Here's an embarrassing story.
Disclaimer: I have no ill-intentions on any person/entity. This is a silly/trivial story that I wanted to share because I have no one to share it with and I want to get it off my chest because I can't live with the shame and stupidity (no one I know personally, plays this game). Also, I'm not asking for sympathy; I just wanted to share and apologize to the friends and community I had in Ship 1, and SEGA. This is going to be a long post, and if you want a TL;DR: it's the title. Do note, I also work a 9-5 job, and want to own up to my actions maturely to the community of people I played a lot with (who are also adults). I won't mention the amount of money I have spent, but it's more than a thousand (hilarious, I know)... In the end, SEGA saved my humanity and they did the right thing. All of this is just my thoughts and my own experience.
LAST NOTE: You may feel uneased reading the whole thing through, as I felt as well after realizing it myself.
My reason for getting banned is simply due to RMT, but it would be nice to know why I made that decision and how it came about (quite surprising for a while). If you don't want to read on, or you don't know me in-game, then I hope you enjoy it. This is my first time ever getting banned from an MMORPG and will be my last.
First, I'm very sorry for my decisions and sudden lack of communication with my team and friends that I have made within the 4 months of playing PSO2. It wasn't like me to have enacted in the decisions that I made, but I lost control of my mindset/actions and am okay now, so I deeply apologize to those that are wondering why I have been quiet. I also wanted to apologize for the inconvenience I may have caused to SEGA developers.
For people on Ship 1, you may have seen my characters many times; I primarily played Ayumi Azalea, Ling Lisianthus, or Xaiyeon Ikigai (in the arena).
In order for my decisions to make sense, I have to start from the beginning, because it won't justify it enough. Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes.
Before PSO2 released to PC, and we all know COVID-19 had happened, I was already saddened that many events I looked forward to were canceled (I enjoy photography and portrait at events and cosplay). Now, this was also during a situation where fortunately I just finished playing Final Fantasy 7 Remake and The New Sakura Wars game while also doing my normal IRL hobbies. So naturally, I kind of wanted to play an MMO after I had nothing to play. And you know, I haven't played an MMO in years (I'm a 90s person okay, that makes it sound like I'm ancient, lmao) and I was a bit late to join the wave of PC players, but started my PSO2 NA journey on May 30, 2020. It was worse than watching the Titanic sink.
Now, here I am, I have read the TOS a bit (but not fully), and played PSO2 as F2P for like the first 1-2 weeks (I don't know anything about PSO2). I was enjoying it, mainly because of the vibrant and helpful community and team I had formed, and the fact that (as I soon found out) you could make some pretty nice screenshots. Now, one of my passions/hobbies kind of seeped into the game a bit here.
One of my passions is cosplay and fashion photography. And in fashion and photography, cosmetics and emotes are what I aimed for (lol, sounds stupid).
I figured I was able to make cosplays and pretty nice fashion ensembles in this game, and really enjoyed it. After thinking a bit on it, I decided to kind of "whale" into the game. This is pretty bad, because a game can't replace real-life photography, but there wasn't anything for me to use my camera on and I kind of got a bit too into it. Some, may say at this point, I was addicted, but it is actually a passion I have, and love for cosplay and fashion in general (sounds pretty dumb).
Everything was going pretty smooth and great. I'm a pretty efficient player, cost-wise, and time-wise (but I don't advocate it to other players, it's just for the sake of this story). Remember, I also work and have other responsibilities, so I can't really farm and grind all the time for meseta. Anyways, I keep playing the game, and you know, SEGA releases the roadmap and all that cool things, so now I fell for a marketing tactic, because later, we see NEW GENESIS. I was really hyped, and didn't mind spending more money on the game (lmao, I mean all the events and things I wanted to do were canceled anyways this year). So, about near the end of June, I had already 12 characters and have been earning meseta to the amount of time I spend on the game (but I did not participate in the market scene). I just did the dailies, weeklies, and client orders and was averaging around 25 to 35 mil of meseta a week, which was good at that time. I was able to buy fashion, and I also did AC scratch and was able to sell most of items then. So then I could buy the pieces I needed to make a fashion or cosplay and take screenshots to post-edit for fun; this made me really happy and I enjoyed it a lot (you know, just human things).
