Third time’s a charm with Reddit! Remember back in March when a Skyforge moderator threatened to ban anyone using the term pay-to-win and was summarily excoriated by the community for his trouble? Apparently the ArcheAge Reddit mods rather liked the idea and have decided to ban posts discussing pay-to-win issues on their subreddit. Lead moderator NSA-SURVEILLANCE (seriously) made the announcement yesterday (quoted here verbatim):
As of writing this post, AutoModerator will now be removing any posts that includes questions about “Pay to Win” and comments of these sorts. We believe with these phrases, it dis-encourages the community to play and make them falsely believe in an all out AMEX Black card community is playing the game. We don’t want to encourage members of our community to feel as if the game is not competitive for players without spending thousands of dollars on it. This sets a bad example for new and returning players, because we all know that there is no pay to win. It’s a term being used by the uneducated or the few trying to derail a thread into a “debate” of some sort. As of now, any new threads asking about the game and if it is P2W will be removed automatically and replied to the thread with an automatically generated response by AutoModerator with a detailed paragraph of why it isn’t. This will hopefully remove a good amount of the same topics being posted everyday without the usage of the search function we have on this subreddit. We want the subreddit to be a place of discussion, not repetitiveness.
In the pursuit of this quest to encourage discussion and dampen repetitiveness, the AutoModerator bot will now repeatedly send this message to offenders discussing pay-to-win:
Your thread has been removed for discussing a repetitive question that has been answered already enough and can be accessed using the search bar. No, this game is nowhere near pay to win. Many players have obtained top grade gear from simply using Patron, it is only advised that you get Patron benefits for the first month or two of playing, to understand the game, and then pay your Patron after that using gold you can easily earn in a day or two, in-game. The usage of money to obtain items to sell for gold, and the such is not needed for any player, and will cost you in the tens of thousands to compete with players who just spend their money wisely and play in their free time. Players who tell you P2W is abundant in the game, may be giving you their experience of ArcheAge in it’s early release where gold bots were abundant and gold could be sold to players for cheap with no enforcement by Trion. This has all changed for the better. Please use the search function in the future, thank you!
Thank goodness we finally have a definitive answer on pay-to-win, right? Elsewhere on Reddit, gamers have questioned whether the moderators’ actions are in line with their stated motives. “If their intention was really to avoid the proliferation of posts, they would have merged those thread and replied to deleted posts with something on the line of ‘there are already many posts about this argument, please refer to these threads for discussion: list of threads’,” one Redditor argued. “They would have NOT auto-answer with excuses/opinions about their game not being P2W.”
MMO subreddits have made headlines for overzealous moderation several times in recent memory, first with League of Legends, whose Reddit mods have been on a rampage censoring a “controversial” e-sports journalist, and last week with WildStar, whose now-former mod tried to bar all threads about free-to-play business models and sought to have an alleged Carbine whistleblower fired.