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  1. #1
    SinkingShip
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    Critical community discussion: The solution to RMT

    Hello. Sit back. Relax. Grab something to drink. Get comfortable because this is going to be long and involved. This is practically a book, because it's important. Seriously, go, grab a drink. I'll be here when you get back.

    Hi. It took me hours to compose and write this. I promise it's worth your time to really read this and not skim it. I know you're busy. But, please, take some time now, or whenever you're able, to give this an honest read. It has some new ideas, and some interesting information, you won't regret temporarily exiting omg-skim-words-as-fast-as-possible-nidhogg-window-is-in-3-minutes mode. Thanks. :-)

    This is meant to be a community discussion by high-level players, involved in the end-game, on the topic of RMT in FFXI.

    First things first. Let's start off by making sure we're on the same page. SE doesn't care about you, at all. You hold as much value to them as a blade of grass. How many threads do you have to read about GMs abusing players? How many threads do you have to read about GMs ignoring players? How many news stories do you have to read about SE being sued for their business practices? How many times do people need to direct your attention to SE's BBB rating? How many stories do you have to be told by your friends about them having been griefed by RMT? How many of your friends have moved on because they just weren't willing to put up with the BS any longer?

    With this said, it's important to mention what they do care about. As you likely guessed, they care about your $12.95 per month. However, no matter how bad it gets, you're not going to quit if you haven't by now. You're like a Captain. A Captain goes down with the ship, period, no exceptions. You're just dealing with it. You've played for years. You've invested too much to quit. You have a strong emotional attachment to the game. You're wearing invaluable items that you've put a massive amount of effort into getting. People depend on you.

    You just can't bring yourself to place it all in the toilet and tap the flusher. SE is fully aware of this general sentiment and apathy. That's why things never change. That's why they don't care. They don't have to. And, they won't care, until they need to.

    They will periodically put on a little dog and pony show in an attempt to pacify some people by banning some accounts. It's the joke of all jokes. SE bans a few hundred accounts, while other services ban proportionately WAY more. Hundreds of RMT remain, per server, and you see them every single day, doing the same exact thing, in the exact same places. Things never change.

    SE instructs you to use the service and support area of POL to e-mail formal complaints. Do you honestly think they read all of these complaints? Do you know how many of these they get a day? Hundreds. Has it changed anything? No. Do they ignore these? Largely, with very few exceptions. It's just a shill to make you feel better about having at least made an attempt to right an injustice. It's a mind game.

    Remember many months back when the AH and search were highly unstable? You haven't noticed it lately. As far as you think, SE fixed the problem. They didn't lie about the cause of the instability, but they did about the resolution. Those attacks were the result of distributed denial of service attacks by RMT. However, SE did not magically one day make their network invulnerable to DDoS attacks, they finally caved in to the RMT.

    You think SE keeps RMT around because they want the income from RMT accounts. You should only know just how wrong you are. The reality of the situation is that SE is paying the RMT. Paying the RMT to not bring down their network. The cost of paying the RMT is less than that of the damage of the DDoS attacks. And, to a business that's faced with the option of losing hundreds of customers per day versus paying out a comparitively small monthly bribe, the decision is in the math. Particularly when it comes to an attack for which there are few defenses.

    You're sceptical. This can't be true. This must be BS. How could this scenario possibly be accurate? Heh. Don't you keep yourself up to date on the latest news? This is the newest crime fad of our time. Welcome to the year 2006. Online extortion. It's all around you. Wherever you look. Auction sites. Gambling sites. You name it. Crackers exploit vulnerabilities in the core protocols of the internet, create large botnets from vulnerable internet-connected machines, and then send "protection offers" to businesses, much like the mob did (to physical shops) when our parents were our age. If the business complies, they pay the Crackers a montly fee, if they refuse, the Crackers render their network unreachable.

    Welcome to the real world. The DDoS attacks are almost indefensible. There are options to mitigate these attacks, but they are very costly and time consuming, orders of magnitude more expensive that what the Crackers bribe the businesses for. However, SE should invest in these options like any responsible organization, and fix the real problem, instead of just slapping a band-aid on it by capitulating to Crackers.

    I'll move on to my next point now. There are links at the bottom for further reading. I recommend you read them.

    You are riding on a sinking ship. It's sinking pretty fast too. You're like a frog that's slowly boiled in that proverbial pot. We spend our time here talking about speed-kill Kirins, how to get AV to lock it's 2hrs/WSs/spells, HQ crafting theories, and all the other lovely end-game pursuits. We need to wake up. We need to talk about important things. Because if this problem is not solved, you won't have an AV to get a sash from, or a Tiamat to get Gaiters from, or HQ kings to get that one abjuration you've been waiting about forever for. And, I'm not talking about RMT simply competing with you for these HNMs, I'm talking about you no longer having an FFXI to play.

