The Game Archaeologist: World of Warcraft’s Corrupted Blood pandemic

It began with an exploitable glitch. It exploded into an uncontained nightmare of death. It established a meme as strong as Leeroy Jenkins. It even saved lives.

One of the most notorious events in World of Warcraft’s history didn’t emerge from the design of Blizzard’s controlling developers, but rather from players looking to grief the community. In a prank that briefly grew out of control, a pandemic was set loose upon the game’s world that decimated the population and changed the landscape overnight.

This was the Corrupted Plague incident, and it would go on to leave a mark upon World of Warcraft that remains to this day.

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Path of Exile recipe leads to short-lived exploit run

Exploit, bug, or something in-between? Grinding Gear Games just pulled a new Path of Exiles Beastcrafting recipe after it accidentally released it into the wild with the wrong attributes. When players discovered that they could spam this recipe to make quick and powerful items, the market took a small hit before GGG took the recipe down for further adjustment.

“When we fixed and released it, it was with the same rough balance values that we set during development, which were unrealistic given the actual rate that people found beasts on the live realm. Also, players had saved up almost a week worth of Beasts, so once they found that the recipe was a bit too cheap, they could hit it quite a few times,” the studio said.

Although some players are crying “exploit” or “dupe” (perhaps because they didn’t get to it as fast as their comrades), it doesn’t look like the studio is going to be penalizing players who took advantage of the unbalanced recipe during its short lifespan.

Source: Path of Exile. Thanks Pepperzine!


DDO cracks down on exploiters, players cry… ‘honeypot’?

Better not be a cheater in Dungeon and Dragons Online. Last week, Standing Stone Games announced that it was cracking down on players who took advantage of a specific exploit.

“We are in the process of engaging in targeted disciplinary action against characters and accounts that engaged in a recent exploit that allowed them to complete Sagas and get rewards for them repeatedly without re-running the Saga,” Community Manager Cordovan wrote. “Players who engaged in this activity will see one of several things happen to their accounts: We will be issuing temporary game bans, and in some cases will be removing the benefit they gained through this exploit. For our most repeat or malicious offenders, we will be removing the characters that took frequent advantage of this exploit, in addition to more restrictive bans.”

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Interviewing an Asheron’s Call Shard Slayer: On griefing, doxxing, losing mates, and winning MMOs

Last month, I put together an article and pair of videos discussing Asheron’s Call’s Shard of the Herald event to celebrate the game’s first deathiverary. It was a bittersweet experience for me, as it was not only my first MMO but the game that taught me a lot about life, and a lot of those lessons occurred during the Shard event.

Naturally there was some good nostalgia in there for fellow AC players, but apparently for some families as well. Someone claiming to be the son of Vidorian, the infamous Shard Slayer recruited by Turbine to end the event in a way that would respect the lore they built, reached out to us in the comments section. A quick chat with her verified that yes, she was the infamous savior of Bael’Zharon, and she agreed to answer some of my questions about the event. Even better, she’s provided us an unseen screenshot of the event! More than a decade after release, I feel like I’ve learned a lot more about what occurred behind the scenes of one of the seminal in-game events of our early genre.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Dragon Bones DLC and update 17 are live – and the new outfit system is not cheap

Elder Scrolls Online’s paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are finally fully launched on PC. While technically the update rollout was yesterday, the EU and NA servers were up and down throughout the afternoon after an extra-long maintenance and an emergency downtime to fix a fairly major experience exploit/bug. Multiple storage bugs are also being reported on Reddit, so heads-up there.

The headline feature of update 17 itself is the new outfit system, but players are reporting it’s expensive to access indeed: You’re looking at 1500 crowns (roughly $15) for an extra outfit slot, and yes, that’s per character, though you do get one freebie per toon. Altering that outfit will cost you another 400 crowns (though you can also buy those with in-game gold). Incidentally, subbing to the game nets you 1500 crowns every month, but it’d take you a long time to deck out alts that way.

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PSA: Tree of Savior is merging its servers on March 13, and you may not keep all your toons

Server merges are descending upon Tree of Savior, at least in North America and South East Asia.

“We would like announce our plans to merge game servers in regions currently operating two servers, i.e. North America and Southeast Asia,” IMC Games announced earlier today. “The merge of servers is expected to take place on March 13, 2018.” Where you’re going is pretty simple: The two western servers will merge into one of the existing pair (Klaipedia), while the new South East Asian servers will merge into Telsiai.

How you’re getting there is less simple. Players with characters and guilds on both servers should pay close attention, as the company has stated that the server on which you’ve got the highest total experience accumulated on all your toons, followed by server on which you have the most guilded toons, will determine which team you keep. The same goes for “excess” characters; if you have too many toons for the slots you’re allowed to have, you could be outta luck.

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The Survivalist: ARK’s latest exploit highlights how cheaters ruin official servers

Let’s talk exploits. And no, this is definitely not a how-to guide! For shame! If you are a person who exploits, a pox on you. No, we are going to discuss how exploits — and more importantly, how those exploits are handled — can seriously harm, if not irreparably damage, a survival game.

