Many commentators pinned the blame for this on Trion, the western publishers. Trion in turn, said that they required help from the developers, XLGames, to combat these problems. Most commentators seemed to feel that this was just Trion trying to cover up for their mistakes.
But what if Trion was right? Most MMOs these days need to build in anti-spam, anti-hacker, and anti-bot defenses. What if Archeage didn't have these defenses that we in the West take as normal?
From my quick research, Archeage Korea requires three extra items to create an account:
- A Korean IP Address
- A Korean mobile phone
- A Korean Social Security Number (some sort of number assigned by the South Korean government)
These three external requirements tie the Acheage account to a very specific person. What if Archeage in Korea doesn't need built-in software defenses? What if these external requirements are enough to reduce spam, hacking, and botting to acceptable levels, or eliminate it entirely?
Perhaps companies in the west need to come up with a way to create a verified identification before allowing account creation. Of course, the problem is that there are multiple countries, all with different identification documents and numbers, and legal restrictions on how those identifiers can be used. You might be able to do something with a dedicated third-party company, which the game companies support.
Rather than a software arms race between spammers, hackers, botters and the game devs, verified identities might be a more successful strategy to pursue.