Not So Massively: Path of Exile’s crafting scandal; Sins of a Dark Age’s sunset

This week in Not So Massively games, League of Legends players revealed a reproducible exploit that causes skillshot projectiles to become invisible and may have been in the game for several years. The Path of Exile community was also rocked by its own scandal as players discovered that the game’s wealthiest players and top crafters had monopolised their knowledge of secret crafting processes to control the game economy. Dota 2 opened registration for its upcoming Majors seasonal tournament, and pro player Aui 2000 discussed his e-sports career after recently winning the Dota 2 world championship and then being kicked from his team. Diablo III developers revealed that the new artifact named Kanai’s Cube was actually named a as tribute to a developer who recently passed away during the development of the game.

Star Citizen‘s devs have been working their way through merge conflicts following their live demos at Gamescom 2015; Polygon reports that 1,269 backers have been granted refunds to date. Splatoon is gearing up for its Autobots versus Decepticons splatfest event and got a new map named Flounder Heights with some interesting verticality. Elite: Dangerous announced a new art competition that asks players to design their dream ship skin for addition to the game. And we heard the news that recently released MOBA Sins of a Dark Age has ceased development, with the servers scheduled to go offline at the end of September.

Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!

Following a bizarre glitch live on stream in an LCS match in which one of professional player DoubleLift’s skillshot projectiles seemed to disappear mid flight, players have discovered that the bug can be reproduced on many champions. The glitch first appeared with Jinx’s rocket launcher but has been replicated with many other characters who have skillshot nukes. It involves firing a projectile-based autoattack and casting the skillshot right afterward, making the animation for the nuke disappear while the actual projectile continues and can hit targets.

Several players have since come forward and said they’d reported this exploit to Riot months or even years ago and that it may be one of the causes of the infamous invisible Nidalee spear bug. The good news is that Riot’s actually completely rewritten the back-end system for handling skillshot nukes as the previous one was a tangled mess of old code, so this bug now stands a much better chance of being fixed. The new missile system is being developed by a team that includes ex-CCP Games developer and all-round technical genius Brian Bossé, who delved into the fine technical details of the overhaul in a new Riot Engineering devblog.

Path of Exile released patch 2.0.2 this week, adding several new cosmetic pets and upgrading the artwork for many old unique items. The patch also increased the drop-rates of high-end maps to help players reach the level 74-79 map run endgame, and rebalanced a slew of different abilities.

Grinding Gear Games has always told people that there are secrets in the game that have yet to be discovered, and every now and then someone stumbles across one. As Path of Exile has a pretty in-depth loot economy, those who find those secrets sometimes choose to keep them to themselves and make a profit on them. This week a scandal broke in the game’s Warbands league as it became known that a handful of very rich players had been using secret crafting strategies to create godly gear.

The Forsaken Masters crafting system released over a year ago allows items to be locked with the “Prefixes cannot be changed” or “Suffixes cannot be changed” modifier so that the remaining stats may be re-rolled. What players didn’t know was that the Orb of Scouring (which normally removes all modifiers) actually leaves the locked attributes alone. The currency items required to test this theory were expensive enough that everyone just took the game’s top crafters’ words on it that it didn’t work. This and other secrets allowed top crafters to produce great items cheaply and sell them on for a substantial profit.

Registration is now open for the Dota 2 Majors, a new series of four seasonal tournaments culminating in next year’s International. Open qualifiers will be run from October 6th to 9th, and two teams from each region’s open qualifiers will be invited to compete in the regional qualifiers from October 10th to 13th. Many existing professional teams will be invited directly to compete in the tournament, but first they have to register and agree not to change their team lineup after September 5th. Teams will be permitted to transfer players and change their lineups only between each seasonal tournament.

