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Gold sellers in help chat channel

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Nimuaq, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    This is the very first message the new players receive in the game on their shard:

    [​IMG]

    This is a single site spamming on the help channel, it is safe to assume it is a single person on a single computer. I've paged more than 100 times, with an average of one page a day, for the last five months, in an effort for the Customer Support to tackle this issue and the game company to enforce its very own Rules of Conduct. I always get the "this issue will be further investigated" message and I wish they wouldn't send that since it is simply not true.

    Sending a single page or ignoring doesn't work since when someone pages about this, this spammer immediately creates another trial account and continues from where he left off, so probably they have already found out a way to enter the Security Code automatically at the trial account creation page.

    If the Wayback Wednesday event wasn't in TC1, I'm sure we would see these on Grakulen's screen too since the help channel is the default channel for the new players.

    I've sent a pm five months ago to the developers, suggested to block some specific words and any clever combinations of those words from the character names and chat channels. Unfortunately, I haven't received any response.

    Here are some other fan-site articles about this issue:
    Help channel and Gold spammers - Ultima Online Forums
    RMT Spam That Breaks the TOS | Ultima Online Gateway
     
  2. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    This is NOT a bug.
     
  3. Joey Porter

    Joey Porter Guest

    Once again, the only logical explanation for this is that EA is getting a cut of the sales from these sites. Otherwise the blatant abuse would not be allowed.
     
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  4. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    This is actually not unique to UO, I've been informed that several other MMOs suffer from the same issue. I also believe that they are not happy about these rmt sites, the latest mythic character token which is more useful and cheaper than the advanced character token might be an effort to prevent these sites from selling their duped advanced character tokens for less than half the price. However, this is just a single site, I have yet to see other rmt sites spamming on help chat channel.

    A spammer instantly creating another trial account upon being reported, and doing this on all shards 24/7 with 14 accounts at the same time is a security bug, probably on the trial account creation page, specifically the captcha. Anything that causes the game to behave in unintended ways is a bug, unless this one is intended. I know the google re-captcha was broken several times before and I believe the captcha of the account creation page is easily cracked by this spammer. I posted this on bug tracking forum for that reason, for them to make the trial account creation process more secure and add at least some preventive measures after five months of constant spam welcoming the new and the returning players. Also, the previous threads are locked before and that forum is being moderated more strictly.
     
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  5. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    hmm, possibly, though probably not one the UO Devs can deal with. It would be something for the accounts department - in whom I have significantly less faith than our uo devs I have to admit.
     
  6. Spiritless

    Spiritless Seasoned Veteran
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    That's not a safe assumption. It is likely a spam group.

    This problem plagues all MMOs. There has to be a balance between being permissive for the sake of legitimate new characters and use of the chat feature and anti-spam measures. In the grand scheme of things though I don't really see it as something hugely important personally.
     
  7. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor
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    I don't understand this response. It's a bit of a non sequitur, as the first use of the word "bug" in the thread is your post claiming this is not one. Who exactly are you attempting to refute?
     
  8. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Sorry, I should have been clearer. This thread was moved to UHall from the Bug Tracking forum
     
  9. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    It is very important for the image of the game in the eyes of the returning and new players, you can ask others who are trying to help them on help channel.
     
  10. Joey Porter

    Joey Porter Guest


    I understand that this is an issue with any MMO.

    My opinion on EA/Mythinc partnering with these sites is because they are so blatant about being able to do it at this point. I understand that it would take precious dev time to rid the dupers and scripters from the game but it would not take much Legal resources to shut these sights down. Once the avenue they have to make money is gone, the in game issue would resolve itself.
     
  11. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    here's the thing... from here

    "With the exception of the sale of in-game items for in-game items or services, you may not market, promote or advertise anything, or make any other form of solicitation (including pyramid schemes and chain letters) through the Ultima Online service or Ultima Online web site.

    You may not arrange for the exchange or transfer of any pirated software or other contraband while you are using the Ultima Online service or Ultima Online web site, or use the Ultima Online service or web site for any other illegal purpose. You will not post the web site address (URL) to any sites which contain sexual material, content which could harm or disrupt another user’s personal network and computer, or content which violates the Electronic Arts Terms of Service.

