BioWare Bans SWTOR Players for Exploiting Ilum PvP Zone, Explains Why

The Old Republic contains a high-level PvP zone named Ilum that some players have been exploiting to farm loot, “systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.” This exploit breached the game’s rules of conduct, which state:

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.’

Consequently, suspect accounts have been temporarily suspended or outright banned in order to bring this issue in check. Community Manager Stephen Reid commented on the official forums:

It’s important to remember that our Terms of Service team is extremely careful and thorough in their investigation of any potential exploit or unusual activity in-game. Working closely with the development team and using extensive metrics based on player activity, they are able to determine what is normal player activity, what is unusual and what is exploiting. Our goal is always to ensure a fair game experience for all players while also protecting the rights of individuals, and if people are disrupting the play experience for others action will be taken.

Regardless of whether or not they are justified, these bans, coupled with the recent slicing nerf, suggest BioWare wants to govern TOR’s economy with an iron fist, rather than let it evolve naturally in the hands of the players. Do you think this is a smart move?

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14 Comments on BioWare Bans SWTOR Players for Exploiting Ilum PvP Zone, Explains Why


On January 3, 2012 at 1:32 am

*Sniff* Darth Vader would be proud.

Ron Whitaker

On January 3, 2012 at 5:17 am

I don’t know about the slicing nerf, but these bans are a great thing from my perspective. It’s not like these people were doing something natural within the game and got banned for it, as they originally claimed. They’re creating low-level alts of the opposite faction, going to a high-level zone, and flipping control points so their guild can grab a ton of worry-free loot.

That’s not a ‘natural evolution’ of the economy, that’s out and out exploiting the game to illicitly get more stuff. People who do this actually hurt the economy a lot more than they help it. Sure, if you’re selling stuff to them, you’re pleased, but the unintended acquisition of so many credits leads to higher prices on the Galactic Market for everyone.

Once prices get driven up by this sort of activity, they tend to stay there. This prices many legitimate players right out of the market, and for all intents and purposes breaks the economy.

To be honest, it’s not a bit different than buying credits from a third party farmer with real money. Both actions have the same effect.


On January 3, 2012 at 6:27 am

Hoarding credits like a filthy money grubbing jew and Bioware tells them to gtfo. Awesome


On January 3, 2012 at 7:16 am

So instead of fixing there broken they go and out and ban people?

If someone is exploiting something in a game you dont ban them you fix the exploit so it no longer works.

Biowares bright future in MMOs is growing more dull every time they run into an issue and completly misshandel it.

Ron Whitaker

On January 3, 2012 at 7:37 am

@Warp: Have you ever played MMOs before? Using exploits like this has been a bannable offense in pretty much every MMO ever made.

This is nearly identical in all respects to the PvP win traders from WoW who received bans. I’m not sure why you’re hostile towards Bioware over this. They’re simply enforcing their rules just like many companies have in the past.


On January 3, 2012 at 9:53 am


I am hostile because this is not how you handel problems, you dont remove people who exploit (unless we’r talking hackers here) broken things in your games, You fix the exploit so it can no longer be done.

i would be no less hostile if it was any other company doing this.

Ron Whitaker

On January 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

@Warp: It’s standard practice. This isn’t a bug they’re exploiting. They’re exploiting proper game mechanics by having guild members create low level alts on the other faction and allowing them to flip control points expressly so their guild members can flip them back and gain in-game rewards for them. How would you suggest they fix the exploit? Should they not allow players to change the control points?

What this targets is players taking advantage of game systems that are working properly. There’s nothing to fix here. You don’t restrict players from exploring, because that’s a definite no-win situation. About the only thing they could do is instance the area that it’s occurring in, and add a level restriction to the instance. Still, I don’t understand how you can be upset that people are being banned for it. I guess that’s where our disconnect is.


On January 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

@Ron They could fix it by not allowing players have characters of different factions on one server.

I agree with the ban, but yes, IMO Bioware has done a few things they shouldn’t have, I am otherwise very happy with this mmo so far.


On January 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I give it 6 months and this MMO will be free to play. Frankly I’m a little disappointed by the release of this MMO. Lots of bugs, lots of things they left out and frankly it doesn’t seem like they tried to do anything ground breaking.

yes Yes the story is great, voice acting great, but after awhile thats not going to cut it.


On January 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm


Several ways to fix this comes to mind

1: Diminishing returns: The more times the same charater captures a point the less money that charater gets untill finally it gets none (this having a 24h cooldown)

2: Lockdown periods: Time where the point is locked to the faction that capped it preventing the other faction from taking it

3: Low level charater blocks on the zone in question: No charater below XX level can enter the zone.

Ron Whitaker

On January 5, 2012 at 6:08 am

@Warp – I haven’t tried those areas yet, but my understanding is that when you faction turns a point, it spawns a number of ‘chests’ for your faction. So, capturing the point doesn’t necessarily gain you anything, but your faction benefits.

I think the idea of level blocks or lockdown periods is probably the best option they have.


On January 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

“systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.”

They are talking about people mining the chests on ilum, not trading the cap points. You don’t need an alt for that. The other faction will happily do it with you.

I saw level 12s camping near chests that no mobs spawned around which would repeatedly loot them. These chests are geared towards endgame players and have 2k+ credits each, along with items. To fix this, they would have to build in a level restriction system for worlds which they probably haven’t done yet.


On January 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Warp, maybe you should learn a little english before you act this dumb.

1. Handle not handel, Handel was a barouque composer
2. Character not charater
3. We are has no contraction We’r is not a word.
4. Mishandle not Misshandel
5. There is a deisgnation of direction or a place,
6. Their is a way to denote ownership or posession.
I will not even start on your posessives and apostrophes.
Bythe way if a bank left the vault door open, is it okay to steal the money inside? By your reasoning it is. Think a bit before you type or speak. Thank you!


On March 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

Shud…… Bythe is 2 words! Is the point any less valid based on the grammar? If so then you should probably keep quiet too.