ArcheAge has been fast growing a reputation for being infested with hackers, gold spammers and botters. I’ve written about it myself previously. I was very surprised when I first logged in to ArcheAge and found it awash with gold spammers – my previous experiences with Trion’s games had led me to expect the same stellar anti-gold spam and cheating systems that I’d always encountered. But what I hadn’t considered was the XLGames factor – all code changes have to go through them before they can be implemented – which means the time for changes and fixes can be much longer than they’d otherwise be. So it’s difficult to play for long without coming across hacks, cheats and bots at least once – or it has been.
But things have been changing, for the better. Active GMs are monitoring the game. Bots are being banned. Hackers are being banned. All of their auction sales are being removed, and now … all of their purchased gold is being deleted.
I swiped that opening screenshot from the official ArcheAge forums, since I hadn’t been logged in when it was made. Here it is in a more readable text form as posted by Morgana of the Community Team:
For those of you that have mentioned that you’re seeing gold disappear:
As we broadcasted in yesterday’s initial blast of rapturing hackers, gold farming bots, mules, and storage accounts, we’re now also taking the step of removing the gains passed on by them.
What that means is: If you bought or were gifted gold from one of them, you may see it disappear. We do have the ability to trace coin, and that’s the gold that’s being cleaned up right now.
The best bet is to not buy gold – It’s the same people trying to crap up chat with spam and trying to fill the game with bots and landgrabs. If you bought gold from one of those sites, you are absolutely welcome to try to go back to them for a refund, but we will not be returning gold purchased or gifted from goldsellers and botters. It’s off in the ether from whence it came.
Before I go too much further, let me state my bias. I see no difference between players who buy gold from third parties and players who hack. In both cases, the player is going around the game systems in order to benefit beyond their own ability. I find the Korean system of requiring the SSN equivalent to make game accounts appealing, because it means that hacking and cheating would follow you. I suspect there’d be a lot fewer people doing it if you couldn’t avoid the consequences of cheating by simply making a new account. It will never happen – and I actually suspect I’d be pretty irked if it did – so that’s only me idly musing, but regardless – I view gold buyers as cheaters right alongside hackers and botters and I’d like to see all of them banned.
So I nearly danced a jig when I looked at the dev tracker and saw that statement.
When I was visiting the forums earlier, it was awash with pleas of clemency, “I never bought gold but I lost all of mine!!! Falsely deleted!! I made all mine of the AH!! I can’t help it if other people cheated!!!” But I find such claims lacking in credibility. Has anyone ever met a gold buyer who would say, “Yup, you’re right. I bought gold, it sucks that it was deleted but that was the risk I took.” Or what about a hacker? “Yeah.. I was cheating. Sucks that I was caught, but I knew the risks.” Actually, I have met gold buyers who admit to it and say that all they’re doing is “leveling the playing field against no-lifers.” But I’m pretty sure that none of them would say that if their purchased gold was deleted; they’d be right up there making support tickets denying their purchases and demanding to get it back. When you think about it, they have nothing to lose about posting their innocence and everything to gain. They may get their gold back if they’re believed, and if they’re not, why not try and trash the game company on their way out the door?
I’d like to say:
Thank you, Trion!! Well done!! Thanks for your efforts in keeping your games clean and cheat free!!