So who else got banned for the stealth lib glitch?

Discussion in 'Player Support' started by sagolsun, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. sagolsun

    Much appreciated.

    Another support ticket got shot down, at this point it's clear that doing this via support tickets isn't going to work.

    I'm going to try one more move.

    Edit: Also link the thread in the sig please, that'll get more views on it.
  2. Crowne


    your initial post indicated it was "worth it." Your call. Why are you then trying to reverse the ban though? If it was worth it, then you got the satisfaction you wanted from the exploit... to reverse the ban now would only be adding to something that was already worth it, thereby increasing its worth above the value you've already noted.

    To discover a unique and novel way to use in-game mechanics for particular results isn't really the problem, I don't think. The problem is that you went ahead and used it to your advantage after discovering it. Had you simply alerted the appropriate people at SOE, without then actually exploiting the glitch, I'm sure there would not have been an issue.

    Exploiting, being proud of it, only to come back later claiming "but I was testing!" is weak... at best.
    Best of luck in whatever game you move on to, and if you want to stay in that one, you now know of at least one thing not to do.

    Incidentally, another mistake you made was taking this public. By doing so, you have made a reversal of your ban an impossible public relations precedent for them to take.
    • Up x 1
  3. sagolsun

    First of all thank you for an indepth and constructive post. I appreciate the time you took to write this.

    It's the most fun I've ever had with a liberator, even if it only lasted 3 mintues 18 seconds. It's a mechanic I'd love to see, in some limited and intentional way, in-game.

    Have you ever tried strafe-jumping in quake? It too is an unintentional and unforseen mechanic that gained popularity after the game was released. The developers decided to legitimize it in Quake Live by putting some restrictions on top. That's what I'd like the PS2 devs to do. By saying "worth it" I meant it was so much fun I'd like to see it implemented as a real feature.

    Written text, in particular as "loose" as forums isn't the optimal way to convey certain ideas. I hope that clears it up.

    You haven't read the whole thread so in summary I'll point out that I was actually banned for another incident, where I wanted to confirm a suspicion after the last game update, where performance was erratic across similar machines. I plugged in an industrial-strength profiler to get recorded second-by-second data and synchronize that to a recorded video. Run that test on a few machines and see what I get, then report that.

    I did that a few years ago with BF2142 on two identical laptops and managed to pinpoint the issue to drivers/power management. That game had a single-player mode though..

    I'm proud of being able to find bugs in software and helping the developers improve this game. I follow a policy of responsible disclosure - test, submit report, wait, post publically. That's what I did with the zone crash exploit a while ago. Or the adrenaline boost speed multiplier. Or the static login screen character indexing (no idea if it has been fixed). Or the..

    You know what, let's just leave it at that I submitted a lot of bugs. I never exploited them for the purpose of gaining an advantage over other players. I never exploited bugs or glitches after submitting a report.

    But then again, I wasn't banned for exploits. I was banned for trying to find the cause of erratic performance and running Intel VTune Amplifier. SOE assumed I was trying to plug in a debugger and start writing my own personal aimbot.

    I don't write or use hacks. Using hacks ruins the enjoyment for other players not only by making the game unfair but by creating a mental burden that "there are cheaters out there", creating uncertainty in a player's mind about whether that was a skilled player or a dirty aimbotter. Not only that, it makes the game pointless for the cheater, reducing a complex game to cheap thrills.

    Which is why I predict a completely new and different breed of hacks to be born, that incorporates some of the lessons of game psychology, but that's a different discussion...

    As I mentioned, you have, just as I had previously, the wrong picture of why specifically I got banned. SOE doesn't want a public relations precedent saying exploiting is okay, and that's fine, because that wasn't the reason for my ban. I was banned for an unauthorized 3rd party program that wasn't a cheat and couldn't be used to cheat. I mean literally, it's read-only and not even realtime.

    SOE's approach is better safe than sorry as reasonably few players would have use or even want to get into that kind of gory detail without being paid for it. It's all part of the effort to stop cheating by inserting anti-debugging or anti-VM measures, and I appreciate it. Sometimes though, the system catches a false positive.

    I still believe this misunderstanding that can be resolved amicably with good rep points for SOE and without establishing a touchy precedent. My outfit mates miss me and I miss them.

    Again, thank you for a well-written post and I'm looking forward to a reply.
    • Up x 1
  4. applepienation

    The programers accidentally made this glitch.
    People exploited it because people are people.
    SOE goes "NO. You shall be punished for acting like a person with a permanent ban from the game."
    Uhh. That is kinda harsh.
    • Up x 1
  5. sagolsun

    True story goes:

    SOE releases new game update and it runs like a quadriplegic turtle on high-end machines.

    People get angry at SOE.

    One guy thinks "hay did the new UI additions bog the game down on higher resolutions with poor scaleform optimization the way they did with vehicles??"

    The guy goes off to run a few tests.

