I’ve been wrong before…

And I will probably be so again.

That said, I replied to a commenter that one of my guildies may be a dirty exploiter, but my doubts are beginning to rise. There are a couple of reasons for this, which I’ll shortly. Beyond my near rage-enducing frustration at the lovely state of game geometry and the ever dreaded invisible walls, I was able to log onto my Knight after working a bit on my German. From there, I started looking at the whole situation a bit more critically. Now that I had gotten over the “ohmygodmyaccountisbannedandmywholeguildisgone” situation, I started to analyze and examine the whole thing.

Now, the initial email I got from BioWare was the following:

Your Warhammer Online Account XXXXXXX has been prohibited from accessing all servers due to violations of our Code of Conduct. You will not be able to log onto this account again.  The details of the violation are as follows:

CSR ticket number XXXXXXX

Policy: Prohibited Conduct [clauses: 12, 16] (Game Anomaly Exploitation)
Account: XXXXXXXX
Date: 7:28 AM 6/26/2011

This account has been permanently Terminated.

Player was logged and subsequently observed duplicating items in game.

This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Warhammer Online.

If you wish to dispute the actions taken against your account, you may email dispute@warhammeronline.com.

Thank

you,

Warhammer Online Customer Support
BioWare Mythic, A Division of EA

Now, that email (emphasis mine) would lead you to believe, that I was logged into the account at the time stated, and someone was physically watching me partake in this activity. There are a couple of points here that stick in my craw, and I realize they will never be answered, because company policies aren’t discussed with outsiders. Even the consumer. Sadly.

One major point is that, 6/26 was Sunday. Their timezone is EST, same as mine, and on a Sunday, the only reason I would be up that early is if my daughter was up as well. We do go to church on Sunday’s, but I’m not out of bed until 8:00 at the earliest for a 10:30 service, and my daughter is a HEAVY sleeper (she gets that from her mother). The second is that my appeal, which was supported, indicates that someone couldn’t have been watching me duplicate anything, because it wasn’t happening.

That email for the curious:

Greetings,

Thank you for contacting Warhammer Online Dispute.  Per your request, account ID: [XXXXXX] has been reviewed.  According to the results of the review, the account termination for duping items has been overturned. However, items removed from your guild bank included a number of duplicates which have been removed from your characters and cannot be returned.

The termination has been removed.  Please contact our Billing Department to re-enable the subscription on your account.  Billing may be contacted directly via phone, please call: 650-628-1001. Our phone support hours are 10am to 10pm EST, 7 days a week.

Cordially,

Warhammer Online Dispute Team
dispute@warhammeronline.com
BioWare Mythic, A Division of EA

So, some items in the guild bank were duplicates. The only items that I took out of the bank were potions. That’s it. The only other items I ever received from something other than the corpse of my enemies, or through in-game systems were either bought off the auction house (liniments), or +23 talismans directly from a guild member in a trade window. Clearly, no one observed me actually duping. Now, you have to wonder, what pots that I took from the guild bank were duped? Surely, some of the more rare and expensive ones right? So, I looked at my inventory as I logged my Knight on briefly last evening. I keep a fairly structured inventory (it’s the small-dose of type A in me). Take a look yourself:

On the bottom are my cloaks, standards, weapons, Mirror of Chaos Wastes, mount, etc… mostly permanent things or items I use on a very regular basis. On the top are consumable items, or things I rarely use (the hand thing-y), and then it starts to auto-fill with loot. The red bag is all my pots. I try to keep two stacks of each healing-oriented pot, and the less expensive explosive pots and AP pots. For a more focused look at my pot bag (hehe):

So, from left to right in alternate white/red rectangles, you have my liniments (STR and WOUNDS), my 3600 HoT pot, my 1800-some absorb pot, and my 1500 officer health pot, then a gap, then my explosive pots. Followed by a cluster of Ptra’s, Tahoths, Armor, and rez-pot. The gap is important, because that’s what I believe they removed. That gap holds my AP pots. My green, 112 instant restoring AP pots. Probably the single least used of all my pots on my Knight, and also some of the most wildly available pots on the market. For giggles, I checked the cost on the auction house last night for the pots – and I couldn’t actually find any. But the next size up, the AP pots that returned 122 AP, 1 gold 12 silver for a stack of 20 (as a reference: I could not even find Ptrah’s, Tahoth, or Rez pots for sale). I’m not saying it’s impossible for someone in my guild to have gone to the trouble of duping cheap AP pots, but it seems more likely that someone would have done so for the impossible to find at any cost, rare-mat required items.

Like I said above, we don’t know how their CS department is run exactly as it relates to exploits. We don’t know what checks and balances are in place to ensure that people aren’t abusing powers, or misconstruing information. But for me, this is now a credibility issue. What was stated, was then shown to be untrue. If I hadn’t appealed this, would the error have been found and corrected? Should we expect that type of review to take place within the gaming industry? I honestly don’t know. Some type of oversight probably should be in place to stop customers from falling victim to (and I don’t want this to sound mean, but it’s the best term) negligence. Then again, how much responsibility lies on the customer to ensure fair treatment of the service they are paying for. Consumer rights is a tricky, complicated entity, and varies wildly from country to country, and is not something I have fully settled on in terms of ideology.

Of course, the email could be a form-letter that is sent out for that type of infraction, and if that’s the case then that really needs to be looked at. Thank God for an amazing group of people at EA who handle the customer relations stuff. They made fixing the issue almost completely painless. It would have only been easier if I didn’t have to do it at all.

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

9 Responses to I’ve been wrong before…

  1. Pedro says:

    Lets just hope to see what happen with Kimy (Kimn) and Ring.

    I’m pretty confident that they didn’t had any thing to do with duplicated items and its more of a ‘butt-hurt’ issue, but i could be wrong, we’ll see.

    And if indeed was due AP pots being duplicated by someone, i can only say “come on…”

    @Sejanus

  2. Rikker says:

    HAHAHA, sorry that’s funny. I f*ing THROW AWAY stacks of the low-lvl AP pots, because they literally aren’t worth selling. I lose money on the transaction, and moreso if I flood the market with them. Same goes for HP pots. (usually, I’m going for the crits, obviously).

    That said, take everything that CSR department does with a grain of salt. I was banned for 3 days for Odjira + Quick Escape proc (I was one of the first to discover/use that combo, so clearly I was speed hacking…), and when I appealed the CSR said “What’s Odjira?”. Yeah….

  3. theerivs says:

    I would hate to get a ban from something I didn’t do, or have any part in.

  4. Pedro says:

    Regarding their appeals i don’t know where is it atm, i bet they both did but probably hasn’t got answered yet, and haven’t got the chance to talk with neither of em..

    If you have any direct contact with them Shadow, please see what’s going on if you can 🙂

  5. Frank says:

    glad to see them banned kkbaithx 🙂

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