Saturday, May 02, 2009

This... Is My Boomstick!

Okay, I know I'm all about hating the WoW and whatnot, but this story... This story is just too good.

Apparently, a WoW player somehow managed to get a hold of an in-game item that was designed to be used only for internal testing.

I.E. He wasn't supposed to have it.

I have no idea how he got the item. There may or may not have been some hacking and/or cracking involved.

Perhaps it was a prize for finding a new tower.

Now, you may be wondering what sort of item could be so important that it makes this whole story newsworthy.

A shirt.

Yes, you read that right. A shirt.

How exactly could a simple shirt be such a big deal?

Well, this shirt has the special ability to instantly kill anything within a thirty foot radius.

That's not a joke. That's what the shirt actually does.

Do not ask me why Blizzard would design a shirt that can kill anyone within a thirty foot radius.

Maybe it was commentary on the hygiene of your average WoW player.

Bah dump psshhhh.

My sources (read: the story I read on Kotaku) tell me that the shirt is called "Martin Fury". It is no doubt named after the inventor of the thermonuclear shirt.

Now available at your local Old Navy.

All questions of how he obtained this Omega shirt aside, a lot of people are saying that he should have given it back. People think that if, according to his story, he had obtained it honestly, then morally, he should have contacted Blizzard about it immediately.



This sounds exactly like what someone who did NOT obtain this shirt would say. It's overpowered and unfair. It's not for players and he should give it back.

This is both:

a) logical


b) complete and utter crap

If you woke up one day and found out that you could fire energy beams out of your eyes, I don't think the first thing you would do is contact the government.

You'd start sewing a costume and deciding on an awesome superhero name.

I'd suggest Captain Eye Lazers. It's subtle.

Same thing goes for in-game items. It's really damned easy to say you'd give it back when you don't have the thing in the first place.

We both know if it was you that had the item, you'd lay waste to everything you saw.

Which is exactly what this guy did.

He went on an epic (no pun intended) rampage through Azeroth, kicking ass and taking names. He was killing everything he could think of and even took down a boss in one hit.

You'd be surprised how easy it is to rampage when to can kill anything with one press of a button.

Not that I'd know anything about that...

The part of the story that pisses me off though is that he got banned. Blizzard up and banned him for running rampant through their little virtual world, making with the raping and the pillaging.

Can you honestly blame him?

I don't care if he cheated to get the item. I don't care if he and a ragtag team of amateur hackers managed to hack their way into Blizzard's mainframe, all the while surrounded by flashy camera angles and techno music.

What he did was awesome.

I spend my day banning people from FFXI because they tried to steal a hat or tried to sell their gil for real money.

Or they got on my nerves.

Or ended a sentence in a preposition.

Or... Well, pretty much anything.

Do you know what I wouldn't ban them for? Going on a crazy murdering rampage with their newly acquired shirt of DOOM.

That shit is forgivable.

Hell, give that boy a job. He's got potential.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger Sean said...

I want an ubershirt...

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Chris said...

There's your item - the story goes he got it as a mistake, after he was hacked and had his items restored(RMT keylogger story). This was just sitting in the mail.

Rather than do the obvious and return it - it's well known items of this level of power are done for gag reasons, not for public use - they decided to go and use it in new content, more or less robbing people of server firsts at the same time.

At least, that's the most "true" story we've been able to find - there's six variants of the same guy, all claim to be real, all with slight changes to the story(ban was over the course of days, not weeks.. it was a guild mate not me... it was a hat not a shirt..).

Might mean nothing, but the shirt(not to be confused with chest armour) and tabard slots are basically "non-stat" slots - thus you can do whatever you like with them, without impact on performance, though tabards are used for rep grinding now, and there's the shirt of uber now:

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Koorii said...

Totally off topic to your blog post, but... I have to bring it up as your superhero metaphor made me remember it...

Have you heard about Cincinati's "Shadow Hare"?

I'm not sure whether to laugh at the pure stupidity or cry. It's probably a good thing people being stupid stopped surprising me years ago...

Also reminds me of that long ago blog post you made about someone needing to be batman... Anyway, anyway just a thought.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

What Chris said above -- the guy got the shirt from another guildie who'd had his account hacked -- so in essence, the guy got it FROM THE WoW GMs.

and was banned for using it.

Mind, that's what the guy has said in interviews -- from WoWInsider:

At 9:25 PM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

Oh -- wait, Dave, there's one MORE aspect to the story --

Blizzard/WoW GMs banned the guy's ENTIRE GUILD. Even those members that had nothing to do with the item, and were nowhere around when the item was used, or weren't even online.

THAT'S just frakkin' harsh.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Saifer said..., having that shirt and running through ur opposite faction's main cities has to be the most epic thing ever.. 1 man raid ftw.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger George said...

