Demonstrable Proof of Zero Tolerance - Catching Gold Sellers - Albion Online Videos - MMORPG.com

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 1,480
edited August 10 in Videos Discussion

imageDemonstrable Proof of Zero Tolerance - Catching Gold Sellers - Albion Online Videos - MMORPG.com

The Albion Online team has posted a great new video showing how they are actively at work to catch gold sellers.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • ForgrimmForgrimm Somewhere in TimeMember EpicPosts: 2,356
    Nice tactics.
  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIMember RarePosts: 3,557
    Hard to watch, because it's Albion Online, but it still felt good in my heart. :)
    Mouloxtos85MrMelGibson

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  • halfmystichalfmystic Gainesville, FLMember UncommonPosts: 111
    It seems like a small drop in a very large bucket of gold sellers.
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,253
    edited August 10
    Heh - nice marketing - this is just PR for Albion in reality.

    The way gold sellers are really caught is via analytics that look at frequency of transactions from the same accounts to other accounts, also correlating IP addresses to logins and logouts etc...

    It's all done via data analytics - and gold sellers will stand out like a sore thumb - it's very easy to see which accounts do gold selling.

    Bots are also very obvious in terms of kill/sell patterns.

    What's really needed is massive data warehouse (usually Hadoop or similar) + custom data analytics (the hard part but this is where BI teams come into play)

    That's how all the big companies do it - sorry Albion - having one person do this means there's other 10,000 gold sellers that are not getting any attention. Even if they had 100 GMs doing this, the gold sellers still have an upper hand, as they will always create more accounts (stolen accounts, stolen CCs) and more bots to create gold.

    Oh and that guy you banned - guess what, he's back on another account 2min later.... due to stolen CCs/accounts - they can always create a new botting operation within minutes even if all their accounts get banned.

    What people don't realize is - getting banned to gold sellers means nothing, other than they just start over again. Banning happens to them all the time and they just come back - because the prospect of making real money never goes away for them.

    This is why the only effective way of doing it is via analytics as otherwise you'd need 100s of GMs and the gold sellers would still be ahead if you were doing one at a time.

     So in terms hiring a staff of 100+ or investing in actual analytics that can do the job of 1000s of GMs, yeah. No brainer. Also remember that gold sellers use automation as well for their bots, and the only way to fight scripts is with scripts - have to fight fire with fire, otherwise your GMs will be completely overwhelmed and end up quitting.


    Bottom line - whenever you see a video like this - this is a "feel good story" to show company X being the "good guy" making players feel like they are taking care of it.

    Yep - however if THIS is how they are taking care of it (as in a GM wasting his time on banning a handful of gold seller accounts), the gold sellers are winning.
    Post edited by DMKano on
    Viper482Lybiled_20ExcessionXingbairongGdemamiTorvalStoneRosesJoseph_KerrRavingRabbidand 2 others.
  • RenoakuRenoaku Member RarePosts: 2,197
    edited August 10
    Yes but sometimes 1% of the time Albion devs actually do get RMT Transactions wrong, they even admit themselves that their logs are not always 100% accurate, and rather evidence is not always 100% accurate either but they do their best to review it.

    Also lets not forget that the big "RMT" problem in the game is the developers of this game at fault, they are the ones who made Gold trading to silver very easy, and also the people allowed "bidding on land plots" which caused the "Iron Bank Incident" where players used stolen gold / funds to commit fraud and attempt to bid on the plots, which by all means I believe in innocent until guilty so I would trust the "Iron Bank Guild" is telling the truth, although looking at it from both sides it could have been a scam by simply using a "VPN" or alt account to bid with illegal curreency on their own to make double the in game money themselves by asking for a refund.

    To my knowledge this still hasn't been addressed by the developers other than telling all players that they can never refund currency again if a player gets scammed by someone who did illegal "RMT Transactions".

    IMO, Albion is a big mess, and needs much fixing when it comes to Gold Selling, SBI needs to focus less on gold buyers because it wont stop, and start dealing with preventing cheating, and fraud in the first place.

    While I agree with bans on people who do RMT with 3rd parties, or rather temporary bans on a first offense, this company has a reputation for getting it wrong, not just with my case but a few others, and have screwed this game over in so many ways than one, although I have to admit this is a nice video to catch cheating scum like this banned for cheating.
    Post edited by Renoaku on
    ExcessionGdemamivolttMrMelGibsonPhry
  • StoneRosesStoneRoses Seattle, WAMember UncommonPosts: 1,427
    Did the seller actually get real currency payment before selling the silver? All I get out of this nothing but PR. Isn't part of their job anyways, it's hardly note worthy.
    Xingbairong

    image

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,439
    DMKano said:
    ...

