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Old 01-12-2006, 12:02 PM   #16
Chilly Candian Cleric
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You may not agree with people selling plat for real money, but as long as they are doing it within the rules of the game, you shouldn't begrudge their business sense and ability to run a successful business just because they are doing something you are incapable of or too lazy to do yourself.
Selling plat is not within the rules of the game. In your Poker Game analogy, consider it a contest where you each start with 4k in chips. Would you consider the game as fair if someone gave $20 in real money to buy all of the chips from the person beside you? It just as much distorts the actual contest.

Because the plat market has become such an accepted part of the game, and one which I disagree with, I make a conscious effort not to involve myself in that market or in the bazaar market in general. Like I said, there is nothing in the bazaar that is "needed" in order to enjoy the game.
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:17 PM   #17
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I've never heard of a player in a poker game decide he just doesn't want to play while he still has chips, but if he wants to sell his chips to the highest bidder, what ever. there are still only 4k chips on the table. it would be no different than if he got into a betting dual with that player and lost.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:01 PM   #18
Chilly Candian Cleric
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It's different if the contest was just about the 1k each that you're starting with and someone purchases someone else's chips with additional out of game money. It fundamentally changes the game when you are allowed to marshall outside resources and suddenly instead of all starting on an even footing, it's you with your 1k against someone else with 2k. Anyways, I know people disagree about this portion I just think you were missing some weaknesses in the analogy.
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:11 PM   #19
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I'm not looking for any sympathy, I promise you. To do so by posting you have sold plat in the past, on an EQ forum, would be foolish.

I never drove prices up, either. There is no way to do that by farming. You can't drive up a price by increasing a supply. And no one or even 10 people can control the bazaar. It's impossible. When items are listed up they are listed up so that they sell, which means a lower price, which means if anything that a farmer will in effect drive prices down. Farming to too much extent is actually self defeating because of this constant lowering of prices. +Supply = -demand = lower price You can argue I did drive up prices in the early days killing everfrost guards, as they dropped about 10 plat each in fine steel weapons, and this put about 1000 platinum per day into the economy. Though 1000 platinum a day is a pittance and the effect on the economy would be so minimal as to not matter.

I also never took a camp from anyone nor allowed those who worked for me to behave in that fashion. It was not how the business was run, and if I ever caught wind of any of my employees causing the slightest bit of trouble they would have been terminated. I kept a fairly close watch on the server boards which I operated on, so anything would have likely cropped up in the various server forums. General rules of thumb were to go where nobody else was, and leave if anyone else expressed interest in the camp. If someone was to do a camp check, always answer, and offer them the camp if they wished to have it.
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Backster
It's different if the contest was just about the 1k each that you're starting with and someone purchases someone else's chips with additional out of game money. It fundamentally changes the game when you are allowed to marshall outside resources and suddenly instead of all starting on an even footing, it's you with your 1k against someone else with 2k. Anyways, I know people disagree about this portion I just think you were missing some weaknesses in the analogy.
in a competitive game, your correct, but EQ is largely PvE.

My personal belief is that any out of game influance should not be allowed in any form on a PvP server. But that PvE servers it is discouraged, but acceptable. To me this also includes things like UI mods. PvP is a contest, and as such everyone should play with equal tools, and allow their skill to determine the outcome. In a PvE situation, if I kill a gnoll or not almost never impacts someone else.

in the cases where my activities, be it through purchased gold, twinking, or just being a ass, affect someone else, that is a customer service issue of my actions agianst your play, and not one of how I affected you.

Simply put, someone who wants to be a jerk, is going to, regardless of if hes twinked/buys plat. Zero sum.

Before I stopped raiding I was a relatively poor player... max gold was about 10k. Afterword I was able to farm over a million plat doing ldon instances for points and selling off the lore drops. that money is now mostly useless as since the time i earned it, the cost of goods has gone up a ton. thats an affect of duping and cheating... not farming.
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:54 AM   #21
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People invented their own version of pvp on pve, called training...
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:31 PM   #22
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:02 PM   #23
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The way to stop these types of problems is to have someone monitoring the situation that knows what to watch for. It would not take more than 1 full time employee to solve the problem for an MMO.

A weekly tally of the global plat amount compared to last week's should be very effective in spotting issues too. If week by week you see 5 million plat entering the game and then suddenly one week 50 platinum enters the game, you have a problem.

I do not think they even check the global plat values on a regular basis in Everquest.

As supporting information to what I am trying to get across, I offer you the following :

Since it's fairly easy to do if you know what to look at, I have been monitoring sales of some of the sellers throughout the last month on a single server.

