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Latos Economy Rollback

Earlier this week, we discovered major problems in the "new" Latos dynamic economy, which were causing items to be priced at a small fraction of their intended value. This problem had been present for some time.

The economy was reverted to a prior working model, earlier in the week and is currently in a "reasonably sane" state.

This problem was not reported to us. For some players, this is could be understandable. They might simply be unaware of common pricing differentials in the universe.

For other players, however, it's difficult to understand how this bug was missed. Certain people, among the most experienced traders in the game, were able to generate nearly a Billion credits in a week, using casual trading with a single system jump, and focusing *purely* on this specific problem.

Here's the thing, if you're currently able to solo-generate a Billion credits a week, with fairly casual trading, this is not an indicator of you being a "Trade Genius", it means something is "broken" and should probably be reported.

Because of the large-scale exploitation of the issue, we've spent the last several days doing forensic tracing of every the outcome of every related trade made by every player: people who prefer to hold goods in storage as-goods, people who trade for player-items, people who move credits into their guilds, etc.

We have chosen to roll-back the profits of only the "top" individuals in this case, the ones with the most drastic profits, which is only six players. We have not completely removed all profits, but we have "adjusted" them to match what the outcome *would* have been, if the pricing had been correct, and made a generalized assumption of "profit". This is a pretty positive outcome for those involved, we did not "zero out" the revenue, or take punitive action, we've simply "normalized" things.

The application of this action is different for each individual player, because of how the resulting profits had been moved around. In some cases, we simply removed credits from the given character's bank. In other cases, they had moved their credits to other accounts, and we removed it from those locations. For some people, who held large quantities of "items" in storage, without selling them, we removed an equivalent number of the items. Still others had given large quantities of credits to their guilds, we removed those funds.

As a result of the time-consuming forensic research that went into this, all development was halted earlier this week. We had planned for a number of improvements and updates to debut this week, but as of right now, we're not sure what (if anything) will end up being released tonight.

To make that point a little clearer, let me remind people that "Vendetta Online" is practically unique within the game-industry: a cross-platform MMORPG with a 100% custom in-house engine and back-end, developed by an indie team.

As a result, we have always (necessarily) relied on our userbase to make decisions that are in the best interests of the game "as a whole", as opposed to the benefit of the individual, specifically when it comes to the reporting of exploitable bugs. To some this might seem naive, but for the most part, through our two decades of development, players have lived up to this need. We really cannot do this development without a certain amount of "big picture" altruism from the players, because the related development and testing requirements would be infeasibly high.

Developing and rolling out dynamic economic structures is a complex and challenging issue. Devaluing our currency does nothing to improve the game. We really need (and expect) people to report serious issues when you find them.