En Masse Blocks Half The World From Tera

By Craig Pearson on January 31st, 2012 at 2:58 pm.

Foreigners took my clothes!

MMO Tera is a bit less massive after the publisher have stated they’ll be blocking IPs from Asia, Africa, Russia and The Middle East from connecting to the North America servers. The ironically named En Masse said in an FAQ: “While we appreciate that there are players in these regions who would enjoy playing on En Masse servers, it’s unfortunate that the vast majority of Internet traffic we see from these regions are from cyber-criminals relating to account theft, gold-farming and other hacking behavior.” Blimey.

It doesn’t say if there will be servers specifically dedicated for the blocked regions, some sort of Tera Wild West, but the solution paints a massive number of potential customers as criminals. As long as the North American gamers have a good time, put up a wall: everyone on the good side is fine, the people on the other are viewed as suspicious and shifty. Better to keep them out, so the rest can play nicely. It’s not as if there’s anything else they can play.

Ugh.

Via VG247.

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65 Comments »

  1. Spengbab says:

    Doubt it’ll help. [people - don't be geo-ist] that is after accountdata will just as easily circumvent such silly IP bans with proxies, while the legitimate customer without technical knowhow, will suffer for it

    • Blackcompany says:

      This is also very true. Those that want to get round region locking or regional blocks will always find a way.

    • NothingFunny says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Cyber criminals use proxies and vpns anyway. Region IP block is easy to bypass, so its really dumb reason, possibly a lie.

    • jrodman says:

      I disagree — it may work. The problem is it will just eliminate one means by which they can score accounts, so ultimately it will just teach the criminals to be “smarter”, while negatively affecting real users who would prefer to send them money.

  2. Blackcompany says:

    Great Alt Text. Great Tags. Really good stuff.
    ….
    I am so torn on this issue, however. Guilt by association is never fair. Lumping all Russian/Asian-region players into the same criminal is wrong. Shades of Ubi there, with their “all PC gamers are essentially pirates” comments. Unjustified and unfair.
    ….
    On the other hand…they have an obligation to protect customers. I would expect them to also block IP’s from these regions from UK and European servers as well. In the interest of fairness, however, I would also expect them to provide the blocked regions with their own servers, so as to allow them to play the game.
    ….
    Man its a hard call. I don’t like it in my gut. I see the reason for it in my brain. But why not just ban the farmers and the cheaters, as opposed to essentially pre-banning half the world?

    • Gnoupi says:

      For the same reason that mass bombing doesn’t bother finding only the “bad guys”.
      If you kill (or exclude) them all, the bad ones are bound to be dead (excluded) also.

      I would say that some countries are not new to this logic.

    • Orija says:

      Yea, this is stupid. It reminds me of the news I saw a while back of India trying to deny visas to Russian and Ukrainian women because they feared that they would all engage in prostitution.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      The ubi comparison is apt because this will only really deter those without the technical knowledge to circumvent it. I.E. People who won’t be stealing accounts or engaging in “other hacking behavior”.

      It might stop gold farmers for a week or so I guess, untill a step by step guide to circumvention starts circulating.

      Reminds me very much of ubi DRM now.

    • MiniMatt says:

      But why not just ban the farmers and the cheaters, as opposed to essentially pre-banning half the world?

      I suspect money. Whilst I have never quite understood the difficulty many MMOperators have with controlling bot populations (many – but natch not all – which appear to follow such precise repetitive routines 24/7) ultimately it boils down to having staff to sanity check the reports that other customers and/or automated trawls have pinpointed. Pesky staff always want paying.

    • jrodman says:

      Sourceing identification of botters from your players works okay — except the botters can do the same, and pollute your data. Meanwhile mean-spirited players will report each other.

      So you need some trusted party (paid staff) to winnow out the legitimate complaints.

      Meanwhile the paid staff are being paid at a higher rate than the botters, so the botters have more time and more numbers. It’s a hard battle.

    • nootron says:

      Guys, they’re not “lumping players”. This is an issue with governments and laws/policies governing internet use. The fact is that China has a lot to gain from turning their backs on cybercrime. The US, on the other hand, has a lot to lose from it.

