Is this game even worth playing anymore due to horrible mismanagement? (long post, don't open if you're not interested)

Yeah, yeah, another one of those posts, but like many others, I started feeling like the only reason I play this game anymore is because of the routine and some kind of FOMO.

As for my progress, I completed pretty much everything. I’m missing 2 adventure island souls, Yearning and 4 shipwreck maps. Got everything else.

1480 (+21 weapon, almost 3k bound leapstones so 1490+ at will.) Paladin main with 3 full sets of gear I don’t need to change before we get ancient.
1450 Gunlancer with 4x3+1 that I also don’t need to change before 1490 pretty much.
1415 x2 and 1370 x2 that will get 1415 in a couple of weeks…if I don’t give up, that is.

Obviously, I played a lot and it’s part burnout, but AGS is slowly but steadily losing the grip on this game. Every single week there’s less and less players (you can easily check it with stuff like pvp leaderboard for the week that makes it easy to calculate how many people played or stuff like capture events that have decreasing numbers with each week). Sure, it’s summer and people are on vacation, but there’s more to it.

I had the same feeling back when RMTing was rampant. Then they temporarily fixed it with a huge banwave and I actually got the motivation to play the game again, but now it’s pretty much the same, if not worse.

Blue crystals probably hit 900g on EUC by now. Gearing a 1415 alt costs ~150 pheons (125 for accs and 9 per stone). Which is 1500 blue crystals. Or 14.4k gold as of now. 14.4k tax just to have the ability to buy a decent setup.

For a character that makes ~77 unbound leapstones and 6k gold per week. So around 8k gold.
Honing from 1370 to 1415 costs 35k just in gold. And a decent relic setup is like ~30k gold by itself.

Now all of this would be fine if it was a slow grind for everyone, but it’s not. Every single day you’ll run across +25 weapon people with ridiculously low roster level. Blatant RMTing.

Personally I’m fine managing my economy, I’ll have a good roster and my main will always be ready for latest content, but this past week has been nothing short of horrible if we talk gameplay experience.

Deskaluda is the new Yoho. Before it was poorly geared people in Yoho, now it’s in Deskaluda. And I can’t blame them. Most people can’t afford to even gear their main, no chance for alts.

Even in party finder you can’t find decently geared people a lot of the time.

Then we come to the main point. While RMTers are still rampant and botting is ruining the game, what does AGS do? Fuck actual players over. Like I understand that bots will never be fully dealt with, but you have to stop ruining everyone’s progress by literally taking stuff away just because bots found a way to explot it.

I used my powerpass on the first day, but half the people I know are not able to use it for weeks. What are they supposed to do? Wait for a month until it’s fixed? Then whenever you fuck up, the compensation is some garbage like 2 resonance aura potions or whatever.

The pacing of the game is completely ruined. Valtan release was fine, Vykas was decent because it had extra couple of weeks for people to catch up, but 15ilvl in raids to have a 4 months wait? What the hell are you smoking? Who’s gonna spend money on a game like that? Especially knowing they can spend a fraction and have exponentially higher progress via RMT because there’s less than 10% chance of getting banned.

People are cheating their asses off in every single mode of the game. I was never one of those withchunt guys, but the game is really close to being gone. Last week was my first time seeing an actual bot in boss rush. For months I’ve been reporting the same Berserker in PVP that got extreme rank before everyone else when it would’ve taken like 12h+ a day of playing and nothing happened. He’s still there.

Literally a character that runs into enemy team, spams chaos dungeon berserker skills (like strike wave with AOE clear tripods and spin) and then just dies. Respawns and proceeds to rush back at the enemies. Extreme rank when literally noone had it, not banned for months.

Blatant RMTers selling shit for millions every single day.

Hell mode? That’s the real mode for highly skilled players? Might be, but nearly every single group I’ve been a part of has people being really open about using DPS meters. And noone will get banned.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m writing this because I really like this game and if I didn’t care I would’ve just deleted my characters and obviously there’s some burnout happening, but I just feel like it’s not worth playing anymore. It’s literally being battered by every possible kind of abuse and cheating, but with legit players being fucked over instead of cheaters getting banned.

