Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Bots Farming SWTOR get Arms Ripped Off

... well they got their accounts disabled anyway! Farmers, and some players, thought it was a good idea to venture into high level zones and camp high level reward chests for hours on end. On some servers, it got to the stage where there were four or five level 15 toons camped around one level 50 reward spawn. The clever little farmers thought they had outsmarted BioWare by venturing into zones that were neutral to their faction; so Republic toons would go into the Sith Heroic area and stand and farm among all the Republic NPCs that would not attacked them. The perfect spot for the farmer was in a safe place away from aggressive mobs, but close enough to be able to collect the respawn of the high level chest or crystal.

BioWare have taken the Wookie approach and have figuratively ripped the appendages off these farmers by first suspending and then banning any accounts that have been involved in credit trading.

To be honest, I am surprised at how little spam I'm getting in the game. I think I have had just two whispers offering me credits over the last three weeks. Unless the farmers find another loop hole that's hard for BioWare to track, it looks like BioWare have gotten it under control pretty quickly.

Some players have kicked up a fuss on Reddit and other social networking sites, complaining that they should be allowed to stand there all day and farm the chests, because the game allows them to and they're just collecting credits for their own use. What these players don't realize is that BioWare are not just cracking down on this because of farmers, they are also protecting the economy balance in the game. Anybody who believes their account has been unjustly banned can submit a petition to BioWare. Stephen Reid has replied, in detail, in the forums about this issue (see below).

If something in the game seems too good to be true, for example, being able to farm a level 50 chest every 10 minutes for 4000-5000 credits a pop, when you are only a level 14 character, I would suggest that you just don't do it, or you might get your arms ripped off ... ask any bot who has played against a Wookie :)

Stephen Reid said:

Our Terms of Service team recently took action against some accounts playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, and we wanted to give you some insight into what happened and why.

First, action was taken against a number of accounts for what's commonly known as 'gold farming' - or in our case, credit farming. These accounts were found to be exploiting the game in a variety of ways to maximize their credits in order to sell them to other players. Our Terms of Service team took action against these accounts and removed them permanently from the game.

Second, a smaller number of accounts were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum. To be completely clear, while players may choose to travel to Ilum earlier than the recommended level (40+) and may loot containers if they can get to them, in the cases of those customers that were warned or temporarily suspended, they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced. 

None of these accounts were banned for their actions and no accounts have been banned for travelling to Ilum while still relatively low level. By comparison, the number of accounts that were warned or temporarily suspended was considerably lower than the number of accounts banned for 'credit farming'.

It's important to remember that our Terms of Service team is extremely careful and thorough in their investigation of any potential exploit or unusual activity in-game. Working closely with the development team and using extensive metrics based on player activity, they are able to determine what is normal player activity, what is unusual and what is exploiting. Our goal is always to ensure a fair game experience for all players while also protecting the rights of individuals, and if people are disrupting the play experience for others action will be taken.

While we will not discuss the details of any individual action, whenever we take action against an account we believe they have clearly broken our Terms of Service. Any action taken against an account can be appealed and in some cases actions have been rescinded. 

While we understand people's concern about actions taken against accounts, please remember the Terms of Service team exists to help ensure a balanced and fair game experience for all. When you see reports of actions taken against someone's account, remember they are choosing to tell their version of the story - and there are two sides to every story.

In summary, our Terms of Service team took action against a number of accounts that were 'credit farming' to remove them permanently from the game. They also warned and temporarily suspended - but did not ban - a smaller number of accounts for activities on Ilum that were decided to be game exploits.

Some adjustments will be made to Ilum in the near future to discourage future exploits. However, the planet is still open to anyone who wishes to travel there.

The goal of the Star Wars: The Old Republic team is to maintain a service for our customers that is fun to play and equitable for everyone. Critical to this goal is making sure that gameplay is fair and reasonable and we are constantly on the lookout for anything that would prove to be a detriment to your gameplay experiences.

Thanks for reading, and we hope this gave you some insights.


  1. So you banned people for what exactly?

    Playing the game you designed poorly?

    Nice job on that.
    If you banned them for botting, I can understand. The community of mmo players can understand.

    But the mistake was yours and not the players.

    Reworded your TOS yet to include "Banning you for whatever we feel like"?

  2. It was only the credit farmers that got the ban as Steven said people just farming it were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum.

    so if you sold credits you got banned if you was just farming and not running a bot you got warned or suspended.