SWTOR Ban For High Level Looting? Unlikely

By John Walker on January 1st, 2012 at 11:14 am.

Are there demons in there?

Oh goodness me, can this really be true? A pic of an email is circulating this morning purporting to be a communication from EA, informing a player that their account has been banned from playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, because their character visited, and looted within, a high level area. Because, they say, this violates their terms of service. If this proves to be the case, and that’s purely the reason, it may be the most ridiculous EA ban yet. However, there are a lot of reasons to assume it’s either a fake, or things are a lot more complicated. Take a look.

The story traces back, as you might imagine, to Reddit. Without explanation, and with identifying information removed, the capture of the email is offered without commentary. And it’s mad.

Here’s the text:

“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.”

There are a few problems. First, if anyone’s received an email from SWTOR’s support, they’ll know they are having fun with them, generally signing off as droids. However, those claiming that the from field is inaccurate are wrong – I’ve support emails with the same details at the top.

But then comes the spelling of Ilum. The planet in the game has one ‘l’, whereas this email persists with two. That could be a mistake by the author of the email, of course, but it does call things into question. Then there’s the crappy grammar, no spaces after full stops, and the confusion over not stating how long the ban is for, while suggesting it’s not a permanent ban.

And if it is for real, which of course it could well be, there’s another explanation for why it might be a more legitimate ban. Another Reddit user adds in the main thread:

“Well, the people on bioware fourm are saying he is actually banned for doing a “flip” exploit on the planet. not because he was low level and farming high level nodes. which makes a lot of sense to me. the flip exploit: from what i understand, when the control of the zone is changed from one faction to another, all the gathering nodes respawn. so if you have someone from the other team to cooperate and flip it back and forth, you would have infinite money. the reason why bioware mentioned he is there at low level is most likely to emphasis the fact he is exploiting there isn’t enough high level player to fight for the control of the zone yet. so he is also exploiting this fact by going there at low level. i think this makes the most sense. as stupid and unreasonable as EA support is, to be banned for playing the game different is too much.”

Meanwhile, it’s not the only weird ban threat people are reporting.

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190 Comments »

  1. Clash says:

    Ah-ha. Oops. Missed that link at the bottom of the page. It’s outrageous if any of this is true.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, that’s what that final link is.

    • Clash says:

      Just noticed that one as soon as I posted so I went back to ninja edit it quickly. ;P

    • Suits says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised if the second poster in that final link will get banned.

    • Drayk says:

      I don’t know if i believe it or not…. But if it is indeed true then it’s more than idiotic… They could simply make the zone unavailable for players below level 45…

    • RF says:

      Just replying to this so I get towards the top of the page.

      I’ve been doing this at level 20 with a slicing character, since you can access LOTS of slicing nodes without any fear of mobs, and it’s the only way to make money with slicing now since the nerf. It doesn’t seem like I’ve been banned.

      Also, the email doesn’t match the default SWTOR / EA emails that’re sent out.

      EDIT: Also, I am the most anti-corporate person I’ve ever met on the ‘net, but… y’know. EVIDENCE.

    • Bluebreaker says:

      It just looks exactly like one of thoses WoW pishing emails I always get.

    • mjig says:

      Then there’s people defending them.

      Is there any PC Community worse than Bioware fans?

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Yes, how dare anyone not automatically believe every bad thing they hear about EA/Bioware no matter how suspect it sounds.

      Clearly everyone who wants to see evidence before accepting fishy claims is a Bioware fanboy and should be executed immediately.

    • mjig says:

      @Ergates_Antius
      The thread is referring to the link at the bottom of the page, not about whether or not the email the article is discussing is legit.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Fair enough then and appologies. Though only about 1/2 the posts after the OP were – the other 1/2 (i.e. the 3 immediately before your post) seemed to be about the main body of the article, hence my misunderstanding.

    • Phantoon says:

      I’m not sure if I want this to be true or not. One on hand, EA IS THE DEVIL! LOOK AT HIS HORNS! On the other hand, no one deserves such poor treatment.

      But if it is true, wow. What? No, seriously. What?

    • Drayk says:

      I just saw this on reddit :

      StephenReid (CM for swtor)

      “We’re looking into reports of bans for reasons given.
      I can state unequivocally that no-one has been banned for ‘going to Ilum before level 50′. More details on that should be outlined tomorrow on the official Forums.”

      We’ll probably have an official answer soon.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I dunno about that, but it certainly wasn’t smart to write that in the way he did. He should have just said the email’s a fake, not written a long post that just says, “Hey, we are banning people, but TRUST US IT’S REALLY HONESTLY FOR GOOD REASONS REALLY WE SWEAR.” If nothing else, he should have categorically denied the screencapped email’s veracity in addition to everything else he said, because people are ready and willing to hate on Bioware for this, and every word of that post is so vague and neutered that it’s kindling on the fire for people’s confirmation bias. Everyone will hear what they want to hear, so that post accomplished nothing.

    • migbasys says:

      Wulf, for the last few months wall-jumping was ingame, nearly everyone knew how to do it. it WAS becoming a problem; a large amount of trash mobs in Zul’Aman, for example, were skippable just by wall-climbing. http://url9.de/h8Z

  2. starclaws says:

    Ah so if someone looks for a way to avoid grinding for crap gear and strives for better things they get punished because you didn’t put in proper restrictions?

    But this is EA folks. *yawns ahoy*

    • Joshua says:

      Neverwinter Nights allowed people to play on MMO style worlds as well, and Bioware was sensible enough to put in an “Item Level Restrictions” option for people. So if this bothered them so much, they would have put in sensible restrictions, as they have done before.

  3. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Regardless of whether this is real or not, EA support has gotten to the point where we are inclined to believe stories like this.

    I still can’t play hot pursuit or the run because there key authentication server claims they have already been used, support told me to come back in 4 days because the tools required to solve it were down, doubt it you just wanted an easy Christmas week you workshy barstools.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      if you got the same level loot from the chests/mobs then why bother going to higher level areas.

      For the fully voiced story?

  4. DarkFenix says:

    /shrug. I’m on Legions of Lettow and there’s a level 25 character (named Sasa) that does precisely this all day, every day; stands in one place on the level 50 world and loots one chest that respawns. Colour me unsympathetic if they’re the banned one, if they’re not maybe this’ll help them bugger off.

    • Wulf says:

      Don’t hate me but… this sounds endemic of bad game design rather than something you should blame a player for. If this was Guild Wars 2, then the chest would be instanced to each player, so you could loot the chest and then you would have a timer for that chest before it was full again, but someone else could come along and loot that chest and still find stuff in it.

      That one person is screwing things up for others? It’s something that they may not even think about, and really, it shouldn’t be happening. In a modern MMORPG, this should not be happening. Even in Champions Online they have ways around this, where you can help a low level guy get great stuff without it impacting the gameplay of other high level characters.

      He may be being a jerk, but honestly? It’s unfair to blame him as the sole guilty party here. If Bioware had had a modicum of sense, then you’d have been happy to see him there, he’d be a friendly face, rather than the face of the guy who’s stealing your loot. This made people hate each other in games like WoW, but in this modern era of ours it doesn’t have to be that way any more.

      Really, TOR shouldn’t be behaving like it was developed in ’02. Instanced rewards is something that could and should be happening.

    • Telke says:

      Wulf, you misunderstand – the dude is simply standing in an area very few people are currently questing in, and looting a chest every time it spawns. He’s almost a bot. He’s not being a jerk, merely collecting loot for himself.

      And he’ll get banned for doing so, eventually.

    • pacificator says:

      Wulf thanks for the obligatory Guild Wars 2 post, but I think you totally missed the point. In any case this is most likely fake so I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it.

    • Moist says:

      wow style mmos are trending towards more compartmentalised increments of gameplay. the systems for gameplay are each being separated and provided with their own rewards. there’s not actually any sense of mmo to it, the divide between hub and content is getting deeper. the hub is for the social and then you play your minigames and get a reward.

      this is easy to design and it keeps people playing because then you just have to incentivise the minigames and provide daily and weekly rewards. there is no coherent world, no alterable structures, no player agency.

      so when someone takes gameplay outside of the minigame it is fundamentally not in the spirit of the game and when you ban that person for doing it then you shine a light on the design philosophy of post-wow mmo gaming

    • Asurmen says:

      I’m not going to hate on you, but even if you have a respawn timer for each player, that won’t prevent win trading of the area which as per the article could very well be the reason he was banned. Infact, win trading can’t really be stopped without players reporting said behaviour or developers monitoring said area.

      It should be a design ethos to let people continue to exploit things to give them an unfair advantage? That makes no sense.

    • Moist says:

      It should be a design ethos to let the player exercise their agency in any way they have available within the world that the player interacts with. If a player is capable of monopolising a resource without using hacking or malicious exploits (exploits are murky, good developers will recognise what is a form of gameplay emerging from their design and what destroys the system rather than improves it).

      It’s a heady thought that gameplay can be more than a progression line and that ingenuity can occasionally trump the hard coded, heavily enforced (see email) time sink of the dreary minigames and boring, easy combat that define wow-style games.

      It’s a case of player’s creating their own narrative outside of the rigidly defined poorly written romances and arch bullshit that fill the rest of the world. If a player creates a monopoly and other players fight for that monopoly, if that monopoly causes many other unrelated persons to change their style of play to accommodate for an expensive resource then you have an example of a game that is in fact massive, and multi-player, more than prescribed dungeons and group quests can provide.

