@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: *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.