View Full Forums : A plea for help and a warning to all

05-11-2008, 03:27 PM
As this incident unravels before me, I donít really know what else to do, I donít know how long this will stay in this forum so I will post around various class sites in the hope that it raises awareness of what may become a problem for others and more importantly get the attention of a SOE employee far enough up the chain to take a look at the incident (080428-000983, 080503-000485, 080505-000287), and maybe see that there has been a terrible mistake.

On the 19th of April, after our guild raid, I went with guild friends into the Mechmatic Guardian to update a quest that I had. There was me Glormane (Paladin), my girlfriend Invest,(Druid), guild mates Fure, (Druid) and Ozman (warrior), who had 2 boxed accounts Tilomini and Rmahnee (Shaman and Cleric). We are all lvl 80, at DPOB standard but with the new SOF group armour, and all of us have a few aaís ranging from about 700, to 2800 on the main accounts.

We had a few false starts, firstly because we were still in the raid instanced (Razarthorn) when I got the Guardian instanced so we had 2 instances at the same time, and when we zoned in it was just pitch black,(though I could see my UI). We had to drop the instanced and get a new one. Secondly Tilo was added to group after I got the mission so wasnít part of it, and as she tried to zone in got booted and killed, Rmahnee went out to rez her, while we killed a few mobs in the 1st leg.

What after that was fairly mundane stuff, we killed/invis hopped mobs, killed a named which we backtracked for a little (named donít pop as instanced is created, rather after you are in the instanced a while/after so many mobs were killed), we died, got rezzed, pushed on, found the new clicky portal items, died again, pushed on, in the hope of getting a task update. Finally at around 4am GMT on the 20th, after a mini wipe, with mobs closing in, we evaced and called it a day.

About 2 weeks later Ozman tried to load up Rmahnee and Tilomini to find the accounts were closed. When he enquired why he was told that they had been found using 3rd party software in the guardian to clear mobs by exploitative means and had been banned.

A week or so later Ozmans account was also banned for being associated with the other 2 accounts. This meant that he could no longer petition in game (no access to petition screen), get telephone help (SOE employees could only discuss open accounts) and could not use on-line help (account details came back incorrect, as they were closed), so unfortunately he could no longer communicate with SOE.

The Eula states, that SOE can, without any notice or refund, suspend an account, sadly for Ozman, he had paid for his accounts for 2 years in advance.

Now most of you donít know me or Oz, this is just words on a screen to you, who says we arenít hackers, and I have no hard evidence I can put forward to you, I am no computer techy, I play the game I donít know how its coded.

I was however in an instanced zone for going on 6 hours killing mobs the good old fashioned way by hitting them, and I saw no evidence of any explotative behaviour. Our group as you can see by the make up was a fairly standard one, for killing mobs in a conventional fashion. We only obtained one piece of loot in the 6 hours, not because we were unlucky, we only backtracked to kill a named once, but because camping named was not our primary goal here. SOE claimed Rmahnee and Tilomini had instantly killed mobs by way of 3rd party software that was prohibited.

I am appalled and scared at how arbitrarily SOE have banned my friend, and do not seem (at face value) to have a very efficient way of dealing with appeals, though they have been very polite, its again just words, because my friend remains banned and now, another group member who petitioned because he was afraid he was going to be banned, was told by a GM he would not be banned unless he too used 3rd party software, and then had a further message from a Senior GM saying they were considering banning him, for association with someone using 3rd party software.

Now I understand we have been plagued by spammers, and that as technology advances, so does the ability to hack programs, even one as large and secure as EQ, but I know categorically that my friend did not hack the game. Not because I trust him, not because Iíve been guilded with him for about 6 years. Not because he told me he wasnít hacking. I know because I was THERE, and I post this in the hope of raising the awareness not just of other players, some of whom may have been banned or will be banned , but also that someone at SOE will see this and nip it in the bud. If anyone has any constructive advice about how I can help prove my friends innocence, please post on the SOE boards or on one of the sites I will post it on.

05-11-2008, 11:45 PM
You can petition from the banned account from the website,

have your banned friend ask them for specific examples, zones, dates, to justify

their explanation. If your friend ever let his PW out to friends who Gk'd he

may be toast. I had two friends get banned for people using GhostKill

on their accounts.

05-13-2008, 03:13 AM
If they are truly innocent, then that's terrible news. But I wouldn't think SOE would do something like that, unless they had concrete evidence that it happened at some point. The only way I can think of to try to prove their innocence (it's sad that innocence has to be proven) would be to have SOE provide the IP address(es) used to access the account at the time the alleged incident(s) took place and ask them to compare that to IP addresses used before and after this happened. I say this because they may be able to use the argument that their accounts were hacked. Other than that, I can't help you.

On a side note, I really don't like the way the EULA is worded in regards to banning accounts. The way I read it, there is nothing to stop SOE from, basically, stealing your money. I did not see anything in there saying they had to or would offer proof. I always believed the burden of proof was on the accuser or the one making the claim. Also, by accepting the EULA, you are saying that you will not say or do anything that someone, in some part of the world, would deem as objectionable or immoral. Even though you have to speculate as to what those parameters are. Having said that I don't believe they would ban accounts just doesn't make good business sense. Still that loophole exists.

05-15-2008, 02:49 PM
First off, it is possible for anyone to make a mistake, and SOE might have made a mistake here.

Next, as far as EULA are concerned, it is never worth worrying about what they say, since 99% of them are written by lawyers with the sole goal of making sure that the "Company" can do anything they want to and the Customer has zero rights whatsoever.

I'm not sure on the legal status, but any company that bans someone or otherwise ends service should refund a prorated portion of any fee they have been paid for the remaining time on the account. If SOE bans someone who has paid for time in advance (more than one month), SOE should refund them the unused portion.

I can understand if you paid for one month and you were banned with 2 weeks left that SOE has a good reason to not have to bother with refunding you 2 weeks worth but if you have paid for more than one month, you should get a prorated amount back.

Of course, I'm sure that SOE would point to the EULA which most likely says they don't have to give you any money back, but I'm talking about a moral point, not a legal one.

05-15-2008, 05:57 PM
I would call the credit card company and have them reverse the charges. They will need to offer proof that you have done something wrong or that they are providing you with services you paid for. Either way SOE will either take the easy way out rather than fight the credit card company, which could be either reinstate or refund. Its not worth their time and hassle over $200 to do any more than one or the other... not the best solution but its better than where you sit now.

05-18-2008, 12:50 AM
Keep in mind that a chargeback will likely result in Sony permanently deleting the account.

At least in the past, bans have not always been permanent. I think a "guilt by association" situation like this would be a likely candidate for eventually having the account reinstated (assuming petitioning doesn't yield any results). I'd request a refund first, as that way you probably wouldn't be burning any bridges.