    • Stupoider says:

      SWTOR: Where opening chests is grounds for banning and public outrage.

    • Bhazor says:

      Have to agree with Wulf. Thats just shockingly bad design for a modern MMORPG.

      Don’t blame the player for finding an exploit blame the developer for making a game with an exploit.

    • Moist says:

      It should be a design ethos to let the player exercise their agency in any way they have available within the world that the player interacts with. If a player is capable of monopolising a resource without using hacking or malicious exploits (exploits are murky, good developers will recognise what is a form of gameplay emerging from their design and what destroys the system rather than improves it).

      It’s a heady thought that gameplay can be more than a progression line and that ingenuity can occasionally trump the hard coded, heavily enforced (see email) time sink of the dreary minigames and boring, easy combat that define wow-style games.

      It’s a case of player’s creating their own narrative outside of the rigidly defined poorly written romances and arch bullsht that fill the rest of the world. If a player creates a monopoly and other players fight for that monopoly, if that monopoly causes many other unrelated persons to change their style of play to accommodate for an expensive resource then you have an example of a game that is in fact massive, and multi-player, more than prescribed dungeons and group quests can provide, in a way that is organic and empowers the player.

    • Warskull says:

      I have to agree with Wulf here, this sounds more like piss poor design than anything else. Why is the loot not scaled to the player opening the chest or measures put in place to prevent low level characters from gaining access to high level chests? Are there even level limits or character binding on the equipment?

      Say the dev adds an item to the game that sells for more than you buy it. Should players be banned for using that to make money? It would be the devs fault for making a mistake like that. Players farming chests is the same. Farming the most profitable/beneficial thing is what players do in MMOs.

      Sadly, the current trend in MMOs has become lazy design and then banning players for exploiting that lazy design.

      It looks like EA is finally starting to destroy the Bioware people used to love.

    • nanowired says:

      Luke should of been banned for looting Princess Leia from the deathstar at such a low level.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Why is the loot not scaled to the player opening the chest or measures put in place to prevent low level characters from gaining access to high level chests?
      Because that would remove an incentive for people to try more challenging areas – if you got the same level loot from the chests/mobs then why bother going to higher level areas.

  5. Chris D says:

    Seems a little unlikely. If you want to restrict low level characters getting high level gear it shouldn’t be difficult. Something like:

    IF playerlevel>=minlevelforitem THEN pickup(item) ELSE print “YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS!”

    ought to do it.

    If it does turn out to be an exploit I don’t think a ban is in order. Bans for antisocial behaviour or hacking are fair enough but not for exploiting loopholes, which is just the extreme end of playing competitively. If you don’t want players to do something then design around it instead.

    • Clash says:

      Bans for anti-social behavior? Why would an unwillingness to talk to people be a bannable offense? That aside I don’t know why they would want to lock being able to pick up gear in the first place. I mean the stuff is level locked right? Does it matter if you’ve got an upgrade in your bank waiting for the day you can use it? And like you said if it’s really that big of a deal a few lines of code would fix it. Seems like EA is just getting trigger happy for some reason…

    • Chris D says:

      By anti-social behaviour I meant bullying/racism/etc. Not wanting to talk to people is fine.

      But yeah, I’m not sure why you’d worry about it in the first place and even if you do it’s an easy fix. EA have done a lot to lose goodwill but surely not even they can be this dumb? My instinct is that something is fishy here. Perhaps someone who has been banned for a different reason trying to cover up, or just someone with an axe to grind. Then again maybe EA really are that dumb. In that case it’s time to stock up on popcorn.

    • Wulf says:

      I know I’ve talked about Cryptic Studios too much in the past, but there are times when I absolutely love them. I mean, for example, there have been times when they’ve left a specific exploit in the game purposefully just because the fans have said they liked it and supported it. And sometimes they go as far as including those exploits in the game as valid mechanics.

      Here are a couple of examples:

      - There was an item that let players become giants, they had to remove it, but they put in an official item which did that without bugging out.

      - Players liked making the wall collision wig out on their moon base so that they could go out and walk on the moon. So what did Cryptic do? They made the front doors of the moon base actually work, and made the moon’s surface part of the instance officially, so you could go out and walk on the surface without exploiting.

      - Players liked using an exploit to get to Vibora Bay at early levels to see what it was like, aesthetically. So they added a low level Vibora Bay quest arc so you could get a feel for the place. (You’d do this, complete it, then come back again until you were the right level to enter Vibora Bay proper.)

      - The geography glitch they purposefully haven’t fixed, but instead their environment artist has placed a number of wandering kill volumes outside areas where players are supposed to go, so if you get hit by one you instantly die. You can still do it, but there’s an element of danger that you have to be conscious of, now. Which is one of the best instances of harmless developer trolling that I’ve ever seen. I cracked up the first time I flew into one of those and I was hit for 9,999,999 damage.

      - You can get a level 1 character out of the tutorial area if you have a friend with a hideout. Some friends and I did this and we all rolled ‘Unnamed’ characters using the default character look, and we went and ran around one of the more populated areas as level 1. Hilarity and confusion ensued. They made a conscious decision not to fix this.

      But yeah, the point is is that people exploit loopholes in things, it’s something that happens. So long as it isn’t actually hurting other players then my reaction is… so? If they’re having fun by seeing how much they can break the game then let them. It’s just a shame that more developers don’t have the sunny disposition of Cryptic. I’d really love to see this attitude taken up by more developers.

      This should be a design ethos: If it’s an exploit that people love, either make it part of the game officially or just make a conscious decision to not fix it.

      There are developers out there that love breaking this rule. Blizzard took the only thing away that kept my interest in WoW back then – wall-walking. It wasn’t hurting anyone, it didn’t do anyone any harm, but they took it out anyway. If it was causing trouble in Battlegrounds, then just make the BGs have different physics, or use more invisible walls. But to just take it away from everyone, because for the vast majority it did no harm, was a bad design choice.

      Some developers are great about this, some are terrible.

    • Telke says:

      Wulf, for the last few months wall-jumping was ingame, nearly everyone knew how to do it. it WAS becoming a problem; a large amount of trash mobs in Zul’Aman, for example, were skippable just by wall-climbing.

      Also, you underestimate the issue – it wasn’t something you could just patch in a different physics set for BGs, it was a pretty fundamental issue regarding character movement. fixing it was essentially all-or-nothing.

      As for the rest of your post….you’re offtopic, as always. Please, please, please try and be more concise…

    • Memph says:

      “Blizzard took the only thing away that kept my interest in WoW back then – wall-walking.”

      The one and only thing? Sure taking a screenie of yourself sat happily in the Hall of Legends rafters was fun, but it being gone breaking the game? Hardly straffle in Quake 3 now was it?
      And it made WSG profoundly annoying once everyone and their gerbil knew about it..

  6. Navagon says:

    That’s what you get when you buy a modern EA game, it seems. It’s sad that I’ll never see the end of Mass Effect, but there you go.

  7. AmateurScience says:

    Actually more worried about the threats for using colourful language in the last link.

    BTW I am actually having a really great time with the game.

  8. Bagpuss says:

    DUDE.. WTF??!!??

    You don’t even know if the story is true or not but you automatically jump to defend EA when we all KNOW this this is exactly the type of shit they’d pull……. will you be so quick to condemn them if it’s true?.. I doubt it.. If you’d wanted to be fair then you should have reported the FACTS and shut up about opinion, you’re just coming off as an apologist.

    The LAST thing we need is some jackass defending EA when we are all perfectly aware of the stuff EA pulls, I mean would this situation actually surprise anyone?.

    In future do you job, either CRITIQUE, or be an actual journalist and attempt some neutrality.. stop excusing a shit of a company when we know prefectly well what the get up to.

    As a noted voice in this area, your (rps’s) voice is listened to, or at the very least is noted, as oppossed to the players always being ignored, you should be on the lookout for this kind of behavoiur , trying to make sure companies at least play fair. not sticking your tongue up the corporate backside in order to appease.

    Grow a pair!

    • DiamondDog says:

      “you’re just coming off as an apologist”

      And what are you coming off as.

    • Kaira- says:

      When one considers proof to both the ways, and you call him apologist for that… That’s not how it works, sonny.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Yeah, I mean, c’mon John Walker! Stop with your river of shit that is Pro-EA bias in videogame reporting due to the fear of lost advertising revenue!

      Why not stop at reporting the Reddit thread, which is undeniably FACTUAL and attempts to scrutinize it is in fact evidence of your well-documented journalistic dishonesty!

      Kieron was right about you – “You can take the boy out of games journalism corruption but you can’t take the games journalism corruption out the boy.” No wonder he left in disgust of your malpractice!

    • apocraphyn says:

      It’s more the validity of the mail that is dubious more than anything, Bagpuss. That’s why he’s not jumping on it (like he has done in previous cases with EA, as Raiyan just said) and condemning it as highly as he could do. Stop being so quick to judge. (DEM CORPORATIONS MAN)

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I suspect you KNOW an awful lot less than you think.

    • Llewyn says:

      @FunkyBadger: I very much doubt that he does anything less than he thinks.

    • John Walker says:

      I assume you’re trolling, Bagpuss , since I’m one of the few people in this industry to campaign against EA’s ridiculous banning policies. But you might want to look up the difference between “defending” and looking for facts.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      1) RPS (and John Walker) has a history of slating EA for their sometimes ridiculous banning behaviour. Hardly the behaviour of an appologist.

