I wanted to have a slightly more serious conversation about a certain title that has garnered quite a bit of controversy around it by outside players and its community. I am, of course, referencing to the newly instated Diamond policy that restricts what players can do with diamonds purchased through certain avenues. Diamonds are a currency in Runes of Magic that are purchased with real life money. They can be traded to other players, or used to purchase items in the item mall.
Frogster implemented an update that restricts diamond usage among players, due to players using stolen credit cards and stolen paypal accounts to purchase diamonds, to send to their main accounts. Those who buy their diamonds with a credit card or paypal account, or even a Playspan account will not be able to trade the diamonds, nor will they be able to sell them on the auction house. They will be bound to your account, and can only be used on the item mall for items that will be bound to your character.
Explanation after the break.
Players are complaining that this is will only harm legitimate players, and they cannot be further from the truth. Although legitimate players who trade diamonds will be hurt by this update, it will do far more to stop the players buying with fraudulent cards/accounts. But why are they such an issue? When someone buys something with a stolen credit card, eventually the person who actually owns the card finds out. Part of the recovery process involves getting the stolen money back, by force if necessary, from the companies it was paid out to. This means forced chargebacks on, in this case, Frogster.
As chargebacks include fees for the company, it is not a simple case of “well we just lost what we had gained.” Furthermore, both credit card issuers and the company’s banks are known to levy fines when the number of chargebacks starts to become a real problem for a company. Eventually, and this is rare, the company’s bank may put a complete block on any payments made with a credit card. This means that, had Frogster left it to its own accord, they may have had to stop accepting credit cards and paypal period for Diamond purchases.
Although it is possible to buy gift cards with stolen cards and use those, it also makes the process of catching the thief easier. As Frogster knows when the card was activated at the checkout counter, they can quite simply hand that information over to authorities who will then contact the retailer and request security footage from that exact time to identify the thief. Using stolen credit/paypal is almost impossible much of the time, to track down to its source.
Perhaps I’m just bitter because most of the people calling malice or offering their own “business solutions” to this problem are neither bankers nor have much more business experience than selling a few items on Ebay. I make a few jokes ripping on Runes of Magic, and I have my own disagreements with the company and the game, but I view everything objectively, and if I feel they are in the right, then I will defend them.
I keep the business, whether it be cause or effect, related material here on MMO Fallout, although I do (as I’ve said before) go on other MMO forums to discuss the normal banter. If you’d like an example, read my posts on Funcom here on MMO Fallout. Now try to piece together that with the idea that I am known on other websites as the secret Funcom employee or fanboy sent to defend them mercilessly.
More on Runes of Magic as it appears.