Friday, January 23, 2009


Not much going on in the world today.

No, sir. Not much at all.

Really nothing to talk about.

There's honestly nothing going on in the gaming world. Especially when it comes to FFXI.




Okay... You may have noticed a wee little story about us banning almost a thousand players.

More of a blurb really.

Here's the official story:

In November 2008, we discovered an issue that allowed players to create multiple items for certain treasures and rewards in areas such as Salvage and Assault by exploiting the game system.

The issue was fixed during emergency maintenance on November 26, 2008. However, we discovered that some players had already exploited the issue and used it to gain additional items before it was addressed. We then investigated more than a year's worth of logs throughout all areas.

As a result of the investigation, approximately 400 players were temporarily suspended based on the evidence gathered. Approximately 550 players who committed more serious misconduct had their accounts banned.

We are working hard to ensure that these kinds of issues do not occur again in FINAL FANTASY XI. However, if you discover any problems with the game system, please submit a GM call or fill out the feedback e-mail form to report the problems to us, instead of exploiting or spreading the issue.

We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Here's the short version:

People cheated.

We banned them.


Pretty cut and dry, right? I mean, cheaters get banned.

That's how that shit is supposed to work.

Basically, a bunch of players discovered a bug where they could force the system to create duplicate drops in certain events.

This was, of course, completely against the rules.


So, yesterday, a whole bunch of people went to log in and got a nice little message labeled LM-17.

Something about a door and not letting it hit you in the ass on your way out.

I'm not sure who suggested the LM-17 message.

I suggested we fly to each player's house, kick them in the groin, and set their computer on fire.

Apparently, that just wasn't "cost effective".

Remember when it used to be about the customers?

And the groin kicking?

That was a better time.

No, I get to work and my supervisor comes in.

Supervisor>> People...
Supervisor>> We're banning almost 1,000 accounts today.

A ripple of cheers went though the crowd.

[GM]Someguy>> Why are we banning them?

He's new.

The new guys always need a reason to ban people.


Supervisor>> ...
Supervisor>> The duping exploit.

The cheers broke off suddenly. A grim silence covered the room.

Every head turned to look at Craig.

In November, Craig had been put in charge of reviewing logs for evidence of duping.

Thousands of logs.

Thousands upon thousands of logs.

As the weeks had dragged on, he'd started to fall apart.

Every day. Reading log after log.

The grammar.

Dear God, the grammar.

Sometimes, when the GM floor was quiet, you could hear him talking to himself.

And weeping.

But, as we all turned to look at him, we noticed something different.

He was smiling.

He looked like the old Craig again, like everything was back to normal.

Well... He wasn't wearing pants.

Healing takes time.

Hands flew to keyboards as we all logged into our accounts.

A thousand characters were about to be so much digital ruin.

My hand was already hovering over my Jormy macro when...

Supervisor>> No, no.
Supervisor>> It's been taken care of.

Taken care of?

Funny... I don't remember hearing anyone screaming.

[GM]Dave>> Sir...
[GM]Dave>> What exactly does that mean?
Supervisor>> We closed all of their accounts.
Supervisor>> And sent them letters.




[GM]Dave>> Sir... Another question...
[GM]Dave>> By "letters", do you mean "explosives"?
Supervisor>> No, Dave.
Supervisor>> No explosives.
[GM]Dave>> I don't think I understand...

He said a lot of words after that. Stuff about treating each customer with respect, treating them like people.

I didn't catch a lot of it.

From what I did catch, it amounted to "no killing".

Instead, he informed us that we would be spending the majority of the day dealing with customer service questions relating to the bannings.

Yay. Customer service.

I'm sure I'll regret screaming "BURN HIM!"

Any minute now...

Tomorrow: The Aftermath


At 7:26 PM, Blogger Clamsd101 said...

Slightly reminds me of the EveO incident. The one with exploits.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Robert said...

The thing about game bugs is that players aren't always aware that they're "exploiting" one. Especially when it comes to drops. It's not like there's an in-game dialog that pops up saying "Getting two r/ex Dragon Spleens from killing Jormungand is a bug." It makes one wonder what else SE can use as an excuse to ban players....

Hey look! There's this trait that Thieves have called "Treasure Hunter" that causes more stuff to drop! Let's bring a tricked-out thief along on our runs so we have a better chance of scoring some decent goods! Oh wait...this creates in-game circumstances that would alter the way items drop from a kill.... THIS SHIT MUST BE AN EXPLOIT!!

Follows: every player who has leveled Thief to 15+ is summarily banned.

Ugh. I love FFXI, but SE (not even PlayOnline, I'm talking about the greedy parent company) has killed me on it. I'm done with mumorpurgers for a while.

