Station Cashing In


A tense moment at the Sony World Chess Championships

Thankyou SOE for giving me an excuse to recycle old pictures! It turns out all the slippery slope arguments I made (Dig back a few posts in my EQ2 category for a whole host of yelling on the subject) back when the Exchange servers were being launched were right. Want some xp? You can now buy xp potions straight from SOE for a few dollars using Station Cash.

“Station Cash is your virtual currency to buy in-game items!”. Hmm, is it really a virtual currency when it is gained in exchange for dollars at a cost of $1 per 100 Station Cash. If the conversion rate is set in stone, then it isn’t another currency at all. It’s just dollars using a funny name. Calling it virtual just tries to make it feel less like spending real money.

At any rate, I hate this whole business passionately. When xp bonus potions are available at an extra cost, it is in the interest of the company to design the game so that xp is in short supply, to encourage people to buy them.

A level playing field for both friendly and unfriendly competition with other players has always been at the core of the attraction of MMO. That is why so many people object to gold selling at a visceral level. It feels like cheating. Well, it was cheating, right up until SOE came out and said it’s alright to buy in-game advantages with real world cash.

We’ve been sliding down this slippery slope since the Exchange Servers, via the collectable card game, Legends of Norrath loot cards, and it will eventually end up with anything in the game being available direct from the developers for a price. PvP will be decided not by skill, but by who has the deepest wallet, and that makes me very sad indeed.

6 comments to Station Cashing In

  • i’ve vowed never to play a Sony game again.

    • Hej!SÃ¥ söta barn du har! – och javisst är det lite läskigt att lÃ¥ta dem leka med lite farliga ting, men de klarar oftast mer än man tror :))Tack för din peempkom-pntar om mitt jobbhopp!!Ha det gott!

    • I dunno man, I wish I could write it off as being jaded. I loved the first two movies and I was really looking forward to Rises. I booked my tickets a week in advance to see it on it’s release. It was honestly just disappointing. I couldn’t get into the world because none of the characters were believable. The Dark Knight was intoxicating, I was floored the entire movie and walking out of the theater I felt like I just got off a roller coaster. I dind’t feel that at all this time.

    • … also immer auf der Hut sein vorm Sprücheklopfen, nicht daß die nicht verstanden werden bei der treuen Leserschaft aus Dortmund, gelle? ;P

    • I really enjoy the "Serengeti Shifters Series" & "Serengeti Sunrise" sounds like another excellent addition to te Series. Take Care & Happy Reading,Renee'

  • JB

    I actually disagree, some people have the time to play an MMO for the many hours it takes to level up a character, go questing for optimum character gear, spend hours grinding out skills etc. While other people only have time to play for a few hours a week but when they get to play the game want the option to compete on an equal level with other players.

    I have played many games with Ark and other friends over the years and in general I see characters disappearing off ahead of me level wise. In most games this means I can’t group with them due to the normal 3 to 5 level range that you can successfully group with people. My free time is pretty limited due to the number of hours I work each week coupled with other commitments so leveling at the rate that other people achieve is impossible for me. This generally means I end up dropping the game after a month or two since a big reason I play the games is to hang out with friends I rarely get a chance to see in real life.

    In life there is always a balance between time and money, I am time poor so I don’t see a problem with spending a few dollars to get some fake gold coins which mean I can have more fun when I get time to play a game online.

    To quote Ark “A level playing field for both friendly and unfriendly competition with other players has always been at the core of the attraction of MMO” but that is based on the assumption that everyone playing has the same amount of time to invest in an MMO, since they don’t it’s not a level playing field.

    Now the part I semi-agree with is that I am less sure about the company itself selling the leveling potions, I would be happier with a system where leveling/xp potions were a loot drop available to anyone so if I have purchased some gold that gold will go to a player that has found the potion. (I know this then goes into a whole other argument about hyper inflation but I am going to stop waffling now).