    You may not use the Ultima Online service or Ultima Online web site for any activities other than those permitted within the game world."

    these are agreed to every time an account is opened, and should be enforced.. difficulties of enforcement are understood and mean that efforts should be increased.. imho, it's not just annoying, it's part of the image
     
  12. Ludes

    Ludes Babbling Loonie
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    Yeah.. I see this in other games as well.

    As I've gotten older I've learned to ignore things that I can't do anything about.
     
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  13. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    :) holy cow, I'm not old enuff yet?? what a good thing to hear!
     
  14. Miri of Sonoma

    Miri of Sonoma Lore Keeper
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    If players stopped supporting these people by buying the services they offer, eventually they would go away. This is just a business to them.
     
  15. Ludes

    Ludes Babbling Loonie
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    Well your profile doesn't give your age.. But then most Ladies don't. Took me 47 years to learn that little piece of wisdom so if your younger than that your doing better than me!
     
  16. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    alrighty, then, seems you also outgrow the ability to ignore ;)
     
  17. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    This is not about virtual property rights which is a really hard subject even to discuss. I thought those sites were not legal too, until I was asked the question "according to what?". When I referred to the ToS, I was informed that there were cases which courts found similar Terms of Service unconscionable and there are no solid regulations on this subject. To my surprise, this is actually true, you can further read 1, 2, 3 and 4. My only concern about those sites is their use of scripted and duped items. They don't farm the items themselves, they rarely use regular players, but mostly third party "studios" who acquire these items by using scripts or hacked accounts.

    While I wish there were no sites like these, this is not exactly about that site and what it does. This spam could have been about a freeshard, another mmo and even viagra, and it would still disturb the new and the returning players whose default chat channel is set to Help.

    I want the devs to keep the Help chat channel since it is an extremely useful addition to help the new and the returning players, but I also want them to remove the spammers. A simple spam code, only implemented for the help channel, which checks multiple information like if a phrase is repeated in a certain amount of time, if it includes certain keywords and if it belongs to a character less than a few hours old which stands still on the same spot or area for hours, might very well solve this issue. Do you have any suggestions for a anti-spam code like this (which, again, only works for the help channel, so you can spam about selling your items on other channels as you like)?
     
  18. Joey Porter

    Joey Porter Guest


    I misunderstood your point in bringing this up. Keeping the help channel clear of garbage so the newbs can communicate and get help is important. I see your point.
     
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  19. Spiritless

    Spiritless Seasoned Veteran
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    You're living in a fantasy land if you think it's possible to close down these sites. Even if one or two were closed down, they'd immediately come back with a new domain and new hosting in Russia, China or another location where you can't touch them.

    I said it wasn't important as you're asking EA to tackle an Internet-wide problem which has been happening since the inception of widescale networking. Most MMO players should unfortunately be used to this by now and it shouldn't have that big of an impact on their impression of the game. If it does, they have pretty thin skin and probably shouldn't be playing any online games these days.

    You either allow trial accounts to use chat for the benefit of most genuinely new/returning players and put up with the occasional gold spammer or you impact the play experience by disabling all chat for them until they upgrade. I'd rather the former option, personally. Steps have already been taken to mitigate widespread abuse by restricting trial accounts to the help channel in the first place.
     
  20. Joey Porter

    Joey Porter Guest

    I have never said this sites or the spam bothers me personally, I was just commenting on the current state of controls or lack of controls in UO. To me it would seem EA must be getting something out of it or they would at least be making an attempt to control it.
     
  21. Spiritless

    Spiritless Seasoned Veteran
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    Yeah, just like Blizzard have an affiliation with all the Chinese gold sellers and powerlevellers in WoW, Jagex have the same links to overseas groups peddling their gold in RuneScape, ArenaNet gain revenue from the gold sellers in GW.... etc.

    Get a grip, tbh. Your whack conspiracy theories are laughable and demonstrate your lack of rational thought and understanding on the issue you're talking about. They *have* made attempts to control it: by restricting trial accounts to one channel. There's a balancing act taking place where you attempt to keep spam down while at the same time ensuring these measures have as limited impact as possible on legitimate users.

    Spammers will always slip through the net and once their spam has been sent to the channel you can ban the accounts all you want, but they care not as their advert has already been disseminated.

