MMO News, Reviews & Opinions
- Written by Exile
...continued from Round Table Discussion: RMT and Player Economies (Part 1)
RMT themselves are not the problem. The problem lies in the method in which certain companies are using it. Games that were designed to be Item Malls are fine....League of Legends...Maple Story...that's RMT done correctly, the damn game was designed that way. But games like EQ2 and other Turbine and Cryptic offerings are the bullshit method. Its shoehorned into a game that was not designed with RMT in mind. Its destined to fuck the player over.
RMT for fluff items (pets, mounts, non-stat clothing, character models....w/e) is fine, there is nothing game breaking about it. And it does not offer the user an advantage over one who does not have the RMT items. Its purely cosmetic.
RMT (even for 'fluff items) are not fine. By their very nature - they divide the player base into haves and have-nots. They focus dev's attention on cash grabs, rather than better game play.
Games should reward skill, not the biggest wallet.
LOTS of players care about 'fluff'.
I'm going to go a bit contrary to my normal stance on RMT (Real Money Trading). Most games we see going to RMT after poor reception, as stated clearly many times by our members, is BALONEY. Pure and simple last gasp grasp for cash by a company that is not getting revenue it thought it would from it's crack subscription model, it will now allow you to pay for your crack ala carte. Pure greed, 100% against it.
Some have pointed out the designed-for-RMT item mall games. I wouldn't play them with Smedley's hands, but at least they are up front about what they are. Quick internet rip-offs.
But, there is another category.
Games like Planet Calypso. Planet Calypso is a game many have heard about, where real world US dollars are spent for items made, found, stolen, or captured in game. Like this guy who sold a resort property in game for $635.000.
"First Planet Company is the developer and publisher of Planet Calypso, the oldest planet within the Entropia Universe, the largest real economy Massively Multiplayer Online Game in the world. Players have the ability to participate in a unique virtual world where they have no monthly costs. Its innovative real money economy uses a virtual currency which has a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. This allows players to deposit and withdraw real funds for their adventures on Calypso or in the real world."
You can play the game with no dollars paid, and grind the in-game currency like you grind gold in WoW, or credits in SWG, or ISK in EVE. You'll never pay a subscription. But, you can put in real dollars and get some of that currency. Or, you can kill people and steal their shit and sell that on the auction for real US dollars. Or, you can craft things, really cool things, and sell them on the auction for real US dollars. Or you can find things, out in the Universe, unique things (not another pair of broken binoculars), and sell them on the auction for real US dollars.
The game company doesn't sell you anything in an item mall. Doesn't sell advantage to anyone. You can buy everything in-game with credits you've gotten yourself, or bought with your paycheck, or bought with real US dollars that you've obtained via selling raw materials in-game on the auction house. This actually encourages participation in the economy. Crafters can be paid real world money for their skills. Explorers can be paid real world money for exploring and finding something cool and interesting, or getting the raw materials crafters need. Or warrior types can get real world money for killing and stealing items from mobs or players.
The game company makes their money like E-Bay, by taking a little off the top of each trade.
That model, is the only model I have seen of RMT that I can support as a crafter, and as a sandbox fan.