16/01/2017

Crossing Lines and Fracturing Opinions

How does one define 'crossing the line' nowadays?

If you've been following recent developments for the most recent exploit in SWtOR, the answer is far more oblique than it should be.

By now, you should have heard of the Fractured Uprising exploit; this entailed pulling the final pair of bosses in such a way that the first one automatically kills himself, thus making the Uprising two minutes shorter.

Okay, so two minutes isn't that long, but it does begin to add up. Particularly when, as a result of all this, you can't go two minutes on Fleet without reading "LF 1 Tank for Fractured Uprising Farm" or something similar in General Chat. Or when people attain Command Rank 70 on four characters largely through farming this one particular instance. 

This in itself, in my opinion, makes it so much worse than a 'mere exploit'. As I've already said, two minutes isn't a huge difference of time, especially since Fractured is the fastest Uprising for the moment anyway. The very fact that this exploit is being actively encouraged in General Chat, let alone the sheer amount of people who have seen groups derailed by exploiters, makes it worthy of some form of punishment in my eyes. 

As examples of the above case: Mox from Corellian Run Radio was pulled back by a Sage group-mate of his in an attempt to prevent him from derailing an exploit, but he was able to push through and force a proper boss pull, whilst a guildie of mine recently had to endure a group-found group of people who tried to trick him into pulling the boss whilst they all stayed away, thus leading to a stalemate of six minutes where nobody did anything since he was the only group member "not happy" with the idea of exploiting. 

Too bad for them that he was assigned as the group leader. 

When breaking the terms of service is being encouraged and even enforced by groups, this alone should give it the precedent needed to punish players, even if it is just a small punishment, and yet BioWare have recently come out and said that exploiting this is absolutely unpunishable, even though it is being acknowledged by the higher-ups as an exploit. 

What makes this sting even harder is that BioWare have shown that they are slowly getting better at catching people. They let too many people go over the Ravagers exploit, yet they made up for it slightly with their handling of people accessing the Colossal Monolith fight a week earlier than intended, and their handling of the 4.0 currency-stack exploit and Season 7 Ranked PvP hackers has been (comparatively) perfect. 

Furthermore, there was another (thankfully caught and fixed by 5.0a) exploit involving the Jawa Scraps you'd receive from the Galactic Command crates; a player could manually plug in how many stacks they wanted to disintegrate, even if they only apparently received sixteen, and receive all the Command XP they wanted in the process. They have confirmed that anyone who made use of this bug would be punished, but I for one don't know if they've actually gone through with this yet.

BioWare aren't exempt from finger-pointing either. Once again, they've waited far too long before even beginning to officially address this, and it's a telling point that we first heard about potential action from their response to e-mails from the CRR hosts a week before they posted their official response on the forums.

~~~

As I say, I do acknowledge that two minutes isn't much to fret about. My main concern over this exploit is simply that it quickly got to the stage whereby it was being publically sought for in General Chat and groups were sometimes unwillingly and unwittingly thrown into chaos about the entire ordeal. When it gets to this point, as it did for the Ravagers exploit when people were switching servers to sell it, you know that things have gone too far.

The fact that BioWare are letting these people who are forcing potentially-unwilling groupmates to deal with the exploit or actively seeking groups in General Chat for it doesn't fill me with enthusiasm. It's disappointing and confusing, but otherwise there's not much I can do other than offer my thoughts on the matter. 

4 comments:

  1. OMG, who was that with the six minute stalemate? Sounds like a typical example of the exploiter mindset to me: "Totally not a big deal" but they'd rather wait that long than do a 2 minute boss fight the proper way.

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    1. It was Suss. He found the ordeal rather tiresome since, as you say, they could have killed the boss easily within this time.

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  2. Great post, Calph, couldn't have voiced it better myself. Also I have to agree with Shintar on the six minute stalemate. Scrub exploiters; should unsub and deinstall. ;)

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    1. Glad you liked it, Rav. Figured that I'd better pitch in with my own views in an actual blog post given my commenting on yours and Shin's own posts on the matter. :P

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