and yes, I know it is a gamble to sell things and get lucky; I understand that. However, around this time, I started finding shops and finding information about how Xbox players had multiple exploits for AC scratch and some glitches, but I wasn't sure if anyone was punished or banned for it. This kind of worried me because I felt like those players were at a HUGE advantage over PC players and SEGA just ignored it and let it go for launch publicity's sake (I'm not sure, it was a rumor I heard). But I kept doing my thing, and made cosplay ensembles and took screenshots and shared them with people and whatnot, it made me really happy, because the pandemic so far, hasn't been that fun for me.
Now, I may be taking the game too seriously, or it sounds very serious, but don't worry I actually have only about just reached around 1,000 hours in total gametime (also include AFK time and I multi-task doing other things) before getting banned on Oct. 20, 2020. Back to the story, it's now around August, and I believe this is when Episode 4 and also the arena came about or something (well near there). This was also the time where I had noticed lots of players were flipping the market daily. I was getting more worried (so dumb, I started to get blinded), because even with my 12 alts, efficient farming, and trying to sell things on the player shop (really hard to sell things, unless you undercut), the items I wanted to get for only fashion kept going up in price quicker than I could get meseta. I started to feel a bit disgruntled. Not to mention, the bots were also rampant (factors in later). Moving on, a bit of a tangent; I hate arena, but stuck through it to get Legendary rank, but the main point was this:
the arena had so many hackers the first time it came out. This is where my mindset kind of shifted from how I initially viewed PSO2. At this point, even the fashion I wanted to get was way too expensive for me (also some of the fashion I wanted wasn't in the recent throwback collection, etc. only some were, but I wasn't able to find the info. since some claim it was data-mined, blah blah). With my frustration at not only being able to get far in the arena because of the hackers and being unable to sell things on the player shop (the bot wave, you know) and not having time to make more meseta (basically I do the same method; weeklies, some dailies like Bar Lodess, pretty much it, and selling decent affixed things). Well, let's just say it was hard in August, thus, I decided to try RMT, because it felt like SEGA wasn't doing anything about the situation, I couldn't keep up with the prices anymore and fear of missing out definitely kicked in (lol), and it progressively got worse (I mean even till then, there is still bots and items in the shop, you know).
The thing I looked forward to in PSO2 was basically gone from me. Now, I actually only tried this once, and do know that RMT isn't actually illegal, it's only towards the EULA of the game. However, I didn't know at the time about tax evasion/chargebacks or how bad it actually was, because I mean, SEGA did report something like $14 million or so in the first few months (idk, don't quote me, I can't remember)? So, I was like, why am I spending money on AC tickets (and SG scratch) to get items that I may not be able to sell or even use (which you know is RNG, and I fell victim to it, kind of, but I knew the consequences), on top of that, SEGA hasn't done anything about the massive inflation and bots, and the game was pretty much half-assed every maintenance (all the reasons add up). In the end, I realized:
in NGS, nothing carries over except for the things my passion is related to, which is fashion and emotes; the only thing I cared about in the game. So I was like (toxic), I'll do whatever it takes to get that, and not mess with anything else.
Anyways, I did RMT just a bit (luckily for me, I didn't get scammed lmao), and bought the pieces I wanted and needed for the screenshot I wanted to take (I literally spent hours in the salon and taking screenshots around the game, then editing in photoshop etc., I mean I did the same with IRL photography).
Before we go any further, I don't want to mention where I RMTed from, but I was assured the meseta wasn't from fraud, there are things like online money farming, like Valve or some MMOs have it. I mean on Steam and some games (Diablo 3 or something), you can literally trade items for actual money (so I'm not entirely in the wrong or anything). I just didn't have the time or energy to grind for meseta, okay? Just like in real life, if you could pay someone else to do something for you, and you can save time to do other things, why wouldn't you do it? I see nothing wrong with it morally (it's normal in real life). Because all I wanted to actually do in-game was just make fashion ensembles and take screenshots really (and play with the friends and community that I could be in).
