Everyone who plays MMORPgs pretty much hates plat farmers (except thos people who buy plat off them, that is). Very few MMOs seem to be exempt from their presence these days and with the rise in numbers playing MMOs, since the WoW explosion, so respectively have the numbers of Asian companies Plat farming.
My question is, why do we hate plat farmers so much?
I think the answer stems from the fact that they perpetually remove, from the normal player base, those mobs, which have the potential to drop the nicest lewt. In early MMOs, such as EQ1, this was a particular issue as camps were very specific, hard to get and often had well known specific loot tables. So if you wanted a Lodizal Shell Shield, you had to camp Lodizal - the named turtle that spawns every 12 hours in Cobalt Scar. Now here lies the rub, very often Lodi was perma camped by guilds - ‘farming’ him for his shell section, so that they could gear up large numbers of their guild. This is a very noble sentiment, guild wise, but in the eyes of the remaining playerbase their action is identical to that of the Plat farmer - yet this behaviour is often more tollerated. Similarly in EQ2, Stiletto, an NPC Ratonga, which spawns amongst the giants and gnolls in Thundering Steppes drops a note which starts a Heritage Quest - Stilettos Orders Intercepted, which at the end rewards you with a Manastone, an item especially desired by priest classes. Stiletto is a difficult spawn to find, it took me 5 hours of camping his spawn area on my server to find and kill him. That 5 hours was after returning twice to find a Norwegian Guild perma camping him with a lvl 70 Guard and a lvl 40 healer - I asked them what they were doing and replied perma camping him for their guild. This annoyed me insanely, but I accepted it as part of the game, had a 4 man botting group being camping and farming him, I would have reported them instantly - for disruption of the game. Hypocracy on my part, I know. FYI on Splipaw, Stilettos Orders sell for upward of 60gp, which to me was alot at lvl 30.
Then we come onto the major contested mobs, fabled dragons etc who are perma farmed by the big raiding guilds, with the excuse tha they are gearing their guilds - which maybe true to a certain degree, but these guilds also are the ones selling many of those fabled drops on their vendors, demanding 10s even 100s of plat for items - in my eyes this activity is no better than a Plat Farmer. Yes I know that someone is going to say, raids are skilled, hard work, yadda yadd yadda - I say that is bullshit. Once a guild has a specific mobs worked out, they raid like clockwork, with almost guaranteed kills everytime - that is how they ‘farm’ the items that they need, the skill required drops very rapidly. I would argue that quad boxing a bunch of farming bots is probably as skillful as running a x3 or x4 group raid.
I realise that this article is probably going to bring a lot of hate with it, especially from raiding guilds, or guilds who farm for their playerbase, but logically their actions are no better, oftentimes, than the Asian Plat farmer who is probably earning a living to feed his familly.
Finally we have to look to our own playerbase, we hate plat farmers with almost a religious zealotness, yet we seldom hold recriminations against friends and fellow guild members who buy Plat for real world coin, so that they can buy that next Master spell, or fabled piece of gear. I know friends of mine, one who raids with top level guilds on both his WOW and EQ1 servers, who have not only bought plat but Ebayed characters as well. Do those guilds care ? Do they hell. All they care about is that they have 2 of the top specced healers on their servers respectively, which allows them to raid even harder targets, more often.
What I suggest is next time we decide to Report / Petition someone spamming you with Plat sales, see if you can report a guildie or friend as well for purchasing an ebayed toon or buying some of said Plat!!