Starym

Watcher on Recent Bans and World Quest Exploit

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Recently there was a World Quest rewarding Artifact Power that bugged out, making it repeatable and, unsurprisingly, some players exploited it and got a lot of AP. A little while ago Blizzard handed out a lot of band ranging from 24 hours to a full week, based on how much a specific player exploited the bug. Now we have an official comment on the story from Game Director Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas:

Blizzard LogoWatcher (Source)

Actually, we did just take action against players who went out of their way to take advantage of this bug. We had two main motivations: First, fairness to those who could have taken advantage of this exploit but chose not to; and second, setting/reinforcing a precedent that flagrant abuse of bugs for personal gain will be taken seriously. Even if you're not concerned with fair play on a community level, from a pure selfish perspective, you're better off not taking advantage of loopholes like these as it's very likely that you'll end up worse off than if you'd never done it at all.

Obviously, the existence of a bug like this is our fault. We should have caught this issue (which arose from a a conflict between two world quests, causing credit to not save properly) during testing. But the existence of our mistake doesn't excuse players' deliberate actions to take advantage of it.

Here's an awkward real-world analogy:

Let's say you're walking down the street one day, when you look down, and notice a crisp bank note being lifted by a gentle breeze around your feet. You look around, and no one is in sight. Well, guess it's your lucky day!

A few moments later, you come across two or three more bank notes. Definitely strange, and you're a bit suspicious because this obviously isn't normal, but they're just lying there. No one can really blame you if you pick them up, right?

Now, you turn the corner, and you see vast stacks of bank notes sitting on a pallet in the middle of the road. It seems like an unfortunate driver failed to properly secure the rear door of his armored truck, leading to this scene. But if you walked up and grabbed a large handful from the pile, would that be an entirely innocent act? Would you be surprised if a police officer who witnessed you do that thought otherwise?

Finally, if you were to fetch large garbage bags, and call up your friends and tell them to do the same, so you could load up as much of the cash as you all could carry.... Still entirely innocent? Sure, the driver made a big mistake in not locking the door, but would there be any surprise if you were tracked down based on CCTV footage and there were consequences for that act?

(Hey, I said it would be an awkward analogy.)

The account actions taken today were generally in direct proportion to the degree of abuse. Players who may have innocently repeated the quest just a few times were not actioned. But on the other end of the spectrum, some who managed to fit in literally hundreds of completions, forming groups to do so, received far more serious penalties.

We apologize for the existence of the bug in the first place, but once an issue like this is out in the wild, we need to act to preserve the spirit of fair play.

 

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On 17.11.2016 at 3:26 PM, Prophet001 said:

I like that analogy.

My thoughts exactly! I was thinking: "That was weird?" I really liked it.

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