Hey, the biggest deal about this story is the fact that the guild he was in used the shirt to one shot I believe every single boss in the New raid instance Ulduar which would cause them to get free epic loot. They were exploiting the shirt in the wrong manner, I think if all the guy did was go around kill random things I don't think blizzard would've cared that much, it's just the fact that they exploited it to get Loot that they didn't earn. I do think it's BS that people who weren't even involved in the raid got banned as well, blizz did take it way too far in that aspect.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger Church said...

Wait, wouldn't this essentially be the same thing as XI players being banned for finding, and abusing gil exploits?

They're both essentially using a break inherit in the system for one's own gain.

I mean, granted, if you gave me a shirt of DOOM +4, I'd damn sure use it. AV or PW solo FTW!

I'd get banned I'm sure, but I'd go down being awesome.

At 1:05 AM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...


According to the guild's leader, who WAS banned, the entire guild was given a 24-hour temp suspension. There were no other bannings.

And while I'm not going to argue back and forth about what he should or should not have done, I personally would have paged a GM as soon as I saw the item.


I've invested years in my WoW main. I wouldn't want to even take the slightest chance of losing all that. And I'm not convinced that the good Dave wouldn't have banned someone for doing the same thing in FFXI. Maybe offered him a job on the side, but banned him all the same. =P

At 2:14 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I'm not sure I would give it back right away if I found such an item in my MMO of choice, but he should if he wants to keep his character. It's exploiting, plain and simple. Sure, it should have never happened, but code has bugs and people make mistakes. And he didn't just farm some gold or something with it, he rampaged through all sorts of high-end content. If I had been the CSR that got that call, I woulda banned his ass too.

What he did was awesome, I would have loved to see it firsthand, but it still is rightfully a bannable offense.

Along the same lines:
Hilarious, awesome, would have loved to see it live, doesn't mean the store didn't do the right thing kicking him out. Hell, I'm surprised they didn't call the cops.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Is what he did really all that bad? I mean, it is WoW... Players don't suffer that badly from dieing, mobs spawn faster than rabbits on viagra, and would you really waste time farming?

And to be honest, you could give it back... You could play it safe...

But... I'm not sure I could pass up the chance to do something so radically different in our beloved, but terribly unimaginative MMOs.


Wonder if there's an item in Eve which lets you blow up entire solar systems...

At 8:54 AM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

And I'm not convinced that the good Dave wouldn't have banned someone for doing the same thing in FFXI.You really think Dave would BAN someone for using an item that Dave had sent that person?

An item that comes from a GM?

Yeah, this IS GM Dave we're talking about, but I'd think Dave would more likely ban that person for being stupid enough to NOT use the item sent to him by the Rightful Game Masters...

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Taeraresh said...

Ben, at least from my perspective, it's not that what he did was bad (though I feel it was definitely something he shouldn't have done). He got a bunch of achievements for server-first kills and such, which while they don't *do* anything, are things that guilds who aren't cheating now can never legitimately get.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Strange. I seem to remember a post a few weeks ago about a bunch of players using an exploit to get cool items (in this case, duping). And [GM]Dave calling them retarded for not only using them, but doing it more than once. And not reporting it as soon as it was discovered.

Oh well, I'm probably mistaken. It must be the amyloydosis.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

Strange. I seem to remember a post a few weeks ago about a bunch of players using an exploit to get cool items (in this case, duping).There's no contradiction. In the WoW case, it wasn't an exploit, this wasn't a flaw in the programming -- this was an item that the GAMEMASTERS SENT THE PLAYER IN QUESTION.

If gamemasters send me an email in game or items in game, I assume said items are legit. Otherwise what's the point of having gamemasters send you emails?

I've been watching the WoW forums and boards on this, and everyone's getting oh-so-self-righteous about how THEY would've opened a ticket, how how THEY would've done this, and done that, and oh my word no they would NEVER have used the item.

I call bullshit.

Never mind that the guy's entire raid group knew what was going on and said nothing. None of THEM opened a ticket or thought there was anything wrong with using an item that the GM had sent their guildie, evidently.

And Taera, yeah, everyone has a right to get upset about the achieves -- but all Blizz has to do is own up & admit THEIR mistake, and rescind the guy's gotten-gear and achieves. Banning him is just not right.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Music-chan said...

A permanent ban does seem harsh but I get the feeling we're not seeing the whole story on this.

It's the internet. Things get passed around to the point where the real story is so shrouded in lies and hersay that it's hard to know what's true and what's not.

When Blizzard found out what was going on, did they ask the guy to delete the shirt and he said no? DId they give him some sort of warning or did they ban him right off? It's hard to say.

But any item that says "cheater" on it you can't think would be good. Honestly? The shirt WARNS you that you are CHEATING, which is against the rules. At the end of the day, he knew what he was doing was wrong.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

But any item that says "cheater" on it you can't think would be good.After seeing many of the bizarre things Blizz has in its item flavor text, I wouldn't have paid that any second thought.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Alex said...

