Friday, June 20, 2014

Tightening Up The Language

Tobold has written a couple of interesting posts over the past two days about botting and RMT in Wildstar.  In his post on botting, Tobold made an interesting point about a statement made by Wildstar's Executive Producer, Jeremy Gaffney, made in his post announcing Wildstar's first ban wave for botting and hacking:
(Gold farmers I hate too, but at least I can understand the reasons behind their actions. They’re trying to make money by spamming, ripping off accounts, and gold, and wasting our support/dev time, which is unethical and borderline evil but at least rational.  I really suggest not buying gold from them if you actually care about such things).
I think Tobold made a good point about Gaffney's use of loose language:
"On the point of gold farmers, I would be more careful with my language. If you call them "gold farmers", I don't consider their actions unethical or evil. Annoying, sure, but as they never actually accepted the premise of the game as being *a game*, but consider it as a form of making a living, I have a hard time condemning them. They don't "cheat", because they don't play, they work. Of course as soon as we talk about "account hackers", which is not totally the same thing even if there is obviously an overlap, we clearly get into the domain of illegality. But somebody who is just farming gold, with or without bots, and then selling it, with or without spam, isn't breaking any real world laws. In fact a gold farmer quite frequently does exactly the same actions as a regular player in need of gold, only they do it more intensively."
Gaffney did not use the term "gold farmers" accurately, at least according to Wikipedia.
"Gold farming is playing a massively multiplayer online game to acquire in-game currency that other players purchase in exchange for real-world money."

The activities he mentioned don't really involve gathering gold in-game like an actual gold farmer would.  I agree that Gaffney should not have used the term gold farmer.  Notice I just want Gaffney to change is terminology; I like the way he thinks.

So what term should he have used?  In connection to Wildstar, gold seller, my preferred term, probably isn't good either.  Why?  Because CREDD, at its core, is just Carbine establishing a primary RMT market for the exchange of in-game currency for real world cash.  Although if everyone agrees to separate the primary RMT market (CREDD) from the secondary RMT market (gold selling outside the CREDD system), then gold seller is probably okay.

Perhaps people should just use the term RMTer.  I'd suggest cupcake, but that's already taken.


  1. If you steal ppl accounts to RMT it you are still a gold farmer, you just bot a different kind of spawn.......

  2. "Gold Farmer" is jargon (or perhaps a colloquialism?). MMO players know what it means. Even when used in reference to games where gold isn't even a currency. It implies some sort of illicit activity where in game currency is acquired to sell to players. The most ironic thing about that is actual gold farming wasn't illicit in itself, merely annoying. Gold selling was still against TOS, but playing for long periods in one spot wasn't.

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