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Crackers Slam EQ2 Economy

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that's-what-you-get dept.

Role Playing (Games) 31

Gamespot.com is reporting that third parties are manipulating the currency in EQ2, leading to massive inflation on the Station Exchange. From the article: "The players then began trying to sell the ill-gotten plat on Station Exchange, the official auction exchange for EQ2 weapons, armor, currency, and other virtual goods. 'The amount of money in the game increased by a fifth in about 24 hours,' Kramer said. 'We have a lot of alarms for this kind of thing, and they all went off on Saturday.'" Thanks to some exhaustive data tracking, most of the duped currency was removed from the economy by Sunday.

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31 comments

Whew (1, Funny)

Thrymm (662097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332639)

Im glad I dont play MMORPGS anymore, it would be too fustrating to have these economies inflate right about the same time I would be able to scrap together enough plat/gold whatever for X. item I wanted/needed.

So this is cybereconoterrorism? (3, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332642)

Wish I could pull THAT off in Scrabble.

Re:So this is cybereconoterrorism? (5, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332750)

Wish I could pull THAT off in Scrabble.

All you need is two Ts, an H, and an A;-)
What you just heard only sounds like a *rimshot*- it's actually the agonized wailing of my karma.

Well Done (2, Insightful)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332723)

It's nice to see SOE has gotten their act together. A lot of other MMORPGs have been nearly destroyed by this kind of crap with devs oblivious to the problem. It's kind of like having an active "Total Information Awareness" within an MMORPG.

Maybe because SOE gets some of the take on the exchange was motivating, but still, it's nice to know that they have the tools to prevent this [plaguelands.com] from happening again.

Re:Well Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13332776)

Am I mistaken, or did they just take away vitual items from people who legitimately purchased them, leaving the dupers to walk away with real money in their pockets?

Re:Well Done (3, Insightful)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332882)

Well, first off, SOE has no tools for preventing THAT from happening again. If they did, I'd bet Blizzard would be quite surprised.

Second, Blizzard's official line is that THAT never happened. It was a hoax. I can't say whether it did or not, but I can say I'm not any richer than I was before the duping exploit was "found."

--AC

Re:Well Done (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13333060)

Blizzard has their head so way up their own asses that they can smell their own bad breath.

Re:Well Done (1)

Seahawk (70898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13337430)

It was an obvious fake.

I saw onlye ONE "evidence" that the duping had occured, and that was a screenshot from the auction house with duped items.

The problem is that the screenshot has been manipulated.

So there was absolutely no evidence that there were any duping.

One big advertisement (1, Insightful)

vmardian (321592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332756)

'We caught the dupe fast, worked overtime to fix it, proved that our alerts worked, and got this here nice advertisement on Gamespot.'

This article seems like one big advertisement for EQ2 and Sony Exchange. Since when is it Sony's policy to disclose every little dupe in their games?

GG! GJ! W2G!!!! BBQ!! (2, Funny)

RenegadeRunner (907473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13332791)

Props to SOE on their swift action to alleviate the problem.

Re:GG! GJ! W2G!!!! BBQ!! (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333249)

The problem is old and had been noticed months ago. It just took this long for enough people to figure out how to deliberately and consistently exploit quirks in the broker system to disrupt the economy.

Now it's Blizzards Turn (0, Troll)

Xud (901017) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333125)

Now of the good folks at blizzard could respond to duping in a simalair fashion for WOW

How did Sony (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333137)

deal with the problem of these auctions adding value to the 'vitual' items? i.e. if I buy $100 dollars worth of EQ gold and Sony causes it to devalue to $1 dollar, how do they avoid liablity?

Re:How did Sony (2, Informative)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333220)

via the EULA which expressly says soe is not responsible for changing in value of in game items for any reason whatsoever.

Oh noes! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13333785)

OH MY GOD! I bought stock just last week and its value went down 25 cents yesterday@!@!$ Quick! Who do I sue?!

Re:How did Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13335181)

By not being retards who think that MMORPG items have real monetary value

Do you sue your friends when they make more friends and thus devalue your friendship with them?

Re:How did Sony (1)

fireklar (533430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335411)

If you buy $100 of stock in Microsoft, and Microsoft causes it to devalue to $1, how do they avoid liability?

Re:How did Sony (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335662)

Answer: The EULA says that you're not actually buying the property, you're buying the right to transfer a limited right to use the property. Sony retains actual title to the property and thus if it becomes devalued they're the only ones with standing to sue. Who knows if it will actually work or not if it ever got challenged in court.

some things they left out (4, Interesting)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333188)

It's interesting what they left out of the story. Item duping (done by exploiting bugs in the in game broker system that allows charters to sell items between each other for in game gold) really caught on weekend before last causing an emergency shut down of all servers on 8/7. Since then brokering has been either disabled or enabled for short amounts of time until someone noticed that the bug is still in the game. Also a ton of accounts were banned mainly because they were considered to have 'too much money for their level (lots of guilds lost their guild bank mules in this sweep)

The interesting thing is that people noticed issues in the broker system months ago and mentioned it in the eq2 forums but nothing was done.