WOAH WOAH WOAH... Hold on a minute... so you're saying that if there's a mistake made by Blizzard in WoW, no punishment should be made from the player abusing it, but if it's in FFXI, then they should be banned on the spot, without complaining? I'm sorry Dave, I know you're a hypocrite, but COME ON!

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Paul said...

I call bullshit.Funny, I was thinking the same thing when you said this:
If gamemasters send me an email in game or items in game, I assume said items are legit.
Normally, yeah, sure. But in this case anyone with the tiniest amount of common sense could not possibly believe that such an item was legitimately sent. It's obviously far more powerful than anything a developer could possibly want a player to have.

"We're sorry you lost your gear, here, have it all back and a shirt that lets you kill boss mobs and everything around it with the click of a button." Yeah... no.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Lambenttelos said...

Haha, so the GMs should have asked politely for him to delete the item? Why? If it was such a big issue why not just destroy the item for him, can't GM's do this.

I would guess that they did not talk to him about it at all before straight up banning his ass.

The whole thing also makes me laugh due to the fact that WoW is nothing more than a clamber for OMG FIRST!!!11 type of situations these days.

At 8:29 AM, Blogger RamblingDreamer said...

Paul: Gotta agree with you on that. People can call bullshit all they like, and say that he just wouldn't have known. But there's no way that they'd just hand some player an item that does that. Call WoW easy all you like - it's not *that* freakin' easy.

Anybody that would've taken two seconds to realize what that shirt did should've known that it wasn't something they were supposed to have.

And you can say all you like that nobody would turn it in if they received it. But I'm one of many that would have. I've put too much time into those characters to lose them to such a stupid thing. It's not worth it.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Leut said...

You know very well you'd ban the holy f$%@ outta him just because he was encroaching on your turf.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed, with the title being the greatest line from Evil Dead, I was hoping for something along those lines. Anyway.

If I got that shirt, I can't say that I would have used it. I definitely wouldn't have called up a GM to take it away, I would have just put it into that dark part of my bank storage until I decided I was done with WoW.

And then, THEN, once I don't care about WoW anymore, I would just start destroying everything.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Blueyez said...

Well, if you really thought the GM's were sending you the best b-day gift ever then you'd have no problems checking with a GM to be sure... right? Or would you not check knowing full well that you weren't supposed to have that item of kicka$$ness +5. Either way, saying this is nowhere near the same as the FFXI bannings is crap too. It's an exploit in the game being used by a player. Hell if this WAS FF you know the people in his guild who weren't even on would have been banned but all the people who were blatantly involved would have had a slap on the wrist... because SE is all about consistency.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Salt said...

This seems to be the standard policy for most MMO operating companies.
Probably SE as well, even if GM Dave doesn't want to ban such a person, company policy will force his hand.

Frankly I don't see it as any different from exploiting an item duping bug.
One could argue that the programmers left glitch in, so it should be OK for the players to use it.
But we all know that won't fly, not in WoW, not in FFXI.

He did piss of quite a few people by screwing with the "server first" achievements, which can be considered interfere with the game that is ban worthy.
I think some people on the WoW forums are taking this whole thing a little too seriously, but then I don't raid. And Blizzard could just reset the achievements.
But I suppose they don't want to encourage exploitive behaviour. /shrug

IMO SE would have probably done the same thing.

If it was I who received the item, I would have sent in a ticket.
I have heard of an item known as "Martin Thunder" which is a sword, that does the exact same thing. And that it's mostly used by GMs and developers to troubleshoot the game.
For example, testing the responsiveness of mobs to see if they are glitching out, or if a quest is working right.
Heaven knows what it really does internally on the server and what "side effects" on the server it would have if you used it.
It could set the server into debug mode for all you know, in the process crash the whole thing. ><

At 3:10 AM, Blogger Teelo said...

How can I get myself one of these shirts?

And I thought it was a two-hand mace called "Martin Thunder", and happened years ago? Or is this deja-vu?

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Kiwi said...

Martin Fury and Martin Thunder are both in the multiple WoW databases out there.

Yeah.. call Bullshit all you like but when one person gets an item on accident, gives it to the main tank of their guild, they use it for multiple raids on 10 and 25 man settings, then realize that "oh shit we're gonna get in trouble" try mailing it off to another person... they deserve a ban and worse.

*shrug* I don't like people who cheat regardless of -why- or -how- an item was obtained. Common sense should tell someone "Hey this isn't right."

At 1:59 PM, Blogger quinn said...

If the title is a quote from army of darkness my love for GM dave just grew.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Ben Smith - Warten said...

Bit of a dual standard when you like this guy, but not the people who got stuff via the salvage exploits

At 7:29 AM, Blogger Sarion said...

Funny how you complain about how people abused a bug in FFXI but if someone abuses something in WoW, it's great.
I understand bias. I felt it towards WoW too when I played FFXI. Then I realized my brain stem was actually useful, and quit FFXI.


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