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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 8:25PM (Unverified) said

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Probably not the right thing to do. Removing items obtained by the exploit and issuing a suspension should have been the extent of it. SE just killed off 550 recurring subscriptions over something that they should have corrected when it was discovered.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 8:39PM Interitus said

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Not cool, there are likely people in there who are or were new to high end raiding and didn't know what they were doing was an exploit. It's not always clear how things work and especially for new raiders you just sit back and do your job.

Removing the items and money should have been enough.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 1:04PM regn said

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I don't think there is such a thing as a "new raider" in that game. I'm fairly sure that anyone raiding has been involved in that game for a long, long time already and knows full well what they are doing, especially since the exploit has been around for 2 years.

FFXI doesn't exactly get a lot of new subscriptions, and it's not like WoW where you can take a week vacation from work and hit max level.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 8:43PM (Unverified) said

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Of course it was the right thing to do. It is plainly stated within the ToS that using exploits is considered contract-breaking and a bannable offense. These linkshells clearly knew they were breaking the rules and exploiting the game's mechanic, so they deserved their punishment.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 8:45PM animagnum said

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Shame on SE for taking so long to fix the problem. I agree with Ebel3003 that killing off 550 recurring subscribers (long time subscribers, at that) was the wrong thing to do. The players were most certainly not innocent, but it sends a bad message to the community. Exploits are most certainly a problem, and I'm not against punishing players who take advantage of them, but there have to be other options. What if the players had to look like chickens for a week? What if "cheater" gets added to their name for a while? What if their levels are lowered for a few weeks? At least this way the players would learn such actions do not go unpunished, but they are able to continue playing -- and paying -- for a game they enjoy.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 1:14PM Wron said

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The players who supposedly enjoy playing and paying for the game so much just CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES but to cheat? They did this over and over thinking that Sony was never going to punish them. Well, they paid the price. It's only 550 people, so obviously many others who knew of the exploit restrained themselves.

Sony did the right thing-- if you cheat you pay the price.
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Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 8:56PM Ergonomic Cat said

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Police in my town are well aware that people get robbed, and that it's often done by people breaking down weakly constructed doors.

So I think when I kick one down and take stuff, I should just get a warning, cause they didn't fix it.

How do you take the items away? If they were sold to a player, do you take it from that player? Or do you spend weeks tracking the distribution of each and every item? What if the exploit bought something with that gold? Do you take that item and leave the gold? What if they bought it from a co-conspirator?

Ban or suspend. These people clearly knew what they were doing. I suspect that a few people did it once, and went "Wait, what was that?"

If those people protest, give them their accounts back. Everyone else, when you exploit, you know that you might get caught. If you know that "eh, I'll lose 10 levels for a week" you won't stop. Banhammers stop people.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 9:00PM (Unverified) said

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Yes they absolutely did the right thing.

The bans were only given to users with a past history of cheating and exploiting. The rest of the offenders merely faced a weekend long suspension.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 9:00PM Pyrii said

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I think we've all seen these companies completely asleep at the wheel and then suddenly burst into activity, going waaay over the top. They've changed something that finally became pretty much a game mechanic when they got to fixing it. Then decided that it was still cheating and went well over the top because they left it too long to fix the damage which by this time has long affect the economy and spread to probably every player in the server.

We all start to abuse game mechanics after awhile, it's sometimes even a survival tactic to get past unbalanced game design (idiotically hard monsters in low lvl areas) in this case, it wasn't anything like that, so while clever, and some may have over-abused it, it's was obviously not a high-priority enough to ban a huge chunk of their customers till now.

In the end it makes no sense, but then we all wonder who the hell is at the wheel in these companies sometimes.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 9:38PM UnSub said

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Banning the 550 is the wrong thing to do. It will probably end up being more than 550 players exiting FFXI as some guilds impacted leave or rearrange.

The correct action would have been, after two years of inactivity on the issue, to patch the exploit out and comment that it hadn't been working as intended. The term "exploit" itself is often a loaded term, since the dev studio sets what is and isn't an exploit, so if they hadn't done anything about it for two years, is it really an exploit?

Posted: Feb 2nd 2009 11:49PM J Brad Hicks said

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No, I don't think they did the right thing. I think they should have banned more people, and done it sooner. There is no way in heck people who were going through that elaborate a series of steps to duplicate an item can possibly have thought that what they were doing was "working as intended." Intentional cheating when super-expensive items were on the line? No warnings. Not if you want people to be afraid of being anywhere near someone who's doing that.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 12:28AM Grenade71822 said

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Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 1:13AM Russell Clarke said

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Christ, did anyone proof read the second para before posting? :)

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 11:32AM J Brad Hicks said

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You don't have to risk "haphazard enforcement." You don't have to risk being the only one punished for it. You don't have to risk being disproportionately punished. You can avoid all of those risks: DON'T CHEAT. If you're left thinking, "Man, I know how to cheat at this, and I know other people have gotten away with it. But it'd be just my luck to be the one to take the fall for it, so I better not risk it," then as far as I'm concerned, it worked.
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Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 1:52AM (Unverified) said

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They deserve the ban-- FF11's economy is SO f***ed up-- it kills the fun factor about as much as boring gameplay and fan-tards.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 7:00AM TheJackman said

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yes, Of course it was the right thing to do. using exploits can make the game less fun and unfair for others the players did known real well that it was a exploit!

Posted: Feb 4th 2009 1:42PM (Unverified) said

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The vast majority of people knew what they were doing. For example, it's extremely unlikely that you'd end up in a shell doing salvage runs who then split into 3 groups when the items drop. The most interesting comments on this have come from the FFXI community itself rather than SE. One of the hosts of the Pet Food Alpha podcast was actually banned in all this. She didn't squeal or whine about it, but rather held up her hands and dealt with it with integrity. She knew what she was doing and that's that.

My opinion is that people should be banned for item duping. You know what you are doing and are intentionally breaking the ToS. I think SE are right to be more concerned with dealing with the situation now rather than seeing the game turn into a maelstrom of cheating like titles such as PSO.

Well done to the majority of the FFXI community for taking a mature stance on this.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 10:55AM Pingles said

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Sorry, but screw the exploiters. I am especially pleased that it's likely whole raiding guilds that disappeared. These high-level immature jerks who enjoy screwing over their fellow players need to be flushed from the system.

I remember in DAoC when it was revealed that you could dupe your money by starting a transfer and then zoning and I started getting a bazillion tells asking me to join in the festivities.

It really wasn't THAT hard to say No.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 3:44PM (Unverified) said

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I have never known an MMO worth it's monthly fee to allow item duplication, so I'm not surprised they lowered the boom.

That said, the suggestion that it took so long to fix the duplication exploit is appalling. A lot of other MMOs fix duplication exploits right away.

Posted: Feb 3rd 2009 11:15PM (Unverified) said

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The item duplication exploit likely was not know for NEARLY as long as some of these banned accounts are making it out to be. It was kept so tight lipped that people where banned from major online forums for leaking the info on how to do it.

My LS had no clue about it, and we have one of the most rewarded Salvage LSs on our server. Not one person knew of the exploit.

That being said, the people banned preeminently where banned for MORE than this exploit. The only people who where removed from the game and not banned for a period of time are those who had 3+ infractions. These are people who multiple times have violated game rules.

Dont feel sorry for them at all. They likely had cheated, or griefed before multiple times. The duping was the last straw for those 550.

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