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Special Task Force Report (12/04/2007)

Today's report will detail our actions conducted from the very beginning of the Special Task Force in September 2006, as well as details on our future goals as were explained at the 3-day FINAL FANTASY XI Fan Festival 2007 that started on November 15.



We are currently engaged in activities utilizing extensive large-scale logs*, which act as powerful tools for the Special Task Force. The information in the logs we actually use consists of over 20,000,000-30,000,000 lines a week.
Compared to the time when the Special Task Force was first established, the content used in our investigations has become more varied and complicated, and even the log inspections themselves have become considerably more difficult. We are, of course, not reading this immense amount of data line by line, but are instead using our own software tools to improve the results of our work and are performing double-checks with multiple staff members, as well as enlisting the help of account admins in verifying illegal activity. Because of this, we are able to ban over 1,000 accounts violating the user agreement each week.
With logs, it is possible to investigate records of where gil or items were transferred and the specific details of character creation and deletion. During the process of our investigations, we occasionally see characters involved with illegal activities deleting their own characters or transferring gil to other characters, but these accounts are also banned without exception.
Besides the log investigations and inspections of in-game activity, the reports provided to us through the mail form also serve as an important source of information. There are around 100 reports sent to us each day. Reports are analyzed from all sides, according to World, area, character, and actions committed, and are used in determining our future actions.

*Log: Player Character activity data saved to the server

RMT

Our activities against RMT*1 are not limited to only RMT websites, but also deal with "gil vaults" and with hunters*2 who are involved in obtaining RMT organizations' gil. Through these actions, we aim to seriously reduce RMT organizations' activities.
As of this date, we have banned a total of 87,000 accounts involved in RMT and have frozen 11,000,000,000 gil of currency possessed by organizations involved in RMT.
By freezing such a large amount of gil, we have seriously reduced the scale that RMT organizations' gil vaults can operate, making them unable to keep up with the demand from buyers, thus leading to a sudden increase in cancellations and delays. Unable to make gil as easily as they have in the past, the prices for RMT have seriously risen. In many cases, the prices are as much as twice of last year's. The damage to the RMT market has been drastic.

*1. RMT
"Real Money Trading." Selling game data for real money.

*2, Hunters
Characters who kill Notorious Monsters, clear quests, and obtain items over and over again with the sole purpose of gathering gil, which is then handed off to RMT groups.

Hunters

Hunters can be divided into several different categories according to their activities. Many factors, such as the range of their activities and the methods used in dealing with them, differ between types of hunters. The primary categories of hunter activities include: Notorious Monster (hereon referred to as NM) monopolization, illegal fishing, illegal synthesis, and material collection. The Special Task Force has conducted the following actions in dealing with them.

-Notorious Monster monopolization
When the Special Task Force was first established in October 2006, NM hunting was the largest source of gil for RMT and very often caused trouble for regular players. The Special Task Force decided to focus on restraining the monopolization of NMs and the third-party software used. We set a goal of exterminating over half of the NM hunters and, as a result, of the hunters involved in NM monopolization at the time we started, over 90% of them have ceased their activities. We believe that some of you may have noticed an absence of the suspicious groups that were often seen in areas where NMs carrying expensive items regularly appear.


-Illegal fishing
Hunters who couldn't make gil through NM monopolization have started moving to methods of collecting gil with lower-level characters over long periods of time. The most common method is fishing. As a result of the Special Task Force's efforts, the large numbers of characters illegally fishing in a given area will vanish, but this does not exterminate them. Hunters engaged in illegal fishing in each World are mostly banned during a cycle that begins at the start of each week. Immediately after the accounts have been banned, most of these hunters disappear, but reappear soon afterwards with a new account and are again banned in a continuous cycle. Through this repetitious banning, the total number of hunters engaged in illegal fishing is gradually decreasing. Because the cost of continuously obtaining new accounts is nonproductive in comparison to the gil obtained with these accounts, many hunters are giving up.


-Illegal synthesis
In the same way as fishing, synthesis is used as a means of making gil by obtaining items with little profit and selling large numbers of them. Hunters engaged in illegal synthesis make very little profit, but they have been known to destroy balance in in-game markets by monopolizing sales with extremely low prices or buying up all of a specific item. The Special Task Force began working on measures to deal with RMT organizations involved in synthesis item sales in August 2007. While keeping an eye on current trends for several months, we worked on strengthening our methods of dealing with the problem. We are planning on increasing the speed of our activities and focusing on banning these hunters starting in the end of 2007 and well into 2008. The hunters we will be banning are not limited to just the characters engaged in synthesis itself, but also those involved in the material collection and in the pooling of sales.


