Raph Koster has been talking recently about RMT (real-money trading, or buying in-game items and currency for actual cash, often from gold-farmers) in MMORPGs. And beyond the basic principle of â€˜Itâ€™s not FAIR!â€™ I really donâ€™t see what the problem is.
That doesnâ€™t mean there isnâ€™t a problem. But the real impact of RMT to 99.9% of MMO players isnâ€™t the fact that player X is more powerful than he ought to be, itâ€™s gold-farmers and spammers in the game-world. And during a particularly over-spammed session in Azeroth this afternoon, I began to wonder if there isnâ€™t a solution.
Imagine the â€˜open a ticketâ€™ or â€˜summon a GMâ€™ box had a special button: â€˜report spammer/gold farmerâ€™. You target the offender and click the button. It links directly to a human moderator who can inspect the targetâ€™s behaviour or recent dialogue, and flag them as â€˜spammerâ€™ or â€˜farmerâ€™.
That gets theÂ offender account banned, of course, but it does one other thing: the in-world character instantly becomes a target, worth the same amount of experience points as a decent-ish quest to the PC that kills them. So what was previously a nuisance to PCs suddenly becomes an opportunity. And I reckon at the cost of a couple of modsâ€™ salaries, you could clear your MMO of offenders in a month.
Merry Christmas, one and all.
These two Blizzard commercials are all over the blogosphere and, no doubt, US TV channels as well. Theyâ€™re your basic celebrity endorsement.
SFX: OMG OMG here comes the n00bs endless September all over again.
No, I donâ€™t think so. Are these commercials to bring new people to World of Warcraft, or to get existing players to hang around? My moneyâ€™s on the latter. Me and my Tauren are chuffed as heck that William Shatner plays a bull shammy, or at least claims he does in an amusing 30-second film, and we are pretty sure that he could not only kick Mr Tâ€™s arse but snog his tiger as well. And get XP for it.
Considering the embarrassment that many previous games commercials have been (Magic the Gathering anyone?)… nice job, Blizzard.
I’ve just migrated my WoW character to a new server (Nordrassil, fast becoming the hangout of choice of a certain sector of the UK’s gaming creatives, he says modestly). This is a process that costs £15 and takes, Blizzard warns you severely, five days. Not up to five days, not as long as five days, but no more no less than. I assumed that the delay, along with the price, was there to deter willy-nilly server-hopping by gold-farmers, fad-chasers and the easily bored.
Five days, my hairy Tauren ass. The lying hounds. It took eighty minutes.
Kudos to Blizzard customer service and their Games Workshop-worshipping dark, dark souls.