Now we roll into September. This is where I wish someone helped me. Prices again were extremely bad, and then even with 20 characters, I couldn't afford to catch up. And this is where I kind of started to whale a lot on RMT. Don't worry, I still also whaled on AC tickets lmao.
I'm so sorry, I wish I hadn't made these decisions, but it was clear to me, that I started to have an unhealthy relationship with PSO2. At this point, I kind of gave up on SEGA on fixing these issues. But then, somewhere around near the end of September or so. I felt bad and realized I'm eventually going to get banned possibly.
So, fortunately, the RMT people were pretty cool actually, and I really appreciate their help at the time (big discounts, idk I treated them as people and you know was saying how sad I am about Sega and this meseta situation). I don't know them too personally, but it's besides the point.
Players on Ship 1 always talked about how slow the market was now, and bots were outselling real players, and all that fuss. I was starting to realize I should have been in that group. So, when I did decide to RMT, it was to infuse the player market like J.Powell infused the USA stock market. So maybe on some random days, you may have seen me make tons of purchases. I know it doesn't mean anything, and it doesn't mean for like forgiveness. I just did it for fun. I AC scratched, didn't get what I wanted, did RMT, buy what I wanted, then infuse the player market by buying random stuff and primarily those badges, because I knew if people saw someone was buying it, they would also buy the cheap fashion and it's just easier to infuse that way.
Surprisingly, I did that for almost two months. I was so blinded, I feel really dumb falling for this type of actions. The concept of owning every fashion item, cosmetic, and emote was my new goal in the game. lmao, I still take care of myself, I'm not that desperate.
Then after the player shop was closed and it was because of duping methods and all that jazz, I did RMT again (same reasons as before) and I'm 100% it was obvious. So, on October 20, 2020, when I got banned, at first I was mad and frustrated and like you know furious and like I didn't deserve this or whatever (not really, idk). I felt ashamed and realized how stupid it was after. Now, I have nothing: I lost time, but gained insight of what makes myself addicted.
So yes, after seeing my account get suspended, I called SEGA support, got only automated responses (multiple times), did contact support got human response, and some automated, and was sad, I even cried, because, during COVID-19, PSO2 made some pretty fun memories, because of the people I played with, met on Discord, etc.
I got myself banned all because I got addicted to the idea of owning all the fashion and emotes just to use for future screenshots/cosplay and NGS. Yikes. I gave myself some time to reflect and remind myself why I played this MMO, and I can't believe it. I made wrong decisions, and maybe some would argue that you deserve it, RMT is bad and damaging, and that's partly true (there are legist RMT and fraud RMT), but with the amount of bugs and glitches PSO2 Global has had and then more (the shop incident), I think it's fair that if you release any game or software, you should QA it thoroughly and make sure it handles edge cases. In conclusion, I wouldn't say I was entirely at fault, because the environment and atmosphere of PSO2 Global shifted towards that due to the slow/vague response from SEGA. Like the feeling that it all felt meaningless, I'm sure some players understand that. Still, it's not my game or my software or decision, it's SEGAs.
Anyways, I don't know if I'm playing PSO2 anymore (maybe, I don't mind starting over, right, and now I know what actions I will avoid and think carefully, and ask, is the outcome worth it); I just can't believe I lost to my own self; but anyways I wanted to thank the people I met and wish all players to make a healthier decision or a meme out of this because it's hilarious when I started to type it out. I'm not a bad person, I just made bad decisions in those times of frustrations, and I know better (but I guess it was hard for me easily correct and notice due to covid-19, work, and the inflation of pso2 market, haha and the real stock market).
This was a great past-time during COVID-19, and I learned my lesson. I hope you enjoyed this story because it's really embarrassing for me to admit this childish dilemma I had, but I feel better now. Because, again, when I got banned, I felt like my passion of photography, fashion, editing, friends, time, and etc. were taken away from me (obviously my wallet is gone too, joking!! I manage my spending, don't worry). But you know, SEGA saved me from addiction, and honestly, it's sometimes hard to notice it yourself, but yea, life goes on!
Again, I will miss all the people I met on Ship 1, thanks for your invaluable time and I really appreciate it.
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