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|Bob 03.14.2016 15:32|
Dear Pathfinder Online customer:
Last week, we sadly had to permanently ban a small number of players who had taken advantage of a duplication bug in the game to gain a huge advantage for themselves. The logs we gathered showed that they repeatedly took advantage of the bug and built up large stockpiles of high level goods. We have permanently banned all their accounts, and are in the process of dissolving their companies and removing their duplicated goods from the game. Without the support of those companies, the settlements of Live Oak and New Rathglen will soon be vulnerable to hostile takeovers. We also deployed a server-side patch to fix the underlying bug these players were taking advantage of.
Remember that in the Terms of Service, which you agreed to when you downloaded the game, cheating in any way is prohibited and could lead to being permanently banned. In a sandbox world, one of the most dangerous bugs is the duplication bug because of its ability to destroy the economy and potentially require some sort of reset of the game if the damage is too large. Thankfully, it looks like the accounts involved were stockpiling things and parsing them out in very small quantities. Thus the damage stayed contained in their restricted vaults for the most part. But the damage could have become irreversible if those stockpiles had been loosed into the game world.
The best watchdogs for these kinds of illicit activities are other players. We were tipped off to the possibility of duping by a number of other players and it was their messages that got us on the trail of the perpetrators. During the last few weeks, we have developed diagnostic tools that will help us to monitor the game better and catch cheaters before they get too far. But you are our first line of defense and we would like to thank those who helped us with this situation.
So what should you do if you find a dupe bug in the game, or see or hear of any other situation that sounds hinky? First off, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what happened, even if you’re not sure exactly what happened and just find the situation suspicious. Give us the name of the character, the server time (you will find that in the lower right corner of the game screen), and any details you can about what happened. The smallest little details can be very helpful. We will pull the logs for that character for that timeframe and see if we can see what happened, but eyewitness accounts almost always help quite a bit.
Secondly, don't put yourself in a position to activate the dupe bug or other exploit again. Once you know about it, stay away from it until it is fixed. Do not attempt to test around it on the Live servers in order to provide better bug reports. Any such testing should be done in consultation with us and on the Zog Test Servers (if you need access, just send a request to email@example.com). As you can see with this situation, we do review our logs on occasion and repeated activation of an exploit is a clear sign that it’s being used intentionally. Knowingly activating an exploit breaks the Terms of Service and is grounds for a permanent ban.
Working together, we can maintain the sanctity of the game world in Pathfinder Online and enjoy it for years to come. Thanks again to everyone that helped us with this situation!
The Goblinworks Team
|Vadaryl 03.14.2016 15:58|
One question will this include removal of Small Holdings by Characters with banned accounts?
|Bob 03.14.2016 16:15|
Yes, as soon as we can figure out the best way to do that. It's possible it will require a new tool, in which case they probably won't get removed until the next build is ready.