      As a result, you have countries that benefit from it providing no laws against it, or at the least, not enforcing those laws. And you have countries that suffer from it enacting shit like DMCA and SOPA/PIPA.

      Lets not turn this into some sort of charge of xenophobia or east vs. west. This is just countries protecting their books.

      • Vercinger says:

        That makes no sense. If it were true, the publisher would be blocking specific problem countries, not entire continents.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    Nice. This means I will not be able to play it…

    But than again, they will never release it anyway due to lawsuit ….

    • Phantoon says:

      Yes, that’s along the lines I was thinking.

      Why would they want to further damage themselves when they’re going to need to pull stuff together to be able to launch the game?

  4. misterT0AST says:

    hmm… “we think most of the people in those countries will behave like criminals”…
    that’s borderline racist. Not quite racist. But it’s very close.
    Blocking whole parts of the world labeling them as “the mostly criminal countries” seems a bit silly.

    • Blackcompany says:

      That’s a little too close to not allowing Khajiti into cities for my taste, too.

    • Proximity says:

      This isn’t what they said at all, you can’t just place words they didn’t say in quotes like that. Furthermore, they are only blocking those regions access from the North American servers, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that access from those regions to those servers are almost entirely in the interest of cyber criminal activities. Almost all legitimate users would prefer to use much more locally based servers.

    • misterT0AST says:

      the problem with inverted commas is that they both mean
      “this is a statement to be treated as if it was not entirely accurate, but close enough”, in other words “so to say”
      and
      “this is a sentence taken directly from someone else’s text”.
      At least that’s how they’re used in my country.
      Although to be honest I always see them used to quote stuff in English on the internet, while for their other use, (the “not accurate” one) I often see cursive text.
      I’m used to writing by hand, so I don’t really use cursive as punctuation. I realize it was a little misleading, and it seemed like it was meant to be a quote from the text. Which it clearly is not.

    • Skabooga says:

      @Proximity: I think there is still some contention over whether or not they are providing said servers for other regions.

    • Llewyn says:

      @MisterToast: They do indeed have both those uses, but I think the objection was on the basis that your approximation didn’t accurately reflect what they’d said at all. They didn’t claim that everyone in those areas were criminals, but that people in those areas didn’t generally connect to their US servers for non-criminal reasons.

    • bglamb says:

      I think that descriminating against people based on their race is the tetbook definition of racist actually.

  5. DevilSShadoW says:

    Dunno if these blocks apply to the EU side of TERA which is published by Frogster. Might wanna look into that.

  6. Spoon says:

    As someone who has spent time on military deployments in at least one of these blocked regions and played MMOs on US servers all the while, I say this is an awful policy.

  7. NothingFunny says:

    Way to label half the world as criminals, when you are being sued for intellectual property theft yourself.

  8. Cinnamon says:

    I guess that it is not fair that cyber criminals from those parts of the world can undercut ones from the USA so much and drive them out of business. And gold farms should be farmed by American prisons not Chinese prisons.

  9. Dan Griliopoulos says:

    Is this the same Tera team that NCsoft is suing in the US for taking all its Lineage III source code (when they were the Lineage III dev team) and making their own game with it? (Yes, they lost the Korean case, but I’m told that Korean IP law about code ownership is very different from the West.)

  10. Alexander Norris says:

    Well, this at least reduces the number of people on whom they can inflict their terrible female character design.

  11. d34thm0nk3y says:

    I swear it’s not the only MMO to do this

  12. Milky1985 says:

    Yes this is the reason,its got NOTHING to do with the dispute over the game assets as mentioned in :

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/26/ncsoft-seek-to-prevent-us-release-of-tera/

    of course, the timing is jsut coinicendental.

    Lying marketing idiots.

  13. Megadyptes says:

    Half the world can’t play as sexualised ten year old anime girls. THe horror!

