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Jeremy, could we have an official statement?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Priam_Sonoma, Aug 3, 2008.

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  1. dancing101

    dancing101 Guest

    I have a hard time believing Jeremy know what she is talking about. She is probably just a messenger here, who just like a receptonist in a company, taking message for people and pass the message to another. The real question should go directly to EA, they need to give us an ANSWER, not simply saying i banned these accounts cause i found dupe items.

    So this is for you JEREMY, if you dont know what **** you are talking about..stop saying
     
  2. LeeHarvey

    LeeHarvey Guest

    WOW now the real idiots start to show....

    Suck it up, you cheated, you got banned, move on. You aren't accomplishing anything but showing everyone here how illogical you can be. Sure you may get one or two chicken littles to agree the sky is falling, but thats by no means is a majority of the good people that play this game. You are now prooving every reason that you were booted. Feign ignorance all you want, those of us that know this game will keep on playing without ya'. BuhBye.
     
  3. Xanthril of LA

    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    Okay, this is my first post since the server crash lost all the old ones. Been a bit busy lately, but finally felt it was time to chime in on all the worries about duping and banning. I have a simple question, and I apologize if its been asked in one of the very lengthy threads regarding duping/banning. Is it possible to modify the vendor system to automatically detect a duped item? Upon detection, the vendor would immediately destroy the item. If such a modification could be made, everyone would have a way to check their items, if desired, and the dupers would lose one of the easiest ways to move their merchandise. Just a thought.
     
  4. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    *Ding* *Ding* *Ding*

    We have a winner. Now whack Connor on the head with this a few hundred more times and he will finally understand.

    Lets get this straight - I'm not defending dupers and exploiters - but I'm LIVID at how EA is attacking the problem. The are going after the WRONG PEOPLE.

    You have no way of knowing an item you buy is duped or not. If you cannot trust ANY purchased item - then your might as well get rid of trading and the entire vendor system. Is this what you want?

    This is what the actions of EA this week are leading to. If you want an economy where you cannot trade items in good faith then you are going to get it. Forget auctions, forget vendors, forget trading at WBB.

    I could stand there and sell you a Hooded Robe of Umbra for 1 mil. You think its legit. Its not. You get banned. Is that even remotely fair?

    No. Go find the people doing the duping and ban them. Fix the dupes as soon as they come out. Find a better way to track duped items.

    Don't ban people because of what they bought.

    I think the silence you hear from EA/Jeremy today is a realization that their methods and their comments to the community were 100% the wrong thing to do. Think before you speak. Think twice before you act.

    Somthing EA should take to heart.

    Peace.
     
  5. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    Man this thread is full of stupid statements. Put this on the top of the pile.

    Uh, people buy gold and buy things. Jeeze man. Do you think ANY of the rares museums or rares collectors could 'get those through gameplay'? Were they the only one there at server birth and picked up every item possible?

    No they aquired gold through their time in UO and bought it from others until they amassed a large quantity of the items. It is impossible to have 'acquired 100 server births' through fair gameplay. You simply physically could not do it. Could you buy 100 later? Sure.

    I have enough gold to buy at least 10 Val hammers at 40mil. And if I really liquidated my items probably 20 or 30. If I did that should I be automatically banned? That is a stupid stupid comment.

    Again - the root of the problem is poor testing, poor code and exploiters. NOT PEOPLE BUYING THINGS FROM VENDORS.
     
  6. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor 4H

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    so would i.
    but the simple fact of the matter is that they arnt stopping the cheating.
    go to any shard in the game.
    sit at the quieter banks for a while (yew is allways a good one, so is occlo fel) and just watch the iron and lumber guys start recalling in... and out.... in.... and out....

    if they KNOW who the dupers are, i dont understand then why they banned people who they know didnt dupe and where just in posession of items that where purchased.

    dosnt jive.
     
  7. Sheridan

    Sheridan Guest

    Jeremy has already stated she will not discuss such things on the Stratics forums:

    You couldn't possibly be more wrong... I'd recommend you read this thread here. I was there for this interview at the Town Hall and can totally attest to her dedication to and passion for the Ultima series of games... especially in regards to Ultima Online.
     
  8. Rosalinda

    Rosalinda Journeyman
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    Yes, Jeremy, but it's looking as if you've hit B,C,D,E,F, while leaving A (the actual criminal) and G (the banker - who's prolly the same person as A) to get off scot-free and laughing, free to continue making a fool of us all!

    You can maybe make out a case for B,C,D,E,F being complicit, but if they ARE innocent dupes, that's a bad outcome for them, and if (as is quite possible) they are all controlled by A - then your actions have served so good whatsoever!!
     
  9. Rosalinda

    Rosalinda Journeyman
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    And we're supposed to take SECONDHAND accusations of GUILT at face value?
    Ask yourself who we're more likely to believe: the word of people who we have come to know, over many years, as trusted, honourable friends? Or the word of someone we've only recently become aware of, speaking as the official mouthpiece of a company that a lot of us are already cynical about, and whose customer relations leave a lot to be desired?
     
