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KeithKanneg's Avatar


KeithKanneg
08.21.2020 , 11:57 AM | #1 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Hey all,

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. We’ve all had to adjust our daily lives, but we’re working it out, trying to stay focused, and continue our efforts to improve our game and your experience. About a month ago, we surprised everyone and released on Steam and it’s been very exciting to see so many new players along with many more who have returned to SWTOR. As a veteran player, it’s pretty fun to group up with players who joined us when we launched and are pleasantly surprised by all the changes we’ve made over the years. It’s also very enjoyable to run with a group of Legendary Players, as well.

I’m sure you have seen how lively our starter planets have been, and this includes all the credit selling advertisers. It’s been an ongoing battle for years and we’ve had to try and strike a balance between potentially frustrating our legitimate players and shutting down all the credit sellers. It’s an old battle every MMO has to fight whenever chat is available. Yet, to be perfectly honest, our efforts haven’t worked out so well. Sure, we made it harder for them, but they are persistent organizations who like to frustrate all of us.

You may have noticed we made a few adjustments, but the hope was you only noticed the results. It might be short-lived, but at least for the time being, we are experiencing a little peace and quiet. Our changes will not stop all the spamming! We need your help as it begins with your spamming reports. We decided if something wasn’t bothering you, then we’re going to allow the chat to come through. So, if you see a credit seller’s message – right click, report it! That will initiate the new processes we put in place. Oh, they’ll try to circumvent, they’ll change their message, they’ll spam more, they’ll add more accounts, more bots, but keep reporting them. They won’t like it.

That’s the first step.

But perhaps one of the most important is to stop buying from them. You put your credit card, your password, your account, and all your inventory at risk. You don’t know these companies and based on the fact they are violating our Terms of Service every time they advertise, they obviously don’t care about rules. We enforce our rules by typically banning the accounts they use, but we also know they have inventories of bot accounts, so it’s a never-ending battle. For example, over the past few weeks, we’ve eliminated tens of thousands of their accounts that they’ve created or acquired over the years. I won’t give you the details, but it took us some time to track down their networks. We have more efforts planned, but it was a good start.

With respect to protecting your account – never give out your password and if you don’t already have one, add a Mobile Security Key. That adds an extra layer of protection especially if your email has been compromised. And, remember to change your passwords periodically (on all your accounts), just as another way to protect you and yours.

Bottom line, we’ve implemented a variety of changes and will monitor/adjust as we can. The credit spammers might move around, change their tactics, and try to disrupt your gameplay. Just report them and we’ll handle the rest.


Thanks,

--Keith--
Keith Kanneg | Project Director
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RikuvonDrake's Avatar


RikuvonDrake
08.21.2020 , 12:16 PM | #2
Hopefully, you will also improve the customers support the ability to combat these through reports and tickets, there are several times where myself and others have reported characters spamming on fleet, starter planets or via mail to you via the ticket system, then had the ticket closed with the standard reply and then see the same character posting on general chat or getting a mail a few weeks later.

When that happens it has a diminishing effect on players will to continue to report these characters.

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NeoBlakkrstal's Avatar


NeoBlakkrstal
08.21.2020 , 12:24 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post

But perhaps one of the most important is to stop buying from them. You put your credit card, your password, your account, and all your inventory at risk. You don’t know these companies and based on the fact they are violating our Terms of Service every time they advertise, they obviously don’t care about rules. We enforce our rules by typically banning the accounts they use, but we also know they have inventories of bot accounts, so it’s a never-ending battle. For example, over the past few weeks, we’ve eliminated tens of thousands of their accounts that they’ve created or acquired over the years. I won’t give you the details, but it took us some time to track down their networks. We have more efforts planned, but it was a good start.

Bottom line, we’ve implemented a variety of changes and will monitor/adjust as we can. The credit spammers might move around, change their tactics, and try to disrupt your gameplay. Just report them and we’ll handle the rest.


Thanks,

--Keith--
Hey Keith, might I suggest that EA go the way of WoW and start selling in game currency yourself. I have never purchased from one of these spammers, but must admit to having been tempted. That being said, given the need for millions upon millions of credits under the current economic situation in game, I would love to be able to actually purchase credits from EAware. Just a suggestion I would love to see at some point.
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KeithKanneg's Avatar


KeithKanneg
08.21.2020 , 12:39 PM | #4 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Quote: Originally Posted by RikuvonDrake View Post
Hopefully, you will also improve the customers support the ability to combat these through reports and tickets, there are several times where myself and others have reported characters spamming on fleet, starter planets or via mail to you via the ticket system, then had the ticket closed with the standard reply and then see the same character posting on general chat or getting a mail a few weeks later.

When that happens it has a diminishing effect on players will to continue to report these characters.
I hear you. Let's see if the volume reduction will help us be more responsive. We will continue reviewing the results and make adjustments on the back-end.

