Value of the Bots
In a recent speech at Gamesfest 2006, Dave Weinstein spoke about MMORPGs and the hacking that has occured over the past years in regards to stolen accounts, bots, and plat/coin farming by companies such as IGE and the host of off-shore organizations (see, I can be politically correct!)
However, for players wanting to bypass this route a lucrative online market has developed buying and selling virtual objects such as potions and weapons.
This is often done through auction sites like eBay and other specialist fan sites.
Many of these transactions are against the terms and conditions of the games and must be carried out covertly.
Some estimates have put an $800m (£418m) price tag on the global market in game items and cash.
800$m for a bit of plat and whatever attunable items there may be? Eesh. I realized it was a bit annoying and, for the most part, the online bots are obvous to seasoned players–in EQ2, the Obelisk of Lost Souls, Cazic Thule, Permafrost, and Soulsek’s Eye are home to these farmers of names and loot–due to their odd names (Candybar, Aeonenaneoso, Springgirl, Wizardwizard, etc) and level 1 guild tags.
I appreciate capitalism as much as the next guy, but I also appreciate (since I’m affected) what is being done by organizations such as SOE to prevent the bots–the lockdown of the free trial isle, increased NO-TRADE/NO-VALUE status on items.