directly impact the fun of other players, but who cares as long as the gold buyers get their quick and easy “fix”, right?

    You know, I often see the argument put forth that people buy gold/characters because they’re so busy in real life and don’t have the time to get the stuff they need/want in an MMORPG; maybe, just maybe, they should find some other freaking game or hobby that they do have time for instead of cheating in whatever MMORPG they play!

    • Adam says:

      @Malthesia et al.

      Just LOL

      Don’t buy WoW Goldz or the terrorists win!

      Account hacking occurs for many reasons, most of them traced back to dumbasses giving their password to half their guild.

      Sooooo much drama over buying gold.

      I’m honestly shocked and appalled not at gold buyers/sellers but instead at the prissy moral indignation of people over it. Get over it and yourselves.

      Over the years I’ve known a few people making enough to get through college or just paying the bills on selling gold. As far as I know they’ve never murdered a baby to do it.

      • Adam says:

        @Syncaine

        Additionally I think this ties back to the whole Allods Online cash shop thing.

        I’d rather see my stoner buddies make some cash off gold buyers then the evil scum bizdevs at Allod’s.

        • rev says:

          @adam – strong and numerous words, my friend. Are you trying to convince us or yourself? I don’t think anyone is saying you’re a bad person — just that you have questionable morals and are prone to bad decisions.

          On a more interesting note, I wonder if the people who make the money are reporting the income? It is legit income, no? These companies are paying out cash-money and filling out the appropriate tax documentation? To me, that’s more interesting than how they do it in games…

        • Adam says:

          @Rev

          Both of your questions curiously are addressed in my previous post.

          https://syncaine.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/buying-gold-makes-you-a-bad-person-sorry/#comment-16983

          This is one of those luvly topics where the morally indignant can continue to not think about the topic by indulging in character assassination of those that disagree… ;)

    • keystone says:

      @ Malthesia

      All those hunters that buy guns are contributing to inner-city shootings!!!

      Is this what you’re telling me?

  19. Derrick says:

    Oh, one of my favorite topics! From my point of view, buying gold is fine. Wait! Hear me out first!

    I don’t put any value on MMO timesink content. I view grinding anything as a terrible aspect of gameplay.

    I don’t care if anyone else cheats either – I don’t necessarily view buying gold as cheating, but I’ll et back to that in a minute too – IF that cheating does not give them an advantage that affects other players. So, cheating to win in PVP = extremely bad. Cheating to get something that is DIFFICULT to get (time consuming != difficult) is bad. Cheating for something that doesn’t impact anyone else is a character flaw, but irrelevant.

    Now, buying gold specifically:
    1) First and foremost, buying gold from the gold selling industry deserves to get you drug out into a street and repeatedly kicked in the nuts. Supporting the industry that causes so much real, measurable harm in MMO’s makes you a problem, impacts others play directly. It doesn’t just annoy players, it creates excessive server load, makes meaningful metrics harder for devs to gather, and does all sorts of other bad things.

    2) buying gold from a friend? Is this any different from him just giving you the gold? What difference does it make if you paid him for it in person? Or maybe he just figured he owed you one for backing him up in some BS story that got him laid last Tuesday?

    Thus: So long as a player is not doing something that will negatively impact other players or the game itself (definitely including supporting the gold selling industry) then what business is it of yours what he does?

  20. TariqOne says:

    Morality? We should all have your problems. Whoever said you need to get out more had it right.

    Not to defend gold sellers, but in terms of the quantum of harm visited on people you can make a great case that the MMO companies themselves have wasted more of peoples’ time and money amorally than the gold sellers: sedentary lifestyles, marriages wrecked, college courses failed, schools dropped out of, cross country trips by sex-crazed teens chasing the pudgy milf they fell for in vent, crazy Asian kids committing suicides or murders or murder/suicides after playing for eleven days straight, and creepy LARPers. Filthy MMO scum!!

    That’s the problem with high horses – any jackass can get up on one and prance around.

    You should get outraged at how the guy at the corner bodega selling “loosies” is ruining the noble tobacco industry. Now there’s a moral lacuna worthy of your indignant fury.

    TLDR: Syncaine’s a macroer and a cheat, Adam’s a gold-buying scum, and we’re all mouthbreathing MMO gamers who LARP and commit murder/suicides because have a hard time with reality. So why stop at Adam? Let’s get some hardcore righteous indignation going. Let’s all DIAMFF.

  21. Lomax says:

    Great article that sums up gold buying completely.

    Totally agree with it here, to me it does show the character of the people playing, they’re prepared to cheat the games world just to get ahead.

