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EA needs to take over the sale of game items and gold.

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Sam the Scribe, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Sam the Scribe

    Sam the Scribe Visitor

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    One solution for the current problem is for EA to sell tokens for all in-game items and gold on it's website. Not only would that be an additional revenue source for EA, it would allow players to buy the gold and gear they need with the confidence that the item is authentic.

    You want a Jackal's Collar and a Crim, buy the tokens from EA. Then you have no worries about being in posession of a duped item, and possibly getting banned.

    Safe Travels, Sam
     
  2. Fox (Europa)

    Fox (Europa) Guest

    Actually what is needed is what most other modern games do and ban the trade of items for cash entirely.

    Fox
     
  3. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    Its kinda funny, I wrote this a few hours ago before that 'forced' mail from stratics, but figured I wouldn't post it as it was long and basically I had a bit of a wave of depression run over me and got to thinking 'why bother?' I guess. However seeing your post I agree with the gold part but not the items, if you can buy every 'nice' item in game, why bother even playing? Anyways, this is what I was gonna post, so anyone who wants into the debate feel free, I doubt I have much more to say on the subject as sometimes I do wonder if there is any hope for UO when so many people seem bent on destroying it.

    MissE

    Each time you buy gold or items for real life cash....... you are effectively supporting scripters, dupers, cheaters.... you are the problem.


    I know this statment is probably going to get me flamed, so be it, however consider this:

    Before I go on I should qualify that statment with "I am not talking about sellers with once only, one off, transactions, but those broker houses and players that have websites that do nothing but 'sell' pixels for real life cash on a year round basis" I am sure sometimes one mate sells another mate something for $10 bucks if the seller doesn't really 'need' the uogold (this isn't the issue and these types of transactions are not a problem if it is only of mutual benefit at the time for seller and buyer and not run as a permanent money generator).

    Why do we have so much organised scripting, duping, cheating? I seriously doubt it is because some players want to have 500 million locked down checks in their houses, it is because they 'sell' this gold for real life cash to make real life profit. Not only that they are making that profit by selling you something that doesn't technically 'exist', 'that they don't even own' and costs them nothing other than time to set up their scripting and duping programs.

    I doubt a single person can argue with that fact.

    Ask yourself, would you go and buy 'nothing but personal enjoyment' for 10 dollars? Because that in effect is what you are doing when you buy uogold for real life cash. You may say well I don't have 'time' to get the gold and by buying that gold it 'frees' you up to 'enjoy' your game more and I have enough real life money that I don't mind 'paying' for my enjoyment, not do the 'grind', not 'wait' for normal gameplay to 'earn' me the gold to buy what I want etc etc. Well they are an arguments I hear all the time, yet the same people then state that dupers, scripters, cheaters are wrecking the game, "I don't dupe, script, or cheat, I just buy gold which 'isn't illegal' is it?" That is true, it isn't 'illegal' however those you buy off are doing the 'illegal' things so that you don't have to, so while you are buying your enjoyment, you have to ask yourself at what cost? Because the cost is not your $10 it is your $10 dollars and a deteriorating product that in order for you to get your gold or item means someone else is cheating, duping, scripting and inflating the economy and making it harder and harder for new players to compete unless they get into the same cycle of 'paying out' real life cash for gold and items to 'equal' you.

    Now consider this, if a broker sells a conservative 50 million gold a week for $50.00 real life cash that is $2600 per annum tax free. (@$1.00 per mil) We know that over the past year or so the price of uogold has sold for on avg between $1.50 & $2.00 per mil and prior to that more. Given that to sell 50 million gold in a week is probably 1/10th or less of what is actually being sold over all the various broker houses, even at that low sale rate and quantity it equates to 2,600,000,000 per annum (I personally know 3 people on my shard who for varying reasons purchased 160 mil between them in one week, and my shard has one of the lowest populations by far in comparison to a US or european shard mulitply this over all the shards so take a guestimate of what the amount of uogold sold in a week could be.).

    Do you believe in any serious way that 2.6 billion gold can be generated by one broker or person per annum playing 'legally'? Even assuming that it is a 'group' of players, at 10hrs a day fighting pvm monsters dropping 2k loot each, one after the other, every day of the year would only net around 300 mil per yr and you would need a group of 8 players to generate this amount. So that $50 per week 'income' would be $6.25 ea per week. No player is going to put in 70 hours a week making 'legal' uo gold for a piddly $6.25.

    So ok, you don't buy gold, you buy a 'real' or 'duped' item, say a val hammer for 20mil. Now that broker doesn't want your 20 mil uogold to lock down in their house do they? No they put it on the gold market to sell for real life cash, or buy items to sell for real life cash. It all comes down to turning 'pixels' into cash.

    Anyone who buys gold or items off anyone other than EA is the problem. It doesn't matter if you don't have time to put in the hours to 'earn' your gold to get your buying power, it doesn't matter if you just want to enjoy the game and don't want to have to 'compete' with power gamers because you don't have the 'time', it doesn't matter that you are a vet and have 'been there done that' and don't want to 'do it again' as you have 'done your time' so 'buying' your game gold and items is ok. At the end of the day if you pay ANY BROKER real life cash for any pixel item in UO you are the reason they 'exist' so don't complain about 'others' wrecking the game, cheating, duping whatever. You need to understand that without YOU THE BUYER they don't exist. As the BUYER you are the one who perpetuates the problem and the reason why people even 'bother' to do it in the first place.