This is literally the gaming version of “sorry, the bank has been robbed and to prevent it from happening again you won’t be getting your paychecks for the next few months”.

And lets not forget all the technical issues, errors and false bans with people that spent a lot of their money in a legit way getting fucking auto-generated bot reports even after a dozen tickets. Unlucky for them, I guess?

The only appeal of this game right now is keeping us idiots that invested 1k+ hours chained with FOMO, but more and more people are just deleting everything because even with very good gameplay, it’s just not worth it. There’s literally no new players in the game. Last week I did full card runs on 6 of my chars, all via matchmaking and not a party finder and I’ve seen exactly 1 new player with mokoko icon and low roster level. No matter how big the playerbase is (and it’s decreasing in population significantly) without new players the game will eventually die.

Some players that are sucked in too deep are doing shit like having multiple rosters and transferring gold over to their mains. Is that a way to play the game? I’m playing all 6 of my chars every day and for what? For someone to buy the same amount of gold I make in a month from Chinese botters and then to swing their dick around knowing they won’t get banned?

AGS had an above average run, it was a quick money grab that turned out to be a decent success because the game itself is good unlike NW, so it’s probably going to stay alive until Brelshaza and then most of us will give up. I don’t think some regions will even make it there. You royally fucked over EUW players and are bullshitting them for months. EUC and NAE are only healthy regions right now, everything else is in massive decline. And even on EUC half the servers are low pop, with region wide AH and party finder being a saving grace. I can’t even complete sea gates on my server most of the time.

Then there’s the classes issue. Trying to mask classes we’re missing as content and fucking over mains of those classes in progress. You delayed the next raid by a month? Then why not give people a class in August so whoever is interested has time to prepare? Instead you’ll throw everything in at once and then we won’t get shit for a couple more months.

Also, I come from mostly FPS games background and MMO players are always like “how can you play games with so many cheaters”, which is true, FPS games have a ton of cheaters. But even the games with worst anticheat management of them all actually ban cheaters or at least try to deal with it. No game I’ve ever played disabled so many things that actual legit players use “to combat bots and cheaters” and never actually accomplished anything with it. The powerpass is disabled, but crystals price keeps skyrocketing. Good job guys.

TL; DR
I still like the actual gameplay, I’ll keep playing but to a lesser extend but if I knew how horrible would the cheating and economy exploiting situation be in every aspect of the game I would’ve never touched this. The only reason why this game isn’t dead is because all of us invested way too many hours and would feel regret by stopping now, especially since we know the upcoming content is good. Content which they’re baiting us with because they know the playerbase will rapidly decrease once we catch up due to their mismanagement and fucking actual players over “to combat bots”. Combat which shows literally 0 results long-term.

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Did not read.

Yes game is awesome.

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Indeed game is awesome. Management is not, I mean:


is not rocket science know that at this point

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The game isn’t poorly handled, it’s a free to play game that has a huge market for botters. It’s literally their lively hood we’re talking about and they will do anything to bypass whatever SG/AGS implement. Not too mention bots are down and have stayed down by about 500k-600k.

I think people are leaving due to the nature of Lost Ark, daily grind and micro transactions. I’m 1400 hours in and at around 1100 hours i was burning out but had Fomo keeping me partially going. I took a step back started playing less, letting rest bonus stack up and now I’m enjoying Lost Ark as much as i ever have before.

People get to a point where they feel trapped into progressing and end up quitting the game, when people reach a certain point they can either quit or work their way around to no longer feeling controlled by FOMO.

Just recently i had a 1435 friend stop playing because she felt pressured into playing otherwise she falls behind which is a Vicious cycle that ends up with someone dropping the game.

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There seems to definetly be way less players than before, I’m on NAE and even getting a party together for reset day Argos takes forever now and Valtan is even worse. Party finder is almost exclusively bus runs at this point and I really don’t see how this game will sustain itself long term when new players are basically locked out of endgame content due how this game is designed and also due to the horrendous gearing system that is gated behind Pheons. There is no way a new player will ever find a group for anything but Matchmaking Argos if there even is enough people playing to do matchmaking P1 in a few months and good luck with Valtan or anything higher.