Professional Dota 2 player Aui 2000, who was booted from Evil Geniuses after helping the team win this year’s $6 million grand prize at The International, has said that he’s finalised a new team roster. Aui recently gave the interview below with e-sports historian Thooorin in which he discussed his Dota 2 career to date, getting kicked from both Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses, and what the future might hold.

diablo3If you’ve been following recent developments in Diablo III, you’ll know that the new artifact known as Kanai’s Cube was named after the character King Kanai from Act 5 of Diablo II. What you might not know is that King Kanai was himself named for developer Kevin Kanai Griffith, who recently passed away during development of Diablo III. Kevin was responsible for much of the game’s environmental randomisation and put together the ice cave areas single-handedly in a matter of weeks. As a hardcore Diablo fan, he was one of those who wanted to see a Horadric Cube style artifact in the game and wanted to revisit the Barbarian lands of Arreat from the previous game.

Star Citizen put up an impressive showing at Gamescom 2015 with live demos of its persistent universe and the Star Marine FPS module, but that work has left a technical debt behind the scenes. The various codebases for those demos had to be locked down to work on stability issues and hack together fixes for the event, and now they have to be merged back together. This week’s work on Star Marine was primarily focused on fixing merge conflicts, something any game developer with a team of greater than one will know the pain of all too well. Cloud Imperium also took the opportunity to update to CryEngine 3.7.

Chris Roberts revealed in an interview that a total of 1,269 backers have been refunded to date for various reasons. This represents less than 0.13% of the total backers, which now stands at 966,629 players and counting. Refunds are granted on a case-by-case basis and the company believes it has no legal obligation to issue them, but Roberts clarified that “in most cases [CIS has] refunded them.”

splatoonNintendo‘s quirky squid-based tactical ink shooter Splatoon got another major update this week with the addition of the new Flounder Heights map that adds some interesting verticality and long-range gameplay to the mix. Players in the US are gearing up for an interesting Transformers-themed Splatfest event next weekend that asks players to side with either the Autobots or the Decepticons. Players in Europe will get the somewhat less exciting battle between Team Singing and Team Dancing.

sinsofadarkageThe past few years have seen the MOBA genre mature and a few clear winners emerge with the promise of huge cash prizes handed out each year in e-sports tournaments. This booming genre has claimed a number of smaller titles that were too late and too small to get in on the MOBA craze, most recently Infinite Crisis and now Sins of a Dark Age.

Developer Ironclad announced recently that all development on the game had stopped, but the servers will remain online until at least September 30th. Sins of a Dark Age launched on Steam in May to mixed reviews following over a year in Early Access period. It failed to gain any momentum after release and activity levels dropped too low to sustain an active multiplayer community.

elitedangerousElite: Dangerous is running a new ship paintjob design competition that asks players to design their dream paintjob for the Anaconda, Viper, Cobra, Vulture, or Asp. To be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is grab the template images on the Elite website, paint up your design, and email it to the community team by August 30th. Entrants are advised to stick to three colours only and focus on producing bold designs that stand out from a distance. The winner’s design will be added to the game, and he or she will get a free copy of the skin plus a copy for three friends.

inothernews

Every week, Brendan Drain scours the net to bring you all the latest news from from the world of MOBAs, lobby-based games, and other online multiplayer games that aren’t quite MMOs in Not So Massively. If there’s anything you want to see covered here, post a comment or send mail to brendan@massivelyop.com to let him know!
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31 Comments on "Not So Massively: Path of Exile’s crafting scandal; Sins of a Dark Age’s sunset"

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bardamu1999
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bardamu1999

Pepperzine Exactly.  This isn’t any kind of scandal like a hack or exploit or dev favoritism as we’ve seen in the past; this is just the Byzantine mod system plus the Byzantine crafting system plus the not quite so Byzantine Master system being used to create something.  PoE has always been very very open with the idea that the game is a strict meritocracy and some builds and items are just not for ordinary mortals, but more for the 1% who put the insane time in playing and theorycrafting and experimenting.  

