Let’s talk about what is and what isn’t.
Back in Star Wars Galaxies, my guildleader wanted to compile a list of definitive game exploits (a list, not a how-to, ffs) so he could point to the list and say “don’t do these.” Ya, like we have 195 hours to write up every little thing … it just can’t be done. So, we settled on making a short list of activities that were FOR SURE exploits: duping credits, double-slicing weapons or armor, yadda yadda. All the “gee, ya think?” type exploits.
On the surface, this seems like something you shouldn’t have to write down for people, but you really do. The Stupid, they live among us.
Anyways, I have my own internal system for deciding if I’m exploiting or if I’m just being incredibly clever. I have made a VISUAL AID for the discussion.
It’s all so simple when it involves professional graphics.
Now, usually, it’s that proverbial gray area that produces all the problems. Game company says That Part of the gray area is an exploit; the players say That Part is not. Some games allow perching for example, most do not. I can promise you that Overlord Sony most definitely frowns on perching.
I, as a general rule, don’t perch ever because, c’mon, beating on a mob when it can’t hit you back is akin to doing Ovaltine jokes.
However, there was one game when I just didn’t give a shit: Anarchy Online missions. Maybe they finally fixed this, I don’t know, but back in AO early days, some of the mission zones had these water rooms with multiple mobs, so unless I wanted to get my ass beat down and fast, I’d inch along the wall into the room to get a single. Most of the time, this worked just fine and the mob would beat me, I’d beat him, and eventually he’d die (or I would, depends on my skeelz that day).
Some of the time, the mob would get hung up in the water and I could beat him (well duh, I’d move around until I could hit him), but he’d stand there swinging at air, apparently hung up on the geometry. I’d manuver around a bit to give the mob a fighting chance, but there was no way in hell I was going to aggro the other room mobs to compensate for piss poor pathing.
To me, that was gray area and most of the time, I judge the gray area in my favor. If I was intentionally aligning my character so I could beat him without getting beat upon, that would be cheating — this was gray area.
Over the weekend, our Blizzard overlords suspended a bunch of players for exploiting high-end content (Blizz words, not mine). Quoting Fangtooth, Blizzard handmaiden:
Recently, the Game Master staff found certain players repeatedly exploiting specific high-end content in Molten Core. The raid participants continued this exploitation after being asked to stop. At this time, we are issuing suspensions to all accounts involved.
We encourage players to actively explore and defeat these encounters, but we ask that it is done in a manner intended by the design of the game. Using exploits is not something we tolerate. When possible, we will educate players on what is and is not intended by game design. If this education goes unheeded, action can and will be taken against those involved.
CHEATERS!!! Right? Not so fast. More details per Blizzard’s Maleki (post #21):
To be a little more specific, the guild in question was using repeated line of sight exploits which prevented the mobs from attacking back. Also, using a pulling exploit which allowed them to only agro boss mobs. Both are considered exploits, and the guild in question was previously warned the night before. We want to reiterate that exploitation of high end content will not be tolerated.
Hmmm. Still sounds bad. Probably over in that Cheating area on the chart. No wait!! Player Felzen in post #48 gives details of the encounter (which Blizzard subsequently responds to, so I’m guessing this is a fair player account of the whole mess):
This is what oyu guys are wanting to know.
The guild in question was warned not to do it. They did NOT ever repeate it after the warning. They did not use line of sight exploits ever.
The guild pulled by having a warlock summon a rogue who tagged a mob. The mob then ran to the raid group and the guild killed him with his guards present and offtanked as the encoutner was intended.
So, No pulling using warlock summons. No pulling using hunter snare traps followed by feigning.
And Maleki responds in post #59 (excerpted):
Ok, so basically your saying the guild in question must be warned for every variation of the exploit? Last night, the GM let you all off with a simple warning. Less than 24 hours later, you proceed back to do the same thing.
You left out pulling the boss mob across the entirely spawned zone. Sounds to me like this is exactly how the encounter was designed. Not to mentioned you where warned less than 24 hours previous.
I enjoyed post #44 by player Solanthious of the Lightbringer server:
So, basically, what you’re saying is that the hunter “exploit” and the old EQ CoH pull tactic are exploits because you “Blizzard” wants the adds killed at a boss or before a boss?
Do I need to remind a certain dev about pulling AHR without clearing?
(I don’t even know if that certain dev ever used that … technique, but still is funny.)
From my skimming of the 20+ page thread, it seems Blizzard has an issue with players using class abilities to selectively pull shit. Like rogues and warlocks working together (GOD NO!) and hunters using feign death and snare to snake out the mobs they want. Reading the greater details of the incident, it seems like it’s not line of sight at all, rather it’s players being clever, once again.
If Blizz doesn’t want players to be clever in this particular manner in this particular encounter, then disable the damn abilities in that zone. Or, redesign the whole thing. They can’t run around suspending people for being clever. Well, they can, but they look like COMPLETE idiots.
We needed to get our hunter to a particular quest mob, buried deep in this dumass elite zone. We could have killed every single mob along the way and in an hour or so arrived at our destination, but why would we when we don’t have to?
The rogues stealthed through and waited in the quest room, the hunter feigned his way through, and at the final room, hunter popped up, called the pet, the rogues unstealthed, and we commenced the killing. Was that how that encounter was intended?
How the fuck would I know.