The clarification from staff spells out that Crown Store items are considered in-game items, and trading them falls under the same header of trading in-game things. There’s also some protections in place for players who feel that they’ve been victims of a scam, so the staff suggests that you make sure any discussing happens within logged in-game channels. Still, it’s good to know that the items off of the Crown Store can be traded between players for other in-game gewgaws.
Several conversations I saw after our report on the new RMT mounts in Guild Wars 2 got me thinking about how the MMO community uses the word whale. I had used the word to refer to the kind of person who buys a ton of RNG-based lockboxes to get every last one of the shiny bits and bobs within, but the reality is that anyone who pays a respectable flat fee for a purely cosmetic upgrade has also been hooked on some sort of fishing rod or other, even if it’s not a harpoon.
So let’s consider the numbers behind the terminology in this week’s Massively Overthinking. How much money spent makes you an MMO whale? Does it apply only to cosmetics or lockboxes? When does the “whale” term kick in for people who buy early access, collector editions, or 10 expansion boxes over the course of an MMO’s life? Are most gamers more properly dolphins or something in 2018?
Even if you’re a winner you could be still be a loser in Guild Wars 2 — if you cheat. ArenaNet announced that it was taking strong action against a member of a recent monthly automated tournament who participated in deliberate manipulation.
“Due to account sharing, and a history of RMT purchases, one of the accounts on the winning team has been suspended for three months and had all rewards removed from it (for this mAT),” the studio said. “We have permanently blocked the main account of the player responsible for playing on the shared account during the mAT.”
The studio also told players that a weird bug has slipped into the game that’s reducing the number of gathering tool charges down to one and working to correct it.
But hey, at least we can all now sit in chairs! That makes up for pretty much anything.
MOP reader Xijit recently pointed us to a thread on Bless Online’s Steam page where players are noting that person-to-person trading is not currently possible in some overseas versions of the game, including the Japanese servers. While a Neowiz representative wrote, “There has been a TON of feedback from players that they would like trading for the Steam release, so it is not set in stone yet that trading will not be available for Steam,” that didn’t stop the discussion and frustration over the possibility.
What surprised me was how many people are in favor of demolishing player trade in some form or other on the grounds that it reduces RMT and/or pay-to-win. Personally, I consider player trading crucial to MMOs and don’t even like it when they make it difficult, the way some of my favorite MMOs already do – Guild Wars 2 makes you mail items to each other, for example, while in Trove, you have to hunt down a trading post or leave items in a secured bin in your guildhall.
Is player trading a make-or-break MMO feature for you?
Is Call of Duty the next Activision franchise to migrate to Battlenet? Very likely. As Eurogamer broke earlier this month, players are now able to link their Call of Duty accounts to Battle.net – no doubt in anticipation for Black Ops 4.
I bring this up to MMO players because of the potential impact on World of Warcraft – specifically, token prices – as WoW players buy and sell their tokens to spend down their Blizzard balance to buy up the new CoD title (or cash in on the flurry). Redditors are current speculating about the incoming speculation, arguing that tokens prices have been relatively stable over the past few months, spiking for the Battle for Azeroth hoopla but ultimately settling back down. In fact, just covering the potential for a spike can cause a spike, one poster points out. Gamers will recall a similar situation last year when Destiny 2 landed on Battlenet, sending the token to record heights.
And that leads us to some Leaderboard fun. Do you speculate on WoW Tokens or other legal MMO RMT currency (like PLEX, C.R.E.D.D, etc.), or do you stay the heck away from that noise? Multiple responses are allowed!
When we covered Shroud of the Avatar’s newsletter yesterday, one of the tidbits we mentioned was the plan for craftable housing. In response to a question from a player, Starr Long essentially announced that in the launch patch next week, Portalarium is planning to tweak that system, which has long provoked claims of pay-to-win.
“Yes we are going to be expanding the number of craftable houses soon. In R52 in fact we are adding a craftable inn.”
