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thenebrosity

ArtCraft: A Laissez-Faire Approach to Duping Store-Credit?

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ArtCraft: A Laissez-Faire Approach to Duping Store-Credit???

 

Before you read this; know that my post is not without consequence and is meant to encourage discourse about the recent events that have not been properly addressed by the Crowfall community including staff. Regardless if you have gained from the following “oversight” I ask that you remain objective and fruitfully contribute to the topic.

 

In-case you missed it, a little over a week ago, ACE launched a “TEMPORARY ITEM REDEMPTION” period that allowed you to trade-in certain items for store-credit (https://crowfall.com/en/news/temporary-item-redemption/). At the surprise of many, VIP Tickets (and over-valued meet-up/party invites) were also included for trade-in. Many people were doubtful that they would ever be able to trade in their thousands of dollars’ worth of VIP tickets for store-credit, let alone the party invites.

 

... Has there been any word on what types of items we will/won't be able to exchange for store credit? A lot of people seem to be banking on melting their freebie vip tickets for example.

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/7542-store-credit/

 

Unfortunately, while people were cashing in on all of their trade-in items, pledge packages that included items that were worth more than the initial cost of the bundle were left on the store for patrons to purchase with their newly acquired store credit. This, unsurprisingly, was immediately exploited and players/guilds pooled their resources (mostly VIP) to purchase Sapphire and Ruby bundles with the intention to unpack and resell the included items at a profit. Example: 2016 Ruby Bundle Cost: $999.00 – Total Item Value = $1,920.00+ – Upon simply purchasing a 2016 Ruby bundle players immediately made a minimum profit of over $921.00.

 

 

Vudxsk7.png

 

 

9Tevry8.png

 

 

We have yet to receive any form of acknowledgment or information how this will be addressed if at all from the ACE Team. The only hint that something was going on was a couple days after the Redemption Period began when Gordon posted that trading/gifting would be disabled for the duration of the “sale,” which some argued violated the Terms of Service people paid into.

 

Gifting of all redeemable items is blocked for the duration of this sale.  We'll get gifting back on on 9/1/16.

Sorry for the inconvenience, there is a reason we can't have nice things.    :)

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/13152-temporary-item-redemption-official-discussion-thread/page-3

 

Soon after 2016 Sapphire and 2016 Ruby packages were “silently” removed from the store without any prior notice.

 

 

So between Sunday morning and today, ACE silently removed the 2016 Sapphire and Ruby packages. I assume thus is because these to packages were the only ones that actually has more stuff in them than their face value.

Kind of BS to take them down mid-sale and without even an annoucement.

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/13152-temporary-item-redemption-official-discussion-thread/page-5

 

This can potentially be seen as a “Bait & Switch” violation as no prior notice was given of a limited quantity of 2016 Sapphire and 2016 Ruby bundles being available. (Note: “Store credit from redemptions can be spent on anything in the Crowfall Store” - http://crowfall.com/en/news/temporary-item-redemption/   ) Prior notice of the removal of said item should have at least been issued since 2016 Sapphire and 2016 Ruby bundles were available in the Crowfall store at the time of the Redemption Period announcement.. otherwise, it could be argued that ACE is refusing to take orders for “the bait.”

ArtCrafts’ further silence on the matter was also pointed out yesterday when the 2016 Amber package was also removed from the store on the last day people could trade-in items for store credit.

 

 

Incase anyone is falling behind on the latest silent/unannounced changes the Amber 2016 backer package was removed from the store this morning.

Hope folks weren't procrastinating on this sale.

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/13299-citadel-city/page-2

 

The concerning part is that ACE Staff have responded to questions made on the same threads/pages without any response to people’s concerns regarding items being removed from the store and players exploiting the “oversight.”

 

There is a real threat of damaging inflation if the problem of duped store credit and items is not addressed.

 

The exploitation of this oversight has inflated the market with expensive, high-end bundles and items literally purchased with duped (duplicated) store credit. Keep in mind that individual players/guilds using this method were able to purchase over $5,061.00 worth of pledge bundles, items and perks with as little as 7 item purchases from the store and with as little as a $499.00 (34 VIPs) initial investment (VIPs could be traded in for $15.00 Store Credit each). NOTICE: This process could be repeated indefinitely. However, the duplication of store credit generally manifested itself with players trading just enough resources with each other (typically VIP) in order to purchase a single 2016 Sapphire or 2016 Ruby Bundle with the number of players who individually duplicated thousands of dollars’ worth of store credit remained relatively low (done by using multiple free accounts).

 

bPqfwIq.png

 

 

It’s important to note that everyone is negatively affected by the inflation of expensive items purchased with duped store credit. Those most affected by this unintended inflation are persons who made large pledges such as Kick Starter (KS) Gold – KS Bloodstone, 2015 Gold – 2015 BloodStone and 2016 Sapphire – 2016 Ruby. Essentially the higher your pledge the less value your investment now has due to inflation caused by the “TEMPORARY ITEM REDEMPTION” period. As a direct result of the oversight the more *real money* you have actually invested into ArtCraft/Crowfall the less return you are now in possession of.

