Justice in the Garden of Square Enix

On January 22nd, Vana'diel adventurers were delivered shocking news when a set of bans for item duplication were administered. Immediately after, the various communities exploded with heated arguments on both sides of the issue. Some cried out against the severity and inconsistency of the punishments while the rest deemed it an appropriate and fair recourse for what transpired. A week has passed, yet the still raging fire has only been fueled by the recent publishing of "Unrest in the Garden of Square Enix," inspiring the writing of this counterpiece.

The following editorial contains views that are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of Allakhazam.com.

Square Enix Knew

Allakhazam staff writer Pwyff posed the opinion that Square Enix knew about the exploit for at least two years before taking action against the offenders. The source of this information is mysteriously unknown, but this perspective used the logic that the community outcry was the sole reason that any punishment was handed out at all. A week after the patch fixing the exploit, Allakhazam.com inquired about punishment at Fan Festival 2008 and the development team explained that an investigation was under way. Was this investigation launched solely based upon community response to the emergency patch? Possible, yet unlikely.

As for whether Square Enix knew about the bug yet took no action for "over two years", let's look back at developer interviews over the years conducted by Allakhazam.com and other Premier Sites.

From July 2007, E3 Developer Interview:

Pikko: [...] [Players] would like to know why they should keep killing themselves over [Einherjar] just to get nothing. Is that something that's going to be fixed or will it be the battle itself you adjust?


Ogawa-san & Tanaka-san: First of all, about not having the drop rate be as good as people want it to be it's because we want people to go back and play Einherjar many times, so that they get a continuous type of challenge. And if it's too easy the world will be filled with the abjurations and everyone will have that and it won't be something that has that mystic feel to it like, "I have it, look at me." Rather, everyone is wearing it. [...]

From November 2007, Fan Festival Developer Interview:

Pikko: [...] I had asked about Einherjar [at E3] and back then it was still a new battle system and you had said you were going to watch the trends and how participation runs. How has that been going and do you see any adjustments coming to the existing system?

Square Enix: Right now, the overall difficulty we're pretty much pleased with that so we don't really have any plans on changing the overall difficulty.

From July 2008, Premier Site Summit:

The Nyzul bosses are easier than the normal versions, but after a while if you get no drop, again and again, it's getting annoying. Do you have plans to maybe add some other items and bosses? This doesn't mean "add Ridill to the Nyzul Fafnir version", but at least some crafting materials.

Matt Hilton: [...] If we were to add even more rewards than there are now, the balance of the strength of the rewards would be destroyed. Also, the values of synthesis items and materials would also be destroyed so we will probably not be adding those. [...]

Let's not forget that Square Enix is the same company that casually stated that camping Fafnir in its current state is something players "enjoy." This is the company that prior to extreme negative press, had a boss in game that could not be beaten after 18 hours. That same company has a mob still unbeaten after more than 4 years. Community members have often joked about the FFXI developer team's odd fascination with MMORPG sadism.

So with those things in mind, can someone please explain why Square Enix, a company dead set on keeping the bar raised extremely high for its playerbase, one that rarely budges on its drop rates, would let a bug in its code that enables the duplication of rare items in triplicate run rampant for two years?

An XI podcast host recently wrote an article that posed the theory that the tripling of items was intentional . G4 took this speculation and termed it "part of the plot." Nevermind that said podcast author was on the ban list.

"That means that people who knew of this were able to keep it 'on the down low' for at least a quarter of FFXI's life. That's some pretty good 'down low' keeping; almost, if one considers it, too good. Nobody, not even SE, could be that blind." - Pwyff, Unrest in the Garden of Square Enix

Having no experience as a game tester means that I can't attest to the difficulty of finding every existing bug in a game as vast as XI, but it doesn't take an experienced tester to know that occasionally some things are missed. People fall into the ocean. Monsters path the wrong way. As is the case with most MMOs, some bugs aren't found until they're live and reported by the playerbase. The fact is that this was a major flaw and it was the responsibility of Square Enix to ensure it did not exist. It slipped through, though, and players who are now playing coy and crying innocence are using this fact to say whatever they please in order to justify their actions.

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Some people would have you believe that the banished were the hope and redemption for the dying game of Final Fantasy XI; that without them endgame will cease to exist and the beloved cities we grew up in will burn to the ground as Altana sheds tears for the most cherished of her elite warriors.

Give me a break.

The last Vana'diel Census, posted in May 2008, stated that approximately 500,000 players subscribe to Final Fantasy XI. Roughly 10,000 accounts are banned by the Special Task Force every few months. Approximately 550 accounts were permanently banned last week. 440 are breathing sighs of relief, happy to be able to walk around Aht Urhgan Whitegate again and merrily going about their business. For some, their brief brush with death is likely to be forgotten as soon as they pull Nidhogg with a level 5 mule.

Those 550 accounts represent 0.11% of the Final Fantasy XI population. Claims that Square Enix is "alienating the playerbase" are more than likely those of players placing more value on their person than they have a right to. Leaders of some of the "best" endgame linkshells now find themselves with nothing to show for years of work. What constitutes "best," though? The ones with the best bots? The one with the most relics? Relics which we can now speculate to have been funded by the very exploit we are so ferverently debating now?

Back when I was the leader of an endgame guild in EverQuest, we had a motto: Greed kills. Play any MMORPG out there and you'll find this to be true. It's a natural thing for players to gauge their character's personal worth by the material goods they wear, but some players take this to another level. Square Enix's strenuous "work ethic" doesn't help this feverish drive to wear the best items. Yet the greed of a portion of the community doesn't have to represent the entire playerbase.

The general population tends to play by the rules. However, upon entering endgame, they discover a world of lust and greed that they might not have imagined existed. While on their journey to greatness they may have been surrounded by fun-loving adventurers looking for experience and a great group of friends, but then they find themselves in a world requiring them to leave behind real world relationships for the sake of their "loyalty" to the linkshell. If you want the good stuff, you have to be willing to sacrifice.

These players were presented with a choice. Do you sacrifice your ethics for that item you've wanted, but may never get legitimately? It's only illegal if you get caught, right? In the end, was it the right choice? Given the chance to go back, would these players make the same decision? Only they know the answer to that.

RMT vs. Duping

So what is it about these bannings, something what would normally be collectively received by the XI community as just desserts, that is so different? Every few months we receive word on thousands of banned RMT accounts. We laugh, we cheer, we imagine giving Square Enix high fives as we breathe a sigh of relief that at least something is being done about those damned cheaters ruining the game.

The difference is that these were high profile characters that meant a lot to their linkshells and have a voice. They have a place to be heard. But what sets them apart from the evil RMT besides access to this mode of communication and the ability to speak English? One of several reasons for combating RMT is the fact that RMT farm items to sell for profit, which they then turn around and sell to players. There isn't much of a difference. They both hide their methods in order to sustain a money-making scheme, being motivated by personal gain rather than abiding by the rules of the game. To treat them any different than RMT would be hypocritical at best.

An Unprecendented Move

One thing we can all agree on is that this move was unprecedented, which by and large was a huge problem for Vana'diel. Camp after camp, people watched their competition steal claims right from under their noses using automated bots. Square Enix themselves admit to having no way to detect this, so no retribution comes to these players, meaning that eventually the victims begin to realize that they can do the same and not get caught. So, why not? Lack of enforcement has led us to a larger pool of offenders.

These bannings sent a message to the community. Square Enix isn't afraid to topple even the mightiest of its players. But who were these mighty players and what did they really represent? Their willingness to use this exploit gave them an unfair advantage over the rest of the population. How can you say that they would only cheat this way? Why not another way? Why not in all ways? A player willing to do this will logically be willing to risk character assassination again should the reward be good enough.

These players were undoubtedly skilled at their jobs and no doubt many of them had exceptional event leadership skills. But is this efficiency, which affects at maximum 64 individuals at a time, really worth the overall effect on the game's environment? People cannot simply be excused for cheating because they're good at what they do or are a popular figure in a community. They should be held to the same standards as the RMT who ravage the game's economy for personal gain. As far as I know, the RMT aren't given warnings for their illegal activities.

People have the right to their opinions, but don't insult the people who play this game fairly by justifying the actions of the cheaters. While a lot of people feel strongly about the harshness of Square Enix, there are a whole lot more who are simply glad to see justice done.