So what exactly does housing entail? A helpful Redditor linked to a helpful thread on the official site just a few weeks ago breaking down how exactly you can buy property without handing over your credit card because you definitely can – that’s the good news. If you’re not a crafter yourself, you just need a specific currency, Crowns of the Obsidians, which you can buy with gold.
A team of bot-hunting players made the news last month when they took down eight ridiculously expensive supercarriers being controlled by bots, exposing just how big the scale of the problem is. The EVE security team responded with a ban wave hitting over 1,800 bot accounts in January and promises that they are “coming for the bots,” but one expert admitted in a recent interview that the war on bots may never be won. So just how difficult is it to tackle botting in EVE Online, and what could CCP do to improve things?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the difficulties in detecting and shutting down botters, how extensive botting may be in nullsec, and some things developers might have to do in order to solve the problem.
Now CCP’s Team Security is trying to make good on that promise. A new dev blog out today claims that CCP banned over 1800 accounts in January for botting – mostly mining bots, followed by ratting bots. A third of those were repeat offenders receiving permanent bans, while the rest were merely temp-banned. In March, the botting policy will be updated to inflict a mandatory 3-day temporary ban on the first offense, with permabans on the second.
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?
“We want everyone to be able to experience Magic: The Gathering.”
Upon this “simple idea” Wizards of the Coast is building Magic: The Gathering Arena’s business model, which could quickly be summed up as free-to-play that gives players a choice of time or money as a way to progress. By earning gold (in-game currency) or purchasing gems (RMT currency), players can purchase card packs, access events, and open up “The Vault,” a special treasure trove with secret rewards.
Wizards said that it is structuring the game’s economy based on a few principles: “Make our players’ valuable time as fun as possible; players need a variety of cards to have the most fun, so reward them with as many as possible; and make sure players can get the specific cards they want.”
Magic: The Gathering Arena went into beta testing last month with the eventual goal of releasing an online card game that will mirror the physical set releases and be more accessible to the general gaming public.
Last week, we reported on a situation brewing on the EVE Online subreddit, where player after player spoke out about the game’s botting problem, exacerbated by a recent post about a specific botter corp leaving expensive capital ships where other players could easily take them out.
Seeking a statement on the botting situation, we reached out to CCP, whose CCP Falcon posted a response to our article on Reddit.
“[Botting is] to the detriment of the game and it needs to be stamped out,” he says. “It’s garbage behavior, it’s against the rules, and it’s something that has a magnified effect in EVE because of the single shard nature of the game, the economy, and the fact that everything on the market is player built or sourced.” Specifically, he dismissed the idea that CCP generates revenue from botters. That said, he also believes CCP has more work to do on the problem.
By using the Aurum exchange, players can make a one-time conversion of Funcom Points into Aurum at a 12:10 ratio. Yes, it’s summer, so let the website handle all of that math for you.
Naturally, there are all sorts of restrictions and requirements, one of the biggest of which is that “bonus” points — the ones given to subscribers every month — aren’t eligible to be carried over to the newer game.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Albion Online.
As we’ve been reporting, the newbie sandbox has been absolutely plagued by a long series of nasty DDOS attacks since at least early last weekend, causing repeated server outages and extreme frustrations that have continued into today. Developer Sandbox Interactive has characterized the outages as the “result of a concerted effort to bring Albion Online down with a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS),” which the developers believe is retaliation for their actions against goldsellers who swarmed the game at launch. The RMT company or companies also reportedly served the studio ransom demands, but the studio declared it will not give into blackmail.
In the meantime, the servers are still up and down like a seesaw; the latest DDOS began less than an hour ago, and while Sandbox has already apologized (repeatedly) and told its fans it’s consulting with experts and working on defensive infrastructure, players have begun questioning the developers’ ability to solve the problems – some even questioned the DDOS and blackmail attempts themselves.