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Real Money Transactions and Shroud of the Avatar

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    Since the very beginning of online games there has been what is known as Real Money Transactions (RMT). These are activities where players exchange real currency (US dollars, Euros, etc.) for virtual goods (in-game gold, in-game items, virtual property, leveling services, etc.). The first big news of this was with, of course, Ultima Online in which a castle sold on ebay for thousands of dollars. At that time 20 years ago we made the decision to not prevent these exchanges for multiple reasons, but the biggest one was our assessment of the resources required to enforce the policy versus the impact (virtually none) it was having on the player experience.

    Fast forward to our current game Shroud of the Avatar and we decided to treat RMT exactly the same as we did 20 years ago for many of the same reasons:
    • RMT will happen no matter what we do to enforce it
    • Enforcing RMT prohibition will consume enormous resources (i.e. large amounts of backer money) which means less resources to make the game itself
    • RMT prohibition will just move RMT transactions to hidden places, making it harder to find and enforce real issues like exploits and farming
    • RMT allows users who have spent money on the game, but are ready to move on to new experiences an option to divest themselves without requiring Portalarium to refund their money. More importantly, there is no time limit to this option (as there will/would be with any refund policy).
    • Shroud is an instanced game with multiple play modes so there is no competition for resources in shared spaces
    So our position is that all RMT activity (gold, items, services) is allowed in Shroud of the Avatar, as long as it follows a few simple rules:
    • It does not use any exploits / botting
      • It is worth noting here that all botting / exploits are bannable offenses anyway regardless if they are used in relation to RMT, so technically this was already covered elsewhere
    • It can only be advertised in the Player Marketplace section of the main website forums. Never in game or in any other section of official community areas (including the game’s Discord channel, social media pages, Steam, and other areas of the main website and forums)
    • Portalarium (and our partners) are not liable for any of the transactions
    • All goods can be delivered immediately (i.e. don’t sell stuff that will be made later like Episode 2 content)
    All of these rules are clearly stated in the top section of the Player Marketplace:

    All post bodies concerning Shroud of the Avatar player to player transactions or services are limited to this section of the forums. Unwanted solicitation in other sections of the forums or via chat or private message is prohibited, and could result in account restriction or ban. Posting more than once per week within your own post, "bumping" it to keep it on top, bumping within a week of the first post, and daily replacing a post with a new one is also considered spam and is therefore, prohibited.

    Activities that involve real dollar exchanges between players if the goods involved cannot be delivered to the customer immediately are not allowed. Account transfers are not supported. Items purchased in the SotA Store, such as Pledge and Bundle Rewards, Add-Ons, Stretch-Goal items, and Player Owned Towns, as well as services that can be immediately fulfilled in-game (such as renting existing in-game property or items) are the only permitted exchanges in the Player Marketplace.

    We will not restrict exchange of goods but we will not officially endorse these exchanges due to liability issues and staffing bandwidth. All exchanges of virtual good for real dollars are to be confined to this part of the forum. No in-game or chat based real dollar exchanges are allowed. Exchanges are at the players own risk and governed by the Terms of Service of whatever third party platform. Portalarium reserves the right to restrict any activities if they cause widespread issues for our community or if these activities involve exploits of any kind.

    If your Account has redeemed a Steam Key or was purchased through Steam, you cannot reduce your pledge to an unplayable state. Therefore, a Steam purchased/linked account must retain a minimum $40 value.

    Also, to learn about our Trusted Trader program, please see this thread in the Marketplace forums.

    Updated 2017.06.8, EULA Updated on 2017.02.01 to cover exploits and trading of items from exploits.

    Unfortunately our EULA was unclear about this and we are working to update it to better account for our open position on RMT.

    Thank you for your patience and your support.
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