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Combatting Farmer's/Gold Sellers?


Started by Liger
Post #19080
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I'm curious as to how zenimax will deal with those pesky gold farmer's who end up in almost every game and basically control the economy of a game... Now I understand at a point it's almost inevitable but they should devise something to try and limit the gold farming that does occur.
This post was last modified: January 17th 2013 01:38 PM by Liger


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Post #19093
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That's really a tough call. I'm assuming they'll put some kind of "must be x level" to use certain features.. like level 5 to perhaps use the auction house, mail systems. Perhaps a level 2 limit on map-chat?


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Post #19111
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The simplest way to combat gold farmers is to take a lesson from Bitcoin. Instead of just incrementing the counter in your purse, make every coin that enters the world an entry in a database with your character's name attached. This would happen whether you got the coin from mob loot, quest reward or selling items to an NPC. If you trade that coin to another player, your name stays attached to that coin and the new owner gets their name attached too. Money sinks like buying items from an NPC, or paying rent on player housing would destroy the database entries.

By being able to track where each coin came from, most "laundering" schemes can be squashed. Gold selling would still happen, but far fewer players would risk attempting it when the path of cash can be so easily traced. Of course the downside to such a system is that it would be a significant investment in server tech in addition to those running the megaserver. Whether it actually happens is a tradeoff.
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Post #19113
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(December 19th 2012 06:33 PM)Cools-His-Hands Wrote:  The simplest way to combat gold farmers is to take a lesson from Bitcoin. Instead of just incrementing the counter in your purse, make every coin that enters the world an entry in a database with your character's name attached. This would happen whether you got the coin from mob loot, quest reward or selling items to an NPC. If you trade that coin to another player, your name stays attached to that coin and the new owner gets their name attached too. Money sinks like buying items from an NPC, or paying rent on player housing would destroy the database entries.

By being able to track where each coin came from, most "laundering" schemes can be squashed. Gold selling would still happen, but far fewer players would risk attempting it when the path of cash can be so easily traced. Of course the downside to such a system is that it would be a significant investment in server tech in addition to those running the megaserver. Whether it actually happens is a tradeoff.

Never knew a system like this existed. I can only imagine the amount of server investment it would consume, I mean that's a LOT of data. Spectacular idea though.


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Post #19117
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(December 19th 2012 06:33 PM)Cools-His-Hands Wrote:  The simplest way to combat gold farmers is to take a lesson from Bitcoin. Instead of just incrementing the counter in your purse, make every coin that enters the world an entry in a database with your character's name attached. This would happen whether you got the coin from mob loot, quest reward or selling items to an NPC. If you trade that coin to another player, your name stays attached to that coin and the new owner gets their name attached too. Money sinks like buying items from an NPC, or paying rent on player housing would destroy the database entries.

By being able to track where each coin came from, most "laundering" schemes can be squashed. Gold selling would still happen, but far fewer players would risk attempting it when the path of cash can be so easily traced. Of course the downside to such a system is that it would be a significant investment in server tech in addition to those running the megaserver. Whether it actually happens is a tradeoff.

Haha old Bitcoin. Mash that up with a Tor browser, get an onion site and BAM, buy anything in the world undetected. Very intricate system. I could see how implementing bitcoins idea into this could help tremendously. Although just like you said, yes it may take a while or difficult to merge with the current system. With millions of player's playing this game in different campaigns it may end up being weird and messed up. I do like the concept of it though. Making it difficult to obtain gold in the first place should be priority number one. But people seem to exploit easy ways. Look's like we're gonna have to see what they come up with.
This post was last modified: December 19th 2012 07:00 PM by Liger


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Post #19191
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(December 19th 2012 04:56 PM)Liger Wrote:  I'm curious as to how zenimax will deal with those pesky gold farmer's who end up in almost every game and basically controll the economy of a game... Now I understand at a point it's almost inevitable but they should devise something to try and limit the gold farming that does in fact occur.
and what if i have my own private army of gold farmers? and what if i want to do what athene did in diablo?athene accepted donations as such to be able to be one of the fastest characters to down inferno diablo. or what if i'm a guild leader and i provide special incentives to my members but require "tax".or let's say i became a mercenary and accepted killing or helping other players in exchange for gold and other stuff.
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Post #19193
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(December 20th 2012 04:23 AM)Shadowthrone Wrote:  or let's say i became a mercenary and accepted killing or helping other players in exchange for gold and other stuff.

