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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I posted this in another thread as a response, but it occurs to me that many of the points I make are valid discussion points by themselves. Please! If any of you who read this have suggestions for the Cryptic STO crew for these issues, make mention of them here! I want to start a kind of petition or grass roots movement to help alleviate or completely eliminate the Spammer Hoardes.

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Every day, I log into my account and play a little, and enjoy what I play. I love this game to pieces... What I don't love is the idiots intent on trying to ruin the in-game economy and to annoy the hell out of people who just want to play the game. I speak, of course, of those morons spamming the messages that read something like, "100K=$15 ! Powerleveling 1-10!" and other such nonsense, all advertising for the same site, which currently escapes me, since I delete the messages from my account mailbox as soon as I get them. The idiots who keep spamming these messages in-game are unwanted.

I agree that there needs to be some kind of policing of the general populace of the game, looking for people who aren't playing the game and tossing them offline, temporarily or permanently.

I understand there was some law passed some time ago that declares online in-game money as a form of digital property, and allows for it to be sold for real money. Since the Internet doesn't have any particular jurisdiction, they go by everybody's laws, and because of this newish law, people who just want to play their game (whether it be WoW, ****, STO, CO, CoH, etc) have to put up with these idiot spammers.

What's even worse is that some people take them up on this offer, which encourages them, which makes it worse! *Fvadt ataehkh uvhae hnoiyikar!* (rough translation from Romulan - Damn filthy cheating weasels!) (yeah, I'm a geek, but I've got a lot of time on my hands, so what else do I do but study facets of what I like?)

Technically, Cryptic can't really do anything to these users due to this law. Unless they can somehow link their actions to directly breaking their Terms of Service and/or the Terms of Use. Regardless of whether these spammers actions appear to be lawful according to that stupid law, the game's Terms of Service is set by Cryptic, and as the old phrase for any place of business I've ever stepped into; "We have the right to refuse service to anyone." There's got to be some kind of wording in the rules to allow Cryptic to crack down hard on these users taking up server space and annoying everyone else with their unwanted spam.

Grawr.

And to address that these spammers may be playing the game the way they want to...? They are not playing the game. They are offering a service to other players, to either give players a large boost in in-game cash, to powerlevel them, or both. But they are doing this for a profit to themselves. Since a monthly subscription costs $15 (roughly), and that's what they keep asking for as their price, all they need do is sell twice a month, and they make their money back and then some. If they stopped after this small profit, that might be one thing... but they're doing it to make as much money as possible. What I and the majority of players may feel about this is that it's exploiting a legitimately run source of fun that is someone else's intellectual property for their own benefit. In a sense, if the minimum of two people per month, per spammer buy in to this disgrace, that steals money from Cryptic. Normal players have to go to their own efforts, sometimes great lengths, sometimes just a little harmless grinding, to get the kind of in-game money these services offer. It takes time, and time equals money for Cryptic. The same goes for leveling up, power-leveling or otherwise. When a non-Cryptic entity offers a service which reduces the amount of time any player may use the game to get the in-game benefits of higher level and/or large amounts of wealth, that is directly taking subscriptions from the pocket of Cryptic. They never see a dime of the $15 fees these jokers are charging, because it's not a service offered by them.

It would be different if such a service were directly offered by Cryptic, but if it were, it would most certainly be for more than $15 to get power-leveled more than 10 levels, or to get 100K in-game money. But this isn't offered, so the game is hemorrhaging money as long as these weasels remain in operation.

Bottom line; they are an annoying presence to the people who just want to play the game, and they can cause a loss of month-to-month subscriptions when players have gotten the levels they want and done what they want to in the game with their higher levels and stop playing, as many people do with MMORPGs. Not everyone picks a game and sticks with it.

Proposed solution: Create a moderator Task-Force or a Watchdog Protocol for the game (or both) to monitor the Private Message system in STO for users with random letters for names sending out copious amounts of messages of the exact same size (not reading the messages, but monitoring who sent them, and how many were sent, so privacy is still maintained for normal messages from normal people), as well as monitoring in-game chat-logs for similar advertisements. As soon as offenders are identified, ban-hammer their butts out of the game. In addition to this, monitoring of large transactions and tallied amount of transactions in a given day. Once it's established that a user is giving out copious amounts of in-game money to many people without receiving anything in return in-game, these users receive the Ban-Hammer, and the users who received these transactions either receive the same ban-hammer, or some other form of punishment for using these services.
As a work-around for players who are legitimately giving these large sums away to other users (a birthday present, the donator is leaving the game and wants to give someone their assets, etc); send a message to in-game moderators or the STO Customer Service group that alerts them of this impending large transaction, so that when it is flagged, it can be ignored (whether it's a Task-Force or a Watchdog program), and the users involved don't get punished for just being nice to each other.
It may only make a small dent in the amount of spammers (because these hnoiyikar are persistent, if nothing else), but that makes room for at least a few players who actually want to play the game.

/rant
 

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