      2) John does not at any point defend EA, he questions the authenticity of the email, which isn’t the same. To defend them would be to say “What they did was OK”, what he has done here is say “Maybe this isn’t real”. Try to learn the difference, it’s not hard.

      3) You’re coming across as a fool. In future, try thinking a little harder before posting.

    • Phantoon says:

      I hear if you shout loudly enough that your opponent is a hypocrite, people won’t stop to think you might be one.

  9. Jimbo says:

    This seems far-fetched, even by EA’s incredible standards. It would be an appropriately ridiculous way for them to wrap up their year though.

  10. Bagpuss says:

    @ Diamond Dog

    Someone who’s sick to the back teeth of the river of shit that is Pro-corporate bias in videogame reporting due to the fear of lost advertising revenue?

    Or maybe someone who’s just pissd off at the slew of rot which takes the place of professional and neutral reporting, as I stated instead of taking a side he could just have reported EXACTLY what happened, and then update us when the full facts were known.

    Instead he went the pro-corporate route.

    Sucks.

    • Lazaruso says:

      Considering the way you talk to people I’m surprised you have any teeth left, Bagpuss.

    • Trithne says:

      Healthy skepticism when the evidence is pretty dodgy is hardly biased reporting. Does EA even advertise on RPS?

    • EOT says:

      @Trithne: Yes. They are right now in fact. Doesn’t make Bagpuss any less of a tinfoil hat wearing loonie though.

    • lurkalisk says:

      I find your idea of “neutrality” disturbing.

    • Wulf says:

      Frankly, it just seems wrong to accuse John of all people of this. He’s earned my respect as a level-headed, honest person. And he’s been one of the only RPS guys who can actively take criticism. Really, of all the RPS crew, it’s John I’ve come to like and trust the most.

      So… benefit of the doubt? He’s just being skeptical at the lack of evidence. I would too. I mean, scam emails happen all the time. Unless you actually see this happening at an official source, or unless you actually get reports of accounts actually being banned over this, then I wouldn’t report it as factual either. As the saying goes, there’s no love lost between myself and EA, but even I understand that factual reporting is worthwhile.

      Just wait until actual evidence comes along. If it’s real then I’m sure John would come down on them like a tonne of bricks. He has before.

    • Nick says:

      Bagpuss, you are failing to read and understand.

    • jaheira says:

      Wulf, what does “actively take criticism” mean?

    • Bagpuss says:

      Tin foil hat?

      You speak as if these types of actions are unheard of or unthinkable to corporate bodies.. when we KNOW that they sit around thinking of ways to stitch us up, the second hand games market, single player offline game forced online, denying basic rights through EULA changes.

      The fact that these things DO go on everyday right under your nose removes this from the realm of paranoia to sensible precausion.

      You really have to turn your statement on it’s head for it to be correct. Rather than blame me for ‘seeing what’s not there….. you have to take another look and open your eyes to what you are missing.

      It’s NOT paranoia any longer… this is what happens.

      EDIT.. yeah, good edits on your comments dude.

  11. Bagpuss says:

    WOW.

    @ Lazaruso… who’s comment has more relevence to something? A relevent comment that has a point and a motivation regardless to personal like or dislike, or a comment that serves no other purpose than to try and be a smart ass asides?

    I’d bemore than happy to debate the issues of the current state of corporate bias in reporting, but you just seem more interesting in taking lame, smart ass pot shots.

    That’s pretty lame dude.

    • Lazaruso says:

      So you’re saying… I’m irrelevant, lame, and a smart ass?

      Haven’t we already discussed the personal danger you’re inviting by throwing around these vicious insults?
      If you called somebody that while playing SWTOR you’d probably be banned for life, which makes me think EA has the right idea after all, so you’re not really helping your case.

    • DiamondDog says:

      But are you not even self-aware enough to realise what you sound like?

      This is John Walker, who has consistently written some of the best investigative journalism on this site, challenging things like DRM and the effects that gaming could have on us. Most recently he expressed how much he disliked CDPs use of threatening letters in order to combat piracy. I haven’t seen him display any bias towards corporations.

      In this article he hasn’t stated outright that the email is fake, or that EA are right. He said there is reason to question it’s validity, not that EA are without fault.

      Again, I just ask you to think a bit about what you say.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Bagpuss, you can’t use the reply button.

      That’s pretty lame dude.

    • Wulf says:

      What DD said, really.

      Being even-handed means just that. As I said earlier, if John finds out factually that they’re pulling something like this then I’m certain he’ll come down on them like a tonne of bricks, but as it is? There’s just not enough evidence. It’s not defending EA to point out that this is possibly all nonsense. And as has been said, John hasn’t pulled any punches in the past when it’s come to consumer rights.

      In fact, he’s one of the most active and outspoken journalists on this site in the favour of consumer rights, as has been said, versus DRM and nefarious legal practices. I suppose if you’re unaware of John’s history here it might be easy to jump to that conclusion, so the outcry is forgivable, but really? It’s not valid here. This is where you have to learn to be even-handed, like John.

      I’ve made this point before, but I’ll make it again: If you complain about everything, all the time, without any cessation, then it’s hard to take any of one’s arguments seriously when you do have them. I made this point when people were arguing against Steam, which is a reasonable, sane DRM system. What we need to do is figure out where developers are going too far and taking too many of our rights away and then make a big deal about it.

      But if we just make a big deal out of every specious ‘negative’ instance, then we fall into the impossible to please category. In that case, we’re just making noise, we’re not even worth listening to because nothing would satisfy us anyway. It’s all give and take, it’s about praising those that don’t go too far, holding your tongue when you don’t have all the cards, and then speaking passionately when you have all the facts and you know someone’s gone too far.

      That’s how you make these big publishers listen, because if you’re known for being level-headed, then when you have something negative to say, you know it’s going to harm their public image. And these big publishers do give a damn about their public image, no matter what you’d think. If it ends up that too many people are shady, then that’s eventually going to hurt their sales.

      It’s all about picking your time to strike.

  12. Bagpuss says:

    I don’t give a toss who this guy is… all I see is that instead of remaining neutral in a situation that is not fully understood, he has decided, prematurely to throw his ‘support’ in with the corporate side.

    Since when is that even NEARLY objective?

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Hit them in the pocket, Baggy… don’t buy their games. Simples.

      Also: consume less sugar, I don’t think its doing you any favours…

    • DiamondDog says:

      Well, whatever. Someone unwilling to listen to reason is not someone you can have a meaningful conversation with.

      I’m not sure how much of this silliness will survive moderation anyway.

    • Bagpuss says:

      @ FunkyBadger3

      I’m perfectly calm.. pissed at sloppy reporting, but perfectly calm.

      @ Diamond Dog.. how am I unwilling to listen? I’ve put across my point of view, but all you’ve done is tell me is that I shouldn’t have one?

      And why would my comments be deleted? I’m not the one calling people a troll, or saying that I deserve violence acted upon me because I speak my mind, regardless of whether or not I’m actually agreed with. What I am doing is calling a writer out for a lack of neutrality when reporting on a situation that certainly isn’t beyond the realms of possibility., and since when did that become a crime, did I miss a meeting?

    • DiamondDog says:

      Bagpuss, sorry, I just mean that with your replies being all over the place it’s a messy discussion that might get cleaned up a bit. No, I don’t think you’ll be moderated for what you say, unless it gets insulting.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Bagpuss: the reporting is fine, dude. You’re tilting at windmills…

  13. Bagpuss says:

    Raiyan 1.0

    I dont have an option for replying to white reply posts.. only grey OP’s.

  14. tomeoftom says:

    No feeding, guys.

  15. Bagpuss says:

    @ Diamond dog… again, where’s the objectivism. I wouldn’t have though that it Was Mr Walker’s manditate to raise the point that we should be questioning the validity of anything when the isn’t any actual evidence either way.

    The situation should have been reported on and updated later if integrity was his goal… not automatic pro corporate bias, that’s unprofessional, profitable but unprofessional.

    There’s enough of this type of garbage ‘reporting’ happening on the gamesites and it’s getting worse without coming to a site i enjoy (shock, horror, yes I can criticise but still enjoy the majority of content, talk about holding two diametrically opposed thoughts in your head at once :O)

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I wouldn’t have though that it Was Mr Walker’s manditate to raise the point that we should be questioning the validity of anything when the isn’t any actual evidence either way.

      There is evidence, there’s the screenshot of the email. It might be fake, as John pointed out. So why are you ranting and raving like a loon?

    • DiamondDog says:

      There is no pro corporate bias in that article. This is my point. Anyone looking at it in a reasonable manor can see that. You keep talking about profit as if this article would have any effect on such a thing. I’m pretty sure Eurogamer handle all the advertising that happens on RPS, anyway?

      And of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t challenge the things that you read. I disagreed with John’s thoughts on the CDP thing, but I still thought his article was fair in looking at both sides. You just seem desperate to see things that simply aren’t there, and willing to ignore John’s past writing which, to me, would suggest someone who most certainly isn’t pro-corporation.

    • Bagpuss says:

      No, there is supposition and assumption.. there is no ACTUAL evidence.. I’m sure that even Mr Walker himself would admit that.

      @ Diamond Dog… Not seeing what’s not there.. just unwilling to let it slide when it IS.