    Now any who knows me knows that I have plenty of time to play UO, and so don't have 'issues' with being able to achieve what I want without cheating to do so. I have played legally for just over 5 yrs and have amassed a lot of assets and gold in this time, but I spend on avg about 6-10 hrs a day playing. I have never 'left' my home shard or partaken in xshard transfers etc, I don't generally do champ spawns, although I used to do some a few yrs back, I do spend hours doing any event or playing any scenario put up by ea to maximize any new 'rewards' on offer and I do parttake in holiday gift swapping. I do run a large vendor mall in Luna on Oceania, but ONLY sell those items I personally craft, loot, enhance or 'earn' myself. I do minimal buying and reselling, but only on items that I know I am 99% positive are not duped or illegal and only off other vendors who do not allow the 'known' dupers access etc. (however after this weeks banning excercise I doubt I will touch anything off another vendor now lol)

    I am not saying that I have no understanding of why others feel the need to 'buy' gold or items, especially the casual gamer etc, I do. I have the time to play but I know 'others' don't. I do not think you are a cheat or that the reasons you buy pixels for real life cash is any reflection on you as a player or person or even wrong to do so. Or for that matter that it is any of my business in what you elect to do with your money, to each their own. However, I do believe by doing this you create the problem that is killing our game.

    So what is the point of this post?

    Well I guess I am going to suggest something radical and something most gamers will throw their hands up in the air and say 'taboo taboo' etc etc, it is just NOT done, blah blah, stone the woman, it is blashphemous!

    So here goes, lol:

    Can we take it as a 'given' the following points:

    1. Dupers and cheaters have been in UO since the games inception and for every 'fix' there will be another dupe or cheat hot on its heals. YES/NO
    2. Introducing real life cash into the gaming world for pixel items is the basic reason why people script and cheat, purely for profit in real life. YES/NO (other than skill gaining etc which is another issue all together and not part of this topic).
    3. You cannot 'stop' people wanting to get 'ahead' by 'paying' in real life cash for pixel items and gold that they cannot earn themselves due to whatever reason, time constraints, etc etc, so there will always be those willing to fork over dollars for pixels.YES/NO
    4. For the above reasons, all this 'real life' cash is going to those who are slowly eroding the whole integrity of the game, by using these cheats, dupes, dud game codes, dud anything they can 'dud' YES/NO
    5. The devs and programmers spend a lot of time that could be spent on development trying to chase down these cheaters and dupers which takes time away from fixing 'gameplay bugs', events, new content etc.YES/NO
    6. The current level of player morale in UO is pretty dismal due mainly to the effect the cheats and dupes have on the economy, and the time taken to get these issues 'fixed'. YES/NO

    If you said YES to points 1-6 above then what is the solution?

    This is where I am going to get 'radical' lol

    Firstly, lets value a million UOgold into a 'cash' value. For this exercise say 1 uomillion = 85c (USD) (this could be $1, 50c 70c whatever was seen as reasonable by ea but hopefully would be at a point or two below the lowest value the uogold piece has been at so far).

    If you wish to buy UOgold for your gameplay, you go to the eagamestore and purchase eg 10 million uogold for $8.50 or 20 million for $17.00 or 50 million for $42.50 and you get a token that converts to 10/20/50 million in checks into your bankbox in game. (remember people who are prepared to buy gamegold for 'cash' are already 'buying gold' off brokers so basically the effect is that the money goes to EA instead of to some individual's pocket).

    This then 'legitimises' those buying gold and they know that the gold they 'buy' is 'legal' and not obtained by scripters, dupers etc. EA gets the revenue from gold sales which makes UO more profitable for them.
    While the 'brokers' may then drop the price of 'their' gold to 50c a mil or whatever, I do believe that the majority of players are honest, and those who do have the money to spend on 'pixels' would rather pay for gold when they know the money is going to EA rather than some cheater who is ripping us all off for their own gain. Given the choice of buying gold off EA or off a broker I believe that 85% or more would purchase it off EA just because they do not wish to support those wrecking their game but at the present time have no choice. At some point the value of the uomillion doesn't become 'viable' for scripters as effort/time/risk v profit to them means that they are better off to go and script in some other game. By doing this 85% of the current market for gold will disappear.

    How will this effect duped items?

    Well at present, the dupers dupe items to get uogold which they then 'sell' for cash. But if noone is 'buying' their cash what is the point of 'duping'? 5 billion uogold checks sitting in their bank accounts is worth 0 to them. It only becomes a valuable commodity when converted to 'real life cash'. If they have duped 500 barbed runic kits and are trying to 'sell' them for 2mil uogold each if there is noone to 'buy' their 1,000,000,000 gold for cash because people 'buy' their gold off ea what do they intend to do with it? Use it as deco?


    What about if they just dupe the items and sell them for cash rather than for uogold in game?

    eg, dupe a rare and try and sell it for real life cash?

    Well the same thing will happen that happens now, EA will need to investigate it and delete the dupe, ban the duper, ban the buyer. Basically if you are 'buying' items off anyone for real life cash, you need to be 100% certain of their authenticity or take the risk of having your account deleted if it is found not to be the case. If you are prepared to 'buy' items for cash off 'unknown' sources then it is your own fault if you get caught out.

    Anyways flame away, or come up with your own 'solutions'. All I know is the duping and scripting has not decreased one bit in the last few years, it has just got worse and worse, and now the overall feeling of the general player is 'don't buy anything', 'don't trust anyone', 'don't do well and store gold legally as who knows you may be banned for being rich unless you can 'justify' every penny, assuming you ever get the chance to 'justify' anything and log in one day to find you can't and have been hung, drawn, quartered and buried before you even knew you were on trial.
     
