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The Life of a Chinese Gold Farmer
#1
A very interesting article on Gold Farming from the NYT:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/magazine/17lootfarmers-t.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5088&en=a6282d1ddf608fc1&ex=1339732800&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss">http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/magaz ... yt&emc=rss</a><!-- m -->
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#2
Much like prostitution and narcotics, the only way to crush the black market for it is to make it legal and administrated.
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#3
I know SOE finally did that not to long ago, for SWG, EQ, and something else. They just caved in and made an eBay for their items and such. The plus side of it is that your account can't get hijacked and all that drama as easily.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://stationexchange.station.sony.com">http://stationexchange.station.sony.com</a><!-- m -->
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#4
Yeah. Generally when something is made legal it becomes less risky and less expensive.


Read a great article on prostitution in the EU, I should dig it up, but they don't have to worry as much about being attacked since they CAN go to the police and they get healthcare from the state. It still carries the same general social stigma, but there are no pimps and no need to park in dark alleys out of sight. It always amazes me that our great land of the free we have going here is so far behind when it comes to progressive social reform.

Not quite the same thing with gold buying/selling, but it would eliminate the in-game spam and the hacked accounts used for forum spam. What gold farmer can afford to compete with blizzard? Blizzard doesn't have to pay anyone to collect gold, they can just create it out of thin air. Wouldn't help the power-leveling and buying accounts situation, but it would be a step in the right direction.
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#5
Kaerrah Wrote:It always amazes me that our great land of the free we have going here....
Not to hijack my own thread, but the "Land of the Free" is under assault by folks who think nothing of dispensing with the Constitution, our treaty agreements with other countries, the Geneva Convention and International Law, all in the name of "Security". I believe we will look back on this time as one of the darkest days in our nation's history, and the saddest thing is that we're all just sitting here and allowing it to happen... and I include myself in that group. If you care at all about this country and what's going on right now, read this book!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/books/...yt&emc=rss
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#6
Would probably help if over the last 7 years and change the Democrats had done more than hide under the table and bicker amongst themselves.
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#7
Kaerrah Wrote:Would probably help if over the last 7 years and change the Democrats had done more than hide under the table and bicker amongst themselves.

I agree completely. Their failure to act has enabled many of these things to happen. The fault rests with all of us, as does the responsibility to make things right.
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#8
This topic has the potential of getting ugly polotics wise, play it safe, mmmk?

Bringing it back to the original point at hand, I read the article. And.. I feel kind of bad for those guys, all issues set aside. Not sure how wrong that is of me.. but. yeah.
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#9
Psion Wrote:The fault rests with all of us, as does the responsibility to make things right.

I'm sorry, I just don't believe this to be so. We do not and never did have a truly representative government. And while I have on occasion taken part in successful campaigns to get propositions or bills introduced, major policy change is not something affected by the lowly majority but by the wealthy and politically connected minority. Hell, my vote doesn't even count in the Presidential election because I live in a district whose majority does not vote as I do. Not like it matters much, even if my vote did count more often than not I find myself choosing one simply as the lesser of two evils.

As a mostly Libertarian atheist with no trust fund, I find myself in a generally ignored demographic.
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#10
Sound Wrote:This topic has the potential of getting ugly polotics wise, play it safe, mmmk?

Bringing it back to the original point at hand, I read the article. And.. I feel kind of bad for those guys, all issues set aside. Not sure how wrong that is of me.. but. yeah.

30 cents an hour for the lose.

Though, I find I haven't the faintest idea what 30 cents buys in China.
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#11
[center][Image: 1050948657_ectedspoon.jpg]
My Spoon is to BIG![/center]
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#12
Sound Wrote:This topic has the potential of getting ugly polotics wise, play it safe, mmmk?

Agreed. I shall say no more on the topic.

Sound Wrote:Bringing it back to the original point at hand, I read the article. And.. I feel kind of bad for those guys, all issues set aside. Not sure how wrong that is of me.. but. yeah.

I feel bad for them, too, but I have to admit part of me is like "OMG! Get paid to play WoW all day!" I mean, what do these guys do on their time off? They play WoW!
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#13
I have to wonder at how old the research is for that article. I mean, seriously, killing Timbermaw? They're saying they're making 24g an hour ($0.30/hour, $1.25/100g), so that can't possibly be current.

I've been a gold/item/account seller in both Ultima Online and Asheron's Call, and made fairly good money at it back when the $USD was stronger compared to the $CDN. One of my fondest memories of working at that was buying a UO account for $1300 USD, and getting my investment back within a week, plus having a ton of stuff left over (probably made over $1k on that account alone). Selling gold, items, accounts, etc.. it's something that sounds like a lot of fun, and sometimes was, but a lot of the time, it's high-pressure and stressful work too. And if you're just playing for the sake of playing, there's always some guilt about not 'working'.

What surprised me about being a seller was the kind of buyers I got. In both games, I had a lot of repeat customers, and got to know a lot of folks. Your average buyer of gold/items isn't a teen with mommy's credit card, it's a working professional who's got more money than spare time. One of my best customers in Asheron's Call was a doctor - a few hundred dollars was peanuts to him, but 10 hours of time was a big deal.

WoW has done a really good job of ensuring a fairly level playing field at the end-game. The vast majority of the really good gear simply can't be traded, and has to be earned with in-game effort, without the out-of-game effort shortcut being available. There's just not that many good BOE epics at 70, heh. And reputation grinding is pretty much required for top-tier content.
[Image: 2270166Iryxy.png]
Dromand (70 Tank/Healing Paladin), Logros (70 Enhancement Shaman), Denul (70 Shadow Priest), Bendon (70 AH-Mule Rogue)
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#14
A month or so later..

This morning I came across the pictures the author of this article took while writing it. ((If you didn't read the article, Julian Dibbell the one who wrote it, traveled (back in September 2006) to the cities of Shanghai, Jinhua, and Nanjing for a first-hand look at the gold farms of China)). They were interesting to look at.. and pictures always seem to say what words cannot.

Photo Diary.
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#15
Yeah, definitely an old bit of research, they're raiding AQ40 Wink
[Image: 2270166Iryxy.png]
Dromand (70 Tank/Healing Paladin), Logros (70 Enhancement Shaman), Denul (70 Shadow Priest), Bendon (70 AH-Mule Rogue)
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