  10. THP

    THP Always Present
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    The last round of burning houses nobody complained because they were ALL guilty as charged....This time is sooo different

    However i cant accept anyone would be banned for owning 200-300 1m gold checks... thats stupid as that amount is easily acheived in 7-8 years play legally and legit too!!!

    Also most players of 7-8 years will have many many bods too - quite litterary thousands of bods...so that aint gonna be the cause either....

    I for one aint buying jack squat form any player or vendor untill the root of the problem as been exposed
     
  11. RoycroftLS

    RoycroftLS Guest

    You are reading way too much into my statement. "Fair gameplay" includes buying gold and being a savvy trader. I never claimed that it didn't.

    The devs stated before the recent changes to the bod system that only one valorite hammer should reasonably spawn per shard per year. If you can find 10% of the total amount of hammers (not even considering that some people might have actually used theirs) that should have EVER spawned readily for sale on your shard, that should immediately raise red flags.

    Don't give me the ignorance excuse. If you have 400+ million gold, you have been around long enough to know which items are rare and which are not. You don't purchase something for that much gold without knowing what it does, if there are any others for sale for less, and if you can obtain it yourself in a reasonable amount of time.

    And if you have been around long enough to get so much gold, you have definitely been around through the previous duping scandals. This is especially true for anyone who has ever spent a significant time buying and selling goods. I mean, one of the stickies in the rares forum deals explicitly with dupes.

    Wilki explicitly warned everyone the last time a dupe occurred to use always use caution when buying. Apparently that wasn't enough to stop people from blindly purchasing goods without asking where they came from. Hopefully this latest message the devs have sent will stick more in the minds of the player base.

    Talk about a stupid statement. The code will never be perfect, people will always make mistakes while testing, and exploiters will always be looking for the next bug to give themselves an advantage. Blaming those things for getting banned is just a poor attempt to shirk your responsibility for being an aware and competent player.
     
  12. Yalp

    Yalp Guest

    Sorry Sport.. that makes absolutely no sense!

    Look...for the logic impaired on these boards... If you duped, actively did the work to make/create items you are guilty as hell. You know it you did it you deserve it. We can only hope they got everyone in this case.

    BUT.... if you merely possessed duped items *unknown quantity and type*, no matter how you came by them... bought, sold, gift, idoc's... then you were also subject to massive bannings. No investigation, no OSI takeover of your account while it was adjudicated.. just POOF!

    This is the equivalent.. (again for the logically impaired on these boards)... to the police officer coming to your house, arresting you, putting you on trial and throwing you in jail, all in the dead of night, and all without informing you what you are accused of doing. Just handing you a form letter that says you were in possession of illegal items.

    To put it in economic terms. It is bad business. Plain and simple. It is costing EA/Mythic customers. It is bad for future product sales. It is one of the worst things that can happen to a company. Long time, loyal customers who have become advocates of your product being booted out the door. EVERY single business owner knows it takes forever to build customer loyalty. That loyalty is priceless.. you don't get it overnight, you can't wish for it... you have to work hard to get it. Once you have it.. you have to nuture it. Customers will be willing to put up with alot.. high prices, raising prices, poor product quality.

    But they will walk away in a heartbeat if you abuse them, insult them, and accuse them of actions they were not part of. Not only that, but when they go away, they will talk to their friends and neighbors. They will tell of their experiences with said company. They will tell of how the company made them feel, how they treated them and how they had no recourse. They will tell the how unfair company XXX is and how they won't do business with them ever again. And you know what.. friends and family will talk to other friends and family. They will share the tale of what happened to A. And the chain will go on and on. You know what happens NEXT?

    For the logically impaired on these boards... when new people, or even customer A decides to purchase a new product that is similar in nature, they won't pick EA/Mythic. That is a curse to businesses. Marketing and Product Development should be exploding at their corporate offices right now. They now have to work 5 times as hard to get back 1/2 the customers they have lost and will not get in the future.

    You might think your morales and such are impeccable. However it isn't about you.... it is how much do you trust the MORALS of every single other player in the game?

    Simple solutions on EA's part... Officially tell us what items are being duped. Then you can hold us responsible for possessing these items.

    LORD Yalp of Zento, CTDM
     
  13. Yalp

    Yalp Guest

    Dude... I'm good people. I don't cheat. I didn't get banned. I may or may not have duped items in my possession. I don't know many people personally who have been banned. Does that make me Chicken Little? or Lookie Lucy?

    It could have been you dude. It could have been everyone. That is the point. We have NO Idea.. only assumptions as to what the duped items are, and we have no idea how many are grounds for bannings. If you can't see that. then all I have to say is...


    Did you get measured for that Ass-hat?

