Thing the first!
Gold, gold sellers, gold buyers and how tos.
I loved Marks post on the banning. I enjoyed the idea of the pop up bannings, but seeing as I've not experienced any yet (computer is still broken) I've no idea how trying they get. The Book of Grudges also has a good post on how to make gold, and that's where the thrust of this first point is.
The best tool for dealing with RMT services is to render them obsolete. Not by offering them yourself or similar ideas, but by making it easy to earn. Orrekai before my computer imploded was at level 12 and has five or more gold. I've not even tried to earn it. Sooner or later it will filter into peoples minds, especially with the fact that renown gear needs renown levels as well as regular levels, that buying bucket loads of money in at the start in no way improves your game experience.
You'll still have buckets of cash at the end of your levelling and have bought everything you wanted on the various stops along the way.
Thing the second.
Ok maybe it's because I don't meet many (read: any) Irish MMO players, though I'm told they exsist. Apparently there are alot in WoW. I will continue to harbour the vague unsettling sense that anyone who plays an "irish" inspired character or uses gaelige in their guild/character naming is in fact an American with a dictionary and a vauge idea.
Still, GOA is in Dublin here. I've seen two things which may be attributed to either a) the growing popularity of MMO's or b) the fact that the EA marketing budget is immense and effective when applied.
The first thing I saw was earlier in the week. Some random lady on the bus, who looked like every other random city worker, was reading the WAR manual. I wanted to throw my arms in the air and shout woo! Unfortunately upstairs on the bus is small and I am tall, so that would have hurt.
The second thing and the more important one, leading back into the first, was that we have alot of free newspapers here in Dublin. They tend to be run by some of the other papers and are morning editions only. The two big ones would be Herald AM and Metro. They're always on the bus and the DART and handed out by people at intersections. On a commute into the city, lots of people (even schoolkids at times) are reading them.
Today, the back page of the Metro was plastered with a full page advertisement for WAR.
Way back when I started with Earth and Beyond, EA had just taken over Westwood. They didn't really push the game, advertising wise. As a result this probably contrbuted to the declining numbers of subscriptions and eventual sunset of the game. It's really really good to see the supposed "EA: Cancel Everything" machine marketing WAR (Or maybe GOA took out the ad, either way). WoW got huge numbers because it pulled a Halo. Halo made gaming cool for people who didn't console game. WoW made MMO's easy and accesible to a huge audience.
Hopefully more ads like that are coming and with them more people for the battlefield.
(Also there are no Irish people on Ostermark thus far. I've been checking. And Guild Róisín Dubh, that doesn't mean black rose, it's a girls name Goddamnit)
Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television
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