Korea Halts Facebook Microtransactions


korean facebook ban

Way back in 2011, I talked about the Games Rating Board in South Korea, and how the government organization was investigating certain video games to determine whether or not the virtual lotteries were in violation of the country’s strict anti-gambling laws. Fast forward to 2014, and South Korean gamers woke up to find that many of their Facebook games are currently unplayable. The Games Rating and Administration Committee has placed a blanket ban on all Facebook game payments, pending individual approvals by the board. Developers will have to submit their games and pay a fee to have them approved by a panel. Games found in violation of South Korea’s anti-gambling laws will presumably be rejected and banned in the country.

(Source: Latis Global)

Top 5: Obnoxious Gamers Who Eventually Get Banned


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The number one article request I get here at MMO Fallout is when someone gets banned from an MMO and wants me to write a scathing piece about how the developer wronged them. I don’t follow through with them, but that doesn’t mean I am not paying attention. Years of wrongful ban claims and actively engaging with communities has lead to my list of the top five obnoxious gamers who will eventually find their access to a game/forum revoked.

This list is mostly derived from my experience running several game servers (Counter Strike, Medal of Honor, Battlefield, etc) and GM’ing an MMO. I didn’t want to call this a list of trolls as it would imply that they are self-aware. Many remain blissfully ignorant of their own culpability.

5. The Loudmouth

The loudmouth refers to the kind of person who inevitably gets banned or suspended from a large portion of the servers that he plays on. You’ll often find him on forums complaining about his forum/game suspensions, claiming innocence while using liberal amounts of expletives and comparing the customer support to Nazis. He doesn’t know why he was suspended for misbehaving, after all he didn’t do anything out of line unless you’re referring to the explicit and likely racist comment he made in chat in response to someone calling him a “noob.”

A short fuse grants this person with the ability to type and press enter before the reasoning center of their brain has time to act, and will be the root cause of much of their problems keeping out of trouble with customer service and in life for that matter. While some are aware of their position in this category and are actively working toward better behavior, others merely shift the blame for their actions (“people asking obvious questions make me angry”) or deny it completely (“they banned me because I’m too good at PvP”). Depending on their severity, this group also fits the gamers who send death threats to players and developers, or stalk people off-game after a loss.

One of the benefits of the loudmouth is their lack of subtlety. If you want to find them, just head into any game with global chat or forum of any topic and wait less than thirty seconds.

4. The Metal Ninja Fanboy

One consistency among each of the gamers on this list is that they have a habit of thinking that their work is more subtle than it really is. The metal ninja fanboy is the term I’ve given to the kind of person who hangs around on the forums or in chat to talk about how great the game he’s playing is. Not the one he’s talking in, mind you, a different one. One that has better graphics, controls, a more mature community, servers with less lag, and a better developer who provides more content, faster.

Yes, this gamer has fourteen days left on his subscription and he is going to log in every day to remind the people in [world] of this fact and how relieved he is and how awesome it will be when that day comes, and how he can’t wait to move on to his awesome new game. Really, he should have done it earlier. This idea of developer expecting people to pay money for this game? What kind of moron would enjoy it, he wonders out loud to himself in world chat.

This person won’t be banned from the game, but in all likelihood they will find their posting privileges revoked after the tenth time they create a thread asking why you mouth-breathing sheep continue to subscribe to this crap like the tools you are. If you happen to be in chat with one of these players, they are best left ignored. Responding will only feed their need for attention.

3. The “Loyal customer.”

The self-proclaimed “loyal customer” is my favorite kind, because I see them a lot. This is the person who you will find posting a thread about how they are quitting a game or want a refund because the company has performed a cardinal sin and gone against their wishes. As a loyal customer, you can understand that their quitting isn’t a decision that they came to lightly, and that they would never take such action if it wasn’t completely necessary, but that it is indeed still possible to win their favor back.

You will recognize this person because they posted the same thread two months ago following a previous set of patch notes, as well as two months before that and again in two months when they post another goodbye. The final straw was apparently lain nearly a year ago, but the camel’s back is taking longer than anticipated to break.

