Question About A Gaming Scenario #MMORPG

I wanted to hear peoples thoughts on this scenario – so if you have any ideas to share on it, let me know please!

You’re in the game of your choice. You hear someone advertising on channels that they’re buying a 30 day game card and paying the current in game currency for it. Obviously this person doesn’t have the means to purchase the card themselves, for whatever reason. The reason doesn’t really matter. Someone offers to purchase the game card for them via a legit method (ie: directly from the company themselves, a store, or a reputable web site that sells game cards, there are a lot of them out there). The in game currency they receive for purchasing the game card for the person has not been purchased or acquired through unconventional means (ie: they’ve earned it themselves just fine).

Sounds a little like EVE Online’s method of selling pilot licenses, right? Except that not all games have an in-game item that represents a 30 day time code. Do readers feel that this exchange of goods is an acceptable transaction, or is it cheating some how? Does it break a rule of trading real life money for in-game currency even though you’re trading a time card for in game currency?

From my own perspective – since the game card as well as the in game currency are both obtained through legit means, I consider it player B being helped by player A who can’t afford a time card. Of course that’s not really taking into account the question of whether or not you should be playing video games that you can’t really afford to be playing. I’m just wondering how everyone else sees this issue, since lets face it, it’s rare that our views are all the same.

Let me know in comments!

5 Responses to Question About A Gaming Scenario #MMORPG

  1. Bhagpuss says:

    As far as I can see, the only thing that makes this sound “off” is that the two people don’t have a pre-existing relationship. Shawndra above even suggests that this is the kind of thing a guild might handle., and certainly no-one would blink an eye if it was a brother trading some in-game coin to his sister in return for her buying him a gamecard, or a college roomate paying his friend back with in-game currency for a favor done outside the game.

    I think this is perfectly fine. All sides of the transaction are legal in game terms. The gamecards are transferrable until consumed and in-game currency can be traded for any reason and none. I can’t see a problem with it at all.

    Whether or not you can trust a stranger to deliver on such an arrangement is another issue, of course.

  2. stargrace says:

    SOE also allows / encourages people to do these type of transactions by allowing them to gift station cash items to players (who accept currency for them) and have said on the forums there’s nothing wrong with this type of transaction, you’ll hear people all the time selling LoN loot cards for in-game cash. As long as you’re aware of the risks (ie: are either party REALLY going to get paid) I don’t see much of an issue with the transactions – again this is not coming from a gold farming site or anything where the coin / card has been obtained in an ill reputed manor, I mean say you give your friend some in-game coin and they give you a time card. Is that alright?

  3. Scopique says:

    I thi the fact that EVE does it. Has mechanisms for it, and people partake in it means that there is certainly a market for this kkind of transaction. The problem with EVE is that the whole game revolves around the currency. You play to earn ISK which enables the rest of the game. What PLEX does is allow people to scratch one another’s back: someone has a time code, they sell it for the ISK they need.

    If EVE, whose most basic and most important gameplay mechanic is the accumulation of ISK, allows this, why not other games where the currency is so devalued to the point where devs need to create all kinds of money sinks to take it out of circulation? What many EVE players do is earn lots of ISK, and use it to buy PLEX, thereby covering their monthly fee. They end up not paying a dime, so I don’t think thhere needs to be any moral ambiguity over why someone who can’t afford a time card is willing to pay in game cash for one.

  4. Shawndra says:

    If someone were asking for this transaction in a very public place, even if the in game currency was come by honestly , I would still be suspicious. Doesn’t this person have a guild? I know that, within my guild, arrangements have been made when members were low on cash with other members, and to me that is the way to handle it.

  5. Ryver says:

    For games that are not EVE Online, I would think this gets really close to the boundary of gold selling; which all game companies frown upon.

    Personally, I would see it as a risk for either side. Since there is nothing in game to enforce the contract, either side can try and screw over the other (do not send the code or do not send the gold). The risk for the one purchasing the code is probably greater since that is a real life monetary risk and not just virtual currency.

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