The Best Of The Rest: If You Buy Gold You Are Evil, Fact Edition

It was looking like a pretty drab week in the ol’ MMORPG blogosphere these past seven days until a couple of events reignited the whole “gold buying/account hacking” debate on Friday. And I use the term debate in it’s loosest sense as really it’s more a case of some bloggers grabbing their pitchforks and embarking on a mob mentality Witch hunt. The trial has concluded, the verdict is in, if you buy gold you are evil and deserve to burn in Hell. Strangely enough, the actual account hackers themselves seem to be getting sympathy rather than retribution. I suppose the whole thing is a lot like blaming smokers, stoners and crack-heads for all of the problems the manufacturing of their drug does. Which makes perfect sense as actually dealing with the root cause would require effort.

P.S. I don’t condone buying gold. I don’t condone account hacking. All I do know is that if hackers are truly targetting accounts for the sole purpose of stripping them bare and re-selling their cash, Gevlon must be shitting his pants.

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20 Comments

  1. Kaarbaak says:

    Might I suggest a slightly different analogy rather than your “smokers, stoners and crackheads” reference? The gold itself is not illegal to possess. It’s more like the trading/selling of prescription drugs “the kids” are into these days.

    I’m not sure what the intent of your post is: having trouble discerning where the sarcam starts and stops. IMO, the game mechanic of so much gold/isk existing/available in game creates the gold buying/selling industry.

    The account hackers are definitely the ‘bad guys.’ They are the people mugging others for the money for their own profit. Stopping purchase/sale of gold is like stopping software and music piracy. Companies are judged on how they choose to deal with it, rather than whether it occurs or not.

    KB

    • Gordon says:

      To be honest, I think my sarcasm meter was all over the place on this one :)

      I suppose my intent (in a roundabout kinda of way) was to suggest that we shouldn’t overreact and start howling for the blood of gold buyers. As you said, the hackers are the real culripts here and the entire situation is indicative of a larger issue at hand. I don’t think calling gold buyers evil is going to sovle anything – I see them more as pawns and victims rather than anything else.

  2. Stabs says:

    I haven’t seen anyone condone hacking another player’s account and stealing all their stuff.

    Everyone is against that.

    Some people are also against gold buyers as Suzina found out the hard way.

    The short version is if you buy gold and tell people about it you will find some of them don’t want to play with you any more. If you buy gold and don’t tell people you will have to sit on a secret. If you don’t buy gold you will have to do parts of the game which bore some people.

    Life throws worse quandaries at us than this one.

    • Gordon says:

      I saw a few comments on other blogs where people said they can understand why hackers do it, which is what I find strange and was referring to.

      “Life throws worse quandaries at us than this one.”

      Absolutely a good moral :) It puts things in perspective.

  3. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I will admit to buying gold in WoW, and more than once. Guess I am now evil! But I haven’t done that in a long while and if I was playing WoW now I wouldn’t do it again. It’s not from a healthy economy reason but because I worry more about getting my account hacked.

    • Bootleg says:

      I’ve purchased gold in WoW as well, also more than once. I don’t have a problem with gold buying selling, at least not in WoW specifically. Gold in WoW has very little value. You’ve can’t buy the good stuff. Basically there are a couple of expensive ‘vanity’ items. After you’ve made you’re big purchases, you’re essentially done spending gold.

      These purchases we’re done only during vanilla WoW. I’ve no intention of purchasing any gold in WoW, ever again. It’s not due to morale dilemma or fear of getting hacked. One simple thing keeps me from buying gold… I don’t need to. It’s so easy to earn money in WoW and there’s very little to spend it on.

      My real curiosity is how/why the gold market can still exist in WoW. The hacking problem, the spamming, etc.. When it comes down to it, it all stems from the demand generated by gold buyers. Why does this demand exist? Outside of the few expensive vanity items, there’s just nothing to spend gold on. Nothing of any significant value that is.

