Skip to main content

An Opinion on Plex as Pay to Win

I played Diablo today with my best friend. We've not played it in a few weeks. In general the game has been a huge dissapointment for me. However, its the only one that we play together. She avoids Eve and all MMOs because her obsessive nature will drag her in and addict her in moments.

At the login screen there was a big news blurb about the real money auction house. I flipped past it, becuase I did not care. I know a few people that are making a bit of personal income off of this. People want the high end equipment without the grind and will pay cash for it. Then, I had two friend requests from a gold seller. I declined those as well.

However, it made me think of PLEX.

There is a thread on the forums at the moment about paying to win. The sides are rather devided about the issue.

In Eve, more then many (or maybe any) other game I have played, the ability to sell a PLEX for ISK does not feel like pay to win to me. When I first started to play City of Heroes, occasionally I'd be spammed by someone selling 'credits (aka gold)' on a website somewhere. I thought that it was a scam. Who would pay for gold in a game?

I didn't understand RMT until I came to Eve and started to read about it. I also had the same naivety about bots and botting. I play games for enjoyment of the game and attaching a business task or a money task to it was beyond my tiny scope of understanding. Games = Play. Work = Place I go to that causes me to afford Play. City of Heroes was the first game that I ever paid a subscription for. I never got into EverQuest and later WoW simply because they required monthly subscriptions. My first multiplayer game was a text based MUD that I didn't have to pay for.

I first got into the monthly subscription thing with Hellgate: London. Having my subscription cherry popped, a few years later when I tried City of Heroes it was easier to accept. CoH cost the same amount as Eve did and I was playing it up until I tried Eve. I then dropped my sub and subscribed to Eve instead. I figured one sub was enough. Hahahha. Oh Eve... alts... ahhhh... but let me not wander to far....

Eve's NeX store never interested me. I will admit, I purchased some outfits from City of Heroes. They were always coming up with new fancy ones. I stared at my character a lot. I think I paid a total of 10 USD all told for things eventually. I don't have a 'have it all' type of personality. Mostly I went for a package that had wings. I had a thing about wings because I liked to fly. I liked to fly and in Eve I had a spaceship so I was satisfied.

I can see how NeX is a slippery slope, but that is not the Pay to Win discussion I'm wandering through.

What I still did not understand, until I had been playing Eve for months, was buying PLEX for ISK. I could not learn the cute little outfits in City of Heroes in game, otherwise I would have. Because I could earn the ingame currency, buying it out of game made little sense to me. Thus, the selling of PLEX for ISK made no sense to me at the time.

I'll admit, I thought it was a bit dumb and to a certain extent bothered my ehonor about 'playing' the game. I felt that they were skipping an important part of playing, which was earning the 'money'. I'm a gold hoarder in every game I play. I had the billions of piles of coins in Diablo 2 spread all over the town.

A few months down the line I changed my tune. Some of that came from hanging out with people who paid for their subs with PLEX. My personal desire for them to continue playing outweighed my vague opinions on something I had not thought about. I also thought it was a very cool feature that opened the game up to a wider audience. I also learned a bit more about Eve.

In many games, ISK/Gold/Currency = stuff. Stuff = power. Some stuff = IWIN button.

In Eve, ISK = Stuff. Stuff does not equal power or IWIN. Stuff can often compensate for a lack but it can not make up for it. Someone who does not know how to play will still not know how to play, even if they pour all the isk in the world into their fits. Also, in Eve you lose stuff. Even stuff purchased with ISK gained from selling PLEX purchased with real life ISK (The icelandic people are RMT because they buy ISK with ISK. Terrible world we live in).

Such was explained to the person who asked in the New Player Q&A forum section if he could buy officer mods off the market. I am sure that he heard about how great they are. With the power of plex, it seems that greatness can suddenly be yours. The overall opinion was "Please no. You are not there yet" and "Where are you undocking?"

That is how fits like this appear.