-Material collection
The majority of the hunters involved in NM monopolization have ceased their activities due to our actions. Mostly what remains now are small-scale activities by small numbers of low-level hunters involved in collecting items dropped by monsters. The Special Task Force will undertake the extermination of these small-scale hunters as its next step. Because small-scale hunters are spread across each region and only exist in small numbers, it is much more difficult to deal with them than it was with the NM monopolization groups that we collectively banned. It will be necessary to perform more detailed investigations in dealing with these hunters. That is why reports provided by FINAL FANTASY XI users provide very useful information in this process. We appreciate everyone's help and cooperation.

The future

At the time the Special Task Force was established, any mention of hunters would bring up images of people monopolizing Notorious Monsters and causing trouble for regular players. At that time, we set a goal of exterminating these hunters and worked hard at it for a year, finally managing to reach 90% extermination this past summer. However, this is not the end of our activities. As was explained earlier, there are still hunters engaged in other activities. Since we have been able to deal with these kinds of hunters so exhaustively by the end of this year, we would like to exterminate all of the remaining hunters by summer next year.

Hunters frequently use third-party software to obtain more gil in smaller spans of time, and one of the most common uses for third-party software is enhanced character movement. However, these actions are all recorded in server logs. We have dealt severely with these accounts upon discovering them, but we are looking into the possibility of systematic changes that will make enhanced character movement impossible.

Comments

Post Comment
RMT- Report 2 RMT's? I Dont have FFXI Live anymore
# Mar 05 2008 at 11:57 AM Rating: Decent
this is a malicious allegation directed at me, the allegation are false and was posted m\by an ex wife during a bitter divorce.
Bold TextPLEASE REMOVE THIS POST
RMT- Report 2 RMT's? I Dont have FFXI Live anymore
# Jan 24 2008 at 8:15 PM Rating: Decent
I know some people who purchase large amounts of GIL quite frequently. For all the reasons mentioned above I was going to finally turn them in. They abuse this RMT in every way mentioned. However I don't have FFXI or XBOX Live access anymore. I am not that knowlegable in this subject either. Is there a way to still report it without the Live access? If someone sees this and can report it for me the names are...[b]Zippyliquid[/b] (xbox360, in Port St.Lucie Florida) and Fayed (PS2, Tulsa Oklahoma) (it's either spelled faydh or fayed for sure.)
I have seen the billing statement for Zippyliquid purchase of GIL and the seller shows up as "Belrion" Can anyone report this for me and let the GM's take over? I appr[poll]
[question]Question text[/question]
[choice]choice 1 [/choice]
[choice]choice 2 [/choice]
[choice]choice 3 [/choice]
[choice]choice 4 [/choice]
[/poll]eciate any help.
I don't like being a rat but these guys are pretty bad and they have been doing it for a couple years.
Thanks GamersRMT- Report 2 RMT's?
RMT- Report 2 RMT's? I Dont have FFXI Live anymore
# Mar 05 2008 at 11:55 AM Rating: Decent
First and foremost i would like to respond to the allegations directed at me and my friends.... I nor my Friends have EVER been Gill buyers. We have all worked our rears off to get where we are in FFXI. I was going through a nasty divorce as you may have figured out by the malicious intent set forth in the details with wich i was acused.

Thank You: Zippylqd
Rock on Alexander
All of it is BS
# Dec 05 2007 at 9:06 PM Rating: Decent
Why dont they track down the people who hack accounts and trade away all the items for next to nothing that are reported as such? I would still be playing if it wasntfor the fact that the GM's are worthless, and the STF just seems to be nothing more than a smokescreen to stop people from complaining
#REDACTED, Posted: Dec 04 2007 at 7:28 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Hello! I'm currently a level 27 bard on Remora, and I was wondering how many BCNMs a Bard can actually participate in. I seem to notice that Steamed Sprouts is really the main BCNM for bards. Any others? It would be kind of cool to have a slightly broader range than that.
Good work SE
# Dec 04 2007 at 2:01 PM Rating: Excellent
Wow, SE is doing an amazing job with this. I can honestly say with all the MMOs I have played none of them banned as many accounts as SE does for this. Not just that but they give us the low down on all their actions keeping us up to date with the current RMT situation. However, I would really like them to bring back the old mob system. In my opinion it brought parties together in the fact they would consantly have to watch out for mobs that the other party was unable to handle. I miss the old days of leveling in the jungle and having to worry about someone aggroing a gob that could destory every party leveling there. It added so much excitement to the game. :o

