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?
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