@darkstarr @richardgarriot @chris @dallas @firelotus Ok. So most of you on the forums probably recognize me, I've been around since day one. I usually do my best to be a logical voice of reason, and not complain too much (but I have made my feelings known, on occasion!). I am not normally prone to hyperbole or exaggeration... for the most part. The title of this thread was designed to get attention, yes, but I also believe it to be true. Yesterday afternoon, in the #sota chat room, Darkstarr came in and answered some questions regarding the subject of buying gold with real cash. Here, cloaked in a spoiler tab, is part of that chat transcript: Spoiler: transcript <+Bubonic> hm, i have a question arising from a previous chat response 18:42 <+Bubonic> 11:47 <~DarkStarr> Remember that the best items are made by players so even if we allow gold purchase that gold will end up in other players hands so the pay to win actually becomes pay it forward. Or am I missing something? 18:42 <+Bubonic> is this stating that the ability to purchase gold with real money is actually being considered? 18:44 <+Brama_work> they make gold in game, and sell it out of game. That is the exact mechanism 18:44 <+Brama_work> and I love he says pay it forward. That is not pay it forward, that is pay 2 win, flat out 18:45 <+vjek> If I were a RMT gold farmer, I would be pleased with that information you quoted, Bubonic 18:45 <+Brama_work> vjek: no joke. Now I get paid real $$$ for virtual gold farming 18:46 <+Bubonic> man if that is indeed the case, that is pretty much instant breakage. much more so than the inventory issue. 18:46 * Fireangel does light the fireplace sometimes. 18:47 <+Bubonic> ? 18:47 <+LoneStranger> Inventory issue isn't an issue anymore, right? It's in-game gold to increase slots. 18:47 <+vjek> only bank slots confirmed, LoneStranger 18:47 <+Bubonic> well if they limit items that you can buy to items that dont disrupt balance, thats fine 18:47 <+Bubonic> but with gold u can buy anything. 18:47 <+Bubonic> seems pretty obvious to me 18:47 <+Brama_work> In game, without spending real world money, I have to earn it. The long way. My buddy decides, ah, heck with that, comes in game, spends REAL WORLD MONEY, buys gold, then anything he want 18:47 <+Brama_work> not the same 18:48 <+Bubonic> instantly pay to win, no matter what the devs say 18:48 <+vjek> buying additional bank slots with in-game currency I have no problem with, personally. I -am- concerned about a one time fee to expand my personal inventory, though, (not a recurring fee, that's been debunked, apparently) 18:49 <~DarkStarr> I think we all have VERY different definitions of what Pay to Win means. 18:50 <+Bubonic> being able to buy gold ingame with real cash would satisfy most of those definitions 18:50 <+Brama_work> pay 2 win means I can buy stuff, in game, with real money 18:50 <~DarkStarr> So Guild Wars is pay to win? 18:51 <+Brama_work> its not about win, its about taking the game out of the game. Its is zero skill to just come in, buy the best swords and armour, without having to work to get them like a pile of other ppl 18:51 <~DarkStarr> Star Citizen is too right? 18:52 <+Brama_work> you have an immediate, in-game advantage, esp when it comes to things like PVP or resource hunting. If you can buy the best plots, tools, etc... without consideration for the in populance who cant, pay2win 18:52 <~DarkStarr> In fact I could make the case that almost any modern RPG is pay to win because almost every one of them has some kind of commerce 18:52 <+Brama_work> What does Star Citizen have to do with your model that promised no pay2win? 18:53 <~DarkStarr> I don't agree with the definition of pay to win that you are proposing because it means all games are pay to win 18:53 <+Brama_work> then please define what pay 2 win means to this project. 18:53 <+TEK> I think of buying housing the same as I think about Path of Exile selling more storage space and cosmetic changes 18:54 <~DarkStarr> In my mind Pay to Win would be selling high level characters, powerful weapons, experience potions, etc. 18:54 <+vjek> in my view, allowing the players to buy in-game currency directly from the production team is pay2win. Hence why I asked if it was a design goal in this weeks Dev Q&A thread. 18:54 <+Brama_work> powerful weapons is what you are proposing. I come in game, buy in game gold with cash, use new gold to buy powerful weapon from player 18:54 <+Bubonic> ... but if you can buy gold, then use that gold to buy a powerful weapon, how is that difference? 18:54 <+Brama_work> how is that not the same, wiht a single extra layer of indirection? 