ArcheAge Hackers Strike Back: Arena


Hackers are playing a large role in ArcheAge, like it or not. Presently, and until XL Games figures out a way to fix the numerous glaring holes in their system, they are taking over many aspects of the game. Armies of bots make their way around the game’s world, farming gathering locations and mobs for drops and gold. Other bots teleport around the map, running trade routes instantly to farm large quantities of gold and picking up plots of land as soon as they become available in order to sell to players for gold to sell to other players for cash.

The exploit that is our topic today is being used by regular players. User Sorcerer posted the above screenshot from an arena game which lasted just ten seconds before one team managed to destroy the other team’s crystal. The exploiter in question, Shylo according to the poster, destroyed the crystal in a single shot. The incident took place on the Kyrios server. Scott Hartsman responded earlier today to a Reddit post, noting that while Trion Worlds is limited in their detection tools, the company is working on tools to weed out exploits.

Unlike in the case where its our own game, where we can (and do) add new instrumentation/logging/detection daily until problems get stomped with prejudice, we’re limited here in only being able to act on what the game throws off as outputs to us. We can’t add new ones. That said, this one is the next biggest priority. New theory being worked on right now, will holler if it pans out and we can act on it with confidence.

(Source: ArcheAge)

Darkfall Exploit Results In Rollback


Aventurine has posted a notice that the Darkfall game servers have been rolled back to last Thursday after an exploit was discovered that allowed players to duplicate items.

With the help of the community we have discovered that there was some exploiting of our Market feature at the end of last week. We immediately deactivated the Market to fix this issue and we identified those who had been actively exploiting it. We are in the process of permanently banning these players for their actions, as their behavior is inconsistent with the values we’ve set for the Darkfall Unholy Wars community.

To take every measure necessary to protect fairness in the game we decided to roll back inventories to last Thursday and keep the Market feature disabled for another day to further test it and verify that nothing similar happens in the future.

We apologize to those affected and we will add three (3) days of game time to all active accounts on Sunday, June 1st.

(Source: Facebook)

Zenimax Admits False Positives In Mass Bans

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Zenimax Studios has announced that an investigation following a recent mass ban resulted in a number of false positives discovered and reversed. While the forum post in question did not mention just how many accounts were caught by accident, it did report that players identified should have had their bans lifted as of last night.

As part of our continuing effort to combat gold spammers, botters and exploiters, we recently banned a number of accounts. After several players appealed, we were able to investigate the matter further and discovered some legitimate accounts got caught up in the sweep. We unbanned accounts last night, and have email responses going out for those affected from our support group. It is never our intention for legitimate players to be harmed as we work to keep your game free of cheaters, and we sincerely apologize for the mistake.

This week has not been kind to Elder Scrolls Online, with Zenimax shutting down the game’s guild bank temporarily following the discovery of an item duplication exploit, as well as reports that players were being banned after their characters fell through the game world. The world of Tamriel is still being slowly taken over by a massive army of bots and gold farmers, and the company is still working on a fix for players missing banked items, deposited gold, skill points, etc.

(Source: Elder Scrolls Online)

Elder Scrolls Online: Fall Through World And Get Banned?

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Be careful when traveling through the lands of Tamriel. According to a growing number of reports on the official Elder Scrolls forums as well as third party websites, players are experiencing situations where their character is either falling through geometry or being catapulted off of the world and into the abyss below. I personally experienced the bug on the fourth when I jumped into the queen and was thrown completely off of the map (pictured below). It looks as though Zenimax has implemented some sort of anti-cheat measures since then to prevent exploitation, because players are reporting that falling through the world will now result in a disconnection from the server and automatic suspension of one’s account.

If you are caught by this system, the only thing you can do is to contact support and appeal the ban.

eso 2014-04-04 14-43-47-01

Perfect World Rolls Back Neverwinter Servers To Fix Exploit


Last time we checked in with Perfect World over the Neverwinter auction house exploit, the company was pretty determined to keep the possibility of a rollback secluded only to those accounts that were affected by this weekend’s brou ha ha. At one point the company must have determined that character-specific rollbacks were not on the cards, as Neverwinter has performed a rollback to early Saturday morning.