This Tarutaru certainly is.

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Bannable Offenses
# Feb 04 2009 at 6:20 PM Rating: Default
Here are all 3 posts from [GM]Dave:
(extra space lines removed)

Friday, January 23, 2009
So...
Not much going on in the world today.
No, sir. Not much at all.
Really nothing to talk about.
There's honestly nothing going on in the gaming world. Especially when it comes to FFXI.
Nope.
Nothing.
...
Okay... You may have noticed a wee little story about us banning almost a thousand players.
More of a blurb really.
Here's the official story:
"In November 2008, we discovered an issue that allowed players to create multiple items for certain treasures and rewards in areas such as Salvage and Assault by exploiting the game system.
The issue was fixed during emergency maintenance on November 26, 2008. However, we discovered that some players had already exploited the issue and used it to gain additional items before it was addressed. We then investigated more than a year's worth of logs throughout all areas.
As a result of the investigation, approximately 400 players were temporarily suspended based on the evidence gathered. Approximately 550 players who committed more serious misconduct had their accounts banned.
We are working hard to ensure that these kinds of issues do not occur again in FINAL FANTASY XI. However, if you discover any problems with the game system, please submit a GM call or fill out the feedback e-mail form to report the problems to us, instead of exploiting or spreading the issue.
We thank you for your cooperation in this matter."

Here's the short version:
People cheated.
We banned them.
Yeah.
Pretty cut and dry, right? I mean, cheaters get banned.
That's how that sh*t is supposed to work.
Basically, a bunch of players discovered a bug where they could force the system to create duplicate drops in certain events.
This was, of course, completely against the rules.
Duh.
So, yesterday, a whole bunch of people went to log in and got a nice little message labeled LM-17.
Something about a door and not letting it hit you in the **** on your way out.
I'm not sure who suggested the LM-17 message.
I suggested we fly to each player's house, kick them in the groin, and set their computer on fire.
Apparently, that just wasn't "cost effective".
Remember when it used to be about the customers?
And the groin kicking?
That was a better time.
No, I get to work and my supervisor comes in.
Supervisor>> People...
Supervisor>> We're banning almost 1,000 accounts today.

A ripple of cheers went though the crowd.
[GM]Someguy>> Why are we banning them?
He's new.
The new guys always need a reason to ban people.
Rookies.
Supervisor>> ...
Supervisor>> The duping exploit.

The cheers broke off suddenly. A grim silence covered the room.
Every head turned to look at Craig.
In November, Craig had been put in charge of reviewing logs for evidence of duping.
Thousands of logs.
Thousands upon thousands of logs.
As the weeks had dragged on, he'd started to fall apart.
Every day. Reading log after log.
The grammar.
Dear God, the grammar.
Sometimes, when the GM floor was quiet, you could hear him talking to himself.
And weeping.
But, as we all turned to look at him, we noticed something different.
He was smiling.
He looked like the old Craig again, like everything was back to normal.
Well... He wasn't wearing pants.
Healing takes time.
Hands flew to keyboards as we all logged into our accounts.
A thousand characters were about to be so much digital ruin.
My hand was already hovering over my Jormy macro when...
Supervisor>> No, no.
Supervisor>> It's been taken care of.

Taken care of?
Funny... I don't remember hearing anyone screaming.
[GM]Dave>> Sir...
[GM]Dave>> What exactly does that mean?
Supervisor>> We closed all of their accounts.
Supervisor>> And sent them letters.

Letters?
LETTERS?!
WHAT THE SWEET MOOGLE HELL?!
[GM]Dave>> Sir... Another question...
[GM]Dave>> By "letters", do you mean "explosives"?
Supervisor>> No, Dave.
Supervisor>> No explosives.
[GM]Dave>> I don't think I understand...

He said a lot of words after that. Stuff about treating each customer with respect, treating them like people.
I didn't catch a lot of it.
From what I did catch, it amounted to "no killing".
Instead, he informed us that we would be spending the majority of the day dealing with customer service questions relating to the bannings.
Yay. Customer service.
I'm sure I'll regret screaming "BURN HIM!"
Any minute now...
Tomorrow: The Aftermath
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Sunday, January 25, 2009
The Aftermath
When last we left our hero, [GM]Dave was informed he would spend an entire day dealing with the fallout of the duping exploit related bannings.
He was unhappy.
Then he actually started dealing with customers.
He was VERY unhappy.
What in the sweet Jesus **** is wrong with people?
You know you did something wrong. This isn't a big freaking surprise to you.
You were in a party doing a difficult event. During that event, you did something completely unorthodox that magically made three identical treasure pools.
Are you honestly trying to plead ignorance here?
Seriously?
You must be joking.
Here. I've got a joke for you.
What's got extra Salvage gear, but no account?
950 people.
Bah dump psshhh.

All day long, I had to deal with the most retarded, most asinine excuses for this activity.
Or, my personal favorite, the people who tried to rationalize the cheating and why they shouldn't be banned.
Yeah... That'll work.
Let's take a look at some of my favorite excuses/arguments:

1) I didn't know it was an exploit
I could maybe buy that if it happened once.
Or if you reported it to a GM immediately.
That would make sense. Something unexpected happened and it fell outside the range of normal game mechanics.
You would, of course, stop doing this action and report it, right?
If it was a bad thing, we'd hear about it immediately.
Every other update, when something goes wrong, we get umpteen million calls about one tiny little thing that doesn't work properly.
That sh*t drives you guys crazy.
But a similar problem turns out to be beneficial for you?
Oh **** no. If you reported it, they might fix it.
So, you do it again and again, and then have the nerve to get upset when you get banned for it.
Funny how that works, huh?

2) I thought it was an intentional game mechanic
Yeah, we put in that thing that gives you triple the rewards for every kill in an event.
And totally didn't mention it.
That sounds totally like us.
Some people have likened this to fighting Odin and having to heal during a high damage move. They try and suggest that it is a less orthodox mechanic and could be mistaken for an intended action.
Sure...
Let's just completely ignore the fact that one action is designed to mitigate damage and make it easier to defeat a boss, and the other magically gives you triple the drops after the fact.
If we ignore that part, your argument might start to resemble something passing for intelligence.

3) I was just doing what I was told
Really?
This is what you're going with?
Well, now we're telling you to stop playing.
Do that.
If you trusted someone else when they told you to do something entirely out of the ordinary and it produced completely insane results, something should have seemed wrong to you.
A little light should have gone off in your brain.
Maybe the light marked "Oh sh*t..."
You did what you were told and you did something wrong.
That's not an excuse.

4) SE made the mistake, not us
This is one of the big rationalizations people make.
This is also one of the dumbest.
Do you even understand the term "exploit"?
No one is suggesting you used a third party program. No one is suggesting you altered the program.
No one is suggesting you hacked our firewall or whatever.
You literally exploited a flaw in the programming. You found a mistake in a highly complex code and, rather than reporting it and leaving it alone, you took advantage or that flaw for your own gain.
This is the definition of an exploit.
There isn't a gamer on our planet that doesn't understand that exploits are bad and can get you banned.
Sure, someone made the mistake.
I get that.
Have you ever tried to program an MMORPG?
Neither have I, but it looks freaking hard.
People are bound to make mistakes.
As I mentioned before, if that mistake was bad for you, you would have reported it immediately. You'd be screaming at a GM in seconds.
You would expect us to fix that mistake immediately because it had unexpected consequences.
Like if the treasure pool autolotted to nobody.
Every time.
You would lose your mind.
But a similar flaw turns out to give you extra rewards?
Suddenly, that sh*t is someone else's problem.
And when it comes back to bite you in the ass, you turn around and act like the victim.
Nice.

5) It's not against the rules
This is perfectly correct.
Except for that rule that says you can get banned for intentionally exploiting any bug or glitch in the game.
The rule you agreed to when you signed up.
Other than that, perfectly correct.

