The Elder Scrolls Online "Dupe Bug" Takes Guild Banks Offline - Update

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The Elder Scrolls Online "Dupe Bug" Takes Guild Banks Offline - Update

The Elder Scrolls Online art

ZeniMax has disabled guild banks in The Elder Scrolls Online because of a dupe bug that's breaking the in-game economy.

Update: ZeniMax has issued a statement saying the dupe bug has been fixed. "Yesterday, we identified an item duping bug in ESO that some players chose to exploit," a rep said. "We acted quickly, and have since fixed the issue. We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to abusing exploitable bugs, and those who were found doing so will have their game account permanently banned."

There is still no word on when guild banks will be restored.

Original story: A dupe bug, for those unfamiliar with the term, allows players of online games to duplicate in-game items at will, which they can then sell to vendors for effectively unlimited money. As you might imagine, that throws game economies completely out of whack, which is why developers tend to move rather aggressively to stamp them out.

One such bug has struck The Elder Scrolls Online, which a Reddit user described as "so simple... that it is possible to do it by pure accident." According to the post, the bug has been known among players for more than a week, and the situation has grown so bad that a full recovery may require "something drastic."

"Players in full legendary gear, billions of gold (From duping mats and selling them to vendors over and over), and so much more. Money, items, etc is completely worthless," Reddit user Mistress-Rarity wrote. "People are completely panicking that Zenimax will have to drop a nuke, but nobody knows what they can do to fix the problem."

ZeniMax posted a notice in The Elder Scrolls Online forums early this morning that "Guild bank functionality has been temporarily disabled on the North American and European megaservers," but said nothing about why it was pulled. The l.04 patch released yesterday reportedly addresses the issue to some extent by forcing players to stack items in inventory before placing them in guild banks, but some users have suggested that it covers up the bug rather than fixing it, and how ZeniMax will address the economic damage already done remains unclear.

Source: Reddit, The Elder Scrolls Online forums

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From what I've read about the community, this "bug" has been known about for over 3 weeks of Beta PRIOR to the game's official launch. That means the developer was well aware of it, but gave no care/chance to fix it before the main game's launch. But then again, this game seems to be more of a single-player game with multiplayer chat/PvP. Too bad the subscription isn't justified.

Captcha: buy some time

Ah duping bugs. Ruining MMO economies since 1997.

At this point, it's just traditional. May as well leave it in.

Not like those in-game economies actually work anyway.

Okay, hands up: is there ANYONE who thinks anything titled "Elder Scrolls" has even the slightest chance of not being released with at least a handful of game breaking bugs?

Chaosritter:
Okay, hands up: is there ANYONE who thinks anything titled "Elder Scrolls" has even the slightest chance of not being released with at least a handful of game breaking bugs?

Completely different developer, different engine altogether. It just stinks of yet another MMO rushed to release long before it's ready. Retail beta-testers seems to be the new trend these days.

It's Neverwinter all over again. Sanity Checks are useful.

Well, I think every MMO has had a bank-related duping bug by now. However, this does not explain why it passed QA (they should test for such things specifically) and why it stayed unfixed for so long. Of course stuff like this can still happen but at least their damage control should be better and from what I hear there are some other game breaking bugs (& progression-blocking bgs) in the game.

Well, if they take the route Square-Enix took with FFXI, their solution will be to quietly collect information for a little while and then ban everyone who participated. This sounds arguably more severe than the two major such incidents in FFXI's history, but a server rollback and mass banning would tend to discourage people from similar behavior.

I can't help but laugh. This would not be an issue If they had implemented the Multiplayer that the FANS of the series wanted, rather than the MMO the CEO wanted.

Everybody I have ever spoke to on the subject was just looking to be able to bring your save over to a friends, and have 2-player co-operative, OFFLINE. I'm no programmer so please somebody tell me if it would be more feasible to have released a patch in the form of say a $15-20 DLC that allowed such a feature, or make a whole new MMO? Or even why from a technical standpoint, this can't happen.

