Square-Enix Bans Players for Gardening in FFXI

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Square-Enix Bans Players for Gardening in FFXI

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Members of the Final Fantasy XI community have raised complaints after rule-abiding subscribers were apparently banned for engaging in the most heinous of in-game crimes: gardening.

A thread on the Allakhazam forums raised a red flag for members of the community, when one FFXI player found he was unable to log on. Upon contacting a representative, he found that his account had been banned for engaging in RMT activities - selling in-game money and objects for real-world cash.

The only problem was that the player hadn't been doing any such thing. The poster - and other FFXI members who also found themselves banned - had apparently fallen prey to automated tools developed for Square-Enix's Special Task Force (STF) to help them catch gold farmers and gold sellers. Gardening is used by many players in Final Fantasy XI to help earn money, since it is a profession with no level or skill requirement; the only limitation is that each individual character may only have ten flower pots at once.

To circumvent this, players would have alternate low-level characters (or "mules") with whom they would garden, sell the grown plants to NPCs for profit, and then forward all the money on to their main character. This cash flow apparently set off red flags in the automated STF tools, labeling gardening enthusiasts as potential gold farmers, and banning them accordingly.

Most of the bans will probably be overturned - if not, then there are more serious problems at play than automated software - but let this be a lesson to Square-Enix and other MMOG operators: Automated tools aren't always perfect. If they were perfect, then they would have already evolved into SkyNet and enslaved us all.

(Petfoodalpha)

Permalink

And this is why you don't have automated banning.

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

And let us hope they've learned their lesson, lest we all feel the might of the ban-hammer.

NoMoreSanity:

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

And let us hope they've learned their lesson, lest we all feel the might of the ban-hammer.

I'm scared, my rose garden is right in my backyard! What am I going to do?

By god, that's a moronic system. Isn't it smart enough to notice that they also own the character whom the money is coming from?

I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

they would have already evolved into SkyNet and enslaved us all.

YAY for.....oh wait.....that IS bad.....

This just shows that, Automatic Banning = Mistakes.

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

QFT.

You need living humanoids to analyze and ban the real perpetrators, not leave it to incompetently-written bullshit tools.

My first reaction was:
What the hell?

But after reading it... Ooh, I see.

Cid SilverWing:

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

QFT.

You need living humanoids to analyze and ban the real perpetrators, not leave it to incompetently-written bullshit tools.

Sorry Foxxy I'm not up on my acronyms, which one if QTF?

Ugh I garden, that concerns me.

The GM's are really slacking* and the gil sellers are really bold since I started playing again a couple weeks ago. They (Gil sellers) send a tell right in game and the GM's are too flooded to respond so they want you to use the POL out-of-game email system, which is asking a bit much. I'm playing their game for a fee, I'm not going to pay to alt-tab out, interrupt my gameplay (farming, party, whatever I'm doing) and be moderator for them too. I'm sure my merit party will be very understanding that we all have to leave the game to send an email to the GMs whenever we get some copy-paste of a gilseller ad from a stolen account.

I wonder how much transfer of money activates the system exactly? There is a 1 million cap on the mail gold system but if you are gardening for white ore that sells on the auction house for 140k a pop and you have several mules gardening, you can make your money all at once once the saplings "bloom" and that could trigger the system.

Its odd though because I though that was one of the ways you are "supposed" to earn money to get your high level items.

*probably not slacking so much as exausted and downsized and burning out

Im going to start a petition for some form of auto banning on the escapist. Im just working on the details now.

The Ban hammer 9000, coming soon...

Did they honestly think a programme would be fool proof?

Radeonx:

NoMoreSanity:

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

And let us hope they've learned their lesson, lest we all feel the might of the ban-hammer.

I'm scared, my rose garden is right in my backyard! What am I going to do?

Pray. And buy some guns.

Broken Wings:

Cid SilverWing:

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

QFT.

You need living humanoids to analyze and ban the real perpetrators, not leave it to incompetently-written bullshit tools.

Sorry Foxxy I'm not up on my acronyms, which one if QTF?

Quote For Truth I believe.

NoMoreSanity:

Radeonx:

NoMoreSanity:

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

And let us hope they've learned their lesson, lest we all feel the might of the ban-hammer.

I'm scared, my rose garden is right in my backyard! What am I going to do?

Pray. And buy some guns.

Broken Wings:

Cid SilverWing:

Broken Wings:
And this is why you don't have automated banning.

QFT.

You need living humanoids to analyze and ban the real perpetrators, not leave it to incompetently-written bullshit tools.

Sorry Foxxy I'm not up on my acronyms, which one if QTF?

Quote For Truth I believe.

Or Quite The Fuck...probably the first.

BURN THE GARDENERS! BURN THEM ALL!

The money systems in MMOs are getting out of control. It would be really interesting to study this on an economic scale, could provide an interesting insight on a microeconomic scale.

They got banned for the equivalent of WoW's idea of 'Make a low level engineer/blacksmith and train him up, get tons of cash and vasoom. U R RITCHZ' ?

Hang on, what does vasoom mean? Did I make that up?

Anyway, automated banning tools in MMOG's fail.

messy:
I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

Hehe

Well, I think it's perfectly acceptable, it would be like having an MMO which allowed you to gain experience when you were logged off.

Like that'd ever happen...

Why exactly should gardening be allowed, surely each character should be in effect a seperate 'game', and therefore should not be able to trade items? In a single player game you wouldn't expect to be able to trade items like this, why should it be any different here?