    LORD Yalp of Zento, CTDM
     
  14. Limlight

    Limlight Guest

    I've been reading this and a couple notes:

    People need to stop worrying about their accounts being banned for normal things.

    ToT, Staff of Pyros..

    1. When the Blackrock event happened....ToT minors were handed out...I know people who got over 150+ Minors from it..thats 15 majors...
    ToT's arent going to draw red flags.

    2. Staff of Pyros?
    Palease....I have over 90+ and I only did the event sparingly...it wasnt hard to get them...that wont raise red flags..

    3. Rubble...not going to raise red flags..

    4. Arties? Cursed ones?
    Thats not raising flags either....

    The only thing raising flags is Runic Hammers and Event Rares...

    You guys need to remember that Val Hammers were only supposed to be dropping several times a year and the event rares are just that....completely rare...if you get your hands on 1...good for you...but chances are they have been duped now.
     
  15. Beldon

    Beldon Guest

    A runic? No. Two or three? Naw. Thirty? Probably, yeah.

    I'm not going to give a specific number for the dupers to use to game the system, but it's high enough that most casual players won't hit it. The "innocent" guy who emailed me over the weekend had 160 or so duped items. Not so innocent. eh?

    For the people asking for a list - it depends on the actual dupe. Some only work on specific items, some work on just about anything. The latter kind we can't very well warn you about. I suspect runics were the new hotness this time around because of the buff they got last winter.
    __________________
    E. Jeremy Dalberg, Mythic Entertainment www.uoherald.com

    According to Jeremy sound like they start thinking about it somewhere around 30.
     
  16. Yalp

    Yalp Guest


    maybe.. where's the official word from EA? Jeremy's posts on stratics are great.. but that's not reaching 100% of the player base. Posting after banning is like closing the barn doors after the horse has gotten out.

    Yalpers
     
  17. Beldon

    Beldon Guest

    Their policies are their policies, at some point you just have to decide whether you accept them or quit.
     
  18. Yalp

    Yalp Guest

    Or maybe we could provide feedback on ways to improve their policies?

    Yalpers
     
  19. yanaki2

    yanaki2 Sage
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    well you know qa simple way to solve this whole problem with duped items. show the item id of each item, hey it adds an extra line on the item but then you can tell if they are dupes or not.. cmon 15 val hammers all with the same code. or even 2, then we have a chance of knowing whats duped or not, of course coding in a simple dupe wipe that runs at server up or at random times during the day would be nice. leave like a book titled "duped item deleted" would probably take the same amount of time.

    dupes happen in wow rarely but they dont ban, they bother to find out how and fix the problem, as fast as possible. not weeks later. grated they have 100 times the resources. 4 million players on wow compared to the 425 on uo. ohh wait forgot about the bannings.. the 215 players that play uo.
     
  20. Revenant2

    Revenant2 Guest

    Dupes don't come out with the same item ID. If someone was duping in batches I believe the items could have sequential item IDs, but that's the closest resemblance I think you'd get (and it's only helpful to a point). The item IDs aren't even easy to note as being sequential if you don't know the number system behind it, the system isn't human-friendly decimal.

    My knowledge of this comes from having been an admin on a private shard, not from doing anything untoward to EA's production shards =p
     
  21. dancing101

    dancing101 Guest

    Are you guys telling EA what to do? They supposed to figure it out themselves. Oh. I get it, EA are good at pissing people off..LOL
     
  22. o2bavr6

    o2bavr6 Slightly Crazed
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    ROFL, Way to say it like it is. The sad thing is she wont respond to your post, and I find it funny that she hasn't responded since.

    I have this to say and ask.

    I don't think I quite understand the "privacy rules".

    EA owns the game.
    EA makes the rules.
    EA says they can ban you without question.

    Yet EA can't tell you about something because of privacy rules?

    Don't the terms and service agreements basically take all the rights of the players away?

    How could there be privacy rules if they can do what they want?

    I would prefer if they told me "It's none of my business" or "I don't want you to know" or I'm too busy to tell you.

    But to hide behind the Privacy Rules is a load of ...........
     
  23. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Sorry folks, gonna be a long post...wanted to split it into several posts, but it doesn't flow as well. So I tried to paragraph it as best as I can.


    How dupes happen
    As per mentioned in one of the earlier threads warning people about duped runics -

    Every item has a unique ID, sort of like a primary key in a database. When an item is created (crafted, spawned, BOD reward etc), a new ID is generated for this item. So all legit items have a truly unique ID.

    Duped items however, have the same ID as the original. Almost always, the failsafe/backup process is being abused to cause the dupe. eg When travelling to a subserver (by gates/crossing serverlines etc), your Avatar's info like what your are wearing, what's in your bank, what pets you have, what your packies are carrying (if they are also crossing server lines with you) etc are all copied from the current subserver you are on, to the subserver you are going to.