  4. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    Impossible to police, as cash transactions are not done 'in game' but out of it, and there is no law against giving someone an item. (the fact they have paid for it out of game is not recorded by the gaming company so there is no way to tell if cash changed hands).
     
  5. gjohnson5

    gjohnson5 Guest

    impossible...

    next question
     
  6. gjohnson5

    gjohnson5 Guest

    I believe posts like this are more the problem then anything
    The onus should be on EA to fix scripting and duping issues

    Dont assume players are going to abide by the rules. EA has known scripters a have been playing in the game and they CHOOSE to turn a blind eye at it
     
  7. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    I guess you never read beyond the first sentance.
     
  8. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
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    Gold, items, etc. should be produced ONLY via playing the game the way it is supposed to be. Not by duping, scripting, and/or random EA tokens. All three of those things have the same negative impact on the game and the community.
     
  9. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    And for the 5 yrs I have been playing people have been able to purchase gold off the brokers, and it was like this long before I started to play, so there comes a point where you have to cut your losses and look at other solutions. Anybody who WANTS to can already purchase gold for cash, so by doing so support those who cheat. I would rather pay ea than a duper.

    In my 'perfect world' EA would fix all dupes and critical errors within 2 day of reports, all other bugs would be 'fixed' within a month of reporting, no one would pay cash for pixels or want to, no one would dupe, or play illegally.

    However, if we are going to have a 'negative' then at least make it one profitable to ea in that it may give the money to them to be able to afford more staff to fix those things that in 10 years have NOT been fixed and take the money away from those who dupe, cheat and script.
     
  10. gjohnson5

    gjohnson5 Guest

    It's just the same mess over and over again....
    Players should all be Saints....

    Ultima Online is like anything else in the IT field
    If there are holes in software , people will exploit it

    Other companies are much better at fixing these holes or at least acknowledging they exist
     
  11. Sam the Scribe

    Sam the Scribe Visitor

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    So you're against the tokens that EA already sells? Deco items, armor and weps are already available via tokens. First they were made available as rewards or expansion goodies, now you can buy them online.

    If I can buy a crim off an in-game vendor, why not get it from EA?

    The issue is being able to verify the authenticity of an item. I can't do that buying from vendors in-game. Heck, even if I personally know the vendor running a shop, I can't verify that he hasn't rented out spaces to others that I don't know and that puts me at risk of buying a duped item.

    Safe Travels, Sam
     
  12. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

    If I were to buy with cash either gold or an item, I would prefer to buy it from EA, even if it was a bit more expensive. I would know 100% that it was not illegally gained, and that this would go towards employing extra programmers, GMs and customer support people.

    I know for certain that UO would be 200% better with extra programmers, GMs and customer support people.
     
  13. Lord Kynd

    Lord Kynd Guest

    just wondering
    is there much differance between duping /cheating/scripting/ exploiting ?
    no i don't think so , all are forms of cheating. so i think just using one word .. cheaters would suffice . :p
     
  14. Sam the Scribe

    Sam the Scribe Visitor

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    It's interesting that you mention price. Another benefit would be that all items would be priced the same for everyone. No more buying an item for 2mil, then walking around the corner and finding it for 1mil.

    And, if you buy the cheaper item... you wonder why it was so cheap?

    I've seen so many people posting messages saying (in essence) "If you bought cheap items you had to know they were dupes!" How am I to know what the value of an item is supposed to be? Should I always buy the most expensive one I see? Does that guarantee that it's not a dupe?

    EA should set up it's OWN vendors in Luna. In fact EA should take over the entire town and make it a place that you can buy game items from EA vendors in game. Just like the NPC system they already have for other items, just add rares and tokens.

    Gold, they would have to sell on their website since it involves a cash transaction.

    In fact, I like this idea so much I'm gonna submit it to Jeremy.

    Safe Travels, Sam
     
  15. A.Entreri

    A.Entreri Seasoned Veteran
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    EA needs to take over the sale of game items and gold........and then shut it down. this is a crazy idea. what would be the point of playing? what would be the challenge? where would the fun be? where is the pride of accomplishing something that you want in game if you can just break out the credit card instead.

    what would feel more of a worthwhile accomplishment, getting that ornament of the magician from doom yourself/working hard in-game and earn the gold to buy it or to just buy it from ea's website with your credit card? if you want the instant items and fast cash, then maybe you should play the test shard instead.

    this would devalue things in-game even more. a lot of player would have no desire to try and do anything to get their own stuff/gold on their own or with a group of other players. there are many players who work hard in game to acquire what they want through gameplay, its a lot more rewarding and fun to work for what you want than to just get it the easy way. one tends to appreciate and treasure something a lot more when they earn it, you have something to show for yourself.

    i would've so ashamed if somebody asked "hey where did you get your inquisitor's resolution from?" and i had to say truthfully.."oh i bought it from uo.com, they were $15.99" rather than "i stole them from doom with my thief, it took forever and i was lucky, but it was worth it". (true story by the way) and they feel so much better when i put them on knowing i got them through playing this game. they have meaning to it and a story behind them.
     
  16. I havent sold anything for RL cash for months.
    I used to ebay. It was something that paid for my accounts.
    I used to sell gold to pay for my accounts at about $1.50 to $2.00.

    What changed? Well I shrunk my accounts down. Its not as costly for me to play.

    I dont feel like selling gold under $1.50. I dont have that much to begin with.
    I buy lots of stuff now, vend it, use it, or store it.

    I might sell gold again.

    I just want to put out there, gold and items will always be sold. You cant effective say its bannable. It wont work. I will only drive the price of items up and the sellers still win.

    Duping is bannable and scripting is bannable. Has that stopped it. No.