6) This is a disservice to all FFXI players
Give me a minute...
Laughing too hard.
This is not a disservice to all players.
This is a disservice to the people who got banned.
We have literally removed your service.
Everybody else? They're still good.
They all got to log in the next day.
Oh, I know. I know that the boards and forums are filling up with people outraged about the bannings.
I'd guess there are roughly 950 people making very angry posts.
Now, why does that number sound familiar?
Oh... Right.
Just because you are very angry about getting banned, it doesn't mean everyone is angry about it.
Actually, most people seem very pleased with this.
But I guess 950 people making angry posts about how unfair the whole thing is would seem like a lot.
I guess they have nothing better to do.

7) SE just threw away money
Yes, I realize that all the people who got banned paid their fees every month.
Doesn't matter.
Every cheater pays their fees. If they don't, they don't get to play.
Kind of hard to cheat if you don't play in the first place.
Thus, if someone is found to be cheating in the game, you can be pretty sure they have paid their fees.
And yet, they still get banned.
Huh.
You'd think that SE thinks that the consistency of the game for the majority of the players is more important to them then the fees paid by those who would try and cheat.
Crazy, I know.

8) SE doesn't respect the players
Wait a second... Let's go back one.
SE is throwing away money to ban cheaters.
This suggests that SE puts the happiness of its players above any monetary gain.
They literally sacrificed money to ensure game balance.
For the players.
And then, in the same breath, you're suggesting that SE doesn't care about the players.
That doesn't make any sense.
This is called the "monkey technique".
Basically, they're just throwing sh*t at the wall and trying to see what sticks.
SE care about the players. They care about the customers.
You're just not a customer anymore.

9) This is going to...

You know what? **** it.
You cheated.
And you know you cheated.
I know it. You know it.
We all know it.
You can make all the arguments you want. You can scream your excuses from the rooftops.
Just not any rooftops in Vana'diel.

posted by [GM]Dave @ 4:37 PM
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Monday, January 26, 2009
Can't Talk. Working.
Work continues on fanpack.
First part of fanpack will be sent out tomorrow evening.
I should theoretically be able to sleep on Thursday.
Maybe.
But I'm really liking the fanpack. It's very funny.
It's probably worth all the lost sleep.
Probably.

Anyway, I'm busy working on the fanpack. I'll let you get back to reading forum posts written by either:
a) whiny people who got banned
b) people making fun of whiny people who got banned
I like group b.

posted by [GM]Dave @ 6:12 PM
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Last Thing... I Swear
Okay, this is the last thing I'm going to say about the whole duping controversy.
Wait... Controversy isn't the right word.
A controversy involves two sides that both have valid points.
What's the word for when one side has a valid point and the other side is a bunch of whiny little ****
Anyway...
I wanted to point out one of the dumbest arguments being made.
Then, once I have pointed it out, I'll make fun of it.
You know how this goes.

I don't know how many of you have been following the arguments about the bannings. I guess a lot of it would depend on whether or not you play FFXI.
Or were really, really bored.
I've actually enjoyed reading most of the discussions about it.
It's like watching a car accident. You just can't look away.
This car accident just happens to involve a short bus.

One of the most common points made by the anti-banning (read: whiny **** crowd is that SE has basically stolen or destroyed incredibly valuable accounts.

I'll admit, there are sites where you can sell your account for a chunk of cash.
If you think about it that way, I suppose one could think their account has a certain monetary value.
One guy who got banned had pretty much everything.
I mean everything.
No doubt, that account would have been worth a fortune.
I guess they sort of have a point there.
Well... They WOULD have a point.
They would have a point if it wasn't against like seventeen different rules to sell your account.
At the exact second you decided to try and sell your oh so valuable account, it would become entirely worthless.
See, we ban people for trying to sell their accounts for real world money.
We ban people for lots of things.
Though... I guess you already figured that out.
Ouch.
Your character does not have a real money value. It's not worth anything.
Yes, I know you paid a lot of money to play the game over the years.
Yes, I know you put a lot of time into that character.
Still not worth anything.
This isn't some sort of investment you're working on. You're playing a game.
A.
Game.
The fees you pay each month are for the experience, for the hours you spend hanging out with friends and going on adventures.
You're paying for time so that you can work on that character.
This isn't a freaking secret or something.
We're not running some bait and switch where you went into this thinking you were creating a product to be sold later.
You bought a game.
You played a game.
Then... You got banned from a game.
Nobody owes you anything.
You got exactly what you paid for.
You got time.
Time's up.

posted by [GM]Dave @ 6:17 PM
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Here is the site with other posts not related to this
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One thing about the money we pay (they paid) is that it is also to pay for server maintenance and other game related costs. And, yes, to pay SE employees. You get paid for whatever job you do, so do SE employees. Go figure.

Everything [GM]Dave says is what I've been saying in my other replies & posts.
If you break the rules, you are subject to getting banned. The chance of banning increases the longer you break the rule, and/or the more severe base punishment the rule has.
And some rule breaking can be punished with legal action. And so far I haven't heard of any litagation from SE's side. Some people are lucky that way.
Wait...keep complaining more. Maybe SE will get fed up and take MORE action against you. (Which you agreed they could do when you made your account.)
Anyway, I could rant even more on this subject but I won't right now. People did wrong and got caught. End of story.

Edited, Feb 4th 2009 8:21pm by KlifTheElvaan
____________________________
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Bannable Offenses
# Feb 05 2009 at 10:01 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
*
149 posts
Ha ha, [GM]Dave made me think of one character I for some reason bump into now and then. Me and him was in the same LS for awhile but I got the impression he was slightly manic. He didn't hesitate to MPK his own alliance (most in same LS too) just because he was upset with one person. One day he was inviting lots of ppl to the LS, two days after he was cross-examining some poor new member because he thought the new member was a spy for someone. He was very pushy, playing 24 hours a day, and probably went through Cop at the same time as it took me to do one mission. Not being in such a hurry, having a life most of the time (and kids) and seeing myself (and my game-time) swallowed up in complicated intrigues and plots I backed out of that.
Anyway I keep bumping into him and every time he shows off some new hard-to-get-piece and tell me things like "I am worth 12 million now!"
I was very surpriced not to see him on any ban-list but I guess that just goes to tell: Not all bad people are cheaters, or cheaters are not all bad people (but we can agree on that bad people are bad and cheaters are cheaters, lol).

Anyway, I have at least 70 merits spent. Most gotten while farming or in Campaign. I enjoy my time in Vanadiel even if it means farming a week in the prommys for materials to synth with crafts that it took me a year to get. Those slower times just makes it more sweet when I can put on a new equipment and go hunting for some bigger prey.
I was also a bit worried when I saw all anti-ban writings.

Thank you, Pikko, you are a star.
____________________________
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Hume Male 90BLU (all others between 30 and 46)
Windhurst rank 10, Bastok 3, Sandoria 3, CoP done, RotZ 14, ToAU 29, WoTG 8, NPC lvl 70, alchemy 100+3 (all subcrafts 60, fishing 3 though and synergy 50)
Alf Svensson, Lindblum, on FFXIV
sad
# Feb 03 2009 at 10:11 PM Rating: Default
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226 posts
I feel sad after reading this story. We have to understand that a lot people sharing account because of financial budget. Also, I know a lot of players did not want to commit too much time when first joined FFXI. Thus, they only share account.

However, more they play more time they started to invest on to the game. They started to get AF, rare/ex items, made some friends, and later found out sharing account is not sufficient. Unfortunately, we do not have a way allowing these people to transfer character into a different POL account.

While I have to agree it is your older brother who made this happen, I also tried to put myself into your shoes. If I am in your position, I will be frustrated. As you mentioned, 3 yrs of sentimental investment has been lost ... like the AF your gf helped you to get.

I am really really sorry to hear this. Good Luck, bro. And I hope you can eventually persuade SE to allow you play again. We need player like you. FFXI has less and less players already!

/sea all --> only has 1800 players online --> sad ....
____________________________
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sad
# Feb 04 2009 at 9:38 PM Rating: Decent
8 posts
Heh... thanks for the support, but I know it's not gonna happen. ;) And yes, it was really just me venting frustration... I knew there's nothing I can really do when it concerns IP addresses. Even if I went to meet the dev team and show we're two people, it doesn't say anything about who's playing past that.