    The guy gets a ban in the morning.
    • Up x 1
  6. applepienation

    I'm surprised those of us with bargain bin computers didn't get a ban for manually turning shadows off before it was an option.
    I wouldn't put it past SOE to do that.
  7. sagolsun

    Editing ini is fine. But you will get a ban if you try to make the game workable on multimonitor setups by using FOV changers, see the multimonitor thread.

    You will also get a ban if you change the type of AA, see the FXAA thread.

    Certain other utilities, including graphics utilities bundled with video card drivers, have been known to result in a ban.
  8. applepienation

    That's ******* stupid!
    Its childish that SOE thinks everyone will follow their every wish, and that they set these pointless limitations.
    I mean, planetside 2 is the penultimate game for multi-monitors, yet banning people for making sure they don't suffer eye-strain or motion sickness due to their programmers oversights is just downright idiotic.
  9. Crowne

    Well on this we can certainly agree :). I've been thinking that psychologically speaking, there may well come a day when the behavior exhibited in video games may serve as a warning sign for real life trouble in individuals. Not diagnostic, but a heads up.
    We digress though.

    People sometimes say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but in your case it seems that a lot of knowledge turned out to be a dangerous thing. I'd love to have your quality control skills. I'm only an amateur when it comes to coding but I've done enough to know hunting down a bug, and finding it, is really gratifying.

    I've played Indie games that would really love your volunteer work. SOE is a different beast though. In a corporate environment, there can be so many policies and controls but as I'm sure you know, there are reasons for all that.

    With any luck the track record you have with finding and reporting bugs can work in your favor to show that your intentions were, in fact, good. Having spent some time in corporate... I think once the machine is rolling it's very difficult to turn it around. In their position, while I wouldn't feel good about it, I might have to stick by an iron-clad policy... albeit reluctantly.

    While this may not help your particular situation at this point, I think one thing the rest of us can take away from all this is to communicate with the appropriate staff before undertaking something that may be misconstrued. They may thank you for the offer to help, but tell you that logistically they are not set up to allow that kind of in-depth contribution from customers. Or, they may thank you for the offer and anxiously await the results appreciating the time you're putting in.

    The illusion of impropriety is often as detrimental as the real thing, which is why it's so important to keep things above board even if the intent was to help.

    Good luck to you, I hope your outfit has a good website and forum so you can stay involved with them regardless of how this goes.
    • Up x 1
  10. AndreyMusaty

    Well, it appears like SOE had lost a very useful software tester that was working for them free of charge. :D Quite stupid IMHO, but well. It's SOE's money, not mine.

    I'll reconsider my subscription. Don't want to lose hundreds of dollars invested in nothing for stupid bugs that nobody noticed or fixed (because it seems like it's possible to get banned for things you may never notice yourself).
  11. sagolsun

    No studies have been done on this to my knowledge. I'm curious what the results would be.

    If you're interested in game psychology there'll be an interesting reveal soon at

    They interviewed 13k players using a standard MBTI test and are comparing the results against player stats. If my assumption that 1-2% active players of BF3 are paysite customers holds, then it should be possible to cross-reference the results with pbbans/battlelog, getting a statistically significant amount of data shedding some light on cheater's personalities.

    Finding bugs is gratifying and fun. I remember a while ago I got frustrated by Dwarf Fortress performance going down with the amount of objects going up. They weren't pruned properly on saving the game, so I wrote a utility to scrub the save files. That was fun, even though it lasted as long as it took the developer to release a new update that changed the format slightly.

    QC isn't difficult, but requires interdisciplinary knowledge. A bit of programming, a bit of game design, a bit of computer experience and curiosity and inquisitiveness. I'm not particularly happy with how SOE does it's QC - I think they picked the wrong interns.

    A funny little thing I've noticed is that the people working on a piece of code can't, try as they might, do proper QC on it.

    The only obligation corporations have is to their shareholders. The only goal of a corporation is profit and in pursuit of that goal corporations have been known to turn on a dime. It is not the corporation's responsibility to do the right thing. That duty belongs to the people who constitute it. It's easy and convenient to use corporate inertia as an excuse. This kind of thinking is what led Lehman Brothers to catastrophe or the PSN hack. The irony is that Sony sacked their IT security staff just prior to the event.

    Certain news sites suggest some of those former employees were involved in the hack. How true that is I don't know, but people who feel they've been treated unfairly can become a threat to the bottom line of a company, especially if due to that perceived unfairness they have plenty of free time on their hands and IT expertise.

    That's the consequence of deliberately ignoring the bigger picture, following the letter and not the spirit of the policy. Common sense can't be codified.

    Good advice. I got all too caught up in the specifics to think about the big picture. It's up to SOE whether I get a second chance though.

    The funny thing is we're such a tightly knit group precisely because we don't have a forum. As I mentioned earlier forums aren't the ideal medium of communication and a lot can get lost in the process - the delay between replies, the permanent nature of the posts and the detachment it creates make people write bolder, hyperbolic statements. That's why we stick to teamspeak only - any issues are resolved immediately. And we don't have a social chat channel, only operations. It works surprisingly well.