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Aug 24, 2005



I was discussing this with Hiroshi Yamaguchi, who filled me in on his understanding of the details. It appears the law violated was one prohibiting unauthorized disruption of business computers. The suspect allegedly used hacked IDs and installed a proxy for Chinese players to get on the Japanese server. That was a EULA violation that would have been enough to trigger the Japanese unauthorized access law (a separate provision used in this arrest), but the resultant load created apparently crashed NC's Japanese server, causing a significant business harm and a more serious violation. Unsurprisingly, it seems the conduct was RMT-motivated, with the suspect allegedly netting 10M yen ($90K) from RMT transactions.


As to the latter, I sometimes play two accounts simultaneously

This is what is generally known as "two boxing" and it's common in many modern MMOGs. I would say that your healer would not be considered a bot because of two things: 1. She is not able to navigate the world on her own (you have her on Follow), and therefore is not completely on autopilot; and 2. You are sitting at the computer keeping an eye on the healer, even if you aren't playing her directly most of the time.

There are some MMOGs that encourage two boxing (DAoC from what I understand), and most do not have a problem with it. I don't know the standard in Lineage2 specifically, but I would be surprised if any modern MMOG had a problem with you running around on two characters at the same time. I know that some older MMOGs say in their EULAs that you are not suppose to run two clients on the same computer at the same time, but even then, I don't see how running two clients on two computers in the same room would be a problem.


I mean, avatars are worth offline money as well (Castronova, 2003), so am I now going to have to retire to carebear town from all things PvP because I'm decreasing the value of someone else's avatar by killing it again and again (yes, there are many contexts where this is not harrassment but standard gameplay)?

This is something I've been thinking about from a developer's POV. Say, for the sake of arguement, I was making a MMORPG based on the tabletop game PARANOIA. Anyone who knows PARANIOA know that theft, backstabbing, scams and general Treason are everyday occurances in Alpha Complex.

Being a smart developer, I know that players are going to engage in Real Money Transactions whether I permit them in the TOS or not. However, because of the nature of the gameplay, anything in the player's posession is fair game to be stolen...maybe even by an NPC under my control. By that token, it wouldn't be good business for me to open an official RMT outlet like Sony has done, if I can't even guarantee the player will be able to hold onto their stuff for more than a few days.

The other things I see as necessicary would be to post a big bold disclaimer (RMT may not be worth anything in this game and you may be stupid to bother with it and you engage in it solely at your own risk) and a seperation between in-character scamming and scams that involve real money that use the game as a vehicle. The later is treading on the territory of RL theft. Doing stuff like selling items to someone for real money then sending an alt/conspiritor/bunch of bots to take it back so they can resell it again would, in my view, be good grounds for a ban.


Worm snaffles online gamers' passwords

The latest in "mainstream" about gamer-related crime.


Like you I am guilty of 2-boxing, however I have confirmed many times that this is legitimate gameplay in Lineage2. Personally I run a elf mage and dark elf healer.

Thankfully, PvP, PKing, and even scamming is legitimate gameplay in Lineage 2, I know this as well from experience. There are two main types of scams in L2, trust scams and logic scams. Trust scams is where you lure someone into your inner circle and steal their gear, or try to pretend your a friend when your really not. Logic based scams are where you exploit stupidity like saying you are selling one item when it is clearly another, or put an extreamly low lvl character in superior gear with a name everyone on the server hates, stand it out in the middle of a public location during high activity times like a siege, and wait for people to run up and kill the character in one hit.

I do logic scams alot actually, they are basically bait tactics that exploit your enemies hatred or stupidity for profit, and if someone is stupid enough to actually do it, don't blame me for someone elses stupid decision right? They are after all the enemy, and by hitting me they prove it.

As for PKing and PvPing for dropped items, this is so common it isn't even funny, and is just as much apart of the RMT cycle as everything else. It is very common for farmers who play dwarves to chain stun a player while he is being attacked by a mob, allowing the mob to do the actual killing. In fact with the addition of CP points in C3 for Lineage 2, this tactic is much more common since the damage the dwarf does only hurts the CP, not the actual health. After all, the % for a drop is much higher if a mob kills you than another person in PvP.

There is no question every item earned by farmers using this tactic is sold for the currency added to RMT. But who really cares, open PvP games are exactly that, designed with griefing, pking, scamming, dirty deed style player vs player interaction and competition, and to restrict any of it takes away from the intent of pure player competition in the game.

To be honest that ruthlessness in Lineage 2 is why I play it, despite the games other incredible problems like the enormous level curve which turns casual players off in favor of casual games like WoW.

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