A Warning About Grey Market Gold / Items - UPDATED
We recently received several reports that a player was offering ships for sale in-game, and was also selling them via a third party website. We investigated the issue and discovered several accounts that had been used to sell high-end ships for out of game currency. We have banned all of the seller accounts, and we are currently in the process of removing the ships that were sold and issuing bans to the people that purchased them.
We have always had a strong stance against gold farming and other grey-market activities that revolve around selling in-game items for real world cash (outside of legitimate game systems such as Treasure Aisle). It’s something that’s expressly forbidden in our License Agreement and will result in an instant permanent game ban for any account that is found to be selling items in this way.
The License Agreement also forbids buying items from such sellers, and that’s something also we take a hard line on. If someone offers to sell you something in-game for real life money, or even currency from another game, do not do it. Accounts that trade with known gold/item sellers are very likely to receive some sort of ban, and the items they received will be removed from the game.
In addition, gold/item selling websites are notorious for credit card fraud so you could be putting yourself at serious risk.
We’d like to express our gratitude to the players who brought this to our attention. We really appreciate your honesty and your dedication to making the game better.6/5/2011: Some Additional Information:
As I mentioned in the devlog, this investigation started because we discovered that some players had been selling items for real world money. During that investigation we found that the players involved had accumulated huge numbers of high value items including First and Second Rate ship deeds – more than anyone could feasibly have created. That led us to the discovery of an exploit that has now been closed.
The result of this is that there are a lot of items in the game world that shouldn’t be there. Many of them were exchanged for real world money, but a lot of them have also been traded or sold in-game in ways that would normally be quite legitimate. In either case the items are polluting the game and need to be removed, and that’s what we’re currently doing.
Our normal procedure is to ban any account that has received items related to an exploit. We then remove the illegal items and in many cases restore the accounts. We are well aware that a lot of people are quite innocent in this, but we cannot allow game-breaking items to remain in the world, and so many accounts have been suspended temporarily while we deal with this issue.
We realize that this is very frustrating for those of you who didn’t intend to do anything wrong, and we apologize for that. We are working hard to trace all of the illegal items and are removing them as fast as possible. We are also un-banning accounts that were only peripherally involved as we remove items from them. This will take slightly longer with accounts that received stacks of several illegal items.
If you have any questions about the status of an account please contact our support team by filing a support ticket. We are unable to respond about individual cases on the forums or in-game.
We would also suggest that you be a little more careful with trades at the moment. We are still in the process of tracking down some of the items involved, so if someone offers to trade you high value items it would be wise to be cautious. We will eventually trace all of them.