    • DiamondDog says:

      There is valid reason to think the email is fake and the article does express opinion and not just pure fact, true. I don’t see anything wrong with that. We’re all big enough to deal with articles like this without demanding they rely on pure fact at all times, just in case they have an “influence”.

      Again, you’re seeing outright support for EA which I just completely fail to see.

    • Captchist says:

      The word that’s missing is “plausibility”.

      Nobody is saying that this is or is definitely not a fake because there is no clear evidence.
      What the writer is essentially saying is that there is reasonable grounds for thinking this might be a fake because:
      1) We’ve seen fakes like this before
      2) There are some spelling and grammar errors
      3) It seems unlikely that the events happened as described because it would be so outrageous if true.

      So all the reasons somebody might have for thinking this is utterly outrageous action by EA are equally good reasons for thinking this is highly implausible.

      Again, I’m not taking sides, but I do think the writer is justified in raising possibility that this is fake, not because it probably is, but that this is a (as of this moment) valid way of reading the evidence to date.

    • Bagpuss says:

      @ Diamond Dog.

      I think that’s a perfectly reasonable point of view…except it’s only relevent when there is unbias opinion across the board and we have a number of opinions to consider. When only fed one point of view it’s difficult to see anything alse.

      Unfortunately with the state of the hold the publisher’s have over the business AND the constant influence of the media using cash as an insentive.. unbias reporting is becoming the norm for digital media concerns.. I’ll even ‘allow’ that it doesn’t have particularly sinister overtones ALL of the time but it’s a situation where it’s easier just to play ball, especially considering the difficulty of getting people to stand up en masse for a cause (regardless of what that cause is)…but it’s so pervasive that, whether it’s the ultimate objective or not, it’s becoming the norm to give companies a by, just by virtue of them being so powerful, regardless of their actual demonstrable actions… and we’ve all seen them pull some pretty bad shit, why should we automatically accept that it’s not this case this time, when it’s more than probable?

    • DiamondDog says:

      Well, I think we’re just going to disagree, but please don’t think I’m saying all this because I don’t think you should ever question articles like this. I just personally think you’ve picked the wrong battle.

      Quite simply, I’m coming from a position where I trust John, and RPS in a wider sense. They’ve never given me any reason to think they are in the pocket of anyone. I had to object to the idea that John is on EA’s side.

      I think I’ll leave it at that.

    • Bagpuss says:

      Fair enough, But I’ll clarify one thing if I may.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say, and I didn’t, that Mr Walker, or anyone else here for that matter, ‘is in the pocket of’… but I will say that in this situation where advertising revenue can be and is, a matter for consideration, that it’s far easier to just play along, especially when the ‘return’ of calling out the companies and risking that revenue isn’t even close to being equatable due to the obvious difficulties of getting people to understand and support causes, regardless of whether or not it’s actually the best thing for them.

    • Llewyn says:

      Two points:

      1) John’s mandate is to post whatever the hell he considers it appropriate to post. RPS is not the BBC.

      2) The correct pro-corporate bias line on this story would be to ignore it completely, only posting it later if it proves to be untrue. Merely posting the allegation that EA might be doing this on a gaming blog with a reasonably activist readership is detrimental to EA’s interests, regardless of the tone taken in the article. Our differing opinions on that tone are irrelevant.

    • John Walker says:

      Bagpuss – your inability to use a reply button is almost as tiresome as your rude, ill-educated ranting.

      I don’t care how much you dress it up – accusing me of writing biased articles based on advertisers is accusing me of corruption, and really, you continue saying that and I’ll be delighted to ban you.

      I have been repeatedly attacking EA for their grotesquely stupid banning policies on this site, while it’s been smothered in their adverts. I couldn’t give a shit which adverts appear on the site. The implication of otherwise is incredibly rude, and I see no reason why I should willingly let it appear on my site.

      Others have tried in desperation to politely explain to you that a dodgy-looking image of an email is not good evidence of anything, thus my calling it into question, while maintaining, “And if it is for real, which of course it could well be.” Clearly you are incapable of seeing past your frothing EA hate to read what anyone’s saying, and instead want to imagine some corporate bias against a company I’ve spent the last few months angrily demanding they change their policies, and calling for our readers to avoid their forums, etc. Fine, do that. But somewhere else.

    • RDG says:

      Snap son.

  16. Lacero says:

    Not to stir this up. But I’m enjoying the irony that Bagpuss is heading towards a ban due to misunderstanding the social rules of reply posting with this flawed technical implementation.

    • Bagpuss says:

      So now I’m going to be banned for the lack of proper etiqutte on using the reply button.

      Does that not strike you as being even slightly unreasonable? I very much doubt that RPS is so unsure of itself that it would resort to such a drastic and over the top action.

      EDIT.. actually come to think of it why didn’t you just reply to the thread where we started this point? ;)

    • Lacero says:

      It was just a poor joke,the moderation is agreeably fascist here but I’m sure your misunderstanding won’t count against you. I should’ve used a smiley.
      Have a good 2012 :)

    • Bagpuss says:

      You too :)

  17. Dys Does Dakka says:

    What’s really worrisome about these incidents is what they imply: That EA basically has surveillance probes up your digital ass the instant you near their domains, complete with automated routines for the removal of those flagged as undesirables.

    Echelonic Arts?
    -Or is that too bad a pun, even for an RPS comment?

    • Bagpuss says:

      I’m pretty sure that this would certainly have been one of the points they would have had in mind when they designed Origin.

  18. tmargul says:

    Maybe I just don’t understands properly, as I haven’t played SWTOR, but even if the whole “flip exploit” thing is true, I still don’t see how it’s a banable offence. If you leave a busted game mechanic like that in an MMO, how can you expect players not to take advantage of it?

    • Telke says:

      A a guess, Bioware ran out of time to fix all issues – as happens with every MMO launch, the early zones are significantly less buggy than the endgame ones. You fix what people will see first, after all.

      Zone flip exploits have been an issue in several MMOs, though. Warhammer in particular, and the Mythic guys are now helping Bioware, so you’d think it would come up.

      But y’know, busted mechanics are par for the course. It’ll get fixed, maybe 0.001% of players will be banned or have items/currency removed, or something. And for the rest of the server, still peacefully levelling, life will go on as normal.

      Or they won’t fix it for weeks and then random-ban people while creating a crapstorm on the forums. This is their ‘first’ mmo, afterall. Failing to have a good communication model regarding fixes and patches is unfortunately also par for the course.

    • V. Profane says:

      It seems to be becoming the trend to simply ban people for using undesirable exploits rather than fixing them. Cheaper.

    • bleeters says:

      Let me ask you something.

      You’re watching a football game. There’s football. Good times, and all that. After a while though, one of the players simply picks up the ball and runs into the opposing team’s goal, clutching the ball to his chest. Should this be considered entirely fair due to it being possible to accomplish, and the fault of the game for not physically preventing him from doing so, or should he be reprimanded for visibly breaking the rules? I’d same the latter, myself.

      Whether that really applies to this situation is up to you. I’d personally say it doesn’t. What I don’t really understand, however, is this ‘if it’s possible to do it shouldn’t be considered an exploit’ thing. I saw it fairly often regarding WoW raid bosses. Beating them via methods that are outside what was reasonably intended isn’t something I’d say ought to be met with ‘oooh, how cunning of you, good sirs’. It’s still cheating.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Bleeters, I completely understand and agree, however, for me the issue here is – assuming (and what an assumption it is!) this is real – the banning, especially considering the nasty sting in the tail EA bans come with when you try to play another Origin game!

      If they want to be hard on cheaters, delete the character – banning people from the game with no warning is way too harsh, especially for what seems to be a first offence.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Beating them via methods that are outside what was reasonably intended isn’t something I’d say ought to be met with ‘oooh, how cunning of you, good sirs’.

      I would say that your football metaphor breaks down in a couple of ways. The most obvious is that you’re comparing an explicit violation of the rules to going outside what was “reasonably intended”. Of course, you could find a more subjective rule in football or any other sport and that would be more comparable, but I for one find the arguments over the application of those rules to be a necessary evil–and if we’re in a virtual environment, that evil becomes less necessary.

      The other is that real life sports have a clear separation between the rules of the game and the laws of physics. If you figure out a new, more efficient style of swimming, no one is going to accuse you of “exploiting” freestyle swim competitions. You don’t have to worry about whether the physics of water were “reasonably intended” to allow you to swim a certain way. Early FPSs probably didn’t “intend” rocket jumps, but it’s ridiculous to call them cheating.

      The whole concept of game “exploits” deeply annoys me. I’m sure that Bioware has worked all their spreadsheets and is monitoring all their metrics to make sure that each player gets just enough busywork to pad out the game so that they can’t see all the content too quickly, but not so much that they get bored and cancel their subscription. They hand out rewards just carefully enough so that players feel they’re accomplishing something, but they don’t want to reward skill too much because then some players would feel bad about not being as good as others. They’ve carefully calibtrated the psychological payoffs of the game, and if you try to step outside their skinner box then you’re cheating.

      I’m not saying there is no such thing as cheating. Outright hacking the game or server can’t be allowed, collusion with the other team is reasonable to ban. But defining cheating as anything going outside what the developer intends is a terrible idea–a game where you can never do anything the developer didn’t anticipate is an “un-game”, so to speak.

