[MUD-Dev] SOC: Will company sanctioned cheating hurt theMMOcommunity?

Matt Mihaly matt at ironrealms.com
Sun May 8 08:25:14 New Zealand Standard Time 2005


Jaycen Rigger wrote:

> I don't see it as a logical development.  I think it would attract
> the most annoying players (the ones most admins and Game Masters
> complain about) and drive off the casual gamers.

The opposite is true. Players that will buy things TEND to be less
customer service intensive. They tend to whine less. Unlike you, I
can back this up with actual experience. When given the choice
between a teenager with no job and a bazillion hours a week of free
time on his hands, or a professional with just a little free time
but more money, I'm going for the latter every time. How do I know?
I'm not just speculating, like you are.

> If commodification means "cheating by buying and selling virtual
> property to players who didn't actually do in-game stuff to earn
> it", then I agree.

Cheating is playing against the rules. Once a practice isn't against
the rules, it's not cheating. Guess what? You don't set the
rules. The developer/publisher does.

> I swore I'd never do it.  Then I found out players on less than a
> week were more than twice my own skill ratings in areas where I'd
> focused my time and energy.  I went out and started buying skills.
> If everyone else is doing it, and everyone has access to it, then
> to compete, you have to do it.  It's stupid because if everyone
> can do it, and all it's doing is cancelling the effect of a
> standard skill gain that might be too slow, then why have it at
> all?

Huh, you mean like, "It's stupid because if everyone can level up by
just hitting the kill monster button over and over, and all it's
doing is canceling the effect of a slower skill gain, then why have
it at all?" Your logic leads to requiring no time to be put into the
game either.

> If people who are nimrods are buying their way through the game,
> then the rest of the players are going to be frustrated and feel
> like they have to buy their way through in order to compete.  It's
> like setting up little MMORPG gambling casinos.  People are going
> to lose their houses buying useless bits of digital fluff.
> Virtual Worlds Anonymous will have to create a 12 step program.

*panic* THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!

> I (and people like me) don't want a facist state where it's
> "impossible" to cheat.  We want a place of expressive freedom
> where it's possible to be a cheat, but I choose not to cheat, and
> the authorities punish those who are caught cheating.  I want
> justice to exist.

A fascist state. Well, if we were talking about states, that might
make sense. But since we're talking about games, let's drop the
hyperbole and stop pretending SOE announced they're going to steal
your children and sell them to gypsies shall we?

> When I pay my monthly fee to play a game, I am on an equal footing
> with every other player who enters the game world.  My own
> character's success depends on my own ambitions and time
> management.

It does? How interesting. I played WoW and started with 5 gold,
courtesy of a rl resource (friend) who twinked me out. Did everyone
start out with this out-of-game resource (higher level friends). I
guess you must be one of these people who advocates banning people
from interacting with rl friends, since such interaction creates
unequal footings between players?

> Regardless of what choices I make, I acquire power/wealth/stuff
> through the in-game systems that exist.  I don't step outside the
> game and profit by the labors of others.  If I did that in-game,
> then good for me for being inventive and using the in-game systems
> in an inventive way.  If I do it outside the game, I'm cheating.

You spent time to acquire power/wealth/stuff. Others will spend
money. And again, your hubris is misplaced. You don't define
cheating.

--matt
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