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Banned for not going linear?

    Let me first tell you that the following story very well could be bogus.  I think it will be impossible to verify unless Bioware/EA makes a statement on the issue (who knows if they will).  That said, I have a hunch there is something to this.  And that something stinks…



    It is well known by now that Star Wars: the Old Republic is fairly linear for an MMO.  How linear?  Apparently it is linear enough that if a low level player decides to take the risk and journey to a high level planet to loot a chest, they will be hit with a banhammer.



    Here is the supposed ban e-mail from Bioware/EA as posted by Bionic711 on Reddit:



Here's the e-mail I received with identification information removed.



We are contacting you regarding your account
for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. We wish to notify you that we are sanctioning your account for violating our Terms of Service. From an investigation of your account we can see that your character, , was used to violate our Terms of Service on the server.



Specifically, this character participated in looting high level Loot Containers on Illum while being well below the recommended level for the planet. By utilizing these Loot Containers, the account was able to acquire, distribute, or obtain currency, gear and equipment not meant to be acquired by low level characters (below level 40).Illum is intended for Level 50 characters and this is clearly communicated in game. By ignoring these warnings, the account showed intent to exploit the game.



As you have violated our Terms of Service we will be applying a ban on your account. We are banning your Account, effective immediately. Continuing to violate our Terms of Service may result in further action against your account up to and including permanent account closure. We encourage you to familiarise yourself with our Terms of Service which can be found here: - http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/WEBTERMS/US/en/PC/



Thank you for your understanding.




    The TOR forums are digesting the news now thanks to forum-user Blackk .  The player reaction is largely one of disgust.  Though some players are rightly pointing out that it could be a bogus e-mail.  However, the e-mail seems fairly well put together and Occam’s Razor (in my opinion) is only cutting in one direction on this issue.



    Should the TOR community be upset over this?  Should the MMO community be upset?  If we take these claims as legit, I’d say so.  There is a long history in MMOs of players doing this sort of activity and not being banned.  Higher risk should equal higher reward, not a ban because your world design is quite obviously flawed.



Around 5 years ago as a lvl 25 Dwarf Hunter, I took a long trip from Booty Bay and then to Ratchet in Kalimdor.  After a long, long, death ridden journey to Aszhara, I caught some Stonescale Eels and later sold them at 1 gold a piece on the AH.  It was one hell of an adventure that made me good money for those days.  x Had I been banned for it, I am sure the Lich King would never have been defeated by my party of heroes.  Nor would have Blizzard received so much of my money through the years.



P.S. This is my first post on MMORPG… long time lurker, just needed something of substance to report.  



Also, when I was under level and fishing in Aszhara I once had to call a GM to get my ghost out of a hole.  He laughed, helped me out, and said “have fun”.  Thanks for not banning me Mr. GM.

 

Edit:  More information has come to light since I wrote the above.

According to SWTOR's community manager:

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.

So, some players were "exploiting" loot containers on Ilum and were handed suspensions, not perma-bans.  The exploit seems to have been the act of camping loot container spawns.

In my opinion, spawn camping for loot would generally not be considered exploitation of game systems.  Most games would present either player competition, guardian MOBs, or long spawn timers to avoid the ruination of the in-game economy via loot farming.  But it's a new title with plenty of kinks to work out.  Here's to hoping Bioware patches in some MOBs to guard these loot containers.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • WarjinWarjin Harrisburg, PAPosts: 1,215Member Uncommon

    LYES

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,065Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jabrony

        Let me first tell you that the following story very well could be bogus.  I think it will be impossible to verify unless Bioware/EA makes a statement on the issue (who knows if they will).  That said, I have a hunch there is something to this.  And that something stinks…



        It is well known by now that Star Wars: the Old Republic is fairly linear for an MMO.  How linear?  Apparently it is linear enough that if a low level player decides to take the risk and journey to a high level planet to loot a chest, they will be hit with a banhammer.



        Here is the supposed ban e-mail from Bioware/EA as posted by Bionic711 on Reddit:



    Here's the e-mail I received with identification information removed.



    We are contacting you regarding your account
    for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. We wish to notify you that we are sanctioning your account for violating our Terms of Service. From an investigation of your account we can see that your character, , was used to violate our Terms of Service on the server.



    Specifically, this character participated in looting high level Loot Containers on Illum while being well below the recommended level for the planet. By utilizing these Loot Containers, the account was able to acquire, distribute, or obtain currency, gear and equipment not meant to be acquired by low level characters (below level 40).Illum is intended for Level 50 characters and this is clearly communicated in game. By ignoring these warnings, the account showed intent to exploit the game.