    • piratmonkey says:

      “I’m not saying there is no such thing as cheating. Outright hacking the game or server can’t be allowed, collusion with the other team is reasonable to ban. But defining cheating as anything going outside what the developer intends is a terrible idea–a game where you can never do anything the developer didn’t anticipate is an “un-game”, so to speak.”
      That is the alleged reason behind the alleged ban. He was collaborating with an opposite faction member to flip the planet to farm respawning items.
      Otherwise, I agree with you.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @piratmonkey, that’s correct, I was speaking generally. With regard to the specific exploit of flipping controlled areas, I do happen to think that’s cheating, but banning the players is the wrong way to enforce that. Gaining territory shouldn’t give you more than losing territory takes from you–there’s no reason for renewed loot drops when territory changes hands.

      Enforcing this by punishing players who abuse it is still problematic because
      1) it could easily happen naturally that a piece of contested territory rapidly changes hands
      2) it could be violated “subconsciously”, so to speak, as the incentive to gain territory is greater than the incentive to defend, those taking the territory will work harder
      3) the behavior is so simple that explicit “collusion” isn’t even required, depending on what you call collusion. It could just be an iterated prisoner’s dilemma, which requires no communication. I let you take the territory. If you let me retake it, I’ll let you take it again. We may even offer some token resistance to each other to avoid suspicion. (Admittedly, nothing subtle like that seemed to be going on in that video at the end of the post.)

    • Captchist says:

      Just to list what I think counts as a couple of real life sporting examples of this:

      Banning of high tech super streamlined swimsuits:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/swimming/8161867.stm

      Paralympic runner with prosthetic limbs that allow him to outrun able bodied people:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics/athletics/7141302.stm

      In these cases they don’t retroactively ban people, but they do prohibit them from doing it in future.
      So I suppose that would be the equivalent of letting the “flip exploit” guy get away with it, but bringing in rules to out law it in the future.

      I think the behaviour IS justified however in that any particular computer game is much less mature than world athletics and so they have to have very general catch all rules like “Don’t do anything that seems pretty clearly exploitative”.

      It’s through necessity because the complexity of the game means there are always unforeseen loopholes, you wan’t to be able to correct them. If some guy breaks the world record for swimming in 500 meters in 1 second with a teleporter you never thought of, you want to be able to cancel out that record so the future of swimming competition isn’t eternally ruined, and you’d probably ban the guy. Same here.

      And if you are sure the activity was so clearly exploitative that the person should have known what they were doing was against the rules, then it seems reasonable to ban them. The reason it doesn’t happen in sports is that all the obvious exploits have rules now, that’s not true about SWTOR (or even WoW).

    • Consumatopia says:

      Banning prosthesis, high-tech suits, drugs, teleporters, or even genetic engineering seem to me comparable to banning altered/hacked clients. It’s one thing to regulate what tools you use, it’s another to regulate what you do with permitted tools. If someone actually hides a teleporter in their swimming trunks, ban them. But I’d say that a swimmer who manages to teleport with their mind and muscles alone, Dhalsim-style, didn’t so much cheat as win so hard that the sport itself was defeated. The record is, truly and fairly, eternally ruined, and the only honest way to carry on is to invent a new sport of non-teleport swimming–though all the old records by swimmers who did not teleport can be imported into the new sport’s record. Consider how video game speedrun records can have multiple categories depending on whether or not you used a particular exploit.

      One example in the reddit thread was two players on opposite sides of a boss room, throwing attacks at the boss while it ran back and forth between them, switching focus just as it got close enough to attack the other one. This was a bug in the boss’s programming, but AI in computer games is so stupid that it seems unfair to ask players to distinguish between “broken” and “stupid”.

  19. kuddles says:

    I didn’t much have interest in this story but I’m glad I read it to read Bagpuss and his crazy ramblings. I find it funny how he expresses great concern over how media is being corrupted by bias and in the exact same stroke basically implies that good journalism is copying news that is given to you without ever questioning it. I hope I’m not the only one seeing the irony in that.

    • Bagpuss says:

      Actually no, good journalism is reporting demonstrable fact.. not taking anyones word for it or adding supposition…

      Had this article stated it was an editorial and an opinion piece, fine, I would then have been able instead to diagree with said opinon and state my reason, but in this case it was written as a news article with the ‘I think’ addition.. that’s not giving us news and it’s not remaining unopinionated.

      I’ll accept that professional unbiased reporting is possibly too much to ask from any video games site, esecially seeing as it even now seems too much for supposedly professional newspapers.. it’s possibly not a place it’s called for when it surrounds an industry so relant upon hyperbole and glossing over the facts and I’ll even accept the possibilty that Mr Walker’s opinion is correct.

      I don’t however accept a point of view that promotes ‘give the company a chance til we know better’ especially when it’s the same crap they pull all of the time.. If it’s not going to be rampant company bashing (:P) then I prefer factual reporting, with no editorial, and an update when the matter has become clearer.

      If we continually ignore what the companies ARE doing then thing will get more difficult and more restrictive in these matters than they are just now.. and they’re getting pretty crappy now.

    • kuddles says:

      At what point has RPS ever ignored what companies are doing? If anything, I find them way more cynical and skeptical of what publishers/developers say than anywhere else. And they would be taking someone’s word for it: The word of an anonymous person on Reddit of all places.

      What if RPS gets a press release saying that the new DRM used on Mass Effect 3 will delete an offender’s savegame randomly, but says that it has no chance of affecting legitimate customers? What if they get a preview of Borderlands 2 shown on 360 but are promised that the interface of the PC version will be flawless? Should they express skepticism, or should they just reprint it because they won’t know the “facts” until the game is released?

      My guess is you wouldn’t have an issue if they did the former in that case because as is typical with people who complain of “biased reporting”, they actually view their own biases as “unbiased”.

      I have no doubt that some journalism gives bad corporations too much of a free pass. However, I can also think of journalism that refuses to “give the company a chance til we know better” that ends up being incredibly harmful. (The anti-vaccination movement promoted by UK journalism comes to mind.)

      You can’t have it both ways. If a site is going to be genuinely skeptical of corporate claims, than at the same time they are going to be skeptical of claims of being wronged by a corporation that look sketchy and are being made by a completely anonymous person.

    • Bagpuss says:

      And in case where there is such a fine line that’s why I ask for the facts instead of editoral.

      As for being quite happy with anti-company sentiment over supposed wrong doing.. absolutely.. IF the wrong doing actually exists.. See, it’s fact then.

      I already mentioned that the so called ‘professional’ paper media are no better.

      I’m saying that the situation is so bad atm with media outlets willing to excuse, for the sake of any easy life if you wish, company actions that further ‘calls for calm’, sprouced up with an opinion of how it ‘probably ‘might’ not be true’ isn’t doing anyone any favours except the companies, and considering exactly what they DO get up to, should we be allowing things, without standing up and saying something, to make it even easier for them to stitch us up?

    • kommissarnicko says:

      I feel the need to ask you Bagpuss: what is your journalistic standard? Has anyone anywhere ever met your stringent requirements for perfect neutrality? If so, I’d like to see how it’s done.

    • Bagpuss says:

      I could just have ignored your post, but that would probably have left you with the opinion that you had ‘got me 111!!11′

      So I’d just like to make it perfectly clear that the reason you are not getting a direct answer to your question is, I feel that if your point of view wasn’t so shocking, it would be laughable instead.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I don’t however accept a point of view that promotes ‘give the company a chance til we know better’ especially when it’s the same crap they pull all of the time..

      You’ve stated several times this is “the same crap they pull all the time” without backing it with anything. Whereas the article has shown the evidence – such as it is – and commented on it…

      So you’re basically against baseless supposition, unless it happens to agree with your viewpoint?

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      You idea of what journalistic neutrality means is deeply deeply flawed. Almost disturbingly so.

      To report what you believe may be a lie and not mention your suspicions wouldn’t be neutral, that would be bias in favour of the person making the claims. Or to put it in your own words “…not taking anyones word for it…”

      No one is giving anyone a bye here, it’s not happening, you’re imagining it. Go outside, get some fresh air, take a few deep breaths, then read the article again – there is nothing even remotely pro-EA in it.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I could just have ignored your post, but that would probably have left you with the opinion that you had ‘got me 111!!11′

      Bagpuss, everyone who replied to you in this thread “got you”. They correctly pointed out your incoherence, all you have in response is more incoherence. Everyone else wins, you lose.

    • Thants says:

      Oh my lord! A screenshot of a supposed email isn’t solid evidence. And pointing that out isn’t some breach of journalistic ethics. And it’s not worth you spamming all across this thread about it. And RPS is a blog, not the BBC, everything here is an editorial.

      If this is what you fixate on I can’t even imagine how you’d respond to actual misconduct.

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      “So you’re basically against baseless supposition, unless it happens to agree with your viewpoint?”

      This. Bagpuss is hilariously hypocritical. TURN AGAINST THE COMPANIES WITHOUT ANY HARD EVIDENCE! THAT’S THE NEUTRAL WAY!

  20. Gira says:

    Ultima Online once suggested MMOs could be something great. EVE Online kept the torch burning, but no one else seems to be paying any attention. So now we get TOR, almost as much of an ungame as Call of Medal of Homefront of Et Cetera. I have no doubt this story is true – any attempt at letting players actually play the game rather than grind through asset content is bound to be frowned upon in Edmonton. BioWare, after all, are pretty much sworn enemies of gameplay.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Goddamn those companies making games people want to play. GRRRRRRRRR!