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No other region has a bot epidemic like NA/EU. Other regions are far more aggressive with ensuring their playerbase is predominantly from the regions they have a license in. A third of the NA/EU playerbase, for some reason, hails from China.

just because the bot problem has been absolutely insane, doesnt mean its good now.

there is still more bots than normal players

If you like the game play, if you do not dont play…

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Honestly, it isn’t as mismanaged as you think it is. You might be simply burnt down.

F2P game with braindead gameplay = Free money.

Even ez-er money with how stupidly lazy people are as the big majority are pulled in thanks to some streamer saying “GAME IS GREAT” the first 2 days.

A niche genre where you have to invest time to progress compared to the utterly popular Battle Royale and Mobas these individuals venerate. Free money as they will quit very fast and spend very fast as well hurting the game.

Ofc all that moss will leave. Ofc numbers will go down. Gameplay is barely interesting and the only worthy content is one time per week and people now don’t want to remotely invest any time because a BR or MOBA enables most of your “Peak power” in 20 mins.

Now, is not like AGS are saviors. Fuck no, they could have done better in so many places. Communication, customer support, faster responses to issues, price the without fsomeone to actually design a better site and the templates from information dumps. But SG has also treated this like backwater, they had to address a botting problem that was not present as bad on their version. They had to act quick. They have let several weird bugs slip up on their patches and it seems like their communication with the AGS people is very similar to AGS to us, vague but somehow exists.

Game’s endgame is boring and it basically asks you to run that 6x daily. Feeling expent from the same boring tasks is normal.

Biggest flaw? Its core: The community. 8/10 are comparable to an average 4chan vtuber thread anon.

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And yet you took the time to respond :clown_face:

And it is because enough people from “our” region are supporting this market with RMT.

Stop RMT and the Bots/gold sellers are gone. But no, why play the game when you can buy mats/gold/other stuff from an illegal market and ruin the game for everyone else…

KR doesn’t have such a huge Bot problem due to the accounts being bound to the phone number which is connected to the SSN, which is not possible for the western release. And maybe the people playing in RU are not so stupid to engage in so much RMT and thus the market for the bots is to small…

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It’s human nature, really. If someone offers you something you want at one tenth of the price… well… most people will take that deal. It’s Amazon & Smilegate’s job to regulate that, not the players.

Similar measures are absolutely possible. Amazon don’t want to do it because they want as low a barrier for entry as possible. If that’s how you want to publish your F2P game then you reap what you sow. Unfortunately it’s the legitimate players that suffer, so it’s probably shortsighted from Amazon/Smilegate in the end. If they could turn back time they would probably do things a lot differently for Western release.

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The game is subjectively good enough to be a game to kill time/fill the void until the next big game comes out. I think there are very specific circumstances for players who are neutral on the matter whether it’s being in NAE + in a very active non RMT guild, etc.

Personally, I am just waiting for Blue Protocol to jump ship ngl lol, but aside from the horrible management, I think what could be happening is that they’re intentionally ruining the game to make a majority players quit while getting as much money as possible. Once the demand for RMT gold goes away or is no longer profitable or there is another game for botters to convert to, then it’s possible for a comeback then. Supposedly AGS/SG’s business intelligence is that plan to make everybody quit to make bots quit then hopefully whatever they developed under the table by then will be capable of preventing bots from staging a strong comeback while they retain a usual healthy player base amount seen in like FFIV/WoW for a while once they stage the comeback where they provide a lot of incentives to draw in players again whether it’s most class released/rapid acceleration to KR ver.

booba skins ruined the game

people selling them for 15k gold means no one in their right mind would sell crystals straight up for anything less than 1000

basically until everyone who would ever want a booba skin buys one… for every character they want it on, crystals are not coming down

and

alts aren’t going to get geared lol

Sorry but it is simply FOMO.
Why should I pay money via CC or PP to a shady service offered by someone that is clearly violating the TOS and I myself will violate the TOS?

This is like saying (example shortened, but I think you’ll get the point):
Why work where it takes a very long time to earn some decent money, when you can simply by a gun and go rob a bank and get rich. Yes it is illegal, but hey why care. It is the fast and easy way.
And it is the states job to do something against that…oh wait…there are laws against this…I don’t care.

