In a story as old as time itself...we no perhaps the late 90's. Never has there been a MMORPG release go quite as planned. There is always issues and problems that arise right from the first player to log in. Commonly its the servers just can’t handle all the players clamoring to be the first to do something. So how do you make it worse? Enter the development team of Albion Online also know by the trade name Sandbox Interactive GmbH located in Germany.
Albion Online, now being dubbed by many as Albion Offline is one of the best new MMORPGs to release in quite sometime. It focuses on PVP and player economy and does a very impressive job with both. The game is all that and a piece of cake, if you can play it. If its not for the DDOS attacks, it could be the wave of player banning not seen since Hitler...wait no... not going there.
To start this story out you have to go back to gaming history past, if a game is popular it will have “gold sellers”. For those who don’t know, these are companies not individuals that sell in-game currency to players for real world cash. Most of these “gold sellers” are located in foreign countries. The biggest buyers are Americans looking for a quick jump start. If a game has gold sellers you can consider it lucky as the game is a success! Gold sellers will not waste time on a game that is not going to make it. All the great games have them WOW, EVE...blah blah... Albion too. All these games also offer Terms of Service (TOS) that prohibits the use of these 3rd party gold sellers. How many enforce it by banning 800+ players in a swoop without due cause? None, well except Albion. That’s not to say the other games don’t do banns, they do but only after proper due cause and research.
So lets look at how Albion Online’s development team, likes to couple a newly released game and the problems that comes with release and toss in some “Knight In Shining Armor” mentality to start a downward spiral.
Albion Online released on 07.17.17 for Legendary Founders and then has a one day staggered released for the other tiers. The first week to two weeks things were bad with lag, server issues, crashes etc...the normal MMO release stuff. Most veteran players of MMOs understand and can look past it. Especially if things are being done to fix the issues.
Interviewing various players, the consensus was that the devs were doing a great job by addressing various issues that effected play. Things started to improve and as they did it would seem the devs felt a little too comfortable and decided to make their lives a bit harder and make it harder for ALL players in the game. Without much though except for “How can we be heroes?” The development team decided to fix the “Gold seller” problem that has been around almost as long as the devs have been alive.
How about this for a solution? Ban everyone that may or may not have a suspected in game transaction for GOLD / SILVER / or Items... Without properly checking it over, contacting the player or issuing a warning. (Why the hell not, we are gods in here. Its our game after all.)
However there are some problems when you do things without thinking of the fallout. First off when you ban that many players you will undoubtedly ban innocent players as well. Especially in a case where you only using large trade transactions as your primer for proof. A trade between players is not up for interpretation by devs. What may seem strange to you may not be to another. By using that logic your just putting your opinion in on it and banning players because you “THINK” they are doing something wrong.
SO...what happens when you do this, your end up with the fallout. Sure you got some bad guys and if you believe what Albion is telling you they are fighting back mad. Or could they be using the bad decision to ban to many innocent players as a cover for never fixing the server issues that many complained about. Sounds like a great ploy and one worth looking into further. Albion devs would have you believe that they are receiving DDOS attacks on a regular bases by some of those “BAD GUYS” they banned. (DDOS Attack & Blackmail)
Albion’s devs feel that instead of running a game its better if they fight online credit card fraud at the detriment of the players and the game itself that has already seen thousands of non-banned players jump ship. Mostly because they can’t log in. Its just more important to the developers to try and solve one of the oldest online issues ever that not even the biggest law enforcement agencies can even get close to fixing. (The Horses Mouth)
Since the initial ban the game has been plagued with DDOS attacks, twice as many gold sellers spamming in towns and more bots mining goods then sentinels trying to destroy Neo in the final Matrix installment. Are things better, no and no again.
Lets talk about your money and Albion...
If you were warped up in the mass ban and were an innocent victim or if your just fed up with not being able to play do to the questionable DDOS attacks, you may have a recourse. Some banks will be willing to charge back Sandbox Interactive for the money you paid them. Its very simple and also a matter of fraud on Albion’s part. You paid for a service that they are not providing thus your entitled to a refund. Now not all banks or credit cards will honor this. Things that can effect getting a refund dependent on when you paid and how you paid. More recent players will find it much easier to resolve and those with a personal relationship with their banks. Good Luck to all of you! (Failure to provide service/product for said paid service/product)
If this does not work for you, the only thing left is to provide a review were you can such as this link. (To review Sandbox Interactive) Also for those living in a European Union country may want to file a grievance here; Online Dispute Resolution. It is uncertain if the devs care what they are doing to the game they made or the fallout they are creating. On thing is certain, this game does not have a long shelf life if they keep riding around the internet trying to catch all the “BAD GUYS”.
Here is to your lesson in “Cause and Effect” & “Picking and Choosing Your Battles” (I could go on forever with these)