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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - Looking for Exploits

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakanaga View Post
    Hmm, banning people from WoW on the eve of SWTOR launch. Probably won't matter but I'd say there is a lot of people involved in this. I guess another few hundred thousand scrips gone doesn't bother Blizzard.
    I can assure you that this will not be the reason if Blizzard loses a few hundred thousand subscribers.

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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakanaga View Post
    Hmm, banning people from WoW on the eve of SWTOR launch. Probably won't matter but I'd say there is a lot of people involved in this. I guess another few hundred thousand scrips gone doesn't bother Blizzard.
    If anything, this will go the other direction. Blizzard showed integrity and restraint (maybe a bit to much restraint :P) in this situation. It is something they haven't done in awhile, tbh. And banning a few ultra-hardcores who make up a very small percentage of the game is not even going to come close to hurting subs.

    The players they will lose to SWTOR are already lost. Any of them who use this as justification, already had their minds made up and are delusional if they think an 8-day ban of Paragon is a good reason to unsubscribe from WoW.

  3. #43
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    There is now other way to say it it's cheating. You guys talk about the Race to the Heroic Boss as being tainted by Blizzard. If five people are running in a race and one guy trips another uses an enhancement drug to make them faster its cheating. Its like the Barry Bonds Scheme in baseball, he took steroids and he payed the price for it. Same concept.
    Many guilds who have done it have lost my respect and others respect, but I believe that people who have done it and have not owned up to it are the ones that have lost respect the most. The fact is if you are running a race and are taking enhancement drugs and you get caught you don't blame the ref for making these drugs available on the black market.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    To be clear, I said I was more sympathetic towards those who exploited because they felt they had to to keep up, not that I thought it was the correct choice and that they shouldn't be punished =)
    Hey Lore. I did recognize that you think the punishment was fair and it was just some sympathy for the situation they were in. I was just saying that I don't even feel that. For me it would be like feeling sympathetic towards Barry Bonds because he felt he had to keep up with Mark McGwire. I understand why they felt they needed to do what they did, but that is a different matter. I know this is 'just' a game, but the world needs more people to take the high road, and I really wonder if any individuals in these guilds actually stood up and said they weren't going to participate in the exploit. That would be a good story.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawer View Post
    and @ bovinity
    I said above in previous post that you didn't read: "It can be interpreted as cheating".
    Encounter designers and GMs at Blizzard decide what's exploit and what's not according to their intent on how the game should work, it's not defined anywherein ToS or Eula.
    My problem is Blizzard being vague, not consistent, using double standards, ruining the world first race, letting buggy content in every single tier etc
    You guys defending Blizzard like it's the best thing they've done. I for myself I could care less about Ensidia and Paragon in the end.
    Are you for real? There is nothing to interpret here. The guilds doing it acknowledge they knew it was an exploit. Getting the gear through an exploit gave them an advantage. This is 100% covered in the terms of service. There is no gray area here. The only inconsistency is with how Blizzard has chosen to hand out punishment. It does seem arbitrary, but if you break it down, Blizzard had no choice. They had to make it sting so next time players think twice.

    I read a quote on Method's website that absolutely blew me away a few days ago. To paraphrase, we know it's an exploit, we don't think there will be any punishment so we're doing it because others are. How smart is it to stand in front of a judge and say I know I committed a crime, buy your not really going to punish me so I did it anyway?

  6. #46
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    C. Rules Related to Game Play.
    (i) Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;

    (ii) Conduct prohibited by the EULA or elsewhere in these Terms of Use; and

    (iii) Anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Game.
    If these "rules" would be enforced, nearly all players would have been banned for some time, a lot of them several times. These phrases donīt define what is supposed to be a competetive advantage and what isnīt or what the "essence" of the game is. Thats the big point.

    Having 5+ raids full of players just to gear up a handfull of characters is gaining a competetive advantage. Having a GM watch your progress and fixing fights on the run is an advantage. Transferring in order to kill heroic modes in the first ID is gaining a competetive advantage. Where do you draw the line if a lot of exploits were treated as non-punishable? Reality is, that a lot of the game is focussed on finding loopholes and the vast majority them is not being punished.