---Keith
Keith Kanneg | Project Director
Follow us on Twitter @SWTOR | Like us on Facebook
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Jdast's Avatar


Jdast
08.21.2020 , 12:42 PM | #5
Let's stipulate that for obvious reasons BW is not going to provide details on actions taken against specific accounts. Completely understandable. But...

I do think you could publish twice a year (or so) the overall number of actions taken.

Doing so would go a long way to incentivizing the player base to submit reports. Frankly, I stopped submitting reports b/c it seemed like I was playing whack-a-mole. While I love that game, I prefer playing SWTOR -- so instead -- I just decided to turn off general chat, which has its own pros and cons.

Regards,

Dasty

ButeoRegalis's Avatar


ButeoRegalis
08.21.2020 , 12:42 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by NeoBlakkrstal View Post
Hey Keith, might I suggest that EA go the way of WoW and start selling in game currency yourself.
You already can, though you have to go through the extra hoop of getting cartel coins, buy something with cartel coins, hope you bought something worthwhile, sell that something on the AH, pay the AH tax, PROFIT!

... which is quite cumbersome.

I understand there might be reluctance to directly link real world currency to in game credits.

A solution would be something like the Guild Wars 2 model, where you can sell the premium currency (cartel coins) on the AH directly, while also implementing a "buy order" system. If the current AH doesn't support this, maybe develop a new AH that is (initially?) limited to cartel coin trades.
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hawkages's Avatar


hawkages
08.21.2020 , 01:37 PM | #7
Maybe you should make an anonymous poll and find out why people buy credits in the first place and address it. When the expansion launched people were upset about prices being so drastically high for set pieces and tacticals for a normal player and this has since never been addressed. Theres so much you have to buy/spend credits on that i'm not surprised in the slightest people buy from the sellers and create a reason for advertisements to happen in the first place.

Tsillah's Avatar


Tsillah
08.21.2020 , 01:55 PM | #8
Well Keith. With 6.0 Onslaught of RNG and credit sinks, you gave them more business. I'm not advocating using these sites but there are many who cannot afford to gear up and craft anymore.

In order to enjoy this game to the fullest you need lots of credits. And as much as I deplore that, you've created the need and therefore the business.

It's all good and well to point at players for pulling their wallets but ask yourself why they're risking this? Some of those reasons are in your hands. And I mean I can afford some CM purchases but even I think the pricing is ridiculous.

And let's be honest. If all people started buying CM items and selling them on the GTN, prices would go down and it would lose its appeal. So the high pricing only serves a small segment of the player base and yourselves. If all players started crafting and selling their craftables on the GTN, then you couldn't make a profit either. In short, anything that makes enough credits to keep up with the CREDIT COST OF PLAYING THE GAME is only for some players. The vast majority can never do that because the more people do it the less profitable it becomes.

So perhaps players would take your words a bit more seriously if you didn't push them towards these credit sellers. It's my view on things but there they are. Ever since 6.0 the in game credit cost of playing the game (namely gearing and crafting) has become a LOT higher. You know this. So how can you expect players to not feel that's unfair and feel motivated to use these credit sellers? Their prices are low. There is a risk but when people cannot enjoy the game because they have to grind dailies every day then I ask you, what did you expect?
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Sareeph's Avatar


Sareeph
08.21.2020 , 01:59 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post

You may have noticed we made a few adjustments, but the hope was you only noticed the results. It might be short-lived, but at least for the time being, we are experiencing a little peace and quiet. Our changes will not stop all the spamming! We need your help as it begins with your spamming reports. We decided if something wasn’t bothering you, then we’re going to allow the chat to come through. So, if you see a credit seller’s message – right click, report it! That will initiate the new processes we put in place. Oh, they’ll try to circumvent, they’ll change their message, they’ll spam more, they’ll add more accounts, more bots, but keep reporting them. They won’t like it.

Thanks,

--Keith--
Hopefully there is something in place to protect honest people from being spam reported. Not a mindless code that just counts reports and bam, your account is deleted. Imagine all the people trying to sell items through chat without going through the GTN or those trying to recruit people in to their guild just getting whacked because of a right click.

jaingskiratanuul's Avatar


jaingskiratanuul
08.21.2020 , 02:58 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by ButeoRegalis View Post
You already can, though you have to go through the extra hoop of getting cartel coins, buy something with cartel coins, hope you bought something worthwhile, sell that something on the AH, pay the AH tax, PROFIT!

... which is quite cumbersome.

I understand there might be reluctance to directly link real world currency to in game credits.

A solution would be something like the Guild Wars 2 model, where you can sell the premium currency (cartel coins) on the AH directly, while also implementing a "buy order" system. If the current AH doesn't support this, maybe develop a new AH that is (initially?) limited to cartel coin trades.
which would also screw over all the referral buyers, now that there would be a direct price on CC. win-win!