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February 06, 2008

Comments

Draekas

Yep, I personally don't mind it. I haven't paid a subscription fee for several months now, as I have recently switched to buying GTC for my accounts.

Another thing people will do, as you touched on briefly, is to sell characters. They will get trial accounts and 3 or 6 month subscriptions after that. They'll have a set skill training schedule, which they generally won't play at all. After the training is done, they'll auction the character securely through EVE's Character and Timecode Bazaar forum for billions of isk.

Of course, people don't just trade characters for the isk, they sometimes feel like trying something new, without starting over. So they'll sell thier Gallente skilled pilot, and then buy an Amarr pilot, or something along those lines. CCP charges a transfer fee (the person who pays is decided in the transfer agreement between the buyer/seller) for the service.

I have yet to buy or sell a character though. I tend to enjoy the journey, rather than the destination. I know someone in game who has though, as he got bored and wanted to change things up. So he sold his 3 year old Gallente character, and bought an Amarr one, as I described above.

I honestly don't see the problem with either of these things. However, I don't tend to define my own enjoyment of a game, by what other people own or do.

Nuyan

Never dealed with GTC's myself, but I think you got a few things wrong. I don't think CCP is doing this to allow a safe way of trading for players, CCP is doing this to enable people (from for example poorer countries) to play Eve-O without paying real-life money for it.

So people can still make money with buying GTC's and sell the codes, but it's rather minimal and there isn't that much demand for it. The 150 million ISK or so you can make with one GTC, isn't all that much and doesn't have much of an influence in the game. And if you want to get a billion ISK or so, you need to buy and sell a lot of time-codes, which results in the ISK price for these time-code lowers because there usually isn't enough demand.

I'm not sure how big the illegal ISK buying is, but it surely is a more cheap way to get a lot of ISK (and a lot more risky, yes). Big thing in Eve compared to other MMO's, is that the farmers have to deal with the consequences. Farmers in Eve get their ships blown up by players, while a hunter bot in WoW can easily level up (especially on a PvE server). Of course they can stay in the more safe high-sec, but that's where they make a lot less ISK. The ISK farmers make in Eve-O is probably incomparable by the ISK the well-organized player alliances make.

So it doesn't really have much influence on the bigger scale in Eve Online. I assume the amount of people in a raiding guild in WoW that buy gold is relatively a lot higher than in a strong 0.0 alliance in Eve-O.

Saylah

Like you, I'm not overly concerned about how others acquire their in game items either - except for out-n-out cheating. I suppose to some folks RMT is just that but I'm not convinced.

I rather enjoy seeing people become creative with in-game items and the economy, it lends more of a virtual world feeling to the whole atmosphere. People selling runs thru dungeons, small fees for portals, conjured food and so forth... Make a buck how you can behavior and I like the extra dimension it adds to the game.

Personally, I don't care about power leveled characters either. Why should I? I think they're either people who don't have time for the mundane or want and alt without the duplicate grind. If they made more aspects of leveling fun or more diverse the second time around, that would solve a lot of the problem. People would feel like they're missing out on something. As it is now, they're not missing much the 2nd, 3rd and 4th go 'round on leveling toons.

I found it VERY interesting to see an MMO with legal and illegal RMT-like activity while sustaining a robust and active player driven economy. The nay-sayers should think again.

Saylah

@Nuyan...Hmm, that's an interesting perspective...play without paying real money. My doubt about that reason is that if you have enough money for a computer and an internet connection, I'm thinking that moves you out of the poverty bracket where paying for a game is out of reach. Dunno, that's just me.

Either way, I think it's an interesting game mechanic - that and that they allow character trading/sales.

Relmstein

Yes the impact of selling/buying game currency is much less in a world where you have negative sum gear progression. Basically, no matter how good a ship you get in EVE it can always be destroyed. Thus there is no real permanent gear progression in EVE and the economy becomes resilient to the infusions of currency that farmers bring into it. However, this game design is impractical for must MMOs since:

1) Most people won't play games where items they've earned can be destroyed. Gamers come to MMOs for a persistent game world and a lot of people want their gear progression to also be persistent.