    That's how all the big companies do it - sorry Albion - having one person do this means there's other 10,000 gold sellers that are not getting any attention.

    Oh and that guy you banned - guess what, he's back on another account 2min later....

    This is why the only effective way of doing it is via analytics as you'd need 100s of GMs and the gold sellers would still be ahead if you were doing one at a time.
    That's why gold selling has become a giant industry.

    Game studios are loathe to spend the money to "police" their games, because it's a considerable expense and the ROI is very difficult to calculate in advance.

    Keeping a large staff of GM's employed will make a noticeable dent in revenue from any game. To justify that expenditure, revenue will have to increase to not only cover the extra employees, but it will have to translate into additional revenue over and above that.

    Nobody wants to spend extra money if it doesn't generate extra profit...
  • RenoakuRenoaku Member RarePosts: 2,197
    edited August 10
    SBI could also start by fixing this game with removing theh ability to convert "Gold" to "Silver" immediately after purchase for example having to wait 30 days minimum after buying gold before being allowed to trade it this allowed "Legitimate users" the ability who have had their credit-cards stolen to file a charge-back if a chharge back is filed no harm done the illegal account is banned and none of the gold upset's the economy.

    Another good option is to do what "Arche Age" "WOW" "EVE" do and sell "PLEX" or an item that adds a certain amount of gold, or credits to a users account or rather play-time, this would restrict RMT by a bunch, and make it easier to track in game, for example a $20 USD card would give 5000 gold, and $40 would give 10,000 gold etc.

    Although users could illegally still convert it and buy from RMT sites, it would be way easier to track and prevent selling, as well as there could be imposed limits on accounts until they rearch a certain fame, or 30 day period for orders this prevents fraud purchasing.

    Although Gold Sellers might learn about the 30 days period buy their first one legitimate then buy a bunch of othehr illegal transactions to then sell before they get banned but it still makes it harder.
    Post edited by Renoaku on
    ExcessionGdemami
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Figueira da FozMember EpicPosts: 3,641
    The real damaging gold sellers aren't caught like that, they need proper systems for detection and review, this is small fish. o.o
    StoneRoses
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,660
    MaxBacon said:
    The real damaging gold sellers aren't caught like that, they need proper systems for detection and review, this is small fish. o.o

    Oh, I'm pretty sure that they have proper systems in place considering they just did a large sweeping ban which made lots of people QQ. 
    SedrynTyrosExcessionforcelima

    Crazkanuk

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    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
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    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
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  • Viper482Viper482 Somewhere, FLMember RarePosts: 1,624
    Anyone who thinks this is not working isn't paying attention to the DDoS attacks that have been occurring in response to it.
    CrazKanukExcessionBruceYee
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,253

    Viper482 said:

    Anyone who thinks this is not working isn't paying attention to the DDoS attacks that have been occurring in response to it.



    Lol no.

    Proffesional large scale gold selling businesses never DDOS because that is revenue lost.

    Gold sellers are all about making real money, so they need the game to be UP to farm and sell gold, DDOS prevents their operation and the customers buying.

    There was a a ransom with the Albion DDOS for bitcoin, this is a known group (known by FBI cyberops that is) that is not tied to gold selling.

    And yes FBI has agents assigned for US online video game companies to track attacks, I know that every large us game company has a direct agent contact.


    ExcessionRufusUOZandogTorvalViper482Joseph_KerrPhry
  • advokat666advokat666 MuenchenMember UncommonPosts: 66
  • barasawabarasawa Eugene, ORMember UncommonPosts: 522
    Bans are usually done in a rather invisible fashion. Often the only thing the people that aren't banned find out is a monthly statement of x number of accounts were banned.

    To actually see one get caught is rather nice, even if it is the proverbial drop in a bucket.

    LONG time ago in Everquest, I saw GM Fippy ban a racist troll. That was totally awesome! There was much rejoicing in the chats when it happened. (This was so long ago Gold Sellers weren't even a thing yet.)

    I've seen a few gold sellers suddenly stop, but I have no idea if they were banned, or if the GS scum just rotated bots.

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember UncommonPosts: 1,932
    edited August 10
    DMKano said:
    Heh - nice marketing - this is just PR for Albion in reality.

    The way gold sellers are really caught is via analytics that look at frequency of transactions from the same accounts to other accounts, also correlating IP addresses to logins and logouts etc...

    It's all done via data analytics - and gold sellers will stand out like a sore thumb - it's very easy to see which accounts do gold selling.

    Bots are also very obvious in terms of kill/sell patterns.