Personally I believe it is a ethical thing for indivudual games havn't played that many mmo's the last few years but some have it as a rule not to powerlevel in exchange for finances

Guess it is mainly because those who can afford it either have a high level main or buy the cash for real money beforehand

And as for tax's if the members don't like it they can quit, it's their choice however personally I would find it disgraceful
well I'm usually the kind of guy who's greedy in mmo's and when have enough cash either just drop it random places for no reason or donating most to the guild

but yeah I'd assume that most of these are ethical evaluations for the developers and the communities acceptance to such


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Post #19219
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(December 20th 2012 04:23 AM)Shadowthrone Wrote:  
(December 19th 2012 04:56 PM)Liger Wrote:  I'm curious as to how zenimax will deal with those pesky gold farmer's who end up in almost every game and basically controll the economy of a game... Now I understand at a point it's almost inevitable but they should devise something to try and limit the gold farming that does in fact occur.
and what if i have my own private army of gold farmers? and what if i want to do what athene did in diablo?athene accepted donations as such to be able to be one of the fastest characters to down inferno diablo. or what if i'm a guild leader and i provide special incentives to my members but require "tax".or let's say i became a mercenary and accepted killing or helping other players in exchange for gold and other stuff.

You can run your guild the way you want. I'd stay away from taxing guildmates for your own personal benefit though. It's bad press and kinda shameful.

A tax to purchase guild supplies and the like is quite reasonable and fair though, if that's what you were thinking. Also, getting paid as a merc force isn't new, its been done in a lot of MMOs. Nothing wrong with that. Of course, you have to be good at what you're doing -- and everyone needs to know it -- in order to find a customer.

But back on topic, the bitcoin model of tying currency amounts to characters in a database is a good idea. While it may sound like a difficult thing to implement, its not that difficult. I worked on databases for a year, manipulated various aspects of it, and didn't have any "game breaking" issues. It just comes down to the database they have and how they build it.


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Post #19232
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i was merely giving an example to further emphasize my point which is how do you determine or categorize the currency if it was genuinely/legitimately earned or not. how do you differentiate "ill gotten" in game currency from donated,earned,goodwill, investment, lended or traded in game currency?
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Post #19233
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(December 20th 2012 09:13 AM)Shadowthrone Wrote:  i was merely giving an example to further emphasize my point which is how do you determine or categorize the currency if it was genuinely/legitimately earned or not. how do you differentiate "ill gotten" in game currency from donated,earned,goodwill, investment, lended or traded in game currency?

Gotcha. Metrics exist in MMOs to track currency. Receiving mail from a lvl 5 character containing 10k of whatever currency you're using is generally a red flag -- unless the other character is attached to the player in some way (alt, friend's alt, etc). They can cross reference that with chat logs to see if a purchase/sale of a virtual item was made in private, which is legitimate.

It can, however, be exceedingly difficult to track with a high volume of players and it depends entirely on the metrics being employed.


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Post #19238
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You don't have to devise a system to differentiate "ill-gotten" from legitimate. You can just stake it out.

Having names attached to all currency will make it easy to track once a gold-selling transaction has taken place. It won't be perfect, there are still ways to get around it, but it will make it a great deal harder.

If money sinks destroy the currency, then money can be laundered by buying tons of items from an NPC, or auction-bot, giving them to a twink, and having the twink sell all those items back to an NPC to create "clean" gold. The downside of that system, for the gold-sellers, is that NPCs will probably buy back goods for only half the value at which they sell them. So they either lose half the value of their original stack by laundering, or they need to find a source of cheap items (auction? crafting?) which the NPCs will buy at higher than cost.

The only way to combat that would be to log and examine large lopsided trades. I think DAoC actually started doing that. But then you also flag players giving their crafter twinks a load of mats as well.

So again, you will never fully get rid of the gold sellers, but the wrong solution is to legitimize it by having ZOS put in a gold for RL cash mechanic. It just needs to be made as difficult and shady as possible.

I could talk about MMO economies all day, and point out how the best possible system would never be implemented, because... well, it would be so perfect, a lot of people would hate it. There are certain ways that an MMO economy is expected to function, differentiating it from a RL economy. If that behaviour is changed, there will be complaining :)
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Post #19243
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(December 20th 2012 09:21 AM)Reichmar12 Wrote:  
(December 20th 2012 09:13 AM)Shadowthrone Wrote:  i was merely giving an example to further emphasize my point which is how do you determine or categorize the currency if it was genuinely/legitimately earned or not. how do you differentiate "ill gotten" in game currency from donated,earned,goodwill, investment, lended or traded in game currency?

Gotcha. Metrics exist in MMOs to track currency. Receiving mail from a lvl 5 character containing 10k of whatever currency you're using is generally a red flag -- unless the other character is attached to the player in some way (alt, friend's alt, etc). They can cross reference that with chat logs to see if a purchase/sale of a virtual item was made in private, which is legitimate.

It can, however, be exceedingly difficult to track with a high volume of players and it depends entirely on the metrics being employed.
well why not use the farming character and just say that it is a "donation". remember what athene did to diablo 3? he had "sponsors" which are random players and other not so random players who gave him gold and good items so that he can be the first one to finish diablo on inferno and/or help other players who donated to him. so it's like, instead of build five or ten or a couple of characters which would have mediocre gear, why not build a super character which can have really great gears and higher level and be able to finish bosses on a whim.

