Mining for Gold Farmers: Automatic Detection of Deviant Players in MMOGS

Date of Submission: 
May 22, 2009
Report Number: 
09-016
Report PDF: 
Abstract: 
Gold farming refers to the illicit practice of gathering and selling virtual goods in online games for real money. Although around one million gold farmers engage in gold farming related activities , to date a systematic study of identifying gold farmers has not been done. In this paper we use data from the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMO) EverQuest II to identify gold farmers. We pose this as a binary classification problem and identify a set of features for classification purpose. Given the cost associated with investigating gold farmers, we also give criteria for evaluating gold farming detection techniques, and provide suggestions for future testing and evaluation techniques.