Damon Otter

Mad Otter Games
Developer
Hello Everyone,

This message is not directed at 99.999% of the wonderful players that make up the great community in Villagers & Heroes. I am posting this for the few people that have or are thinking about purchasing Crowns from other players.

First, let me say what I mean here. If we put Crown Bags for sale in the Shop, then it is okay for you to buy those and then put them up for sale on the Auction House, send them to friends, or trade them. That's perfectly fine. In fact, that's why we had Crown Bags in the first place. The thing that's not okay is if you pay real world money to another player for any in-game item (crowns as well as other items).

We have decided to never or at least very rarely sell Crown Bags in the future. Here's the reason. Some people buy these crowns bags, then sell them to other players, and then get a refund or use a stolen credit card for the purchase, or do a charge back. In all of these cases, Mad Otter ends up collecting $0. However, the person running this scam gets real money from the player they sell the Crowns Bags to. So, not only is the Seller doing something bad, the Buyer is also since the end result is that Mad Otter is losing money.

The other way that this scam works is the Seller asks the Buyer for his or her email and password, and then logs onto the Buyer's account, makes the purchase, and then gets the refund, charge back, etc.

We have a system that monitors this for us, so we will know when it happens.

So, anyone who does this, will be caught. When this happens, we will either just delete the account or we will set a negative crown balance. When you have a negative crown balance, you can't play the game at all until it's positive - which means you'll have to re-purchase all the fraudulent crowns from Mad Otter - this means that all of the money you gave to original Seller is completely lost.

I don't like writing a post like this since it's harsh-- but again, this post is not directed at the 99.999% of the community- just at the few people that have tried or are thinking about trying to steal from the game.

Best, Damon
 

Panthera

Grand Priestess
Platform
Android, PC, Steam
Last edited
I'm sorry you have had to make a decision like this @Damon and all the Otter family.
Me too Damon. I understand so totally, but at the same time I totally empathize with the honest people, who really really need to have that type of option available (Like the parent who wants to give their child crowns but not attach their credit card to the child's acct, (or in the case of steam wants to make sure that the steam card credits gets spent on crowns and not a game that the parent does not want the child to have) ).
 

Aurius

Priest
Platform
Android
I hope this post doesn't mean it happened again recently. Why can't people just be honest players?
 

SKAAVVEEK

Adventurer
Royal Guardian
Characters
See Signature
Platform
PC
This is hard news to swallow, but perhaps a solution can be found eventually.

As was stated, it is a mere 0.1% of the game's overall population that utilized such an exploit, so perhaps restrictions could be made to target these players specifically:
  • Regional Block: Does not allow gifting features from specific geographical regions
  • In-Game Requirements: Playtime, level, past purchases made etc.
  • Legal Action: File a charge-back complaint against the user
  • Cart Limit: Implement a cart limit or cool-down period of purchases. Lock the item shop of those caught using fraudulent charge-backs.
  • Protection Services: List
Perhaps crown bags will only arrive 14 or more days after they are purchased, to prevent users from using charge-back. Or the item only becomes tradeable once X amount of time has passed.

I really do hope we can begin trading items such as motes again. It was a large part of the economy. I hope it all turns out well!
 

Concinus

Grand Priestess
Characters
Tindra Silvertass
Platform
Steam
This is hard news to swallow, but perhaps a solution can be found eventually.

As was stated, it is a mere 0.1% of the game's overall population that utilized such an exploit, so perhaps restrictions could be made to target these players specifically:
  • Regional Block: Does not allow gifting features from specific geographical regions
  • In-Game Requirements: Playtime, level, past purchases made etc.
  • Legal Action: File a charge-back complaint against the user
  • Cart Limit: Implement a cart limit or cool-down period of purchases. Lock the item shop of those caught using fraudulent charge-backs.
  • Protection Services: List
Perhaps crown bags will only arrive 14 or more days after they are purchased, to prevent users from using charge-back. Or the item only becomes tradeable once X amount of time has passed.

I really do hope we can begin trading items such as motes again. It was a large part of the economy. I hope it all turns out well!
Just like SKAAVVEEK to come up with some great ideas! I like the idea of there being a delay between purchase and tradeability.
Although, why does it even need to be possible to get a refund for bought crowns? Can't there just be a notice popping up, informing the players of them buying a no-refund items, asking them if they are sure they want to go through with the purchase?
It is really bad that the game's ability to cater to the needs and wishes of good players has to be curtailed because of crap people - be gone scammers. :(
 
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Kookaburra

Bog Frog
Characters
Kookaburra, Kooky
Platform
PC
Although, why does it even need to be possible to get a refund for bought crowns? Can't there just be a notice popping up, informing the players of them buying a no-refund items, asking them if they are sure they want to go through with the purchase?
:(
I agree with you, but unfortunately this is not in the Otters' control. ALL major credit card companies allow cardholders to dispute charges. While this is good in most cases (overcharged, billed for something you did not get, etc), it does open the door for unscrupulous people to scam. Someone at MOG has to investigate and respond to each and every dispute with documents that prove the charge, and even then tbe credit card company can deny the charge.
 

Diryk

Warrior
Platform
Android
I would look into ways that games like warframe get around this issue. I've been playing that game since it was released and platinum is purchasable and tradable. It is the primary trading currency in the game. I'm sure other games get around these issues somehow but there should be research done into how they deal with it.
 

Diryk

Warrior
Platform
Android
After making my last post I looked up how they do it. The policy is as follows. If you buy platinum accidentally but do not use it on anything or trade it away. Then you can receive a refund and the platinum will be removed. However if you spend it or have allowed too much time to elapse since your purchase then no refund will be awarded.

Seems like this same policy could be used by the otters to avoid these scams
 

Ekimie

Hunter
Royal Guardian
Platform
Steam
After making my last post I looked up how they do it. The policy is as follows. If you buy platinum accidentally but do not use it on anything or trade it away. Then you can receive a refund and the platinum will be removed. However if you spend it or have allowed too much time to elapse since your purchase then no refund will be awarded.

Seems like this same policy could be used by the otters to avoid these scams
I recall it was a refund of their credit card payment the problem was about. That is not a policy from mad otter, but a policy from credit card. So I am not sure how the other game would stop a service like credit card from paying back?
 

Balderog

Citizen
I miss using crown bags to move crowns between my account and my wife's account (mostly to hers lol the girls have so many more good outfit choices) but I understand.
 

IrishElf

Citizen
Forum Moderator
Platform
PC
I miss using crown bags to move crowns between my account and my wife's account (mostly to hers lol the girls have so many more good outfit choices) but I understand.
I'm not understanding, couldn't you just have your wife buy her own crowns on her account?
 

Balderog

Citizen
Last edited
I'm not understanding, couldn't you just have your wife buy her own crowns on her account?
Yes she can, but I always seem to have some on hand and hers are gone. Guess it's a girl thing :) I'll bet many family players liked buying crowns in bulk and spreading them around as needed.
 
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