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Gold Sellers - a temporary invasion or a permanent fixture?


Started by djwolf
Post #167102
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No matter what measures the game takes to try to stop the gold sellers they will find ways to beat it and the only online games that have solved this problem have done so by altering the way gold is accounted for each player and stopping players from buying it. The Gold total for each character is stored on the server along with their skills, levels, class etc - can't have hackers altering character stats - and if the gold amount on the server differs from that on the client's PC... "Login error - you are screwed." As soon as this is implemented, and a few players are caught out word will spread and the constant chat spamming, the gold seller guild invites, and the mail spamming will end.

By allowing this to continue the management are accepting that the fun and enjoyment of the game is not their prime concern. My concern is that after 15 years of MMOs and the lessons learned by other companies that Zanimex and Bethsida didn't see this coming - I did and I shake my head in disbelief.
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Post #167106
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I think you fail to understand how it works..

Gold sellers hack accounts, they then use these accounts, with bots, to farm things.
In turn those things they sell generate them massive amounts of gold.
They then sell it to somebody via the internet.
The person then receives gold as if another player was just randomly generous.

So the person buying can get away with it if they buy small amounts of gold, whereas those who buy large sums get banned pretty quick. ZoS did just release a statement on their forums not long ago that they have banned thousands of accounts in relation to hacking and gold selling.

Also storing data server-side makes no difference.
You still have to log in to get the money. So you bypass that log in check, get your gold, store it on the server and log off again.


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Post #167265
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"Gold sellers hack accounts"? How is that possible? Is there a mechanism whereby I can get a GM to respond within two minutes to concerns that my account may have been hacked as happens on those MMOs like Everquest where there are no gold spammers? And, since the GM has information to ID me that isn't on my PC or in my account details the gold spammers can't make it pay. The fact is that there are a number of MMOs that don't have gold spammers.
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Post #167275
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And TESO has been out for a couple of weeks.
compared to EQ which has been out for all of eternity.

It will take any developer time to find the holes that gold sellers exploit.
And also consider that Gold sellers are not going to waste their time and effort on games that have a small income.
instead of the brand new shiny game which will have so many people passing through ready to throw money anywhere they can.

Gold sellers will be out in force during the release of any MMO. Its prime time for them.
Give it some patience and ZoS cut back on these spammers more and more, and hopefully will get rid of a majority of them.
This post was last modified: April 16th 2014 02:46 AM by Avidus


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Post #167294
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ZoS is doing a good job to be honest banning the accounts quickly (1-2 hours) and swiftly (by the hundreds)

And I say thus, because observed the receiving emails from gold farmers.
If they have sent the mail more than 1h ago, their accounts are banned/blocked (says the account doesn't exist if I report them).
If they just send it "now", you can just as easily report them and add them to your ignore list.

Hence the last few days they cold send spam of invited to guilds to circumvent the email spam. But still I get to report them and set the to the ignore list.

If none buys gold from them, then there will end to exist. Is that simple. And I bet start of May when the subs are due to pay, they are going to be a "rare" to say the least. They bought their keys from "profits" they had from other games. Now they have to either pay for the investment or be gone.
This post was last modified: April 16th 2014 05:00 AM by Apoll
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Lord Burl
Post #167301
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(April 16th 2014 04:58 AM)Apoll Wrote:  ZoS is doing a good job to be honest banning the accounts quickly (1-2 hours) and swiftly (by the hundreds)

And I say thus, because observed the receiving emails from gold farmers.
If they have sent the mail more than 1h ago, their accounts are banned/blocked (says the account doesn't exist if I report them).
If they just send it "now", you can just as easily report them and add them to your ignore list.

Hence the last few days they cold send spam of invited to guilds to circumvent the email spam. But still I get to report them and set the to the ignore list.

If none buys gold from them, then there will end to exist. Is that simple. And I bet start of May when the subs are due to pay, they are going to be a "rare" to say the least. They bought their keys from "profits" they had from other games. Now they have to either pay for the investment or be gone.

I agree about them dropping off once the sub fees kick in. If ZoS is actively banning them, and few people are actually buying gold from them, it won't be profitable for them to pay sub fees. The only question I would have is this: If they continually set up NEW accounts, does the 30 days of free subscription kick in each time, or do they burn through a code the first time they set up the account, and then must pay for a sub each subsequent time? I am getting the game on XboxOne, so I don't have hands on experience, but figured each game disc is coming with an activation code, and once that code is used once, that is it, you can't use it again to get another 30 days free.


The fires burn. Our supplies are spent. Axes are dull, and armor is rent. The enemy approaches, our doom, they seek. We are Daggerfall Covenant. We are Orcs. Our comrades, they come, for glory they seek, at the side of our iron and steel. We will not fall.
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Post #167324
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That is correct.

The code is for 1 use only to activate your account.
Is not like the DVD box keys, where you can actually use them more than once (some times).

So all those banned accounts, can only be replaced by another £30-40 purchase and the creation of a new account.

