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As you might have read here today, a recent bug with the launch of Arena Season 1 saw players be able to acquire Season 2 rings for a brief period of time and the Classic community has been in an uproar over it. Now Blizzard are confirming that they're currently in the process of removing the items (and refunding the honor) from the 81 players that bough them. There will be no other consequences.
Season 2 Rings (Source)
On Tuesday, a bug with our initialization of Burning Crusade Classic Arena Season 1 made three Season 2 rings available on Honor vendors on NA realms for about two hours before we hotfixed the situation.
We immediately got to work designing and implementing a process for identifying the 81 players who purchased the Season 2 rings and reversing their transactions.
That process is underway at this time. All Season 2 PvP gear that was inadvertently available will soon be removed, and the Honor spent refunded.
As always, we appreciate everyone who reported it to us, so that we could act quickly to ensure fair play.
Today's hotfixes bring raid changes and fixes, for Magtheridon's Lair as well as Karazhan, in addition to a Warlock Arena fix and more.
June 17 (Source)
Warlocks are no longer revealed on the arena frames if they sacrifice a demon before the gates have opened. Magtheridon’s Lair Fixed animation issues with Blast Wave and Quake. Blast Nova now always has a raid warning when cast. Blast Nova will no longer be immediately recasted if he was interrupted before he began channeling. Developers' note: Magtheridon's Blast Wave was set up in original Burning Crusade in a way that it was possible for players to see a raid warning for an attack that would never come, or for Mag to use an ability without warning. These misbehaviors were recreated in Burning Crusade Classic as we matched the boss configuration with our pre-nerf reference. With the fixes above, we've made it so that Blast Wave is used consistently after a raid warning, and no longer fails to be put on cooldown if interrupted during its cast. Karazhan Fixed an issue where Shade of Aran's Dragon Breath was dealing more damage than intended. Fixed an issue where the title "Champion of the Naaru" would be repeatedly granted to players who had earned it.
It seems some switches were turned on a LOT earlier than intended and the Burning Crusade Classic PvP vendors were selling some Season 2 gear pieces for a short time. Plenty of players got their hands on them, many of them streamers, and now there's a public outcry that said items haven't been removed yet.
Not all Season 2 gear was available, apparently only off-set gear pieces were (or just the one ring, it's unclear at the moment), as one particular streamer seems to be using the epic version of the Veteran's Band of Triumph (as only the rare version if available at the moment):
As you can see, the title and most of the comments in the thread above (and others) seem to assume that the items won't be removed, but that seems impossible, despite the fact it's been a few days since the bug occurred. Especially with Blizzard's recent fairly aggressive action with the Karazhan Chess resets, the AFK battleground and bot banwaves, it's extremely unlikely this doesn't get addressed very soon.
Now, that doesn't mean anyone will be getting suspended here, as what seems to have happened is that the PvP vendors were simply offering the Season 2 gear for a while, and players could normally buy it, without any additional action on their part. An argument could be made that some players knew better and abused the bug, carrying the gear into Arenas and getting an unfair advantage for just being in the right place at the right time, but Blizzard can't really assume that's ALL the players that bought this gear. An unknowing player that didn't think much of the significantly better stats on the item could just Have bought it naturally and perhaps not given it a second thought. It would be pretty hard to prove otherwise (despite it being pretty obvious for some players), and would require going on a player-by-player basis, which just seems very impractical.
So the best we can hope for is a swift removal of the items in question, whether with or without a refund of the marks and honor spent to buy them. But it seems clear that this will happen, perhaps a little too slow for some, but the current doomsaying in the reddit threads is just a little ridiculous, as it truly seems impossible that Blizzard won't address this.
Blizzard are bringing the banhammer down in BCC, but this time using a measured and careful approach, as some players have been suspended for significant amounts of time for exploiting Karazhan, but others that did the same thing are not, and it actually all makes sense.
As initially mentioned by alecn and many others in several reddit threads, there's two things going on here and three groups of players. First off, the key thing is that the Chess event is (was?) exploitable, as players could reset it and basically get the same loot again, repeatedly. Unfortunately there was also a bug that saw the doors to the Chess room closed if the raid left the instance after the encounter was completed (as many did to resume at a later time), and so the only option was to use the exploit and reset it in order to gain access to the rest of the raid.
We then have the three separate player groupings that used the exploit for different reasons and in different amounts:
Players that abused the exploit and reset the event many times, who received suspensions (possibly a 2 week default, or based on previous infractions, we don't have enough data to be sure) and most likely/almost certainly got all the extra loot removed. Players that used the exploit once due to the door bug, who did not get any suspensions nor got their extra loot taken. Players that used the exploit a few times in order to get more loot (in one example so they could actually clear the raid that week, as they were lacking gear). There are players reporting doing it 3 times and not receiving any punishment. And so Blizzard acted pretty swiftly, didn't overreact and just suspend everyone, and seem to have done about as well as could be expected. There may be an argument for the 3-reset crowd needing to at least get their extra gear removed, but that's most likely a VERY small number of players. The relative caution in handing out the suspensions is especially good to see after the recent problematic bot banwave which caught many players that were simply using Console Port (which you can read more about here) .
More BCC hotfixes arrive with a fix for the Consecration threat bug and more.
June 15 (Source)
Short term buffs are no longer removed upon the Arena gates opening, true to 2.4.3 reference. Fixed an issue where the events from “Deathblow to the Legion” Netherstorm quest could fail to progress. Paladins who are defeated in Netherstorm or Tempest Keep dungeons and resurrect automatically at the Spirit Healer will once again generate threat with their periodic abilities. Fixed an issue where weapon master’s would also teach the Crossbows skill when learning the Bows skill. Fixed an issue where Priest’s Shadowfiend would attack enemies that are crowd-controlled. Fixed an issue where some dungeons and raids were not applying PvP rules on PvP servers, causing PvP flags to incorrectly expire.