As we progress towards the 1.0 server, we continue to make foundational investments that improve the economy, reduce exploiting, and build tools that quickly identify and respond to bad actors. As we have said in the past, we have moved to a new Era, where Basilisk is our Beta test server allowing us to test ideas that require scaled users, items, and credit movement to validate.

With this in mind today, I wish to discuss our newest system, "Eye of Sauron" (EoS for short). This system currently logs 31 distinct transactions, focused on the movement of items and money between game systems (i.e., looting an NPC) and players (i.e., Trades, Sales). These are detailed logs, including the source and destination players (or system) and the subject item and any child objects involved (i.e., if you transfer a building with items). As an example, currently on Basilisk, EoS is logging about 500k transactions a day, from the mundane looting of a trash mob to 100M credit transfers between players. We plan to share summaries of that data over time, create leaderboards, and use the data to power events we are preparing for the 1.0 server's launch. We will also use this data to feed our AI/Machine Learning fraud detection system (IG88A) to alert us to bad actors in real-time and allow us to connect accounts in ways that were not possible in the past.

The sad side of this is the origin of EoS; it grows out of community reports to us about bad actors in the community who sell items for real-life money, and who found ways to dupe items and sell them or give them to friends. After the public announcement of 1.0 and our video interviews, several community members approached me directly about concerns they had about things happening in-game. They didn't want to see the 1.0 server ruined by these behaviors and they had been turning a blind eye because "Basilisk is already a mess." They came from all sorts of backgrounds; some were crafters getting duped components that allowed them to craft over and over to get that "perfect craft." Others were in the middle selling items on their vendors in a "no questions asked" mode and making a hearty profit while giving money back to the perpetrators. They all understood there would be consequences of their coming forward, but, they all felt it needed to happen, that we needed to know so we could fix it before 1.0 launches. These were the seeds of our investigation, allowing us to hone in on the perpetrators, to monitor them in in-depth detail, we did Adhoc logging down to packet dumps of everything they did. From there, we figured out the things they were doing, and instead of instantly banning them, we built EoS to monitor them and others on the server. The informants plus the perpetrators became a feedback loop where one would provide feedback to us; allowing us to improve EoS, and the perpetrators would react, allowing us to add more capabilities to our tools. I could write a detective novel on it; the process took six months to arrive at this point, I won't bore you with the blow-by-blow details here. The great news is that we now have the tools to do this in minutes rather than months going forward. There will be official announcements as investigations bear fruit over the coming days.

We need your help cleaning up issues that ruin the game before we launch the 1.0 server. Please contact support if you see something suspicious so we can investigate it. If you have direct evidence (or are using an exploit), please step up and do the right thing, we will treat those who are brave better than those who would abuse and degrade our community. If you don't come forward, someone else might do it for you, and I can promise our reaction will be swift and painful.

I would like to personally thank several people (you know who you are) who came to me directly and shared details that unlocked this for us, and I would encourage others to step forward. I would also like to thank my wife, who put up with me while I smashed my head against my keyboard for the past six months building the foundations of Eye of Sauron. Without her unconditional support of my obsession to keep this game alive, I would have never been able to invest the 100's of hours it has taken to get to this point.

Now let's focus on the future, get moving towards 1.0, and a galaxy where we can innovate and have fun together as a community.

~Lord Kator