The Elder Scrolls Online is pausing the ability for players to gift items from the Crown Shop, the MMORPG's cash shop, to other players effective today. While there are some limitations already on gifting (like things being server specific), generally, when you hop in the game, it's possible to synch up with your friends and even purchase, say, a DLC package in the Crown Store and gift that to your buddy.
Gifting isn't just used in The Elder Scrolls Online for helping a friend, though. It's actually part of the game's player economy, too. Players can farm up in-game gold and use that to get a player with cash shop currency to buy them something. Both players walk away happy. The player with cash gets in-game gold, the player with time to farm in-game gold walks away with a new mount or a DLC package they wanted but couldn't spend the cash to buy.
Additionally, guilds and traders selling their in-game goods also use gifting of Crown Store items for flash raffles in game and player engagement in guilds. It's effective advertising, fun, and you may walk away with free stuff from the cash shop if you get a little lucky in one of the raffles.
All of this is allowed in ESO, too. All in all, it's actually kind of awesome and very convenient, and sometimes just plain fun when traders get creative.
That stops today according to a post on the game's forums from Community Manager ZOS_Kevin.
"Starting today, we are pausing in-game gifting (via the Crown Store) for the foreseeable future due to ongoing fraudulent behavior. We understand that the ability to gift to friends and guildmates is desired and of value to many of you. We will continue to explore options that will allow us to re-enable in-game gifting again in the future."
The news isn't being taken well, as you would probably expect, and the initial feedback is coming from social media since the forum post itself isn't allowing replies.
It doesn't help that, as of this writing, ZOS hasn't specified why they are disabling the service any more than the "ongoing fraudulent behavior" mentioned above. While any system can usually be abused in some way and the ESO gifting tools could certainly be improved to be more secure, some players are concerned this is a play to entice more cash shop purchases.
The logic kind of goes "If Mike already bought Crowns and is willing to sell them for gold in game because someone wants DLC stuff...what if Mike can't gift that other person the item? Then Mike bought crowns AND the other player will eventually buy crowns...right? right?"
I would hope ZOS isn't thinking along those lines and this is just a pause to see what can be done to knock down abuse of the tool, but we'll have to wait and see for more info at this point. Gifting is kind of a big deal in the MMO and turning it off is likely to do more harm than good long term.
Insult to injury: If you have a gift waiting to be claimed still...you may not be able to actually claim it now and will need to open a support ticket.
⚠️We have identified an issue where some players cannot claim remaining gifted ESO Crown Store items. If you are running into this issue, please submit a Support ticket. #ESO
— Bethesda Support (@BethesdaSupport) September 1, 2023
About the Author
Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous gaming websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.
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