Marou_ wrote:A crafting based economy means the exploits filters through the whole system very differently.
This is absolutely true.
However, it's also true that while the game has a small player population it's easier to see when a character or a group of characters is getting a higher than expected extraction rate from a faucet, and it's easier to see when money starts to flow excessively towards one kind of action.
When you have a million people in a game you have to rely on statistical analysis to try and spot a tiny variation (that is in absolute terms huge) against a lot of background noise.
When you have 50,000 people in a game you can look at a list of active faucets and a list of the movement of wealth and pick out a lot of deviation from the expected trend by eye.
This is one of those areas where 15 years of MMO history benefits us because a lot of the ways exploits work are well understood now and we know how to watch for them. That's not saying that something might slip by but it's less likely that something will slip by long enough to require a significant intercession in the game economy affecting a lot of otherwise innocent players.
Good luck. I design data warehouses and audit/risk analysis software for financial and medical firms. Fraud and money laundering techniques get pretty exotic, and just because the environment is virtual doesn't mean it will be any easier.
Some guilds horde exploits like rare treasure and work hard not to cause much noise, just like the best white collar crooks make all of their thefts small and obscure. I have no illusion that the services I provide make my clients fraud-proof. I'm just there to help identify and clean up the mess before it gets too out of hand. Often physicians or financial advisers have been crooked for years before they cause a blip or audit alert.