I wondered where Civony’s insane pricing for ingame currency came from, and apparently now I know.
As much as I hate to admit it, Civony is actually not a terribly designed browser game. However, it suffers from 2 incredibly crippling problems:
Its revenue model is based on charging the player for a secondary kind of ingame currency (separate from gold and natural resources) at ridiculous prices, i.e. the effective cost to send one message in worldwide chat (once you run out of little speaker thingies) is US $0.24;
It still has some pretty major bugs that are yet to be addressed, and the very real threat of a server wipe at any given time, thereby making it sillier to spend said RL cash on anything that might go poof in an hour.
One of these bugs is what led me to discover the article behind the headline. The support address in the thread claiming that the bug had been fixed asked for screenshots to be sent to an address at umge.com. WTF is umge.com? Was it too difficult to set up a forwarder at civony.com?
Turns out that umge.com is a Guangzhou-based company that is developing Civony, some other Flash game called Leuric, and apparently a traditional Windows client MMOG. They’re apparently also associated with WoWMine, an MMOG farmer/gold seller operation that gets bad reviews in MMOG gold seller news sites. Wait, there are review sites for gold sellers? Apparently, a lot of them, and one of them really really doesn’t like WoWMine and its apparent new identity as umge.com.
… WoWMine has a large network of websites, some of which (umge.com) are working on reaching into developing games (probably to send email spam to legit customers.)…
… umge.com – In an attempt to distance themselves from their tarnished brands, WoWMine created "umge", a corporation that includes WoWMine in their portfolio…
Since the article doesn’t go into great detail about exactly how umge.com and WoWMine are the same company, you may have to dig a little bit. I found this spam mail with the ugme.com copyright at the bottom; the WoWMine site sports a copyright belonging to their virtual office in the US. Note: Although the article listed earlier is pretty interesting and fairly in-depth, they apparently had not heard of a virtual office, leading to some fairly hyperbolic tinfoil hattery:
… This address is a "business in a box" address that virtually anyone can purchase and maintain anonymity — perfect for a deceptive company like WoWMine…. and Hamas ! It has been found that the terrorist organization Hamas also shares a business address with WoWMine!!!
Don’t believe it either? Click here in order to believe…and panic over the possibility (I said possibility, okay, NOT fact) of having funded an Islamic terrorist group with your hard-earned American dollars when you purchased WoW gold from WoWMine.com…
Anyone who read this site back when it was active (and being read) knows that I’m somewhat concerned about gold farming and sales having a negative impact on gameplay, and by somewhat concerned I mean flipping outraged. However it’s fairly obvious that it’s become a thriving industry now, what with its own network of sites dedicated to comparing different service providers who will be glad to steal your kills in order to sell you the prize they stole from you for hard cash. Any sort of controls on gold sales have to be systematic, though, so traditional economic model games like WoW are just doomed to be farmed.
To be fair. umge.com/WoWMine can’t be all that bad. Certainly they have a whole slew of people willing to endorse them, including an old anorexic whore, who wore out her welcome years ago, and that now she suddenly speaks with a British accent, she thinks she can play guitar and she should go fuck herself.
I guess this also explains the Civony ad campaign.
Take what you will from this. It certainly explains some of the bizarre problems with service with Civony to me, as well as their steadfast belief that stupid Americans are willing to spend a quarter just to type "lol" into a chat box. It certainly solidifies my determination to not send any cash their way; they should be able to fund their browser adventures through the ongoing ruination of World of Warcraft easily. Play a buggy game for free while simultaneously ruining World of Warcraft… win win?