exploit

Pathfinder Online drops a small patch to protect mules and fix other errors

At long last, the vicious mule exploits of Pathfinder Online have been addressed. No longer will players group up with their friends and attack their own mules for… some reason. Actually, it probably wasn’t an exploit in the first place, it was just a minor issue from the last patch that has been fixed now. Regardless, in-game mules can breathe a bit easier now.

The patch also brings out various other bug fixes, like no longer making ammunition messages permanent floating fixtures if your character could not fully restock and preventing the housing maintenance cost window from closing in error when paying ahead. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but players who enjoyed the various elements brought out with the last patch will doubtlessly be happy to see the array of fixes correcting issues.

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Blink and you might have missed Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface

After weeks if not months of the studio talking about it, Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface finally arrived. And then it promptly left again.

In all fairness, the team had cautioned that the optional November 11th update was a “very rough preview” of the UI overhaul. So rough, in fact, that the team took the update offline for further refinements due to several large bugs and potential exploits discovered with it. The improved UI preview should arrive in the game’s alpha next weekend.

Nevertheless, the user interface revamp has a lot of players and the devs excited. Not only does the new UI look pretty slick, but it offers a lot more functionality compared to the old one, including customization, more information, collapsible skill trees, chat channel management, context menus, improved tooltips, and font scaling.

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TERA races to shore up chat vulnerability

That nasty little loophole in TERA’s chat that hackers were exploiting was patched up over the weekend. En Masse deployed a hotfix on the 11th that corrected “a chat-related vulnerability that allowed the posting of images external to the TERA client in chat.”

The issue became widespread last week after Redditors and forumgoers spread warnings about the exploit, at which time the studio posted a dire notice about the chat vulnerability to caution players. The team followed this initial warning with a further communique saying that while the vulnerability existed, there was no evidence that it had been used to harm players or access their personal info.

“The developers of TERA were immediately made aware of the vulnerability and they are exploring an appropriate course of action with the highest urgency,” the team posted last week. “There are very serious claims floating around of what this vulnerability potentially allows malicious users to do. We are taking these claims very seriously but, as of this time, we have no evidence that the vulnerability is being exploited in these ways or that any player information has been compromised.”

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Destiny 2 vows not to delay Prestige raid further despite existing exploit

So here is an interesting conundrum: Say you have a highly anticipated raid in the works that you’ve already delayed. Now that the new launch date is approaching, you’ve discovered a pretty significant exploit but don’t have the time to properly institute a fix. What do you do?

For Destiny 2’s Prestige raid, Bungie has decided not to delay a second time, electing instead to push the raid (and its exploit) live on October 18th and monitor player activity for the time being until the fix is ready to deploy. Sounds legit.

“We can now detect if any teams use this exploit to gain an advantage,” the studio posted. “This will take some extra time to verify, but we will be able to crown the winners with the confidence they deserve.”

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But seriously, lockboxes suck, even if the ESRB doesn’t think they’re gambling. Stop buying lockboxes.

So, MMO players. Are you tired of hearing about lockboxes and gambleboxes? It feels like we’ve been complaining about them for like six or seven years now, probably because we have. It wasn’t cute back when City of Heroes was trying it, nope. Heck, it wasn’t cute back when Star Wars Galaxies was trying it with card packs. Now it’s every damn game, and it’s gone way beyond MMOs. I’m not sick of hearing about it myself. I’m just sick of dealing with it like a pestilence making me hate the games and developers who exploit them.

Maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: As more AAA online gaming studios figure out that lockbox gambling garbage is a fast ticket to easy money, more mainstream gamers are catching wind of the scam and raising objections, so it’s not just MMO players all by our lonesomes anymore. Indeed, this week multiple game critics, YouTubers, and review services have come out against lockboxes, from Boogie to TotalBiscuit, the latter of whom has called for ESRB intervention. Reviews aggregator OpenCritic has further said it’s “going to take a stand against loot boxes” by taking crappy business practices into account. The ESRB doesn’t care, by the way, and as blogger Isarii has pointed, the self-regulatory body has conveniently twisted the meaning of gambling to avoid dealing with the problem, thereby failing to protect us from it, but that’s just making people angrier.

So hey, you know what, studios? Keep screwing up with lootboxes. Keep attracting mainstream anger, keep disrespecting us, until it all boils over, one way or another, and you can’t exploit us anymore. And in the meantime, people? Stop. Buying. Lockboxes.

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Massively Overthinking: Epic Tavern-style player-generated content in MMORPGs

Ever played Epic Tavern? Massively OP reader Uli though it would make an interesting point of comparison for MMO content. “Epic Tavern is a single player game where you run a fantasy tavern frequented by heroes for a drink, food, bed for the night, and you can try to persuade those NPC heroes to go on a quest for you, sharing the spoils,” he explains.

“A comment I read suggested that would be great for MMO taverns: player running a tavern being able to give quests in the game to players frequenting the tavern. I know there are options for player run quests, but this would be different: pre-existing or otherwise player-made and engine-supported quests that are bestowed on player to match their group or skill level. And of course it would mean that visiting a tavern and meeting other players would finally have a point beyond mere chatting/RP. Ensuring people spent time in taverns to interact with would really help the socializing/third-space-in-virtual-rooms issue. But could it work in a MMO? Would that be abused for loot/rewards, biased quest assignment/withholding based on favors? Or what other problems could that cause?”