18:55 <~DarkStarr> But that is how every modern RPG works right? 18:55 <+Brama_work> Darkstarr: so the proposal is now you just make this like every RPG? 18:55 <+Bubonic> smh 18:55 <+Bubonic> im really going home now this is silly 18:55 <~DarkStarr> But you still have to level up your character to use the weapons right? 18:56 <+Brama_work> I'd say you need to stop answering me, and really go design some answers for that previous statement 18:56 <+vjek> one way or another, eventually, we'll need to know if you're going to sell gold directly to players, Starr 18:56 <+Brama_work> and the first one someone posted that more than hinted at a real world economy being able to purchase in game items 18:56 <+vjek> now or at launch, whenever. 18:56 <~DarkStarr> at least any that have any kind of commerce 18:56 <+Brama_work> I am not the only person who reads it as such 18:57 <+Brama_work> and if you're short answer is "well, everyone else does it" that just blows a large part of this project out of the water, considering how it was sold to NOT BE just like everything else 18:57 <+Brama_work> it will be a flat out dealbreaker for a lot of ppl 18:57 <~DarkStarr> Of course that is not my point. My point is that the definition of pay to win is being defined in this case to make the point you want to make. And by that definition all RPGs are pay to win which I don't agree with! I don't think most currency models are pay to win but obviously you do 18:58 <+TEK> for portalarium to sell game gold? 18:58 <+Brama_work> real world currency used to buy virtual world currency. That is my definition 18:58 <+Lebowski> can you really win a mmorpg 18:58 <~DarkStarr> Brama: Yes that is my exact point and thanks for being so reasonable. Nice 18:58 <+LoneStranger> So it comes down to the question - Will we be able to buy game money with real money? *edited for content ~ FireLotus I find a huge problem with this. Again, I've been here since day one. I pledged because I believed the hype, and I believed in Ultima, and I believed in Richard Garriott. And I still do, mostly. But I want this to be absolutely clear: The Executive Producer of Shroud of the Avatar telling me that buying in-game gold with real money isn't "pay to win" shook my belief in Portalarium and this project to its very core. It is. It IS pay to win. By its very definition. And it will break the game. Here's why. 1) It adds an unrestricted, unregulated amount of money to what is supposed to be a closed, self sustaining economy. 2) It creates an unfair advantage to those who are willing to pay for it. If im level 20, or whatever, and the guy next to me is also level 20, but has much higher quality stuff because he paid real cash for it, then that is an advantage. If you can't see that, or refuse to see that, you're only kidding yourself. The argument that it doesn't matter because the gold is "going to another player" doesn't hold water, because at the end of the day the user next to me has an advantage, simply because he paid more than I did. 3) It breaks immersion, and removes the validity of the world. What do I mean by that? If i know that the awesome sword my neighbor is brandishing can only be acquired by hard work and some serious adventuring (or in-game business dealing), then I'm impressed. I want that sword, I covet it. And im gonna try and get something as good, or better. It makes me excited, and gives me incentive to play. But if you can buy gold with real money, he might have just bought that sword with the 15 bucks he had in his wallet. I now no longer care about that sword, or who made it, or where it came from. In other words, meh. 4) It encourages gold farming. Some people in the chat yesterday argued that it would DETER gold farming... but that also holds no water. Let's break it down: Say I can buy 100 gold with 10 bucks. So, I'm about to open the store and purchase some, just to get that fancy shiny thing. Lo and behold, a gold farmer walks up to me and says "hey, buddy, psst! I'll sell you 100 gold for FIVE bucks!" Hmm. Which should I choose? 5) In my opinion, this is the most important point of all: Not only does it break the game physically, it also breaks the IDEA of the game. It goes against what Lord British and Shroud of the Avatar are supposed to stand for. Everyone knows LB stated very clearly that this game would NOT be pay to win. Shroud of the Avatar is supposed to be more than just another online game. Its an ideal, a standard for other games to live up to and follow. THAT was the hype that I bought into. So I ask you, Lord British, and Darkstarr, please. Please reconsider.