    As you have violated our Terms of Service we will be applying a ban on your account. We are banning your Account, effective immediately. Continuing to violate our Terms of Service may result in further action against your account up to and including permanent account closure. We encourage you to familiarise yourself with our Terms of Service which can be found here: - http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/WEBTERMS/US/en/PC/



    Thank you for your understanding.




        The TOR forums are digesting the news now thanks to forum-user Blackk .  The player reaction is largely one of disgust.  Though some players are rightly pointing out that it could be a bogus e-mail.  However, the e-mail seems fairly well put together and Occam’s Razor (in my opinion) is only cutting in one direction on this issue.



        Should the TOR community be upset over this?  Should the MMO community be upset?  If we take these claims as legit, I’d say so.  There is a long history in MMOs of players doing this sort of activity and not being banned.  Higher risk should equal higher reward, not a ban because your world design is quite obviously flawed.



    Around 5 years ago as a lvl 25 Dwarf Hunter, I took a long trip from Booty Bay and then to Ratchet in Kalimdor.  After a long, long, death ridden journey to Aszhara, I caught some Stonescale Eels and later sold them at 1 gold a piece on the AH.  It was one hell of an adventure that made me good money for those days.  x Had I been banned for it, I am sure the Lich King would never have been defeated by my party of heroes.  Nor would have Blizzard received so much of my money through the years.



    P.S. This is my first post on MMORPG… long time lurker, just needed something of substance to report.  



    Also, when I was under level and fishing in Aszhara I once had to call a GM to get my ghost out of a hole.  He laughed, helped me out, and said “have fun”.  Thanks for not banning me Mr. GM.

     

     

    You are kidding, you made this up, right?

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • RizelStarRizelStar Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,773Member

    O.O

    I might get banned for this. - Rizel Star.

    I'm not afraid to tell trolls what they [need] to hear, even if that means for me to have an forced absence afterwards.

    P2P LOGIC = If it's P2P it means longevity, overall better game, and THE BEST SUPPORT EVER!!!!!(Which has been rinsed and repeated about a thousand times)

    Common Sense Logic = P2P logic is no better than F2P Logic.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,045Member Uncommon

    That sounds rather silly, I don't think I can believe it without some actual proofs.

    It is simple too lock a zone from low level players with mechanics, or to force them through a questline to get there, if BW/EA didn't want low level players there they would stop it in the game, not by banning people.

    And if it was true, would they ban people for being sent money or gear from other people?

    No, it just sounds too suspicious, no game developer can be this insane.

  • dubyahitedubyahite Lincoln, NEPosts: 2,483Member
    In my experience, people that get banned usually go cry about it on the forums.

    They always claim "all I did was: " followed by something really innocent sounding or say the ban was for something else they did, when in fact it was for another actual violation that they are hiding.

    This guy could have been banned for cussing someone out in chat, then assumed it was for this other innocent reason.

    People that get banned and cry about it rarely tell the truth.

    "all I did was open a chest! " could actually be "I exploited through walls in a level 50 flashpoint to avoid mobs and open the same chest over and over.


    I always take a banned players claims with a grain of salt.

    Then again, there have been unfair bans before, especially when EA and Origin ate involved.

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  • JabronyJabrony IwakuniPosts: 9Member

    Loke, I largely agree with you but wanted to share the story. 

    http://www.reddit.com/r/swtor/comments/nx3i4/swtor_bans_from_going_to_ilum/

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=109515

    The reason I am thinking it may be true:  the story was cross posted on different sites, there are multiple users on the TOR forums claiming Bioware/EA is doing heavy editing on the forums, and no Bioware official has outright said "this did not happen".

    But yeah, I agree, hard to prove.

    Edited to reply to Dub*:  However there is the e-mail(fake?) which states specific reasons.  Reasons which we can likely all agree are pretty goofballs.

     

     

  • Cthulhu23Cthulhu23 Tempe, AZPosts: 994Member

    Lmao...there is no way that story is true.  

  • RizelStarRizelStar Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,773Member

    The responses are very interesting.

    I might get banned for this. - Rizel Star.

    I'm not afraid to tell trolls what they [need] to hear, even if that means for me to have an forced absence afterwards.

    P2P LOGIC = If it's P2P it means longevity, overall better game, and THE BEST SUPPORT EVER!!!!!(Which has been rinsed and repeated about a thousand times)

    Common Sense Logic = P2P logic is no better than F2P Logic.

  • BizkitNLBizkitNL NetherlandsPosts: 2,280Member Common

    I'm not buying it. If it was against the ToS to travel to higher level planets while being well below the level requirements, they would have put a lock on it, not ban people for it.

    I think someone got banned for something legit, then made up a story to get a flame going (As is usually the case).

    Nice try though (Sort of).