This person will inevitably be banned in a sea of expletives when someone digs up their previous quitting posts and responds them to the latest “I quit” thread with “why aren’t you gone yet?”

2. Edgeville’s Finest

I won’t try to deny that I was a horrible little bastard around the early teenage years, when kids are little more than short sociopaths. I do know that teens, and in many cases adults, often try to be as edgy as possible either to show off to their friends, feed a lack of self esteem, or because they watch Daniel Tosh and want to be a comedian. One thing all great comedians know is that comedy equals tragedy plus time, with a dash of comedic timing. In short, the time for your racist joke isn’t in world chat in a video game, or really anywhere else in public for that matter.

This person can most often be found post-ban showing their complete misunderstanding of what freedom of speech applies to.

1. The Frustrated Cheater

My personal favorite, as a former GM for several game servers and as customer support for an MMO. The question I get asked the most is why I don’t trust when someone posts an “I was banned” thread claiming not just innocence, but ignorance. I’ve heard every excuse in the book, many from blatant cheaters, some of whom we even caught boasting in chat about how their cheat was “undetectable.”

Believe it or not, but quite a few of these people are deluded enough to pay monthly subscriptions for the assurance that these cheats are “undetectable.” True story: One kid emailed us an invoice demanding that we pay his last month’s subscription for a cheat tool because he was guaranteed by the creator that he wouldn’t get banned, so in his claim we were violating the EULA.

Which isn’t to say that everyone who creates such a post is lying, mind you. I would be willing to put my money down, however, that most bans are due to account theft, which itself can be traced to poor security on the part of the user.

Whether their pleas are out of desperation or true ignorance is up for debate, but to make a list within a list, here are my favorite excuses.

  • “I don’t even know how to cheat.”
  • “The developer sold my account.”
  • “My cat probably walked on the keyboard.”
  • “My friend stole my account.”

Why Does ArcheAge Have Sixteen Thousand Spammers?


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ArcheAge is currently in alpha stage getting ready for its launch under Trion Worlds. Players are in-game thanks to a $150 package, where they are bug testing, balance testing, and apparently gold farming and spamming in massive quantities. How massive? Trion Worlds banned sixteen thousand accounts for spamming chat and botting gold. In an alpha.

We’re pleased to report that over 16,000 nasty, evil, foul, and most importantly misbehaving accounts have been reactively and proactively removed from Alpha. These accounts were purchased using ill-gotten funds and have been used to farm gold with bots and to spam chat channels, neither of which is allowed in ArcheAge.

Patch 1.2 arrives next week and gives Trion more power to rid the game of evil spammers and farmers.

(Source: ArcheAge)

Zenimax Realtime Bans


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It looks like Zenimax is ramping up their efforts against gold farmers in The Elder Scrolls Online. Intrepid explorer Necropsie over at the MMORPG.com forums snapped a screenshot in-game of a game master announcing to the area to step away from the boss or be slain. Presumably those slain by the GM would have their accounts flagged for review, if not banned outright.

This isn’t the first time an MMO has employed lethal force against bot. Back in the day, Aion GM’s could be seen executing accounts used to spam gold selling websites.

Zenimax Admits False Positives In Mass Bans


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Zenimax Studios has announced that an investigation following a recent mass ban resulted in a number of false positives discovered and reversed. While the forum post in question did not mention just how many accounts were caught by accident, it did report that players identified should have had their bans lifted as of last night.

As part of our continuing effort to combat gold spammers, botters and exploiters, we recently banned a number of accounts. After several players appealed, we were able to investigate the matter further and discovered some legitimate accounts got caught up in the sweep. We unbanned accounts last night, and have email responses going out for those affected from our support group. It is never our intention for legitimate players to be harmed as we work to keep your game free of cheaters, and we sincerely apologize for the mistake.