 

 

The likelihood of them allowing us to exchange the forts/castle/keeps in AGAIN after they are practically giving a 5x+ increase on most of the building is very very very low but it could happen. This is the 1st time they have done a big redemption thing to my knowledge and the article says they may do redemption periods from time to time the same with sales. 

 

The only thing that would be more practical is selling them to the trusted traders program people but I think supply would far outweigh demand and the price will tank really fast on this kind of stuff.

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/13152-temporary-item-redemption-official-discussion-thread/page-11

 

The ill-gotten assets will also adversely affect the Crowfall RMT economy and cause ArtCraft to lose a substantial amount of potential sales (stronghold “retail” prices are expected to “triple”) and force Trusted Traders and ReSellers to undercut the retail value of items due to inflation. If ReSellers are restricted from undercutting ArtCraft they will lose business to third-party sites and other reputable middlemen (this means ReSellers will have less incentive to market Crowfall). Those interested in Crowfall right now may not see an adverse impact on the market because they intend to use their items for the foreseeable future, but as we get closer to launch or when people begin to lose interest in the game you will begin see the effects of all these duped items being sold off in RMT (which is not strictly prohibited). By not rectifying the situation ArtCraft may be laying the fountain for a price war against their own affiliates and player-base.

 

My main concern is the immediate devaluation of items already purchased for actual “real money.” Tens of Thousands of Crowfall players have been defrauded of the value they purchased when they made an “investment” into ACE/Crowfall.

 

 

 

... when major changes happen, other systems will inevitably be affected.  And we really don't know the impact until we circle back around to those systems and re-examine the design in detail. 

 

Until that re-design happens, I don't like to talk about it.  I am very reluctant to just "wing it" on how those other systems will be affected, because I know anything I say will likely be changed or just wrong.  These systems are incredibly complex and deeply intertwined.  

 

...

 

I can say this: we have two priories.  ONE, make the best game we can make. TWO, make sure the backers are happy with the decision to back us, and the rewards they received for their early faith in our project.  

 

The only reason priority ONE trumps priority TWO is because, without a great game, nothing we do to support priority TWO will ultimately matter.

 

So, all of that said:

 

- We haven't forgotten about any of your rewards,

- We aren't trying to "pull a fast one" and make changes on the sly hoping that no one notices.  (ha! like that would work.)

 

Sometimes, we will need to change the design to achieve goal ONE.  If those changes require us to shift (or obsolete) any of the rewards, we'll make good on it, so that we also achieve goal TWO.

 

... if anything changes, we'll make good on it.

 

Todd

ACE

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/13299-citadel-city/

 

I’d like to get at least some type of response from the ACE Team on this matter;

 

There’s nothing questionable here in the least. This is not a design flaw, nor is it even part of “the game.” Players have used an oversight to essentially duplicate items and store-credit by exploiting a mistake (“loophole”) and NOTHING has been done about it. Black and White / Plain and Simple.

 

Will inventories be rolled back? Will the major perpetrators be held accountable? Or will people be allowed to “get away” with “creating/duping” as much store credit as they wanted (whether it was enough to buy a Castle or enough to buy an Imperial Palace)?

 

If nothing is done about the duping, how do you plan on “making good” on the lost value in items purchased with “real money.”

 

This is Crowfall’s first major duping event and the response will set a precedent moving forward. So far it hasn’t been very encouraging.

 

 

 

 

 

Note: There is nothing wrong with players pooling resources between themselves to purchase expensive items; what would make it wrong would be if those resources were ill-gotten and purchased with duped-store credit. The ethics of allowing said ill-gotten gains to remain unrevoked is questionable.


OQa1xvz.png?1

lol ok.. I wonder if I'll still be able to steal directly from people's inventories.. hrmmm

;)Twitch - Twitter

RIP DOC GONZO

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So you're complaining you got caught or that you didn't find out in time to exploit it yourself?

 

Because that's really the only two categories that matter.

 

I'm mad I didn't find out in time to exploit it.  Could have made a killing selling packages to trusted traders.

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I'm mad I didn't find out in time to exploit it.  Could have made a killing selling packages to trusted traders.

 

Not so much. They don't take sales on packages until the package is retired. All those 2016 packages wouldn't be worth much until around February of next year. By then Tyrant would have found you and invited you to his bunker.

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As transparent as they've been about most everything else think its safe to assume they'll let us know like they should I agree some details soon and what action they took to fix and make sure it doesn't happen again. But yeah taking away all the gains exploiters got should be a given in a situation like this.

