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Star Wars: The Old Republic Bans Follow-up

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has a follow-up to the report that some users in BioWare's MMORPG were being sanctioned for visiting areas intended for higher level characters (thanks Joao via Rock, Paper, Shotgun). As it turns out, none of these users was banned, they simply received warnings:

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.

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60. Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic Bans Follow-up Jan 3, 2012, 18:22 Endo
 
Flatline wrote on Jan 3, 2012, 17:24:
Endo wrote on Jan 3, 2012, 17:04:
Lorcin wrote on Jan 3, 2012, 15:19:
so tried to add him to ignore and the game said he didn't exist.
Of course, that doesn't really mean much. One of the current bugs is that players often "don't exist" when they're not logged in. Makes it rather frustrating trying to add your friends to your friends list at times. Especially adding their alts.

So he may have simply logged off, may have been suspended, or may have been deleted. No way to know.


Oh man I have other gripes & complaints about TOR.

I'd be more conceptually cool with the "warning" if a patch were to come out in the next day or two after the warning fixing it. Along with a public statement saying "Until patched, doing X, Y times a day is considered an exploit".

As far as gold farmers, they've already started and the banhammer is fine. I got system mail offering to powerlevel my character to level 50 for 20 dollars American.

My complaints are that the game, while fun, is a technical mess on the back end. Bioware and whoever EA hired have real problems with designing an MMO that actually... you know... works. My ping and framerate is more or less rock solid (framerate will dip in certain areas but even in heavy action it stays the same), but get more than two PCs in the same area and you start seeing lag bubbles, glitches, and all kinds of sh*t. Right now if more than 5 PCs are in combat at once in an area my computer CTDs almost reliably. I'm also not the only one to have the mouse freeze during the lag bubbles, ensuring that you can't do anything whatsoever until the bubble passes. We've seen the miracle regenerating monster (the mob gets down to <10% health and instantly bubble warps and is at full health, repeat ad nauseum), mobs that are impossible to loot (permanently "too far away to loot"), companions that die randomly when running through lag bubble areas of the server (it's bizarre that it's constrained to certain small geographical areas) that are instantly raised again if you walk 20 feet out of the area, etc etc... This isn't on a full server with a queue, which I could sort of understand. This is on an average population server, on worlds like Tatooine which had like 30 players total on it, from both sides.

My friend, who was an MMO beta tester at one point, has suggested turning on process monitors during gameplay and seeing if CPU usage spikes during a lag bubble. If it does, it means that the game is sending sync-updates that are way too large and the computer bogs down processing them and trying to run the game and trying to process the normal incoming data all at once. He's also curious if they're running virtual servers, which will seize/allocate system resources the more populated the servers are. If that's the case, low/average population servers may actually literally have not enough resources allocated to them.

What's frustrating is that I'm sending in detailed bug reports constantly, and it's been nearly a week since the last patch. The game is in no state to run a week or two without patching.
Yep, there's definitely a fair bunch of bugs. But that doesn't surprise me, given the publisher is EA. I've seen too much from them in recent years to expect otherwise. Then, couple that with the fact that it's an MMO, and well, there you go.

Thankfully I've not run into too many serious bugs. The list I've seen personally is pretty short.

- Adding friends bug (mentioned my last post)
- "Show Sith Corruption" option constantly resetting itself to the default (on). Seems to happen whenever joining a group, or whenever changing zone/phase while in a group
- Actual ammount of hitpoints of party member not displaying correctly on the UI. Was playing my healing sorcerer and had to keep clicking on my friend's tank companion to see its blue health bar above its head, as the bar by the portrait always showed full.
- Resource nodes unusable. (My working theory as to how this happens is someone scans the node, then for whatever reason doesn't loot it... leaving it still present, but locked, thus no one else can use it.)

I know there's a thousand more bugs that are equally (or a great deal more) significant, so I'm just grateful I've not encountered them.
 
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