    I'm afraid this is the nature of the beast of playing an online MMO these days.
     
  22. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    Who cares..if people feel the need to buy items for real money..let them maybe it'll help the playerbase..not hurt it..this game has such a learning curve it should be EA selling the gold and such not private parties..
     
  23. Joey Porter

    Joey Porter Guest

    I agree, could care less if people buy from these sites. I would go so far to say I think EA should set up there online UO store in a similair fashion.

    I just think it is very odd that you can sit at Luna bank and watch these transactions take place, look at vendors on luna that have items that would almost have to be duped and see all the spam msges when all this is supposed to be illegal.

    And to say they do try and keep this from happening is absurd and laughable. I played from the start to about 2000 and people would get the banhammer left and rigth for any of this stuff.

    So either EA is getting a cut or they subscription numbers are too low they are scared to do anything and lower those numbers even further.
     
  24. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    A few things that can be done:

    1. EA do their own spamming: In other words, every minute, have the Help channel send a message that Gold Selling and other RMTs are against the TOS and bannable.
    2. Have a keyword filter that if certain character combinations come up in X amount of time in Help from the same character, that character is teleported to Luna, made criminal (killable by guards in the Trammel ruleset - if not blues as well) and muted on both the chat channel and from normal speech. On the higher population shards, just the bank users macros will probably get it guard whacked, others will require someone to do the deed deliberately.
     
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  25. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Personally I think that it would be even simpler to have certain things auto flag a GM. That spam has to go thru the server so therefore there ought to be a code in the server that would automatically alert a GM when certain key things are said... this could include other bannable spam.

    Just saying.
     
  26. Driven Insane

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    These types of things are easily fixed if someone cares enough to put some time into it. In just this thread alone there's at least a couple viable solutions that wouldn't take a talented programmer more than a week to implement.

    Sadly I just don't think EA cares about their own ToS.
     
  27. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    I think the searchengine bots making fake conversations are a lot more annoying.

    If anyone has been in ATL General chat

    "Hey timmy, have you seen how cheap ornies are on such and such site?" "Why no I havent! I will go check it out now!"
     
  28. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    I encourage you to page the GMs about this (see: ToS above) and since these accounts use the general chat, they're actually paid accounts and will get a suspension for sending those links and will get banned on their second attempt for mentioning those sites.

    The aforementioned issue is different since the spammers use trial accounts and getting a suspension or banned is not really a punishment for them.
     
  29. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    You don't get it, they aren't actually people. It is a bot system setup on trial accounts to advertise the site, but to do it in a way where it seems like its two people talking.


    ** Well if trial accounts cant use general chat, then the GM's just don't do the thing. The bots have been rotating new characters for the past week and a half, and do it CONSTANTLY in general chat. I know of TONS of people who have paged, and obviously nothing is done.
     
    #29 Promathia, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  30. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    Do they provide the player id from chat? They should select "Another player is harassing me" -> "Verbal Harassment" -> "Type Player Id from chat" and type the ids of those players. The spell incognito kicks you out of the chat channel, but you can re-join and type with the modified name, which is probably a bug, but your id doesnt change.
     
  31. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    That is how I and everyone I know pages.
     
  32. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    Then you might be right, maybe there is a bug out there which allows the trial accounts to get access to the general chat. I just don't want this thread to be about those sites: neither UO, nor any other mmo, or any government in that manner, have any immediate solution for the "gold sellers" part, but I’m hopeful that something can be done for the "spamming" part.
     
  33. Spiritless

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    Joey Porter likes this.
  34. SlobberKnocker

    SlobberKnocker Slightly Crazed

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    these are trial accounts. i was in new haven on chessy the other nite. the ''young'' char drops in the middle of new haven. he immediately starts spamming his website. he does it 4-5 times and logs out.

    i thought young players were restricted from using chat. guess not.
     
  35. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    When you make a new character, it is automatically placed in the help channel. If the account is a trial account, that is the only chat channel the account can use. These messages are being broadcast daily, multiple times per day, in the Help chat channel on many shards. New characters on all accounts have no choice but to see the messages while they are logged on until they figure out how to either bail out of the Help chat channel or ignore the character posting the message in chat.
     
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