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  1. #1

    Lightbulb What if LOTRO Store items could only be mailed to another account ONCE?

    We got into a little discussion on Brandywine yesterday, and you may have come across similar discussions here on the forums, about players whose accounts were temporarily suspended for purchasing LOTRO Store items from other players for gold and reselling them for gold to other players at a profit.

    This is a type of market activity currently permitted by the game mechanics, but is still apparently an area of concern when those LOTRO Store items might have originally been obtained fradulently two or three or more players ago. It can lead to a lack of confidence by both legitimate buyers and legitimate sellers in these kinds of transactions.

    But what if LOTRO Store items could only be mailed to another account one time? This way, items could still be given to friends as a gift or as a prize at player events. They could still be sold by players who have an excess of LOTRO Points and need gold. But they couldn't be resold over and over, creating a murky secondary grey market.

    Buyers would have the confidence of knowing who originally paid for the item, and sellers would gain the confidence of knowing they couldn't be accused of participating in some fraud. (And in the event that SSG ever does suspect fraud, there's a much shorter forensic trail to follow that will sweep up fewer innocent players.)

    Here's how I'd envision this working: When a recipient on another account detaches a LOTRO Store item from a mail message, the bit on that item that flags it as "Purchased from the store" would be cleared. (This flag shouldn't be cleared if the item is sent to a character on the same account or is returned to the sender.) With that flag cleared, the recipient could no longer mail the LOTRO Store item to a character on another account.

    If this kind of change is implemented, it's something SSG should prominently announce a month or so before it's turned on.

    I'm not an expert in economics, so there might be drawbacks to this kind of change that I haven't thought of. What do you all think? Would this be a reasonable compromise that would benefit legitimate sellers, legitimate buyers, and SSG?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,126
    For illegitimate sales this will give an advantage in one case:
    If the item generation chars and the seller chars cannot be the same for some reason, e.g. because the generation char is banned quickly and a chain of transfer dummies is needed to cover the tracks.
    If they are identical, there is no advantage. Since we do not know the generation method, we cannot say anything.

    "Negative" effects:
    1. another item stack (unbound, char bound, account bound, store bought, store bought and sold)
    2. not being able to resell means that stack size matters. If I need 17, I cannot sell the other 3 of the stack of 20.
    3. It is use or store/dispose. There is no way to change your opinion and to still have benefit. This will impact value.


    The advantage IMO is that the impact of keys/solvents as "virtual" currency will be lower.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by thinx View Post
    For illegitimate sales this will give an advantage in one case:
    If the item generation chars and the seller chars cannot be the same for some reason, e.g. because the generation char is banned quickly and a chain of transfer dummies is needed to cover the tracks.
    If they are identical, there is no advantage. Since we do not know the generation method, we cannot say anything.

    "Negative" effects:
    1. another item stack (unbound, char bound, account bound, store bought, store bought and sold)
    2. not being able to resell means that stack size matters. If I need 17, I cannot sell the other 3 of the stack of 20.
    3. It is use or store/dispose. There is no way to change your opinion and to still have benefit. This will impact value.


    The advantage IMO is that the impact of keys/solvents as "virtual" currency will be lower.
    I'm not sure if this helps address your concern, but items with and without the "Purchased from the store" tag already don't stack together. For example, identical items you get from a hobbit present and purchase from the LOTRO Store can't be combined into one stack.

    If you want to buy 17 items from another player for gold and can't use another 3, then just buy 17 of those items. That's why I suggested SSG announce this change long in advance, so players don't get stuck with LOTRO Store items they can't use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,126
    In fact I do not have concerns, but just listed the consequences.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    I'm not sure if this helps address your concern, but items with and without the "Purchased from the store" tag already don't stack together. For example, identical items you get from a hobbit present and purchase from the LOTRO Store can't be combined into one stack.
    Still another stack. Forgot the "bound in n minutes" stack in the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    If you want to buy 17 items from another player for gold and can't use another 3, then just buy 17 of those items. That's why I suggested SSG announce this change long in advance, so players don't get stuck with LOTRO Store items they can't use.
    It is not about being unable to do it that way, but that it changes the market. Not saying that this is positive or negative, just a change on this market that will impact SSG's market.
    One target of changing money to gold via the ingame store can be to get this money fast. Selling large stacks slightly below market value helps to achieve this. You get the gold now and someone else can go sell it in tiny stacks.

    Forgot another consequence: Unless we get new mechanisms, this also means that store items (e.g. solvents, keys) can no longer be sold in the AH (items still have a tag)
    *IF* we get a new mechanism that allows this, then we get the stack size problem again, but in this case "just buy less" will not work. This would require a revamp that allows to buy smaller stack sizes than offered. This might in turn not be wanted by the sellers.

    In principle I support the suggestion, but the effect on illegitimate sales is not sure (see above) and the effect on SSG's market will be there. Since I oppose the "pay to win more convenient" market, this is fine for me - but not because I think it will solve the problem you suggested to solve initially....
    Last edited by thinx; Jul 12 2018 at 11:28 AM.

  5. #5
    It was mentioned during today's livestream that SSG is considering temporarily disabling the ability to send LOTRO Store items to another account with Mithril Coins as postage.

    While that would bring a large part of third-party gold and item seller operations to a halt, it's a pretty severe measure that only offers a temporary solution.

    I'm not sure how these gold sellers work, but if limiting these items to mailing once would disrupt them, I think that would be a preferable solution.

    Edit: I've never sent or received a LOTRO Store item with Mithril Coins, so this isn't really important to me. I just volunteered to bring the suggestion here for the players on Brandywine who were discussing it.
    Last edited by Fredelas; Jul 13 2018 at 01:16 PM.

 

 

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