Anti-Aliased: When you can't hack it legitimately, cheat instead pt. 2

Seraphina Brennan
S. Brennan|02.04.09

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Anti-Aliased: When you can't hack it legitimately, cheat instead pt. 2

It's all the company's fault

Yes, it's all their fault that they didn't notice that they misplaced that one period in thousands upon thousands of lines of code. It's their fault that they don't run Salvage 40,000 times a week and check every rock and pebble in Vana'diel.

People who make this rationale probably never looked at the innards of a program -- especially an MMO. You have lines of programming being done by multiple authors and you have logs that extend miles long. Even with specialized programs, it takes time to sift through all of that information.

Case in point: Square-Enix fixed this glitch in November and banned people in late January. The delay wasn't because they were playing ping-pong in the basement and drinking beer. It was the double-edged decision of first finding who stood to gain on all of their servers, and then deciding an appropriate punishment. That takes time.

You know, this probably would have been caught sooner if more people would have stood up and reported it, instead of, you know, trying to conceal it. Then, when they get caught concealing it, they blame the company for not knowing about it. That's just poor form.

The game owes me

The game owes you what? It owes you for all the time you spent playing it, enjoying the challenges with your friends and engaging in an ever-changing world?

Certainly I'm horribly opinionated, but I like to play games for fun. Whenever a game ceases to be fun to me, I stop playing and stop paying. I play because I enjoy it, and I hope other people are out there doing the same.

FFXI may be an exercise in sadistic game design, but every player has the chance to walk away from Vana'diel. I did because I didn't have the time and I ended up enjoying the lore of World of Warcraft. If you are at the point that you hate the game so much that you believe it owes you something for your time spent playing it, then perhaps it's time to take a step back from it. There are plenty of other options in the game world.

But Square-Enix isn't without fault

The voices of the banned are right about one thing though -- Square-Enix has been inconsistent. Some people are getting banned for being in one of these cheating Salvage runs, and others are getting slaps on the wrists. There doesn't seem to be any clear consistency to how they slapped down the punishments.

The first part of a reliable punishment is to make sure it's handed out consistently and with appropriate measure. Without that, people second guess if the punishment is truly necessary. It's like if a professor gave you a D on a test just because he didn't like your hand writing. Your answers never mattered, and that's what makes you angry -- it didn't feel justifyable.

What it all comes down to

Even with Square-Enix messing up like that, it doesn't change the facts. Players knew about the exploit, players attempted to hide the exploit, Square-Enix found the exploit, and players got what they should have known was coming. All of these people had the chance to stand up, call a GM, and say what was going on.

If they had and this problem would have been caught earlier, bans probably wouldn't have been mentioned. These people would still have had their accounts. Certainly they would have less gear on those accounts, but it's really hard to use virtual weaponry when you can't log in.

Colin Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who can still log into Final Fantasy XI when he wants to. When he's not writing here for Massively, he's over running Epic Loot For All! with his insane friends. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at colin.brennan AT weblogsinc DOT com, or follow him on Twitter.
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