For games like The Elder Scrolls Online, the Elder Scrolls-based MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) that sees thousands of players take on the dangers of Tamriel together, forums are their bread and butter for information, updates, community interaction and problem-solving. Without forums, plenty of MMOs would become a free-for-all as players would neither have the ways nor the means to set up groups to take on combat heavy quests or put together tactics ahead of a PvP (player vs player) battle that could help them thwart the player-controlled enemy.
So forums are useful then. But despite their use there’s always someone who wants to spoil the fun, stick two fingers up at the rules and ruin it for everyone. Now, looking to put an end to the abuse of The Elder Scrolls Online’s forums by gold spammers, Bethesda and ZeniMax are finally going to do something about it. Or more specifically, let players be more vigilant and doing something about it.
‘Gold spamming’ is the process of exercising shady tactics in an effort to get people to exchange real money for virtual gold. Not satisfied with old fashioned advertisements on fansites, gold spammers will often resort to to making multiple characters and subsequently killing them off mid-game and use their deaths to spell out the name of the website which they’re using to flog their gold from. It’s not uncommon for players to be spammed this way several times a game session and it’s a serious issue for both players and developers who want to earn gold the way the game intended — by fighting through the grind.
With a majority of the support tickets that Bethesda and ZeniMax receive about the game being because of gold spammers, the plan to get rid of the serial spammers is to shut down private messages. The devs want The Elder Scrolls Online players to get in touch and notify the support team of who has been private messaging them about gold-for-money sales:
“As we have disabled PMs, you will not be able to access your inbox on the forums, but if you received an e-mail notification to alert you to the PM you received, the sender’s username should be in that e-mail.”
While reporting a player to support is perfectly acceptable, Bethesda and ZeniMax have gone one step further in a controversial move to encourage players to name and shame the gold spammers thus inhibiting the spammers’ ability to make sales. The problem with this, of course, is that such behavior is prohibited according to The Elder Scrolls Online’s Community Code of Conduct yet the problem appears to be so serious that they are making an exception:
“[…] in an effort to expedite the process of identifying and banning the spammers’ accounts, we are making an exception for this situation. We will investigate each alleged spammer account individually to avoid false reports.”
Bethesda and ZeniMax clearly seem to be going to new extremes to combat gold spammers following a recent anti-spam patch that suggests that they want to double down on defenses, but whether their methods are effective is yet to be seen. You can find out how to report gold spammers in The Elder Scrolls Online by following the link below.
Source: TESO Forum