    And you can harp all you want on the terrible stealing-analogies, the fact of the matter is that Blizzard let the kids steal all day long for years and now they instantly crack down when it happens again. Nothing changes the facts, true. But please donīt act like it is obviously wrong and absolutely clear that youīd get banned for this. If you enable something, and they do when their GMs watch these players raid and they essentially clear them for most of the bugs that appear, donīt change your attitude from one day to the other.

    If anyone can point how Blizzard is not even partially at fault for these kind of things happening, please show me the obviously straight handling of all the incidents mentioned here.

    Imagine the following scenario: You are raiding with your guild. As always, everyone has made concession to his usual schedule to spent some hours raiding together. At some point, you encounter a new boss that is apparently or only "maybe" plagued by bugs that lead to some mechanics being easier to handle/avoid. Would you instantly stop raiding and waste the time everyone commited? I wouldnīt, because its not my responsibility to deliver (mostly) bug-free content. I am tehre to raid and if that means killing a bugged-out boss to advance, Iīll do it. Why shouldnīt I?

    Of course, "exploits" for first kills are a little different. The motivation to go on is much bigger and thus also the willingness to take shortcuts, but its the same in principle.


    Now a lot will depend on how Blizzard goes on with this. If they really become the Iron Fists in terms of exploits and keep it that way, I am fine with it. But I seriously dount it given their history.



    P.S.: People enjoying this make me sick. Get a life.
    Last edited by Krenian; 12-07-2011 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Swearing isn't needed. Removed.

  7. #47
    Really? Give it a rest with all the enforcement crap or comparing it to bugged bosses or running multiple raids or other nonsense.

    They cheated. They KNEW they cheated. It wasn't an error or an unexpected occurance on a boss or a bug in a mechanic on a fight that no one knew about. It was extremely blatant, requiring quite a bit of pre-planning and execution in order to repeatedly and intentionally circumvent a system that every raider has known about since Vanilla for no reason other than to rake in tons of gear really fast.

    I've never been a big watchdog about exploits. I even gave Ensidia the benefit of the doubt on the Lich King/Saronite Bomb thing. But this? No way. There's no justifying it, it wasn't an accident, it wasn't something they ran into during progression and had to deal with, it's no grey area.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mwawka View Post
    I know this is 'just' a game, but the world needs more people to take the high road, and I really wonder if any individuals in these guilds actually stood up and said they weren't going to participate in the exploit. That would be a good story.
    It also wouldn't be a very human story. Humans, as with all primates, are primarily opportunistic creatures. We "exploit" everything we can whether it be driving 75 in a 65 because we know the cops only pull over people going 80 or if it's taking steroids to make an extra 10 million dollars a year. It's not right or wrong, it's just human. To counteract socially destructive trends of human behavior we effect social structures such as laws and ethics, that reign in the excesses of our individual instincts for the betterment of society ... effectively impeding the individual for the many. This is basic sociology.

    However for better or worse, the more you turn the screws of competitive pressure on an individual the less those externally enforced social structures matter to any one individual. It's bad for society for people to kill each other, we all kind of know this (I hope), but when threatened in some extreme fashion nearly everyone is capable of it. For better or worse this is also what happens at the highest levels of competition in any sport/activity. Even if you don't hear anything publicly about it doesn't mean it didn't happen ... it just means they have a fantastic PR team and better discipline than their competition (Lance Armstrong).

    Regardless Lore nailed this one. The most important thing here is for blizzard to start enforcing strict enough punishments that they effectively deter the natural opportunistic patterns that run rampant in the highest end of competition. If blizzard wants the competition to be "fair" then its on them to ensure the punishments in place are in fact effective at stopping the behaviors. To go back to my example if murder only yielded a night in jail LOTS of people would be murdered every year for stupid reasons ... the punishment wouldn't stop the crime. Here 1 week off from competitive raiding is really the equivalent of 20 years to life in jail to these raiders. They just may be that much better than the few guilds who didn't cheat that they can catch up ... but that also largely depends on how difficult the tier is as well.

