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Posts with tag exploits

WoW Archivist: A raid exploit compendium, part 2

Exodus guild is suspended
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

If you missed last week's Archivist, I recounted some of WoW's earliest raid exploits. Guilds have been pushing for ways to make raids easier since Molten Core went live, whether for the glory of a first kill or simple convenience. This week, I'll continue our tour through this sordid side of raiding with more recent exploits. Many of them ended with suspensions.

Shadow Word: World First

In her heyday, Serpentshrine Cavern's Lady Vashj was considered one of the hardest raid bosses that the game had ever seen. In March 2007, more than two months since Serpentshrine went live with the release of The Burning Crusade, EU guild Nihilum posted screenshots of Vashj's loot and claimed the world-first kill. Nihilum was the dominant progression guild at the time, earning 20 world firsts throughout the expansion -- more than three times that of their closest competitor.

There was only one problem: An ex-member named Lewt claimed that Nihilum exploited a bug to kill Vashj. As with Razorgore and other bosses, the mechanism seemed to revolve around that troublesome spell Divine Intervention. Using the spell despawned the pillars that are connected to Vashj's health, leaving her with 1 HP. Lewt popped a Soulstone and killed her with Shadow Word: Death. He even provided a screenshot to prove it. He also went on to badmouth the guild about exploits in Blackwing Lair, gold buying practices, and even an unlikely situation where an officer was paying the guild leader's real-life bills.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: A raid exploit compendium

Ensidia banned
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

One week after Mists of Pandaria goes live, the expansion's first raid will become available and the race to world first will officially begin. To the most dedicated progression raiders, a world-first kill is a dream come true, the ultimate achievement in raiding. Other raiders are just as excited to get a regional or a realm first.

To realize those dreams, however, some guilds bend the rules. Whether you call it cheating or a "creative use of game mechanics," it's been happening throughout WoW's long raiding history. The myriad methods have been as varied and creative as the bosses themselves. Let's take a look back!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Shifting Perspectives: Fun with race choice

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we have absolutely no excuse for the column we've written.

I'll be honest; I wrote this week's column purely for brainless fun. You won't learn anything (not that you do normally), there are no insights to be gained (not that there are normally) and I don't have any new Cataclysm alpha information. I am very sorry to anyone who came here looking for a solid, informative column, and if you wish to excoriate me in the comments then I encourage you to do so.

Anyway. When it comes to druids, the deal with race choice is that you don't really have any. If you play Alliance, you have to play a night elf; if you play Horde, you have to play a tauren. We're the most race-restricted class in the game, and even in Cataclysm, that's not really going to change.

Some of you might recall a bug from a little while back that allowed you to model-swap between characters on the same realm by "choosing" two of them at once. I'm pretty sure it's been fixed now, so I wouldn't bother trying it if I were you, but I had lot of fun swapping non-druid races into our various tier sets and wondering what it might have been like to play them. I screenshotted like a maniac while doing so and then set them aside for a future column whenever I felt like doing something just for fun. That would be today.

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Filed under: Druid, Humor, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Goon Squad downs Tirion Fordring


Perennial pariahs Goon Squad, Horde-side on Mal'Ganis-US, have really carved out a niche for themselves in the World of Warcraft. Well, two niches. The first is a rock-solid reputation of being the foremost trolls and griefers in the MMO market, period -- a reputation perpetuated by a community that operates mostly on word-of-mouth and lovingly crafted by the guild itself. The second is providing some of the best and most hilarious WoW videos on the internet. This one is no exception -- they managed to score a victory for the Lich King by defeating the dread paladin Fordring.

It's a rare ability, possessed by Goon Squad and a few other community figures, to be able to take the building blocks of the game experience provided by Blizzard -- strictly compartmentalized and defined by sets of incontrovertible rules -- and then cobble together something wholly new and, frankly, ridiculous out of them. You're not supposed to be able to bring together two often-'shipped faction leaders for an impromptu date. You're not supposed to be able to blow the Wintergrasp fortress wall to smithereens in a minute's time. You're certainly not supposed to be able to kill the head of the Argent Crusade who, by the way, should learn to cast Consecrate.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor

Editorial: Thoughts on the Ensidia ban

Are you wondering what has caused all the ruckus in the raiding community the past few days? Have you been typing your fingers to the bone since Wednesday night, arguing for one side or the other in forums and chat channels? Whoever you are, or whatever side you're on, in the still-burning aftermath of Ensidia's ban, I feel some reflection is needed. Thus, I am going explain, to the best of my ability, what happened to cause such uproar in the raiding community this week. I am also going to, as the title implies, offer my speculations.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Bugs, Guilds, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Ensidia temporarily banned for exploits

It looks like Ensidia's 25-man world first on the Lich King will go down with an asterisk next to it, because they've all just received a three-day ban for "Abuse of in-game mechanics or glitches with intent to exploit or cheat in World of Warcraft." The Ensidia blog post reporting this is down as of this writing due to traffic, but you can still view the Google cache.

