... The Retailer system.
I know you are tired, most of you have being browsing through an ocean of complaints, rants and opinions about it, but bear with me, just one more time, I will try my best to make the read worth your time.
I'm here in the interest of learning everyone's opinion, we all understand that "AH is the best economy driver for a MMORPG", it's true it's so good that it's the pillar tool of the Real Money Trade market, maybe some of you consider this a bold statement, however there is actually plenty of research done by professionals on the RMT business which enforces this idea:
Virtual currency and Money laundering
Real-World Production in Developing Countries for the Virtual Economies of Online Games
WoW Gold Price research
These handful of documents pointed me toward many interesting things and confirmed a suspicion I had about the RMT phenomena, it exist mainly as a consequence of 2 factors:
a) People is willing to buy virtual currency.
b) Playing with the virtual economy is rather easy.
The first point is rather obvious and ultimately impossible to deal with, however the second statement has more to it that meets the eye. Have you wondered? why it's easy to control a game's economy? the answer is actually quite simple: it's easy because we have excellent tools to interact with it, excellent tools like the AH.
Does this make an AH a bad addition to a MMORPG?... No, not at all, nonetheless it is indeed an important stepping stone for the RMT business in your favorite online game, although at the same time is a basic tool for the players, and eliminating it from the game would be equivalent to eliminate the pubs because the city is more dangerous at night... yes, people may be safer but it's still not the correct answer.
Now, what does your average MMORPG developer does in a situation like this?, well they usually snap in their game the most user-friendly reliable flavor of AH and create a dedicated groups of game administrators focused only to combat the RMT menace while trying to avoid harming the fun factor for their players as much as possible.
Or if you are SquareEnix, attempt to reinvent the wheel to fix the issue, which is the equivalent in the pub analogy to make mini pubs in every house, seeking at the same time to recreated the standard and make it RMT-proof, unfortunately at this very moment, it is not working very well.
The thing is... we (end-users) are not testers, and certainly we are not getting paid to do this, and most certainly we are not willing to pay for testing it, and when you combine these factors together the rage explodes!
Despite all this, I'm a critical customer, I don't want to invest my money for something mediocre or unfinished (like the current retailer system) but at the same time I want to see farther, to the original purpose behind it, a system that in the end will offer me something that no other MMORPG has: minimal influence of RMT in the game economy.
Today October 20th of 2010 at the current stage of the game it indeed does look like the RMT won't have a huge influence in the game economy because there will be no game economy to be influenced by them, regardless I trust this won't be like that forever, we already saw a couple of interesting changes that improved the system quite substantially and if SE keep coming with ideas like that it could even become something acceptable, or... who knows they may end making the wheel rounder.
So from this point of view what do you think?:
- The retailer system's original purpose can actually be archived and it'll become successful as economy driver and anti-RMT tool at the same time?
- or It will ultimately break taking the game with it?
Thank you for the time spent reading this post.