Jan 2, 2012

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 13 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: How Strict Should Rule Enforcement Be In TOR?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

Any gamer that has played online games long enough knows that regardless of what genre the game is, there will always be a number of players who choose to cheat, exploit, grief or simply put, break the rules of the game. The variety of offenses ranges from game to game and from genre to genre.  The MMO genre in particular is plagued by the so-called “gold farmers” and an assortment of exploits that can undermine the in-game economy, game balance and other aspects of the game.

Since no game is completely immune to being exploited in some way, there needs to be an effective and responsive system that punishes the offending players. For Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare is responsible for keeping an eye on the activity of players and the reports of various offenses. Even with these systems in place, it is extremely important to be as fair as possible and to minimize any “false positives.”

Recently, some players revealed that their account was temporarily suspended for taking a low-level character to a level-50 zone – the planet Ilum. BioWare has yet to publicly issue a statement on the matter, so for now realize that we’re only hearing one side of the story so far.  If it’s indeed a bannable offense to bring a low-level character here, then it should be systemically locked from being able to do so. Or perhaps it really shouldn’t be a bannable offense at all.

This obviously raises a few important questions, especially at this nascent stage of the game’s lifecycle.  What should be considered a bannable offense? How strict should BioWare enforce the rules and how many warnings (if any) should a player receive prior to a long-term (or permanent) suspension?

What’s your opinion on the matter of policing the game? And if you’re one of the players who was allegedly banned, we’d love to hear from you!

How strict should rules enforcement be in Star Wars: The Old Republic?

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  1. ScytheNoire says:

    This is the fault of BioWare, not the gamers. If BioWare didn’t want those below 50 to Illum, they should’ve made it so they couldn’t go there, or if they went there, they were immediately ported back to the Fleet or their Ship.

    BioWare banning people for their own design flaws is not the way to handle things. This is horrible community relations. Smarten up BioWare.

    And fix the damn Warzones.

    • Katherinne says:

      I’m not comprehending why it is illegal to go there. Is there something there that I’m not supposed to have access to until a certain level?
      I’m guessing you can’t get missions nor could you do any sort of gathering because you’d aggro everything in the zone.

  2. I’d rather see lowbies getting owned on Ilum than see all these afkers sitting out of combat in warzones. Where is the banhammer for these jokers?

  3. I have seen a couple of these “alleged” emails and they are fakes trying to get account info from the individuals. I would never have printed this story without official word from Bioware. This could easily result in a defamation suit.

    • There’s no defamation going on here. The article clearly states we only have one side of the matter and that people should be careful to consider what is going on. Players making these claims may have a point and are being treated unfairly. It’s also just as likely that they are lying or otherwise mistaken, but the general TOR playing public should be aware of this issue.

      • You are correct, because in this case the site could be sued for libel and not defamation. You cannot publish a story, especially without the other side not having given their side of the story, that would give a business a negative image, without proper factual representation. It’s easier for Mass Media to get away with it, because they have lots of money. But there is a reason why no other site has run with this story.

        I’m kind of shocked that AAJ actually ran this piece. Whether the claims are true or not. To jump the gun on this kind of a thing can be suicide.

        • *sigh*

          It’s not libel, it’s reporting what people are saying on the official forums. Nowhere in this article is it stated that BioWare is doing something unethical.

          All that is being said here is what people are talking about on the forums, much like many other BM&C posts. This isn’t even a Fox News level of “Some people say…” but refers to a post that is ongoing on the official forums. It’s just something for people to talk about and not a bulletin about what BioWare is doing. Again, the article even says “BioWare has yet to publicly issue a statement on the matter, so for now realize that we’re only hearing one side of the story so far.”

        • It’s a poll about rules enforcement.

          At any rate, It’s a hot topic being discussed in the community. We report on it just as we do everything else… there is no issue here. Not going to stop doing that.

  4. Brian Doucet says:

    One of our guildmates was banned on his 2nd day ingame. He had posted a link to some questionable content ( oh trolls.. ), and Bioware immediately implemented a 7 day ban, against their own rules which states the escalation process of how such an offence was to be handled.

    He wasn’t even told what he was banned for until the day the ban was lifted.

  5. I’m really slow to get on the side of players who make claims about unfair bans. After almost a decade playing MMOs, and many other online games, it seems like once all the facts are clear in these kinds of cases 9/10 times the player did something wrong. They usually make all sorts of allegations against a company (be it Bioware, Blizzard, Microsoft, whoever) but once all the facts are known, it becomes clear that they broke the rules and didn’t want to deal with it.

    That said, the punishment should depend on what someone does in game that is against the rules. Things like posting links to credit selling sites should result in an immediate ban or even the account being cancelled. Abusive behavior or harassment in game should result in a 7 day ban as a first warning, with the second offense resulting in termination of an account.

    Now, it’s also important that Bioware properly monitors situations to ensure players don’t abuse the system. If they are going to hand out bans and other things, they need to make sure an offense was really committed.

  6. RevanRules says:

    It is a MMO, a player should be able to go anywhere at any time whether too low level or not. They shuld make it more immersive for folks. Let them enter planets just to see the beauty of them for actually questings.

    No need for banning for visiting planets.

    Ban for bots, hacks or very bad rude behavior.

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