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SWTOR: Banned For Going to Zones Above Your Level?

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UPDATE: Bioware Senior Online Community manager Stephen Reid provided THIS STATEMENT [2] on the official boards. In it, he explains the actions taken against users mentioned, and the rationale behind it.

 

Feel like deviating for going off track from Bioware’s perfectly planned train ride?  You might want to give that a second thought.  According to some gripes on the SWTOR official boards [3], users are being banned by GMs in-game for venturing into Ilum, a region that requires users to be level 50+ to enter.  Afterwards, the user is sent an email by SWTOR support explaining the ban, and recommending the user consult the SWTOR LoS. [4]

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Click to embiggen

This is the offending line:

You may not engage in any conduct or practice that results in an Account containing items, objects, currency, character attributes, rank, or status that are inappropriate for the level or rank of the character contained in the Account, i.e., “item loading,”.

No clue what that means?  You’re not alone.  To clarify, you don’t get banned for going into the world. You get banned for looting anything in the zone. So you can go there and explore the area, taking in the local color. But if you take anything a mob drops or that is in a chest there, you get banned for “exploiting”.  In this case, low level players go to a higher level world. They stealth to a place where they can “slice” things. Doing so nets higher slicing at lower levels because higher level nodes lets them ‘slice’ better.  That’s what’s happening: Lower levels going to a higher level zone to use better ‘slicing’ equipment.  For those of you not in the know, “slicing” is the same thing as “Decking” or “Creating a GUI Interface in Visual Basic to Track the Murderer’s IP Address”.

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Caught on fast, didn't it?

This begs the question why not make the area Level Locked, rather than banning accounts outright? There’s a difference between using a glitch to go to unreleased zones, and using in-game transport service to fly to a planet and getting banned for looting gear to ‘slice’ there from a chest.

Let’s look at the situation from the perspective of another game: EVE Online. If someone ninja-looted an officer spawn wreck (which drop the best loot in the game), all you’d get is a “Well done”.

So, people go to a higher level area so they can level/tech up faster.  I genuinely want to know: What’s the problem with this?  It’s a strange situation Bioware puts themselves in.  Players discover an exploit due to the faulty design, so what do you do:
A) Thank them for finding the flaw, either let them keep their ill gotten gains that they did fairly using game mechanics
B) BAN THOSE CADS!

“How frightful! The dullards have figured out a way to use our rules against us! TELEPORT THEM INTO SPACE!”

[7]

Also, basic MMO economics will get you banned in TOR.