The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

Tag: RMT

I’m an Idiot

I may have used that title before, because let’s face it.. In my case it’s pretty recyclable.

I’ve ranted here before about microtransactions, and the negative effects of RMT on today’s games.  I’m not a big fan.  But what I don’t like is the type of MT that gates or changes game play.  So when Blizzard announced this week that they were adding the Pet Store to their Blizzard store for use in WoW, you might expect that I would have a problem with that as well.

PandarenInstead, as you can see here, I now own one.  It’s actually fun, as people can come up and bow to him, and he will bow back.  He’ll also do some animations that are kinda fun.

I’m still not a fan of changing game play with MT.  Even the moves that SOE made this week rubbed me the wrong way, converting Free Realms from a Free To Play to a Fee to Pay.  But to me, cosmetic things like this are harmless.  If you think they are stupid, you don’t have to buy one to remain competitive or able to play.  So you are free to take a pass.  To those who say that they are too much money, I say the same thing.  If it’s too much money, don’t buy it.  You don’t need it to raid/crawl/craft or whatever you like most in the game.  It’s really something you can ignore if you think it’s overpriced.

Me, I’ve already got my $10 worth out of the little guy.  Had some fun parading him around Dalaran tonight and watching others interact or try to interact with him.

I’m interested to see what else may come along for this kind of thing.  Armor dyes, color swatches to match up all your armor, other pets?  All of this kind of thing are the least objectionable form of MT to me.  The first time they ask me for cash for a key to a dungeon or the like I’m gone though.  How about you guys?

Reposted for Irony Value

Scott Jennings is a blogger. His blog, Broken Toys, is one that I have read as long as I have been reading blogs. He recently posted an article about the legal battle going on between Alan Debonneville and Brock Pierce, a couple of the principles at IGE. Here’s where the irony part kicks in.

Pierce, who made a fortune thumbing his nose at legalese and violating the EULAs of pretty much every MMO company out there, has sicced his lawyers on Jennings and have demanded that he remove his article. He’s going to comply today. I wanted to bring these bullying tactics to your attention, so you have some perspective of the kind of people that are running these operations. Keep in mind when you read this, IGE has always been considered one of the CLEANER operations out there.

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“Legitimate RMT” is like “Legitimate Coke Dealer”

SOE and our hero John Smedley have announced that Live Gamer is taking over the RMT (Real Money Trading or Transactions) trading business for SOE. In his article to roll this out to the company’s customers, Smedley recounts the successes and failures of the Station Exchange program and how it has effected RMT within EQ2. In my view, there were three main issues surrounding RMT that he addressed. 1) Customer Service issues that are created by RMT transactions. 2) Farming and farming activities that are detrimental to the game experience for the average player. 3) Criminal activity such as duping, exploiting, account theft, credit card fraud, etc.

Let’s start with the first point. Smedley says that in fact, Station Exchange did reduce the number of customer service complaints regarding RMT. This makes sense as they now had control and were making sure that people got delivery of what they ordered. Assuming that they were competent at their jobs and Exchange, by default it would take care of a lot of those types of problems. I’d call this a small win for them.

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I Hate Being Wrong

But I’ve been wrong again.

According to Aggro Me, SOE has hired a former IGE exec as their VP for Asian Market Development. While talking to some people close to the situation, I was told that the situation is “just business.”

I think it’s bad business and here is why…

SOE has a public relations problem with it’s loyal fan base. Yes, I know that we as a fan base can be a bunch of asshats, but still they keep doing things that alienate us more and more. The SWG debacle, RMT for fun and profit in EQ2, the snuggling up and now the hiring of IGE management. I see it as a big flying fickle finger of fate to all the people that have for years decried the existence of RMT in SOE’s products, who have had to endure the ineffective counter-measures taken by SOE to rid the games of the cash influence, and now the tacit admission from SOE that they don’t give a flying fuck at the moon about what we think. They have a number to hit, and dammit they are going to hit it.

It’s our fault really. We’ve been loyal and faithful and continued to play and purchase their games. I guess they thought that was our way of saying we approved, or just telling them we are stupid. You can hardly fault them for drawing those conclusions, but I’m going to. Here’s why.

While we can be a monumental pain in the ass, and we’ve done so much posturing and gesturing as a community we’re really a bunch of pussies. And until we give SOE the FFFOF and tell them with our dollars, or lack thereof, that we are sick and tired and we aren’t going to take it any more we can expect nothing but more of the same.

I’ve been railing against RMT for years. I’m just a lone voice in the wilderness. I know I don’t influence anyone when it comes to this crap. I just wish there was ONE game where players could go and be insulated from that shit once and for all. Even if the game were only average, it would be nice to have a vacation from it. If people want to play games like that it’s their business. I don’t play EQ2 in part because it has Station Exchange. That’s my insignificant way to take a stand. I don’t play any other game developed by Sony either.

Brad promised us a continued stand in Vanguard against RMT, and they have been making a good show of it on the game. But Brad’s good buddy Smedley has to have been the impetus behind this hire. Presidents hire the VP’s right?

Well this is all bad, customer relations-wise. I can’t imagine anyone seeing this as a positive for SOE and it’s PR. I keep hearing that one of the strengths of SOE is it’s PR machine, but seriously it’s just the emporer’s new clothes.

Here’s to hoping that this isn’t the camel’s nose a little further under the tent. IGE is a corrupt organization that operates mostly off shore and isn’t afraid to shake things up if it’s in their best interest. They have some of the best spin doctors in the business.

I’m starting to think I was wrong. Maybe I’m on the wrong side.

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