On October 4th, the Korean version of Nexon’s Mabinogi was shutdown with players given extremely short notice. The maintenance lasted approximately 96 hours, and as reported by This Is Game, Nexon attributed it to a rise in real-money trading (RMT). In a phone call with TIG, Nexon stated the following:
We have found [a lot] of RMT rising from ‘the workers and auto players’ during last [holiday]. So we are working on [investigating] it and proceeding [with a] broadscale system maintenance to root it out. Some are saying the reproduced gold caused this server [maintenance], but it’s not true. This is totally about the RMT and the workers. Since this [enormous] situation happened [inevitably] without any notice [several days ago,] we will compensate the players reasonably.
The maintenance ended sometime on the 8th and did not affect the North American servers.
Analysis: Mabinogi has been having a lot of problems recently. In the past two years, several gold duping glitches have been discovered and were usable for quite some time. The North American counterpart responded to this with thousands of permanent account bans, but the Asian ones did not respond as harshly. In all regions, this resulted in major inflation.
I played Mabinogi from the time the North American servers were in closed beta until the third generation update. Up until that point, the game was extremely stable, and the economy was thriving. Unfortunately, so were the gold farmers. Around the time preceding the third generation update, issues started to crop up. The server stability dropped, and server rollbacks caused a number of acquaintances to lose items. At that point, I decided to quit. A couple of friends continued playing, and according to them, things proceeded to get worse after that.
The rise in RMT activity is likely due to either another duplication glitch being found or a way to automate the use of an existing one. In either case, the issue is getting increasingly worse and needs to be dealt with.