    If major changes do not happen by the end of this year, the below is the projection path of FFXI for 2007. It won't happen overnight, and it will take some time, but, it's already begun.

    Here's your future. It doesn't look pretty:

    RMT will dominate every server and reign over the small and dwindling number of legitimate players.

    Want an Osode? Gotta kill Kirin. Want to kill Kirin? Gotta kill Ulli. Heh, have fun. RMT have it camped 24 hours per day on most servers. Sooner or later, you'll just give in and buy their damned autumnstone for whatever they want to charge you. It's less painful. If you don't, you're either not fighting Kirin, or you're going to bring you're entire HNMLS/SkyLS up there to flood that room in the vague hope of a claim.

    Players will be restricted to playing only a subset of FFXI. Most HNMs, many NMs, and key crafting markets will be off-limits, only by merit of them being wholly dominated by RMT. RMT that use the latest and greatest bots and hacks to beat you virtually every single time.

    Don't believe this can happen? Go visit the FFXI online AH. See who already dominates certain key markets on your server. Go visit a local KA or CC near you. Who is there every day, right on time, with their bots rocking and ready to go?

    If you want a Speed Belt, tell me, how are you going to get it? Finding a legitimate seller? Heh, good luck. Counter-camp it every day against botting RMT? Good luck! Chances are, one way or another, you'll end up buying it from RMT. You'll likely never be able to get it yourself, as was intended. You'll be forced to pay the RMT what they want for it. Hm, perhaps that "lolsash" doesn't seem so "lol" now does it? Perhaps now it's your only option...

    The only mobs you wont have RMT rivals for are mobs that they can derive no direct or indirect monetary value from. And, if you piss them off or get in their way, they'll kill those mobs too, just to piss you off.

    This play is already IN MOTION. It's already begun.

    You have to understand two primary things:

    1 - RMTs PRIMARY GOAL is to create an environment in which you are FORCED to buy gil from them if you want anything of significant value. As such, they will accomplish this in two main ways:

    a - Monopolize the HNMs/NMs that drop what you want, so you can't get it yourself via killing the mob
    b - Dominate certain key crafting markets by undercutting and mass producing such that you can't generate any significant volume of in-game gil

    2 - RMTs are TRAINED PROFESSIONALS. This is what you are dealing with. Professionals. People that are paid and have rotating twenty four hour shifts whole sole purpose in the game is to accomplish the above

    Now, if you'll forgive me, I'm splashing a FRIGID COLD BUCKET OF ICE WATER ALL OVER YOUR FACE. Wake up. Hello? Wake up! Look around you, people. Sky, they're there. Sea, they're there. They can kill nearly anything that you can. They compete against you EVERY SINGLE DAY. They cheat EVERY SINGLE DAY. They violate the ToS EVERY SINGLE DAY. They will not hesitate to steal from you. And, they will not hesitate to MPK you (or at least make a fine effort).

    The time has come to stop being passive. The time has come to become agressive. However, the way we're going to be agressive is not what you think.

    You have two choices:

    1 - Ignore this call to action and go on your merry way, ignorant to the walls that are crashing down around you. FFXI will die a quick, vast, and painful death, partly due to your inaction. The writing is on the wall. FFXI would fall the same fate as others before it..

    2 - If you like this game. If you love this game. If this game means anything to you at all, you will fight. You will fight to protect what belongs to you, your friends, and your community. You will fight so that the years of playing won't be a waste, and you will fight to ensure that the game that you enjoy stays running and under the influence of legitimate players

    It's your choice. Make a decision.

    But, how?

    It's not like you're going to just up and quit. Sure, that makes a statement, but that would defeat the whole purpose. After all, you're fighting for your right to stay.

    It's not like you can just organize groups to MPK RMT all day long. As fun as that may sound, RMT know how to make complaints too. You'll just end up getting banned for a ToS violation.

    Nor can we get all the gil buyers to stop buying gil. If they all stopped buying, the gil-sellers would go away. But, this is the real world, and not the theoretical world. We can ask people to stop, and a few might. But, most of them will continue. They value their time more than money. That's IGE's market segment. Some would consider it pretty sad that some folks can fairly accurately determine the relative purchasing parity of any given server by looking at how much gil costs on IGE.

    Filing official complaints to POL, as stated above, is worthless. It's beyond worthless. It's patently insulting. It's just too easy for them to ignore e-mails.

    Filing official complaints with consumer organizations does little help. THOUSANDS, heh, have be filed against SE. Go visit a local Better Business Bureau near you to see the carnage. They have BELOW an "F" rating. It's just... unfathomable...

