First and foremost, it’s a huge win for us entirely that bots are being banned en masse. Thank you so much for that victory. I look forward to hearing about EU experiencing better queue times and people in general having less to complain about.
I’ve a bit of a long read for you and I’m certain you guys have thought of solutions yourselves. But I will still present mine just in case.
I am still here to take a proper unbias fight into the issue with gold-buying from third-party websites.
I have a firm belief that a good game retains a positive experience by culturing a healthy environment and bringing in new players in such a way that it hooks them. A game that doesn’t continuously receive new players will hemorrhage older players and it’ll die.
Hence I don’t have such a soviet hammer approach to dealing with the situation as others here express.
New players have been heavily gated by exuberant costs of materials thanks to bots exchanging materials and gold buyers. I don’t blame gold buyers for finding alternative methods since the inflation got severely out of hand.
With that said, Gold Buyers contributed to the issue.
I think that cutting people from the game permanently for first or second time offense like this is never a proper solution. Cheaters will always get more creative. If we can stabilize the economy, then this would help.
In turn, 3 ban system works as Amazon presently has.
I also suggest putting the persons account into the negative in gold like in KR.
While I condemn gold buying because of damages it does to the community, it’s abundantly clear that the damage bots have done have made it unthinkable and will take a while to revert, banning people who willingly spend money on your game is detrimental. Especially with AGS and their false positives that still have gone unchecked. Videos and publications of their handling of this situation are trending more and more each day.
Everyone is human and there are worse things than a gold buyer. I feel what makes better players is sympathy and understanding with a stern and clear outline of the consequences should it happen again with a minor and increasing consequence until the inevitable permanent ban should it occur thrice.
24H 1st Warning / 1 week 2nd Warning / Permanent ban 3rd and final offense
These things should be hand reviewed. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt always. I don’t like being cynical jaded over video games. It’s a game. Not real life. Giving people a chance to change is better than alienating them.
This is why Lost Ark was so successful in KR and why FFXIV is so critically acclaimed.
Suggestion for bot fighting:
Is it possible to look into 2FA (two factor authentication)?
On Discord, there’s a phone verification system which curbed spam from illegitimate accounts down to nothing. It also doesn’t allow Google Phone Numbers as a work-around, which is great because people then can’t cheat the system as easily. Surely there will be ways around it but I’m certain your capable team could detect this in a matter of days and patch a fix. By enforcing a system that becomes a bit more personal and requires an actual number we slow in its entirety the amount illegitimate accounts.
Suggestion for Economy Repair:
For Tier 1 and 2 I would suggest the internal team collects data and statistic for mats in T1/2 and identify their increase in price. I would then temporarily increase Bound to Character rewards to bring down the driving cost of items in-game.
I would suggest Harmony Shards / Leapstones for T1 and 2 including Destruction stones in T2 to be increased as rewards from dailies by a significant margin. This will remove the severe cost of these items for players in lower tiers and slowly begin stabilizing. This will drive the cost down so when players have a bit of gold they’re willing to spend they see a bit more progress and don’t feel turned off by exuberant expenses that should NOT exist in introductory level experience.
My last suggestion is the client consumer support system:
Whoever can – should hire proper people that can resolve simple issues without the need of escalating tickets. People pay good money to enjoy your game and it’s frustrating that a person who has a genuine issue has to be escalated via live-chat for resolution which results in weeks of waiting. Treat your players better. People are only complaining because they care.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.