    Fixing the game mechanics. No duping. No scripting. Well it makes the full time RL business peoples jobs not so easy.

    Fixing the games so gold is important but less important. That is you dont need 20 million to get a item you must have for PvP.

    Creating game mechanics that work better, creates less need for RL spending.

    In saying that you will always have selling. There are plenty of players that have great jobs, extra cash, and little time to play. They want to buy what they need to play. It America, its a free Country to do as you wish with your money.

    Stratics will no longer allow RL currency selling. I really think it is smart of them. The were giving an absolutely free advertising mechanism to all. What did they gain from it? Nada.

    So before we go on and on about RL selling?

    Its not going to go away. Improve the game. Less need for it.
     
  17. Harb

    Harb Guest

    Sam, I once was a major proponent of EA directly selling items, I'm not so sure anymore that's really a good solution. Forgeting all the individual reactions (some elated, some furious, both for a variety of valid reasons), the trouble is at least threefold, where do you draw the line (e.g. everything but crimsons), how does EA actually price ($1.25 mil gold, $29.95 crimson, etc?), and keeping the item list current/ complete.

    MissEcho is probably closer to the target by saying direct gold sales only as a more widely acceptable and certainly more workable solution. The trouble with this solution is that all it does is establish price competition with the resellers, not really the right scenario to stabilize the economy, and factually does not directly address the duping issue. I do suspect it can work, but only if an old idea is reborn and implemented - change the currency. With a new currency, EA can sell direct sans pricing warfare. Prior to a changeover, there must be a method for players to legitimately spend gold reserves, personally I don't want 20 mil empty bottles :)
     
  18. Gwendar-SP

    Gwendar-SP Guest

    The buying and selling of stuff goes both ways tho.

    1) someone doesn't want to or can't pay for theie account with cash. They find someone willing to get game time codes and sell them in game for gold. The person who pays cash for the codes then needs to sell the gold to recover his investment. Same situation with other items like legasy tokens.

    2) Some don't have the time to get gold through game play. Some seem to generate gold. You don't have to cheat to get gold - for some reason I seem to collect a reasonable amount of the stuff through BOD. What can I do with my gold? I make loans to guild mates (no interest or fees) I sometimes sell it for cash.

    In real life currency was invented to faciliate the exchange of goods and services. In UO, gold does the same. In the past, currency was backed by gold/silver. This gave it value. In UO, rl currency backs gold. Without that backing the gold is just eye candy.

    I don't think the problem is uo gold having value in RL. The problem is the cheaters who dupe and script - sort of like counterfiters in RL.

    This only works if EA filled both sides of the equation. If EA ONLY sold gold then inflation would be worse than it currently is.
     
  19. Salty Pete

    Salty Pete Guest

    The solution to the problem is even more simple than you think....

    Make UO a single player game.

    As long as other players compete with each other you will have at least one person cheating to get ahead at your expense. Hell, even when the game is single player you will have players cheating to get ahead. Even when no one can see what they are doing. See, cheating at video games is something that some people just enjoy doing. There are hundreds of sites on the web dedicated to helping people cheat at all types of games.

    However, if UO were a single player game that cheating would not affect your game play.

    Personally, I'll just stick with what we have now. Sure, it might cost more ingame gold for things, but that doesn't mean I'll have any less fun playing.
     
  20. Sam the Scribe

    Sam the Scribe Visitor

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    Your argument ignores the fact that you can already buy anything in game. Having EA sell these items guarantees the authenticity of the item. That is the point of my post, giving players a choice when making purchases.

    You have never bought any high end items yourself? You have done every quest/dungeon/peerless etc, personally to get everything you have? That would be an admirable accomplishment. But, this is a game to me and I will buy items to help equip characters so that I can enjoy some of the greater challenges.

    Safe Travels, Sam
     
  21. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    That hints at the real problem, and the real solution. 'Authenticity'

    I don't much care if someone who slogs through the game for weeks decides to sell stuff they have gained through their playing time for cash. I won't personally do that, or buy the things they sell, but I'm pretty ambivalent about it happening. The problem is NOT that items get sold. The problem is that dupes are made, and sold, in large quantities for large profits, by cheats.

    No dupes = no crisis.

    The solution is to stop letting dupes get into circulation. EA/Mythic claim every item has a traceable ID tag, and they can track all the dupes - so when will we see a remotely reasoned argument from them why they don't get the programming sorted out enough to do a daily (preferably) or weekly (not anything like as good, but better than what we have now) wipe of duplicated items during server maintenance.... would it take too long, melt the server processors, upset the Roswell aliens, or what?

    Since we're never told, here's a guess to consider :

    i) Company look at the costs of employing programmers, accomodating them, paying insurance etc. to sort out the real underlying problem, and create an automated deletion of any duped item promptly after it's made, and blackhole the account that made it.

    ii) Company looks at the scale of the problem, and works out how many of their customers they could afford to lose before they lost as much as they would have to spend on sorting out the problem.

    iii) Company decides to go for it with a clumsy system that might look a bit like they're solving something, as they can take the losses from a few banned, and a few leaving, customers far more easily than they can meet the staffing costs.

    And if that's not what's going on - any chance we are ever to be told what IS going on?

    Why will this banning round be any more effective than the past ones?

    Or is it not meant to be 'effective', just high enough profile to look like genuine action?
     
  22. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
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    This only creates a black market. In my opinion, the only way to fix this problem is for MMOs to create their own cash transaction marketplace. This would allow easy tracking of items sales, security for buyers, extra revenue to the company from transaction fees, etc. It might create extra work, but that would be easily offset by the increase in revenue.
     