    There's a failsafe mechanism to guarantee data consistency where - if the data transfer transaction did not complete properly (eg subserver crashes), your client would hang, but you won't loose your avatar. Instead, the servers would automatically retrieve your Avatar's info from the last backup when you next login. (in these situations the player may lose up to a hour's worth of gameplay). Now imagine what if you have given your friend your orny during this 1 hour? When you log back in, you would still have the orny in your pack, and your friend will still have the one you gave him earlier. Duped. Since no new orny was actually created, no new unique IDs are generated for either of the ornies.


    Can we stop dupes or limit their damage
    There has been many variations of this through the past 11 years. OSI would fix them, but new ones will be found. Just like vulnerabilities in Windows/UNIX etc. Some by accident, but mainly by people that actively find ways to test/break the system, and of course in ALL the MMORPGs - how to dupe.

    Asking why game companies don't prevent duping/exploits etc is not really fair. Of course they don't want bugs/exploits/dupes to exist, they also want to be able to afford a large QA team to exhaustively test all aspects of the game before every patch. But in real life, exhaustive testing is not possible, even if they have the moola to hire an army of QA staff. That being said, there are times where I doubt certain patches went through proper QA - AOS was one.

    What they did do, is stopped the character transfer service. This is how dupers launder their dupes, coz the process would generate new unique identifiers for all their transferred stuff. It's still traceable if they wanted to, but it's far simpler to keep everything localized to the individual shards while they did a database query / search for dupes on each shard.


    What's different about the runic dupes
    Knowing that dupes have unique identifiers, note that the runic dupes differ slightly. Turns out that this time, they duped the BODs and not the runics. So the BODs would have duplicated IDs, but when they are turned in, the runics are all newly created and have a properly unique ID.

    Tracing this would be a little more complicated than just a search for duplicated IDs. So I am guessing that they will do the following:

    1) Search for duplicated IDs (this would turn up the duplicate BODs, checks etc)

    2) Search for all runics created in the last 3,6,12 months, and cross reference with the the BOD that was turned in to generate the runic. If not recorded in the attributes of the runic, then there should be a trash heap where there are records showing what items were destroyed and where type of item = BOD. With the IDs of the BODs, they can now query which are duplicated

    3) Now flag ALL owners of these items, and even those who had them for a while (ie the fencers)

    4) If dupes > x amount, then flag_ban_without_review = true

    5) Else if dupes > 1 but < x, then flag_scrutinize_player = true

    I would imagine that this is a lengthier process, so the time taken to get the proposal/approval/coding/QA is correspondingly longer. Meanwhile, customers are screaming that all these dupes are happening on a massive scale. On one hand, you want to assure customers players that something is being done, on the other, if you do this, it will tip off the exploiters. If they get tipped off, you will never get the ringleaders either. And those are the people you really want to get.

    A judgement call was made, seems like majority of devs/GMs/management/players would prefer to see a more heavy handed approach. Hence a solution where there can be no warning, remorse or recourse - immediate ban and houses dropped.

    All the while, hoping that people true to the game would keep their noses clean. And hoping that this serves as a future warning to exploiters of the kinds of actions they are willing to take.



    In conclusion
    There's a chinese proverb for this - "Kill one to warn hundreds".

    There are pros and cons to this. I totally understand why they did it their way. At the same time, I personally believe that it's safer to just delete the dupes they have ID'd and add a strike/tick to the offender's account like what they used to do. 3 strikes, and you are out.

    Those that are worried about buying stuff - there are still lots of duped stuff out there, I mean honestly, how many 2 storey Covetous statues, Shrouds, Lt Sashes can there be? If you have a couple of Sashes with the same ID, they are probably not after you. If you have a bus load of them sashes, then be careful. Just give yourself a reasonability test - would a reasonable person that is intimately familiar with the inner workings of UO believe that those sashes are legit?
     
  24. Yalp

    Yalp Guest

    Thx for the post Harlequin.

    I do have a couple of questions...

    First.. since I don't know you from Adam *or Eve*, how is it you know these things for fact? I missed official word from EA about the duping operation. How did you know bods were duped and not the item itself?

    Second... there were players *claiming* banned who possessed no runic nor bought no runics. They did have gold checks * purchased irl* and armor/weps they bought off vendors. How does your note apply in that situation?

    Third... comment rather than question. EA's policy of not commenting on cheating/hacks/exploits allows dupers to make massive gold, infect the game economy with the illegal items, and distribute the illegal items to honest players. Simple notification of the player base would dry up their pipeline while EA continued to fix the issue. The dragnet thrown at that time would be more likely to catch the dupers in it. Since they could not get rid of their stockpile of duped items, they would be 1) the ones with either massive amounts of them on their accounts, or 2) none at all since they had to trash them. The policy of protecting the dupers while the EA wheel o'fixin' turns does a far greater disservice to the honest player base. IMHO.

    But anyway, thx for the post and your well thought out ideas.