    I just wish that they admitted that they find xyz task boring and found something simpler and more instant gratification style entertainment rather then cheating/exploiting and screwing up MMORPG’s for the rest of us.

  22. “the whole work for a reward aspect of anything”

    I think you’re mistaking GAMES with JOBS.

    • SynCaine says:

      Fairly sure when I go to play sports with friends, we work for our win. Fairly sure I work to kill the last boss of a single player game before seeing the ending. Fairly sure I work to skill up a crafting skill so I can reap the reward.

      Now, if what you are saying is you want zero effort for a reward, well, WoW –> way.

  23. nmute says:

    fairly sure that if you play sport for a ‘win’ and view the sport as work, you need your head checked. fairly sure if you play a single player game to see the ending, and view said game as work, you need your head checked.

    crafting is work. crafters all need their heads checked.

    in conclusion, Darkfall sucks.

    • DFmute says:

      Well at least SynCaine get paid from his blog. SO why not macro a bit for the heck of it while making moral judgement on gold selling/buying.

  24. nmute says:

    also, RMT is here to stay. better get used to it.

    EVE has already implemented an in-house version, the plex system. number of times spammed by sellers in EVE: 0. is the eConOmY oH sO bRoKeN or my FuN rUinEd? nope. and i’ve never used the system or bought gold in any MMO, ever.

    i’ve also never owned an epic flyer in WoW. 5000 gold is far too much for me, even as a veteran player who has experienced the peak of all WoW content pre-Sunwell. i question the veracity of 300g at 20 (and your sanity if that’s actually true) and i question the motivations behind the 10,000g-before-20-by-glancing-at-the-AH claim.

    excessive gold sinks are, contrary to popular belief, not an economic necessity in MMOs. they are a time sink. a lazy, cynical way of artificially extending a player’s time in any game before they are able to see whatever content they are after before quitting or taking a break.

    uh. i kinda wanted to waffle on, but i’m bored now.

    p.s. i question the character of anyone who is overly fast in condemning anyone else for some perceived wrongdoing, especially for something relatively out of the mainstream and ephemeral as RMT. methinks you may have other problems.

    • TariqOne says:

      Hear hear. EVE really gives the lie to this simplistic buying-gold-is-inherently-evil argument. EVE embraces the concept. It empowers players to be buyers or sellers of ISK, through a system fully integrated with its robust economy, and in a manner that keeps people playing EVE. Everybody wins, and no one is hurt.

      As seen from all the censurious responses above, the real argument is “some gold sellers are bad, ergo all gold buyers are bad.” And like all simplistic, emotionally based arguments, it’s not worth much.

      In truth, SOME games have unethical gold sellers in them because the games themselves have failed to be inventive or scrupulous in their design. As nmute notes, WoW has chosen to close off much-wanted shortcuts like gold-buying by both jacking up prices for critical items like fast mounts and barring shortcuts like a real-money gold market to effectuate its notorious time sink. By clamping down on sellers, Blizz drives sellers to ever more aggressive tactics. Its the sellers and Blizzard locked in a death spiral and the players bear the (relatively minor costs). It doesn’t have to be that way, and it’s certainly not the gold buyer’s fault that it is.

      Blaming gold buyers for stolen credit cards is akin to blaming weed buyers for drive-by shootings by “drug dealers.” It has problems of causality, scale, and ultimately honesty. In other words, it’s a classic Syncaine argument.

      Full disclosure: I’m currently an EVE player and a WoW player. I’ve bought exactly 10,000 in WoW gold for 2 epic mounts, from a reputable US-based seller, with zero problems. I have yet to buy ISK and doubt I ever will. So yeah, I’m in your game, ruining your fun. So sorry. And I also smoke weed.

      • Kyff says:

        There is no such thing as “critical items like fast mounts”. Though i never played your candy-coloured cartoon and never will. My kids do ans I have played WoW’s less evil twin EQ2 for a long time. I never bought gold on the black market. I never even farmed epics or harvested to make money. Doing quests and levelling ordinarily made me enough to just get by. And still I was haveing a fast mount and fabled gear, because these came as quest rewards and raidloot for people who actually play the game instead of paying someone else to play for them.

        I take it that you wouldn’t pay someone to take your part in your recreational sports team. You play for fun. It’s ridiculous to pay someone else to have the fun for you.

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  26. TariqOne says:

    @Kyff: I own a spacious New York City apartment. I enjoy reading there, cooking, playing with my kids, listening to music, and playing video games.