I know it won't happen as long as the Marketing department lives by the idea that local multilayer mean Units not sold.

SilverStuddedSquirre:
I can't help but laugh. This would not be an issue If they had implemented the Multiplayer that the FANS of the series wanted, rather than the MMO the CEO wanted.

Everybody I have ever spoke to on the subject was just looking to be able to bring your save over to a friends, and have 2-player co-operative, OFFLINE. I'm no programmer so please somebody tell me if it would be more feasible to have released a patch in the form of say a $15-20 DLC that allowed such a feature, or make a whole new MMO? Or even why from a technical standpoint, this can't happen.

I know it won't happen as long as the Marketing department lives by the idea that local multilayer mean Units not sold.

For something like Multiplayer Skyrim? It might have worked but they usually balance these things around risk/reward where they take into account how many people will actually use it and if it actually adds anything to the game.

The issue with ESO is it didn't start development 2 years ago. Its been worked on since 2007, so I don't think they saw Skyrim exploding into such a megalithic success but, lo and behold, it brought so many people who probably didn't even know what Elder Scrolls was into the scene thanks to savvy marketing and, well, dragons.

So, I can't tell you if the DLC would have paid off but, to be fair, it's not like they up and decided this MMO needed to be made as soon as Skyrim launched. This train wreck has been in the making since Burning Crusade was relevant.

Raesvelg:
Well, if they take the route Square-Enix took with FFXI, their solution will be to quietly collect information for a little while and then ban everyone who participated. This sounds arguably more severe than the two major such incidents in FFXI's history, but a server rollback and mass banning would tend to discourage people from similar behavior.

might not be the best way recedent to have a rollback 2 weeksafter release...

OT: lol!

Ligisttomten:

Chaosritter:
Okay, hands up: is there ANYONE who thinks anything titled "Elder Scrolls" has even the slightest chance of not being released with at least a handful of game breaking bugs?

Completely different developer, different engine altogether. It just stinks of yet another MMO rushed to release long before it's ready. Retail beta-testers seems to be the new trend these days.

The question was if there's any chance for a TES without game breaking bugs. There are several spin off's by different devs, and they all suffer from critical problems. Like it's some kind of curse...

Also, broken full price games are hardly something new. In fact we're straight on our way to full price alpha versions, keyword being "early access".

This is kinda depressing, I've really been enjoying this game. Now I have to worry about what they're going to do with the game now that this has happened.

Kind of annoys me that people would exploit this to the degree that they probably have and somewhat ruin it for others. Guess I'll be sticking to doing everything solo or my group of friends and hope everything works out nicely.

Maybe they'll just go the blizzard route with D3 and not bother giving a rats ass and instead just make gold and almost all items BOA, because, y'know, that's such a great idea!

...Sigh, my cynicism is showing again. On topic though, even disregarding the ES in ESO, disregarding the fact that a completely different company worked on it, disregarding the fact that this bug was found during the beta(Of which several like this were found in the D3 ROS beta but they still haven't fixed some of them until now, 3 weeks post launch.) things like this depress me, I'm amazed we've come to this point where we allow things like this to happen, but at the same time, I realize the majority of the populace is actually composed of people smart enough to go about their daily lives but not smart enough to form complex thoughts or opinions on their own.

Yup, my cynicism is out in full force today. God damn.

On the one hand, I feel for the players who are being negatively affected, on the other hand, I feel those players should just say "Fuck it" and see where it goes from there.

I can't remember the last time you could dupe items in World of Warcraft for example (mounts sure), but not items.

Or perhaps it was so long ago that I forgot, but I can't seem to recall any of that happening throughout all the 10 years that I have played it.

"Burny" captcha: too salty!

Deathfish15:
From what I've read about the community, this "bug" has been known about for over 3 weeks of Beta PRIOR to the game's official launch. That means the developer was well aware of it, but gave no care/chance to fix it before the main game's launch. But then again, this game seems to be more of a single-player game with multiplayer chat/PvP. Too bad the subscription isn't justified.