  23. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    The problem if EA decided to sell us gold.. they would make that our only option.

    Don't expect that if they could get $ for gold they would let you get it by killing a mongbat, orc, or dragon.


    There are several ways they could stop the duping, but they just don't want to waste their time to do any of them.

    They could spend less than 2 hours to apply a check to the itemIdent assingment routine, so duped items would never get an Identity - and therefore never be recognized by the server (they would vanish when the duper relogged, and could not be traded because the server wouldn't see the item they were trying to trade)

    They could add tracking tags to specific types of items and set up a server script to log them. So the moment a val hammer came into the game, every time it was traded/vendored/etc it was all logged so they could track down the exact method of the dupe and everyone involved.



    If putting an end to duping were even a minute fraction as important to them as they claim, they would take the time to eliminate it.
     
  24. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
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    Hum,

    Consider that if EA sold the items AND applied the principle that the income would go toward paying the employees better, better benefits and improving the infrastructure .... etc.

    Would that have any sway on your position?

    It is now estimated that the out of game market for in game items, world wide, all MMORPGS, is $10 Billion US +.

    Some game maker is going to be the first one to do it.

    When they do, they should also provide an In Game interface to external Companies, such as Domino's for example.
     
  25. Radun

    Radun Guest

    exactly.
    I was going to say... there's no difference between duping and ea selling the items.
    the only change would be the money is going into ea's pocket instead of the dupers.
    the effect on the market would be the same as if the dupers were creating the items instead of ea
     
  26. Radun

    Radun Guest

    where is the item coming from? not through gameplay. that's the problem.
    the problem is, every time someone bought something from ea directly, they would be creating the new item. this has the same effect on the game's economy as duping.

    crimson isn't expensive because it's just so awesome of an apron. it's expensive because it takes a lot of work to get one, and anyone who has one won't part with it for less than a certain price.

    plus there's only so many of them available.

    if ea started selling crimsons, they would have an unlimited supply of them... it's the same as if they flooded the market with that item. every time someone wanted one, they could go to uo.com and have one created specially for them.
    suddenly there's no point to do peerless, because even if you manage to get the coveted crimson cinture, you won't be able to sell it. everyone already had one created specially for them by uo.com.

    in other words, every time ea would make an item available for sale directly from them, they would be destroying the in-game market for that item
     
  27. thelma1717

    thelma1717 Adventurer

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    im not a computer genius but why cant they make a program that auto deletes items if all items where coded the program would run once a day and delete all items not coded ??
     
  28. Radun

    Radun Guest

    the same goes for gold.

    there's already way too much gold floating around in the market for ea to start mass producing more and introducing more into the economy every time someone pays them.
     
  29. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    No, Mythic should NEVER sell ingame items beyond promotional items directly. Gold, runics, artifacts and so on should NEVER be sold by the Mythic website (yes, some items have violated this I'm aware).

    Promotional items should be NOTHING more than decorative or have very limited abilities.

    What Mythic should do IMO is provide a secure, impartial auction/trading network (sorry Tradespot et. al.) where the aco****s on that site are tied directly to ingame accounts. Auctions should be provided in in game gold, in game bartering, AND out of game cash sales. RMT auctions would have a listing fee much like eBay which would provide an income stream to the game.

    Since the site would be tied to a player's account, any situation that would warrant an investigation for possible exploiting (such as listing an inordinate amount of runics, or multiples of a known unique item) would trigger an internal investigation which could lead to the account being banned.

    This would provide a neutral, secure area for legitimate tradesmen to buy, sell, and trade knowing that a seller is legitimate and is not selling exploited goods.
     
  30. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    Because they can't really identify duped items just by looking at the database. If they could, you can be very sure that they would do just what you are suggesting. Don't let them hoodwink in to believing that they have some magic method either.
     
  31. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    I think some may have missed my point on this.

    Atm you can buy however many millions you want off a broker. 50 mil, 100 mil, 200 mil etc for real life cash. We all know this. It has been happening forever, and it doesn't really matter the 'reason' why people buy gold, they do, so it is a 'given', and whether anyone 'likes' it or not it happens. There is no way to police 'out-of-game' cash transactions so it is impossible to 'stop'.

    This has been the case for years. It is also 99.9% likely that for a 'broker' to have this type of gold year in and year out, so much so that they can advertise on websites and broker/trading centers that they cheat in some way as it impossible to generate this type of gold and sustain it without cheating, and I hardly think that there are 50 people out there working to supply one broker with 'legally' produced game gold for resale.

    I do not believe for one minute that EA should sell items available 'in game' as part of normal gameplay. Why? Because if you can obtain any item by buying it it takes all the point of play away.

    The items EA currently sell via the gamestore are NOT items generally available to obtain through any of the current spawning systems in game, ie legacy tokens, transfer tokens, name change tokens etc. Yes they sell other 'gift' tokens for short term promotions such as spring cleaning tokens, evil furniture etc, but NONE of these items are normally available 'in game' accept as gift promotions.

    Most of the large item dupes/cheats that have happened over the past couple of years have been:
    Colored shrouds, doom/other artis, glacial items, vine cords, brk's, runic hammers, etc, and the sale of these to the 'public' has been via vendors in game, hence they are getting your 'gold' for resale. Unless they then 'sell this gold' it is of NO value.

    So the 'offered' solution is DON'T BUY GOLD FROM BROKERS, BUY IT FROM EA.

    This is just a way of altering who is making the profit from it, and once the dupers are not making a profit as people don't 'buy' their gold it gives little incentive for them to dupe items, or script resources, if all they end up with is in game 'pixel' gold that they cannot sell. Logically it makes sense, and as I said, I believe if there was a 'legitimate' source to buy gold from people would much rather use that than deal with brokers and cheats.