The time span for this is from December 15th 2005 Noon pacific time until January 14th 2006 Noon pacific time.

I've omitted names of the sellers due to certain board wishes. Note all figures are rounded down if above 10 million, to the nearest million.

Seller number, followed by amount sold :

1.) 98 Million
2.) 30 Million
3.) 13 Million
4.) 13 Million

These were the 4 I was able to monitor. On top of this sold by what I would consider "legit" sales, add another 2.7 million.

These are trackable sales, and this does not include the multitude of sellers I am not able to track. It also does not include direct sales from vendors 2 3 and 4, nor does it include direct sales from the "legit" sellers.

Total here is 153,700,000 platinum sold in a 1 month period, or roughly 5,125,000 platinum per day for this server. This figure is low, and the actual figure when accounting for direct sales, and other sellers I am not able to track, is most definitely considerably higher.

For simplicity sake though, let's assume 5 million platinum is sold on the secondary market per day per server, just keep in mind throughout this that the actual figure is much higher.

Now since the above suppliers rely mainly on a single supplier for all their platinum needs, we need to find a way to make 5 million platinum per day in game.

Let's start with the basic way of making money. Farming. This is by going out and getting items to sell in the bazaar, putting them on a trader, and selling them. You will need to make 5 million a day, and you have 24 hours to do so.

Where are you going to go?

Take 6 people and AOE places for gem drops to make money from vendors? Go try that and see if you can make 60 platinum per second, which is the figure you would need to make. Not possible, at least I have never known an AOE group to pull in 200,000+ platinum in an hour in droppable gems.

Dragons of Norrath crystals? 6 people, 24 hours, about 32 missions. 40 crystals per person per mission (high). And let's say they sell for a very high amount on your server, a whopping 150 plat each. 7680 crystals, 1.152 million platinum per day. You are about 1/5 of the way there, and that's assuming that people buy, reliably, 7680 crystals per day of the flavor you choose. I can tell you we dealt with many crystals in order to make platinum, and there is not that much market for them even with severe undercutting.

You can't farm 3 and 7 day spawns reliably, and those are contested. Plus Avatar of War doesn't drop 35 million platinum in gear each week, that is for sure.

Are you going to go farm 500 runes a day at 10k a pop to make that 5 million figure? No. And even if you could you might sell 30-50 a day in the bazaar.

Are you going to farm Walls of Slaughter all day at an average of 5k per item and a 1/3 drop rate on runes and even make a million plat in 24 hours? Nope. You won't even pull in a million platinum worth of items let alone sell them all in the bazaar, even if you include killing Shadowhunter and Discordling warfiend every single time it spawns.

Are you going to farm Ruined City of Dranik all day at an average of 7k per item and a 1/3 drop rate on runes and even make a million plat in 24 hours? Nope. Same situation as is walls of slaughter.

What about farming the new zones? That stuff is expensive, sure. But items which sell for 100k and up do not sell very fast. You won't get a million a day reliably let alone 5 million a day.

If you think you are going to trade skill you way up to 5 million a day, forget it. Even the Dragons of Norrath cultural, while expensive, to make 5 million a day would require extensive farming and an extremely vast number of different grandmaster smiths and tailors to make all the different races.

The simple answer to this is you can't do it. 5 people might be able to pull it off if all 5 had 6 accounts but it would require controlling virtually all of the mid to high end market in the bazaar, and that means controlling all radiant and ebon sales.

The only way that an individual or individuals who had this kind of power would be able to pull this off would also expose them to the server, and they would have to be very very aggressive when dealing with other groups in game in order to accomplish it.

If it was Chinese farmers, they'd have to be doing something repeatable, which would leave them with Dragons of Norrath missions as their only choice.

The smoking gun on all of this is the bazaar, really. The bazaar and the fact that you can't make lots of money in EQ through selling drops to vendors.

It ALL has to go through the bazaar. 5 Million plat a day would be noticed. It is quite obvious when someone has a trader up that makes more than a couple hundred k a day. You would need at least 10 traders to hold the amount of items and such you would need to sell in order to make that 5 million a day as well. And quite frankly, there is not enough trade in the bazaar to support 10 traders loaded with top end gear making that 5 million a day, plus sales from the other 450 to 500 traders kicking around.

The only conclusion one can come to is that this platinum does not come through the bazaar for the most part. Thus it can be concluded that this platinum is acquired in some exploitive fashion.

