Nexon is almost famously weak about punishing players for when they break the ToS in the game. For the past few years, right up until very recently, they would even let known dupers, exploiters, hackers, botters continue to play the game through bogus second chances, if the players were even banned in the first place. Since this went on for so long, it bred a community that honestly doesn't think that breaking the ToS is a problem. We currently have a community that actually defends botters, and to a lesser extent dupers, and I believe this is in most part due to Nexon's actions in the past. By not taking a hard enough stance against people who break the ToS, Nexon has slowly taught the community that it is ok to break the ToS. Its ok to bot, because you won't get banned, and even if you do you can get a second chance pretty fast. Or at least this was the case until just a few months ago.
The current community has been taught that there is nothing wrong with breaking the ToS for your own personal gain. That's why we had so many people abuse the Bounty Hunter exploit years ago. That's why there were so many people abusing the Hunter's club exploit, the shiny east egg buff exploit, the codex stat exploit from last year etc... And it has gotten so bad that now Nexon is faced with a different, bigger problem. There are now so many players that participate in exploits and the like that Nexon just cannot ban all of them from the game at the same time because it would be too sizable a part of the population. And that leaves Nexon with the horrible option of letting things like this slide or punishing every player in the game, which only exacerbates the problem as it reinforces the notion in the community that breaking the ToS is ok.
And, truthfully, this all stems from the all or nothing approach that Nexon takes towards punishing players. Its either ban them, or do nothing to them. And that is the core of the problem. Nexon needs to implement a dynamic punishment system where they can punish players relative to their actions in the game. Do players who participate in a Shiny Easter Egg Buff exploit deserve a ban? No. Do players who participate in an exploit like the bounty hunter one deserve a ban? Not if its their first offense. But they do need to be punished. The following are ideas that I have about possible punishments for various infractions. They are just examples to illustrate the point however, other punishments would work just as well.
Botting for levels
* Make their character level 10 and lock them there. If levels are so important to them, make sure they stay on the bottom of the rankings with that character. For repeat offenders you can look at banning the account.
Anything involving the Codex
* Remove the codex from their inventories and worn equipment. Not only does this mean they lose out on a free 30% IED from the leafre set, but it means they also can no longer use familiars. Those players who exploited the buffer overflow glitch with the exploit last year? They would no longer be able to use a wolf underling or big spider familiar while bossing if this had been their punishment. That's a huge incentive to NOT partake in any exploit involving the codex.
Participating in event exploits to get more items than intended
* Remove all of the relevent items from their inventories, even ones obtained from the event in previous years. If you knowingly abused the shiny easter egg buff event this year, then you deserve to have all of your buffs you have collected/hoarded over the years deleted. If possible, this should be accompanied by blocking that player's account from participating in the event if it comes back in the future.
Selling in game items for real money
* I know you see these people. They advertise the Paypal prices directly in their shop windows now, and often no action is taken against them except to occasionally change the text in their shop window. If you don't want to ban them outright simply delete all of the items in their shop inventories. Second offense would be deleting all of the items in their inventory and in their storage. Third offense could either be an outright ban or deleting everything on their entire account. All items, Maplestory 2 Mesos, medals earned etc.
Obviously some actions should still result in an immediate ban. Hacking, using someone else's account, duping etc etc... but overall few actions should immediately warrant a ban, but they still warrant a punishment. I really do think that such a system would bring about a very positive change in how the community thinks about breaking the ToS. And ultimately, if you disincentivize them from breaking the ToS in the first place, then you won't run into problems on the same scale as the Shiny Easter Egg Buff exploit or hunters club exploits. You will also, eventually, have fewer players botting for levels.