By: Max Mam
In Final Fantasy XI, just about every high-level player, myself included, agrees that RMTs are trash. RMTs (real money traders), or gil-sellers, as we called them in FFXI, caused us legit players many problems. First of all, some of the “ Notorious Monsters”, extra strong monsters that drop valuable items, that players camped for their gear were unjustly monopolized 24/7 by RMTs that utilized illegal bot programs to instantly lay claim to the mob as soon as it appeared. These RMTs would then take the items the NM dropped and sell it on the auction house and could essentially control the price of said item since many of the items are exclusive to certain NMs. This made it incredibly hard for some players to get the gear they needed simply because they would be forced to wait until the RMT left the camp or instead fuel the RMT by buying the item on the auction house at the inflated price. Without the right gear, it is hard for players to get into a decent party to level up and experience more of the narrative through missions.
The frustration continues since the gil that the gil-sellers accrue go onto eBay where many novice players can essentially buy their way into the best gear possible. In some games, this isn’t as big a deal, but in FFXI, when a player doesn’t do their job right, it greatly hinders the entire party. Many of these novice players don’t take the time to understand how to play their respective jobs and expect to coast along on uber-gear to the high levels. A similar dilemma occurs when new players buy accounts so that they begin at the maximum level with no clue as to how to play their job. Those of us that worked for our levels have spent countless hours in the game and know everything about the jobs we play. In a game like FFXI where you really can’t accomplish anything solo, you need to have a full party or alliance where everyone knows exactly what to do. When one or a few players have no experience with their jobs, the party fails, even if the players have amazing gear.
I really am glad that there are admins and GMs in FFXI. Corporate ownership of the game makes it harder for RMTs and gil-sellers to exist. The less RMT there is going on, the easier it is for people to enjoy the narrative because the leveling up is easier, the economy is better, and there are fewer high-level players without gameplay experience. Gil-selling undoubtedly still goes on, but when I think about what would happen if there weren’t the mass bannings of RMT accounts and the continual efforts to curb gil-selling, I realize that there would be many many more players with no experience but great gear and high levels. I certainly don’t want more of those because those are the people that make the parties I’m in fail. It certainly ruins the narrative experience when I continually have to repeat certain fights because of one person. I already spend too much time in Vana’diel; I would rather not waste time repeating missions due to lazy rich players.