AGS/SG have TOS that everyone has to accept and they’ve been trying to implement(useless) measures against the bots. Simply saying “it is the human nature because everyone wants to be world first Valtan hard mode and everyone else says I nee to be GS 15000 now, but I don’t have the time to play 12h a day, but I’m being forced to have the mats and the GS…”.

Sorry this is not human nature wanting to by something cheap anymore. This is simply people putting this pressure upon themselves or being/feeling peer-pressured.

And if you (not you personally, but the people using RMT) don’t realize that they are ruining the game for everyone else or you accept to do that, well then I call this stupid (to say the least).

No they are not possible due to different data protection regulations and completely different handling of the equivalent to the SSN, as it has been explained several times by AGS.
Not to mention all the people already complaining that they can’t use Steam Guard because they have no mobile phone and so on.
2FA or 3FA will not solve this and even KR has bots…so…

I’ll put it another way for you then. If there were two identical items in the cash shop and one was priced at 50c and the other was priced at $50, which one will people buy? Some people will feel comfortable using shady, illegitimate services and others will not. Doesn’t change the fact that people will pay less money given the choice.

My personal stance is I’d rather not risk my account, but I’d argue I’m probably in the minority there given how the RMT market has flourished in this region.

If you can’t concede that AGS could implement a more stringent account verification policy if they so chose then there’s no rational discourse we can have on the matter. Agree to disagree.

It’s AGS’ own fault in every possible way.

Gold prices are so fucking ridiculous it’s the biggest scam I’ve seen in my 20+ years of gaming. Like just disgusting prices.

Literally takes thousands to get a single upgrade if you’re unlucky. What the fuck is that about?

And there’s nothing in store for low-medium level spenders.
I haven’t spent anything since the arkpass just because I refuse to pay their prices while cheaters are running rampant and pretty much shitting on us all, but even if we assume there were no cheaters, like what the hell is there to buy for an average customer?
As in someone willing to spend 50 to a 100 every month. Even that’s a shitton of money for nothing. There’s literally nothing in store I can buy right now that would help me and there are no skins I’m interested in.

Of course people will exploit the system, it happens in every single game, only difference being that other devs actually at least try to deal with it without fucking players over.

If I knew this is how it was going to play out, I would’ve bought gold for like $100 when it was $0.3 for 1k and made millions because it was so easy to exponentially increase your gold back then.

2FA or 3FA will not solve this and even KR has bots…so…

See, this is the problem you peolpe don’t understand. No game can completely eradicate all the bots, but just tell me about a single other game that had decent lifespan where like 75% of the playerbase.

The next part of the post is a guesstimation, but it most definitely can’t be far off the truth.

I’m on a EUC server that’s on the lower end of popularity, but not a low population server. For example there are still a ton of channels for field bosses and adventure islands no matter when you do them. Last weekend for capture event (most popular thing literally everyone does) there were not even 650 participants. And there are servers with half the population. EUC has 19 servers, with 4 of them being high pop. Let’s say that for low-medium pop there are 800 people per server left and even that’s generous.

800x15=12k and then each of those 4 high pop servers probably has 2.5k participants per week.
So we get to a figure that probably varies between 20 and 25k players on EUC servers. Regions that’s by far the most popular. Let’s assume it’s 30k just because it’s summer and holiday time. There’s absolutely no way there are more than 30k active, regular players right now.

EUW is dead and buried, I’d be surprised if even 5k play. SA is also really low pop and NAW can’t have more than 10k due to many people quitting because bots literally made them unable to play for months. NAE is the closest thing to EUC, but it probably doesn’t have more than 20k players. Has 15 servers and from what I’ve seen only 3 are well-populated.

That would mean something like 30+20+10+5+5k people per region. 60k total. And I think I’ve been generous with that assumption. There’s absolutely no way this game has even 80k active players at this point.

As I said in the opening post, I did card runs on 6 of my chars last week and I’ve seen literally 1 new player with mokoko icon. And noone in their right mind would recommend this game to anyone new.

Then we get to the fact that we’re most likely 7 weeks away from any new content and out of those 60k, there are plenty of players including myself that are like “what the fuck am I gonna do now for 2 months”?