As for "hacking", they cannot log with your account to a PC that isn't verified.
If you change your computer eg use your laptop while used the desktop before, or you format your drive, then an email will be send to you to add the new code in the client to validate it.

I doubt Xbox & PS going to have any gold farmers. The reasons are that they do not have access in the system, they cannot run multiple instances of the client, on the same machine via vmware (or make bots), and in the case of Xbox they need to fork out extra money for the Live subscription.
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Post #167333
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(April 16th 2014 08:59 AM)Apoll Wrote:  That is correct.

The code is for 1 use only to activate your account.
Is not like the DVD box keys, where you can actually use them more than once (some times).

So all those banned accounts, can only be replaced by another £30-40 purchase and the creation of a new account.

As for "hacking", they cannot log with your account to a PC that isn't verified.
If you change your computer eg use your laptop while used the desktop before, or you format your drive, then an email will be send to you to add the new code in the client to validate it.

I doubt Xbox & PS going to have any gold farmers. The reasons are that they do not have access in the system, they cannot run multiple instances of the client, on the same machine via vmware (or make bots), and in the case of Xbox they need to fork out extra money for the Live subscription.

Yeah, I don't really expect hacking, bots, gold farmers, etc. to be an issue on the consoles, as they don't have the access and ability to do a lot, if not all, of that on them. I just brought up the Xbox so you would understand why I didn't know for myself. Thanks for the response.


The fires burn. Our supplies are spent. Axes are dull, and armor is rent. The enemy approaches, our doom, they seek. We are Daggerfall Covenant. We are Orcs. Our comrades, they come, for glory they seek, at the side of our iron and steel. We will not fall.
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Post #167482
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I started playing EQ2 as soon as it came out; I'd already been playing EQ1 where there were no gold spammers and there still aren't. In that first week of EQ2 the Gold spammers were everywhere but a guy in our guild got his account suspended because the accounting system within the software itself registered that he was "generously" given gold by a known gold seller. In fact, many people found themselves suspended for buying gold and word spread like wildfire - if you buy gold you will get booted. Within a week the gold spammers were gone forever because while they had the expertise to get anywhere their market knew that dealing with them was not going to be beneficial.

I read the ESO forum's support section and I really feel for the technicians working to solve the many problems and bugs in this game. I get the distinct impression that they are underfunded and understaffed when I look at the mountain of fixes they need to implement. Right now, my sister has a banking issue where all her bought slots and most of her gear has disappeared and she and 44 pages of comment posters have been told that they are working on a fix. When they say that "gold spammers, speed hackers, and bots will be an ongoing problem" as they identify and ban the accounts of the offenders. But, I believe they are not using OPK - "Other Peoples Knowledge". You don't ban the gold sellers because they will just find another way to return: you identify their transactions and ban the players who buy from them. And you watch the gold sellers will dry up in a week.

However, there is a bigger problem: the management of this game do not get my endorsement. I'm not seeing GMs in game, people's problems being dealt with within minutes, customer service... What I am seeing is a handful of caring developers pretending they are an army so that management can reap the almighty dollar... But, this "money now" short-sightedness usually leads to a loss of both profits and opportunity since reputation is the most valuable commodity there is.
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HalloweenWeed
Post #167513
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There is a patch out today solving the banking issue. (1.0.4)

As for the gold sellers/spammers, is our responsibility to uproot them from this game.

Also those farmers, are only on the two first areas. I have yet to see a gold farmer advertising at Grahtwood/Greenshades for example.

And the best part that is funny. They add on the small amount of people that are having access to, on the zone-instance at that moment. (around 200)
Not the other thousands of instances of the same area/zone.

Is not like in WoW or other games with many separated "servers" where a gold farmer can have access on all players of that server. (eg thousands).
So you can have 1 account server per and cover the whole player base of that game (theoretically).

Here they need thousand of accounts, and luck, to distribute them on various instances of the same zone, and not put two together.

Hence I say that they will be gone by start of May. Already the price ratio has plummeted during this week. They are offering double the gold for half the "real" money, they did last week. And that is a good sign of how their business goes.
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Post #167516
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(April 18th 2014 01:32 AM)Apoll Wrote:  There is a patch out today solving the banking issue. (1.0.4)

As for the gold sellers/spammers, is our responsibility to uproot them from this game.

Also those farmers, are only on the two first areas. I have yet to see a gold farmer advertising at Grahtwood/Greenshades for example.

And the best part that is funny. They add on the small amount of people that are having access to, on the zone-instance at that moment. (around 200)
Not the other thousands of instances of the same area/zone.

Is not like in WoW or other games with many separated "servers" where a gold farmer can have access on all players of that server. (eg thousands).
So you can have 1 account server per and cover the whole player base of that game (theoretically).

Here they need thousand of accounts, and luck, to distribute them on various instances of the same zone, and not put two together.