2) Games which are based on negative sum gear progression are usually based on non-consensual PvP. If the PvP was more consensual based like a battleground or arena then most players wouldn't consent to it unless they were sure they could win and keep their gear. Since non-consensual PvP isn't exactly the most popular style of play you can see why this wouldn't work for most games.

Mahogany Finish

> I found it VERY interesting to see an MMO with legal and illegal RMT-like activity while >sustaining a robust and active player driven economy. The nay-sayers should think >again.

It's an MMO with 200,000 players on a single server. The sheer size of the economy means it is barely affected by such small-scale RMT. In a sharded game, with perhaps a a tenth or less of that population per shard and much easier ways to farm currency, illegal RMT can have an ENORMOUS impact on the economy.

Saylah

@Mahogany... I think the only way that argument can hold water is if we knew that EO RMT was much less than that of other games. I've never seen any statistics showing what % of in-game currency can be attributed to RMT in any of the games - EO or WOW. It seems to work just fine in EO. Is that because it's a much smaller percentage?? Don't know. Is it the same or less than the % of RMT currency in WOW, which I'd hazard a guess is VERY high? Again, we don't know. If however, it's relatively the same - EO vs other games that don't allow it, then the fear of it is probably unfounded beyond the ramifications of the illegal activity surrounding it.

To make the case decidedly for or against the impact of generally legalizing RMT within a game, we need to know what % of the game economy is already based on RMT.

Letrange

Actually it would be interesting to see the impact of the removal of the illegal RMT activities in EvE. Per see most of us don't have a problem with anyone using their in game isk to buy a time card that someone else has purchased. The things we object to are the farmers that use bots to mine out belts in low sec. These are the ones that generally are selling isk on the illegal market.
Course the PvP'ers would be sad to see them go. We just had our Chinese new year mineral price spike. Arround the new year, the Chinese farmers take about a 2 week break and the mineral market is affected as supplies of minerals on the open market drop and prices shoot up across the board (an 80mil mineral basket hit 90mil recently). Especially noticeable with the war in the west going on. The eventual effect of this is that prices for commodities (Ships are commodities for PvP'ers and semi-durables for carebares) will rise as the ones that were priced at the previous levels sell out (unless someone is dumping usually the floor for anyone producing a particular object is around mineral cost +10% - under that producers move to other items). Since PvPer's tend to supplement their income by ratting and/or missioning as opposed to mining their income will stay the same and the price of everything they buy will be going up. So generally speaking PvP'ers object the least to illegal RMT because it's effects keep the market for their toys cheaper (opposite effect of what happens thru RMT activities in other games where you see inflation as the money supply grows).
The Carebears on the other hand really would like the Illegal RMT to go away since then they'd be able to make more isk mining (reduced supply causes their goods to go up in value).
There is talk of moving all mining to the exploration mechanism (ship board scanners) so that the bots have a much harder time of it. We'll have to see if that pans out.

Mahogany Finish

I'm about to put up a post responding to this, but it will basically back up my statement earlier that the sanctioned RMT isn't having an appreciable affect on the main game. The only thing holding it up is a dev quote I'm sure I saw somewhere about it.

...Stand by.

Saylah

HAHA. That's actually funny, it's like breaking news :-)

Xan

It seems to me that you are missing the real point of timecodes. Who issues timecodes? CCP. Who does the money for buying them go to? CCP. Now suppose you buy ISK from "quickisk.com". Who goes money to? Farmers. Who is pissed off? CCP. Simple as that. Anything else is more or less irrelevant as money is what business is all about. And EO is a business. Just my opinion. Feel free to prove me wrong if you can ;).

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There is one more thing that is overlooked here - when you buy a timecode via the secure system, it's automatically added to your remaining subscription time. This means that while it's possible to convert real money to ISK, it's NOT possible to do it the other way round (you can only convert ISK to extending subscription time).

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