    • bleeters says:

      I’m confused as to how looting (or exploit looting, if what that quoted fellow in the article says turns out to be accurate) is apparently “playing the game”, and not “asset grinding”.

      It’s possible to react negatively to this kind of thing without going into ‘woop woop enemies of fun conspiracy derp’ mode, y’know.

    • Gira says:

      As per the letter, the guy has been looting high-level stuff as a low-level player. This is playing the game; taking advantage of game mechanics in an interesting way. In something like EVE, this behaviour is praised. Here, it’s bannable.

      But at any rate, I wasn’t suggesting there was a conspiracy at play – just suggesting, as should be obvious to all by now, that BioWare are absolutely horrible games designers.

    • piratmonkey says:

      I sincerely disbelieve that he is being punished solely for looting high level gear as a low level character. Mostly because a) the letter looks horribly faked and b)
      he is actually banned for doing a “flip” exploit on the planet…so if you have someone from the other team to cooperate and flip it back and forth, you would have infinite money.
      I suspect that is closer to the truth, and if it is, then I do not, nor should anyone else, have a problem with him being banned. It is not taking advantage in an interesting way, but in a way that is unfair to other players.

  21. wryterra says:

    It strikes me that if RPS really wanted to present an objective, unbiassed point of view here they’d present the evidence, clarify the reasons why the evidence might be suspect but make sure to stress they have no contrary evidence and that it might well be true.

    Damn you, RPS, for your well known bias as a- …

    Wait, it seems you did exactly that. Never mind. Carry on.

  22. Buttless Boy says:

    This article contains a truly terrifying bias against the letter Z. I counted only three usages of Z, and two of these were quotes. I hope Mr. Walker takes time out of his busy schedule shilling for O, E, and T to apologize for this gross injustice.

  23. dsi1 says:

    A bit on the conspiracy side but… since it’s so easy to fake an e-mail, wouldn’t the best smokescreen for sending out e-mails like this be a few small mistakes here and there? Easy to overlook for the user, hard to miss if you’re looking to accuse the company of being wrong. Company just takes the silence stance and the userbase tears itself up trying to figure out what’s real and what isn’t.

    • Gramarye says:

      It’s possible, but in these cases I use Hanlon’s Razor. Paraphrasing: “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.” If EA issued this, then by that conspiracy they are intelligent, forward-thinking, and Machiavellian; or they’re just idiots as proven time and time again.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s easy to think that Machiavellian is a word not well attributed to corporations, but then I remember the various shenanigans of Microsoft and realise how completely untrue this is…

      “If you’re going to kill someone there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

  24. Nameless1 says:

    …why bothering posting this? Wouldn’t have been better to wait and confirm the mail autenthicity?

    • Lacero says:

      It looks like an attempt to calm the internet hate machine. Also I suspect RPS are a little reluctant to wait for EA to comment after the “banned from the forums, banned from the games” misstatements and nonsense.

    • bleeters says:

      Because if they waited for some kind of EA confirmation/word on this before bringing it up, I don’t imagine it’d ever see the light of day.

      Which is, I imagine, why official responses on this kind of thing are so hard to drudge up. They’d rather nobody was talking about it.

    • John Walker says:

      To clarify, I posted because the image was doing the rounds, and I wanted to get a story up to provide a more stable place for its discussion, because I tend to post all things about EA bans (hence the tag that our pink and white friend is incapable of clicking on), and because I thought it might catch a few hits of a Sunday morning.

      The reason for not waiting to hear from EA first is partly because we’d not hear back from them before Tuesday at the earliest, by which point the story would be forgotten, and more significantly, because there’s nothing here that demands a reply from EA at this point. Some evidence that the claim is real, and I’d be straight to EA asking for an explanation.

      It’s also worth noting that EA, from PR to management, have ignored all my emails regarding banning for about two months now.

    • Wulf says:

      “It’s also worth noting that EA, from PR to management, have ignored all my emails regarding banning for about two months now.”

      Wow. That’s something that needs to go in the article, John. That’s really funny. Hahahaha… wow. If that doesn’t show that you always go to great levels to get to the truth of things, nothing will.

      I wonder what they have you categorised as at EA in order to have all your mails flagged as ignore by default?

  25. dsch says:

    The email’s clearly fake. It looks like it was written by a fifteen year old trying to sound legalistic. Aside from errors already noted, there are also inconsistencies in Oxford comma usage and choice of -ise/-ize. I assume EA would have had lawyers draft these kinds of messages.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I’d be astonished if that was the case.

    • dsch says:

      What would you be astonished by? I imagine a lawyer would draft the form letter so the peons in support could fill in the usernames and such.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Lawyers tend to be expensive, support tends to be cheap (when not volunteer).

    • ffordesoon says:

      Yeah, it can’t be real. At the very least, there’s no way it’s official. It looks too precisely calibrated to generate internet outrage. It’s not just the grammatical mistakes, either; note how each paragraph restates each point made several times, much as someone writing an essay for college might rephrase the same point throughout the essay in order to meet the assigned page count. The additional benefit of that approach from a troll’s perspective is that it makes the email easy to skim. The average Reddit user, already predisposed to writing lengthy complaints about EA’s evil practices (and, by extension, Bioware’s), will skim the email once, declare it symptomatic of Bioware’s EA-ification, and go on a long tirade about it, because that quick skim will confirm his or her biases. To him or her, Bioware and EA look bad, and the anonymous troll has been wronged for a ridiculous reason.

      The sizable Bioware Defense Force will likewise spring into action, declaring the email false without even looking at it. This also furthers the troll’s goals, as it causes those in opposition to the BDF to tar anyone who says the post is fake with the same brush, even when they do examine the email closely and explain why they think it’s false in a reasonable way. Thus, Internet Drama is created, and the anonymous troll has many lulz at everyone’s expense.

      As an email allegedly coming from a representative of a company that – rightly or wrongly – prides itself on its writing ability, this thing is laughable. As a creator of Drama, it’s expertly crafted.

    • piratmonkey says:

      This is a guaranteed fake. Emails about MMO bans are direct and to the point following the, “THIS IS WHAT YOU DID, WHERE YOU DID IT, WHEN YOU DID IT” formula, no restating necessary.

  26. MacGuffin says:

    John, could you reach out to EA support and get a statement? Specifically in regards to the last link, since the support email in the original story is dubious. Gamers such as myself would be interested in knowing if EA considers objectionable content in private messages that is not reported by either party to be grounds for account bans. An official word would be helpful.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Agreed. I never swear in public channels or even in guild (although in WoW that’s actually acceptable), but I have been known to use colourful language in private messages to friends. If this is something that I’m going to lose my TOR account over,
      A) I’d like to know about it and EA should really set out the rules clearly
      B) it’s rediculous.

    • Lazaruso says:

      “Rediculous”?!! Wrong.

      Number one, your response is nearly as bad as this, because it’s insane. It’s madness. You would throw your first amendment rights in the gutter for a video game? Patrick Henry wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire, my friend.

      Number two, it’s spelled “RIDICULOUS”!

      *is hauled away by the pendant bus, kicking and screaming*

    • Klaus says:

      The first amendment is so the government cannot impede your speech and even then they can, given that they prove they have significant reasons to do so. So, I don’t think this applies here. EA is not the government.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I don’t believe that the Constitution of Britainland has ever been amended, for a first or any other time. This is because there isn’t a constitution.

      Looking up the First Amendment on wikipedia (I don’t know which one is which off by heart as it’s not the law of the actual country that I live in), I note that it doesn’t apply in this case anyway. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution limits the ability of government to impede the freedom of speech. Bioware can quite legally decide that anyone saying ‘Banana’ on their forums or in the game shall have their account closed.

      So yeah. I don’t have any first amendment rights, and even if I did I wouldn’t be throwing them in the gutter as neither Bioware or EA are the US government.

      Also: YOU’RE RIDICULOUS!

    • Klaus says:

      Sorry, Durkonkell. Some of us are in an alternate reality where the United States has annexed The Internet.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Man! And to think those colonials originally wanted independence from us!

    • Lazaruso says:

      You can hardly blame me for not realizing you were of a different nationality. After all, the name Durkonkell is American in origin. (As are most things).

      AMERICA **** YEAH

    • Durkonkell says:

      *Dies of laughter*

      (Please note: The user shall now become more powerful than you can possibly imagine).

    • Wulf says:

      Whatever happened to simple censoring tools? Sheesh. Even WoW has those. I mean, there are people in this world with illnesses where they can’t actually help it and they swear without realising. It even happens to me, too, where I’ve read a post back later and seen that I swore twice or thrice without even realising that I had. I try to catch myself doing it, but it’s not always easy.

      And I know that there are some people who actually have this much, much worse, too, they’re far worse off. And this is why simple censorship tools help. I mean, really… get another human being to rewrite every little thing you say or just don’t talk? Where’s the compassion in that? Especially if it’s clear that the swearing is ‘just happening,’ rather than meant to be offensive.

      A good MMORPG has a basic censor filter for nasty words, and the only reason you get in trouble is for dodging the censor. And in that case, that’s fine, no trouble. But banning someone or trying to silence them because of a few swears? Not cool. There’s no harm in swears, and like I said, not everyone can actually actively help it. Even I do it without realising.

