Sir XvExodusvX wrote:
In business, it's all about money. They'd sell their souls if it would increase their profit margin.
It's a sad world we live in.
I don't necessarily agree with that. While I agree that gil vendors are certainly unscrupulous and thoughtless, lumping business in general under the blanket of heartlessness and greed that seems the pervasive train of thinking isn't really a helpful frame of mind.
All over the free-market world, the goal for financial success is a very straightforward 3 step process:
1) Make money.
2) Make money with money.
3) Make even more money with money.
The cynical approach to this in a real world situation is to look down on wealthy people who are in a position to invest money into various different enterprises, do very little actual work, and still turn a very tidy profit in doing so. We call them lazy, we call them greedy, we tell them they aren't doing their part to further humanity by living life as a pauper and donating all of their enormous wealth to charity.
In reality, money is a commodity. Just like a material item or a person's time (with consent, of course) can be bought, so too can money itself be purchased for a fee.
In fact, the very nature of FFXI practically BEGS people to look at gil as a legitimate commodity. When you think about it, when was the last time you spent a couple of hours doing whatever it is you do to make gil and at the end of it realize that your return may have been good, but it certainly wasn't fantastic? Gil is hard to come buy unless you have developed certain skills that put your abilities in higher demand than the average Joe, and qualifies you to demand a higher price for your services.
Just like banks know that people are willing to pay (over time) to essentially buy some of the bank's money, gil farmers know that people are willing to pay real money to buy gil.
The only legitimate reason we, as "nice" players have for frowning on gil farming is because it's forbidden in the ToS.
When you think about it, saying that gil farmers should be booted from the game because they over-camp NM spawn areas with the intention of using the gil they make from a drop (to sell online for a real world profit) is very much like saying players who camp NMs to sell drops for gil (to buy/do other things in-game) should be banned as well. After all, they crowd NM camping areas just as much as gil-vendors, and they rarely have any intention of using the boots, pin, kote, or what have you.
(I just re-read that last paragraph and it's a little confusing, even though I wrote it, so let me put it a different way).
How is it that gil-vendors, based on their actions in-game, are any worse than legitimate NM campers? How do they have a more negative impact on another player's ability to claim the NM or other farming target?
I don't really think they do. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, I think what's really at issue here is that a LOT of players seem to ALWAYS look for reasons to say that so-and-so is making it more difficult for them to claim NMs/farming targets/mining points, etc.
You have the obvious group that moans and complains when they see the high level camper in Lizzy's spawning area. They come to forums like this and sound off about how the high level should go do something else and leave the low level NM to them.
Not gonna happen.
You have the not-so-often discussed group of people who hate all other miners and assume they must be newbs for allowing the price of valuable ore to plummet in a very short time. (I'm guilty of this myself...when platinum ore went from 40k-20k in about a week, I was choked). We want people to stop undercutting the AH so we can continue to make our expected profits.
Not gonna happen.
The fact of the matter is, in terms of the impact gil-vendors have on our in-game economy and/or our ability to claim NMs etc, they are no different than a group of friends who get together and are just extremely interested in making a ton of gil.
Again, I don't support the idea of gil-vendors. Square has provided us with a great game to play and enjoy, and in return they have asked us (among other things) to not use their service for our own personal financial gain. Respecting that, to me, is just part of being a decent consumer and understanding the nature of a two-way transaction.
However, trying to fully grasp the nature of exactly what's going on with gil-vendors and the tempest their presence has stirred up is key to understanding how to deal with them.
If all of us treated the way we look at a party dynamic the way we look at dating, it would work a lot better. You ask someone out on a date. Throughout the course of your time together, they say next to nothing, insist you pay for most of the costs associated with that date, and you find out halfway through the date from a number of reliable sources that they're just using you to feed them and entertain them before they go off and sleep with their REAL partners, you'd be kind of stupid to date them again, wouldn't you?
It's not too different with gil vendors. You invite them to a party. Throughout the duration of their time in the party, they say next to nothing, ask you for gil, and are really not at all good at their job (leech). You find out later they're a gil vendor and they were in your exp group to level up so they could handle fights with higher-level NMs along with the rest of their gil-vending team.
You'd be pretty stupid to let them into another party, wouldn't you?
Sometimes I just talk too much...