12/18/19 8:00 AM
As most of you likely know by now, we recently disabled the trading of cash, mailing of cash, and use of the broker while we addressed an issue impacting the game's economy.
An exploit allowed a small number of players to inject trillions of fake cash into the game, substantially ballooning broker prices and item values, as well as allowing these bad actors to accumulate unfair wealth in both cash and items.
This is not a simple problem to solve. This fake cash has thoroughly scattered throughout the entire player base, even to those completely unaware and trading legitimately. Having this much fake cash presents numerous long term problems for all players.
To address this, we have taken three actions.
We fixed the exploit as soon as the steps became available to us. If you become aware of an exploit in the future, report it in the Task Force X subforum, where only developers can see your threads. Include as much information and steps as possible.
Do not continue to do the exploit. If you have done it in a good-faith attempt to find the steps, let us know the details so we can take that into account.
We cannot and will not directly comment on what actions have been taken on player accounts. We do want to be clear that appropriate actions have been taken. We also want to be clear that these actions in the future can range from removal of items, cash, or characters, to temporary suspensions, to permanent bans.
Exploiting has a significant impact on everyone in the game and we take it very seriously.
As mentioned, virtually everyone in the game has now accumulated fake cash, even if completely unaware of the issue and trading or brokering legitimately. Our goal with this action is to remove as much of the fake cash as possible, impact as few people as possible, and be as fair as possible.
Our goal is NOT to fix all of the economy's issues in one go. We are specifically focused on removing this recent influx of fake cash.
We also want to maintain some of the scale of wealth legitimately present in the game. You may have less cash after this tax, but for the most part you will still have more than the people you had more than before, and less than the people you had less than before.
What are Progressive Tax Brackets?
Here's how that works (and, look, this is basically how the US and other tax systems work, so if you're confused at all about how progressive tax brackets work in real-life, this could be doubly helpful for you! If you don't care how it works, you can skip ahead.)
In progressive tax brackets, you pay a specific percentage of tax on each chunk or bracket of money.
NOTE: Being "in" the highest "20%" tax bracket does NOT mean you pay 20% of your total (that would be $12, not $8). You only pay the higher bracket's percentage on the money in that bracket. The lower percentages still apply to the money in the lower brackets.
We have settled on six tax brackets for this one-time event, totaled at the ACCOUNT level, which are as follows:
This means that most players fall into the first 0% tax bracket entirely, and that the wealthiest people will have about 22 billion cash after taxes.
We recognize this type of action sucks for everyone, and that many will feel unfairly or innocently impacted. We strongly believe that taking no action is worse for everyone, and that this is the least-bad and most-fair way to address the situation.
Join the discussion on the forums, where we are here to answer your questions and field any concerns.