This week has not been kind to Elder Scrolls Online, with Zenimax shutting down the game’s guild bank temporarily following the discovery of an item duplication exploit, as well as reports that players were being banned after their characters fell through the game world. The world of Tamriel is still being slowly taken over by a massive army of bots and gold farmers, and the company is still working on a fix for players missing banked items, deposited gold, skill points, etc.

(Source: Elder Scrolls Online)

Elder Scrolls Online: Fall Through World And Get Banned?


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Be careful when traveling through the lands of Tamriel. According to a growing number of reports on the official Elder Scrolls forums as well as third party websites, players are experiencing situations where their character is either falling through geometry or being catapulted off of the world and into the abyss below. I personally experienced the bug on the fourth when I jumped into the queen and was thrown completely off of the map (pictured below). It looks as though Zenimax has implemented some sort of anti-cheat measures since then to prevent exploitation, because players are reporting that falling through the world will now result in a disconnection from the server and automatic suspension of one’s account.

If you are caught by this system, the only thing you can do is to contact support and appeal the ban.

eso 2014-04-04 14-43-47-01

Not Massive: Sony Won’t Ban You For Early Playing


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If my childhood is anything to go off of, Sony’s consistent public contradiction of Microsoft is going to net them a belt buckle to the head, you know once the two are out of the public view. Take Two and Rockstar Games have been going insane with shutting down any outlet for pre-release Grand Theft Auto V goodies, going as far as apparently threatening legal action against some publications. Look around and you’ll find a pile of now banned accounts on Livestream, Youtube, and more.

Microsoft has continued their policy of working in tandem with the publisher and handing out console bans to anyone caught leaking pre-release gameplay, IE: Anyone caught streaming or posting screenshots/captures of their gameplay online. It is important to the conversation to point out that the bans are related to the leaking of game footage before the official street date, and not the mere act of playing the game.

Enter Sony, a company whose past few months of public relations can be whittled down to “the opposite of what Microsoft just said.” Sony is not banning anyone with a legitimate copy of GTA V who post footage of their game online before Tuesday’s launch, a move that will likely net them brownie points with the gaming community if at the expense of Rockstar’s goodwill.

If you do manage to get ahold of a copy, you’re pretty safe as long as you don’t start streaming or leaking footage.

Not Massive: Sony Won't Ban You For Early Playing


GTA_V_59100

If my childhood is anything to go off of, Sony’s consistent public contradiction of Microsoft is going to net them a belt buckle to the head, you know once the two are out of the public view. Take Two and Rockstar Games have been going insane with shutting down any outlet for pre-release Grand Theft Auto V goodies, going as far as apparently threatening legal action against some publications. Look around and you’ll find a pile of now banned accounts on Livestream, Youtube, and more.

Microsoft has continued their policy of working in tandem with the publisher and handing out console bans to anyone caught leaking pre-release gameplay, IE: Anyone caught streaming or posting screenshots/captures of their gameplay online. It is important to the conversation to point out that the bans are related to the leaking of game footage before the official street date, and not the mere act of playing the game.

Enter Sony, a company whose past few months of public relations can be whittled down to “the opposite of what Microsoft just said.” Sony is not banning anyone with a legitimate copy of GTA V who post footage of their game online before Tuesday’s launch, a move that will likely net them brownie points with the gaming community if at the expense of Rockstar’s goodwill.

If you do manage to get ahold of a copy, you’re pretty safe as long as you don’t start streaming or leaking footage.

Jagex Ignoring Permanent Ban Appeals


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No system is perfect, which is why companies institute checks and balances to ensure that people are not unfairly punished. In the case of Jagex, the company is pretty confident that if you’ve been permanently banned, there’s nothing more to talk about. According to the company’s account FAQ, appeals for permanent bans are not being looked at.

If your account is currently permanently banned, we deem the offence serious enough to permanently remove the account from our game. At the moment, we are not reviewing these bans and if this changes, you will be notified.

If it is any consolation, the player who sent us this tip noted that it the rule isn’t exactly being enforced and there are some false positives being restored.

(Source: RuneScape Wiki)

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