Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Make the botters/RMT-ers pay!

The Team Security panel reiterated the lenient policy of CCP towards botters and RMT buyers. If we consider that they ban thousands of accounts every month, it's somewhat understandable that the don't want to lose large portion of playerbase who went "a bit" bad. They have zero tolerance on client hackers and RMT sellers though.

The legitimate players of course demand a harsher approach towards RMT buyers and botters, who harm their income, making many income sources, especially mining unprofitable to actual players. I think I know a middle way that both serves the interest of CCP of keeping customers who just slipped and the interest of players to get rid of botters and RMT (if there are no buyers, there are no sellers).

The solution is to mark every account who used to receive a temporary ban for minor violations and also their identified alts. These marked accounts should have two restrictions: characters can't be transferred away from them and they can't activate PLEX (or timecode or buddy invite reward or whatever) to buy subscription time. Because of this, the RMT buyers and minor botters can no longer fund their account from illegally obtained means, they must pay real money to CCP to continue playing. They can sell PLEX to get ISK of course.

Why would it work? Because it would remove unfixable players without removing too many fixable ones. To understand this, we must understand what makes the difference between these two groups! There are four ways of handling EVE subscription and ISK income:
  1. Paying money to CCP
  2. Farming
  3. Cheating
  4. Abandoning EVE
From these we can have 4*3*2=24 preference orders. However we don't have to list all 24, just those who had "cheating" at the first place, as everyone else did not cheat but went with their first option:
  • CPFA and CPAF: the change will have no effect on these players as they would choose paying anyway if cheating is not available.
  • CFPA: they will murmur as they are forced to pay instead of farm their account, but won't cancel and we don't care about the murmur of cheaters.
  • CFAP: they will abandon their account and they are the only collateral damage.
  • CAPF and CAFP: these players must be lost because they are beyond fixing. They choose that they would rather leave the game than play in any legitimate way. If you could make cheating impossible, they would quit anyway. So temporary bans can't fix them, they will keep cheating until banned.
The above can be scaled to infinity. I mean botters usually not only bot to fund their account but also to get ISK for ships. RMT buyers are probably do not only buy ISK to turn it into PLEX cheaper than CCP price but also to get ISK for ships. Forcing them to pay for their account properly would not stop them RMT/bot for their ISK. However those who are caught second time could be marked for "+1 PLEX": it means that in order to keep their account running, on the top of the subscription fee, they must buy a PLEX too. They receive this PLEX to their hangar, so they can sell it for ISK legitimally. If they still bot/RMT, they can be "promoted" to +2, +3, +4. Sooner or later they reach the point where they get enough ISK from legitimate PLEX sales to stop getting ISK from cheating.

Actually the above can replace temporary bans fully, applied not only to minor cheating violations but on those who receive temporary bans for foul language, harassment and so on. The idea behind PLEX is that the free players provide positive content to other players who pay their subscription in turn. Those who provide negative content should not get this privilege. On the contrary, they should compensate the other players for suffering them. And via PLEX they will. These troublemakers would have to pay for more and more PLEX-es after each of their infractions. These PLEX-es will be sold for ISK, the price of PLEX will decrease, making it more accessible to others, practically forcing the bad guys to pay for the subscription of their victims.


Anonymous said...

You fail to realize that CPP makes more money when someone is using PLEX, therefore it's in their best interest that players buy PLEXes. Blocking it would be infinitely stupid.

OskaRus said...

PLEX price is very sensitive topic to ccp and they do all in their forces to keep it slightly above 500M isk.

I dont know why but it sure is that way. Remember how many plex sales followed when plex spiked to 600M. I dont doubt that CCP would increase the price of plex if it would start falling below 500M or do something similar.

I doubt that they would do somethng which would threaten their plex ballance.

Kobeathris said...

This wouldn't have any effect on the price of PLEX, as Gevlon is talking about accounts that would otherwise be banned. Unfortunately, I'm not sure it would do all that much to combat RMT, because, so long as the account can produce more than it's cost through RMT, it would still have value.

xspeedballx said...

You raise an interesting point. Not just for Eve but MMO's in general. What if game companies started charging money for cheater's to keep playing? Would legitimate players be outraged? Could cheaters have legitimate outrage?

"You were caught botting. Pay us 30$ to keep playing. Next offense is 60$"

Gold/Isk farmers WILL just buy another account usually because it is cheaper they have no attachment to there account. Normal people who strayed get a slap back to reality. Of course the fruits of the botting/cheating would be removed as well so that it will never be profitable.

Premier said...

CCP isn't perfect and punishing players wallets when they get an unmerited warning is a good way to lose players.

They'd have to be much more careful with who gets a warning and still inevitably end up punishing some innocent players. Which'd incite an awful lot of drama.

If they knew for certain who Botters were, they wouldn't really need to issue warnings.

Seca said...

Premier, I am sure they know who the botters are. Every single bot program I have read about looked at, and tried, (yes I did try them out but found that they made eve worthless to me, and no sence of acheivment was felt when upgrading to a new shiny ship) all require you to have certain settings for screen size and window placement.

I am sure that CCP would be able to see what settings players are running, and ban or enfore their bot policy based on this.

I dont see any normal player using the bot settings, as they are crap, and almost unplayable.