    10
  • ZippyZippy NY, NYPosts: 1,412Member

    I just gained some respect for Bioware.  Any player should know its an exploit to loot level 50 gear when they are a low level.  If they can get to Illum they should report and bug it, not exploit it.  BW did the right thing giving them a short term ban.  More games should do  he same and let people know any exploiting will result in severe punishment.  They are lucky it was not a permanent ban.

  • drivecdrivec tulsa, OKPosts: 93Member

    I dont know why its so hard to believe. I dont like ea(but thats just my opinion).

    only time will tell what is really happening. 

     

    edit: also some of those words in the email are very ambiguous

  • BizkitNLBizkitNL NetherlandsPosts: 2,280Member Common

    I just thought of something:

    How about pointing us to the bit where Bioware/EA has stated it is against the rules in the ToS?

    10
  • ShivamShivam MilanPosts: 465Member

    People are getting really desperate to spin anything negative regarding SWTOR...just anything no matter how ridiculous.

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty -- Mahatma Gandhi

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  • mav1234mav1234 Bennington, VTPosts: 81Member Uncommon

    it seems fake - in fact you get told about Ilum at like level 40 or whatever in a help popup

     

    edit: ahh, "below level 50" was meant to be "below level 40", well, dunno.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,045Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Zippy

    I just gained some respect for Bioware.  Any player should know its an exploit to loot level 50 gear when they are a low level.  If they can get to Illum they should report and bug it, not exploit it.  BW did the right thing giving them a short term ban.  More games should do  he same and let people know any exploiting will result in severe punishment.  They are lucky it was not a permanent ban.

    Why? It is easy to send money and gear to your character and that would be as wrong as this.

    No, it sounds to me like the dude used a cheat to get the item and got banned for that, not for going to a high level zone and looting a chest.

    Imagine if they would ban all people who gets help by higher level characters to powerlevel? They are plenty.

  • twodayslatetwodayslate Almost Mexico, CAPosts: 724Member

    Looks fake, in particular that last paragraph where they mention possible further actions and permanent account closure.  If there was no duration listed for the ban, the implication is that it would be a permaban, so why would possible permanent closure be mentioned?

    Looks like the original person that published it did a rather sloppy job of editing an official email.  I am guessing that bit about "By ignoring these warnings..." was originally preceded by a number of verbal warnings about some other exploit.

  • DameonkDameonk Ewa Beach, HIPosts: 1,914Member

    One of two things is going on here.

    1. This is a completely made up story.  No one was banned, there was no email, just someone trying to start a controversy.

    2. The person was banned, but they edited the email that they received omitting the parts where it says they used some type of exploit to get to said area of the game.

    There is no way they actually got banned for ONLY looting a high level chest.

    "There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer."

  • Sector13Sector13 New Providence, PAPosts: 687Member

    One of my friends was banned on Rift for botting cause he grinded in one spot for a couple of hours. Companies will ban people without 100% evidence cause there is no way to prove them wrong if they screw up.

  • tixylixtixylix gfff, TNPosts: 1,208Member Uncommon

    Tbh after getting banned from EA forums for using the word "sucks" I'd believe anything.

  • aleosaleos na, INPosts: 1,863Member Uncommon

    its clearly fake. other wise there would be copy and pasted ToS proof all over every page this article hit.

  • DixonHillDixonHill SchleswigPosts: 154Member

    The wording in that email is suspicious, also there are grammar errors. And, "low level" chars can aquire lvl 50 loot by other means also. Like from buying crates for fleet commendations. 

  • Sora2810Sora2810 New Columbia, PAPosts: 567Member

    Just made three new characters on two different servers, hoped on a buddy's ship and flew to ilum. Died a few times, looted several containers. 

    it's been over four hours. False.

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  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by Zippy

    I just gained some respect for Bioware.  Any player should know its an exploit to loot level 50 gear when they are a low level.  If they can get to Illum they should report and bug it, not exploit it.  BW did the right thing giving them a short term ban.  More games should do  he same and let people know any exploiting will result in severe punishment.  They are lucky it was not a permanent ban.

    Why? It is easy to send money and gear to your character and that would be as wrong as this.

    No, it sounds to me like the dude used a cheat to get the item and got banned for that, not for going to a high level zone and looting a chest.

    Imagine if they would ban all people who gets help by higher level characters to powerlevel? They are plenty.

    Very well reasoned there Loke666. This is either a complete bullshit story or as other people have stated a heavily edited "all I did was..." NOT ME excuse from an exploiter who got caught.

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  • korent1991korent1991 CakovecPosts: 1,390Member

    If this is true then bioware just made a totally huge screw up with this... It's apsolutley idiotic to ban someone for exploring the game (unless it was exploiting the game in some other way).

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