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1997-08-12: Official response to Rainz ban

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Official response to Rainz ban

To All Concerned,

Recently we were forced to ban a player named Rainz from the Ultima Online Beta Test. I would like to thank him for the wonderful attitude he has maintained despite his ban. He remains complementary of the product and Origin and we are most appreciative.

I would like to clear up the very muddy waters surrounding this incident:

1. He was NOT banned for killing Lord British. This is the stuff of legend, kudos to him for not only attempting it but actually succeeding. He has now made quite a name for himself. The assassination merely provided us an opportunity to get his account information. We had actually been looking for him in order to ban him before this (see below).

2. He was NOT banned for playing an evil character. Evil characters are part of the game world, in fact without them what would good characters do?

3. He was NOT banned from all future Origin Online products, nor has he been banned from Ultima Online as a commercial product. If that was implied, it was said in the heat of the moment by a very tired and overworked Origin employee (who got that way trying to make the game fun for everyone). He is only banned from the Ultima Online Beta Test.

4. Now let me explain exactly what he WAS banned for: He was banned for deliberately going against requests we made of him as a tester. Participating as a beta tester is a privilege we grant people so that they can help us make it fun for everyone. He was exploiting flaws in the game system that put him at an unfair advantage to other players. He then used that advantage to go on a huge killing spree that left hundreds of players dead. Let me emphasize that going on a killing spree is fine, but doing it when no one that you are attacking has a chance to defend themselves because of your advantage is not fine. Only when he was caught doing this did he then describe the problem to Origin. He was then requested to cease these activities or be banned more than once yet he chose to continue. (Incidentally he participated in very similar activity during our Pre-Alpha test over a year ago.)

5. Hundreds of complaints were posted by other testers, many of them saying that they would no longer be participating in the test because of this activity. Please understand that we are trying to stress test our servers to make sure they can properly handle large loads, losing testers makes that much harder. The last thing we need is to lose hundreds of testers because of one player who continues to break the rules.

6. If he had found the flaw, reported it immediately, and then left it alone then no harm would have been done.

These are the facts as we at Origin see them. We have always, and will continue, to try to be as fair as we can to everyone who participates. We hold no animosity towards Rainz and we hope that he will join us (hopefully reformed from his fault-exploiting ways) in Ultima Online when we release the final version.

Sincerely,

The Ultima Online Team

Tuesday, August 12