We took the Neverwinter OBT down for emergency maintenance, found the bug, corrected it and tested it. In order to fix the damage this exploit caused to the in-game economy, we implemented a necessary rollback of our servers to 5:20 AM PDT the morning of May 19, 2013. This means that characters have been reverted to the state they were in at that time, pre-exploit damage. That includes items, level, experience, etc.

All Zen exchanged after this time (whether spent or traded on the auction house) will be returned to its original owner. There is apparently an issue with returning astral diamonds which PWE is still working on. The Foundry was not affected by the rollback, so players who created levels or made changes after the rollback time will be happy to see that their work was not reversed. Characters created during that period will be lost, unfortunately. It appears that Perfect World is working on a package for players to thank them for being patient during this period.

As far as complaints that the bug existed long before this weekend, going further back into earlier beta tests, Perfect World will be checking logs and removing accounts that were already using the exploit in open beta.

We are performing additional log searches and investigations to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken against any accounts that performed the exploit before the rollback window. Exploits that were performed prior to our rollback window make up a fraction of a percent of total impact, so we will be dealing with those issues selectively as not to cause greater impact on those legitimate testers.

You can read the entire FAQ below.

(Source: Neverwinter FAQ)

Perfect World Responds To Recent Neverwinter Exploit


The Astral Diamond Exchange and Auction House are temporarily offline after a bug allowing players to duplicate astral diamonds was discovered and exploited by players. Perfect World has posted a notice on the forums that they are currently compiling data to see how widespread the effects of the exploit are, and will be using that data to determine the appropriate action to take place in response. Right now it appears Perfect World will be running character-specific rollbacks.

We are still investigating the situation. There is a high likelihood that we will be performing character-specific rollbacks on any accounts that were found to be utilizing the exploit. Additionally, we are investigating the extent of what can additional steps can be taken to remove any illegitimately obtained Astral Diamonds that have entered into the economy. At this stage, the possibility of performing a shard-wide is unlikely.

You can read the rest of the ongoing updates to the situation at the link below.

(Source: Neverwinter)

Auction House Exploit Tears Through Neverwinter

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You’d best put seat belts on your ears, because I’m going to take them for the ride of their life. Perfect World Entertainment are in the midst of some very heavy damage control after an exploit popped up in Neverwinter and threw the game’s economy into turmoil. I won’t go into details about the exploit itself, partially because I would probably butcher the explanation, but the exploit involves the auction house and players duplicating mass quantities of astral diamonds and converting them into Zen.

According to MMO Fallout’s men on the field, the gateway has been shut down, and the ability to buy Zen with astral diamonds has been disabled. Some of those services may be turned back on by the time you read this. Perfect World has posted the following update on their forums:

We currently are in the process of taking action against a subset of accounts that were confirmed to have utilized exploits that affected the game balance or economy.

These accounts may be banned, temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of exploit utilization. Anyone who is affected by this will receive notification via email.

While we have taken all precautions necessary to ensure that no false positives made it into our final list of accounts to take action against, we do acknowledge that some players who were banned may wish to follow up with us. If you had an account banned and wish to escalate the issue to our support team, please create a ticket at or send an email to

Please note that forum discussions about specific accounts being banned is against our forum guidelines, thus any threads on the topic may be closed. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Thank you for your patience and support while we continue to do everything in our power to ensure that Neverwinter remains a fair and balanced game experience.

-Dezstravus and the Neverwinter Team

(Source: Neverwinter)

Path of Exile Patch Removes Login Exploit


Donde los yikes! The good news is that Path of Exile is proving itself to be quite popular with the dungeon crawling gamers, bringing the server down yesterday with a peak of almost seventy thousand concurrently. Even better, as often happens when the server is overloaded, Grinding Gear Games was able to patch a bug that had not yet exposed itself prior: In very rare cases, players randomly logged into accounts other than their own.