  14. .backslash says:

    Is carpet-banning parts of the world a thing in Korea? I remember a while ago I tried to check out some Korean f2p game (supposedly a streets of rage-like side-scrolling beat em up with persistent elements) hosted by one of those big f2p publishing companies with silly names, only to be told that as filthy Euro-scum I’m not allowed on the NA-hosted English servers, and presumably the Korean ones as well. So there is a precedent.

    It’s a curious practice, anyway. I’m certain that if someone in a Western company were to call a meeting, proposing blocking the sweet, sweet revenue money from half the planet, he’d be ritualistically beaten to death with laptops and attache cases.

  15. AgamemnonV2 says:

    I’m someone who’s living in the Middle East for a year-and-a-half (from the States) who had a passing fancy for this MMO. Past tense: had. Hey En Masse, you’ve got a customer from a “legitimate” country living in another for awhile; am I still a criminal when I come back home? Wait, no, don’t answer that; I’ve already given my money to someone else much more competent at their job.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      He’s a legitimate customer making a complaint about a lack of service. If people don’t complain about it then the asinine manner in which they came to the conclusion they did will be further reinforced. How is that self-entitlement? And how does that make you anything other than a walking welcome mat if you seriously consider that self-entitlement?

    • Brun says:

      I know the common perception that US citizens buckle under the weight of their own self-entitlement is unfair

      That you would jump to this conclusion so quickly implies otherwise.

    • PopeJamal says:

      Don’t be an ass, he’s just unhappy with a decision and he’s voicing it. He’s not being pouty-faced or throwing a tantrum.

      Honestly, if more people actually THOUGHT about how they spent their money instead of just throwing it at the nearest company while yelling” FEED ME, SWEET CORPORATE TEAT! DADDY HUNGRY!” the world would probably be a better place.

      I know the corps see it differently, but I much prefer people who complain about stuff BEFORE they spend their money. Once you spend your money, you’ve already implied that the current situation is at least acceptable. And all the corps care about is your money. If they could legally beat you over the head and just take that cold, sweet cash, they’d do it in a heartbeat.

    • AgamemnonV2 says:

      @frightlever: Were you dropped as a child or something? Where did I say they should accommodate me? I guess you were just too busy trying to make an anti-American quip, though. It’s okay, all the cool kids are doing it these days.

  16. Windward says:

    Ugh, googling for screenshots of this game, it’s clearly some sort of Aryan master race fantasy boob simulator.

  17. BobsLawnService says:

    That’s fine, I don’t want to play their shitty, stolen B-Grade MMO anyway. What a bunch of arseholes.

  18. Yuri says:

    MMO publishers these days are making really shitty moves. So, instead of patching your game, client and payment system to a degree that doesn’t allow easy hacking, they just block entire continents of potential customers.

    Really wise.

    • KaMy says:

      If people want to fool around they will. Just look at the DRMs out there. It bothers customers but not the pirates. It’s the same with cheats. They must deploy more and more procedures that will always be beaten by cheaters because there is team that make (good) money of it when you see that some of those are a monthly subscription between 20 and 30 eurodollars.

      As a player if the game cuts off some base player i don’t care the only thing i want is to be able to play my game whith the less number off cheaters as possible. And if they give them specific servers it’s all good, cheaters are with cheaters, gold sellers with gold sellers and the good ones are, as always ultimately fu***d but at least some people can enjoy a less rotten game.

    • Yuri says:

      I understand the desire for a completely cheat and exploit-free environment. The thing is, i didn’t even say it would be possible to completely suppress cheating and exploiting. I merely said that it would be better to work on your games to not allow easy cheating/exploiting.
      Blocking entire regions is just bad for business.
      For example, there’s a veritable shitstorm brewing over in Champions Online after Perfect World announced that they will be blocking several regions from the game.
      Russia among them.
      That wouldn’t be a problem if hundreds of Russian players didn’t already cash out 300+$ for a lifetime subscription. Now, after the game is barely a couple of years old, the players simply get cut off.
      It’s just a dick move. The game was actually completely region-free until recently, and functioned arguably well.

  19. liquidsoap89 says:

    I thought they didn’t want people in North America to play this game? Now I’m all confused.