    What's really needed is massive data warehouse (usually Hadoop or similar) + custom data analytics (the hard part but this is where BI teams come into play)

    That's how all the big companies do it - sorry Albion - having one person do this means there's other 10,000 gold sellers that are not getting any attention. Even if they had 100 GMs doing this, the gold sellers still have an upper hand, as they will always create more accounts (stolen accounts, stolen CCs) and more bots to create gold.

    Oh and that guy you banned - guess what, he's back on another account 2min later.... due to stolen CCs/accounts - they can always create a new botting operation within minutes even if all their accounts get banned.

    What people don't realize is - getting banned to gold sellers means nothing, other than they just start over again. Banning happens to them all the time and they just come back - because the prospect of making real money never goes away for them.

    This is why the only effective way of doing it is via analytics as otherwise you'd need 100s of GMs and the gold sellers would still be ahead if you were doing one at a time.

     So in terms hiring a staff of 100+ or investing in actual analytics that can do the job of 1000s of GMs, yeah. No brainer. Also remember that gold sellers use automation as well for their bots, and the only way to fight scripts is with scripts - have to fight fire with fire, otherwise your GMs will be completely overwhelmed and end up quitting.


    Bottom line - whenever you see a video like this - this is a "feel good story" to show company X being the "good guy" making players feel like they are taking care of it.

    Yep - however if THIS is how they are taking care of it (as in a GM wasting his time on banning a handful of gold seller accounts), the gold sellers are winning.
    DMKano is correct. The video presented is very rookie level interdiction. I can remember when I used to have fun like this.. but it was never very effective. The fight against goldsellers is fought on the back end with data, and cost analysis. Stopping gold sellers isnt really practical. Making operating in your game more expensive than others is. Goldsellers will always go to where the easy money is, and if you make it cost them time and money, they will move on. It also helps to do what you can to remove the demand, as players who deal with goldsellers often get burned, and come to you for help afterwards.
    Post edited by Superman0X on
    Torval
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,546
    It seems like a small drop in a very large bucket of gold sellers.

    There is always going to be one person like you posting.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,546
    Renoaku said:
    SBI could also start by fixing this game with removing theh ability to convert "Gold" to "Silver" immediately after purchase for example having to wait 30 days minimum after buying gold before being allowed to trade it this allowed "Legitimate users" the ability who have had their credit-cards stolen to file a charge-back if a chharge back is filed no harm done the illegal account is banned and none of the gold upset's the economy.

    Another good option is to do what "Arche Age" "WOW" "EVE" do and sell "PLEX" or an item that adds a certain amount of gold, or credits to a users account or rather play-time, this would restrict RMT by a bunch, and make it easier to track in game, for example a $20 USD card would give 5000 gold, and $40 would give 10,000 gold etc.

    Although users could illegally still convert it and buy from RMT sites, it would be way easier to track and prevent selling, as well as there could be imposed limits on accounts until they rearch a certain fame, or 30 day period for orders this prevents fraud purchasing.

    Although Gold Sellers might learn about the 30 days period buy their first one legitimate then buy a bunch of othehr illegal transactions to then sell before they get banned but it still makes it harder.

    If someone gets caught breaking the rules and banned, they earned it.  Didn't you get banned?
    CalexMrMelGibsonPhry
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAMember LegendaryPosts: 22,530
    It seems like a small drop in a very large bucket of gold sellers.
    Yeah, but it's more of a P.R./Customer experience thing.

    For years players have screamed "they don't do anything, they allow Gold Sellers" along with tin foil hat conspiracy theories that the game companies own the gold companies.

    Then the Game companies say that it's not worth it to just go after "one guy" or a handful of people as they need to put in systems that catch large swaths of people at once.

    So it's kind of damned if they do/damned if they don't.

    It's probably so much better for the player base that they do whatever they need to do behind the scenes but still have a show "in game" so that players know they are vigilant.

    I mean, as soon as players start seeing the spam go by with no one taking care of it, it certainly seems to support the idea that they don't care. Even though they might be killing themselves behind the scenes trying to catch these people.

    Which is a whole other issue. All those resources trying to stop their player base from cheating. It makes sense that some companies have developed the "well if you can't beat them join them" mentality and offer in game cash shops.



  • DenambrenDenambren Montreal, QCMember UncommonPosts: 356
    I feel badly for Albion Online. They wounded themselves with some terrible design decisions, and now they're going to bleed out for the next few months until the game dies. Their heart was in the right place, but either they were too humble and/or too inexperienced to recognize that their game might be a success and have a huge population of players. All the designs for the world economy and world PvP were based around their tiny beta test population. The single server, non-instanced game design no longer works with this many players. Even though the idea of a single server, non-instance game is awesome, it won't work with this playerbase. The only thing that is going to solve the problem is players leaving the game, or if the game gets multiple servers or instances, which in itself is contradictory to the whole game design anyway.

