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Monday, December 17, 2012

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Pussycat Catnap

Pay for group join is popping up in a lot of fashion groups. That or I didn't get out as much before.

I see them require you to pay to become a VIP shopper and start ticking up a toll of credits.
- It builds a brand loyalty based on 'get my money back.'
- But it runs the risk of the limited number of groups we can join...

I am also seeing more places with a 'pay to enter' model of business. Recently even spotted a venue requiring 100L/week to gain access to their land (and having not a single avatar inside).

Some of this might be a gold farming company. But I don't know... gold farmers have a product. What's the product here?

I've seen it posted that a person conversing with a flatterbot was told by the bot's owner that they were up to 70k L$s as of that moment, about a week and a half ago. But there are only so many folks in SL and word gets around quick sometimes. Flatterbots might not last another month or two. But it looks like it could easily manage to pay another 2-3 month's of somebody's land tier...

- And what other method is left now to pay that?

Adeon Writer

I'm fairly sure that all of these accounts are run by a singular person: The person who made the software.

Iggy

Somewhere in a shipping container far, far away, a team of farmers running these bots is on the verge of busting loose to become hundred-aires.

What's their next nefarious plan? I think my Krogers cents-off coupons are being spirited away by parties unknown.

Arcadia Codesmith

Gold farming in MMOs is tied to the dynamics of their economies. The game generates new gold every time a creature is killed or a chest plundered. After a brief amount of time, the amount of gold in circulation increases massively, and player-to-player transactions are subject to hyperinflation.

To combat this, designers put in "gold sinks", highly desirable items that cost huge amounts of currency. This takes money out of circulation and helps ease inflation.

Unfortunately, players who haven't played as long and haven't amassed mountains of treasure also want the premium items. They can "grind" for gold, hunting easily-beaten creatures over and over again. That's not only boring, but the most profitable creatures that allowed early players to amass their fortunes may have been subjected to multiple "balance" design changes to reduce the amount of gold they provide.

It makes it an attractive proposition to pay somebody else a pittance to do the boring grind. And where there is market demand, there will be gold farmers, terms of service be damned.

I think Second Life's beggar bots are a much more straightforward proposition. Since all "gold" in Second Life is acquired from other players in an essentially zero-sum economy, most of the dynamics that lead to gold farming are not in play.

The equivilent of Second Life begging in the MMO sphere is.... begging. There are few games you can play for any amount of time without some beggar hitting you up for cash and/or gear. The only difference in Second Life is that it's easier to automate.

Flame Soulis

To remedy trolls and begger bots, we just utilized a group management bot. Keeps bots from auto-joining, helps keep trolls out permanently, and we get happier customers since they can join the group far easier (We don't use auto greeters for invitations, HINT HINT!)

Hacked accounts are a whole other matter to deal with, but we rarely have to deal with that so it is far easier to deal with on an individual basis.

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