Hence I say that they will be gone by start of May. Already the price ratio has plummeted during this week. They are offering double the gold for half the "real" money, they did last week. And that is a good sign of how their business goes.

Gold sellers will never be gone simply due to the fact that there are people lazy enough to pay money to get items faster so they can get through the content faster.
It is however possible to fight gold spammers and try to limit their spam (which in my opinion is the most annoying part of them)

Also do look at China to see how much money they make there with gold farming.
I believe the total income (rough estimate) is mentioned in this video http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CHgZ2YQOgso
This post was last modified: April 18th 2014 01:39 AM by Iksarai


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Post #167557
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Hmm, it occurs to me that they have been spamming by inputting hundreds of chars of text into chat at a time, to attempt to cover up their name at the beginning. Therefore, one thing ZOS should do is reduce the max. chars per chat post to keep that from happening. Have they done this yet?

[Image: eso 2014-04-03 19-11-14-59 gold ad crop.jpg]

(I blew this up 2x so you can see it easier.)

Spammer reporting instructions - Important info

You can change your chat text size: Go <Esc> --> Settings --> Social and slide the font size slider to 8 or 9.
Write down the name of the sender, R-click on the name on screen, choose "Block." Scroll down to the bottom, read the ACCOUNT name of the person you blocked, write it down W/@ in front. Scroll back to the view above with the name showing at the beginning. Press <F1> and click the "support" (head) icon, "Report player, Spam." Quickly check the "include screenshot" to give proof. Put his account name in the "player" box, always put "@" in front of account names. Then put both names in the report text, say something like "player spamming public chat W/website advertizement" (and "commercial gold pieces sales" if you like).

Click submit, and this is important: WAIT for the confirmation. If you don't wait, the submission likely will "go into the ether," never to be seen again.
When done, you can restore it to 16 font size for easier viewing. I find that size 8 is very difficult to read the name accurately, so I try 9 first, then if I can't scroll to the name I use 8. FYI.
This post was last modified: April 18th 2014 06:45 AM by HalloweenWeed


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Post #167593
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You seem stuck on the culling means of attacking this infestation and it is an infestation in every way. You don't get rid or rats or cockroaches by taking a hammer to each and every pest; you attack their food sources or their breeding cycle and getting rid of gold spammers will present the same problems. Instead of getting rid of the gold spammers you monitor their transactions and if "ggix11cc" gives 100k gold to some player, suspend that player and advertise heavily that players who buy gold from gold spammers will be suspended for a month or forever. While the gold sellers can constantly find ways to circumvent the system and counter the counter-measures against them they cannot control the fears of the public when it becomes clear that those fears are well-founded. When players know that buying gold will result in an inability to log on, the Gold spammers will leave.

If this system doesn't allow management to know who gave the level 5 sorcerer 100K gold then the game has got bigger problems than Gold spammers.
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Post #167597
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I think you miss the concept of selling gold. You technically can't completely stop gold selling in an MMORPG. Ever since WoW, a game with a very high population, there has been a market for people selling gold. The fact of the matter is, contrary to popular belief, people do buy gold. This is so much so, WoW actually began selling their own gold for real money because they couldn't stop the hordes of gold sellers. It's a lose lose situation to try and stop them. . here's why.

Step 1. Player's report gold spammers and their account gets banned. . if a game has more than a million players (as WoW had far more than) then the team at ZoS cannot hope to fill out the amount of reports they get sent in.
Step 2. ZoS gets desperate by targeting specific ways on how the money is transferred or received. This strategy works, but money can always be trickled in so it will always find a way to the buyer. It also means that the second 1 person gets banned who isn't a gold seller and really was just giving someone a 20k gold handout. . everyone gets enraged. Yes, this has already happened and people are getting very upset about it already. Imagine if drug laws were enforced so heavily that everywhere you do and have ever done is 100% monitored by officials... people tend to get pretty pissed when that happens.
Step 3. ZoS finally realizes that gold sellers cannot be removed, so they take the capitalist option of just beating their prices AND making it "legal" in some sense to get it from them. This tends to then get transformed into "Pay to win." (When people can already buy a race & horse in this game for $20. . nobody complains P2W there? Rather hypocritical)

So, to sum that up. . if they do nothing, people get mad about the spamming. If they do something, people get mad about the way they do it (as there is no real way to stop gold selling without harming non-gold sellers). Finally, if they do the option that works the best which is sell gold themselves, they get whined at that it's P2W. In the end, you can't effectively solve this problem. Which is exactly why pretty much every MMORPG has gold sellers. I wouldn't put too much hope that ZoS can fix what dozens (if not hundreds) of other companies have been trying to do for the past 10 years.

Kind of strange how gold selling kinda relates to the war on drugs when you think about it. . . sort of. >.> <.<
This post was last modified: April 18th 2014 09:23 AM by Kilivin


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Post #167604
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Must say I never seen in EQ2 or Lord of the Ring any gold sellers, guess I must been lucky.. I hate gold sellers.. /shrug


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