    Yalpers!
     
  25. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    Sorry Harlequin, I am not buying it. You were doing pretty good up until here (although I do believe there may have been 'dupe' methods that forced the system to produce 'new' items with fresh 'IDs'). Mostly it's this:

    Do you have any feel for how many items are created and deleted every second in a game like this? And you believe that the system keeps transactional records?

    Ok, well I might buy that they set up some kind of specific tracking for runics and a variety of high end items some time ago and then let it run to see where the stuff ended up. But even if that were the case, that just produces a lot of other questions and doesn't address the basic issue of banning for possession. Note that they have said themselves that they can't determine intention from just possession. Apparently it some how inhibits their sense of fairness and their own rules on the matter as well.
     
  26. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    You are welcome Yalpers :)

    I forgot the disclaimer, here it comes - These are my personal thoughts/suspicions. And I don't work for EA.

    To answer your questions:


    1
    No, there was no release of such info from OSI/EA/Mythic. So there's no hard evidence or reference to back up what I said. However, I have been playing UO, since 1997. During this period I have seen many bugs/exploits and dupes. From what I have witnessed, there are always certain common factors. The basics of which, I have posted earlier. Delving futher into the mechanics would probably get me banned from the forums, heh.

    Why I mentioned the BOD dupe, was due mainly to Beerman's brave posts to warn everyone. Note there at the same time, there could be an item dupe that would result with runics having the same ID, it is possible. That being said, this time, instead of arties/crimsons/25k event tickets etc, we see an influx of mainly runics. If it were a normal dupe, there are other "high-ticket" items, to borrow the term, that would make much more money. So it's reasonable to guess that for some odd reason, the dupes are limited to BOD rewards only.


    2
    That's where the possibilty of a second dupe bug would come into play. However, I suspect it's much more likely that, in their scan for duped items, they found lots of other duped items like checks/arties. Hence why I suspected that they did a "search for all duplicated identifiers" instead of "search all hammers/BODs where item is runics". So upon finding all these duplicated checks/arties the accounts were flagged as well. Remember the "if > x then flag_ban_without_review" part? If that's what they did, the folks that sold their legit hard-earned Crimson to "Moneybags the Duper" at the bank for 18 one mil checks back in 2006 (and kept the checks without using up all of them) would be thus flagged. Again, I am not saying that's what OSI actually did. Just explaining if a search was made, these old items would also turn up. Applies to bought checks. Also applies to whoever bought from Mr "Hey dude, I gots a full set of 8 Lt Sahses from 8 different events, want a gander?"

    None are truly duping, but they will be flagged. And yes, it's not fair to them. There's where the notes comes in :

    "Before banning you, let's see if you have any prior strikes against your account - oh you have none, right then, it's likely you are innocent, we will remove the offending items, give you a warning (one strike for suspected duping/fencing). Off you go then!"

    "Hmm, 1 strike before eh? Tell you what, I'll trust you 1 more time. This is your second warning, you understand?"

    "Whoa, my friend, that's strike 3, sorry you were warned twice, I don't think I believe you anymore, good bye!"


    3
    I agree with what you say, a simple warning about dupes going on without going into specifics would have made it alot better. Doesn't matter if it's already in the TOS. Like reminding my users not to open suspicious email attachments when there's an outbreak, surf porn sites, save porn on the server etc. But if you do it too often, they start ignoring your mail and believe that 1) you are just issuing empty threats or 2) they can get away with it.

    I mean come on, who do you think review the logs on the servers and has to submit a report to the management when the drek hit the fans? I won't actually go and say "I told you so" in their face when they get into trouble, but I told them so!

    :D

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
     
  27. Revenant2

    Revenant2 Guest

    The dupe methods I have come to understand produce items with unique ItemIDs. That's not considering the ones that would be related to BODs.

    A dupe that created items with duplicate ItemIDs would make those items relatively easy to trace and clean up in the game world, I'd think?

    Dupes done in the ways I understand would have sequential ItemIDs if they were duped in a batch. That makes them traceable and identifiable as dupes.

    My experience in this comes from having been an admin on a private shard, not from having done anything untoward to EA's production shards.
     
  28. Lucy of Kenton

    Lucy of Kenton Seasoned Veteran
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    Just to state again, its not the runics as there wasnt a single one on my acct. i had lots of snake skins and doubt thats it so the only other thing was checks and im not sure how to tell the difference between a duped check and a real one
     
  29. o2bavr6

    o2bavr6 Slightly Crazed
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    It seems that if anyone has concern as to their checks being legit, they may want to convert them to gold and then back to checks, just in case.
     
  30. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Whoops, hit the wrong close button and lost what I wrote *smacks self*.

