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Is Bioware Actively Banning People In SWTOR For Gold Farming?

Published by under Breaking News on Jan. 03. 2012.

Hot off the presses comes word on one thing that has crossed my mind while I have been playing the game so far since launch and that is the question of whether or not Bioware is going to be as aggressive as other companies have been in getting control of their in game economy via banning or suspension.  As my inbox fills with spam, power leveling advertisements, offers to sell me credits and such, I have been wondering this for sure.

On average as it is now I get about two whispers a day and a in game email, I report them all and ignore them but they do not stop.  While this does not seem like an insane amount I have to wonder when factored in among all the players of the game just how big of a problem this is.  I have seen in the past in a MMO just how bad things like this can become and just how much damage they can do to a in game economy.  That is why I was very glad to see them address this issue as to some of the steps they have been taking to fight things like exploiting a in game mechanic to farm credits.

Recently, in this forum post on the official forums, Stephen Reid had this to say about steps they have recently taken to try to combat this situation:

Our Terms of Service team recently took action against some accounts playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, and we wanted to give you some insight into what happened and why.

First, action was taken against a number of accounts for what’s commonly known as ‘gold farming’ – or in our case, credit farming. These accounts were found to be exploiting the game in a variety of ways to maximize their credits in order to sell them to other players. Our Terms of Service team took action against these accounts and removed them permanently from the game.

Second, a smaller number of accounts were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum. To be completely clear, while players may choose to travel to Ilum earlier than the recommended level (40+) and may loot containers if they can get to them, in the cases of those customers that were warned or temporarily suspended, they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.

None of these accounts were banned for their actions and no accounts have been banned for travelling to Ilum while still relatively low level. By comparison, the number of accounts that were warned or temporarily suspended was considerably lower than the number of accounts banned for ‘credit farming’.

It’s important to remember that our Terms of Service team is extremely careful and thorough in their investigation of any potential exploit or unusual activity in-game. Working closely with the development team and using extensive metrics based on player activity, they are able to determine what is normal player activity, what is unusual and what is exploiting. Our goal is always to ensure a fair game experience for all players while also protecting the rights of individuals, and if people are disrupting the play experience for others action will be taken.

While we will not discuss the details of any individual action, whenever we take action against an account we believe they have clearly broken our Terms of Service. Any action taken against an account can be appealed and in some cases actions have been rescinded.

While we understand people’s concern about actions taken against accounts, please remember the Terms of Service team exists to help ensure a balanced and fair game experience for all. When you see reports of actions taken against someone’s account, remember they are choosing to tell their version of the story – and there are two sides to every story.

In summary, our Terms of Service team took action against a number of accounts that were ‘credit farming’ to remove them permanently from the game. They also warned and temporarily suspended – but did not ban – a smaller number of accounts for activities on Ilum that were decided to be game exploits.

Some adjustments will be made to Ilum in the near future to discourage future exploits. However, the planet is still open to anyone who wishes to travel there.

The goal of the Star Wars: The Old Republic team is to maintain a service for our customers that is fun to play and equitable for everyone. Critical to this goal is making sure that gameplay is fair and reasonable and we are constantly on the lookout for anything that would prove to be a detriment to your gameplay experiences.

Thanks for reading, and we hope this gave you some insights.

So from that I can gather that yes they are actively working on getting out of the game those people who would seek to destroy the in game economy via credit farming, exploiting and selling, and that they are looking to learn and change in game mechanics to combat these types of things from happening in the future.  This gives me hope that in the future when the in game economy does finally stabilize after release that it might be a place where I would like to buy and sell my goods whether crafted or looted and that I can actually make a fair profit without some of the over inflated nonsense prices I have seen that are a direct result of currency selling.

What do you think am I dreaming or could it be possible?

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Is Bioware Actively Banning People In SWTOR For Gold Farming?”

  1. Karrnageon 03 Jan 2012 at 10:44 pm

    For perspective, I have been playing since early access and have received only 1 email spam and no /whispers for credit selling.

    I too hope EA/Bio are super aggressive at credit farmers/sellers.

    In regards to your statement “without some of the over inflated nonsense prices I have seen that are a direct result of currency selling.”, is that an assumption? Could another possible explanation of the inflated prices be due to the newness and rarity of certain items due to the game being so new?

    I know that with crafting, items and mats seem expensive, but there are also not many available. So I suspect there is a supply and demand (with a little wishful thinking) going in to the pricing also.

