Archive for December 15th, 2008

BBB wrote a great post that deftly touches on a number of aspects to the modern world of WoW, and how it has changed from the Burning Crusade days. I’d suggest a quick read over here:

Is WoW Stronger than Ever?

I love physics. Quantum physics are especially interesting, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle drives a lot of weirdness. One of the most interesting thought experiments based on the theory is the plight of Schrodinger’s Cat. More than once, I’ve wondered what application this might have to games. Much of it comes back to the concept of predictability, and just how much of it we actually want. (more…)

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EVE Exploit

There has been a bit of a kerfluffle about this incident, where an EVE exploiter broke the system and released the dogs of war.

Stealin’ Stuff in EVE

I’ve seen more than one commentator use this as an excuse to whine about RMT, considering that the pirate in question was able to translate his ill-gotten gains into subscription time via the GTC-ISK translation.  (Buying subscription time with in-game currency.)

I’ve written before that making time and money fungible in a game economy allows for more players to buy into the game, because they can do so on their terms.  That’s the nature of a real economy, and giving players options in line with that makes for a more robust game population as well as a more interesting in-game economy.  Puzzle Pirates, for example, can be played to its fullest without spending a dime.  Other players subsidize parts of the game by buying doubloons, and other gamers can trade the in-game currency for those doubs.  You can either pay with time (and someone else’s money via the doub exchange) or with money of your own.  That flexibility is excellent for the user, and Three Rings still gets money for doubloons, since someone had to buy them.

No, the real villain of this little morality play is the exploit. Taking advantage of a loophole in the game code to generate disproportionate wealth is against the game rules.  What is done with that money is a completely separate concern, and as far as CCP is concerned, the GTC-ISK trade function is completely legitimate.

Exploits are one thing, and economies are quite another.  There are certainly exploits in economies, but in this particular case, the game bug that became the currency fountain is the problem (as well as those who exploit it), not the “RMT-lite” ability to buy game time with game currency.

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