  4. openedge1 says:

    In the last 10 years I have not ONCE had a virus, spyware issue or concern (all boils down to replacing my hardware and reloading every 3-6 months…yes, I am a masochist)..

    Yet, my WoW account was hacked.

    My question in all of this is…if the hacker was not taking my money for gold sellers, do YOU honestly believe they were just doing this to transfer gold to another account for use (i.e: your every day player/hacker?)

    But, it is all a downhill battle. The developers add an incredibly stupid money sink, gold sellers offer an easy way out for players to get there immediately, and for the gold seller to make a profit, they must have another person offer them the gold…i.e: most likely a hacker.

    But, there is no doubt, it all comes back to the player in the end. The player who buys gold is to blame. Why is that? Because if a game makes it so you need to beg, borrow or cheat to move forward, then you enable the gold seller, who enables the hacker.

    The player would be better off talking with their wallet and quitting the game. Issue solved.

    I blame….EVERYONE.

    • Gordon says:

      I think the problem is that trying to dissuade people from buying gold is never going to stop it. It’s human nature. The only way to absolutely stop it, I believe, is to legalise it, remove the need for it, or absolutely crack down on the hackers/sellers and destroy them completely.

      It’s interesting – and very worrying – that your account got hacked. It makes me wonder if WoW has a security flaw in it somewhere that hackers are exploiting and that’s very scary.

      The thing I always wanted to know: does the login shut you out if someone tries to brute force your password?

      • Bootleg says:

        People talking about getting hacked, I use the term myself. It’s wrong. Nobody’s “hacking” WoW. What actually happening social engineering and key loggers.

        Ultimately, people either give their password to somebody, or somehow get a key logger installed on their computer which secretly transmits the password to the villain. Though I’m not outright blaming the victim, they victim plays a significant roll in getting “hacked.”

        • openedge1 says:

          As I stated Bootleg, I have had ZERO issues with ANY tools, virus, spyware, etc. installed on my systems.
          I have been a computer admin for over 20+ years, and with my addiction to reloads and changes across all platforms for passwords and what not, the issue lies somewhere else.

          The fact the WoW account was dormant for over a year as well spells trouble to me. Why would I get “keylogged” when I have not “logged” into WoW for over a year. As well, the account had been renewed in the previous month of my logging in..so it was relatively new.

          Sorry, but I believe there is a much larger security issue at hand than keyloggers, etc.

          (PS: As an added issue, the credit card on file was not mine. I did not own the credit card used in the first place to renew the account. Tell me if THAT is not troubling?)

          There is a real issue at hand, and by buying the gold, all the player did when they paid for that gold was support another hack.

    • Vett says:

      @openedge1 I suffered the same fate from hackers a while back and I truly resent the gold trade business. I had 3 characters realm transferred, everything on my multiple toons sold, and even my hunter respeced Beast Mastery for farming purposes I suppose. I think you summed it up perfectly by saying, “But, there is no doubt, it all comes back to the player in the end. The player who buys gold is to blame. Why is that? Because if a game makes it so you need to beg, borrow or cheat to move forward, then you enable the gold seller, who enables the hacker.” This is exactly how the whole gold topic makes me feel.

      Stop buying gold, and then all of these hacking problems will disappear!

      • Tesh says:

        So, the customer with the demand is to blame… but who makes that demand in the first place? The game designers and idiotic gold sinks.

        I lay the lion’s share of blame on the devs, but yes, there’s plenty to go around. It’s a vicious cycle.

  5. TK says:

    Never bought money on WoW. I did purchase numerous GTC’s for EvE and sell them through the secure transfer option. I would call that buying isk, but it is allowed in EvE, so that makes it less evil. Many of my RL friends I played with didn’t want to play with me anymore since they couldn’t compete with my level of “dedication”. The other EvE players that were “hardcore” had no issue, they just asked what new shiny toys I was gonna buy…and get blown up. lol

    BTW ever find a good corp, Gordon?

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