Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Gold
It is unfortunate that gold farmers are the most visible tip of a much larger iceberg - consisting of buyers as well as middlemen. As we've seen, most of the profit from gold farming does not go to the actual gold farmers. However, they bear the brunt of daily harassment and slaughter. One player had a more progressive perspective on curbing gold farming.
Whenever a friend/guild-member is considering buying gold, I encourage them not to, saying 'friends don't let friends buy gold.'
Currently, MMOs do not allow players to police and govern themselves in a practical way regarding gold farming, but imagine if this were possible. If it is true that most players are against the practice, then by giving them a practical means to detect these transactions, self-regulation might emerge. For example, if a character's financial transaction history is made public, then it becomes possible for that character's friends or guildmates to detect gold buying behavior. Very few characters would have good reason to get a sudden 300 gold increase from the mail. The problem right now is that gold buying is invisible and thus these players have no accountability. But once that behavior is made public, then accountability emerges. Other players will question that sudden windfall in the mail. Guild members and friends will exert a social pressure where it was impossible to exert before.
If we are indeed serious about dampening the gold market, the best solution isn't tormenting the suppliers, it is in curbing the demand itself. Currently, there are no social disincentives to avoid buying gold because that behavior is entirely hidden. Developers can reveal that behavior and create accountability by showing what is already tracked by the server. Why insist on tormenting foreign workers when Western players are equally culpable?
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