Gold Spammers, Customer Service And Bots….

I am much enjoying my time in Atreia thus far.  Ahira is almost 21 and yes I am taking it slow but mostly because I have been helping a few friends get caught up to me a bit.  All in all, I am having a great time.  I really, really enjoyed Black Claw Village and my first taste of PvP on Lumiel was really fun.

Really there are only three things that have bothered me so far about Aion.  At the moment it is a minor annoyance but it has the potential to become a major problem if NCSoft doesn’t nip it in the bud quickly.

First of all, the Gold spammers have arrived in mass.  Every night I have to block a few more.  Mostly it’s private tells but occasionally you will see a couple in “general” or “trade” chat.  The worst part about it is that there is no easy way to report them nor an easy way to block them.  Each attempt requires multiple steps and can be a hassle when adventuring.  I know stopping gold spam is very hard, it took WoW years to lower it to the current level, but at least give us tools to make it easier to report and/or block them.

Secondly, Customer Service not 24 hours?!?!?  Seriously?  WTF NCSoft?  You folks just sold around 500,000 copies of Aion so I am sure you have enough money laying around to hire a full time, 24 hour customer service team!  I could not believe it when I tried to create a petition, only to be told that there was no one to receive it.  This is a 24 hour game, there needs to be 24 hour customer service.  Period.

The last thing that is annoying me are the bots.lots-of-bots-book-1-thumb So far it has not been too big a problem.  I see one every so often and sometimes I will see a group of them working together.  However, this has to be stopped.  Like now. Bots destroy the economy, add to the queue times and cause problems in the community.  Get rid of them.  Ban the ones who are reported and do it quickly.  Give us updates to how many you ban.  Make a spectacle of it.

I never played Lineage or Lineage II but I have been told horror stories about the bot problem there.  Do not make that mistake in the West.  In the West players leave when the botting problem gets out of hand.  With the bad rap NCSoft already has about bots, it will only take a short period of seeming inaction before everyone assumes the problem is going to continue in Aion.  Don’t let that happen.

Other than those problems, I am having a really fun time in Aion so far.  Despite NCSoft’s track record, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  They have to know they are going to be on a short leash with these issues due to their prior failures to address them in Lineage.  They have to know that.  Don’t they?

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16 Responses

  1. I’m sure they’ll work in a solution with a future patch it is only a matter of time. The amount of gold spammers in game must be that they are ‘more’ popular then they thought they would be by not having a filter. They can choose to do a bunch of things to stop Kinah spamming, for bot-ing that is a programmers job.

    My recommendation is to have levels 10 and higher go through a chain to unlock the “tells.” feature. Most spam comes from level 1’s so that should knock out a bunch of them before another patch could come along and completely fix that problem.

  2. I agree completely with this article, especially that lack of customer service. I appreciate they may not respond at 4am to a ticket I submitted, but I expect to be able to submit a ticket at anytime day or night. That’s part of what we pay for imo.

    Until such time as the tickets are fixed, I submit regular and lengthy support requests directly to ncsoft, which I object to as it means I have to leave the game. I encourage everyone to continuously report gold sellers and bots by name to them. Until we get an in game feature to do so.

    Blocking them won’t make them go away.

  3. At least you can play. Euro servers still have 3+ hour queues in the evening.

    And as for support, I ended up ringing the States as when I FINALLY managed to get through to someone in Europe (after trying for 5 hours) they told me they couldn’t do anything as it all went through the US. They would have to send them a message to fix my problem with another 24-48 hour delay.

    The game is nice, but its not exactly looking long term for me.

  4. You can now easily block people who abuse the public chat channels by right-clicking their name: http://aionexperience.blogspot.com/2009/10/hidden-patch-improvement.html

    As far as whispers are concerned, the easiest way is to set yourself to invisible: http://aionexperience.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-stop-spam.html

    You don’t show up in any searches, and so long as all your friends know your character name, they can still whisper you.

    As for tickets and bots, I’ve not had any experience with either so far so can’t comment… however I too have heard the horrow stories of the botting problems in other NCSoft games. Hopefully Aion will be different.

  5. Another good way of stopping unwanted tell is the Invisible feature. Of course, such an action will also render you invisible to your friends list as well, but for some folks it’s a small price to pay.

  6. I always liked LOTRO’s Report Gold Seller feature. It reported the spammer and blocked them with one command.

  7. Honestly I don’t think players leave MMO’s when botting gets out of hand. Just look at WoW. Tons and tons of people bot in that game and it is still the most popular MMORPG around.

  8. I agree with Damage Inc. I easily overlook bots after playing WoW. You talk as though WoW has taken control of it. They haven’t. I think Aion has taken a great step forward with the idea of autoreporting. Gold spammers are the only thing halfway irritating me. It doesn’t bother me unless I’m replying back and forth with my friend, only for my reply key to reply to the bot instead of my friend.

  9. @damage inc: wrong.nc soft has a continual problem with bots and what you see in wow is NOTHING compared to lineage 1 and 2 where botting is basically open and accepted.

    Wow takes measures to end it and has programs in place to stop it. With game guard gone and if this ramps up expect Aion to die off fast in the west. Don’t compare the two games and bots until you have experienced the hell of lineage 2 and ncsoft’s shitty stance on stopping it

    • Actually Hudson, there’s more botting going on in WoW than you know. The last time I came back to WoW I didn’t want to deal with the insane rep grinds (I’d already done a ton) and doing dailys so I went to MMOGlider and botted.

      It’s easy and it was undetectable. The only way you would ever get caught is if you botted in a high traffic area and were reported. I botted for 1-2 months in WoW and still have access to my accounts as they were never banned.

      As for botting in general, I know all about it. I played Asheron’s Call, probably the first MMORPG that people botted in, back in 1999. I’ve played most ever game that people have botted in and I have never left a game because of people botting. I’m not going to leave Aion because of it either. The only thing that really annoys me about Aion in the insane gold spam. Luckily, NCSoft has done a good job making it easy for you to stop it.

  10. /anon has not stopped the SPAM messages for me.

    This game has been out for a year and the botters are still around. Don’t get your hopes up about that changing.

  11. each time u log in, type /anon

    this stops spam 100% from my last few days of using it.

  12. I saw some leaked patch notes that they are adding CAPTCHA to gathering. I am not a huge fan of this either because alot of the time you can’t even read those, and if you mess up you can’t gather for like an hour or something.

    • The CAPTCHA is only going to apply to Aether gathering I believe, because it’s heavily botted in Korea/China.

      It’s really going to be annoying in the US version because Aether gathering is done while flying so when I gather I try to get from one node to the next ASAP. Having to stop and type in a code just means it’s going to be harder to gather.

  13. gold sellers and spammers are natural in mmorpg…. even in paying one…

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