Pirates and Gold Spammers…

And when I say “pirates” I am talking about the newly released Pirates of the Burning Sea game. You see, I have recently raised my sails, hoisted my flag, and set out to sea in this new frontier in the MMORPG world. It’s a great game and I have having loads of fun; anybody who wishes to join me can find me playing on the Blackbeard server as a Frenchie! Anyways, I digress, as it has come to my attention that everytime I log on I find the game to be swimming(punny!) with gold spammers. Seriously, I can’t go 30 minutes without seeing a spammer broadcasting over my nation’s channel about the recent RMT for doubloons. So what’s the deal?

This practice doesn’t really take me away from the game all that much. In fact, despite these worrisome antics contributing to what is essentially a banned practice within a game I am paying $14.99/month for, I am still having a bunch of fun. Unfortunately, what this does do is worry me as to the management of the game. I mean, seriously, I have been playing for a month now and still everyday when I log on I am greeted by the same spammers. Does the developer even care? They say they do, and yet as far as I can see nothing has been done UPDATE: Apparently, patch 1.2 coming on Tuesday will have some new tools in order to help fight these pesky intruders. Good news for all players, and also something that deserves a retraction of my earlier statements. Hurrah!

Of course, management aside, when all is said and done Pirates of the Burning Sea is still unlike most other MMORPGs. The game literally thrives on it’s player-run economy. Sure, you can say that about other games such as LoTRO or WoW, but it’s doesn’t really hold a candle when you compare it to PotBS. While the practice of such activities may seem harmless now, how will it affect the economy when there is massive amounts of gold doubloons being poured in from unconventional sources? Nobody can tell for sure now, but if there is a bigger problem threatening PotBS right now I’d definitely like to know what it is before I waste anymore money on this game.

Thanks for reading.


  1. There are no universal tools that you can just plug in to fight gold spammers. Developers have to build such tools themselves, and have staff dedicated to operating and improving them.

    The most high-profile MMOs that have success against gold farmers and spammers (e.g. WoW and EQ2) have had several years to build up the tools and staff needed to take on the bad guys. Smaller developers may not have the same luxury of resources needed to instantly ramp up and have a robust system in place at launch.

    I’m not saying this is true of the Pirates folks, as I don’t know their particular situation. But it may be true that players of smaller-brand MMOs will need to show extra patience in giving their developers time to ramp up the systems necessary to battle farmers and spammers. That, or such systems and planning need to be taken into account during the development process so that they are included in the budgets and can be available from Day One.

  2. First, I’m glad you’re having fun, and check out 1.2 this Tuesday. Much goodness!

    Second, yeah, the spammers are a problem, but not a huge one. When they’re using the game as designed, they really can’t break the economy, the only way to make money is to effectively play the game. Where it’s a problem is twofolder:
    1) We rely a lot upon the servers never really trusting the client. But the servers weren’t tested against clients other than our own, which feed back info that exploited bugs in the server. So the server didn’t trust the client, but the client could suggest something stupid, and the server hadn’t been hardened against it. Those kinds of issues could leave to an economic problem, but we see them as they start to happen with our monitoring tools, and fixed the servers pretty quickly. It happened a few times right after launch, but as we fixed those incidents the frequency of that has dropped to zero.

    2) Farmers spamming players – This is really an aggravation to people, and we ban where we find an incident of it. It’s so bad that we were falling behind support requests because we were tracking down gold spammers. Not a good situation. Since then, we’ve improved our tools to deal with them, and have added additional customer support people to keep up with support requests, but we’re spending quite a bit of time and effort that I’d rather spend on the game itself. As an aside, in 1.2, it’ll be trivial to report someone for spamming, which will help you guys help us in tracking these people down.

  3. Good to hear! Thanks for responding, and taking time out of your day to come to our humble site to reassure me, and our readers that you guys are on top of this problem.
    Love the game, wouldn’t have it any other way. Keep up the good work. . .

    I am gonna go edit my posting now.

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