The_root_of_all_evil:

messy:
I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

Hehe

Well, I think it's perfectly acceptable, it would be like having an MMO which allowed you to gain experience when you were logged off.

Like that'd ever happen...

Seriously is there one that has that, and if so what one?
How would you grind endlessly?

xmetatr0nx:
The money systems in MMOs are getting out of control. It would be really interesting to study this on an economic scale, could provide an interesting insight on a microeconomic scale.

Yeah I've played on and off since 2004, and I've seen the prices of items fluctuate directly as a result of the gil seller vs the GM moderating activity. More gil selling, prices go up, more GM activity prices crash. I'm guessing this is due to the gil sellers that specialize in crafting, that they want to get their craft of specialty up to maximum level as soon as possible so they are willing to buy materials at the auction house for more, which creates a supply-and-demand bottleneck.

(For example; I remember when I was starting out clothcrafting in 2004 and how hard it was to get cotton to level on (I did not know a the time about harvesting or taking it from mandragoras with a thief job). It would be so frusterating as a level 30 white mage to get through the level stage where cotton was required, so buying cotton was very expensive.)

But it seems surprizing to me that they don't have a tagging system in place with the automated system that can trace the origins of gold. It shouldn't be too hard to notice that gold is coming from the sale of ore grown by a character attached to the same account. Strange.

Archeopterix:

Yeah I've played on and off since 2004, and I've seen the prices of items fluctuate directly as a result of the gil seller vs the GM moderating activity. More gil selling, prices go up, more GM activity prices crash. I'm guessing this is due to the gil sellers that specialize in crafting, that they want to get their craft of specialty up to maximum level as soon as possible so they are willing to buy materials at the auction house for more, which creates a supply-and-demand bottleneck.

(For example; I remember when I was starting out clothcrafting in 2004 and how hard it was to get cotton to level on (I did not know a the time about harvesting or taking it from mandragoras with a thief job). It would be so frusterating as a level 30 white mage to get through the level stage where cotton was required, so buying cotton was very expensive.)

But it seems surprizing to me that they don't have a tagging system in place with the automated system that can trace the origins of gold. It shouldn't be too hard to notice that gold is coming from the sale of ore grown by a character attached to the same account. Strange.

Thats actually quite interesting, it almost reminds me of the supply and demand dance of the drug trade. One could build quite an itneresting model from all that data. Makes me wonder if they realize what they created.

The_root_of_all_evil:

messy:
I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

Hehe

Well, I think it's perfectly acceptable, it would be like having an MMO which allowed you to gain experience when you were logged off.

Like that'd ever happen...

That would nEVEr happen would it? BRB gotta go set my training skills. Now all I have to do is remember to log on Saturday and update my training.

xmetatr0nx:

Archeopterix:

Yeah I've played on and off since 2004, and I've seen the prices of items fluctuate directly as a result of the gil seller vs the GM moderating activity. More gil selling, prices go up, more GM activity prices crash. I'm guessing this is due to the gil sellers that specialize in crafting, that they want to get their craft of specialty up to maximum level as soon as possible so they are willing to buy materials at the auction house for more, which creates a supply-and-demand bottleneck.

(For example; I remember when I was starting out clothcrafting in 2004 and how hard it was to get cotton to level on (I did not know a the time about harvesting or taking it from mandragoras with a thief job). It would be so frusterating as a level 30 white mage to get through the level stage where cotton was required, so buying cotton was very expensive.)

But it seems surprizing to me that they don't have a tagging system in place with the automated system that can trace the origins of gold. It shouldn't be too hard to notice that gold is coming from the sale of ore grown by a character attached to the same account. Strange.

Thats actually quite interesting, it almost reminds me of the supply and demand dance of the drug trade. One could build quite an itneresting model from all that data. Makes me wonder if they realize what they created.

Yeah lots of people are doing their thesis/dissertations on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_economy

Delmar Wynn:

The_root_of_all_evil:

messy:
I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

Hehe

Well, I think it's perfectly acceptable, it would be like having an MMO which allowed you to gain experience when you were logged off.

Like that'd ever happen...

That would nEVEr happen would it? BRB gotta go set my training skills. Now all I have to do is remember to log on Saturday and update my training.

Nah, I doubt they'd EVEr get that idea. You'd have to have a player run economy for a start.

A game company overestimating the capabilities of its AI is truly unprecedented.

cainstwin:
Why exactly should gardening be allowed, surely each character should be in effect a seperate 'game', and therefore should not be able to trade items? In a single player game you wouldn't expect to be able to trade items like this, why should it be any different here?

Because a MMOG is not a single-player game, honestly. It boils down to that.

Auto-swinging banhammers! Fail.

The_root_of_all_evil:

messy:
I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

Hehe

Well, I think it's perfectly acceptable, it would be like having an MMO which allowed you to gain experience when you were logged off.

Like that'd ever happen...

someone beat me to it

asinann:

The_root_of_all_evil:

messy:
I guess they were caught "green-handed". I'll stop with the puns now, blame doomsday arcade

Hehe

Well, I think it's perfectly acceptable, it would be like having an MMO which allowed you to gain experience when you were logged off.

Like that'd ever happen...

someone beat me to it

Nice ninja edit ;)

yes but its ment to be multi player with OTHER people, not yourself.

Fucking vegetables.

6PrinceofDarkness6:
Fucking vegetables.

No. Selling, not fucking.

You guys need to let this Skynet thing go. Machines are our freinds. They're not going to rise up and overthrow humanity then render them into protien soup to feed their organic batteries.

...*left eye glows red*

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