Ahhhh! Get my gun! It’s a money making scheme! I recently read a discussion at DiabloFans and it sounded really familiar to a few I’ve seen elsewhere. The general attitude is that making real money or even talking about making real money in Diablo 3 is taboo. You’re a social misfit if you mention making the big bucks. While it’s not hard to become a social misfit on the internet (all you have to do is state an opinion) it surprises me that in the 21st century people still don’t understand basic economics.
Are money making schemes evil? Nope. They’re what brought us Diablo 3 in the first place. If it wasn’t for Blizzard’s profit incentive, if it wasn’t for their share holders expectation of a return on their investment the money wouldn’t have been there to organize dozen of developers, artists, marketers, etc to create the game in the first place. If it weren’t for ‘money making schemes’ then places like DiabloFans, MMO-Champion and other community based websites wouldn’t exist in the same fashion they do today. They wouldn’t be beefed up with awesome social features like forums, avatars, contests, beta give aways and other consumer-benefiting cross promotional efforts.
You see, the goal of any “money making scheme” is to find someone who will buy something from you. What that means is you’re looking for someone who will give you what they have for something you have. In such an event what you have is worth more to them than it is to you and what they have is worth more to you than it is to them. When a transaction like this plays out both parties end up with more perceived value than they came in with. This requires mutual consent from both parties to engage in the transaction and proper authority to exchange the goods that they are claiming ownership over. This is how value in the market place is created! This is how the standard of living of groups of people is increased, through fair and mutual exchange of goods.
They make the game suck!
Along with the claim that money making schemes are inherently wrong comes the suggestion that they reduce the quality of the in-game experience, that they make the game less relaxed for casual players. Is this true? Nope, they actually add an incredible value to the game. Blizzard can’t do everything. They can’t, or at least shouldn’t, run all the associated community sites that surround their games. They shouldn’t manage places like DiabloFans or Inc Gamers. These should be left to entrepreneurs who will creatively look for ways to bring more value to customers in exchange for those customers to view their affiliates ads and help them create a kickass community.
Look at your favorite fansite carefully and ask yourself this question, “am I being forced to view this page?” Unless you’re a chimpanzee strapped to a chair like in the beginning of the movie 28 Weeks Later you have every freedom to close the browser or visit another site. Hell, if you’re still reading this article then you obviously value this article! Imagine World of Warcraft without WoWHead. Imagine the internet without Facebook… bloody money making schemes!!
In Diablo 3 Blizzard is finally promoting some of this monetization and as a result it’s going to bring lower prices to in game items. It’s going to drive the creation of a massive amount of theory crafting and guide creation. It has already created a ton of incentive for programmers to create awesome content like any of the sophisticated datamining sites already out there. I have no idea what will come in the future but I’m definitely looking forward to it.
What about spammers?
One objection to this is spammers. The bots that sit in the game and try to capitalize in trade chat by spamming some website that sells gold. These violate Blizzard’s Terms of Service and that’s one reason why they didn’t last long. Another way that Blizzard is addressing this is by making gold selling legal. How’s that for a money making scheme!
What about scammers?
Scams are scams. They are based on fraudulent claims and are usually trivial to avoid. If you buy something through PayPal you can literally get a refund without the seller’s permission. You can even go so far as to say that you didn’t receive a product you bought through PayPal and get your money back. It drives seller’s crazy!
Many digital products are sold through PayPal, e-Junkie or ClickBank. All of these places have easy to use dispute resolution systems. If you aren’t satisfied you can request a refund. It’s really that simple. If you’re not satisfied and the seller won’t give you your money back (this is not even realistic) you can always call your bank and they will charge the money back from the seller! The idea that you can be ripped off on the internet is quickly being put to rest. There are still some scams out there, most of which revolve around phishing and viruses but that’s beyond the context of this article.
How can you help?
Now you’re probably wondering how you can help. If you enjoy the site you’re reading (this one) or enjoy the sites you visit on a more frequent basis then you can consider visiting their sponsors to see what type of products they are selling. The chances are good that the quality is high and there is little or no risk to supporting the site. If you’re not in the buying mood, just subscribe to some of your favorite sites and keep up with what they are doing. In the long run I bet you will both be better served!
Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.