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Jester wrote a very interesting piece on RMT. In short: while trading ISK for $ is forbidden, trading ISK for services is not, it’s actually supported by devs and can be carried out on the official forum instead of some shady site. Of course CCP cannot see if there was another transaction: the service for $. His example was that the ISK buyer buys a web server, and then gives it to an alliance for ISK.

He asks if there is a way at all to stop such “clever ways” of RMT. I believe there is. CCP already made a great progress against RMT by introducing PLEX. PLEX allows someone with money to get ISK by buying PLEX from CCP and then selling it on Jita. Players who are good at the game can play for free by providing the ISK for PLEX that they use to subscribe their account or buy extra game services.

However illicit RMT-ers still exist, because they can sell ISK cheaper than the PLEX price. Why? Because the PLEX trade is limited by PLEX demand. If I’d trade all my wealth for PLEX-es, I’d have 500. What the hell would I do with them?! For this reason players who are really good in making ISK (or hiding bots) have more ISK than they could sell for PLEX, so they turn to the illicit traders, selling them their ISK for low price.

To see the solution, we must see why CCP allows PLEX trade, despite it is indeed RMT and damages the fairness of the game. Because PLEX-es turn into more accounts, probably also more players. While they don’t pay money, they provide content for other players, making New Eden a more rich environment.

This aspect can be extended to every activity that enriches the game. For example Joe is a great FC. Many players enjoy his fleets and his departure would lead to loss of several players. His alliance rewards Joe with lot of ISK to keep him motivated. However Joe can’t use the ISK for any other thing than playing for free besides vanity, like that titan pilot who never logs in, since Joe is busy FC-ing subcaps. If CCP agrees that Joe is good for the game and there are enough players who are ready to pay him for his in-game service, let Joe sell his FC-ing for real money. How?

  • Joe must apply for “CCP entertainer affiliate” status. The application costs 20 PLEX-es, both to pay for the time of the auditing employees and to deter every random idiot to flood CCP with applications.
  • During an audit, Joe must tell CCP about every accounts he has, so CCP can determine what is he doing actually. Lying about accounts results in permaban.
  • If CCP finds that Joe is enriching the game, he gets the “CCP entertainer affiliate” status. It is not automatic, as most legitimate in-game activities are not providing an enriching experience to other players. Suicide ganking is a good example, but rather farming L4s all alone is better.
  • Joe and CCP sign a contract, I mean a real world contract between CCP Games and a real life person, enforcable at court and resulting real life money compensations if broken. In this contract CCP outlies what activities Joe is permitted to do in game. For example, as Joe got his status as FC, the contract says that he must not make significant money by other activities than FC-ing and also that he must maintain a non-abusive language in his fleets. If at some point Joe no longer want to comply, he can abandon his status and return to normal player, but as long as he has the status, he must abide or be sued for damages.
  • Joe can now cash out PLEX-es for 80% CCP price. For CCP entertainer affiliates there is an extra option on PLEX to “Cash out”. At the end of every month Joe gets $12 for every PLEX he turned in from CCP.

Why would it end illicit RMT? Because players who are good enough in the game to get lot of ISK will rather deal with CCP than some shady site, risking fraud and bans. They will spend their ISK for PLEX-es instead of giving it to RMT-ers. As they buy up lot of PLEX-es, the PLEX price increases, therefore ISK buyers will get more ISK for their $ legitimatelly.

Why should CCP give 80% of their PLEX income to a player? Because this player couldn’t get a single PLEX without other players giving him for the positive gaming experience he provides. If Joe is a bad FC, he won’t get people to pay him, so he won’t have any PLEX to cash out. Every PLEX he cashes out is a PLEX existing only because some other player purchased it for the purpose of rewarding Joe for his FC-ing. If Joe would stop playing, that PLEX wouldn’t be bought. This is actually better than the current PLEX where players pay for others farming, as CCP could sell ISK in the item shop, but they couldn’t sell FC-ing.

This way people who can create worthy content (organizers, bloggers, streamers, artists, web designers) would flock to EVE to earn money. “Worthy content” would be decided by the players. CCP only rules out clearly worthless activities, it wouldn’t be hard to get the status as an FC. Finding people who are ready to pay him for FC-ing would be much harder, and only those who are really providing worthy content could get money.

Of course one can turn to botting or farming to get PLEX-es to cash out but he signed a contract. If a normal player is found RMT selling, CCP can only ban his disposable bot accounts. If Joe is caught botting, he can be sued for serious damages. Actually this can even be prevented as his contract bans extensive non-botting farming, so when he gets the status, his accounts get limitations that makes him unable to rat or mine extensively, even without a bot.

– Gevlon Goblin

His EVE journey show a very interesting “outside the box” approach to the game, PVE and the trade hubs, reason for which we invite you to pay a visit to his blog.

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