I know sharing accounts is an infraction, but it's one we pretty much had to ignore... we started playing when we were 14 and 12, and the idea of each of us having our own account was ludicrous (especially with only one registration key, and those PS2 HDD things were like $100!). Our mom paid for the account for a while, and we weren't about to ask her to pay $24 a month for our gaming habits. If she was gonna do us a favor and be kind enough to pay for that, we were gonna keep it low. So yes, we shared the account and it's breaking the rules but does that really affect gameplay and make it less fun for other players? Not in the least, unless it's like... 8 guys on one account playing the same character 24-7 to level it up as quickly as possible. But that's not this scenario (although, again, can we really say for sure? Absolutely not, but I'd hope my word is at least a little bit trustworthy for now)

And we actually started playing at the same time - none of this "I started, he took it, then we shared." I don't know where you got that idea, Klif. We started out from the very beginning each having a character and we were sharing from the start. I just eventually stopped playing because of other commitments, and my time on the game was dropped to about 3 hours a week.

I know it's OB's fault (by the by: OB is Overburn, not older brother; he's two years my junior ;) ) and he -should- be blamed, but he's also my brother and it's a game. I know I've lost a lot of stuff of personal value, but I'm not going to get absolutely **** at my brother over a game. I mean, I'm not gonna share an account with him for any MMO anymore (especially when I can pay for it now - whoo!) but as far as it goes, I'm just gonna gripe and move on. Maybe start again somewhere else. Who knows.

Anyway, thanks for the replies and support and unsupport. Seriously, I just really had to vent because I was stressed out about losing all of that, but I appreciate the responses and a week later, it doesn't seem all too bad. It's a lot of lost time and money for sure but there's nothing else I can do. So yeah. Happy hunting and best of luck to all. Stay safe. Stay legal! ;)
sad
# Feb 04 2009 at 5:12 PM Rating: Decent
Quote:
I feel sad after reading this story. We have to understand that a lot people sharing account because of financial budget. Also, I know a lot of players did not want to commit too much time when first joined FFXI. Thus, they only share account.

I understand very much about not having much time and also finances being short like they always seems to be nowadays. Still, when you create an account, you agree that you, and only you, will use the account. Time are defiantely hard, but is that any reason to break the law? What law? In essence whenever you sign-up/register an account, you 'electronically sign' all of the Rules of Conduct/Code of Conduct/End User License Agreement (EULA) and agree to follow them...all of them, not just the ones that work best for you. And you also agree that the owners of the game can take legal action against you if you break the rules.

All that being said, you don't really see any (none that I know of) games banning/suspending accounts that are used by more than one person. However, if one of the users does something to get the account banned, you have no one else to blame but the users. If it was your account...sorry to say but you already broke one rule letting OB use your account. If you didn't keep an eye on him and make sure that he was following the rules (which you weren't doing anyways by sharing) then, again, you have only yourself to blame.

Quote:
I am really really sorry to hear this. Good Luck, bro. And I hope you can eventually persuade SE to allow you play again. We need player like you. FFXI has less and less players already!

Sorry but I hope SE sticks by its decision, which I'm guessing they will. How long was the account shared? Just how long were you both breaking the rules? I understand he had the account first, then his OB took over, then they both played. "I know lots of people say that justice was served, people got what they deserve... but some people didn't. I just want to be clear about that. I'd never touched Salvage," Who decides who got what they deserved and who didn't? Him? A rule breaker for how long? Those who were caught in the exploiting? Hmmmm...doesn't sound right to me. I will say it again, SE was checking over 1 years worth of logs. So for anyone who got banned...STFU. And for those of you that sympathize with them, maybe SE needs to check your logs. I'm sorry but I am glad SE did what it did and hope they continue.
And just so you know, some of the people who 'participated' in the exploiting but didn't get banned, were there with the full knowledge and support of SE. Sort of undercover. Like a sting operation. Gathering extra log info with party/LS/Alliance chat. Whats that you say? SE had people watching us? Believe it or not SE does care about its players...the legimate ones. You would be surprised how many people actually report suspicious/questionable activities. And sometimes, although rarely, those players are asked to gather more/extra info in their chat logs so that SE can see how the whole 'thing' went.

Edited, Feb 4th 2009 7:23pm by KlifTheElvaan
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Here, Here!!
# Feb 03 2009 at 5:40 PM Rating: Good
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People have the right to their opinions, but don't insult the people who play this game fairly by justifying the actions of the cheaters. While a lot of people feel strongly about the harshness of Square Enix, there are a whole lot more who are simply glad to see justice done.

This Tarutaru certainly is.

And so is this Elvaan.
I already ranted on the original story and won't repeat myself here except to say that these people were exploiting the game for their own profit/reasons. And I for one am glad they're gone. I hope other players take note of this and wake up.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1Tim 6:10(KJV)” While the Bible doesn't usually have a place in games, it seems that it is pretty accurate in this case.
Okay, I'm done....for now. I'll have to wait and see what other people post.

Edited, Feb 3rd 2009 7:41pm by KlifTheElvaan
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#Gawane, Posted: Feb 01 2009 at 1:39 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) For the love of god. Could we please just drop this already. It's over with. Can't we just move along now and get on with are lives. I forone am getting sick of this. I would like to see the player base grow up a bit and just get on with life...... Did they Dupe..... YES. Did they get baned...... YES. Now that we have that established, can we just move on now? I would like to see more then just this constent bickering about it. I am sure that SE has things coming that they'd like to tell us but we seem to be to quote U2, we're "Stuck in a Moment and We can't Get out of it."
Ergh
# Feb 01 2009 at 1:37 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't usually post here... in fact I might not post here again after this since I was perma-banned. I know most are going to see it as a sob story but the subject still frustrates me on a lot of levels, and above all else I just need to vent my story in the hopes that it can be understood that not all of these people who were banned were outright cheaters and scumbags and what-have-you.

My brother and I have shared an account for the last 4 years... Overburn. I think he's posted here. Maybe some of you know him. That was his character, mine was Kiwizoid. We both played on Garuda, until he moved over to Shiva to join a serious endgame LS. I didn't play all that often anymore after that since it took most of his time and I have college now. I'd play once in a while, log on after I got home and he was in bed and I'd play with my girlfriend (who I actually met through the game and we've been together for the last 3 years - good deal). Duoing, hanging out, random adventures, **** like that. Nothing serious. Last week I got home and logged on to an LM-17... check elsewhere and surprise, there's been a massive banhammer thrown down for a Salvage exploit. Bad sign.

I call support, and they say it's a perma-ban and I ask if it's for the exploit and they say yes. I ask OB and he admits he did it about "a dozen" times in Salvage with his linkshell... but that's all R/Ex cells, isn't it? It can't be right. I don't know.

I know lots of people say that justice was served, people got what they deserve... but some people didn't. I just want to be clear about that. I'd never touched Salvage, the last endgame thing I really did was Dynamis and a bit of sky almost a year ago; some Campaign. Lots of small things, but I'd never used an exploit (to my knowledge) and now I've lost 4 years of work on my characters, about 220 days of playtime (last I checked), 3 years of sentimental value and gifts from my g/f and who knows what else. I can't transfer my characters, I can't log in to my account, I can't feel good wearing the AF that my g/f helped me get or the couple of relic pieces that we got from the Dynamis LS together. Even if I effectively stopped playing seriously, a lot of damage was done to me because of my brother.

And I can't blame him. I can't blame SE either, because I know if this didn't affect (effect? lol) me, I'd say they got it coming to them and it's their **** fault for using a bug for so long and keeping it hidden (I had OB explain what he knew after I confronted him - he said something about they tried keeping it on the down low until some idiot posted it on a forum somewhere to get some hacking tools. I don't know if that's true or not). But then it involves you when you weren't involved and suddenly you start saying it was too harsh and that they need to reactivate some accounts... hopefully yours.

I don't know where I'm going with this. But Pikko... I remember seeing you around a few times... mostly the zone to Bastok Mines for some reason. I don't think I'd be posting this comment if you, another Garudian (Garudite...? Who knows), hadn't written this. I've thrown you a +1 and I'd throw you some more if I could. It's a great article and you're right... there's a lot of hypocrisy abound because of this situation. Maybe I'm a good example of that. The motto of "Greed kills" certainly doesn't help when the drop rates and difficulty of the game only accent the desire for really, really awesome gear through self-sacrifice of free time and ethics to such a degree.