    I do not say this is in any way the 'ideal' solution. In the perfect world noone would 'buy' gold, EA would 'fix' all exploits and bugs the minute they appeared. But let's get realistic, this hasn't happened in 10 years so what makes anyone think it is going to happen any time soon, and even if they fix every single known dupe and cheat today, there will be another that some 'bright spark' will start up tomorrow, but it all hangs on the premise that they can convert their cheat to 'cash'.

    Atm, say a duper makes 500 barbed runic kits. How do they 'shift' them, they do it via in game vendors, or by selling in 'bulk' from those broker sites. In the case of the shrouds, doom artis, etc probably the bulk were sold via in game vendors. These 'sales' result in ingame gold only. This is a useless commodity until converted to 'cash'. Now the brks sold directly from the site for cash require that the 'item' is 'delivered' to someone in game hence why they are 'in bulk' as I hardly think it is profitable for a broker to deliver 500 brks all over the shards one by one to those people wanting one or two kits. The time and accounting for it would make it a huge amount of work and effort for $1.00 or $2.00's, they rely on vendors for quick easy MASS turn around of these duped items and resale of the 'gold' to get their 'cash'.

    If 'EA' sells gold then it takes away 'profit' from the dupers. They don't want your uogold, they want your CASH. Hence the people 'buying' uogold are the ones supporting the whole system of "dupe, obtain uogold, sell gold for cash".

    If the dupers can't rely on someone buying their 'uogold' for 'cash' then it takes away the point of duping in the first place. So items on vendors and the beauty of our unique player markets becomes once again something not to be 'afraid' of and a useful tool for enjoyable gameplay by those running shops etc. The market will level out and items that have had their value whittled away by these cheats, will regain their value, ie barbed kits and players who have legitimately obtained these items will get fair value for their work and effort. Instead of seeing these dupers totally 'trash' the market for their own personal gain.
     
  32. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    The problem with buying gold directly from EA is that in effect it is the same as buying it from someone who dupes it themselves. The gold is created from thin air and sporks the ingame eceonomy that much more.

    A gold trader worth their salt at running a business will be able to pay out a certain amount for people wanting to sell a bit of gold from time to time, or be able to play the game in order to trade the amount they need to (generally IDOCs, high end trading, real estate, whatever). To bring up the constant comparison, you can find sites that sell WoW gold also have a "buy" price and how much they are looking in order to meet their needed stock.

    Get a good enough network going on top of your normal playing and you can do quite well.

    Now granted all of this DOES get skewed by people who exploit and dupe, but if there were a reasonably effective system to reduce or remove these people, then you could see more legitimate gold sales occur.

    As stated, buying gold from EA would be the same as buying it from a duper... the gold is generated from nothing, and not from normal game play. We've already been complaining for how long now that the "gold faucet" in UO is too wide open and there is too much in the game? What do you suppose would happen if Mythic started selling gold which would then be created from nothing ON TOP OF the current influx of gold we have already?
     
  33. Radun

    Radun Guest

    being a broker doesn't automatically make them a cheater.
    brokers make their money by dealing with money.
    they charge a solid % for each transaction.
    the reason they have so much money is because they deal with big numbers.
    online stores that sell items (usually operated by brokers).. they offer the items for many times more money than it would cost the consumer to buy themselves with ingame gold.

    in other words, they didn't get that rich from cheating game mechanics.. they got that rich by investing enough money to be able to deal with huge numbers, and having huge profit margins.

    brokers don't play the game. they don't go to mel and sell crimsons to make their gold.
    they make their gold by buying it for 80 cents per mil, and then selling it for $2 per mil.
     
  34. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    Whilever people want to 'buy' uogold, this wont work. Even a secure 'auction' facility for the sale of items using game gold or for that matter cash is based on the premise that the initial 'currency' is gained legitimately.

    What is to stop anyone going to a broker, buying 'uogold', then spending that 'gold' at this auction?

    The system currently allows anyone to have as many 'accounts' as they like due to the 'free trial' accounts. UO game gold can be generated with loot scripts ad infinitum, we have all seen it. Any 'auction' relies on people spending their 'in game gold', if a player has none they will still go and 'buy' it off the brokers running the loot scripts.

    I really think the 'only' way to put any dent in the whole 'cheat' scenario is to stop the sale of the ingame 'currency' and profits going to the cheaters.

    You need to remember it is probably only a 'few' people who 'buy' ingame gold, the majority of players don't want to spend real money on 'pixel gold' or can only 'afford' their monthly subs, or just wish to play UO as it was 'intended'. However those who do buy gold are enough to make it worth it to those who want to cheat to make enough to make it profitable for them.

    I also think a lot of us like the 'unique' way of vendoring in UO, it is something that allows so much variety in 'gameplay' a way for lots of players to get a sense of achievement. Do I really want to be 'directed' to some out of game 'website' to do my buying ....... NO. I like being able to 'browse' the shops in UO, I like being able to pick up a bargain as I wander around. I do not want a 'clone' cold market on a website where those with the 'most' money are always going to 'outbid' those with less on any item worth having or that is a 'good deal'. I love being one of the 'first' at a new vendor shop opening and being able to 'snap' up a bargain.

    Most of my current 'gameplay' is put towards 'maintaining and stocking' my shop, without that I would be bored to distraction. The UO vendor system is one of the totally unique things that makes UO attractive to many players. I believe if this was to 'disappear' to the 'new way of the walmart type sale system' it would be a really sad day for UO.
     