    The gold farmers are another unexpected factor that Sandbox Interactive never had to contend with during their beta testing, so they're unprepared for this now and the video they released kind of highlights the losing battle. Playing a Queen song and trying to convince the masses that there was any measurable difference made by singling out one sale case screams (or sings) of desperation.
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXMember EpicPosts: 5,005
    As far as I remember, true gold sellers don't care about banned accounts since most of their accounts are either hijacked from people who bought their gold or accounts purchased with stolen credit cards. Game companies have been banning gold sellers for over a decade which has done very little in the end to stop them. If you want a true success story, stick with Blizzard attacking the companies at their source.
    Gdemami

  • PhelimReaghPhelimReagh New York, NYMember UncommonPosts: 670

    waynejr2 said:



    If someone gets caught breaking the rules and banned, they earned it.  Didn't you get banned?


    Yes. He posted in another thread that he listed a health potion for 300K Silver, which was then purchased by a known gold seller. But he swears he is just good at selling stuff on the AH.

    Phry
  • PhelimReaghPhelimReagh New York, NYMember UncommonPosts: 670
    If you were taking down a major gold seller here I would be impressed, as I have no love for gold sellers. But this seemed like just some regular Joe trying to earn a few extra bucks, only to be betrayed by a snitch. It's not like they took down some major corporate gold selling operation, this guy that got banned was on his main.

    I wonder if this Snapple guy actually entrapped him in some way to kick all this off.
    KyleranTorval
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,678
    edited August 10
    System said:

    The Albion Online team has posted...

    Source...?

    EDIT: Ah, found it.
    https://forum.albiononline.com/index.php/Thread/69220-Gold-Seller-Friends/?pageNo=1

    So you just added catchy, misleading title...
    Post edited by Gdemami on
  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn belleville, ILMember RarePosts: 2,993
    DMKano said:
    Heh - nice marketing - this is just PR for Albion in reality.

    The way gold sellers are really caught is via analytics that look at frequency of transactions from the same accounts to other accounts, also correlating IP addresses to logins and logouts etc...

    It's all done via data analytics - and gold sellers will stand out like a sore thumb - it's very easy to see which accounts do gold selling.

    Bots are also very obvious in terms of kill/sell patterns.

    What's really needed is massive data warehouse (usually Hadoop or similar) + custom data analytics (the hard part but this is where BI teams come into play)

    That's how all the big companies do it - sorry Albion - having one person do this means there's other 10,000 gold sellers that are not getting any attention. Even if they had 100 GMs doing this, the gold sellers still have an upper hand, as they will always create more accounts (stolen accounts, stolen CCs) and more bots to create gold.

    Oh and that guy you banned - guess what, he's back on another account 2min later.... due to stolen CCs/accounts - they can always create a new botting operation within minutes even if all their accounts get banned.

    What people don't realize is - getting banned to gold sellers means nothing, other than they just start over again. Banning happens to them all the time and they just come back - because the prospect of making real money never goes away for them.

    This is why the only effective way of doing it is via analytics as otherwise you'd need 100s of GMs and the gold sellers would still be ahead if you were doing one at a time.

     So in terms hiring a staff of 100+ or investing in actual analytics that can do the job of 1000s of GMs, yeah. No brainer. Also remember that gold sellers use automation as well for their bots, and the only way to fight scripts is with scripts - have to fight fire with fire, otherwise your GMs will be completely overwhelmed and end up quitting.


    Bottom line - whenever you see a video like this - this is a "feel good story" to show company X being the "good guy" making players feel like they are taking care of it.

    Yep - however if THIS is how they are taking care of it (as in a GM wasting his time on banning a handful of gold seller accounts), the gold sellers are winning.
    Of course, it's a feel good video.  That doesn't negate the fact that it demonstrates that they're trying.  It's a lot more than a lot of games IMO.  Not everything has to be clouded with negativity.
    Kyleran

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXMember UncommonPosts: 521
    This is a PR thing. I accept that. I also accept that I am glad to see it. I know this is not how they catch them but if they see something and act on it over waiting for everything else then shouldn't that be a good thing. I remember getting items in EQ. I really enjoyed that system though not very efficient. Gold sellers are not going away.

    I have known ex-friends who ended up telling me they bought currency. I have known ex-friends who bragged about exploiting games to make big gains. Some were banned and others not. I for sure did not want to stay friends with them. Virtual or physical actions are not separate from the person. I don't trust the "it is online so it is not like I am actually doing something bad".

    I have reported people who tell me that stuff. I don't want to deal with it. Bad enough that I have to deal with bots but if I will do my part in reporting when I can even if it means nothing.
    TorvalIselin
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