But ultimately, I just hope that this changes, even slightly, the many-minded who say that they're simply glad to see justice done... this Hume certainly isn't.

(That last line totally goes against my point I think but I couldn't resist the parallelism)
Ergh
# Feb 03 2009 at 5:15 PM Rating: Decent
Quote:
My brother and I have shared an account for the last 4 years

I believe that sharing an account violates the EULA/CoC/R&P that you (or your brother, whomever created the account) agreed to when the account was started. So, if it was 1 account that you both shared, then it really is a sob story and I could care less because you also broke the rules. If it was 2 accounts on the same IP then you were definately wronged, but how else can they stop your brother who, as you said, "I ask OB and he admits he did it about "a dozen" times in Salvage with his linkshell".
Quote:
And I can't blame him. I can't blame SE either, because I know if this didn't affect (effect? lol) me, I'd say they got it coming to them and it's their **** fault for using a bug for so long and keeping it hidden (I had OB explain what he knew after I confronted him - he said something about they tried keeping it on the down low until some idiot posted it on a forum somewhere to get some hacking tools. I don't know if that's true or not). But then it involves you when you weren't involved and suddenly you start saying it was too harsh and that they need to reactivate some accounts... hopefully yours.

It seems to me that OB (Older Brother?) is exactly who needs to be blamed here. It was his actions that got the account/IP banned. And personally, I hope they do review the bans and determine whether or not certain people/accounts were involved. But for all of those who took part in the exploit, I hope they stay gone.
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Ergh
# Feb 03 2009 at 12:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Yeah, The problem you are experiencing, Kiwizoid, is an unfortunate side effect of allowing a cheater to access the game on your internet. Its not square's fault you were banned, it's your brother's. anybody can buy two accounts, to actually make sure they banned an offender, online games and forums ban every account linked to the IP associated with the offending account. To put an extreme take on it, lets say there was a hacker, and he stole several accounts on a game and profited, and there are two accounts on that IP, do you expect them to only ban one of them because the guy on the line from the hacker's house says he's the hacker's brother?

Just not going to happen. I would have a firm talk with your sibling, possibly with your parents if he's an older sibling and won't listen, and make sure he understands that you do not appreciate him getting you banned because he had to get X weapon on a game.
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could we just drop this ...
# Jan 31 2009 at 3:17 PM Rating: Default
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Was yet another long article needed to be on the front page when we log onto the site to just play and enjoy the game ?

Edited, Jan 31st 2009 6:31pm by sirtebian
Salvage Duping
# Jan 31 2009 at 11:55 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
A player willing to do this will logically be willing to risk character assassination again should the reward be good enough.


I'm sorry, but this just isn't necessarily true. Numerous studies in Social Psychology have shown that a person who is likely, let's say, to rob a bank, is NOT the same person who would be likely to commit a murder. In other words, people who may commit one crime are no more likely to commit an entirely different crime than anyone else. Duping Salvage gear didn't hurt anyone directly. Unlike botting or monopolizing NMs, it's not denying anyone else of anything.

With all of the subjectivity that was involved in the process (some people getting off free who were severe offenders, while people who received no gear but were in the same party getting perma-banned), perma-banning was not the right action to be taken. Having to read over a year's worth of logs, you can't realistically expect it to be fair. If they wanted to send a message, they could have just issued temp bans.

Edit: Just to clarify, I did not take any part in this duping (heck, I didn't even know about it), thus I did not get suspended or banned.

Edited, Jan 31st 2009 2:56pm by CyriteTaru
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Salvage Duping
# Feb 03 2009 at 1:08 PM Rating: Decent
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AAAAHHHHHHAAAHAAAHAAAHABWAAAAA AHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAA LMAOROFLOTHERLAUGHINGINDICATOR

whew.. not hurting anybody like RMT, man, that's a good one. *wipes eye*

RMT strategy
Step 1: cheat for goods
Step 2: sell goods on AH for a price they control
Step 3: Profit (cash)

Duper strategy
Step 1: Cheat for goods
Step 2: Sell goods on AH for a price they control
Step 3: Profit (gil, popularity, gear..)

Its the exact same thing to the community the only thing that changes is what kind of profit they receive. wait, my psychic intuition tells me somebody will retort with 'well they are introducing more of the rare item, making it easier for others to get them'

and of course that'd be incorrect. say there is 1 of *insert name here* in the AH for 10,000,000 gil, by duping, this group has 3 of said item, what will they do you ask? knowing that nobody else can really get ahold of this item they will BUY the item on the AH, probably for an inflated price, then put all four items up for sale at the new higher price. just. like. RMT. Does.
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Salvage Duping
# Jan 31 2009 at 2:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Except we're not talking about murder and bank robbery. We're talking about cheating in a game and the likelihood of those same individuals exploiting in another way should the circumstances be the same. Let's say a BCNM dupe comes along, don't you think that if that person can justify to themselves that it's not hurting anyone directly, that they'd do that one too? What about when their next claim gets stolen? Don't you think they could justify using bots themselves by saying that they're simply leveling the playing field?
Consistency
# Jan 30 2009 at 6:02 PM Rating: Decent
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A shorter way to explain these issues with "consistency" would be just to say that their was a LACK of consistency with the how serious the offenses of the cheaters were.

Some were WAY worse than others.

Just like robber wouldn't get the same sentence as a murderer. The effort was to make sure individual crimes get the right sized punishment.

This shows that SE is obviously taking care with these investigations since the short-sighted/LAZY thing to do would be to just blindly ban all offenders and be done with it without analysis.

Just like how they don't ban botters in HNMs, A lot of innocent players would get caught in the cross-fire of the ban hammer just for getting a lucky claim. Then said claimer would be reported by a competing shell (prolly reported by someone who was using a bot and **** he lost claim). Peeps would prolly quit if their was no point in doing endgame for risk of banning, and ffxi would prolly really die.
yadda yadda yadda
# Jan 30 2009 at 1:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Sorry, but the argument for consistency is rather stupid here.

RL police can't catch EVERY single person that commits a crime. But they bust the people that they can find sufficient evidence for. Does this mean that since punishment isn't consistent across the board for every person that commits a crime, we shouldn't bother having police to begin with?

Bottom line -- whether you got suspended or banned, you probably deserved it. I've yet to hear of anyone who got the banstick say that they never duped or participated in a dupe.
yadda yadda yadda
# Jan 30 2009 at 8:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Fynlar wrote:
Sorry, but the argument for consistency is rather stupid here.

RL police can't catch EVERY single person that commits a crime. But they bust the people that they can find sufficient evidence for. Does this mean that since punishment isn't consistent across the board for every person that commits a crime, we shouldn't bother having police to begin with?


Wrong question. The correct analogous question would be:

If two criminals committed the same crime, let's say theft, should they get the same punishment? And if not, should their punishment at least be consistent with just how much was stolen (e.g. grand theft vs petty theft; and should grand theft have a harsher punishment than petty theft)?

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# Feb 02 2009 at 1:36 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
If two criminals committed the same crime, let's say theft, should they get the same punishment? And if not, should their punishment at least be consistent with just how much was stolen (e.g. grand theft vs petty theft; and should grand theft have a harsher punishment than petty theft)?


SE reserves the right to ban. They do not even need a reason. Thing is, if you cheat, they have a good reason and you cannot really make a defense for yourself, at all.

If you got away with only a suspension, you got lucky, just like all the people who never got busted at all. And in some cases, it might be easy to determine whether or not someone broke the rules, but it may be harder to determine to what extent those rules were broken.
Ohhh... I see
# Jan 30 2009 at 12:56 PM Rating: Good
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I feel way less ignorant on how exactly dupes could affect the game. Thanks.
I learned something finally in all of this.
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lol
# Jan 30 2009 at 10:15 AM Rating: Default
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The players who duped in salvage probobly SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BANNED!!!!!!