    • ffordesoon says:

      For the record, the game does censor curse words. I’ve seen plenty of people using not-very-nice language in public chat, and it’s always been completely censored. Unless the people doing that are all getting banned (and I’ve seen it done a LOT, so revenue would presumably be in sharp decline if they did that), that complaint doesn’t pass the smell test either. It’s far more plausible than the main complaint, to be sure, but I would imagine there’s much more to that story even if it is true.

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    There’s apparently some other ones:

    using a low-level character to store high-level items, and buying cheap from the market and then selling it back at a higher price.

    Of course the real problem is that it seems very hard to authenticate anything, when Bioware seems to lockdown a lot of the forum posts without really communicating their side of the story.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “using a low-level character to store high-level items, and buying cheap from the market and then selling it back at a higher price.”

      Neither of those restrictions would make sense for the WoW players they’re trying to attract. Buy Low, Sell High is what made the Auction House a minigame of its own, in WoW. If there is a marketplace at all in the game with fluctuating prices, then players will always game that system. It’s part of the fun! And WoW players are used to having lower-level alts as AH runners.

      I know they’re not trying to be a literal carbon copy of WoW mechanics, but still, people will have natural expectations based on prior games.

  28. Shortwave says:

    I don’t play many modern RPG games but lately I was playing Path Of Exile and I was really enjoying it.
    In that game you can also more or less run around higher level areas to gather some better gear.. But instead of constantly doing that I just did it till’ I had some better armor and a bad-ass axe and then I’d just turn around and start kicking ass.. Never did I even consider that as an exploit. I’d logically conclude that the devs intended that to be possible as preventing people from doing so would be a very simple process. I also did this in all types of RPG’s I’ve played in the past including the Diablo series.

    With that being said it doesn’t make much sense that even EA would do something as stupid/shady as this. (But I wouldn’t put it past them still..) BUT WITH THAT BEING SAID, EA is still a terrible company with no customer ethic. So instead of wrapping our minds around this little riddle, let us just remember to all the other terrible crap this company has done. The countless times they have more or less robbed their customers of their hard urged money with next to no purpose and without any chance of appeal or legal repercussions. Crap like this shouldn’t be tolerated in this day of age. If they spent less time counting their money and more time making quality games, MAYBE THEY’D MAKE MORE MONEY!! I will end my opinion with this..

    When will EA realize that treating your customers with respect will only do good?
    And by the time they do, will it even matter anymore? I hope not.
    What comes around goes around. : P A comforting thought anyways.

  29. LordHuggington says:

    There certainly is the possibility of this thing being fake, but unfortunately for EA, their track record is such that we’re left suspecting that it could be true. The other link discussing swearing seems silly too. Language filters people, use them. Trying to enforce potty mouths seems pretty draconian.

    • Wulf says:

      Not to mention that, as I mentioned, some people are actually unable to stop it from happening. The very idea that someone should be shunned from the Internet or parts of it because of that alone sickens me to the core, because it stands versus everything that our supposedly enlightened society is supposed to understand. This is why language filters exist.

      If someone is dodging a language filter and going out of their way to insult a person, personally, then I can understand a ban for harassment. That’s totally fair enough. But to ban everyone who uses common swear words? Like I said, you’re going to get a lot of people caught up in that ‘net who either swear casually or who can’t help their swearing habits.

      The most intelligent (and Cryptic stands amongst these) developers tends to take the stance that I mentioned: That casual swearing and swearing without targets is fine, so long as it doesn’t go past the censor. But if you dodge the censor to swear specifically at a person as a means to insult them, then you’re crossing that line and you’ll be investigated by a GM.

      Really, with all the money they’re pulling in from their subscriptions, they can’t afford a swear filter and some decent GMs?

      (And frankly, yes, I may come over as a bleeding heart quite often. But damn it, someone has to be. I always felt that compassion was a cornerstone of modern society, but the Internet doesn’t have a whole lot of it.)

    • Zenicetus says:

      I can understand Bioware’s stance on language restriction, even if it’s poorly implemented with filters in the initial release. Filters aren’t perfect, and some people get very creative with bypassing them.

      They’re marketing this as a “family friendly” game, and in this respect it’s no different from other entertainment venues. Try swearing at the next person standing in line with you at a Disney World ride, and see how long it takes before the friendly Disney security goons escort you out of the park. At this point in the product life cycle, EA probably feels they can afford to lose some subscribers, if it helps maintain the game environment they want.

      It might also be a legal requirement for retaining their “T” (Teen) rating with the ESRB, which says the game has “mild language.” An “M” (Mature) rating with more frequent use of profanity would jeopardize the size of the customer base they’re shooting for. In regard to the last link in the OP, they can’t keep track of everyone’s personal histories to know who is a long-time friend, where swearing via whisper channel is “okay” or not.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Its hardly the biggest imposition really though, is it? Don’t swear using our game.

    • EOT says:

      I thought the ESRB could not “regulate online interactions”. Their rating or rather BBFC/PEGI rating for me, is based purely on game content as supplied by the developers.

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ EOT: That’s a good point about the ESRB covering publisher-supplied content. But there are still marketing issues here. EA/Blizzard wants parents to feel safe buying a game with a “T” rating on the box for their kids to play.

      Blizzard’s WoW has the same rating, and they’ll also drop the hammer on use of profanity in the game (although it’s been a couple of years since I played, so I don’t know exactly how it’s currently handled).

  30. nanowired says:

    MMOs used to reward the ingenuity it took for someone to sneak into an area they didn’t belong in and survive there. Now? Ban them.

    It’s a sad time my friends. Especially when people are complacent to such stifling design.

    • piratmonkey says:

      That’s not even remotely the same thing. He is allegedly banned for allegedly performing an exploit repeatedly. As for the veracity of the story? It seems highly unlikely that Bioware would dick around with the wording like the picture demonstrates, especially in an email regarding banning. These things tend to be VERY succinct so there is no ambiguity about the situation. I know personally from being temporarily suspended from WoW once upon a time.

    • Antsy says:

      Ah yes, I remember Blizzard rewarding players who discovered a running speed exploit in WoW’s early days with bans.

      Good times.

    • piratmonkey says:

      Oddly enough, looking at the email, I was suspended for exploiting the in-game economy…not sure how I managed that considering I don’t knowingly use exploits, buy gold, try to buy/sell accounts, etc. but a few emails later and I was back in.

    • Telke says:

      I was once handed a 2-week ban from WoW for “creative use” of the economy. I was buying out every piece of levelling gear, and relisting it at fairly inflated sums. for nearly a month, you couldn’t buy a decent green item on the AH for <3-4g. I had over 1000 auctions up at once, constantly.

      Then I got banned. but they didn't remove the massive profits I'd made, so it wasn't too bad.

    • piratmonkey says:

      I could never get into the auction house game, I just always massively undercut people to sell the damn things. Or if I was feeling especially evil, undercut them by only a copper.

    • Wulf says:

      Again, inexcusable. Again, Cryptic.

      There have been a number of exploits and glitches in Champions Online that have not harmed other players. Cryptic’s response? Let’s make this shit official.

      I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again out of my love for them.

      - There was an exploit to make characters bigger. It was abused by hundreds of players. No one was banned, instead they included it as an official item, as part of the game.

      - There was an exploit to get into Vibora Bay early. No one was banned, instead, they created a Vibora Bay quest arc for lower level players.

      - There was an exploit that allowed you to get outside of the Moon Base hideout and onto the moon’s surface. No one was banned, instead, they actually redid the hideout so that you could go out onto the moon’s surface without needing the glitch.

      - There is an exploit that lets you get out of the tutorial as a level 1 character if you have a friend with an exploit. No one was banned, in fact they made a statement that they’re not going to do anything about it. It’s harmless, and people like doing it, it’s fun.

      Why can’t more developers be like that? Honestly, I have so much respect for Cryptic, and do you want to know why? So many times they have said to their players “We respect you.” and they’ve meant it. They treat us like people. Tumerboy, their environment artist, talks to us on the forums as just everyday people, his candour is stunning and he’s admitted to plenty of mistakes that he, personally has made. He’s listened to requests too, even one that I had a voice in.

      If it’s not harming anyone, and people like it, then… isn’t banning people just going to make the developer look obnoxious? Don’t ban! Find a way to make something a part of the game, find a way to make it work! Gods damn it, if Cryptic can do it on their tiny budget then so can the rest of the far larger developers out there, too. There is just no excuse. None.

      Banning people for figuring stuff out is like saying, well… You are a walking wallet. We see you only as a walking wallet. You must obey the behavioural patterns of a walking wallet. You must walk along these lines and perform these acts exactly as we designate. If you show any signs of sapience, then we will remove you from our reality. It’s saying that, exactly that. In the most cold, monotone voice one could use.

      I can’t respect a company that has no respect for their customers. I don’t respect Ubisoft because of their customer hate, I don’t respect EA for the same reason. I do and continue to respect Cryptic.

    • Shortwave says:

      Very well said Wulf.

  31. piratmonkey says:

    I find it unusual that a clear timeframe isn’t provided in the email of when he supposedly did this. They love being specific for “what, when, where” the offender did.

  32. rocketman71 says:

    MMOs suck, EA sucks and Bioware doesn’t exist anymore, it’s just a rotten carcass of its former self. When will you people learn?.

    And on a different note, happy 2012.