The above Navy Vexor was being used, I believe, to grind through level 3 missions by someone who was trained almost 100% for industry and mining. I am not a fit expert by any means, but I remember seeing the cap rechargers and the power diagnostic units and thinking... "his fitting skills are terrible and that is the only way he can make stuff fit." Then I noticed that the faction drones (I didn't even know we had faction drones and this alerted me to that) were because he did not have T2 drones for the same reasons.

At the time, I was slowly working through an endless grind of fitting skills that felt like nothing was happening to me. But, looking at that I realized I could fit ships as they were ment to be fit. I know that rechargers and diagnostic units have their place. I don't think that place is on a faction mission Vexor. And he was still struggling. So shiny things did not fix the problem.

And yes, I know that he was using PLEX to finance his in game goals and replace the constant flow of lost stuff. He told me so :)

That is why I have a relatively neutral opinion of PLEX. Throwing ISK at something does not save you from playing Eve because playing Eve is not all about ISK. There is a thread on the eve online forums in crime and punishment where a woman is quite upset because her husband was scammed out of billions of isk in items that he paid with from ISK gained from selling PLEX.

I really loathe the reverse ISK -> Plex -> IRL conversions.

In City of Heroes, if you could buy an item you had it. There was some level restrictions but making it to the max level of 40 was a simple task. The super expensive sets to make your character a true badass was a handful of in game money away.

In Eve Online, you can buy an item, and then it might take 6-9 months to fly it, and another 12 to fit it properly, and then someone destroys it and its gone forever before you even got a chance to take some amazing screenshots after you undocked.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sugar’s Non-Technical Guide to Making Boosters

Welcome to my non-technical and outdated but probably still useful guide to boosters.  There have been changes to how things are built in Eve. This was the old POS code before the introduction of new structures in 2016.   This is just a walk through on my wobbling path of booster production.  It took me half a dozen different documents to figure out what I needed to do to make these mythical things.  It is what I do.  It may not be perfect but it works.

This is pirate focused industry.
This guide brought to you by Lain asking me to write it after I tried to explain it in chat.

Why make boosters? Because drugs are good.  Really they are performance enhancers and performance enhancers can give someone that extra edge in PvP.  It was also because my boys used them and when they ran low they often ran out, I could be their supplier.  They would no longer hoard their drugs due to the length of time it takes to get fresh product.. The thought of being a drug kingpin was also very appealing. …

Will the real player please stand up?

I installed Eve on my Surface the other day. I then remembered why my last laptop, when I was playing Eve, was an Alienware gaming laptop. My Surface, wonderful creature that it is, runs Eve at such a tiny magnification that I squint to see it. I could change my settings and adjust for this. Instead, I'll stick to my desktop and try to remember to log in and see the latest round of changes.

Yet, here I am writing.

Deep in the muzzy field of my brain that has been working almost daily for the last six weeks, random thoughts bubble up. I may not log in and spend my time focusing on Eve as a world, but it hasn't slipped from me. I've picked up an amazing group of friends that I talk to daily and many of them still play enough that I skim the social edges. At times I'm angry that the same social problems exist. At others, I'm fascinating by the process.

Today is a fascinating day because I've been answering e-mails. I still get e-mails occasionally from people who …

Memoirs - Part One: Virtual Worlds

Virtual Realities: Memoirs of an internet spaceship politician by Sugar Kyle CSM9, CSMX
This is where it really started. The day I lost my mind.

I never told anyone how long I had been debating my run for the ninth CSM. The thought started to circle in the back of my thoughts in November. I was back home after a sucessful Eve Vegas. I had met a few people. My notes from the presentations and round tables had gone over very well. I felt useful, comfortable, and excited that I was a member of the community. I belonged and I cared about this thing that I belonged to. That thing was the community of Eve Online.
Eve Vegas of 2013 was when I found out that a conversation I had been fortunate enough to have with CCP Masterplan at Fanfest of that same year, had sparked enough interest to gain developer attention. At Eve Vegas I learned that they would be working on ideas based off of the premise that I had presented. Only days later, a developer posted to the Offical Eve Online forums about i…