  35. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    This only creates a black market. In my opinion, the only way to fix this problem is for MMOs to create their own cash transaction marketplace. This would allow easy tracking of items sales, security for buyers, extra revenue to the company from transaction fees, etc. It might create extra work, but that would be easily offset by the increase in revenue.

    Congrats JC... we agree on something. Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are.
     
  36. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    I totally agree with this, don't get me wrong, however my point is :

    • People 'buy' gold already.
    • Nothing is going to stop this unless all players who 'buy' gold stop doing it.
    • That isn't going to happen is it?
    • There is ALWAYS an excuse people use to justify buying gold and few stop to consider the impact this has in the 'want now' society.

    So if people are going to do it, and you can't stop it, then make the profit go to the game developers who may then obtain more revenue and use that revenue to put back into the game to possibly 'fix' the systems that currently allow all this cheating to go on to start with.

    As for what do you do with the 'influx' of gold, well one thing they could do would be to 'sell' unique deco items from the gamestore that are ONLY available to be purchased with 'ingame gold' ie purchase that 'coat of arms' from the gamestore it deducts 20 mil from your bank and gives you a 'coat of arms' token. If they can 'put a token' in your bank I am sure they have someone who can program the transaction to 'take' gold out of it. 20 'really nice' deco items starting at say 5 million up to 50 mil each would go a long way in removing excess gold, and not only that give players something to 'strive' for to obtain the 'set' .

    There are tons of ways to get 'gold' out of the economy, in fact I wish they would invent some as basically I sit on piles of gold and have absolutely 'nothing' to do with it.


    [edit] Sheesh they wouldn't even need to sell that from the gamestore, just set up a couple of extremely high end 'npc's called 'Vendors of the Realm' and stock those uber expensive items on them. Guess the limit would be how many 000's they can put on an item for sale lol.
     
  37. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    The other news here is that all in game gold "appears from thin air" and disappears there as well. The only thing developers can do is try to control inflows and outflows to achieve something that resembles an economy. This is often difficult because of what is call third order effects. That is, people change the way they play based upon the economics in the game, and some changes are not forseen. Unknown unknowns if you will :thumbup1:

    At least if they are the ones selling it, they have some control over supply by adjusting the selling price.
     
  38. Radun

    Radun Guest

    you're confusing the issues.
    1. there's nothing wrong with people buying legitimate gold from a non-duping broker. the broker isn't creating gold... all he's doing is buying it for cheap and reselling it for about twice as much. brokers don't create gold. brokers (believe it or not) take gold out of the economy, when they stockpile.
    2. EA generating new gold from thin air to sell to the players, is exactly the same as duping. it's creating new gold out of thin air, the same as duping..

    p.s. yes, all of the game's gold came from thin air. but not anywhere near the rate it would be being created if ea started duping.
     
  39. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    The other news here is that all in game gold "appears from thin air" and disappears there as well.

    I figured this statement would come up. And it's true. HOWEVER, in theoretical balance of the game, a certain amount is supposed to "appear from air" every day due to natural ingame playing. No, I odn't know what that arbitrary number is, nor is the exact amount really important. It's only important that that amount (X) exists.

    Dupers break this by creating "counterfeit" gold/items which are not only "made from thin air", but also outside the basis of "obtaining through gameplay".

    EA selling gold would also be in effect making the same type of gold that dupers make.

    Because of this, EA simply selling the gold DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    The problem is only solved on a multi-level method:

    1. As stated above, a moderated trade site outside the game. EA/Mythic gains income via listing fees or other types of auction commissions.

    2.Moving forward with KR are reducing the game to ONE client with an updated and more unified code base. I know a LOT of posters don't want to read that, but its true. No, KR won't make the game dupe/exploit proof, but it WILL improve the situation tremendously.

    3. Removing the ability to X-Shard items.

    4.Create a series of gold sinks in game, and if #1 is functioning, through the out of game trade site as well. Special promo items that are offered for cash could also be offered BY MYTHIC via the trade site through a special account that would accept the gold and remove it from the game.

    You can't stop of out game sales, but for Mythic to do them themselves does nothing to fix the economy balance problem and only makes it WORSE because they would be selling gold no different than duped gold at that point regardless of the price set. What you CAN do is make necessary tweaks to the economy and the game in order to remove as much of the exploitation of the game as possible, the marketplace will do the rest.
     
  40. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    You know Sony tried the moderated selling scheme on some EQII shards but eventually gave it up because their GM costs of policing exceeded their revenue from it. Or so they stated.

    I am not saying it couldn't work. I thought their margins on the sales was very thin although I couldn't tell you now from memory what they were. A few percent I believe.
     
  41. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
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    A GM shouldn't even be required unless there is a dispute.
     
  42. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    That is correct. Apparently there were enough disputes. I can probably find John Smedley's statements about shutting it down, if anybody here is truly interested enough.
     
  43. thelma1717

    thelma1717 Adventurer

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    just think buying ea goods hmm more money for them and that creates better game play , keeps it running longer ive played sense 2001 and took forever to get castle an 18x18 for vendors have hundreds of millions in gold i have no problem with keeping money in game just buy from ea np lol i remember stating off hnging around banks grabbing loot and weps from people cleaning out there banks lets put the money back in the game so old farts like me can keep playing till we drop lol im 55 and love this game !!!!!
     
  44. thelma1717

    thelma1717 Adventurer

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    one point if as in the tos its all belongs to ea we rent it to play we own nothing so if someone is selling game pixels how can that be legal ? there selling whats not theres and not paying ea. i rent a couple house where i live but the renters do not have the right to sublet , teardown ,or make money off my property without my permission or i would sue them so why wont ea sue to shut down the brokers selling there items ?????
     