They should have been stripped of any and all salvage gear and all gil on all characters reduced to 0 and a 3 month ban... now that woulda been a kick in the balls lol
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Quote a few months before the mass salvage banning:
couerlmaster wrote:
And stfu with the banstick, this is hardly traceable and so widespread throughout the EG community there's nothing SE can do w/o banning half the EG community on every server


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0O8qb58bHY
Crying Foul.....again
# Jan 30 2009 at 8:11 AM Rating: Decent
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Fine those people who used the dupe got banned while others received a suspension. And of course per usual player base people call foul or cry about it. When the task force was created people called BS and said there will be no change. And then when they started bans on RMT is was yay but how come you guys are still banning X amount a month/quarter? It became a joke when they posted that to the community. And now that they decided to ban non RMT for using dupes and cheats again everyone cries foul.

I'm sure SE is tired of the fan base crying all the time. Drops are to low, this monster is hard, now the monster is to easy, bots still exist. Waa waa waa. Mebbe SE is tired of this and just lashed out because no matter what they do the community generally lashes out.

I am sure some innocent people got caught up, it happens sometimes. But from reading posts, interviews and such. There is very little praise to SE for what they do get right. And if what they are doing is so wrong then they you should leave. SE took a strong stance on this and did what they think is right. Even if it is 2 years late. And if these players who have used the dupe for 2 years are as great as people claim then they really shouldn't have needed the dupe.
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#lolbs, Posted: Jan 30 2009 at 6:59 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Fun. You people who says : all who used glitch are dirty bastards , you deserved this ! I dont want cheating players in this game so get out !
theory
# Jan 30 2009 at 12:07 AM Rating: Good
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I guess I'm the only one that looked at it this way, but I kinda believe that the glitch was left in the game on purpose as a means to have dirt on those that SE and the fanbase believed to be botting.

Let me give you a real world example. The law knew Al Capone was dirty. The people knew Al Capone was dirty. The people wanted the law to do something about Al Capone, but the law simply couldn't link him to the **** he did... so they arrested him for tax evasion.

The players want botters gone. The admins can't PROVE that botters bot. So they leave in this piece of bait that is irresistable to the type of people that would bot... then reel them in for that instead. Need proof?

Minidragon got busted for item duping... Minidragon admitted to botting afterwards in his post on the NiN forums. S-E gave the players what they wanted... they attacked the people botting mobs like Fafnir... even if they had to think of some other reason to take them down.

Naturally, alot of non-botters get taken down by this as well, but only because S-E has to be consistant... can't ban some for exploiting and not others... maybe the others are the ones that just got the temp ban.

Mind you this is all just my own personal speculation... but I don't believe that it's too far fetched. Oh, and on an almost unrelated note... I 'AM' holier than you, Kobe... enjoy your ban.
#ShadowviperXI, Posted: Jan 29 2009 at 11:46 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Ok in my LS there were 12 known members to get banned, half of those did salvage, a few helped here and there and one never did salvage. Out of those twelve all but one was perma banned (not the 1/2 ration that SE gives.) One of those perma banned NEVER did salvage and was just doing what was told at a sandworm event. Some of those that were perma banned never even recieved an item. Thats not what upsets me though, even though thats hihgly unfair to that person who never did salvage and was new to endgame, what does upset me is there are still players that participated with the duping and recieved drops and are still in game w/o even being temp banned. The actions from SE are very random from appearance, if they are going to take such action they should of been fair across the board and that is what truly upsets me about this.
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# Jan 30 2009 at 8:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Since the bannings were for Salvage, Assault, AND Sandworm, saying one person never did Salvage but did do as told in a Sandworm battle doesn't really leave them completely in the clear. Unless you meant that no duping went on during those Sandworm battles. :P
Mightiest?
# Jan 29 2009 at 11:03 PM Rating: Good
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Pikko wrote:
These bannings sent a message to the community. Square Enix isn't afraid to topple even the mightiest of its players.


Not so high and mighty now are they?

Things I'd like to comment on, all joking aside, is that only Square Enix decides how High and Mighty you can become. Only they can "allow you the privelege of 'being all you can be.'"

And kudos on the "consistency" card being shot down. That's not a very good argument to begin with.

Pikko wrote:
The consistency argument is bullsh*t. If the police can only find evidence against half the perpetrators, does that mean they should let everyone go? You're just trying to deflect the anger that should be aimed at people like you onto Square Enix by saying, "Okay, I deserved this, but SEs the bad guy because they didn't ban every single one of my cheater friends too!"


And yes i read the reply to that comment, but it still stands that Square was gonna take out whomever they had evidence against. That's just the long and short of it. Is it fair that people doing it longer = no ban, not even a temp, and people doing it once get banned? Well those people got so unlucky to be in the timeframe that Square started checking the logs. the good news is, that since the people who were doing it hardcore, are now gone, but those that aren't are treading on thin ice because their duping logs are more frequent, so I have very little doubt they'll be caught soon. As soon as Square expands their log checking even further, all they need is "that one time of cheating" as many people put it... and bam, that one time is all they need.

Give it a little time and this will all take care of itself the way it should: According to Squares rules that we have no control over.

Is it pretty? not really, but If I can play a fair game with honest players then I'm all for it.

(note: lost one dude i knew of in a shell due to this... it sucks to see him go BECAUSE it's causing some problems in said shell... but as the saying goes... "Whatever happens, happens, and we'll come to meet it when it does.")

Edited, Jan 30th 2009 2:05am by KazumeSR
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#Ranzera, Posted: Jan 29 2009 at 11:03 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) While true, SE has stated that there are no planned regular expansions at this time and that they only have quest downloadable expansions planned at this time. Without regular content adding expansions coming out, SE has more or less assigned FFXI a death sentence. Banning players only accelerates the inevitable.
Meh.
# Jan 30 2009 at 11:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not really sure why you feel three mini-expansions = no new content coming out.
#Ranzera, Posted: Jan 30 2009 at 6:26 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) They will be little more than a quest line that we will be forced to pay for. No new areas, no new aspects to the game. A grand total of 3-5 hours of player entertainment each will not keep the game going.
Meh.
# Jan 30 2009 at 10:32 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
They will be little more than a quest line that we will be forced to pay for. No new areas, no new aspects to the game. A grand total of 3-5 hours of player entertainment each will not keep the game going.
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Mini-expansions DOES NOT EQUAL death of a game. I grow so tired of people saying this. I can only assume you believe this out of some willful ignorance or some feeling of scorn.

Think of it for one minute. It's blatantly obvious that downloadable content is the future of ALL online gaming (for examples just look at PS3/Xbox360/Ipod touch/Iphone). Cheaper production and distribution costs just to name a few of the benefits. More to the point, ever consider that mini-expansions are a foray into this? I consider this a beginning for SE to perfect a superior business model. And unless you can explain why a huge corporation would throw away a billion dollar yearly profit (which has yet to even see a player base decline)... you're just spewing negative conjecture. Can I get an Amen?
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#Voyevoda, Posted: Jan 29 2009 at 3:30 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) While I in no way condone what the dupers did, I have to say I think it sucks SE took the time and energy to go through a year's worth of logs just for this. As far as I was concerned, this was done and over with in the November update. I feel that the time spent going through those logs could have been better spent:
Priorities
# Jan 29 2009 at 5:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Voyevoda wrote:
I feel that the time spent going through those logs could have been better spent:

1. Continuing WotG content.
2. Getting SMNs their new avatars.
3. Figuring a way to track bots. (Pikko graciously mentioned in her article that SE can't detect them yet.)
4. Getting those mini-expansions to us that were promised in late Dec and early Jan.


You are assuming (incorrectly) that the Developement team and the STF are the same people.

Obviously they aren't.
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# Jan 29 2009 at 3:26 PM Rating: Default
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I would be nice if we could just drop this already. It's in the past now whats done is done. They got what they disserved and thats the bottom line. Lets just take what we've learned and move on to the next story. I for one am in a way glad that they got baned. But I'm not going to jumo up and down with joy. I did a Dyna and for the first time got a drop in 2 years and all it took was for me to switch servers. Anyone of us could have been the ones baned so just mark this as a lession learned and take it to heart. This way we all gain from their mistakes and are wiser for it.
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Pikko wins an internet for this.
# Jan 29 2009 at 2:40 PM Rating: Good
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this editorial = made of win.

this is a great writeup, and I entirely agree. Especialy with the part about how it is hipocritical to cheer that RMT get banned but complain about well known players being banned for cheating.
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Go Pikko!
# Jan 29 2009 at 2:26 PM Rating: Good
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Pikko hit the jackpot! Everything that I couldn't get out Pikko did. Good Job because that is really how I feel about these people.