    Yes, I understand it's a huge undertaking. I am just offering an explanation of how they might have gathered the info they need, it might not be how it was done. And yes, you are right, querying the trash heap might not be possible, but not for technical reasons. Let me explain:


    OSI have upgraded UO to increase the amount of items it can support at least once. This actually was posted by them a long time ago. I believe each shard can support apprx 10 billion items, can't find the post though, so let's say more than enough to handle the amount of items being generated before they take the servers down for their daily maintenance. On Melissa alone, she drops 200+ items. Half of the items get deleted when the corpse decays. So it probably run into the millions each day.

    Meanwhile, IRL - Thousands of banks have transactions with each other every day via an organization known as SWIFT. A total of 11 million banking transactioms are processed by Swift daily on average.

    http://www.forbes.com/business/2006/06/23/swift-terrorist-money-transfer-cx_lm_0623swift.html

    They have to keep a proper audit trail of every single transaction, coz a missing transaction could mean punitive fines/lawsuits for/from their customers. Also useful for tracking money launders, in the Forbes report I linked: terrorist-linked money laundering activities.

    Is it possible? Yes. Is it hard? Not really, all done by computers, verified by computers at each end, kept on storage systems/tapes. Does take extra storage space though. Each transaction on average takes about 1 kb. Just from these transactions alone, their data growth is 11 gb a day. They probably have to archive it to tape and crop the database every month. Is it feasible for the financial sector, yes. Is it feasible for a game? Maybe not.

    Can they retrieve the database from a tape that stored an entire month's worth of data (330gb), then let a query run through the data? Might take a long time, say, a month (running an exhaustive and moderately complex query recently through a 180 gb database took about 2 hours, so it actually shouldn't take that long, but maybe their database admin didn't design/optimize it properly). Hmm...a month before they got the report and start cracking head eh? Hey, that reminds me of something...



    Thanks for bearing with me so far, having said all that, now I am going to apologize and repeat what my professor once said - Ignore everything I have taught you today. Because that's the theory to explain to you how it works, it's not real and you don't actually have to know all that. What you need to know is that it works.

    Or in our case, that OSI got the info they need, possibly due to some Dev's incredible foresight to add an attribute that records which BOD submitted by which player that resulted in that specific runic.


    Now, you are also right in that there is a fairness issue with this, I have given in my reply to Yalpers a couple of situations that might arise. They had what I thought a pretty good system previously. Maybe it was abused...


    Finally, yes, there are dupes that generated duped items with fresh IDs, eg the one that involved the Travesty Imprisoned Dog. But if they do it via abusing the backup/failsafe, then the ID remains the same and very traceable.
     
  31. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Yes, just in case OSI really searched the database the way did I mentioned.
     
  32. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    Of coarse it is feasible, but it seems very unlikely given when this game was developed. To my knowledge there has been only one game developed that used off the shelf commercial databases. That was SWG and they used oracle. And they suffer from problems associated with the access lag to this day.

    Raph Koster once revealed that SWG did keep a lot of transactional records and was pretty much the first MMO to do so.

    Everybody seem ready to believe that EA/Mythic has some method by which they can directly identify dupes( i.e. by duplicate IDs). I guess I am just too old and cynical to accept that inference without some less obtuse statement from them. If they have a reasonable method of identify dupes with DB searches, they should be running these daily, tagging the sources, and deleting the items off.

    I actually believe that process was much cruder then that and for a large part that what has got them into this controversy. For example, they can probably get a good idea of how many BOD are turned in daily, and from that they can estimate how many runics should exist. When way more then that number exist, say five times that, you can safely assume that only 1 in every five is legitimate. So if you find someone with a lot of those items, odds are many of those are dupes. But that level of assumption is a long way from what I think most of us would hope they based the bans on.

    Problem is, we don't know and they ain't saying. So as I said in other threads, it all come down to faith. Either you have faith in them or you don't. And my lack of faith comes from history.

    The truly sad part in all this is what is says in the bigger picture. They can't seem to catch the dupes or the dupers in a timely manner. They have to chase the second order effects. And the does not bode well for not revisiting this same scenario at some time in the future.
     
  33. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Lucy this was meant for your case in mind:
    "sold their legit hard-earned Crimson to "Moneybags the Duper" at the bank for 18 one mil checks back in 2006"

    Not the runics part. None of us have the evidence to judge you (includes both supportive and nasty folks), the only ones that have the evidence is OSI. If you are not concerned with the virtual castle/possesions, email them again and again for an appeal to reinstate your account. You should have friends that will get you back on your feet.

    If not, startng newbie avatars and training them/watching them grow is actually alot of fun. I am not joking, started with nada on a different shard coz I was fed up with lag on my main shard.


    To other disheartened folks that have be affected, as someone said, persistence is the key, threatening and dissing people does not win them over nor get them to help you.
     
  34. Pax

    Pax Guest

    Simple. Just delete the duped items and keep an eye on the questionable accounts for a while. Innocent people will keep playing those accounts while they bend over backwards to keep from getting caught-up in an expensive duping rip-off scam again. On the other hand, guilty people will probably close the compromised account(s) and find some way to set-up business and start it all over again. No matter the result though, you should continue to delete any duped items you find.

