Notify Message
Journals » Entry

Let's Talk Books Betrayers!

by Cloud on Apr 02, 2014 at 11:21 AM}
I posted something about the book I am reading Reamde yesterday on the G+ community. Ana Leiander suggested a blog, so instead of recreating the wheel with yet another website. I am making entries here.

So this weekend I started the daunting task of reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson. It is my first venture reading anything by this author so I wasn't sure what to expect. But an interesting trend I see in cyberpunk novels. Gold farming for profit = bad. I had started For the Win by Cory Doctorow, I didn't finish because it was due back at the library and was on hold (no renewal :( ). The main theme of that book was gold farming and how it essentially is slave labor in countries like China and India, where they find the gaming "naturals" and use them to farm gold for profit. In just the beginning chapters of Reamde it is the same thing but the chief protagonist has found a solution, a way to farm gold and not lose money.

Anytime anyone does something like that -- well you know bad stuff is gonna happen and it's gonna happen soon. I haven't gotten that far. Needless to say there is INEVITABLY more to come...


Just FYI - FTW is online and free

I prefer the print version but it's up there with creative commons license.
Yay books!

So after reading your post I immediately did two things:
1) Went to amazon to see if my Kindle copy of For The Win was lendable so I could share it with you, but sadly it wasn't :( , but looks like Kae has that covered :)
2) Stayed on amazon to download REAMDE. I'm only about 20% in so far which is delightful - this is the point where most books would end...and it is only the beginning!!

So I wonder what your reaction was to his description of WoW around page 30. For me, it didn't resonate AT ALL with my experience - at least the part about how dedicated, super-experienced players were the main market for gold to buy rare and expensive gear. I guess that would be the black market auction house now... but I've never been tempted to buy gold to get the cool stuff from there (although now and then I've been tempted to buy something awesome with the gold I already have...) Seems like it takes some of the fun out of the game?

Then again, I've happily spent RL $$ to boost a 90 and gear them just to have alts. And I could imagine a situation where a new XPAC came out and my work schedule was too busy to play for a while...maybe I would be tempted to buy my way out of that situation just so I could play with my friends...except...wait...those same friends would play with me anyway and help me get up to snuff, so... that argument fails.

So I know Gold Farming is a real thing and so there have to be customers out there, but honestly I don't hear my fellow players thinking about that as a real part of their play. I do recall when I was leveling my first toon...back when I would sit and wait for mana to regen because I didn't know about drinking water...back when I was solo-leveling a priest on a PvP server...back when everything seemed impossibly frustrating and insurmountable...I thought that buying gold might be a way to go...just maybe...but decided against it in order get the real gameplay experience. But it has never even crossed my mind since I leveled up and joined the whole argument that the more experienced players are the gold customers seems counterintuitive to me.

In relation to stories about gold farming, have any of your read Anda's Game? It's a bit of a different take.

As for personal experience:
I've run across gold farmers while leveling, and it's a bit frustrating. I need to kill x number of things for a quest, and literally can't find them because someone else is killing them as soon as they spawn. Not at all fun, and usually results in me logging out or just skipping that quest for something else.

As for buying gold...when I played years ago I would never have considered it. Now though, I'll admit that I feel like I'm at a big disadvantage having just started playing again. Everything in the game is ridiculously expensive, because gold is so easy to get at higher levels. Of course, if you don't have a max-level character, gold is significantly harder to come by. I still wouldn't actually do it (being illegal aside, I just can't justify the expense), but I can see why someone would.

Maybe this summer I'll be able to read some fiction, but my classes are keeping me too busy for now. :)
One of my colleagues kept telling me to just hire a teenager in China to level up my character. But I resisted. Having taken the "Boost" myself I did find that I ended up in an awkward situation. A high level without knowing how to handle new powers. Fortunately I had a friend in game help me out a lot.

Speaking of other books Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels is a great YA book that also examines a MMOPRG like WoW. It's a YA book so wouldn't take quite so long to read.
I'm going to pick up a copy of Reamde from the public library. I'm ready for a new book, although I'm daunted by the length!

I have a hard time imagining buying gold or having someone else level my character--although I did get the boost that comes with preordering Warlords of Draenor. Generally speaking though, earning the gold or leveling the character is part of the fun of the game, so I don't know why I would pay someone else to do that for me. I guess if I had already leveled several characters, and played all the lower-level content, maybe I would be unhappy about doing it again. But I still feel like there is a lot of content that I haven't experienced yet.

Looking forward to joining the reading discussion!
You know I enjoy re-doing most of the lower level content because now I know what I am doing and I am able to play it smarter and more leathally. IOW I can be a real bada$$ and when you add heirloom gear that only helps. Right now I have a level 45 Orc Warlock down in Tanaris and a formidable Undead DK at level 67. I did boost a couple of toons but there is such a HUGE learning curve when you do that. All those areas you skip really show up in the insta shammies and insta hunters. You then have to spend the time building the necessary mental muscle to really run the toon effectively. It reminds me of the Spongebob show where Spongebob wanted to impress Sandy so he bought the fake muscle arms that he inflated. (yes, I binge watch Spongebob on Amazon). He looked strong but he was still weak ol' Spongebob. Yeah you can pay somebody cash or gold to level up your character for you but are you really getting anything other than inflatable muscles? YOU have not learned how to play your toon, you do not know all the mechanics of using your tools/spells/weapons effectively. Even when I have leveled up my own toons I don't play my Healadin as well as Amednable, but imagine someone who had kid in China level up their Healadin. They would have an inflated Healadin with no real muscle--coz the real muscle for all our toons is our brains.

Please login to comment