Sure, we can take a break, I’ll probably just do the dailies on my main + fully rested alts for the next 7 weeks and then do all of my raids in like 8h total, but a lot of players will realize that this game has nothing to offer and it’s all just FOMO and regret of potentially leaving something you invested 1k+ hours in.

This game has pretty much turned into having to play literally 20h+ of ridiculously bad daily grind every week in order to have fun in raids for a couple of hours. I’m not going to pretend I’m above it, I got hooked at one point and I’m still playing, but it’s not gonna last. Not because of the burnout which is there, but of the stuff I mentioned in the first post.

Disgusting amount of negligence and the “get as much profit as possible before the game dies” policies that are already becoming the end of this game.

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If both are offered in the same shop with the same legal conditions, of course the cheaper one.

But this is not the case here. We have a legal shop and illegal shops. Thus I’d stay legal. Same like you, not risk anything. Because in the end, it is just a game.

And again:
If people chose the cheaper but clearly illegal option just for personal benefits and ruining the game for all the other (legal players and basically themselves too), then I’d call this stupid.

I’m totally onboard for more account security. But again the thing with SSN (or equivalent in your country) being processed is not possible due to legal regulations. Same goes for processing several other personal identifiable info. What might be legal in one country, isn’t in another one.

A simple phone number verification will not work, because it can be automated. Now we could use a token outside of steam and you can also add your phone number for account security in your Amazon account as well. And simply for account security this is advised (although not 100 safe of course).

But then again:
What about the people that don’t have a smartphone with no way to use a token based authentication or mobile phone service? Yes you could for example use an Android emulator with somekind of burner phone number (which doesn’t work in every country, but for arguments sake, let’s assume it is possible everywhere). Now you might say_ perfect, it is a hurdle, but people can use it. Yes, but as can the bots. They can automate this.

Now which method do you propose that is legal in every country, works for (almost) everyone and can’t be automated?

I’m not talking about a 100% bot free solution, because I’m very much aware of the fact that you can’t eradicate them all. And I’m not saying what has been done in LA is healthy and every decision of AGS/SG was a good one. Quite the contrary.
And I’m very well aware of the fact, that many (f2p) games have (had) a bot problem. Until they god rid of the things, that the bots utilized
Take Diablo 3 for example, not even f2p. Got rid of the AH, got rid of the bots
Now I hear the screams “nooo the AH is necessary for LA”. Well then I say:

But again, it is about the market. And the market is there and people are willing to support this market. All technical solutions will not change this and I’ve been saying this in this forum probably since march.

Players “AGS limit chat to some level so that bots can’t post spam” > ME “this will not work” > AGS/SG “okay we limit the chat to lvl 30+”
…fast forward
Players “we wan’t some 2fa stuff” > Me “this will not work” > AGS/SG “okay will implement some market restrictions that you need steam trust and steam guard (later on)”
…fast forward
Players “we have read about this captcha thing and it should be very effective, implement this” > Me “will not work, because of the cracked client they are using and captchas can be automatically solved” > AGS/SG “okay here are the captchas that we can control and so on…”

Additionally there are the ban waves. They are great for marketing and calming things down for a bit because it looks great when you say “we’ve banned 100k bots (or more)” and players are like “yeah, no more queues…but wait…why are the bots coming back after a week???”

Yes it will take the bots some time to level up again (unless they find loopholes to buy power passes again), but still: the market is there and the QOL restrictions we have right now, are not really influencing the market, but just put limitations and restrictions upon regular players.

Now your argument is, that everything is to expensive and/or time consuming.
To this I’d say: well AGS and SG need to pay their staff and pay for the servers, the game development and so on. Yes the bot farmers have also some costs, but you can’t compare that to a development studio and so on.
Do I find the store prices to high? Yes some are a bit high indeed. But AGS/SG will never be able to compete with the prices of the bots.

And in the end it comes down to the usual thing:
This is ho an f2p game works. You have to invest time in a whole lot of grind. People that have more time, will always be ahead of you (assuming you both use the same efficient ways to play).
If you don’t like the grind and/or don’t have the time&money to play the game in a legal way but feel peer pressured to engage in illegal RMT and again, ruin the game for everyone…well…great character.

