Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On Cheating.

While the main focus of this blog is dedicated to all things Resto druid, I'd like to chime in on the recent 72 hour ban of the members of Exodus who used an exploit to defeat Yogg Saron +0 keepers. Quite frankly I'm rather upset that blizzard decided to institute a ban on the members of Exodus and removed their achievement of world and server first for the kill. Exodus had all the same tools and skills as every other WoW player and they used those tools and skills in a creative way to defeat a boss that has been calculated to be otherwise mathematically impossible to defeat.

My main points of contention with blizzard are: The exploit used by Exodus was put into the game by Blizzard, Exodus did not have any tools or enhancements that weren't available to all World of Warcraft players, the result of a 72 hour ban is essentially saying that creativity will be punished.

What bothers me the most is that Blizzard decided to punish Exodus for blizzard's own mistake. If they didn't want the guardians aggro into the brain room and evade bug, then they should have programmed them not to go into the brain room and evade. Had this been caught on the PTR or some other testing area, the person who found the bug would not be punished but rather praised for finding such an ingenious exploit. Unfortunately, Blizzard send out the patch as it was with bugs and all and when the bug is used to defeat an encounter, the bug catchers are punished as a result.

Exodus didn't go into Yogg +0 with some godmode stick. Exodus spent hours upon hours wiping and learning and trying and mashing their heads against this wall of an encounter. And they were faced with a problem: how to handle the guardians that spawn in phase 3 and are unable to be killed since there is no Thorim to finish them off at 1%. I'm not a mind reader but the idea of leaving a shadow priest in the Brain room to cause healing threat from Vampiric Embrace and aggro the Guardians into the Brain room to evade bug probably was not the first strategy they attempted. And prior to the hotfix any guild could have done this, not just Exodus. So since they had no extra help or enhancements, the only reason behind the ban is entirely based on the creativity of the members of Exodus.

What is this 72hour ban supposed to mean? Is it supposed to be a warning or deterrent to other guilds to not think creatively and try different boss strategies? Is there supposed to be only one way to defeat an encounter and straying from the path will result in punishment from blizzard? Or is Spock just really upset that Krik was actually able to beat his unwinnable encounter? (Kirk actually cheated to win his scenario though because he did things not available to other Starfleet cadets by changing the scenario's programming). I'm not happy with the message Blizzard is apparently sending to top end progression guilds and their approach to new content. Trying strategies not sanctioned by Blizzard will be punished, and as an extra kicker Blizzard will throw in encounters that are completely unwinnable until they decide to nerf the encounter. No me gusta.

So in the end, don't quit your day job to play WoW for 50-60 hours per week and become one of the top raiders in the world, you might just be punished by the game you so desperately want to beat.

P.S. here's a link to the statement made by Exodus and the video of the shadow priest doing the exploit, my first thought on watching the video was "damn, that's a ton of guardians"
The statement turned into a little bit of a QQ fest and strangely morphed into a "pro-America, Europe sux" statement but whatev.


  1. "we found a way to use bugged game mechanics"

    "Yes, it is 100% our fault for using a bug on such a significant boss fight"

    "We also filed a formal bug report on Blizzard's website."

    These are all quotes from Exodus' statement. They knew it was wrong when they did it. In this case their creative thinking was cheating and they knew it.

    In my opinion they are using this post to deflect attention from their wrong onto what they believe to be other people's wrongs.

    They never mention anything about getting the achievement and having it taken away because they knew they didn't deserve it. They didn't say anything about it publicly (that I'm aware of) until they were banned and had to defend themselves

    I know nothing of the incidents they mention involving Nihilum/Ensidia. It would have been nice if they would have posted links describing them.

    I the end, they're not complaining about getting banned, they're complaining about a perceived bias toward other guilds. I'm sure that this topic could be debated till the cows come home. I'm not informed enough to form an opinion on that topic

    As for the ending of the post, I think it took a lot of the steam out of their arguements since it makes them look juvinile and jealous. Again it deflects from what they did wrong.

    Great post. Just wanted to put my two cents worth in :)

    P.S. The date at the top of Exodus' post is "06-29-2009, 07:36 PM". Yet "Last edited by KAYWARRIOR; Yesterday at 09:25 AM" is at the bottom. Today 07/01/09. That's a time span of about 14 hours. Has Exodus changed some of the text of this post?

  2. I agree wholeheartedly that Exodus could have released a far more eloquent and perhaps even relevant statement on their 72 hour ban. Turning and pointing fingers at all the other unpunished exploits, while one argument, does nothing to help Exodus' case in this situation. The exploits listed in their statement and many more have graced the realms of WoW both in PvP and PvE situations and will continue to happen so long as Blizzard continues to release new content for people to explore.

    On top of the statement was Exodus' decision not to reveal their exploit until enough people cried foul that the encounter could not have been beaten without an exploit. I think coming out directly after the kill and releasing the video they have now provided may have lessened the punishment they received.

    The thrust of my argument is that punishment by banning is too cruel and relatively unprecedented in PvE as far as I'm aware. I believe a retraction of the achievement and a hotfix correcting the exploit would have been sufficient punishment but the 72hour ban on top of that to me is unnecessary.

    I guess a major reason I'm sympathetic to Exodus in this particular situation is the fact that the encounter is mathmatically impossible to defeat in its current state. I think there is something to be said for those who do that which is impossible, but instead of blizzard going "Aha, you got us there Exodus, nice trick," blizzard instituted their current punishment.

  3. While I can agree that it is in the game and available for usage I don't agree that it should be used. Creativity is great but when you know its not supposed to work like this then you really shouldn't go about that. I cheapens the achievement itself and insinuates that you are better than a group who doesn't stoop to cheating. Say what you will on the subject but there will always be bugs in games like this. Exploiting them is cheating, cut and dry.