    There are some other options, but in the end there is only one...

    Our goal:

    GET SE TO CHANGE THEIR POLICY ON RMT

    Their policy now is beyond idiotic. It's mentally deficient beyond any possible comprehension. These pedants with the intellectual capacity of gnats will only ban RMT if they are reported by hundreds of different people and are caught MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE PRESENCE OF A GM SERIOUSLY violating the ToS (as in fleetool, etc), after WEEKS and WEEKS and WEEKS of "investigation". And, even then, it's only "maybe".

    They can legally ban anyone for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. It's their service. A private service. Everyone agreed to the ToS. All this BS about them not being able to ban RMT for X and Y reasons is just that, BS.

    "Proof". Of course they need proof. We don't want them accidentally banning someone. But, it's all there. They just rarely bother to actually investigate and act. If YOU know someone is RMT it is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE, by definition, for them to not know about it as well. This is so easily tracked and traced, they would have to be incompetant and negligent to such a ridiculously high degree to not be able to derive that one plus one equals two. They know exactly who EVERY single RMT is. Period.

    Back to being aggressive. In order to change their policy we have to acknowldge that there is only one way to effect that change:

    HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS. FINANCIALLY. THEY ARE A BUSINESS. It's all about money decisions. We need to relate to them on these terms.

    But, we already ruled out quitting. So, how else can we possibly impact them financially without quitting such that they get our message LOUD AND CLEAR and are compelled to adjust their RMT policy?

    I guess we could all delete one mule as a sign of protest, heh. But, we need them, and that's not what I'm suggesting. Most people wouldn't do it anyway because it causes them too much personal pain/aggrivation.

    What we need is:

    1 - Something that affects SE, financially, in a major way

    2 - Something that they cannot ignore

    3 - Something that doesn't cause undue burden on the player

    4 - Something that can easily be done by thousands of players

    5 - Something that can easily be done multiple times per day

    6 - Something that is resource-expensive for them to handle

    There is only one thing that fits these qualifications:

    We need to flood them. We need to flood them with GM calls. We need to establish an all-day, every-day, stream of RMT-related GM calls, by thousands of people, reporting the teeniest, tinyist, little infractions, any infraction, of the ToS.

    I have no doubt that some of you do this already. However, many of you don't. Many of you are already defeated. Many of you have been made into pacifists by their repeated policy failures. You're probably asking yourself why you should even bother, if they don't do anything about it.

    It's pretty simple: It's easy for a few voices to get lost. It's VERY HARD for thousands to get lost. Especially when the rate and frequency of the voices are increasing substantially. Do not remain silent.

    Be smart about how you play your cards. The interactions between you and a GM are almost a little "mini-game".

    We have two sub-objectives:

    1 - Getting GMs to quit

    No joke. This will cause a much higher than "normal" GM employee turn-over rate. This would be a MASSIVE expense for SE. Finding, Hiring, and Training new GMs. Huge headache for them. Will definitely get their attention.

    You don't have to be obnoxious. Just by merit of them receiving thousands of calls on the same general topic, constantly, will be enough to eventually piss them off to such an extent that they'll feel compelled to quit. However, definitely try to waste as much of their time as possible. It's going to suck for them, to be sure. But, they chose the job, and are paid.

    2 - Send a loud message to SE about RMT

    We need to make it blatently obvious and unignorable to SE that thousands of their players find their RMT policies unacceptable. We need to explode this into a massive issue for them by wasting their GM resources. They do all sorts of cute little stats, graphs, and charts on the GM call queue, partly to determine what to allocate their internal resources to. Having an exponential growth of calls about RMT sends a message loud and clear.

    Let's band together, as a community, and act as one. Let's commit to a course of action. Let's not sit around like little helpless lemmings in the grip of a corporate behemoth. Do something and do it now.

    We need everyone's help. Whenever you are affected by RMT, place a GM call.

    As a last note, take a moment to re-read the ToS for PoL and FFXI. This will give you the ammo you'll need for spotting accurate ToS violations, and will let you "nit-pick" and "cherry-pick" quite nicely. Here's a refresher:

    https://secure.playonline.com/supportus ... 1user.html
    https://secure.playonline.com/supportus ... ember.html

    Online extortion links:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6436834/
    http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/283
    http://www.csoonline.com/read/050105/extortion.html
    http://news.com.com/Expert:+Online+exto ... 03162.html
    http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/94
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  2. #2
    ٩๏̯͡๏)۶

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    12,290
    BG Level
    9
    FFXI Server
    Asura
    WoW Realm
    Barthilas

    Allakhazam will care more than we ever will.

    Sorry but we get a few of these topics pop up now and then, seriously nobody cares. I dont wanna sound mean but that's the truth.
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