Re:some things they left out (4, Informative)

OrenWolf (140914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333402)

It's interesting what they left out of the story. Item duping (done by exploiting bugs in the in game broker system that allows charters to sell items between each other for in game gold) really caught on weekend before last causing an emergency shut down of all servers on 8/7. Since then brokering has been either disabled or enabled for short amounts of time until someone noticed that the bug is still in the game. Also a ton of accounts were banned mainly because they were considered to have 'too much money for their level (lots of guilds lost their guild bank mules in this sweep)
Of course, you leave out the rather important fact that most of these accounts were reactivated by the end of the weekend. In fact, any account that had received "duped" money (even innocently, by a duper bying one of their items) was locked while they corrected the issues over the weekend. The speed that they were able to fix this problem, and the fact that they essentially were able to "roll back" the economy without rolling back the game-world is worth kudos in it's own right.
The interesting thing is that people noticed issues in the broker system months ago and mentioned it in the eq2 forums but nothing was done.
Galliente (Scott Hartsman, EQ2 Producer) already answered that one, and it was basically "mea culpa" - they plugged some holes, others they used to hone their tools. He points out they will not be doing that un the future, as the explosion of duping in such a short time proved that *any* amount of time a vulnerability is left "in the wild" can lead to extreme damage in a very short period of time.

software developers take note. :)

Re:some things they left out (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333665)

>Of course, you leave out the rather important fact that most of these accounts were reactivated by the end of the weekend

i didn't leave it out. Notice i referenced the banning in past tense not present tense ( i guess i should have been clearer). However lots of people are still having issues.

>Galliente (Scott Hartsman, EQ2 Producer) already answered that one, and it was basically "mea culpa"

that's not an answer that's an excuse for not fixing the issue ;)

Re:some things they left out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13334095)

In this context, the word banned means "you'll never play here again." The word you should have used is suspended.

it would be fascinating (1)

Knights who say 'INT (708612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333374)

to create a Central Bank of Everquest, setting the interest rates at which players can borrow money and thus controlling prices through monetary policy.

Re:it would be fascinating (1)

Saeul (880805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13333776)

to create a Central Bank of Everquest, setting the interest rates at which players can borrow money and thus controlling prices through monetary policy. The rough equivalent of the "fed" in EQ is the code that determines, presumably randomly, the value of currency and items that drop from mobs and resource mines. The only way to have meaningful control over the money supply would be to do what was done in UO originally: put a finite amount of money and resources in the game. As it turns out, that led to hording in UO including a person that had a fantastic number of shirts squirreled away (according to an online interview with Raph.) Hording diminishes the money supply and dropping more cash would cause an unvirtuous cycle where seeing more cash come into the economy could cause more hording OR it could cause more spending. The unpredictability of either course of action leads to an unstable economy. But the concept is cool. One approach that would help all around would be to have cash limits for how much characters of various levels could hold (a la Diablo 2). That would put a maximum on the money supply and the number of item slots puts a maximum on the resource supply. THAT system could be very workable.

Remember Us? (0, Troll)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13334761)

This whole thing smacks of remember us, SONY, EQ2, SWG? We have subscribers/dupers/money/auctions/ways to eat up all your free time (and ~25 bucks a month) too.

Good thing too. I thought everybody had left for WoW.

Feeling strange need... to.. play.. Guild Wars.

Centrally planned economies (1)

patternjuggler (738978) | more than 8 years ago | (#13335868)

It's only a matter of time before economist majors are getting their degrees with papers on the results of massive 'state' intervention in virtual economies.

Re:Centrally planned economies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356117)

They already do...just go to Google's Scholarly works search engine...you'll find a lot of thesis's on this very topic...

Duping removed? (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13339715)

Thanks to some exhaustive data tracking, most of the duped currency was removed from the economy by Sunday.

I wish slashdot would employ some of this exhaustive data tracking to its stories.
 

Old school economics applied to new economies (1)

cazbar (582875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13350502)

The definition of economics that I've learned is the study of how a society works with scarce resources. However, in these MMORPGS, resources are hardly scarce. Yes there is a time factor involved in the production of resources, but there is no actual limit on how much resources can be introduced into the game.

I'd like to see a MMORPG that takes a more realistic approach to their economic system. My idea is to only allow a fixed amount of money and resources to exist in the game. This fixed amount would be directly related to the number of accounts that have a character on the specific server. This would better control inflation and force a more interesting (and perhaps more enjoyable) situation to occur.

This would require the system to be more closely regulated, however. They would have to make sure that a certain amount of currency and some items are being absorbed back into the NPCs so that the mobs can drop loot.

This could create a more interesting tradeskilling system as well. There would be limited resources to build up skills on. This would allow them to make the tradeskills faster to learn without flooding the market with stuff. Tradeskill items would be worth a lot more.

But then, this is just an idea.

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