I’ve already briefly commented on this, both on The Republic and on Corellian Run Radio but I want to comment further on this issue and put it to rest. As they promised at the Community Cantina at Pax South, Bioware has come out detailing how they’re going to be dealing with the infamous Ravagers Exploit. Musco recently made a shiny yellow post explaining the action they have taken against exploiters.
Yes, there has been. Temporary suspensions were handed out and schematics were taken away. But, if Reddit is anything to go by, there has been some disparity/inconsistency in the action Bioware is taking against exploiters. Some players are getting 1 day suspensions, others are getting 3 day suspensions for running similar numbers of characters through the exploit. Other people who have only done the exploit once or twice haven’t even been emailed with at least a warning.
Everyone who did they exploit should have treated equally according to how severe the punishment was regardless of how prominent they are in the community. There are reports of players who did not get any action taken against their account even though others who did it in a similar fashion did. It is disappointing to hear that prominent members of the community can get away with exploiting. They should not be treated any differently. They above everyone else should know better than to do these kinds of exploits and probably should receive harsher punishment for being so negligent and because they are in the limelight.
The lack of meaningful action taken sets a precedent that lowers the severity of the exploit and encourages others to exploit in the future.
I think most people are happy that there was some visible action taken. We’ve never seen this level of communication in regards to an exploit before. So most a pretty impressed in that regard. But most feel the action taken was too lenient. If the reaction by the exploiters is anything to go by, most don’t see the action taken against them as a deterrent.
They see the punishment they got as a complete joke and would do an exploit again. Is this what our community has become? People who don’t give a damn about the consequences of their action’s? Players who will go to any lengths to get ahead of everyone else? Oh wait… that’s society in general..
But the point I guess I’m trying to make is gaming in general is increasingly becoming a culture where many just want to get through the content as fast as possible in the easiest manner possible. There is no patience. This is a culture that is also very permissible to
exploiting to get ahead.
But when you think of the time banned (average 24-72 hours) and compare it to the reward gained, it is worth the ban getting the loot especially since they didn’t delete the gear.. The temporary bans incurred by most are a meaningless punishment and do little to deter people from exploiting again.
The people that exploited are still ultimately blaming Bioware and think it’s just a ‘clever use of game mechanics’ which is beyond stupid. Yes, like I’ve said before, they should have dealt with the issue sooner. But they didn’t. It’s on the player. You knew what you were doing. Both the player’s and Bioware are to blame for how common this exploit got. Bioware didn’t spread the exploit to multiple server’s, the players did.
On a slightly positive note, I’d like to think that this is precedence for them to take tougher action against exploiters in the future. But I won’t get my hopes up. It’d be nice to think that those who have had action taken will have that on there record permanently so if they do exploit again, the punishment will be more severe.
What should Bioware have done?
They should have removed all the gear obtained instead of just the schematics. These players that have the gear and were actioned, still have an unfair advantage and are being rewarded for that advantage. They got off clean while those of us who were honest got nothing. (Hence my point that people are more likely to take advantage of an exploit in the future seeing as the punishment for the majority was quite minimal).
Temporarily banning people seems pretty inconsequential and like I said above isn’t much of a punishment. Perhaps for more severe cases 7 day bans would’ve been appropriate (as well as the removal of gear). But in my view removing the gear sends a clearer message. Perhaps tools should be put in place to make it easier to track and remove gear? (I don’t know much about how that would work of if it’s viable with their game engine…).
Everyone who did the exploit, even it was just once, should have received an email from Bioware (most didn’t) saying that they are aware that they did the exploit, state that it is on their record and state that harsher penalties will be incurred if they exploit again.
What can Bioware take away from this saga?
Well there are a couple of things they can learn from this. First of all, like I’ve said before, do not release a major game update just before the holidays. Unless they plan to have
people around capable of fixing and responding to bugs around so they can fix any issues that arise quickly.
Secondly, similar to the point above, respond to reports of exploits faster and try to get them fixed fast. If necessary, maybe consider temporarily barring access to the game content where the exploit is found to prevent people from doing the exploit.
Well that should wrap things up, hopefully for good.
What are your thoughts on the handling of the exploit? Do you reckon Bioware has learnt a lesson or two?by