    In any case blizzard needs to continue to enforce this kind of thing and set the precedent that exploits are simply NOT tolerated in the competitive field and if you are caught you will be taken out of the race. Yes I sympathize with these people a whole lot but regardless of whether they were right or wrong to choose to exploit ... it's on blizzard now to ensure there's simply no practical choice in the future. Exploits will always be there, just as any one of you can go grab a weapon and murder your neighbor or coworker, but as long as the punishment is deterrent enough only the very few or the very crazy are going to go for it.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdy View Post
    P.S.: People enjoying this make me sick. Get a life.
    I'm not 'enjoying' it. The thing is, letting people get away with exploits for a long time, doesn't make it ok to take advantage of exploits. At some point in time Blizzard needed to crack down in a way that will actually make people question whether it's worth the risk. It's obvious that you can't count on people self regulating, so it's time for Blizzard to step in.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    It also wouldn't be a very human story. Humans, as with all primates, are primarily opportunistic creatures. We "exploit" everything we can whether it be driving 75 in a 65 because we know the cops only pull over people going 80 or if it's taking steroids to make an extra 10 million dollars a year. It's not right or wrong, it's just human. To counteract socially destructive trends of human behavior we effect social structures such as laws and ethics, that reign in the excesses of our individual instincts for the betterment of society ... effectively impeding the individual for the many. This is basic sociology.
    While I do agree this is true, it's not so for every single person. I'll be completely honest. If I were a hardcore raider in Paragon right now, I would probably have left the guild over this -- Even with all the "glory" of being in Paragon. What they did is top-notch douchery and I would want no part in that.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    It also wouldn't be a very human story. Humans, as with all primates, are primarily opportunistic creatures. We "exploit" everything we can whether it be driving 75 in a 65 because we know the cops only pull over people going 80 or if it's taking steroids to make an extra 10 million dollars a year. It's not right or wrong, it's just human.
    Actually that would make it PRECISELY human because HUMANS SHOULD FUCKING KNOW BETTER. You don't blame an ape for "breaking the rule" because it's dubious that an ape even UNDERSTANDS the rule. Humans SHOULD (I won't say do, because we have fairly clear evidence in this thread alone that "do" is overestimating the human race). This is just another stupid animal story. My guild, for example (who will be in the race for server-first, but not, obviously world/us firsts), didn't even consider that we would use this exploit. Because we're not fucking scumbags...it was obviously an exploit, it was obviously a bannable offense, it never even occurred to us to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    Regardless Lore nailed this one. The most important thing here is for blizzard to start enforcing strict enough punishments that they effectively deter the natural opportunistic patterns that run rampant in the highest end of competition. If blizzard wants the competition to be "fair" then its on them to ensure the punishments in place are in fact effective at stopping the behaviors. To go back to my example if murder only yielded a night in jail LOTS of people would be murdered every year for stupid reasons ... the punishment wouldn't stop the crime. Here 1 week off from competitive raiding is really the equivalent of 20 years to life in jail to these raiders. They just may be that much better than the few guilds who didn't cheat that they can catch up ... but that also largely depends on how difficult the tier is as well.

    In any case blizzard needs to continue to enforce this kind of thing and set the precedent that exploits are simply NOT tolerated in the competitive field and if you are caught you will be taken out of the race. Yes I sympathize with these people a whole lot but regardless of whether they were right or wrong to choose to exploit ... it's on blizzard now to ensure there's simply no practical choice in the future. Exploits will always be there, just as any one of you can go grab a weapon and murder your neighbor or coworker, but as long as the punishment is deterrent enough only the very few or the very crazy are going to go for it.
    I don't disagree that Blizzard's enforcement of this policy has been sketchy, and that it needs to be cleaned up and done more consistently. But that's a criticism for their recent past, not THIS. The bans they've handed down because of this exploit are lenient-to-reasonable (anyone who used this exploit and didn't get at least an 8 day ban (missing this week's progression) got off easy).