The story is that Ensidia made use of Saronite Bombs to "bypass The Lich King fight mechanics" (Saronite Bombs and similar items were disabled in a hotfix last night). In addition to the temporary ban, all items and achievements they gained from downing Arthas have been revoked. Before the ban (but after the hotfix), Ensidia put up a post claiming that they didn't think the bombs were an exploit; Blizzard obviously isn't buying it.

Meanwhile, Muqq, the Ensidia player who posted about the ban, has taken this as an opportunity to quit WoW (and rant a bit at Blizzard about "half-assed encounters"), saying "to ban people when they do not know what's causing the bugs is just a [expletive] joke."

Update: It's worth a mention that the language Muqq used at the end of his post is identical (save places and names) to this post by Tigole (scroll to the bottom -- it's the last thing on the page), written of EverQuest in 2002. Be warned, neither of these are safe for work.

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding

Client bug allows you to swap character models


We've been sitting on this one for a few days now to let people have their fun before we draw a little too much attention to it, but there's a rather interesting bug in the patch 3.2.2 client: you can glitch out the model being loaded for your character upon login, and switch it with that of another character. We don't know how long it's been around or how long it will stay, but watch the video above (which is pretty large, our apologies) for a demonstration.

The WoW.com staff has confirmed it works, though the timing required is very precise. You need to be quick, but being too fast hitting one or the other is just as bad as being too slow. A few of us found that we had to slow down our fingers to do it properly, because "fast" to a hardcore FPS gamer is very different than "fast" to a casual MMO gamer. Click first, hit enter second. Not the other way around.

Whether this falls into exploit territory or not, we don't really know. What we do know is that the model 'swap' is only visible for you on your client, nobody else sees it, so nobody else should be impacted by it. It's also only graphical, no benefits carry over from one character to the next. You might see your epic iLevel 258 shield on your level 1 rogue, but you won't have the stats. You can't be a Horde draenei to anybody but yourself, so no screwing with people in battlegrounds. You can't be a unique snowflake like an undead paladin to anybody but yourself.

It's a whole lot of fun to see what a draenei rogue would look like, or a gnome druid. Check out the gallery below to see what came out of WoW.com's experimentation, and a few from our friends, too.

Filed under: Bugs, Humor

Patch 3.2.0a being deployed today


You've read that right, there is a new patch that is dropping today, and right now. Patch 3.2.0a. This patch is a small one, yet important one that is fixing a variety of client issues that have been present since Patch 3.2. This is the first time in quite a while that a patch has not dropped on a Tuesday, and that one has come without any prior notice.

Of particular note with this patch is fixing of the "dump macros" that were being used by numerous rogues. Ghostcrawler hinted earlier in the day that there would be a fix for this soon, but it's surprising to see it solved so quickly.

There are also some graphic fixes in the game that many people should be pleased about. In particular for Mac users.

The full announcement, including patch notes, after the break.

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Filed under: Patches, News items

The Queue: Exploits and dirty cheats


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

The video embedded in today's edition of The Queue isn't a silly music video this time around, I'm afraid. No funny business today. Today is for game faces. Today is for serious business. Today is for italic letters.

Sashay asked...

"I have found a glitch that has caused many people to have their hearts broken.

This glitch is the "underground" mining technique that people use so they will not be attacked by enemies. Does this happen because they found a "Under Stormwind" glitch somewhere in Northrend? Maybe they put their toon in the tourney castle before it was built and now they are under everything?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, The Queue

WoW Insider Show live on Ustream this afternoon

Over 200 years ago, our forefathers put forth a document that not only declared the Independence of one of the greatest nations in the world, but also sundered the connection between the old country of Great Britain and the new United States of America. Now, all this time later, Turpster and I do the WoW Insider Show together, and basically undo all that work those smart guys did way back when. This week we'll have an especially good one, as Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, and Michael "Belfaire" Sacco are all coming on the show all together. Just in case you thought they were all the same person (some sort of former Blizzard CM/blog posting/contributing editor maniac), we'll prove you wrong.

And there'll probably be fireworks as well: we'll be talking about faction changes, the changes to raiding in patch 3.2 (including the extended lockouts and the new universal armor tokens), Blizzard and how they're dealing with raiding exploits, and oh yeah, something called Cataclysm. Plus, we'll answer your emails and chat live with you on the our Ustream page. It all starts off at July 4, 2009 3:30 PM EDT. We'll see you there.

