Star Wars n00bs Be Warned: There Be Pirates!

A story broke last week at the New York Times concerning a fiendish plot by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to raise badly needed cash, by unleashing young hackers on South Korea’s immensely popular online gaming sites, and it got me thinking about the potential perils facing SWTOR new-comers.

Since MMORPGs became big business, it was somewhat inevitable that Virtual Crime would become part and parcel of the communities. Unfortunately it is likely that that rogue element will also find its way into the SWTOR gaming world as soon as the game gets a release (in 2030 probably), with rackets set up to bully players into paying protection or illegally trading commodities. They are a fetid boil on the backside of MMORPGs and they must be stopped, or at least resisted with all of our power.
The most likely crime SWTOR will face is farming, and thanks to innovations suggested in that NY Times article linked above, hackers can take full advantage by creating software that breaches the game’s servers, and allowing round-the-clock play by “factories” of dozens of unmanned computers. The cheeky devils. It may seem like something of a victimless crime, BUT it’s always the tip of the grimy ice-berg, with the money raised through farming going to finance far darker things like human trafficking, and in the case of Kim Jong-il nuclear weapons. Which is not something we really need, to be quite frank.
So here’s what to do to avoid the online gangsters and resist the cold grip of evil farmers and more active in-game criminals:
  • Be wary of strangers, and if need be take a leaf out of Hans Solo’s book and just blast first.
  • Don’t buy from cheap credit sites – they’ll only be investing your money in spats and wide rimmed hats for their gangster meet-ups and oil for their perfectly trimmed little moustaches. Or worse.
  • If you see anyone farming, do your bit. Chop their faces off with your lightsaber. They’ll thank you in the long-run…
  • Follow the lead of the British government and make farming too expensive an occupation to sustain life, so all the farms close and we end up importing food-stuff that was indigenous to our own country in the sodding first place!
  • Avoid flashy looking players at all costs – if they look like a Sith pimp, you should question their motives when they express a desire to “protect you”. Or call you pretty.
  • Become a MMORPG monk, shun all commodities in favour of wandering through the game peacefully in a quest for self-discovery. Yes, it’s expensive for essentially doing nothing, but at least your soul will be clean and your pockets unrifled.
  • Press the “power off” button. If in doubt or danger, just get up off your arse and turn the bloody computer off!
Remember, stay prepared, stay safe. And take no Sith from anyone.
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