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    It also wouldn't be a very human story. Humans, as with all primates, are primarily opportunistic creatures. We "exploit" everything we can whether it be driving 75 in a 65 because we know the cops only pull over people going 80 or if it's taking steroids to make an extra 10 million dollars a year. It's not right or wrong, it's just human. To counteract socially destructive trends of human behavior we effect social structures such as laws and ethics, that reign in the excesses of our individual instincts for the betterment of society ... effectively impeding the individual for the many. This is basic sociology.
    It is very basic sociology. But altruism and morality are also very big parts of the human story. The ability to choose to do what's right over what our basic animal instincts tell us may be best for us is one of the defining human characteristics. I do think that someone in one of those guilds choosing not to participate is very human and part of the human story as well. The more people are able to self regulate the better for everyone. I would love to hear a story of someone in one of these guilds who had the courage to say no. I'm sure lots of them thought about doing it. To write stuff off as not right or wrong, just human is a cop out in my opinion. We have the ability to choose not to listen to our primate instincts, because we are cognizant. I make those choices because I care enough about others to make them, not because there are laws saying I shouldn't and not because someone tells me I'll go to hell if I do. I do it, because my morality allows me to make the distinction. Human's aren't perfect, we make mistakes and sometimes we all need something to get us back on track. I think the punishment for these players was fair. I do not think a longer ban was warranted, but I think it obvious they needed a reality check.

    Maybe a better way of thinking of this is that the guilds that chose not to use the exploit are getting rewarded with content a week earlier than those who used the exploit.
    Last edited by Mwawka; 12-07-2011 at 10:40 AM.

  13. #53
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    I concur that people have a choice and that indeed it IS very human and beautiful to say NO. I get that and won't deny it. However the types of people who wind up being the best at anything ... be it WoW or Poker or Basketball or basket-weaving ... very rarely wind up being the type of person who would say no. You don't become the best in the world at anything by leaving anything behind ... you become the best in the world by pushing harder than the guy next to you, by wanting it more. I'm not denying these people messed up, I'm also not saying that they shouldn't be punished or that such punishments are for the good of the game and race overall. I 100% agree with all of that.

    My only point is it's far too easy to armchair quarterback this one and spew convenient moral platitudes and thinly-veiled bile about how these people all should be perma-banned when the truth is ... for most of them ... the choice came down to a simple risk-reward calculation. Risk of getting negatively influenced versus the reward of some small advantage over the competition. That's the ONLY thing that the majority of ultra-competitives think about (who are the ONLY people who rise to that level) and the ONLY way blizzard stops them is by screwing with that equation but upping the risk ... which is exactly what they did here. These people are not evil or morally bankrupt, they simple want "it" more than anyone else and will take any logical path to "it" that gets them there quickest with the lowest risk.

    TLDR:
    - The punishment was correct and a net positive for the game and for future world's first races, even at the expense of this tier's race they made the right call.
    - The players knowingly exploited and that was bad for the game in general and earned their punishment and not one of them can deny it.
    - These people are not morally bankrupt evil cheaters, as is implied by many here, they are simply ultra-competitives who would never be here in the first place if they were not willing to do anything it takes to win.
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by feralminded View Post
    These people are not evil or morally bankrupt, they simple want "it" more than anyone else and will take any logical path to "it" that gets them there quickest with the lowest risk.

    TLDR:
    - The punishment was correct and a net positive for the game and for future world's first races, even at the expense of this tier's race they made the right call.
    - The players knowingly exploited and that was bad for the game in general and earned their punishment and not one of them can deny it.
    - These people are not morally bankrupt evil cheaters, as is implied by many here, they are simply ultra-competitives who would never be here in the first place if they were not willing to do anything it takes to win.
    It's possible to be competitive, to want to be the best, to do everything you can and NOT CHEAT. A lot of people are able to "walk that line."