I'll be over in my corner playing Final Fantasy IX for the first time in almost 10 years....

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Nick said...

Players.... exploiting the system... getting shown respect and treated like people....

Why... WHAT HAS SE COME TO!?!?!?!

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Zaejue Dhel said...

you didn't get to feed people Jormy
I'm sure you fed people to him... just not as much as you could have.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Elazar said...

I <3 explosives, and kicks to the groin, for other people.

LOL cheaters.

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Edwin said...

i personnaly enjoy reading the rantings of those who've been banned thinking the game is gonna fall apart since they're gone lol noob cheaters

Delirium On Siren

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Bufuman said...

Screw customer service, Dave! I personally would've spent the day reopening banned accounts, THEN feeding them to Jormy and banning them again. Give them that little bit of hope right before you shoot their dog. And their family. And every last person they've ever known and loved.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger Bufuman said...

On another note that's completely unrelated to my above comment, they won't let me shop at Wal-Mart ever since I "voluntarily quit" being a cashier there.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Valle said...

Dave, you're a genius.

Robert, you're a retard. Yes, people might not know they've happened upon a bug. The people banned here very much knew exactly what they were doing. Your analogy is so far on the side of wrong you can't even see right. Sounds like you got banned and you're now butthurt.

If anyone would like to comment, please don't. It will completely spiral out of control. Instead, go to a place where it has been discussed a LOT allready:

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Nope, never been banned. Never even seen the inside of Mordian Gaol, for that matter. I just take exception with SE's refusal to return money to me that they've openly admitted was obtained due to fraudulent charges on my CC.

As for my comment being retarded...meh. You can't provoke me with your inability to comprehend or appreciate satire, so why do you try?

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Valle said...

Yes, SE customer service can be downright shit. If they somehow got money from you by fraudulent charges to your cc...well, I'm sorry for you. Next time take it up with your CC company instead of squeenix. I had some fraud crap happen some years ago and Visa gave me my money back and went on the case themselves.

As for your post being I don't see it. Now if you'd just gone to that thread I mentioned there, you'd certainly find some. (Really, it's there, in among all the other stuff.)

At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They knew what they were doing was wrong. The proof is in the fact that it was kept a closely guarded secret for a year and a half. On BG the moderators would swoop in and delete any post that mentioned it and when it finally came out they claimed they deleted those posts to stop the spread of exploits.

Funny thing though, they never reported it to SE. Must have slipped their minds while they were busy "protecting against the spread of exploits" for a year and a half.

At 6:58 AM, Blogger RurouniZanza said...

Careful Dave, SE might not require your services anymore if they keep sending 'nice' letters instead of incendiary devices.

And is posting links/advertising in someone else's blog is the cool thing to do now?

If you posted a link, I got another link for you to check out.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger MitchMadness said...

As much as I love the banning of the noobs, I feel injustice has been done here. Some 20,000+ (roughly) people had to have used/exploited that glitch, less than 1,000 get suspended or banned. Seem unfair?

Even moreso, I have friends that simply had an unwanted item auto-drop to them, and they are perma-banned, while I know Salvage LS leaders that used the glitch every run and received nothing at all.

So, by "examining years worth of logs", did you mean "examining the first month or two and pretending it's a year"?

Where's the justice Dave, where is it?

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Sean said...

While that might be true about not being aware sometimes Robet, it was not so in this case. See, normally when you killed one of these monsters, you got one treasure chest that contained one set of loot(Usually several subpar money items and occasionally a rare piece of equipment). In this case, players where exploiting the bug to spawn three identical chests from killing the exact same mob that normally only drops one. Since treasure chests are a NPC in the game world and not an item, it's pretty obvious there should only be one.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention Minidragon of the Bismarck server. He was one of those people who got the banhammer.

You know, the guy with 6 fully-upgraded relics, Maat's Cap, all jobs to level 75, every mission completed, and every quest done.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Ulli said...

From what I've heard from banned people, some got banned, some didn't. Only those in the past 2 months have. I think this is just the first wave...

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In this case, players where exploiting the bug to spawn three identical chests from killing the exact same mob that normally only drops one."

Sean- How about you get your facts straight before posting? That wasn't the case at all, three identical chests wouldn't spawn after killing a mob <.<

All you people saying "they knew what they were doing," "it was obvious," "good ridden cheaters" you guys don't even have the slightest clue, you are all just assuming things.

The fact of the matter is unless you were very familiar with salvage BEFORE the glitch you wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary from the exploit and could actually be oblivious to the entire thing. Only the 3 party leaders would know of the exploit and it's outcomes.

Members would NEVER see duplicate drops nor even see duplicate drops in the chat log when players obtained the gear.


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