    Do you have any actual method for *knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt* this or that item is a dupe, or are you going on quantity alone to determine guilt?

    Be well - Pax
    .
     
  35. Radun

    Radun Guest

    so far, all the methods of avoiding dupes have only applied to extreme high end items, such as val hammers. ie. price/quantity

    there's nothing fishy about a vendor having 10 - 30 barbed kits at one time.
    there's nothing fishy about barbed kits being 2m - 3m each.

    yet, they could still be dupes, or not.
     
  36. Pax

    Pax Guest

    And you know this because...? Are you saying they have no way past quantity-in-possession to decide whether or not items are dupes?

    If that's true, then another poster (in this thread or another, don't remember) was lying when they said they had an illegal third party that could read item IDs and show if they were genuine or dupes. It stands to reason that, if in-game items have some way of being determined through their coding to be real or fake, those at EA/Mythic would certainly have the use of that method.

    However, if there *is no* method for determining through the items' codings if they are real or duped, then banning for nothing more than the "sin" of possessing a large quantity of some item seems a very ill-conceived method of attacking the duping problem. Primarily because it's very possible for a player to purchase large quantities of even Val Hammers not realizing it's impossible to attain such BoD Rewards in any great number honestly.

    Come on! 15 mil is "cheap" for a Val Hammer?! Why?! When I've used them on TC, I constantly go back to Barbed Kits on Barbed Leather because that seems to me to make the best armor. It would never cross my mind that Val Hammers were over 5 times better than Barbed Kits, mainly because they can't make armor 5 times better than Barbed Kits can make... well, at leat to my knowledge. But I've never been interested in having a GM smith, so I'm *really* not an expert. Add to that the fact I'm totally ignorant concerning elf armor... (Can you use Val Hammers on it?)... and it's obvious smithing is WAY not my thing.

    In brief, I'm certain there are a LOT of players who, just like me, would never believe a Val Hammer was worth even 15 mil, much less *more* than that! But, even with that, someone might shell out for some of them (even quite a few of them) to give to their guild's smith or something similar, not realizing their nosebleed 15 mil price was actually WAY too low.

    Be well - Pax
    .
     
  37. therogon

    therogon Guest

    I didn't read this whole thread, but I read far enough.
    Are you also going to stop paying taxes because of the war? What about murders, sexual assaults, and financial fraud? Identity theft?
    To get your argument straight, you've decided that you consider the UO world to be so "corrupted" that the only thing you can think of to do is stop playing? And you think wielding the power of the almighty dollar is going to really send a message to EA? That's the same kind of self-serving American rhetorical BS that makes people do things like autoscript and dupe in the first place. If you really were thinking about a solution to the problem you wouldn't be trying to "punish" the devs who may militantly be working on the problem, but instead you'd be offering to help them by showing them you care about cleaning up the world too, and reporting dupers and scripters, and otherwise being a part of the community.
    Blaming the authority for people who exploit the system or commit any other kinds of offense is stupid. UO isn't "out of control", its the people in it, the people who play, who - just like in real life - don't care about the rules they just want to get ahead.
    If you want justice it isn't going anywhere without your help. So think about what you're saying.
     
  38. THP

    THP Always Present
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    Val hammers are 15m!!! woooooot!!!!what for only 15 uses??? thats 1m per item u make...thats gotta be crazy crazy.....
     
  39. Bobar

    Bobar Babbling Loonie
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    It is several days now since the banning operation was carried out and despite the obvious concern amongst the player base about how it was done (except for those fortunate enough to believe in the infallability of EA) we have heard precisely NOTHING.

    One post asking for an official statement (366 posts currently) has had no effect, other posts on the subject have had no effect either. It is transparently obvious that there is great concern amongst the players who read these forums. Some believe EA in it's omnipotent wisdom has acted correctly a greater preponderance are not so sure. It is unknowable what players outside the forums may think but statistics suggest the same ratio would hold true.

    In the face of this concern EA's reaction appears to have been to play the Ostrich card, say nothing, and hope it will all go away.

    Having kept us in the dark about whether this type of action will be carried out in the future IN THE SAME MANNER. I do so hope they dont eventually go for the full mushroom option and feed us a large dollop of b/s .
     
  40. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    Funny, I read 4 days since it was addressed actually, on the UOHerald site in fact;

     
  41. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    Bobar, I'm with you. Like you said in the other thread the banning itself was a good action against cheaters and long overdue. Nobody doubt that. But for a company with a certain reputation in the gamer scene (and plenty of funds) I expected this action to be performed in more professional manner.

    It makes me very sad that the (Stratics-)community gets devided by this incident. It gets devided because the lack of informations leads to assumption of all kind. As much sympathy I have for the devs and as much as I appreciate their job giving us a awesome game, I blame the company for not interacting with us in the way they should in this critical moment.