  33. BrightCandle says:

    There are 3 bugs in the games launcher at the moment that affects maybe 1500 people. Many forum members and myself managed to find workarounds to make it possible to get into the game, they aren’t pretty but they work around bugs and problems clearly introduced by BioWare and EA. One of those problems is that they are serving up corrupt files from their download servers in London and Dallas!

    Unfortunately EA support has been systematically banning anyone who provides these workarounds to its users, causing the entire fix to go “underground” and off its forums where users can’t find it. Its been telling the current sufferers that the problem is fixed and to follow a clearly daft guide that doesn’t work to get the game installed. Some people for an 18GB game needed to download 100′s of GBs. There is no statement accepting the problem nor any current plan to fix it.

    This ban seems mild in comparison to what EA is up to the launcher problem.

    • ffordesoon says:

      See, that makes far more sense than the main complaint under discussion. Not that I support Bioware/EA’s policy with regard to your issue, because I definitely don’t, but using such a workaround is presumably not allowed in the TOS, in the same way that, for example, opening up an Xbox and taking a look inside voids that Xbox’s warranty. Except that EA owns the servers, not you, so it’s more like borrowed a friend’s Xbox and it RRoD’d, but you were able to open it up and fix that problem yourself without your friend’s permission. It’s a fix, yes, but you still voided his warranty rather than that of a console you own. It would be ridiculous for him to never let you come over to his house again, to be sure, but you did violate an implied agreement with him. It’s the same with this: it’s idiotic to ban players for working around an issue that is unquestionably the developer’s fault, but it probably would stand up in court.

      All that being said, I hope they unban you, because that really is some bullshit.

    • Wulf says:

      It probably wouldn’t stand up in court because workaround to enable a product that the person was paying for. It the judge was a human being of any calibre, then they’d hand EA’s arse to them for even thinking of pulling shit like this. The law is part what’s written, and part what the judge decides, and in most cases like this you’d be surprised how often the judge will see reason and side with the consumer.

      I mean, really… this is a workaround to enable people to play a product they’ve paid for. See? THIS is why I love the hell out of Cryptic, because they would never, ever pull shit like this. If they did, then they wouldn’t be able to show their face on the forums again, they’d have to hide behind ‘community representatives,’ like other MMO developers I could name do. Really, this is just a violation of good will on every front.

      “We’re currently not giving you the product you’re paying for. If you think of side-stepping our will in order to get the product you’re paying for, then we will ban you from ever experiencing the product you’re paying for.”

      There is so, so, so much wrong with that on every level. It’s every colour of shady and dubious that one could imagine, and then some.

      Geez. I’m glad I’m not playing this game.

    • ffordesoon says:

      @Wulf:

      Firstly, I should clarify that I’m referring specifically to the American legal system here. I’ve no idea about laws in other parts of the world, as I am a Stupid American.

      Secondly, as far as I’m aware, judges in any country aren’t just allowed to throw out binding legal contracts with impunity because they sympathize with the defendant. That is largely the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. The judge can rule in the defendant’s favor, but only if it’s provable that the plaintiff wasn’t holding up their end of the deal as agreed upon by both parties in the original contract. I haven’t read the TOS, to be clear, so perhaps a violation of EA’s end of the deal could, in fact, be proven. However, I know for a fact that most MMO Terms OF Service include a clause abdicating any legal responsibility if the servers are inaccessible to the consumer for one reason or another. Given that this issue was presumably unforeseen, I don’t know if that clause would be considered airtight enough to hold up in court, but I do know that EA has been sued a lot, so I wouldn’t put it past them to insist on closing any loopholes your theoretical humane judge might be able to exploit. To heavily paraphrase Penny Arcade, the people affected by this issue might be complaining of being forced to swallow bees, as well they should, but if they signed an airtight contract with EA allowing them to force bees down their throats, it’s likely they don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Whether or not they read the contract and knew about the Bee Clause beforehand is, in most cases like this, largely irrelevant; they agreed to the contract. That’s horrible, to be sure, which is why you should always weigh what you’re willing to accept before you agree to a given TOS, and why you should always read the TOS in the first place. I admit, I myself am prone to agreeing without reading, but I do try to always remind myself that I’m likely forgoing the right to sue when I click that button.

      Thirdly, this is all assuming the case would actually make it to court, which is actually pretty unlikely. Most of these companies have arbitrators on call to settle things out of court, and they are generally in the pocket of the corporation. Furthermore, there’s usually an arbitration clause in the TOS legally precluding the player from seeking any recourse other than, at the very least, an independent arbitrator. And such a clause often notes specifically that the arbitrator is to be chosen by the corporation. These cases are usually rigged in the corporation’s favor, not the consumer’s, is what I’m saying.

      Finally, I would be astonished – astonished – if Cryptic didn’t have the a similar TOS to all the others. I forget who their publisher is these days, but all of them have studied and replicated Blizzard’s TOS, believe me. I know NCSoft has such a TOS for its games. If you’ve ever played any MMO at all, you’ve agreed to a TOS like this at some point. That different developers and publishers have varying levels of respect for their communities is a given, and it sounds like Cryptic is good to its community, which is fantastic. That said, to be proud that you’re playing X MMO instead of Y MMO because the creators of X MMO “would never do that” is a bit ridiculous, because no matter how sweet they may seem, they’re being magnanimous and merciful, not legally generous. They’d all bleed you dry in a court of law or during arbitration.

  34. piratmonkey says:

    I could just have ignored your post, but that would probably have left you with the opinion that you had ‘got me 111!!11′
    I think the entirety of RPS would be appalled if someone actually said that.
    Edit: Fucking comment system D:

  35. noobnob says:

    There is so much shit-flinging aimed at EA and this game all over the internet that I just don’t know what to believe anymore. Now there are claims floating around about someone getting banned for swearing in private channels, and for people abusing the marketplace.

    • Wulf says:

      Wait, really? They’re banning for auction house shenanigans? B-but… all MMOs allow for auction house shenanigans! One of the reasons I ended up in WoW for a month was to help a friend with some stuff, including passing pets over the auction house at the lowest price and synching purchases over Skype. I always figured that this was just everyday stuff, everyone talked about it.

      This is… creepy, but, as draconian as Actard are with Warden and related insanity, BiowarEA sounds like they might actually be worse IF this is true. Big IF, of course, but still. Sheesh, if that’s true as well then that’s fairly bad. BiowarEA need to make some statements about all this, seriously. Silence is a damning thing.

    • Dubbill says:

      The guy claiming to be banned for playing the auction house appears be full of shit and the image he posted as proof is balls: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=1207977#edit1207977

  36. Moist says:

    It should be a design ethos to let the player exercise their agency in any way they have available within the world that the player interacts with. If a player is capable of monopolising a resource without using hacking or malicious exploits (exploits are murky, good developers will recognise what is a form of gameplay emerging from their design and what destroys the system rather than improves it).

    It’s a heady thought that gameplay can be more than a progression line and that ingenuity can occasionally trump the hard coded, heavily enforced (see email) time sink of the dreary minigames and boring, easy combat that define wow-style games.

    It’s a case of player’s creating their own narrative outside of the rigidly defined poorly written romances and arch bullsht that fill the rest of the world. If a player creates a monopoly and other players fight for that monopoly, if that monopoly causes many other unrelated persons to change their style of play to accommodate for an expensive resource then you have an example of a game that is in fact massive, and multi-player, more than prescribed dungeons and group quests can provide, in a way that is organic and empowers the player…

  37. cavalier says:

    I’m not buying the email. The grammatical and spelling errors and the lack of specificity in reporting the incident are two big red flags for me. Coupled with the terrible image that EA/Bioware CS has it is easy troll bait. It would be too easy to fake this with a simple screenshot. Let’s see a forwarded message to a trusted news site that can verify the email is legit and then I will express some outrage. This is also the same reason I am not buying the bottom link either. I find it very hard to believe that they are monitoring private chat, the resources needed to do something like that for the millions of subscribers just would not make good business sense. I imagine suspensions for chat works just like every other MMO, it has to be reported first.

    Now if we are going to assume the email is legit, just taking a low level character through a high level area should not be bannable . This is an issue that will resolve itself once more people hit the higher levels and that area becomes more populated. IF they are exploiting a game mechanic as is hinted at in the column then they should be banned, but merely taking a low level character through a high level zone isn’t exploitation by any definition as long as they do not circumvent any lockouts.

    • BrightCandle says:

      We could show you 100′s of emails and forum posts with similar quality of grammar, spelling and punctuation. We can happily show you quite a bit of proof that shows that no one ever read the ticket before an automated system fired back a semi random standard text which then closed the ticket.

      This is normal for this game, its really quite shocking CS infact. About 1 week ago the main complaint was that people couldn’t install the game. Once the workaround got removed those complaints changed. Now the number one complaint on the threads is with CS itself.

  38. Stupoider says:

    http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=120099

    So even if there were no bans, they’re still being absolutely idiotic in warning people about… DOING WHAT MOST PEOPLE DO TO MAKE MONEY IN MMOS.

    Can we laugh at Bioware and EA now?

  39. Bagpuss says:

    So EAWare didn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt afterall, Mr Walker.

    I hope you remember my little foray into this thread the next time some publisher starts pulling some other Anti-customer actions.

    Banned, by developer and publisher for using a glitch in a game where the reponsibilty for fixing it lies entirely with the developer? That’s the worst piece of shitty faggotry yet (pardon my language but any other description just wasn’t cutting it).. I wonder what’s next?

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