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Role Playing (Games) The Almighty Buck

Crackers Slam EQ2 Economy 31

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-what-you-get dept.
Gamespot.com is reporting that third parties are manipulating the currency in EQ2, leading to massive inflation on the Station Exchange. From the article: "The players then began trying to sell the ill-gotten plat on Station Exchange, the official auction exchange for EQ2 weapons, armor, currency, and other virtual goods. 'The amount of money in the game increased by a fifth in about 24 hours,' Kramer said. 'We have a lot of alarms for this kind of thing, and they all went off on Saturday.'" Thanks to some exhaustive data tracking, most of the duped currency was removed from the economy by Sunday.
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Crackers Slam EQ2 Economy

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  • Whew (Score:1, Funny)

    by Thrymm (662097)
    Im glad I dont play MMORPGS anymore, it would be too fustrating to have these economies inflate right about the same time I would be able to scrap together enough plat/gold whatever for X. item I wanted/needed.
  • by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @03:34PM (#13332642)
    Wish I could pull THAT off in Scrabble.
  • Well Done (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MBraynard (653724)
    It's nice to see SOE has gotten their act together. A lot of other MMORPGs have been nearly destroyed by this kind of crap with devs oblivious to the problem. It's kind of like having an active "Total Information Awareness" within an MMORPG.

    Maybe because SOE gets some of the take on the exchange was motivating, but still, it's nice to know that they have the tools to prevent this [plaguelands.com] from happening again.

    • Re:Well Done (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Goobermunch (771199) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @03:54PM (#13332882)
      Well, first off, SOE has no tools for preventing THAT from happening again. If they did, I'd bet Blizzard would be quite surprised.

      Second, Blizzard's official line is that THAT never happened. It was a hoax. I can't say whether it did or not, but I can say I'm not any richer than I was before the duping exploit was "found."

      --AC
      • It was an obvious fake.

        I saw onlye ONE "evidence" that the duping had occured, and that was a screenshot from the auction house with duped items.

        The problem is that the screenshot has been manipulated.

        So there was absolutely no evidence that there were any duping.
    • In some games the selling of gold is what draws people to the game
  • by vmardian (321592)
    'We caught the dupe fast, worked overtime to fix it, proved that our alerts worked, and got this here nice advertisement on Gamespot.'

    This article seems like one big advertisement for EQ2 and Sony Exchange. Since when is it Sony's policy to disclose every little dupe in their games?
  • Props to SOE on their swift action to alleviate the problem.
    • The problem is old and had been noticed months ago. It just took this long for enough people to figure out how to deliberately and consistently exploit quirks in the broker system to disrupt the economy.
  • How did Sony (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @04:17PM (#13333137)
    deal with the problem of these auctions adding value to the 'vitual' items? i.e. if I buy $100 dollars worth of EQ gold and Sony causes it to devalue to $1 dollar, how do they avoid liablity?
    • Re:How did Sony (Score:2, Informative)

      by Harlockjds (463986)
      via the EULA which expressly says soe is not responsible for changing in value of in game items for any reason whatsoever.
    • If you buy $100 of stock in Microsoft, and Microsoft causes it to devalue to $1, how do they avoid liability?
    • Answer: The EULA says that you're not actually buying the property, you're buying the right to transfer a limited right to use the property. Sony retains actual title to the property and thus if it becomes devalued they're the only ones with standing to sue. Who knows if it will actually work or not if it ever got challenged in court.
  • by Harlockjds (463986) on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @04:21PM (#13333188)
    It's interesting what they left out of the story. Item duping (done by exploiting bugs in the in game broker system that allows charters to sell items between each other for in game gold) really caught on weekend before last causing an emergency shut down of all servers on 8/7. Since then brokering has been either disabled or enabled for short amounts of time until someone noticed that the bug is still in the game. Also a ton of accounts were banned mainly because they were considered to have 'too much money for their level (lots of guilds lost their guild bank mules in this sweep)

    The interesting thing is that people noticed issues in the broker system months ago and mentioned it in the eq2 forums but nothing was done.
    • by OrenWolf (140914) * <ksnider@fPOLLOCKlarn.com minus painter> on Tuesday August 16, 2005 @04:44PM (#13333402) Homepage
      It's interesting what they left out of the story. Item duping (done by exploiting bugs in the in game broker system that allows charters to sell items between each other for in game gold) really caught on weekend before last causing an emergency shut down of all servers on 8/7. Since then brokering has been either disabled or enabled for short amounts of time until someone noticed that the bug is still in the game. Also a ton of accounts were banned mainly because they were considered to have 'too much money for their level (lots of guilds lost their guild bank mules in this sweep)
      Of course, you leave out the rather important fact that most of these accounts were reactivated by the end of the weekend. In fact, any account that had received "duped" money (even innocently, by a duper bying one of their items) was locked while they corrected the issues over the weekend. The speed that they were able to fix this problem, and the fact that they essentially were able to "roll back" the economy without rolling back the game-world is worth kudos in it's own right.
      The interesting thing is that people noticed issues in the broker system months ago and mentioned it in the eq2 forums but nothing was done.
      Galliente (Scott Hartsman, EQ2 Producer) already answered that one, and it was basically "mea culpa" - they plugged some holes, others they used to hone their tools. He points out they will not be doing that un the future, as the explosion of duping in such a short time proved that *any* amount of time a vulnerability is left "in the wild" can lead to extreme damage in a very short period of time.

      software developers take note. :)

      • >Of course, you leave out the rather important fact that most of these accounts were reactivated by the end of the weekend

        i didn't leave it out. Notice i referenced the banning in past tense not present tense ( i guess i should have been clearer). However lots of people are still having issues.

        >Galliente (Scott Hartsman, EQ2 Producer) already answered that one, and it was basically "mea culpa"

        that's not an answer that's an excuse for not fixing the issue ;)
  • to create a Central Bank of Everquest, setting the interest rates at which players can borrow money and thus controlling prices through monetary policy.
    • to create a Central Bank of Everquest, setting the interest rates at which players can borrow money and thus controlling prices through monetary policy. The rough equivalent of the "fed" in EQ is the code that determines, presumably randomly, the value of currency and items that drop from mobs and resource mines. The only way to have meaningful control over the money supply would be to do what was done in UO originally: put a finite amount of money and resources in the game. As it turns out, that led t
  • It's only a matter of time before economist majors are getting their degrees with papers on the results of massive 'state' intervention in virtual economies.
  • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation @ g m ail.com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @11:53AM (#13339715) Journal
    Thanks to some exhaustive data tracking, most of the duped currency was removed from the economy by Sunday.

    I wish slashdot would employ some of this exhaustive data tracking to its stories.
     
  • The definition of economics that I've learned is the study of how a society works with scarce resources. However, in these MMORPGS, resources are hardly scarce. Yes there is a time factor involved in the production of resources, but there is no actual limit on how much resources can be introduced into the game.

    I'd like to see a MMORPG that takes a more realistic approach to their economic system. My idea is to only allow a fixed amount of money and resources to exist in the game. This fixed amount would b

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