BioWare temporarily bans The Old Republic players for exploiting end-game content

Only a few weeks after its release, BioWare has already begun suspending and banning players that go against their terms of service in hopes of keeping a balanced game economy. A number of accounts were found to be credit farming, by exploiting the game "in a variety of ways to maximize their credits in order to sell them to other players."

These players were removed from the game entirely, as their actions supposedly went against BioWare's Terms of Service.

A majority of the banned accounts were gold farmers, but there were other players punished for lesser crimes with lesser sentences. Most of these problems surround the end-game planet of Ilum, which is meant to be a zone for max-level players (with a "no low-level jerks allowed" sign posted in the spaceport). It's being reported that some players were temporarily banned for exploiting the planet by using low-level characters to capture PVP points on Ilum so that they could capture it back, reaping the rewards without actually doing any of the work.

Other players were suspended for traveling to the planet early and looting chests in order to take high-level gear that could be sold for a higher price. This is a little bit more of a grey area than the first issues, as there really isn't anything wrong with traveling to a planet before the game recommends and looting chests. If you're able to do it, you sort of should be able to do it as long as no actual exploits were taking place. BioWare assured the community that the only players that were suspended were the ones that actually abused this by "systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced," but this is certainly a little more fuzzy than gold farming or abusing the capture-point system.

BioWare claims that the number of people actually affected by the temporary bans are small (much smaller than those banned for actual credit farming), but that hasn't stopped the community from throwing a fit. We're not completely sure where we stand on the issue, as we definitely see both sides of this one. We don't like exploiters at all, but we're also not completely sure that going to a high-level area early and looting chests is really an exploit.

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.