Captcha: buy some time

It's unsurprising really. First time MMOs don't necessarily work out well, especially if the studio approaching it already has a multitude of issues in keeping game-breaking bugs out of their games in the first place (such as losing an entire city's worth of quests, literally, because you ended up accepting a quest that warped you into the city instead of walking there).

Besides, I very much doubt they are approaching this game like an MMO, and more like an "Elder Scrolls game people need to pay constantly for instead of once". Cynical as it may be, I have seen nothing to contradict it, especially when taking how they've handled other things as well.

As for what they can do to rectify this... I doubt there is anything. If the bug is so simple that anyone can do it by accident, that means there's a very strong possibility that a majority of the players have, unwittingly or willingly, partook in this. Honestly, I'd see it be pretty hard NOT to do it, if what I read of how it works is true. People likely kept withdrawing something and weren't sure they got it since it was still in the banks, hence why it was pulled.

They could nuke the game back to release state and have everyone play from the beginning all over again (though I doubt anyone would, its absolutely boring). They could try to just ban people, but again, its so pathetically simple that anyone has likely done this multiple times by accident without realizing it. And since it was known about in beta, and Zenimax was constantly deleting posts mentioning it then and at release... well. Their fault.

DarkhoIlow:
I can't remember the last time you could dupe items in World of Warcraft for example (mounts sure), but not items.

Or perhaps it was so long ago that I forgot, but I can't seem to recall any of that happening throughout all the 10 years that I have played it.

"Burny" captcha: too salty!

Thing is most items worth having are binding... I know duping is still possible but the risk and costs involved with doing it on WoW just isn't worth it to most hackers. Even the occasional mount duping outbreak get snuffed out pretty quick.

As such the economies in WoW tend to function as you would expect, lower prices on crowded servers, higher on low, undercutting and reselling quite simple.

*rolls around in WoW money pit*

Where as in newer games where every tom dick and harry is doing it because their friends, cousin, uncle, knows this super rad cheat, its easier to hide more sophisticated organizations and gold selling. And since most are free to play, the risk of getting the gold is practically not there, a simple account generator or someone managing that area would be all that is required to get right back into it, with a handful of legitimate seeming accounts handling all the transfers.

But this? This is just catastrophic, and in a sub game too, and I mean I was not enthralled by the beta of this game, but that sucks Zenimax. Get it the hell together.

Ligisttomten:

Chaosritter:
Okay, hands up: is there ANYONE who thinks anything titled "Elder Scrolls" has even the slightest chance of not being released with at least a handful of game breaking bugs?

Completely different developer, different engine altogether.

Even if we ignore the fact that it was a strikingly blatant joke that you missed, Skyrim used a completely different engine to Oblivion, but was still riddled with a ridiculous amount of bugs.

I can't say I'm surprised this happened, but I am curious about what the actual response will be. If it was easy enough to do that players could do it accidentally without even knowing about it, I wonder how they will end up defining "abuse" of the glitch. A perma-ban is a pretty rough punishment so I'd hope they have some actual way of differentiating between those who did it accidentally and those who did it intentionally (and, as for abuse, maybe those who did it a lot).

if you had a fast mouse finger and like to click stuff this can get you banned.

thats the level this is at.

So they went right to the banning-stage of fixing issues. Yeah i cant see this backfiring at all. /sarcasm

Just fix the exploit, look for the people who have too much gold, reduce the gold by 90%, take away any duped items and call it a day. Outright banning people does not help you, in fact you should ignore this because it means people will abuse and break the game in any effort to get ahead, which helps you with finding shit like this.

If you ban them, that means any exploit found will be kept strictly confidential, nobody will be told how to do it or what it is. It wont be reported and the few who find it can profit. Banning offenders isnt the solution you're looking for.

