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?