Oh, and next week, since both Turpster and I will be out of town (for summer vacation, of course), we'll have another special midweek show for those of you who can't tune in on the weekend. Thursday, July 9th at 6pm Eastern, we'll have a live show going on, so mark that on your calendar and we'll see you then as well. Both shows will end up on the iTunes feed as usual, but if you want to tune in and listen live, please do.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, WoW Insider Show

The Daily Quest: They really are


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, The Daily Quest

Player receives Developer item in the mail, one-shots Ulduar

Update April 30th, 2009: Karatechop's account has been closed. Read the full story here.

We first received a tip on a mysterious guild that was blowing through Ulduar's hardest achievements one after the other, all in one day, about a day or two ago. Their gear and raid experience stated very well that they were in no position to do any of those achievements, but we sort of shrugged and let it pass by. It was odd that these players were barely in Naxxramas gear, and their first recorded Kel'thuzad kill was only two weeks prior to their explosion of Ulduar achievements, but we initially ignored these reports because surely, nobody could be hacking the game. On top of that, the forum threads submitted to us all had so many posts deleted from them that they were completely incomprehensible. There was nothing solid about any of it.

Tips on it are still flooding our mailboxes today and a bit more information has surfaced, so let's look into it a little, shall we? The guild is The Marvel Family of US-Vek'nilash. The character Karatechop is the one that has attracted the most attention, and you'll see why in just a moment. If you look over his gear, it's not that bad, really. Epic tank gear, a lot of it from Naxxramas, so it's feasible that he could make some progress through Ulduar. It gets weird when you go to his Statistics and/or Achievements panels. Let's go to his statistics first.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Bugs, Blizzard

Guardian talks to Chinese goldsellers and UK buyers

UK paper The Guardian has a look at what life is like at a Chinese goldselling company. It's interesting, but we've basically seen it before -- the small room of young people working almost 24/7 to make and deliver gold in-game, the concerns about worker livelihood and the supposedly large amounts of money going through these businesses (there's one figure quoted of £700m, which is about $980 million, but that's an estimate -- no one really knows how much these companies are making).

But what's really interesting about this piece is that it seems to treat goldselling as more of an "opportunity" than anything else. The people running the companies are making money, the employees are getting a roof over their head and a steady paycheck, and even the guy making the film talks about how governments should start taking a cut of this industry. Nowhere is it actually mentioned that Blizzard considers these companies to be against the terms of service, or that many times the gold obtained by these companies isn't earned through simple grinding, but by hacking, keylogging, and exploiting. Even if (emphasis on the if) these companies are making millions of dollars a year, they're stealing accounts and cheating in-game to do it.

Rowenna Davis also did interviews with both the gold farmer and a player in the UK buying money from him (bannz0red?), but again, there's no insight at all from the player whose account was hacked and bank was looted, or the player who is able to earn as much gold as they need and have a life outside the game (there are plenty of those to go around). Would have been nice to see the issue from players who aren't actually breaking the game's terms of service.

Thanks, Bryn!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Guildwatch: Puppies can cause drama, too


This is Xander. You might think he's just a cute puppy, but no -- he's a drama-causing ball of AFK fury. A player in our drama section this week is the proud new owner of Xander, but the puppy caused so much AFK time for him that it rubbed his group the wrong way. Look in his eyes -- you can see he's got the power to split guilds and wipe groups at will!

Lots more drama, downed news, and recruiting notices in this week's Guildwatch, which starts right after the break. Unfortunately, that's the only story that's puppy-related, but we've got lots of dead dragons and guild transfers. There's even a Blue appearance this week!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: To bug or not to bug

We reported last night that some of the PvP gear was being shown as discounted or even free, and players were reportedly flooding the vendors, trying to pick up cheap gear. Of course, we also warned that taking bugged gear could be considered an exploit, even as some veteran players warned that taking free gear could result in a server rollback, suspended accounts, or even banning.

Therein lies the question: did you bite? I can see arguments for both sides: maybe you stood your moral ground, said that that gear wasn't really supposed to be free, and didn't try to take advantage of a mistake one of Blizzard's coders made. Or maybe you said, "well, if it's on the live realms, it must be legit," and looted as much of the gear as you could (and maybe you're paying for it, too, either now or later this week).

So what'd you do? This isn't the first time a game-changing exploit has made loot accessible to players when it shouldn't be, so if given a possible exploit in the game, do you grab away and let Blizzard worry about their own mistakes, or do you decide not to take advantage of mistakes Blizzard didn't mean to make and wait for them to fix it while you do things fairly?

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Odds and ends, Economy, Breakfast Topics

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