Statement on Trade Restrictions
Apr 8th, 2016
Hello. We are the "Tree of Savior" development team.
Many players have voiced negative opinions on the 1:1 trade restriction of our game system. We’d like to announce our stand on this system and explain why we cannot modify it immediately.
Economy is an important part of an MMORPG. It’s difficult to maintain one, yet very easy to ruin.
The main factor that ruins in-game economy of F2P games is gold (in this case, silver) selling. Unlike the P2P model, F2P games are much more vulnerable to exploit because gold sellers make near to zero investment on accumulating in-game currency. They can make essentially an infinite amount of silver in the game. Therefore, it’s important to know what can control in-game transactions effectively.
We can track down and ban the gold sellers individually, but that’s a primitive method of defense and gold sellers are constantly developing newer ways to run their business. Causing players to make minimum investment, which is mediated by Tokens, is only the first step to enforcing the limitation on gold sellers.
How are we to regulate and block gold sellers who purchase Tokens? In the end, RMT(Real Money Trading) is the goal of selling in-game currency. The second method we can use, then, is preventing one-way transfer of goods.
Gold sellers transfer their goods using the following method:
(1) Run multiple bot accounts (to accumulate silver)
(2) Transfer the silver to a separate "seller’s account"
(3) The silver on said seller's account then goes to the buyer
There’s no need to regulate trades where the goods being traded from each side are similar in value. However, an uneven transaction is observed when trades are made between bots and seller’s accounts or between sellers and buyers.
Gold sellers transfer silver using the market system. Through the market, transactions are made by listing cheap items at high prices. The sellers would purchase these items to “send over” their silver to the buyers. To stop this, we could put a set silver value on the items. By doing so, we'll be able to quickly notice the discrepancy when an item isn't sold at its rightful price. The problem is, it’s difficult to maintain a set price on every item in the game.
To tackle this, we have also implemented mechanisms to limit one-way transactions through the market. With our current market system, once an item is sold enough times through the market, highest and lowest market values are automatically generated. Players cannot list items at prices that exceed this range. On top of it, there’s already a limit on how many items can be listed.
In addition, trades are temporarily held for 48 hours upon completion. This gives our staff time to detect and cancel any suspicious transactions before buyers and sellers get their goods. In the future, we hope to reduce this time frame by developing a system that can automatically detect and block such suspicious trades. We are continuously working on this function.
We do not believe these restrictions can completely shut out gold sellers. Rather, what we’re trying to do is utilize this system to make gold selling something that isn’t worthwhile to both gold sellers and buyers.
Finally, after considering the arguments stating that making team storage a premium feature is irrelevant to preventing gold sellers, we’ve decided to lessen the restrictions on this part. We will be modifying this feature for the upcoming patch.
We’re also developing an in-game report function for players to use, and we anticipate other inconveniences to naturally diminish once we successfully administer bots.
We hope this defined our reasoning behind the trade restriction we’ve implemented. Thank you for your attention.