    What I don’t enjoy is cleaning it. Happily, I can go out and hire someone to do that. Which I do. You may find it ridiculous, but I find it ridiculously convenient. The housekeeper is not being paid to enjoy the apartment for me.

    Likewise, in candy-colored WoW, I enjoy PVE dungeons and battlegrounds and world PVP. I don’t enjoy farming for gold or trading on its crude auction house (in EVE it’s far more fun, but that’s not relevant). Through quests and other mechanisms I enjoy, I can generally gather and maintain sufficient cash to keep my characters enchanted and potted sufficiently to play at the level I enjoy.

    Blizzard has made a design and business choice to elongate people’s playtime/sub time through cynical and unenjoyable time sinks like gold gathering for high-priced but exceptionally convenient items, and slow travel times within zones absent fast mounts. In the case of the mounts, it was worth it to me in some limited circumstances, to exempt myself from some of Blizz’s timewasting money-grubbing BS and buy a couple faster mounts. In my cost-benefit calculus, the cost of community censure plus the 50 bucks or whatever for the gold plus the risks associated with buying goods in a grey market simply don’t add up to enough to outweigh the benefit of being freed from those unenjoyable timesinks built into the game. Others may crunch the numbers differently.

    The only real argument here is that gold sellers are bad and that buyers are bad therefore for supporting them. But it takes all of 5 minutes to locate a reliable gold seller who presents zero risks of theft and hacking. Just like I find a housekeeper who wont steal the chandeliers from my building’s common areas.

    As someone who has played the game off and on since around release, I’ve never personally had my time ruined by gold farmers or spammers, and I’ve known maybe two people who’ve had accounts compromised, and in neither case was their account stripped for gold. The entire argument is wildly overstated and just an overblown red herring.

    I’m sure the real issue is based in competition. MMOs (particularly the cynical covetous treadmills like WoW) are built on jealousy and competition. People just hate the idea of others taking the easy route. I can sympathize. I hate that snotnosed kids have more time to game than me, being a detestable urban professional and all. But that’s too bad for me. And if you don’t like that I can fly around Nagrand somewhat faster while gathering crafting mats because I bought some gold, well too bad for you.

    And yeah, as it happens I actually do pay people to play sports for me. And another guy to tape it. And another guy to watch it with me and tell me how awesome I did. So by happy coincidence, your flimsy analogy did hit some mark.

  27. root says:

    Pretty sure that stabbing someone or robbing a bank, using racial epithets in casual speech, homophobia, or reading ayn rand make you a bad person. Buying fake money? Yeah, not so much.

  28. Little tangent here; When you say something “directly effects” something else and then go on to explain how it occurs via a number of different interactions between multiple people, you are an idiot. The appropriate term for this is “indirectly”. This has been done in a couple comments here. Buying gold does not ‘directly effect’ anyone else’s play. It’s debatable if it even indirectly effects it.

  29. meh says:

    i think buying gold for something as trivial as dual spec is reasonable i mean for me personally gold farming content is drivel repetitive and just plain boring i have a level 36 which i decided to be really frivolous with and hes has managed to scavenge his way to 2.4k gold from mining and herbalism but that took weeks and in the current wow economy that wont get you very far either the auction house is dominated by “investor toons” played by smart players who main goal is to to be the dominant economic power they read the market and buyout entire stocks of items and bump the prices up and control the market for profit these people are less than people who buy gold at least people buying gold are using to jumpstart their play for the game i have many friends who are basically forced to buy gold because they cant get the masses of gold they need from a few dailies which are boring and to be fair wots $2 these days for a 1000g i mean its $2 for 3-4 hours work which couls be put to better use like raiding or pvp or actually playing content i dont blame people for buying gold people are always switching proffs to get better enhancements for teh charachter which upwards of 4k to do and they need it done fast becuse the content they are about to encounter reuires them to have that edge i know a lot of guilds fund this but alot dont so buying gold is something that some people need to be honest it wont go away it should just be regulatated so people dont fall foul of its operations

  30. Pingback: Does buying game gold make you a horrible person? | ctrlclick.com

  31. Tim says:

    The reason people buy gold is because WOW and nearly every other MMO has been designed to be a time sink to keep you playing for as long as possible, which is exactly why Blizzard et al. do everything in their power to portray gold sellers as the scum of the earth and never implement any changes to fix the underlying problem. Bigger the time sink, more revenue in their coffers.

    But serious people, wake the f*** up! You people are such unbelievable hypocrites. You’re happy to buy IPODs made in Chinese work camps or wear Nike shoes produced from child labour in South American factories, but venomously attack gold buyers!? Jeez, take a look in the mirror before you start your ranting.

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