A couple of other bits of information for you to chew on. On a message board where sellers talk to each other, there was a discussion going on, albeit brief. Of note what follows are two quotes from two of the trafficers of this, what is assumed, exploited or duped platinum :

While two of them were arguing about the undercutting of prices going on one of them said in comment on how he gets his plat "guy farming for me and has millions on each server always"

The same seller later in their argument about the price undercutting "Don't want to face other sellers at $35 per 100k? ok well face them at $25 per 100k" threatening the other seller with "I can sell it for whatever I want and still make money"

And one more comment, perhaps the most important, from seller number 2 above, who has had access to this dupe or been supplied by someone with it since July or earlier :

"You're all getting sidetracked from the point and attacking eachother for no reason.

Is there a dupe out? Yes! It appears so!

Many of the names in this thread have been selling EQ1 platinum for years. The people who've been selling that long obviously earn their platinum legitimately as they have continuously sold for many expansions. Any EQ1 seller who holds stock obviously cannot afford to hold duped stock as a ban would cost them an absurd amount of money / characters for the little profit they were making.

The reason you can tell a dupe is out is several sellers recently went from selling 0 or 1 or 2 servers to selling every single server."

Sellers fighting among each other might be funny and amusing, but these guys are ruining your game in the process trafficing this duped coin.

The guy running the macro makes $15,000 a day, the delivery companies make $12,000 a day, and the EQ player clamors for a new coin at the high end, oblivious in general to what is going on and assuming that item prices nearing a million on the high end is just due to standard inflation and the selling of droppables that a normal group gets in a few hours of playing each day.
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Old 01-14-2006, 09:53 PM   #24
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Not trying to be mean or anything, but this really isnt a topic for clerics. Should take this complaint to the Official Everquest boards. Someone please moderate and remove it.
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:07 AM   #25
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He did not post under Cleric Issues but the General forum. "this really isnt" just "a topic for clerics"
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:29 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Boanerges

He tries to correlate this to a losing drug war. If anything, drugs are still around and have not been eradicated. This type of philosophy will never work, because people are people. They what they want when they want it. For example, many religions or schools of thought on morality for murder as wrong with some exceptions and many countries have outlawed murder with some exceptions. But for the most part, cold blooded murder occurs still.

The mechanics might work in a system, but alot of his suggestions might actually cause inflation if the ease aquisition is too high. The instancing is pie in the sky, simply because you can simply "box" an instance.

I liked this little gem:

"And much as the blunt instrument of American foreign policy results in anyone appearing vaguely Western being snatched off the streets of Baghdad and held for ransom, the typical MMO player generalizes the plague in their midst as being the enemy. And foreign. A dangerous combination indeed."

Correlation is not always causation. And the ethnocentrism in that piece is certainly prevelent.

Such as I could say:

The youth of today are less inclined to be in acts of extreme violence because of the console systems. There is a correlation to that, and there is also a correlation to the aging population and lower crime rate.

Also, historically the entire Western expansion of the US was imperialism and outright conquest with Manifest Destiny. I fail to see the correlation between the political quagmire of why many countries, keyword, went to/are in Iraq. The ethnocentrism displayed by most MDC's, and these virtual farmers.

Another factor that decreases the credibility of the correlation and causation statement here, is that prior to Iraqi training the kidnappings were already occuring frequently. Thus ultimately weakening his points.

The conquistodor has a much stronger point on his system, but the conquistodors were often of the nobility or in the conscripted army as far as I can remember. Either way those people were not exceptionally destitute.

A much better example would have been a character like Scar Face or a destitute, colonial indentured servant.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:01 AM   #27
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In my point of view I agree with the blogger, that the buyers and supply are key. But if the fabled War on Drugs is any consolation, I think we are in for a rude awakening.

I'm interested in seeing the data from Soney Exchange service in EQ2 and how much of the market share it away from big players like IGE.

Another piece of data I'm really interested in seeing are 10-15 years from now once places like China or Eastern Europe establish DC or MDC status. Because if it's like the drug trade, it is just going to continue and the mass production is going to shift to another country.

What can a programmer do? Well for starters the simplest is to input mechanics that keep duping loops totally shut. Which seems to be the major portion of the beast.

The suggestion to have a fluid economy is nice, but the laws of supply and demand take over and you just have an economy with bigger numbers.

I'll break this down:

The answer? The same as any other drug problem. Dry up the market, and the “Chinese farmer” will return to pillaging other colonies. Games have to be either designed to be real-money-transaction resistant (liberal uses of instancing, a transparent economy that is in no way based on scarcity, and a design that makes the ingathering of wealth a function of casual gameplay which players in all tiers of skill can participate in) or simply support it up front and thus make the pimps that have used the gains of virtual vice to infest our community and purchase ‘respectability’ irrelevant.

