A Valuable Service?
Even as systematic harassment of gold farmers appears widespread, it is also clear that some players feel that gold farmers in fact are offering a valuable service.
In World of Warcraft, I bought a lot of arcanite bars off a gold farmer, and then re-sold them over the next few days at a nice profit. I have no problem with gold farmers; I'm a professional and work full time, so my time is valuable, and they are providing a service. I've bought a total of about 5000g in WoW from an online website. I initially thought it was uncommon for people do to this, but the practice is actually very widespread, although people don't seem to like to talk about it. [WoW, M, 32]
I have made it a habit of buying game-currency for real money, either from EBay or from www.ige.com (IGE). The reason for this is that making money in the game is a very slow and tedious process, and in DAoC requires you to level up a crafter for the sole purpose of turning unusable loot into raw material, and then into trinkets that can be sold. I think the best part of the game (DAoC) is Realm vs. Realm, and I don't like to spend more time in PvE than I have to. I don't like farming much, and even though I leveled up a crafter to be my trinketer, I spend $25 at IGE and can go back to enjoying the game (RvR, looking for the perfect item to buy, play with armor dyes etc) rather than spend countless hours 'working' (i.e. farming)... [DAOC, M, 29]
In a recent survey, 20% of respondents indicated that they have bought virtual gold online. Thus, even though many players make use of this service, gold farmers remain a stigmatized group.
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