    The argument that this is THEIR game and they are allowed to do whatever they like to do with it insults me. Every game-company should be very happy about a loyal community and the tendency of some posters here to get emotional only shows their affinity to the game. As we all know UO has some drawback to other MMORGs and the company could make some real good points here if they would care more about communication. I mean considering the costs of maintaining a game, how much would it cost to take just one employee only for customer service? I thought this was Jeremy and she's doing good but obviously she has a lot of other things to do (which is a good thing). But if not she who else? And if not here why not care more about the FoF? Sorry but to me as an ordinary player it seems just half-hearted. I know some posters will rip me for this like "Oh no! They care so much!" and all this but what I see is another thing. I'm just comparing this to other games.
     
  42. Revenant2

    Revenant2 Guest

    I donno if the creator of this thread missed the after-the-fact announcement, but in any case, my own concerns about the whole thing remain largely unaddressed.

    There was one case where Jeremy said that one of the people crying 'innocent' was actually hoarding like 150 obvious dupes or something to that effect. That was about the only helpful thing I heard.

    Other than mentioning that one thing, what they have both said and NOT said communicates to me that they think they did things just right. We'll see if anything that clarifies one way or the other comes forth soon, perhaps in the FOF.
     
  43. Zofinur

    Zofinur Guest

    The silence is not only deafening, but it hurts!
    It hurts even more than the ban itself!

    This 'strategy' might mean, that
    1. they are aware they made an error, and dont see a way to revert it
    2. they dont see a way to explain what happend
    3. they have no interest in us
    4. they really are not allowed to speak; in private & public (Please note i already sent and email to the privacy-administrator to ask if its possible to get this removed from my account)

    This is it how it will end. Especially for a european player like me, that got no clue who else is to contact than EA / Mythic.

    And what do u get when u fill out the form?
    Some phrases / canned responses that i would name "silence" as well

    you were found to be in possession of a multitude of highly illegal items​

    Any further replies regarding this subject will not be acknowledged.​
     
  44. Bobar

    Bobar Babbling Loonie
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    No I did not miss the AFTER THE FACT announcement but that is exactly what it was, an announcement telling us what they had done. It is not a response to the threads in this forum.

    It does not address what is concerning me and a large number of others. The way it was done. To take punitive action of that sort you need to be sure you are always 100% correct all of the time.

    Unfortunately this is not a perfect world and mistakes happen. If the same people behind the bannings are the same ones who launched KR, god help us.

    If you are one of the fortunate ones who think EA is infallible so be it and good luck to you. If like me, you think it is possible for mistakes to be made, then you will be concerned.

    I think everyone agrees with what EA have done, what we don't agree with is how they have done it.
     
  45. Rosalinda

    Rosalinda Journeyman
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    Well, my best hope is they're all running round like headless chickens:
    "OOOOOOOOOOOOPS!"
    "Who the F*** screwed up?"
    "Wasn't ME!"
    "Quick, summon the office scapegoat - whose turn is it this week?"

    Worse scenario:
    "Take that phone off the hook!! Now, who's got Mr Bun the Baker?"

    Or maybe:
    "*HIC!* wherzarestroomBLEH!whoops*zzzzzzzzzzzzz*"
     
  46. Doomsday Dragon

    Doomsday Dragon Visitor

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    Bottom line is that they have the right to deal with things however they see fit on a per incident basis. You can't change it and neither can anyone else here.

    Making post after post demanding answers will not get you anywhere.
     
  47. Revenant2

    Revenant2 Guest

    That's not realistic. We're the customers and without us, they have nothing.

    We can change every single thing in this game if we all ask for it at once, it's the nature of the beast.

    We are doing them a favor by continuing to voice and further clarify our disapproval. The worse option (from EA's perspective) is for the disturbed customers to say nothing and then silently drop out of the game a month later. That would represent a true, slow death of the game.
     
  48. Redxpanda

    Redxpanda Lore Keeper
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    I believe mistakes were made

    They are not going to admit fault

    They are going to stick to their guns until people shut up about it or until they can find something noisy and shiny to wave in front of our faces to make us forget about it faster.
     
  49. Rosalinda

    Rosalinda Journeyman
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    Oh, like a T-shirt saying "I survived the August 08 fiasco"?
     
  50. Fizzleton

    Fizzleton Seasoned Veteran
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    She said 150 illegal items. ONE person. The others? And what if these illegal items are duped cheques somebody was paid with?

    As long as I don't see a listing, containing number and type of the illegal items found per account, I don't believe anything.

    and, well; my accounts are closed. no support for a game that does not deserve it. I'm not a child; I am 43 years old, managing a family and projects in the biotech-industries; I want to be treated as an adult, and that includes cooperative communication. If this company is not able to satisfy this need, I am done with it.
     
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