  20. Suits says:

    Way to go

  21. Burning Man says:

    Damn… and I was really looking forward to playing this. Screenshots are absurdly pretty.

    Oh well. Guess labeling several continents as criminal kinda has that effect. I’ll be playing GW2, thanks.

  22. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Get used to this kind of thing – if the internets don’t police themselves, then they will end up being policed by others…

  23. ahmedaak88 says:

    Not sure why you included star wars since they did the same thing?

  24. Sinex says:

    I guess since I’m an American (and one who wasn’t interested in this weird, anime-simulator to begin with) I suppose this shouldn’t matter much to me — and it really doesn’t. I mean, assuming that the pending lawsuit against Bluehole ends in their favor, they probably have plans to have servers dedicated to EU/Asiatic areas. So…why exactly would anyone from those places want to play with a bunch of English-speaking people who are notoriously intolerant of people who call soccer “football”, prefer tea to coffee and struggle with the colloquialisms of American English? It just seems like a bizarre thing for anyone to get upset over.

    Especially given how much of general chat gets polluted with anti-American/anti-foreigner bullshit from the handful of retards who deign to waste what little brainpower they have on arguing with people over the Internet, this seems like a good thing. These people are running a business after all: profit is king — not the feelings of a relative handful of gamers from across the pond. Being given the opportunity to play with a comparatively large group of people who speak your own language seems like it would trump playing with people who don’t.

    And let’s be realistic here: everybody hates going into a dungeon only to find out that one member of your party doesn’t speak your language or has a shitty connection because he’s playing from a remote outpost in the Siberian tundra.

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  26. xephyris says:

    If memory serves me don’t most Korean games restrict their audience by country due to licensing issues? Seems like this isn’t so very different from the rest of them.

  27. wcanyon says:

    OK WTF is up with the head / body ratio in this game?? Girl on the left must be 8 heads tall. It’s absurd.

  28. Nice Save says:

    According to Wikidedia , they’ve blocked 75% of the world’s population there.

  29. Detrian says:

    It’s nice knowing in advance which mmos will fail quickly.

    Cause that’s what happens when you’ve hired people thick enough to give the “bunch of criminals and non whites” instead of “latency issues” statement.

  30. Mynameisaw says:

    I honestly don’t understand them at all.

    I understand why they’ve done it, infact I’d be a bit surprised if they didn’t, pretty sure most western MMO’s do sweeping IP bans for certain parts of asia (pretty certain WoW and LOTRO did it at any rate).

    But, to then make a public press statement and basically smear everyone from those countries as criminals? What?!

    Hell they could have done it and it’d have been fine if they hadn’t said the vast majority of asians and russians are criminals… Oh well, I assume someone in their PR department has now been fired at any rate.

    • ix says:

      But that’s not what they said at all. They said the vast majority of traffic coming from that region to their NA servers is from cyber-criminals. This is overreaching a bit on the definition of cyber-criminal (violating a EULA or TOS is civil law, after all), but otherwise I’m sure it’s an actual fact.

      I don’t mean to be snarky, but jesus internet, learn some reading comprehension.

  31. Universal Quitter says:

    “As long as the North American gamers have a good time, put up a wall: everyone on the good side is fine”

    The article doesn’t say anything about Europe being blocked, yet I only see NA worldliness being questioned. Funny, that. Not ALL people in North America are light-beer swilling, science-denying retards that can’t even tell you where eye-rack is on a map, thank you.

    P.S. And I don’t just mean canadians!

  32. NSGrendel says:

    None of this is new.

    The fact is that some territories will always get treated like 2nd class citizens because of farming (ni hao my Chinese friends o/) or policies regarding credit cards that make doing business there unfeasible (Merhaba my unfortunate Turkish gamers).

    Having worked on the business side of this equation, whilst I don’t like it, the fact is a territory needs to generate sufficient revenue and profit to cover the drawbacks of doing business there. Whilst the EU and US are no-brainers due to markets and laws, other nations will either get the shaft or find their playing/paying options limited due to the inherent legal issues. :(

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