Oh also fix your billing system as I dont like being charged for a full month when I re-activate 2 weeks into the month. :p

Edited, Dec 4th 2007 2:05pm by ShiningHero
It's working and it won't affect regular players.
# Dec 04 2007 at 10:51 AM Rating: Good
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51 posts
They don't just look at what you farm and such, they look at where the money goes. So if your just gaining money, trading it to your mule or using it to improve your character aren't going to get you in trouble. Now if you're constantly moving money to different accounts, deleting and creating new chars, and don't seem to do anything other then try to make money, just to give it away for seemingly nothing, then they would think your a rmt.

I've noticed a big drop in rmt on leviathan, I still see a few here and there, but odds are that those people aren't moving very much gil. If you want relate it to the real world, think about when police do a drug bust, they don't grab the little guy on the corner with a few nickel bags of weed(I've watched Clerks to many times), they go after the big operation that supplies him and lets him sell, then when they've done a huge bust they go after the corner guy.

The STF's software probably looks for repeated amounts of gil(likely in 100,000 or 1,000,000 amounts) being transfered. If that guy always hunting spook doesn't move more than say 50,000 at a time he can probably stay under the radar for much longer.

So just keep faith and soon rmt will be almost nonexistent.
lol..
# Dec 04 2007 at 10:42 AM Rating: Excellent
21 posts
For anyone that thinks SE will delete their character for thinking its rmt doesn't have to worry. I'm sure if they can make XI they can tell... besides wouldn't we have heard about a legit player being banned by now? So far 87,000 accounts were all rmt.
LOL
# Dec 04 2007 at 9:50 AM Rating: Default
The last time one of these "STF" announcements happened, I wrote about a bot on Fenrir who sits in King Ranperre's tomb monopolizing the Spook. Lots of people have reported him over the span of months and HE IS STILL THERE RIGHT NOW.

The Special Task Force is BS. The make these reports so that people will say "oooo, aaaaaahh, accounts banned. /cheer" I don't think actually they do anything. So don't worry about it being a "witch hunt". They won't ban you.
LOL
# Dec 04 2007 at 1:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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658 posts
Taud wrote:
The last time one of these "STF" announcements happened, I wrote about a bot on Fenrir who sits in King Ranperre's tomb monopolizing the Spook. Lots of people have reported him over the span of months and HE IS STILL THERE RIGHT NOW.

The Special Task Force is BS. The make these reports so that people will say "oooo, aaaaaahh, accounts banned. /cheer" I don't think actually they do anything. So don't worry about it being a "witch hunt". They won't ban you.


dude, they cant get rid of EVERY SINGLE RMT. Even if they could the rmt would still keep coming back. Also, it may just be that they just dont have enough evidence (by their standards, which puts a higher burden of proof on their shoulders before they take action) yet to get rid of that bot.
____________________________
[ffxisig]121077[/ffxisig]
LOL
# Dec 05 2007 at 9:43 AM Rating: Decent
This bot has been at the spook site for 12 hours a day for several months...

What more proof do they need?
Legit or not...
# Dec 04 2007 at 9:30 AM Rating: Decent
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220 posts
Whether legit players get banned or not, there's still possibilities of it happening. I see one instance where I did something that sounded like it was bannable (unless I read this wrong).

I deleted my Sandy mule, made another one and ran him all the way to Jeuno, then transfered a pretty large sum to him (I do this so I won't spend gil I shouldn't =P). I do all my Jeuno sales on him and send gil to my main when needed.

Granted it's not a blatant offense, but I can see under their guidelines how it might look shady. I just hope I don't get randomly banned. T.T
Legit or not...
# Dec 04 2007 at 4:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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337 posts
There is nothing wrong with using a mule to do all of your Jeuno sales and then sending the gil to your main. I do the exact same thing.

What they look for are banks and runners that constantly transfer gil and then delete the character to create a new one.

