For both the investigation team and customer support team (perhaps, the Admin team as well):
Preface: The last paragraph states the intention of this post--to shine light on suboptimal solution and addresses a recurring concern that has been popping up over the years. Although this is about bans, it’s not about just one individual, one incident, one case, and etc--this is about solving a problem and creating a positive attitude towards Nexon’s investigation and Customer support team. I understand if this is deemed to be beyond the scope of this Q&A but I truly believe that it is still worth reading as a new perspective can be gained and a discussion can be started.
More than 1.5 years ago, there was an incident that is now referred to as the "December Cube Exploit". Since it has been a very long time, I’ll provide some context--an exploit (not involving any hacks, just abuse of a bug) was found on December 19th, 2015 that resulted in the ability to produce an unlimited amount of Red Cubes and Black Cubes. Shortly after, those who abused this bug were banned. A few weeks after, on January 6th 2016, those who were deemed to have benefitted from this exploit through the trading of these items and some of those who came in contact with these items briefly were permanently banned. With only one known case of an appeal being successful ( http://puu.sh/wRGFc/6d32c7bbb1.jpg ), the rest found no success in bringing to light the flaws of the investigation (multiple accounts were missed, accounts that weren’t logged on during that time period were banned) and multiple people who were extremely funded were banned (e.g. UberLegends, Rachel, Azaiea, and etc from Windia). Even a quick glance at their accounts will reveal that these individuals could hardly benefit from these exploits--their equips were already near perfect (Bonus potential legendary and had very good stats, Tyrant equips were upwards of 13 stars with many at 15 stars). As most Maplers would know, Bonus Potential and enhancing Tyrant equips is done after the regular Potential is done.
One of them reached level 250 a while before the incident and 2 of them were very close to level 250 so they they had very little to gain and very much to lose from this. A sample of “Rachel”’s damage a month before the incident can be seen here: . There is plenty of prior footage of the equips on the character that would further support this case. Furthermore, the NX history of some of these individuals indicate that they purchased Black Cubes and/or Red Cubes during the incident which could support their innocence. It could very well be the case that they did receive illicit items and such, but how much would they have benefitted? It could also very well be the case that somehow their near perfect gears were seen as proof that they benefitted greatly from this bug.
About a year ago, the same exact exploit occurred ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Maplestory/comments/506gyz/a_plea_to_nexon/) but this time, only those who actively abused the exploit were banned--those who came in contact and even storage mules for these items weren’t banned. Logically speaking, if it was seen that, at the time, the scope of the exploit wasn’t severe enough to ban beyond direct offenders, this leniency should’ve been shown, retroactively, to those who were banned on Jan 6th, 2015 due to the December version. It’s not unreasonable as we’ve seen President Obama commute the sentences of nonviolent drug offender in the context of today’s world.
Even if we did assume they did benefit in some form from the exploit--after 1.5 years, how useful would these equips be? Let’s take the Arcane Weapon Exploit that occurred earlier this year as an example (even though it was claimed that all the exploited items were removed): after a year or 2, these items devalue enough for these individuals to be release with no impact on the game balance.
My question to you: Can old cases of permanent bans ever be reconsidered in today’s context. For investigations where the evidence isn’t black and white--investigations where assumptions are made, can those assumptions be presented to the accused so they can attempt to prove/disprove these assumptions. Nexon’s customer support make very valid arguments/cases but not always sound (i.e. If the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true vs If the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true AND the premises are definitely true). It makes little sense to keep those who were permanently banned for taking advantage of hackers obtaining Tyrant capes, 6 years ago, banned. Most of these people never came back and it became a lose-lose situation as the population declined. Given how passionate those who were banned during the December Cube Exploit have been even after 1.5 years, it’s hard to believe that these people will ever negatively impact the game. Here’s also an interesting note to end on: One of the people that was banned during the incident was recruited to be a moderator for Basilmarket for their positive contributions (white hat, responsible disclosure of site vulnerabilities).
I share the same sentiment [as the person I quoted but had his/her post removed]--how is it possible that Nexon makes a ton of mistakes (albeit human error) everywhere else (in the form of typos, QA, internal miscommunication, error in code) but has a near "perfect" record with investigating/banning for exploits. When was the last time we heard that Nexon messed up on their investigation of these incidents? How is it possible that some of these convicted individuals are consistently able to present irrefutable evidence.
Every single ticket I see regarding ban appeal receives a response along the line of "After reviewing the evidence, we've come to the same conclusion". With false/bad premises/evidence, ANY conclusion can be drawn. Here's a classic case:
Assume these premises are true:
(Q or X) is always true because Q is already true
Because ~Q is true and (Q or X) is true, X must be true.
Therefore, we've proven that X is true.
X can be anything and anything can be proven when the evidence are gathered incorrectly or misinterpreted.
This thing about the ban isn't just about ingame activities--this can be applied to Aggraphine's ban as well. We , as the community, have all the evidence regarding this matter and yet there has been no further actions taken regarding it, despite overwhelmingly negative response. How do we trust your decision making when you'd rather be "right"/not admit fault than reasonable. What happens behind the scenes when we DON'T see the evidence and Nexon employees ban people out of emotion.
You guys could've easily said something like "We messed up and acted out of emotions, apologies to all those affected." Unban Aggraphine THEN change the rules. Let's be honest, what did banning Aggraphine and keeping him banned do for Nexon? Same thing for the people falsely banned during the December Cube exploit, and people like Clanta from the Arcane wep exploit. All the exploited items are gone/irrelevant--they have no impact on the game economy. Even if you assume they exploited to some extent, none of them used hacking tools because this was a bug being exploited. So what exactly did Nexon gain from these bans? These players are obviously not habitual exploiters/hackers--they made it through many years with a clean record. So where's the logic?
I'd also like to point out, the people banned for the December Cube exploit were banned on 1/6/2016. The investigation started after 12/23/2015 (blanket tradeblock). There are 5 business days between those 2 dates and according to your careers website, you guys get "Week-long year end break". It's kinda hard to believe a very thorough investigation for every single affected account was done that quickly.