This exact principle was highlighted this week with Studio WildCard’s announcement and its accompanying emergency update for ARK: Survival Evolved. I applaud the studio for jumping on the fix, even when it meant a surprise major version change that locked folks out of unofficial servers until they updated. However, how the exploit and the exploiters were handled is a different matter. In survival sandbox games, cheaters can ruin the long-term experience for the entire server, as does the subsequent action (or inaction) against those cheaters.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: My Guild Wars 2 goals for 2018

It’s the time of year for spring-cleaning and goal-setting, where we look ahead to a fresh start filled with plenty of days left for accomplishing all the things we didn’t quite get around to in the previous year. I love taking stock of my yearly MMO progress, especially in Guild Wars 2, and using that reflection to form some new goals to keep my focus and make things challenging in the year ahead. I’ve decided to share my 2018 GW2 to-do list with you all in the hope that it might inspire you to create one yourself.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll explain my 2018 goals. Some of my goals are far more ambitious than others, while a few on my list are simply continuations of goals I set for myself year-on-year. I never truly aim to complete my entire list, but it does serve as a fantastic point of reference for times when I feel a little directionless or restless and need some inspiration. Don’t forget to share your goals with me in the comments; who knows, perhaps some of your goals would be added to my list too!

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ARK Survival Evolved grants amnesty to players exploiting a bug since 2015

Hey, ARK: Survival Evolved cheaters! Your doom is nigh!… actually no your doom has been postponed, chiefly because so many people are cheaters, or at least are affected by them.

This morning, Studio Wildcard revealed it has uncovered and fixed an ancient and widespread exploit, in use primarily on the official PC servers since 2015. It necessitated an “immediate” patch earlier today. But it won’t be bringing with it the bans and punishments exploiters deserve, as the company says that would damage “the health of the game and the official servers.”

“Under normal circumstances, such an exploit would deem a global tribe wipe, and a comprehensive ban for all players involved from our Official Network, as well as BattlEye-protected servers,” Wildcard says. But…

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The MOP Up: Overwatch rings in the Lunar New Year (February 4, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from EVE OnlineCSGOFortniteEverQuest IIStar Wars Battlefront IIBlack DesertWar of RightsArmored WarfareDota 2HellionElder Scrolls OnlineOverwatchFortniteFinal Fantasy XI, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

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H1Z1 struggles to counter rapid player strafing

Well here is something that we learned today: the meaning of ENAS. If you’re not deep into the PvP shooter scene, the East North American Strafe is “a method of movement that involves moving your mouse back and forth rapidly while running forward and strafing to make yourself extremely difficult to be shot by other players” that is especially prevalent in H1Z1.

And because the developers see ENAS as straddling the line between skill play and exploit, they are attempting a solution to artificially counter it and level the playing field so everyone doesn’t look and act like jittery deer.

Daybreak’s fix here is a “movement modifier” that kicks in when a player starts juking the mouse rapidly. If the system detects rapid mouse movement (due to ENAS), it reduces a player’s speed and makes him or her easier to hit. Additionally, all movement speed in the game is being slightly lowered. The studio will be trying out this system and tweaking the penalty on the test server before bringing it over to live.

Source: H1Z1


Elite Dangerous disables part of its passenger transport system to block huge credit exploit

If you were among those farming your Elite Dangerous bajillions running bulk passenger transports to Smeaton Orbital (or various other well-placed stations), your fun has come to an end. Apparently, that’s been the result of a legal loophole many players have been taking advantage of for quite a while, but this week, Frontier disabled it.

“As some of you are aware, Passenger Bulk missions are currently generating extremely high credit rewards that we feel are excessive of what we would consider reasonable and balanced,” Frontier explained. “After a detailed investigation, we can confirm that this is due to an element in our mission generation algorithm that rewards credits based on the distance of the destination system from the star. Due to this, we will be disabling (until further notice) the aforementioned element of Passenger Bulk missions to reduce the amount of credits offered as a reward. Commanders will still be able to select and complete Passenger Bulk missions, but will see less excessive credit rewards. In the meantime, we will be reviewing the Passenger Bulk missions and correct the previously mentioned element – hopefully in time for you to test in the Beyond Chapter One beta.”

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Fortnite explains why you can’t frag your friends any longer

Are you upset, happy, or ignorant about last week’s move to disable friendly fire in Fortnite? While griefers are probably sobbing into their Wheaties over it, the devs hope that it will impact the game for the better.

Lead Systems Designer Eric Williamson explained why the team thought that this change had to happen: “We made this change to reduce the amount of intentional team killing that’s possible. We’re keeping an eye on how it affects folks across the skill spectrum, and we’ll continue to evaluate.”

In addition to talking about the friendly fire issue, the team’s last two dev updates discussed a new map exploit that was hotfixed, battle pass bonuses, global inventory, player movement, and player stamina. Give them a watch after the break!

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