Here is an example. Last year the RMT were exploiting the Crawler's Nest Map quest in Selbina. They would create multiple new characters (6 to 12 at a time)and would use warp hacks to get to the high paying 10k gil monuments. After each one of those characters collected the 20k gil reward (which took all of 10 minutes)they would each trade the gil to a bank that was normally located next door in the back room of the fishing guild. After the runners transferred the gil, they would log out right there at the bank character and never return on that character again. (because they deleted it). 5 minutes later, there would be 6 to 12 new characters doing the exact same thing all over again. During the course of an hour I witnessed about 60 different characters trading to that one bank character. The bank character was deleted on a daily basis and was replaced with a new one. The runners appeared to be deleted after about 10 minutes.
____________________________
"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead." ~~Albert Einstein

Character: Deathbringer | Server: Ifrit | Rank 10 Bastokan Hume

Character: Angelicdemon | Server: Ifrit | Rank 10 Bastokan Hume
wewt
# Dec 04 2007 at 7:46 AM Rating: Excellent
no one legit is gonna be hurt, they can see in the logs that you hunt and make gil and craft for your char's gain and arent selling your gil or skills to the highest bidder, also im sure they notice transaction between a select one or 2 accounts as muling, so as long as you havent recent givin large amounts of gil or items to a random person, id asume your safe
...and i cant belive you called it a witch, its not like they are after something that doesnt exsist, rmt's are real and ruining my fun, but thanks to the diligent efforts of the task force, i have noticed great improvements on the economy, as well as NM camps and everythig. and i personaly would like to thank and /bow to them for their efforts. keep up the great work! ^^
wewt
# Dec 04 2007 at 9:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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3,644 posts
mrnick wrote:
no one legit is gonna be hurt, they can see in the logs that you hunt and make gil and craft for your char's gain and arent selling your gil or skills to the highest bidder, also im sure they notice transaction between a select one or 2 accounts as muling, so as long as you havent recent givin large amounts of gil or items to a random person, id asume your safe
...and i cant belive you called it a witch, its not like they are after something that doesnt exsist, rmt's are real and ruining my fun, but thanks to the diligent efforts of the task force, i have noticed great improvements on the economy, as well as NM camps and everythig. and i personaly would like to thank and /bow to them for their efforts. keep up the great work! ^^


I agree, calling it a witch hunt is a tad over board.
It isn't like they pop in front of you, and then you are banned.
They will track you if they think you are up to no good, and teamed with RMTs.

I farmed the same things over and over to make gil for food. Never had a problem with others.
And most who craft, at high levels, farm their needed items because they have the power to do so.

It is nice to see the STF doing a great job at keeping FFXI in check.
Well...
# Dec 04 2007 at 7:36 AM Rating: Decent
Scholar
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4,511 posts
SE's methods have definately improved.

RMT have been hit severely, and besides the groups of /anon fishermen and the people collecting Tree cuttings, i can't say i've seen a lot of them lately.

I do hope they will start to focus on the whole matter of HNM botters, pos-hackers and other illegal matters now.

Sure, RMT will always find a new means to make money, and they'll soon get banned following that. Opposed to how a great number of HNM botting linkshells still roam free.

This is more of a problem to the "player" who is trying to have some fun opposed to RMT fishing which more hits the "company" and maybe destabilizes the fish market a little.

Priorities SE, priorities...
____________________________
[XI] Surivere of Valefor
[XIV] Sir Surian Bedivere of Behemoth
http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/character/2401553/
What about LEGIT players that farm for crafting???
# Dec 04 2007 at 7:29 AM Rating: Decent
I am a high level smn and I farm the same mobs over and over again to obtain large amounts of gil so that i can level alchemy...which actually requires about 12K gil per synth attempt at my level. So how will they determine the legit farmers from the non legit???

Just a thought.

Edited, Dec 5th 2007 12:36pm by Baude
What about LEGIT players that farm for crafting???
# Dec 04 2007 at 8:11 PM Rating: Good
The fact that both you and I have been doing this form of activity for a long time without adverse reaction from the FFXI system or email from GMs, suggest that the STF's require a high level of detail other than people's claims about you and I being "RMT".
/cheer
# Dec 04 2007 at 7:15 AM Rating: Excellent
Sage
***
1,104 posts
i for one am very pleased with the effort put forth by the STF. Items, obviously, have been much more reasonable in price other rare/ex items have become easier to obtain to the legit players.

I give the STF 2 thumbs way up!!! I have no doubt that S/E, STF and the player community will win against RMT in the grand scheme of things and they will be reduced to 0 server wide.

Good hunting all!
/cheer
# Dec 04 2007 at 6:46 PM Rating: Default
Just wondering when is SE gonna filter the FFXIapp list that released by Taj few month ago? >.>;
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