I still think SE is a bit harsh but what is a law put in place if nobody is going to follow it? As a person, we consent to these laws so others can be protected as well as protect others from the unjust. SE set the rules. Abide to them, you'll be fine. Break them, and your gone. It is as simple as that. There is no "I only did something that the game allowed me to." That is like saying, "I only did it because my commander told me to!" (or something of that sort... which is related to history but I won't get into it)

It was a mistake that SE didn't intended for and couldn't catch until just now.

"You saw the light." Sure you did, and so does the many homicidal people in the world. You did it and you going to pay the price, no question ask. If you value yourself, you might as well value others before you commit a homicide. Same logic, don't want to get banned? I suggest you don't exploit, use bots, etc.

It is like exploiting the market, sooner or later you are going to get caught and put onto trail. Laws are fixed to better the whole of the public. Take the Vertical market system, ever wonder why it was banned from happening? It is a monopolization of some area of the economy. This is monopolization of the economy.

Anyways like I said Pikko summed everything I couldn't. I could write a long page worth of this event but it'll just be a jumble mess as I go from one idea to another.

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# Jan 29 2009 at 1:38 PM Rating: Default
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The gripe I have, while hard to prove, is SE's 'guilty by association'.

Player A and player B are paid with the same credit card. Player B dupes, player A does not. Both get banned.

Player A joins a LS who in the past (before player A joins) duped but not anymore. Or duped when player A was not in that raid. Player A has no idea. Player A gets banned along with some others of that LS.

Along with the above. Player A is in a raid with a LS setting up to dupe. Player A drops the pearl and leaves the raid. Player A still gets banned.

While remote, the possibility is still there, especially the first one because I think this is exactly what SE does with RMT.
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My 2 gil.
# Jan 29 2009 at 3:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Alrefie wrote:
The gripe I have, while hard to prove, is SE's 'guilty by association'.

Player A and player B are paid with the same credit card. Player B dupes, player A does not. Both get banned.

Player A joins a LS who in the past (before player A joins) duped but not anymore. Or duped when player A was not in that raid. Player A has no idea. Player A gets banned along with some others of that LS.

Along with the above. Player A is in a raid with a LS setting up to dupe. Player A drops the pearl and leaves the raid. Player A still gets banned.

While remote, the possibility is still there, especially the first one because I think this is exactly what SE does with RMT.


Well, SE did comb through thousands of logs. I'm sure they were able to take into account the many different possibilities with the year+ worth of logs, and banned or temp banned appropriately (or close as possible).

I wouldn't believe a perma banned player who says "I only did it once!!!"
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# Jan 29 2009 at 1:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Who in their right mind would find sitting at an HNM Spawn point just to watch a bot out claim you as "FUN" wtf?! Seriously? *sigh* SE what is wrong with you.
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# Jan 29 2009 at 3:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Raidenleonhart wrote:
Who in their right mind would find sitting at an HNM Spawn point just to watch a bot out claim you as "FUN" wtf?! Seriously? *sigh* SE what is wrong with you.


Sitting at an HNM camp and competing with other linkshells for the pop is fun. It's the bots that ruin it. Get rid of the bots and the problem is fixed.

If you don't want to compete you can do Einherjar for the same abjurations. Odin drops everything but ridill, d-ring and assault breastplate as well as some other great stuff and you don't have to compete with anyone to fight him.

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I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
WTG FTW Pikko!
# Jan 29 2009 at 1:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nice job Pikko!

I couldn't agree more with what you said. Elitist people in this game, while important, should be held to the exact same standards as everyone, from casual players to RMT. In the past, if a player was found to be using an exploit, botting, or buying Gil, just that was enough for the person to leave the game. This clear exploit went on for too long, and all involved got what they deserved.
To say that the line wasn't fairly drawn is ludicrous; You break the game, you face the consequences.

Thank god you posted this Pikko, I was worried with the first editorial that Allah took an overall Anti-ban attitude towards this whole situation. You've proven once again that Allah is still the best place for balanced information, and is run (at least, in part) by down to earth, normal people, not elitist end-game players.
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# Jan 29 2009 at 12:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Pikko, I need to take a moment and thank you for the contribution of that counter-argument. You have proven to me yet again why you are, without a doubt, my favorite community administrator.

This provides a better representation of the population of the game as a whole, rather looking at it from the idea that endgame is the only game in FFXI. The Majority of the games population, throughout the world, are in the general consensus that this was a good move on SE's part.

Yes, people would like to know the details concerning the severity of the punishment on a case by case basis, but honestly, it's my guess that the issue was regarded more as a whole.

It's very hard to properly represent the community when the minority try their hardest to be in the spotlight. From issues to HNM camping Kings as a huge issue to as simple as "Why would anyone want less than 20k/hr?" When you realize that in spite of such propaganda, there are a great deal of people satisfied with meriting via Campaign and the majority to the players of the game don't even bother camping kings.

It boils down to playing this game for standing vrs playing this game for fun. It was an inevitable divide in the players that happens to most if not every MMO. Unfortunately, early on SE fed heavily into the 'standing' type of playstyle and a lot of the game's difficulty reflects that. Weather or not the recent turn of events may influence SE's approach to some of these powerful pieces of gear we will have to wait and see.

If Dynamis is any indication, it may still be a long time before we see an improvement in drop rates, but they may yet happen.

Edited, Jan 29th 2009 3:48pm by Hyrist
#KobetheTaru, Posted: Jan 29 2009 at 6:47 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Ban or no ban, most everyone here is missing the god **** @#%^ing point, & apparently, even you Pikko. The @#%^ing point is where is the consistency in the bannings??? Or even where is the god **** line drawn in the sand? Some got off with a slap on the wrist, while others who to the same degree of cheating, got what is essentially the death penalty.
If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Feb 03 2009 at 6:15 AM Rating: Good
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Duping in Salvage may not have a palpable and easily seen effect on other via gil but the affect on server prices of the craft items do get altered by the fact you dupped. It's basic supply/demand. The duppers got their items 3 times as fast as a normal group. The craft items for these salvage pieces stayed at the same rate of entry into the economy. The more Salvage drops you got the more demand their was for the items needed to upgrade, meaning less to go around, meaning the price for the items goes up. You getting your items made Joe-the-average player have to have more gil to upgrade their earned pieces.

You got your items faster, you feel like it had no effect on anyone else, but it does. This is not a one-player game, every thing you do has an effect on someone, be-it direct or indirect it's there. Sandworm duping it's easy to see, the shell got 3x the gil from every drop and with the rarity of both Sandworm and it's drops the prices were at an elevated level. They retained that level because everyone assumed there was only one of the sellable items entering the server per day, giving it a worth that was not backed up by the actual numbers.
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If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 12:24 PM Rating: Good
It speaks much to your character that you would use such writing style. I for one will be glad to be rid of each person like you. No manners? Get out. Foul mouth? Get out. Cheater? Get out. Aggressive? Get out. Enjoy your $30/month, the economy is begging you to save that money to buy an airline ticket to any country without internet access.
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If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 9:03 AM Rating: Excellent
This is the court of SE. You're not entitled to a fair and speedy trial.

Every time a person screams "Where's the consistancy in these bannings", I want to rip a head off.

First of all, if you wish to know why some people got perma-banned, and others didn't, it's because some were far more serious offenders than others. Some people duped r/e items from salvage, while some duped those, plus drops from nyzul, and even saleable drops from doomvoid. On top of that, some of these people had been using various other forms of cheats for years as well. It's possible, and likely, that SE came across evidence of that as well when reviewing these logs. Some had been cheating for a long period of time, while others only had done it a few times. If you got permabanned, you got what you deserved. If you managed to get only suspended, count yourself lucky.

Second, in regards to past actions taken by SE, I see this the above statement, and wonder just how long you've been playing this game. SE has always taken a hard stance regarding exploits. This is not the first, and will not be the last time, players have been banned from the game for abusing an exploit.

Lastly, I don't want cheaters in my game. You wanna cheat, go play WoW, then I don't have to listen to you whine when you only get a slap on your wrist for things like this. Oh, but don't whine when that's all the RMT cheaters over there get as well.
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If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 8:36 AM Rating: Excellent
KobetheTaru wrote:
Don't get me wrong, did I use the dupe? Yes.