Dry up the market, and the “Chinese farmer” will return to pillaging other colonies.- What other colonies when the people still want the product?

liberal uses of instancing- Downside, get 3 players and you can farm a ldon to your heart's content. DoN crystal system is another example of why this does not work.

a transparent economy that is in no way based on scarcity- How does this work exactly? Basic law of supply and demand are what drives prices, this an abstract concept. Unless if he means to have a consistently shifting upward and downward mobility. But how do you achieve that?

People still will always play alot and aquire more. Player demand or lack thereof for a product also attributes highly to market price.

Here's another thought. How do you precisely make it so that the paradigm is so fluid or in otherwords rather equal? Communism tried that and well we all know about Sovietism. In a capitalistic economy, how do you encourage an economy? How will you effect tradeskillers?

Then we also have the people that enjoy saying 'Well I walked 15 miles uphill through snow with only a kilt to Halas why can't you!" How do you make those people happy, when the economy paradigm shifts to not be based off of rarity? I'll tell you what will happen, you will see severe deflation because of high supply of money and product spurs little profitibility in a flooded market.

Also, that such a game system where equality occurs you have people, just like in a communistic system, become sloth as the "challenge" or "risk versus reward" is taken away.

Here's something else, we do have that availibility to do things with stuff like DoN missions and DoD missions and MPG trials. There is upward mobility for the lower and middle and upper tiers. So why are people still ebaying? We have high risk content (dod hards), low risk content (creator missions). Quite simply, the want factor and the guiltless purchase or if guilt is present the lieing to oneself of doing this for themselves because of x injustice.

virtual vice to infest our community and purchase ‘respectability’ irrelevant.

So let's say hypothetically we do something as draconian as oh make everything no trade and an economy non existant except for basic "needs" such as potions. Buuuuuuuut then:

Dry up the market, and the “Chinese farmer” will return to pillaging other colonies.- What other colonies when the people still want the product?

But there's the option to purchase PL'ed characters. And ahah, another market share.

The problem with lowering the significance of the bazaar in Everquest is a backlash with people that enjoy the current paradigm's concept void of these preverbial colonialists? Or how do you make upward and downward mobility slop equal without "turning EQ into WoW" and the inevitible cancelations and whine fest on boards?

This isn't about creating equal distributions of wealth or casual versus uber. Those lines are even blurry, with multiple definition of what is truly "casual" and what is truly "uber." It is simply exploitation of poor gaming code and people's greed. The former is the easy solution, the latter as history has proven time and bloody again to be practically impossible to purge.

So I pose the simple question, "how do you implement such an economy without removing capitolism?"

Simply our concept of work=reward is extremely strong, and changing people's vauge notions and beliefs on how much that should entail or stopping people from being humanity's immoral is an age old problem. Communism tried to solve it, and the old Soviet empire is still trying to crawl out of the quagmire. Nor is "lock 'em all up," "sue the *^% outta 'em," or Hitler's infamous Final Solution.

Last edited by Discombobulation : 01-15-2006 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:21 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by concernedeq
The way to stop these types of problems is to have someone monitoring the situation that knows what to watch for. It would not take more than 1 full time employee to solve the problem for an MMO.
Do what the U. S. government did to kill the original KKK. Sick the I.R.S. on them! =p
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:54 AM   #29
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Plat is actually quite useful to high end now, all the parts for the bazu stone/last blood augs are buyable, and considering the scale of the quest (and the fact that you need a tinkering skill of 300) most people choose to buy these. All the parts for one piece of armour are a huge amount of plat, you are looking at 400k+ for one slot if you buy everything for it. And this armour is second only to demi dropped armour, some would argue that some pieces are even better than them.
You cant really stop companies selling in game money though sadly, they will always find a way. The best sony can do is fix macro exploits etc as fast as possible, or better still never let them happen in the first place.
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:00 AM   #30
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Well for what its worth, despite being down to my last 100pp, this thread has made up my mind on plat vendors. I was very tempted to buy some, as Im rather behind on kit and in desperate need of upgrades. However its very apparrent that buying a couple 100k will make very little difference to me due to EQflation, but will continue to chip away at the value of the plat and make things worse for everyone.

So I've pledged to rely only on myself, if I need something Ill do my best to earn the item.

EQ is like real life, the rich get richer the poor stay poor, however we have the luxury in EQ of being able to manage without PP if we really need to. Something Im going to try and do.
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