Numerous counter arguments came up that included:
- Black market sellers are breaking copyright laws.
- Black market sellers are often stealing accounts and using bots to gather gold.
- Influxes of gold due to botting hurts the economy
If you want a more thorough list of the counter arguments, you can just see the thread itself.
The reason I'm posting this thread is that there was one particular argument that really has to be made, and something people, especially those who don't like that other players are able to buy gold, need to understand:
Unlike the gold that black market sellers sell, gold bought through Arena.net is a two part process. The player first buys gems, which have a fixed monetary value, and are basically only for cosmetic things that don't actually affect gameplay in any way. Then, the player can choose to exchange gems for gold.
Now, this may not seem like it's any different from buying directly from a black market seller, but it is, for two reasons:
1. Because the rate of exchange between gems and gold is based on people wanting to sell their in game gold for gems, the in game economy controls the exchange of gold. Even if your stance is that people should not be allowed to buy gameplay affecting items with real money, and thus never spend money on the game, you affect the exchange rate between gems and gold. The more people decide they want to buy gems and trade them for gold, the lower the value of gems becomes, and the more expensive gold becomes. This is different from black market sellers, on whom a person who refuses to buy gold has no influence on.
2. Purchasing gold via the in game mechanism involves a tax. This tax has the effect of reducing the amount of gold available in the economy with each transaction. No such mechanism exists with black market traders.
My personal opinion is that any sort of real-money entering the in game economy will have adverse effects. That is just a cost of Arena.net's business model, which is very progressive, and which I suspect will replace the subscription based model as the way companies make money off of this sort of business. However, they have implemented significant checks and balances to protect the economy from the influx of cash, and while protecting it completely is impossible, they've done a pretty good job of keeping things reasonable. Because gold farmers are under no pressure to do the same, purchasing from them actually hurts the game a lot more than purchasing from Arena.net.
Edited by Leyana, 09 July 2013 - 12:32 AM.