    "Morally bankrupt" might be strong, but "simply ultra-competitives" is definitely too weak too.

  15. #55
    To me, that's an oxymoron. I'm an extremely competitive person because I want to be BETTER than the next guy. I don't want to cheat or even "ride the line" with cheating to win, I want to just WIN.

    To say that being competitive automatically means that you're going to cheat or exploit the games in which you're playing just makes no sense to me, that seems like the very polar opposite of being competitive. Cheating just means that all you value is winning and/or reaping the rewards of that victory and that you didn't have any interest in actually competing at all.

  16. #56
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    All that said, I still believe there were probably many players in these guilds who didn't want to use the exploit. Some or all of those people may have gone along with it 'for the team', but I am very curious is any of them actually just said "no" and sat out the exploit runs.

    I do not for a second think that the vast majority of ultra competitive people who reach the top in competitive fields cheat or push the boundaries to get there. The problem is, that enough do forcing those who don't to make it a choice not to and risk the possibility of being at a disadvantage. That to me is why Blizzard's response was a good one. Not even so much as a punishment to those who exploited, but as a reward to those who made the choice not to. To me it says "We are impressed with your choice, here's an advantage going forward"

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mwawka View Post
    I do not for a second think that the vast majority of ultra competitive people who reach the top in competitive fields cheat or push the boundaries to get there.
    Ah it is here where our opinions differ. This is purely anecdotal but I've managed to meet and speak to several people in my life who would all be considered in the top 1% of their respective competitive fields and by and large every single one of them was willing to do literally "anything they could get away with" to beat the competition. For them it wasn't even really a question, or an option, to consider any path except that which yielded the largest possible risk-reward ratio. Again this is pure anecdote and I admit that but it definitely changed my perspective "what it takes to be the best." Yes impossible amounts of hard work and effort. Yes impossible amounts of natural talent. But it also takes a certain type of drive that not everyone has.

    And again I freely admit that is pure anecdote and possibly way off base. I also understand many people who have never met these types want to believe different as well ... I know I certainly did before I had these encounters ... but I now believe this is simply how it is. When a field includes thousands if not millions of competitors ... only those with or willing to exploit every possible advantage rise to the top. That said I am willing to believe (even hopeful at this point) that I am not entirely right in this.

    At any rate no matter how competitive I may be I fall into Bovinity's category of "I want to BEAT my competition, fair and square, not just win" ... but that has left me conceding the fact that I'm never going to be or even have a shot at #1 regardless of everything else being equal.
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  18. #58
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    What about the exploits that target players?

    After Blizzard caught the people who hacked my account and activated it when it was not active for three months, I started playing again, only to have my account still being targeted. I spent some time on the phone with Blizzard's support during all this and apprieciated the effort they put in in catching the people and notifying me of it. But I also notified them a an exploit the people where still trying to use targeting my bank toon and dont believe its ever been fixed. Ya see, for some odd reason, if anyone whispers you, their name gets put in the pop up for your mail box recipient selection. The people would log on to a character with what looked like a random lettered name and whisper me then log off. But the name was anything but random as the first three letters would place that characters name right before my bank toon's name in the mailbox. The exploit was to try and catch you not paying attention to the pop up and send stuff to their character. It appeared Blizzard was unaware of it at the time, and after checking the logs agreed that my account was being targeted specifically. But its sad to say I think it still exists.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ion View Post
    It's possible to be competitive, to want to be the best, to do everything you can and NOT CHEAT. A lot of people are able to "walk that line."
    Derek Jeter comes to mind.

  20. #60
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    Agree with Rowdy.
    Listening to the Manacast LFR Ban eases understanding the mentality of high end raiding and the analogies to real life crime and stealing and cheating have no sense.

    Another point, there are "exploits" being used right now in the game that are atleast 6 months old.
    Why Blizzard is doing nothing about that ?

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