(December 20th 2012 09:38 AM)Cools-His-Hands Wrote:  You don't have to devise a system to differentiate "ill-gotten" from legitimate. You can just stake it out.

Having names attached to all currency will make it easy to track once a gold-selling transaction has taken place. It won't be perfect, there are still ways to get around it, but it will make it a great deal harder.

If money sinks destroy the currency, then money can be laundered by buying tons of items from an NPC, or auction-bot, giving them to a twink, and having the twink sell all those items back to an NPC to create "clean" gold. The downside of that system, for the gold-sellers, is that NPCs will probably buy back goods for only half the value at which they sell them. So they either lose half the value of their original stack by laundering, or they need to find a source of cheap items (auction? crafting?) which the NPCs will buy at higher than cost.

The only way to combat that would be to log and examine large lopsided trades. I think DAoC actually started doing that. But then you also flag players giving their crafter twinks a load of mats as well.

So again, you will never fully get rid of the gold sellers, but the wrong solution is to legitimize it by having ZOS put in a gold for RL cash mechanic. It just needs to be made as difficult and shady as possible.

I could talk about MMO economies all day, and point out how the best possible system would never be implemented, because... well, it would be so perfect, a lot of people would hate it. There are certain ways that an MMO economy is expected to function, differentiating it from a RL economy. If that behaviour is changed, there will be complaining :)
what i do not get is why publishers and developers of games try very hard to deny and eradicate currency selling. why not just make a game event or something that burns and make players spend their gold.
This post was last modified: December 20th 2012 10:02 AM by Shadowthrone
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Post #19245
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(December 20th 2012 09:57 AM)Shadowthrone Wrote:  what i do not get is why publishers and developers of games try very hard to deny and eradicate currency selling. why not just make a game event or something that burns and make players spend their gold.

It's a matter of integrity. When you make an MMO, there are two ways you can allow players to progress in the world: 1) Putting in the playtime, or 2) Pay RL $$$ to bypass that playtime.

Even if you create some kind of event that makes players spend their gold, you have still created two classes of players by allowing gold-selling, one which needs to play the game to pay the debt, and another which buys the gold so they don't need to pay it.

There is actually an argument to be made for gold-selling in that some people only get enjoyment out of endgame, so they're paying RL $$$ to bypass all the stuff in the game that they don't like. What is a game anyway besides something you should enjoy playing?

To me (and I believe most other players who are against gold-selling) is that it violates two principles of a game which is attempting to be a self-contained world. 1) Buying gold (or other items) with RL cash means that outside wealth is influencing in-game wealth, and 2) it is no longer certain whether a level 50 player is the result of hard work and effort, or just buying one's way to the top. The respect one may have had for the elders and elite players of your realm is tarnished.

I can tell you that I felt betrayed when a guildmate in DAoC sold his level 50 toon to a new player. This guy expected all of the guild privileges and raid spots as the character's previous owner. He had a "50" beside his name, but any respect I may have had for his experience in-game was lost. It then made me wonder how many other level 50 players were just people who bought them?

That (among other things I've mentioned before) was probably the beginning of the end of my time in DAoC.
This post was last modified: December 20th 2012 10:24 AM by Cools-His-Hands
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Post #19248
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Also, the "donation" aspect that you outlined is rather unique and doesn't impact efforts to curb gold selling. Players like Athene and others bring publicity to products -- in his case those made by Blizzard.

Donation giving, or whatever you'd like to call it, isn't a way around the system. Like CHH said, legitimate behavior can be distinguished from the bad by "eye-balling it". if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck...

Virtual currency should be acquired solely through the effort of the player. It creates a stable virtual economy and promotes social interraction.


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Post #19250
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doesn't matter if you buy an account. you can't buy the satisfaction of killing raid bosses, nor the thrill of getting into ranked pvp fights nor will you be able to copy the previous(original) owner's ability in using the character, nor--as you've said-- will the the buyer ever get or earn respect from other players that had known the previous(original) owner.

(December 20th 2012 10:43 AM)Reichmar12 Wrote:  Also, the "donation" aspect that you outlined is rather unique and doesn't impact efforts to curb gold selling. Players like Athene and others bring publicity to products -- in his case those made by Blizzard.

Donation giving, or whatever you'd like to call it, isn't a way around the system. Like CHH said, legitimate behavior can be distinguished from the bad by "eye-balling it". if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck...

Virtual currency should be acquired solely through the effort of the player. It creates a stable virtual economy and promotes social interraction.
products such as razer and other projects that is in no way affiliated with the game and which are usually his sponsors. but it still does not remove the fact that he gets free gold and items and other stuff for free. his toon usually gets fed by items and in game currency that other people farmed.if we were to strip the whole thing off, it does not differ that much from buying gold and/or items. the only thing that differs is that he shows videos,goes on livestreams,does stuff on vent, has sponsors and stuff, but aside from that it's the same as item/currency buying, only, he does not pay anything to the guys that give him stuff
This post was last modified: December 20th 2012 11:03 AM by Shadowthrone
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