Edited by pang

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Did people actually dupe or did ACE do a silly thing and buy back the items for more than they sold them?

 

That's probably his real question. He just wants to know how far the rabbit hole goes. Did people just infinitely buy packages until they were rich af?

Did they just buy packages for their friends?

Or did they just milk the system to have a cool Imperial palace?

 

Then, what was ACE's response? Did they hammer down indiscriminately? Or did they just sneak back into the shadows after disabling gifting? It's all hatorade, no matter how you label it. Lots of new ACE development partners running around....

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What's the tl;Dr version of this wall of poorly made socks?

 

In a nutshell:

People exploited ACE's oversight of buying back items for more than they sold them (essentially duping store credit).

People used this method to purchase items with "duped" store credit.

Duping is bad.

Duping causes inflation.

In this case duping caused loss of value purchased with "real money"

Duping of Store-Credit will hurt ACE/Crowfall in the long run.

ACE appears to not be doing anything about it.

Asks ACE wtf?


OQa1xvz.png?1

lol ok.. I wonder if I'll still be able to steal directly from people's inventories.. hrmmm

;)Twitch - Twitter

RIP DOC GONZO

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If they allow these dupers to keep their upgraded packages then they need to allow everyone else the same chance to gain the advantage.  If they don't allow others to exploit in the same manner then ACE needs to reroll the packages of these exploiters back.  Pretty easy to see who some of them were.

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If they allow these dupers to keep their upgraded packages then they need to allow everyone else the same chance to gain the advantage.  If they don't allow others to exploit in the same manner then ACE needs to reroll the packages of these exploiters back.  Pretty easy to see who some of them were.

 

Problem is that many of these purchases were traded using legitimate items, and since it required multiple accounts duping involved multiple parties and a majority of duped items are spread out far and wide; ie:

 

Jgju8YN.png

 

 

No real way to fix this without a complete rollback and redoing the redemption period. All they would have to do differently is just removing 2016 Sapphire and 2016 Ruby Bundles from the store. Since people wouldn't be trading duped items trading should be left enabled so people can pool resources together and actually purchase what they actually paid for with "real money."

 

If you invested the most in the game initially you'll reap the rewards if not you'll need to pool resources with your friends to buy what you deserve instead of stealing it.


OQa1xvz.png?1

lol ok.. I wonder if I'll still be able to steal directly from people's inventories.. hrmmm

;)Twitch - Twitter

RIP DOC GONZO

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Is there any evidence out there that people actually duped credits by buying and then redeeming new pledges? Or are we just presuming there was a bunch of duping because it was possible?


IhhQKY6.gif

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There is a real threat of damaging inflation if the problem of duped store credit and items is not addressed.

 

[...]

 
 Players have used an oversight to essentially duplicate items and store-credit by exploiting a mistake (“loophole”) and NOTHING has been done about it. Black and White / Plain and Simple.

 

I am just curious. What exactly makes you believe that the problem hasn't been addressed and that nothing has been done about it?


2W1ZHpA.jpg

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Is there any evidence out there that people actually duped credits by buying and then redeeming new pledges? Or are we just presuming there was a bunch of duping because it was possible?

Weren't there a few people who suddenly became development partners during this special?

 

I was told a few popped up.  If that's true then there's your proof.

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As I have pointed out in other threads, I think that ACE is trying to sort what they can do legally to address the issue. Obviously the intention of ACE was not to allow people to trade in items infinitely, however their mechanism allowed this to take place. There is nothing wrong with ACE removing the loophole by plugging it, i.e. no gifting and restricting the purchase of the higher tier packages if you already own one etc. I think the problem ACE is struggling with, pure opinion until ACE states otherwise, is what can they do legally to those who used the loophole. This was not an in-game issue that they can address any manner they want, this was a real world marketplace and be viewed in the same realm as a business who has to honor a coupon with the wrong price printed on it. just my 2 cents.

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Weren't there a few people who suddenly became development partners during this special?

 

I was told a few popped up.  If that's true then there's your proof.

 

They are now allowing Ruby backers to be development partners. It used to be Emerald+ only. That alone would explain a big jump in the number of people who qualify,

 

My standard for "proof" is a bit different than yours, I think.


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I am just curious. What exactly makes you believe that the problem hasn't been addressed and that nothing has been done about it?

If it was addressed then you would have heard about it by now. By addressed I don't mean plugging the holes, I mean them rolling back transactions etc. If these actions had been taken, then someone would have said something, either on the main forums or off-site. Also the fact that people suddenly got upset because of the removal of gifting indicates (does not prove), that those persons were made aware of the loophole and were upset that they missed out.

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They are now allowing Ruby backers to be development partners. It used to be Emerald+ only. That alone would explain a big jump in the number of people who qualify,

 

My standard for "proof" is a bit different than yours, I think.

There's plenty of evidence of it happening.  

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