In addition, there is a very rare bug that caused some players to log in to accounts from other players. The scope of this bug is very limited (and in almost all cases, the players logged out without disturbing anything). Fixes for both are being worked on at the moment. Because the game experience is compromised and people are disconnected due to the crashes, we have turned the game servers off until they can be brought up in a more stable state.

Happily, a patch was deployed quickly fixing the bug and the servers were brought back up, with the number of affected accounts reportedly very small. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an account system go nuts and start giving people access to places they shouldn’t be going, NCSoft’s account service did this back in January 2010, to approximately ten people before the exploit was fixed. Similar fast action from the GGG was responsible for keeping this bug from getting any bigger than it needed to be.

(Source: Path of Exile forums)

Less Than 200 Banned For Guild Wars 2 Snowflake Exploit


I hate writing articles on bans related to exploits, they just serve to confuse players and just those who found some interest in the article. Terms like “mass ban” and “widely exploited” are thrown around when the actual numbers of how many people were using the exploit, and consequently how many were banned for it, is much less impressive than the terminology surrounding the announcement. So let’s dive in and try to not confuse those of us who haven’t been playing Guild Wars 2 recently. I’m going to try to explain this the best I can, but don’t take the description of events below as 100% accurate. Ultimately all you need to know is what is quoted by Arenanet.

Wintersday is the event Arenanet holds in place of Christmas, and just like its real life counterpart, we can’t get through the holidays without someone getting stabbed (unless that’s just my family). According to what I’ve seen in news reports and from players, an exploit surfaced early on in the event which allowed players to use snowflakes from the event to convert several absurdly cheap items along with a black lion salvage kit, to generate endless amounts of ectoplasm, which is used in creating many of the high-level items. The exploit was closed and when Arenanet came back from holiday vacation, the team set off banning the worst of the offenders.

As I’ve already said, less than 200 were banned according to Arenanet. According to the North American Community Team Lead Regina Buenaobra, the banned players knew exactly what they were doing:

The number of accounts terminated as a result of this exploitative activity is actually very small—fewer than 200. However, these people are the very worst offenders, and engaged in this exploit to egregious levels—hundreds and even thousands of times. They knew exactly what they were doing and they knew that their activities would damage the economy.

Gaile Grey, Arenanet Support Liason, posted to explain why the exploit should have been obvious to anyone making use of it:

Any time you take one thing and can make two, and then four, and then sixteen… ya gotta know that’s just wrong. (I won’t quibble on the odds, but overall, that form of doubling was not outside the realm of possibility.) And to perform that action hundreds and hundreds of times? That’s call “exploitation,” and that’s against the User Agreement, the Rules of Conduct, and all that is holy.

(Source: GW2 Forums – Number banned)
(Source: GW2 Forums – Understanding Exploits)

World of Warcraft Exploit Leads To City Massacre

In some MMOs, the idea of players being able to engage in PvP combat outside of designated areas can be horrifying. Someone gaining the ability to engage in combat where they shouldn’t could go on a rampage and make use of the full loot systems in games like RuneScape, and make the lives of many players miserable before they are eventually banned. In MMOs like World of Warcraft, the threat is slightly less present. Death is little more than a time setback, the penalty paid in a moderate fee to repair armor.

And speaking of World of Warcraft, everyone is dying. In the streets, in the houses, but mostly in the main cities. For several hours yesterday, on multiple servers, a kill exploit ran rampant through the major cities of Azeroth, with low level characters mowing down players and NPCs without a second thought. The exploit was hotfixed by Blizzard, and the perpetrators have presumably been banned. Eurogamer tracked down the source of the exploit, and found quite an interesting justification for the action:

“We had to. The first account ban for using the kill hack was issued around 30 minutes before we started nuking cities. We did so because we knew it was going to be fixed,”

Now might be a good time to explain that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you are obligated to.

(Source: Eurogamer)

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