So that’s what these folks did.  If you look at videos from the early days of the game even GGG would showcase community made builds that defied even the dev’s predictions.  But again, that was all deliberate.  GGG wanted folks to get out of the game what they put in; in that sense, it’s very old school, like Vanilla WoW  If you wanted Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian, you knew what you had to do.  And hardly anybody did it.  But some very committed folks did.  This is more of nerdy theorycraft sort of thing, since PoE isn’t a narrative game as much as WoW, but it’s a very similar thing to me.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

Nyphur Crafting is as hardcore as the game really.  With hardly any RMT.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

A Dad Supreme Hilarious joke to someone to be sure.  Your original point is still uninformed and stupid.

Pepperzine
Guest
Pepperzine

Nyphur Pepperzine Siphaed So wait a second.  They are upset that they went to reddit, a deep cavern of the internet that is home to the most trolls, and were fed false information?  I wonder if they can hear the faint echos of the world’s smallest violin playing the world’s saddest song.  Can you save my seat and watch over my popcorn while I go grab them a tissue?

In all seriousness though, if you take everything you hear on reddit for face value and don’t do some research of your own to verify it, you have no one to blame but yourself.  I stand vy my opinion that I wouldn’t call that a scandal.

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

Armsbend 
If I wanted to spend my days dealing with a bunch of cut-throat sharks willing to do anything short of homicide to get ahead in an artifically-constructed hiearchy I’d put in more hours at work.

plynky12
Guest
plynky12

It’s not a proper scandal until someone puts -gate on the end of it.

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

Armsbend A Dad Supreme
“If you were an Alchemist and found out how to make gold from lead would you publish your findings?  You know, to help the people who didn’t know how because they were new at alchemy?”
==
There’s this new thing called YouTube where people share secrets about videogames hints, tips and tricks and end up making far more money by doing that than if they kept it to themselves.
You should check it out.

Styopa
Guest
Styopa

Nyphur Pepperzine Siphaed Almost like someone using the title “scandal” as deliberate clickbait in an article, perhaps?

Are we going to see a story about the MassivelyOP “title headline scandal” next?

Malachap
Guest
Malachap

Sorenthaz A Dad Supreme That’s exactly what PoE has become, in large part thanks to the developers. Just looking at some of the recent decision making from GGG shows they don’t really give a fk about casuals.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Pepperzine Siphaed  There were definitely reddit and forum threads where people asked if this was possible and were told it wasn’t. TBH it’s just very clever use of specific knowledge of what prefixes and suffixes can roll if you use meta crafting mods to lock out the others, but the scandal seems to be that the community feels misled by some of the game’s top crafters.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Armsbend  No joke, as a long-time EVE Online player it was this latest drama that made me finally fire Path of Exile up again and dive in. I didn’t realise there was this level of complexity to the economy and community.

Pepperzine
Guest
Pepperzine

Siphaed Pepperzine I don’t think anywhere it says that the people who knew about the secret purposely spread misinformation and lies.  They just didn’t share the knowledge they had discovered with others.  Everyone had the same opportunity to discover the information for themselves.

Siphaed
Guest
Siphaed

Pepperzine 
Seems like it’s a scandal if they purposely spread misinformation and lies about it not working the way it actually was.

Pepperzine
Guest
Pepperzine

Gas Chamber Gerhan Veldan Doctor Evilface Gas Chamber Gerhan please explain to us how that is an exploit?  This was not an unintentional flaw in the system that players discovered and took advantage of until it was fixed by the developers.  It is was designed to be that way, and the developers obviously were okay with it as they are not changing it, nor did they feel the need to spill the beans about it.  They’ve said in the past there would be features and secrets that they were not going to announce and that players had to discover for themselves. There is nothing wrong with capitalizing on information that was obtained fairly and others had equal opportunity to obtain.

Pepperzine
Guest
Pepperzine

I wouldn’t call that a “scandal”.  I’d call that business.

