The Daily Grind: What do you think about ‘buying runs’ in MMORPGs?

Long ago in classic Guild Wars, I used to be fond of buying runs – probably the earliest was the Beacon’s Perch to Droknar’s Forge run. You’d take your alt to Beacon’s, pay the runner a few plat, then sit back as the runner warped the party along an extremely dangerous route past the majority of the game to the zone where you could craft good-looking, max-level armor, then you’d port back and keep playing and not need to worry about tedious armor upgrades along the way. It was actually a lot of fun to watch the specialized runner “work” and to chit-chat with other folks in the running party. And yep, it was all legal gameplay. Other games have similar mechanics in spite of not having party warping; you’ve probably heard of gamers in themeparks like World of Warcraft buying a “spot” on a raid that will essentially carry them and give them the loot they’re after.

In Guild Wars 2, however, you’d probably best watch out if you’re into that type of gameplay: ArenaNet clarified last week that it’s OK with people buying runs in-game, but the studio says a lot of people in the running business are actually involved in third-party RMT, which the company considers illegal, so you buy runs at the risk of account bans if you transact with the wrong group.

What do you think about “buying runs” in MMORPGs?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

79 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What do you think about ‘buying runs’ in MMORPGs?"

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Duey Bear
Reader
Duey Bear

It’s just people paying to win… it’s not a new concept in MMOs.

Reader
Loopy

I personally don’t mind it. Running people through content for in-game currency doesn’t detract from the “fantasy” aspect, and honestly if people running end-game content are skilled and geared enough to have the ability to complete it with a gimped player, then all the power to them!

Reader
Mimo

I remember being run to Droknar’s Forge by a few friends, just for the hell of it. I got there as a level 2 character. I’m not 100% anymore, but it might actually have been possible to make it to there as a level 1 character if I didn’t do something stupid like killing a mob in pre-searing.

Later I saw something that might have been even more impressive. A level 5 character on one of the fire islands. I’m not sure which one, but it wasn’t the first one.

Reader
Leiloni

I’m not a huge fan because it just is a way to get around bad game design instead of making developers make games more fun. The point should be for people to enjoy the content, but if it’s not fun enough that people want to rush straight to the rewards, or the game’s endgame is too focused on rewards and not enough on gameplay, both of those are problems.

Sometimes you also see it when certain content is required as a gate to either finish story content, or access something else people need or want, and that again is poor game design.

Create things people want to do, not things they’re desperate to pay someone else to do for them. I don’t blame players for doing it, just developers for making it necessary.

Reader
Tiresias

It’s not my thing because I have this mentality about enjoying the content that I paid for, but everyone looks at gaming in a different manner. For some people, the early stuff is just busywork that gets you to the “real” game at the end, and in that case getting a carry through content before your character is technically prepared for it is fine by me as long as you aren’t exploiting, hacking, or otherwise breaking the game.

I’ve become a fan of games where the gear has no “soulbinding” or level requirement, like Black Desert. You can take very powerful gear and hand it down to your alts so they can level extremely quickly, but you don’t HAVE to if you just want to enjoy leveling the alt the “normal” way. That way people don’t really have to pay for carries to max level or the zones they are interested in on their alts — they can just equip the powerful gear and go about their business.

Reader
Thomas Zervogiannis

It is no more wrong than buying crafted stuff or mats off the market. It is also not necessarily (though it is potentially) an indication of bad game design. Runs can be seen as a commodity, as are gathered and crafted items and pretty much anything that can be bought or exchanged in game.

If I enjoy Content “A” in the game that gives me in-game assets “a”, and I do not like or cannot complete due to difficulty Run “B” but I want to get the reward “b” that it gives, why would I not keep playing “A” and exchange “a” for “b”? Games do not just have one type of content (said runs) nor do all players like the same type of content. It is actually good to be able to play what you want and still get the reward that you want in the end. Sounds like simple logic to me.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

tick-tock where is the magical Camelot Unchained announcement?

Veldan
Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

Their stream should be starting in 51 minutes, you’re too early

Reader
Loyal Patron
Armsbend

cool thanks you two

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

I’ll never do it, both because I never ask other players for help in-game and because I’m not fond of skipping content like this; I don’t care if it makes the game easier or more enjoyable, as I would sooner stop playing the game altogether than pay someone else to carry me.

I don’t have anything against others doing it, though, as long as the devs don’t use the existence of such running services to justify game balance decisions.

Reader
rafael12104

Ah, that must be the “pride and accomplishment” EA was speaking about not too long ago. Lol!

Nope. I won’t do it. It defeats the purpose really. The idea is to earn it. Get through that content by doing it. Otherwise… why not spend your time watching movies?

However, I don’t care if others choose to buy a spot to be carried through. Carrying happens all the time in MMOs it is just not as blatant, usually.

P2W? Hmm. Nah. Not really. Because what have you won? You can’t do the content, you don’t have the skill. And trust me, despite your shiny gear, it will show.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

I’m pretty much with ANet on this one. As long as it doesn’t involve RMT, then whatever.

I’d rather focus on the root cause, which is tedious-yet-difficult content that has to be repeated in order to achieve some kind of goal.

Don’t hate the players (who buy runs), hate the game (that makes people feel like they need to buy runs to keep up).

Reader
rafael12104

Agreed. I wasn’t aware that RMT would even do this.