A-D.:
So they went right to the banning-stage of fixing issues. Yeah i cant see this backfiring at all. /sarcasm

Just fix the exploit, look for the people who have too much gold, reduce the gold by 90%, take away any duped items and call it a day. Outright banning people does not help you, in fact you should ignore this because it means people will abuse and break the game in any effort to get ahead, which helps you with finding shit like this.

If you ban them, that means any exploit found will be kept strictly confidential, nobody will be told how to do it or what it is. It wont be reported and the few who find it can profit. Banning offenders isnt the solution you're looking for.

So let people break the game, so you can catch them doing it, but do nothing to punish those that do it. Yea that won't break the game at all, billions of duped gold in circulation, rulebreakers constantly looking for more inventive ways of disrupting the game without recourse....yea, no thanks.

Remus:

A-D.:
So they went right to the banning-stage of fixing issues. Yeah i cant see this backfiring at all. /sarcasm

Just fix the exploit, look for the people who have too much gold, reduce the gold by 90%, take away any duped items and call it a day. Outright banning people does not help you, in fact you should ignore this because it means people will abuse and break the game in any effort to get ahead, which helps you with finding shit like this.

If you ban them, that means any exploit found will be kept strictly confidential, nobody will be told how to do it or what it is. It wont be reported and the few who find it can profit. Banning offenders isnt the solution you're looking for.

So let people break the game, so you can catch them doing it, but do nothing to punish those that do it. Yea that won't break the game at all, billions of duped gold in circulation, rulebreakers constantly looking for more inventive ways of disrupting the game without recourse....yea, no thanks.

The game shouldn't be breakable in the first place. If the progression is the fault of the game (Bad code, dupe glitch, etc), punishment should be restricted to undoing the damage. - if it's in the game's rules/code, it's not cheating.

Banning should only be used for people who use third-party tools, modifications, software editing, and the like.

No MMO will ever be "ready." This bug slipped through. It will be remembered by all in the community as "black tuesday" (or whatever) and folks next year will still talk about it.

Maybe even for two years. Heck, they'll try to keep this one going for at least two.

Kingdom of Loathing survived a meat duplication bug. So can TES

deleayed reaction here but what the heck , a dupe bug in a elder scrols game ?????????? *mock shock horror face* NEVVVER! *cough* filled the imperial city up with cheese wedges *cough* god bless oblivion and its cheese....

Remus:

A-D.:
So they went right to the banning-stage of fixing issues. Yeah i cant see this backfiring at all. /sarcasm

Just fix the exploit, look for the people who have too much gold, reduce the gold by 90%, take away any duped items and call it a day. Outright banning people does not help you, in fact you should ignore this because it means people will abuse and break the game in any effort to get ahead, which helps you with finding shit like this.

If you ban them, that means any exploit found will be kept strictly confidential, nobody will be told how to do it or what it is. It wont be reported and the few who find it can profit. Banning offenders isnt the solution you're looking for.

So let people break the game, so you can catch them doing it, but do nothing to punish those that do it. Yea that won't break the game at all, billions of duped gold in circulation, rulebreakers constantly looking for more inventive ways of disrupting the game without recourse....yea, no thanks.

While I can certainly agree that "do nothing" is a poor policy, full-on banning people for a bug that was reported during beta and left unfixed for this long is just asinine; especially when the bug is said to be "so easy you can do it on accident." Really makes you wonder, how many of those people who got banned were actually abusing the glitch, and how many of them legitimately triggered the bug on accident.

I can certainly agree that a permanent ban is a necessary punishment to have in an MMO, but when the punishment basically means "You can't give us money anymore", you need to make sure that you're only shutting-out the people who really deserve it. Something like this bug was largely Bethesda's fault, so playing the "zero tolerance" card and full-on banning people was completely arrogant of them. Even more-so when you consider that the game is new and NEEDS players to keep itself relevant. Going too ban-happy will only scare customers away. Punishing people who exploit glitches is a delicate balance, and Bethesda went way overboard with this one.