Do I regret using the dupe, NO.

Would I do it again? Yes.


Guilty. Enjoy your ban.
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# Jan 29 2009 at 7:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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Is that seriously something you put in your post? "You're supposed to be cool cause you're from Hawaii"? Having aloha spirit doesn't mean I like having people like you cheat their way through the game. Maybe you didn't intend to hurt the environment of the game, but you did anyway.

The consistency argument is **** If the police can only find evidence against half the perpetrators, does that mean they should let everyone go? You're just trying to deflect the anger that should be aimed at people like you onto Square Enix by saying, "Okay, I deserved this, but SEs the bad guy because they didn't ban every single one of my cheater friends too!"
#KobetheTaru, Posted: Jan 29 2009 at 4:52 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Why don't you read what I post before you delete it, then, maybe just maybe, you could comprehend it. I never said to let everyone go. You think suspending everyone is letting them go? Get real. If the police doesn't have evidence against someone they have no choice but to let them go.
If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 4:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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If you want me to be honest, as soon as I saw you say that you'd cheat again if you could, I didn't really give a rat's **** about any of your points.

I didn't delete your post. Your settings probably filter out sub-default posts, which means I'm not the only one that thought your post was retarded.

Edited, Jan 30th 2009 1:00am by Pikko
#KobetheTaru, Posted: Jan 29 2009 at 6:02 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Thank you for proving my point about your ignorance.
If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 6:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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At least we have something in common then.
If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 2:50 PM Rating: Decent
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Pikko wrote:
Is that seriously something you put in your post? "You're supposed to be cool cause you're from Hawaii"? Having aloha spirit doesn't mean I like having people like you cheat their way through the game. Maybe you didn't intend to hurt the environment of the game, but you did anyway.

The consistency argument is bullsh*t. If the police can only find evidence against half the perpetrators, does that mean they should let everyone go? You're just trying to deflect the anger that should be aimed at people like you onto Square Enix by saying, "Okay, I deserved this, but SEs the bad guy because they didn't ban every single one of my cheater friends too!"


So not only is he a cheater he's a snitch.
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If it's justice, what happened to the trial?
# Jan 29 2009 at 7:29 PM Rating: Good
You guys are missing his point entirely though. He's not justifying it or making excuses, he's annoyed that there's no consistency or transparency to the process. It seemed to be a half-ass way of doing things, with no real link to the deeds of the people besides duping. Some people who duped nyzul once get permabanned, some people who did it hardcore didn't.

SE does need to have a better relationship with the community, so the damage from things like this is mitigated. Because for such a small amount of people banned, there has been a huge split in the community over it, as the front page of alla shows.
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# Jan 29 2009 at 10:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Look, I got his point. I even agree with it to a certain point. I just don't care that he feels that way or any other way, simply because he said he'd cheat again if given the chance.
Well said!
# Jan 29 2009 at 5:39 AM Rating: Good
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I can't really explain how I feel too much on this subject without making a huge long post.

But I think Pikko has hit the nail right on the head there.

Whiney **** who cheated their way to gear got banned, people who played honestly and worked **** hard for that gear got to continue on with their lives.

Yes SE make mistakes blah blah blah, but we're supposed to be here to help and support them, not abuse a glitch from a mistake that I guess could've easily happened. The fact that some servers had no bannings just shows it was pure chance if you discovered it, not how great or leet you are.

I think that **** me off the most. 'You only knew about it if you were a somebody, or you were important enough to know about it' (That's not an exact quote from BG, but the basic jist of what the guy was saying).

I really hope he got banned.


p.s. [GM]Dave wrote a **** funny blog post on this subject, I would recommend reading lol
Here
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Well said!
# Feb 04 2009 at 4:30 PM Rating: Decent
OMG! I am still LMAO. I actually took the time to read all of his posts, not just the ones about the ban. The fact that he is speaking the total truth in no way makes it less funny, but in fact makes it more hilarious.
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# Jan 29 2009 at 2:46 AM Rating: Good
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Pikko>> I see your two kings, and raise you three aces!

Trumped!
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# Jan 30 2009 at 3:31 AM Rating: Good
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I am a programmer and I believe a reason SE was so heavy handed in handing out bans for this is people don't realize how potentially serious and "Breaking" duping items can be from not just a game balance point of view but from a technical point of view too.

Now I don't have access to SE codeline but it is not too difficult to make an educated guess that an Item in the game will have some sort of "Code" or unique identifier, now the impact of having 2 or 3 items suddenly with the same unique identifier can have major unforseen circumstances (The funniest and most poetically justified would be if one person turned in their 35 piece to turn it into their salvage piece - in effect deleting it from the game- 2 other peoples was deleted along with it. But I digress).

Now bearing this is mind, you could then see why SE would take this so seriously, it would be worse than using a 3rd party tool or partaking in RMT as you could actually break the game as opposed to making the environment slightly unsavoury.

Also from reports I have read people who were truly "Innnocent" or guilty by proximity were only warned or given a temp ban, I'm guessing some of the perm bans have been on SE's radar for a while.
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# Jan 30 2009 at 7:57 AM Rating: Good
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I formerly was a Senior GM for an MMO, and now own my own Database development firm, and i can completely concur with Kubrell on his point. Duping items could very well in fact cause the integrity of the system as a whole to malfunction and in many cases cease to function all together. if done correctly, each item created, whether duped or not, would create its own entry into the database obtaining its own Guid and refID. But what if only a limited amount were allowed by system. If only 37 keys were allowed to be assigned by the system to a set of items, meaning only 37 were allowed to exist, by creating more than intended, you, potentially, could cause system faults and access to the data could be lost entirely. I have to deal with things like this happening all the time, especially with clients that "dupe" new records.

If some cheating asshats, duped items, and cause a system fault that caused me or anyone else out there to lose any or many items they worked hard for, i would lose my mind.

beyond that, if you cheated, you cheated, you got what you deserved.
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# Feb 16 2009 at 2:14 AM Rating: Decent
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I've been playing this game for... (counts out the fingers...)off and on for the last 6 years now. I’ve never purchased gil, though I’ve know people who have. I’ve never used a bot, but I’ve taken down gods along side people who were. I've never overly taken advantage of an exploit tho i knew of almost all of them. From ways to crash the world server through training whole zones with high amounts of mobs. To MPK'ing Botters and gil farmers.

some of you are too young to remember MPK, some people like us in my end game LS's used them for revenge, you botted and stole our spawn of jormy... etc etc etc. others used them to grief or show off. but in all the years I’ve been playing this game the one thing that i've learned is if you dont talk about it, people never learn of it. i never knew of the dupe cheat, probably because i was to busy in doing real fights in dynamis or sky. or maybe i was to busy actually leveling my characters not getting baby sat to 60 by some rdm with a hard on.

I am old school, i remember when the ultimate challenge in this game was realated to the risk we put on the line. i remember becoming excited because i had a critical break but i still got the .1 for gold smithing. i remember seeing my first proc on an item making a +1 for a synth 100 item. i remember how proud i was putting in my bazzar for way more then most could actually pay.

I remember when ToAU was finally released, and how disgusted i was by the changes it made to the game. how easy it seemed to be making it for people to get really awesome gear for half the work we had put in.

and ultimately, i remember when i came back and discovered the joy of level sync. of mobs being... just a little easier to kill then i remembered. has the game made improvements, i would say so. is it a dying community i think not... i play eve online as well as FFXi and WoW. ive played EQ, and EQ2, as well as earth and beyond, i remember phantasy star online. I also remeber a time when half the server pops for FFXi were all rmt. yes nuking the RMT's and glichers as well as botters, takes a chunk out of the community as it stands, but better to sacrifice an arm or a leg then allow it to develop a rot that reaches the heart

i hope that these events that have transpired have taught a valuable lesson to all those affected by it. I know what it means to be bitten by the big number end game bug. there is not much left in this game that i have not done. mostly stuff from WotG. but finally, justice, what goes around comes around, and when you think making use of an exploit might seem like a whole lot of fun just ask your self one simple question. When the S&#T storm hits do you want to get caught out in it?
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