  2. Jezathon 04 Jan 2012 at 1:08 am

    Another perspective,

    I play on hidden beks and I have yet to see gold selling or power levelling or any spam along those lines in chat or mail. This is very good as in previous mmo I have even seen these types of emails in the beta.

    I agree that this type of activity does and has ruined games in the past and I would hate to see this happen in swtor. So to recap, at the current time swtor is like a fresh breath of air, in respect to gold farmers/sellers..

  3. KaelWolfcryon 04 Jan 2012 at 2:19 pm

    My playtime has been wonderfully spam-free thus far, with no whispers or emails about cred farming services. That said, I also am completely removed from the game’s economics as I don’t bother to craft anything at all. While the crafting mechanics are unique in that you are removed from the process to enjoy the game, I found it to be nothing more than a money sink with no tangible reward value in my eyes. Especially since the space combat has more obvious and immediate return on investment.

    On point, I was glad to read their stance on the ban. It just confirmed my suspicions when the story broke–that it was some flailing infant posting their version of “the facts” on Reddit to try and incite furor over EA and paint them as a Deus Ex-style evil multinational. After all, why should the truth.get in the way of a good story?

  4. Rynoon 04 Jan 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I play on Krayt Dragon and since I have started playing shortly after christmas I have gotten 2 mails about power leveling and only one whisper about credit farming.

  5. Zythaeraon 05 Jan 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve received 20 messages, 30 whispers and 3000 credits from these gold farmers, on Black Vulkars. Its funny how they’ll send you 1 credit or sometimes even 100 credits in an attachment… just to get you to hope onto their bandwagon.

    I’ve taken those credits and reported them each time.

  6. Blackjackon 05 Jan 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve gotten zero spam (whether /whispers or in-game e-mails) on Dreshdae Cantina or The Shadowlands PVE servers, fwiw. Perhaps the spammers are mainly targeting PVP servers for the time being.

  7. Swtorcrafteron 06 Jan 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you guys very much for the different perspectives on this issue from some of the different servers out there it is much appreciated! 🙂

  8. Tulaveliron 06 Jan 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Custom avatar

    I’ve gotten one email on The Ebon Hawk, no whispers and no trade chat spam.

  9. Maltradoron 06 Jan 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I for one am living the game, however in regards to the credit farming and power leveling issues, I play on Sith Meditation Sphere PVE, and have since early access only received two mails both with a single credits attached. In both cases I took the credits and reported them but I have received no direct whispers in game. I hope that the economy isn’t affected in the way I saw Ultima Online’s tank. Hopefully while it can never be completely eliminated it will be kept top a minimum via aggressive actions from EA and Bioware.

  10. whymeon 06 Jan 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Okay… lets take the most popular mmo for example – WoW. How come the economy there is fine and we all know more gold has been sold there then any game in history? I think the author is making it out to be worse then it is.

  11. Swtorcrafteron 07 Jan 2012 at 12:02 am

    lol! gold selling in a mmo is one of the worst things that can happen to a mmo economy, you must never have played games like swg or uo or you would understand. the end result of gold selling is rampant inflation and no amount of gold sinks can fix that kind of damage. :/

  12. Yadadon 07 Jan 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I haven’t gotten 1 mail or whisper yet either since early launch either.

  13. Septercoreon 09 Jan 2012 at 8:15 am

    Seems to be an English Servers Issue.
    I dont have any issues with those farmers in EU Servers in German..

  14. Lenon 11 Jan 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I farm sweet spots…seems I am breaking their rules lol. If what I am doing is wrong ban me then. I take advantage of fast re-spawning mobs and some loot containers. OWELL that is how you make money sometimes.

    I dont sell on the GTN and i actually level my crafts and I didnt get into the slicing deal or some of the other exploits that made so many millions of credits. I just play the game.

    I have spent hours killing every single thing in areas to make some money and I read this could be illegal….please bioware your 150 dollar CE was a rip off nothing I got in it is worth anything IN or out of the game. OHH the free scouter…big deal still cost 40,000 to ride it for CE people that should have been included.

    That extra 75 bucks could have bought me 500,000 credits IF i bought game money. But i do not sigh…

    A fool and his money have been parted lol

    On a bright side I LOVE THE GAME lol even though I am playing it illegally it seems. lol

  15. Belmthemuson 11 Jan 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Been playing on Lord Calypho and as yet haven’t heard or seen anything relating to farmers and it’s one of the heaviest servers unless I’m just too low a level as yet to be of interest :-p