RedBackDragon:
deleayed reaction here but what the heck , a dupe bug in a elder scrols game ?????????? *mock shock horror face* NEVVVER! *cough* filled the imperial city up with cheese wedges *cough* god bless oblivion and its cheese....

Chaosritter:
Okay, hands up: is there ANYONE who thinks anything titled "Elder Scrolls" has even the slightest chance of not being released with at least a handful of game breaking bugs?

Yes, well, it's quite a different story in an MMO than in single-player games. In something like New Vegas or Skyrim, a duping bug isn't really a huge deal. You either dupe or you don't, and the only person effected is you. If you feel that the game gets too easy when you dupe, then you can only blame yourself if you do it anyway. In an online environment, however, a bug running this rampant basically turns into a case of "exploit or lose"; especially when the bug had been reported several times in previous weeks with no acknowledgement from the developers.

It's definitely no surprise and nothing new that a Bethesda game is buggy as all heck (and yes I know it's a different developer shut up), but this is still a completely new case, and Bethesda really needs to up their game on noticing and addressing potentially game-breaking bugs like this, or else ESO is going to be a very short-lived game when people get sick of the economy being a constant mess and decide to go back to playing WoW or maybe that new Wildstar game that's coming out soon.

Wow, this game is looking better and better by the day. (Better at keeping me well away from MMOs, that is. Though, my The Old Republic cynicism proven right always helps, too.)

Remus:
So let people break the game, so you can catch them doing it, but do nothing to punish those that do it. Yea that won't break the game at all, billions of duped gold in circulation, rulebreakers constantly looking for more inventive ways of disrupting the game without recourse....yea, no thanks.

Going right to permabans is beyond excessive in this game's case. The Elder Scrolls is a series known for its bugs and cheats. Some guys knew this is a bannable offense in other games, but I'm sure there's plenty of people who were treating it like any other TES game out their especially if what I here about it being a "single player TES game with more than one player character active and has a monthly fee" is true. They should just ban first timers for couple days or give them a warning that this won't fly in an MMO.

Remus:

A-D.:
So they went right to the banning-stage of fixing issues. Yeah i cant see this backfiring at all. /sarcasm

Just fix the exploit, look for the people who have too much gold, reduce the gold by 90%, take away any duped items and call it a day. Outright banning people does not help you, in fact you should ignore this because it means people will abuse and break the game in any effort to get ahead, which helps you with finding shit like this.

If you ban them, that means any exploit found will be kept strictly confidential, nobody will be told how to do it or what it is. It wont be reported and the few who find it can profit. Banning offenders isnt the solution you're looking for.

So let people break the game, so you can catch them doing it, but do nothing to punish those that do it. Yea that won't break the game at all, billions of duped gold in circulation, rulebreakers constantly looking for more inventive ways of disrupting the game without recourse....yea, no thanks.

Its already been pointed out by others, but i will do it again anyway for the sake of it.

If you find a glitch in the game that lets you do something you shouldnt, and the developer finds out, either via bug report or because the method used has become so widespread and known that it is impossible to ignore, then all punishment that is needed is to remove all the items that they aquired due to said glitch.

For example if you find this one monster, that on being killed drops 2 very rare items and 1000 gold, per kill, garantueed. Then what should be done is to fix the problem with the monster and then check in the database for who hung around that area alot and is suddenly very rich, then simply take away the ill-gotten gains of exploiting the glitch for personal gain. Just banning people does not help anyone, neither the gamers, the offenders, the community in general or even the developer. Lets assume i find a glitch, abuse it a couple times to make sure that it is there and then report it, should i now be banned for "doing it a couple times"? If your answer is yes, then i will not re-purchase the game, i will not continue to give them money and i will tell anyone i know to stay the hell away from the game.

I should not have to tell you what the result is of such a thing happening not just to one person, but several hundreds if not thousands. Imagine at least every third player abused this glitch for a while, now imagine the playerbase, for easier math is 300.000 Players. You now have to ban 100.000 Players. Thats 100.000 Players who will not pay a subscription anymore. Chances are thats 100.000 Players who wont bother with your products in the future.