FlyinDutchman
Guest
FlyinDutchman

Gas Chamber Gerhan Veldan Doctor Evilface

It’s not even an exploit though. It’s a game mechanic that’s working as intended. they just lied about it. 

Honestly I think it’s a positive. Too much stuff about MMO’s ends up in Wiki’s anyway. That’s what players get for not trying to discover things themselves.

Veldan
Guest
Veldan

Muspel Armsbend Imo if your information is based on a false assumption about a deleted dev post from long ago, you have only yourself to blame. The devs did not imply it was impossible, that was just people’s conclusion based on flawed logic.

Gas Chamber Gerhan
Guest
Gas Chamber Gerhan

Veldan Doctor Evilface An age old adage from mmos of old (yea i know PoE isn’t an mmo), Exploit early, exploit often.  And it goes without saying, keep the shit to yourself, because the more people you tell the faster it gets fixed or becomes pointless.

Veldan
Guest
Veldan

Doctor Evilface I don’t really know why the Path of Exile thing is called a scandal. Players lie to other players every day. To me, this is no different. 
Player A finds a method to make money and, to guarantee that he can make good use of it, decides to tell Player B that it doesn’t work. Player B just believes this (someone on the internet said it!) and never tries the method for himself. Can you really blame Player A? I know I don’t.

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

Zulika_Mi_Nam Armsbend A Dad Supreme The secret is Fluxions!

Muspel
Guest
Muspel

Armsbend The real drama is this:
Upon release of a new crafting system, some players were wondering about whether or not a certain method could be used to more easily make powerful items. (Said method was extremely expensive to test, and as a result people were loathe to try it themselves.)

A particularly wealthy player said that he had tested it, and it didn’t work.

One of the developers then responded, saying “actually, it does work”, but deleted his post ten minutes later. People assumed that he had deleted the post because he was wrong (perhaps he had misunderstood what was being discussed).

So, everyone figured it was settled– the devs had effectively weighed in and said that it didn’t work.

But it DID work. And as a result, a small handful of players were able to profit off of this method that the developers had (perhaps accidentally) implied was impossible.

And people are pissed. I’d say rightfully so.

Denngar
Guest
Denngar

Joining the Decepticons for Splatfest. I thought they might add red paint (one of the few colors not in the game, probably because it might be seen as blood?), but they didn’t, and since I’m not a huge Transformers fan, I just picked team purple >.<

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

Armsbend A Dad Supreme When someone tries to bash an ARPGs community they obviously know nothing about them.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
Guest
Zulika_Mi_Nam

Armsbend A Dad Supreme  Isaac Newton was able to do that and he made so much money had was able to buy the secrets to optics & gravity from a secret space jesus.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

A Dad Supreme New players don’t have, nor know what an Exalt is so your point is completely moot.

If you were an Alchemist and found out how to make gold from lead would you publish your findings?  You know, to help the people who didn’t know how because they were new at alchemy?

Syco_at_Twitch
Guest
Syco_at_Twitch

Wasn’t surprised Sins died the game was bad and had lil to nothing  that made it fun that and ques were god awful, goes to show not everybody can make it in the moba scene

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

A Dad Supreme  The way Path of Exile has always come off to me as is basically the crowd of hardcore Diablo 2 players who think Diablo 3 and other ARPGs are for filthy casuals.

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

Le gasp, a Thoorin video on Massively!

RagnarTheDrunk
Guest
RagnarTheDrunk

1269 backers refunded without issue? I hope ‘Smart’s lawyers cashed their retainer checks.

A Dad Supreme
Guest
A Dad Supreme

“The http://massivelyop.com/tag/path-of-exile community was also rocked by its own scandal as players discovered that the game’s wealthiest players and top crafters had monopolised their knowledge of secret crafting processes to control the game economy.”
======
Sounds like a loving, caring community eager to help new players.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

For the Path news – that is the type of thing that most games today are missing.  Closely held secrets, a vibrant economy and some drama from the unwashed.  From an arpg you say?

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