Additionally I can say, that I’ve now played roughly 900h since February, I’m still only 1370 with one char, have some alts on lower GS, still of course haven’t seen everything. I’ve had this discussion countless of times in this forum: If you’ve done everything in the game that offers fun to you and due to various reasons you can’t find any more fun in the game…well then take a break.
Most people complaining in this forum have played 1000 or even 2000 hours. And especially the ones that have played so much complain about burnout and on the same hand complain about lack of content. Seriously: what do you/they expect? With this pace, the situation will always be the same. No class or raid release will change it really.

What I seriously don’t get is, that so many people are basically defending all the RMTers kinda destroying the game on purpose and saying it is simply all AGS/SGs fault.

Yes AGS/SG could’ve done much better and should do better and several of the methods they are using are totally worthless and so on. Totally on bord with you.
But why not al least also blame those people hard, that create the market for the gold sellers?
If only a few people or even none at all would buy “gold” (and other stuff), we’d have no problem. But like you pointed out: there is more Bots out there than players. Bots and the machines they are running on, also do cost money. They need to buy stolen credits cards and so on. There is a whole industry behind this. Not only in LA but also in other games. And only because significantly enough people are simply egoistic and just focused on “I wan’t to be world first and not play the game as it is inteded”.

Do I find the store prices to high? Yes some are a bit high indeed. But AGS/SG will never be able to compete with the prices of the bots.

Sure, but they don’t have to make the prices be beyond ridiculous.
They went full in on “whale or nothing” with their pricing and guess what? There are no more legit whales. They milked that cow, now there’s nothing left.

Blue crystals are always an indication of RMTing. The higher the price, the less people buy gold via legit way. Obviously right now the new 3 day restriction inflated that a bit, but the price was on the rise again before they introduced it.

And about 3 day restriction, like what the hell? I can order something from across the continent and it would be there before I get to use the money I spend legit way on this game. Where’s the logic in that?

The comparison is literally buying something for 5x the price and waiting 3 days or getting your purchase instantly for 20% of the cost.

What I seriously don’t get is, that so many people are basically defending all the RMTers kinda destroying the game on purpose and saying it is simply all AGS/SGs fault.

Because it is their fault. Who’s else fault would it be? As if this is the first MMO in history of gaming and they couldn’t have known what was gonna happen. But you know what? They didn’t care. They got a fully developed game they just needed to translate and localize. Worst case scenario it would’ve been a quick money grab and onto the next one. Current situation exceeded their expectations.

If only a few people or even none at all would buy “gold” (and other stuff), we’d have no problem.

This is literally 1:1 equivalent of “if there was no evil people, we’d need no law enforcement”. But guess what? And it’s not like those people are evil, why give money to one of the world’s biggest companies for ridiculous prices?

Horrible mismanagement that will end the game sooner or later. Smilegate people should be really pissed off at all of this. But they were also naive believing AGS could do the job.

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I totally agree that AGS/SG are of course looking to much on the profit. that’s how capitalism works and maximizing profit at all costs is deeply rooted, especially in US companies recently there was an interesting bit on that by John Oliver…). And yes the should be blamed for that.

But again: I’m saying that so many people are only blaming them and not the RMTers.

Now you say: “if there was no evil people, we’d need no law I totally agree that AGS/SG are of course looking to much on the profit. that’s how capitalism works and maximizing profit at all costs is deeply rooted, especially in US companies recently there was an interesting bit on that by John Oliver…). And yes the should be blamed for that.

But again: I’m saying that so many people are only blaming them and not the RMTers.

Now you say:

And we do have “law enforcement” (the mitigating measures against the bots). And now people are like “all these law enforcement measures are messing with my/our QOL…”

You can find so many parallels to real life. But yet again: this is a game.

In the end we all want the same, to have fun playing the game.
And AGS/Sg are sometimes doing a really bad job keeping it this way. But I refuse to only blame them. Same as in RL you wouldn’t say “oh the poor bank robber, he had no chance…” (I’m not saying RMT is a serious crime, it is just for arguments sake). Defending RMT in any way is a no go for me. Because like I explained before: people that engage in RMT put pressure upon themselves. No one is forcing them to but they themlseves. Thus it is a totally selfish act. No matter the game mechanics and how AGS/SG want to make profit.