So no the punishment should fit the crime, if the bug is there, is known and it takes them until now to fix it? Then at best what they could do is take away any items or wealth gained from exploiting it. Outright banning them though doesnt help because chances are, if you plug that hole, a bunch of them would try to find the next one. Your argument is essentially "so there is people doing QA and bug-testing for free, lets get rid of them for breaking the game and finding the bugs".

Heard about this bug yesterday. Turns out people pvping on at least one of the pvp shards used it to exploit their way to victory. That said I doubt the economy of the game took any notice of this really considering the game doesn't really have one given that it has no auction houses outside of guild stores(guilds being limited to 500 members).

Mega Messiah:

SilverStuddedSquirre:
I can't help but laugh. This would not be an issue If they had implemented the Multiplayer that the FANS of the series wanted, rather than the MMO the CEO wanted.

Everybody I have ever spoke to on the subject was just looking to be able to bring your save over to a friends, and have 2-player co-operative, OFFLINE. I'm no programmer so please somebody tell me if it would be more feasible to have released a patch in the form of say a $15-20 DLC that allowed such a feature, or make a whole new MMO? Or even why from a technical standpoint, this can't happen.

I know it won't happen as long as the Marketing department lives by the idea that local multilayer mean Units not sold.

For something like Multiplayer Skyrim? It might have worked but they usually balance these things around risk/reward where they take into account how many people will actually use it and if it actually adds anything to the game.

The issue with ESO is it didn't start development 2 years ago. Its been worked on since 2007, so I don't think they saw Skyrim exploding into such a megalithic success but, lo and behold, it brought so many people who probably didn't even know what Elder Scrolls was into the scene thanks to savvy marketing and, well, dragons.

So, I can't tell you if the DLC would have paid off but, to be fair, it's not like they up and decided this MMO needed to be made as soon as Skyrim launched. This train wreck has been in the making since Burning Crusade was relevant.

Where do you get the idea that Bethesda didn't think Skyrim would be a huge success. If you haven't noticed, the Elder Scroll games have been rather huge since Morrowind came out, especially with the modding community. Besides, they wouldn't of wasted so much time making an Elder Scrolls MMO if they thought their game wasn't as big as it is, especially since they aren't even trying to aim for a niche audience like EVE or other smaller games.

Besides, Skyrim technically already has co op. Or at least did, as people were working on an online mod for the game, though I haven't heard too much now. And it doesn't help elder scrolls online that it feels like a poor mans Skyrim mod to a lot of people either.

This game feels like it was made in 2004. They are working on 10 year old logic and, if the visuals are anything to go by, 10 year old game systems. I look forward to 12 months from now when it is free to play.

Id they dupe stuff after finding the bug then i dont see the problem. Anyone would exploit it and i dont see why people should be banned for it as its Zenimaxs fault. But if gamers used another program to cheat, then they should be blocked. Cant ban people for exploiting a bug due to developers incompetence.

This is not an MMO, i think the best way to describe it is a solo shared game. U dont need each other, but its fun to team up to get through the dungeon faster, its so fast i just run through all of em. Theres no balance in the game at all. the dungeon bosses are heavily camped so no challenge there. just running and running and running.btw i have the running perk on lol.There are some solo bosses, but with so many quests, u can do them easily when ur 5 lvls up. There are so many armor drops, u never really need to worrie about buying something so gold doesnt matter really, i just use it to buy more space in my inventory. im lvl 33 atm maybe its gonna change when i hit 50 well see. That being said, im loving it, im playing it like i played skyrim, only i have a little help from unknown friends.

Andy Chalk:
and how Bethesda will address the economic damage already done remains unclear.

I really wish that the media didn't further confuse people about who is and isn't responsible for this game with misleading statements like this. Bethesda have absolutely nothing to do with this game.

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