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  Ignoring Spammers in ‘City of Heroes’  
Posted 2007-09-12 by Tony Walsh
A software update to the massively-multiplayer game City of Heroes yesterday included a chat command ("/ignore_spammer") intended to give players the ability to mute and report spammers sending out "tells" (personal chat messages) advertising gray-market services such as real-money trading web sites.

This sounds like it could be a good idea at first, but I think the maintainers of the game are ultimately in for some headaches. First of all, the /ignore_spammer command is meant to be followed up with a /petition command--so that's doubled the number of potential customer service calls where spammers are concerned. Secondly, what's to stop players from maliciously applying /ignore_spammer to those they wish to incriminate? If each case has to be reviewed individually--perhaps involving digging into chat records, or mediating disputes--that's a hell of a lot of work. Not to mention that /ignore_spammer won't stop the City of Heroes equivalent of raining gnomes or other non-chat-related spamming. I have to assume spamming in City of Heroes is problematic enough that adding a spam-specific new chat command was worth it, but the system doesn't seem very well planned.
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Comment posted by Tambit
October 11, 2007 @ 2:42 pm
As a long-time CoH/CoV player, I can attest to the fact that no, spamming is not a big deal. In fact, it has only started very recently.

Yes, it will cause more problems, but generally it is easy to tell if someone is a spammer. They generally have cryptic names and characters or accounts that are very new. Also, it's fairly difficult if not impossible to have a raining gnomes type of situation.
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