A lot of our writers and readers have experience with player-generated content, so I thought it would be fun to build on the ideas of Epic Tavern for Uli in this week’s Overthinking. Which MMOs have (or desperately need) great PGC, and when have you seen it go wrong? Could a formal, mechanical system for quest-giving like Epic Tavern’s work in an MMO, or is it something best left to the roleplayers?

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Exclusive Guild Wars 2 interview on Path of Fire’s launch and philosophy

Spurred on by my excitement for Guild Wars 2‘s second expansion, Path of Fire, I reached out to ArenaNet shortly before release to secure a post-launch interview to ensure all my most burning questions could be answered. I drafted my questions not long after launch, and while I most definitely wished to discover whether the initial launch hiccups affected the immediate uptake of the expansion, beyond that I sought more information on the development of such a decisively different expansion than Heart of Thorns was.

This launch diary installment will share ArenaNet’s responses to my PoF questions: Mounts, elite specializations, and the new maps were huge topics of discussion aside from the more general launch and development questions I had. Read on!

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Grab a Closers Online weekend alpha key from En Masse and MOP!

En Masse is gearing up for another Closers Online weekend alpha test on Friday in the lead-up to porting the game westward. In fact, the studio has granted Massively OP 1000 keys for the alpha to distribute to our readers, which will get you into this weekend’s test (starting at noon EDT on September 29th) and any subsequent test to boot.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Darkfall: New Dawn tweaks colors, removes bindstones, and improves AI

Right now it is not hard to keep the two Darkfall reboot projects separated. While Rise of Agon launched earlier this year, New Dawn is still working toward its own official release. At least with this week’s Patch 4.0, the PvP MMO will have made significant progress toward that goal.

There is a lot that the developers crammed into this patch, so let’s tick off the salient details. There is an improvement in the mob artificial intelligence (in part, to head off exploits), new tailor robes, the removal of bindstones for a local resurrection option, a beefed up alignment system, quest kill sharing, and better player progression and combat balance.

The team also improved the visuals a bit: “We have implemented post-processing effects that allow us to tweak color saturation and image contrast. The current settings will not fit all locations in game, but individual environments are being tweaked for the next patch.”

Get a quick overview of the update and a look at some of these snazzy new outfits after the jump!

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The MOP Up: Monster Hunter World’s Tokyo reveals (September 24, 2017)

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 LawbreakersHyper UniversePlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pokemon GoWorld of TanksDC Universe OnlineCrossoutMonster Hunter WorldRunes of MagicAtlantica OnlineRevelation OnlineLeague of LegendsCrossfireHeroes of the Storm, OverwatchPath of Exile, and Dungeon Fighter Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Hyperspace Beacon: A happy accident in Star Wars The Old Republic gives us hope for the future of CXP

The last couple of weeks have been really rough week for Star Wars: The Old Republic from a technical standpoint. The Umbara update itself gave us a handful of bugs, including some that were very difficult to bypass. Then players also noticed a couple of extreme bugs that were deemed exploits. Community Manager Eric Musco acknowledged the exploits, and for one of them, he emphatically said do not do it. “Following the bug being fixed we will begin to investigate the impact of the exploit and what action is required,” he said on the forum. In the past, those actions have ranged from a slap on the wrist to a three-day suspension to revoking future access to that account. I don’t think things will get that harsh for this exploit, but I do foresee players losing the items gained. I’ll get to the specifics of that later.

What was most interesting was BioWare‘s handling of the second major bug. Under normal circumstances, if players circumvented the normal rate of character progression, the MMO developers would stop everything they were doing and fix the bug immediately, or at very least, they would tell players to stop lest they be punished. Instead, Musco said on the forum, “Until they are fixed next week, enjoy them. We tried to fix the bug, the bug didn’t want to be fixed.” He actually encouraged people to take advantage of the bug.

Let’s talk about that, why it happened, and why this happy accident is one of the best things that’s happened to SWTOR in a long time.

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The MOP Up: Warframe battles cancer (September 3, 2017)

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 SWTORWarframeRappelzPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsStardew ValleyWorld of TanksStarcraft RemasteredArmored WarfareGuild Wars 2NeverwinterRuneScapePokemon GoDota 2Wakfu, and Skyforge, all waiting for you after the break!

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Conan Exiles’ Frozen North update next week is ‘phase two’ of early access

Funcom is hyping Conan Exiles’ free Frozen North expansion up with a new “Bigger & Better” trailer today, which zips through the game’s content-added since its early access release earlier this year. Frozen North will mark “phase two” of the survivalbox’s early access program.

“Since launching into PC Early Access on January 31 st 2017, the development team has been working tirelessly to introduce new content, improve mechanics, and eradicate bugs and exploits. The team has added siege weapons, a new dungeon, a dye system, new armor and weapons, new decorations, avatar defenses, new building pieces, and much more.”

The Frozen North launches next week on August 16th; the game itself is destined for a fall launch on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation early next year. “While the team has been able to expand and improve the game significantly the first six months of Early Access, there are several months left and the team will continue to work side-by-side with the community to realize Conan Exiles’ full potential,” Funcom says.

The new video and new screenies are tucked down below.

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