  45. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    EA/Mythic still owns the pixels, all that happens is that it is transferred from one character to another. What happens BEYOND that is completely outside the game.

    This argument as it has been put forward in this and other threads would make it rather difficult for us to have ingame tyrading at all if we didn't have enough "ownership" to be able to transfer it from one character to another.

    The idea of the Intellectual Property idea of "ownership" is that I cannot without permission use UO's artwork, codebase, music, etc to create my own work to SELL in the real world without their express permission.
     
  46. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    All I know Dermott is what they have been doing for the past 5 years doesn't work. Something drastic needs to be done to create a 'fix' for the problems we have.

    I like you embraced KR as being one of the ways this game could 'go forward', however, it seems with even this dev's have dropped the bundle. They have not demonstrated at all that as a business they have the gumption to stick by their own business plan.

    I am close to leaving UO, and taking my accounts with me. Why? because day in day out I see these cheats, scams, dupers etc profiting from illegal play. It devalues everything anyone does legitimately. Each time I think Ok, that's enough, I then calculate the amount of time and money I have invested into this game, and the support of this game and think do I really want the last 5 yrs to have been a total waste, and each time so far have come up with the hope that 'maybe' it will get better, hang in there. Now I am starting to think that this is a hope that will never eventuate and things will not get better so now how much more time and money am I prepared to put into this game and when do I pull out?

    I don't want to play in a game where it is now becoming a 'crime' to purchase stuff off vendors that have sat there for MONTH AFTER MONTH unaddressed. As I said in another post, this is like EA entrapment on a huge scale. You do not leave a bag of lollies in front of a baby for 5mths and say 'don't touch'. Do not assume everyone has the moral fortitude to 'know' what they do is wrong, especially when your game is supposed to be for people '13 years old and up'. Yes most of us know the deal but not everyone does and EA should be ashamed for not only the fact that these bugs and cheats sit for months at a time, but that they actually are part of the problem in the distributing of the dupes in that they leave them there, and don't shut down the system that allows the creation of the stuff to start with, in this case the bod system.

    Couple this with the fact that they then state 'they have investigated it all and those who have been banned are in fact totally guilty'. If they cannot supply the account holder with a list of said 'multitudes' of items in the email they send them banning their accounts then the company has no credibility at all. It shows no investigation, it gives the paying customer no recourse for dispute, and basically seeing they manage to 'stuff' everything else up what makes anyone think that they are 'right' on these bannings and not just applying a band aid solution however flawed it may be. I know people are always going to scream 'innocent', it is human nature, however, if the company laying the blame cannot so much as 'list' those things to the customer that have caused their account to be not only 'banned' but their stuff 'deleted' just shows a complete LACK of professionalism or respect for the customer.

    I don't give a rat's behind that they don't 'have' to 'explain' anything to anyone by the terms of the TOS. When you have taken a persons money for 2 years or 10 years you have a MORAL obligation to at least provide basic information to that person when you are going to brand them a 'cheater' and delete their stuff, not send them a pissy proforma email that tells them nothing. If they are prepared to treat any customer this way then do they really expect to have any player give them confidence in how they operate their business. I think NOT. It is totally atrocious behavior.
     
  47. thelma1717

    thelma1717 Adventurer

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    i have no problem with ingame buying or trading , you kill ,you make , you sell ingame with uo gold np what im getting at is how can you sell something for real money that does not belong to you ? the brokers make huge money selling whats not theres and pay ea nothing just 100% profit its there pixels there product there game we pay to play ITS A GAME ONLY try making money in the real world by using these tactics and they call it scamming ea should just file a lawsuit against the brokers to stop its simple YOU CANT SELL WHATS NOT YOURS ITS THE LAW !! ONLY INGAME SELLING WITH UO GOLD AND TRADING hmm i bet a call to the irs to have the brokers checked to see if they are paying taxes on what they make hmm good idea !!!!
     
  48. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    I agree with all of that, but I don't think that EA selling gold directly will solve anything and the effect it will have on the in game economy will make things even worse.

    I will say though that I'm a free market person at heart. I'm a capitalist and as such, I see nothing wrong with RMT sales PER SE, however I DO see a LOT of problems with exploiting/duping/etc that use RMT as a reason to do so.

    What we have is a lot of pointing at symptoms and not enough at the PROBLEMS. And I'm with you, let's fix the problems and not worry about the ancillary symptoms. If two people agree to an out of game payment for the exchange of ingame goods, that's none of our business assuming the items involved are legitimately gained.

    I don't do it myself on either side for different reasons. I don't the the reason to spend money to get something I can get with a little bit of playtime or getting said item removes it as a goal to work towards in game for me. I don't sell anything currently because I've compared the prices with the per-hour income it would net me and I'd be making a small fraction of minimum wage by myself.

    The fix I know isn't easy, I just believe that the one provided in this thread will simply NOT be a fix at all.
     
  49. thelma1717

    thelma1717 Adventurer

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    i hope we all and ea can work this out where in the heck can you have this much for ten bucks a month heck my truck gets 9 miles to the gallon i spend more going to the store than playing all month lol to all my friends ingame and to all those i have yet to meet let stick together and help work this out oh ya and by the way my truck only get 9 to a gallon cause i have over 450 horses at the rear wheels hehe i eat vets for breakfast cause after the race i cant afford real food lmao
     
  50. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    Well, I feel like this conversation has taken us to a pretty sad place, because we all know what happens next... nothing.

    Time to do something a bit more cheerful for a while.