Over the weekend a Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) player posted a supposed email from BioWare stating that their account had been suspended for looting items from chests on the high level world of Ilum with lower level characters. Naturally this sparked a huge discussion on the Reddit forum as well as the official SWTOR forums. Some players felt that BioWare was taking action against accounts for a poor design choice that some players took advantage of, while others felt that it was simply a gold farming (or credit farming in this case) exploit.

Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid stepped in to get some answers and explain what had happened and it seems that BioWare did take action against a number of SWTOR accounts for exploiting and credit farming and they have been removed permanently from the game. Another smaller number of accounts were temporarily suspended for exploiting the loot containers on Ilum in which Reid stated, “they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced”, but those same accounts were not banned but rather warned or temporarily suspended.

Reid points out that no one was punished for simply traveling to Ilum at a lower level as some speculated but for exploiting loot chests in an unintended way and destabilizing SWTOR’s economy, citing the use of metrics that monitor player activity for normal behavior in the team's investigation. Reid also noted that changes will be coming to Ilum in the future to discourage future exploits.

This seems like a tricky line to walk for BioWare. While it’s always good to rid a game of more gold sellers, setting a seemingly arbitrary limit on when someone can loot something and how much is going to spark controversy and confusion. Reid clarified this a bit more in a response, but many players are still questioning BioWare's approach to the situation.


Reddit Forum

Stephen Reid’s Response

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Last Updated: Mar 14, 2016

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Stacy "Martuk" Jones was a long-time news editor and community manager for many of our previous game sites, such as Age of Conan. Stacy has since moved on to become a masked super hero, battling demons in another dimension.