Home > Info > Gaming Morals: of exploits, secrets and metagaming

Gaming Morals: of exploits, secrets and metagaming

As there hasn’t been much of a battle recently that I felt was worth reporting on I thought I would post on this topic. it is something that’s been weighing on my mind for a bit and was hoping to get some good feedback/discussion going.

I have been thinking about it since I read The Ancient Gaming Noob’s blog post (thanks for the shout out on SUWT!) about cheating and how it relates to MMO’s.

The issue at hand that has inspired me to write about this is the topic of creating Deep Safe Spots. (hereafter known as DSS’s).

———-

After playing for a year and a half I have finally found out how make deep safespots with a method that does not involve abandoned fighters and a lot of probing. It has only taken me this long because I have not been actively looking for this information, it just came to me, and I tried it and now I can consistently create Deep Safespots at > 50au out of the system, and then subsequently create other safespots past that one etc. Anyone with a month of skilling up or so can do this as consistently.

Progressivley deeper Safe Spots
Photobucket

My moral quandry is that the method used is clearly not within the proper game mechanics. The game is not supposed to be used this way and so it should technically be classed as an exploit. But as far as I am aware, this particular trick has been in existance since the beginning of eve.

First Question: Should I be using this information to create safespots at will?
Second Question: Should I be posting this information on my blog?
Third Question: Regardless of the answers to question one and two, what should happen in other circumstances?

I’m going to go for a bit of a ramble here, back through some of my old gaming experiences where I’ve used cheats or “exploits” to have a bit of fun:

Diablo – I used good old dial up and a friend who had lots of good armour and weapons to exchange items using the duplicate item trick. Due to the PVE nature of the game, this didn’t harm anyone since the game was entirely against the environment – I was only “ruining” my own gaming experience

Fallout: This is a single player game but I thought I’d mention it. there was a very easy method involving a save game file and a Hex editor which enabled you to get max stats and money and pretty much anything you want.

Half life 2 multiplayer: when the game first came out, there was an exploit whereby you could change yourself into any model in a particular map. a favorite of mine was turning into a headcrab, equipping a crowbar and yelling “die humans” in the game chat and going around killing other people. most of the time it was just funny and the other players laughed more often than not. Here was the fine line that I crossed to affecting other people’s gaming experience, but I still did it because I considered it light hearted, I didn’t use proper weapons and everyone who I told how to do it was appreciative of it. it’s funny having only one human spawn in a map full of human-controlled headcrabs with crowbars 🙂 . That and Valve fixed the problem very quickly. possibly though this was an exploit that I shouldn’t have used, but I deemed it to be not one that affected anyone’s gameplay very much.

Of these, “exploits” only one affected other players, and players did not get banned for it, rather it was fixed.

So I’m wondering. in the case of the Deep Safespots, do they affect other people?

In the case of one of the evenings in D-GTMI the CVA used a cyno beacon at 500au away from the system. all this allowed them to do was load a grid and then warp before -A- and co could get there. Deep safes aren’t all that useful for anything and I suppose that is one of the reasons why this particular “exploit” hasn’t been “fixed”.

I am still conflicted:

The blogger in me wants to tell all for the people that will link to my site.
The analytic gamer wants to tell all because it’s facinating mechanics.
The part of me that loves pushing the limits of things wants other people to be able to do it also.
Part of me knows that it isn’t a secret so why not post it anyway?

but

What if it is declared an official exploit – I don’t want to be banned – can I in good conscience say that I didn’t know it was an exploit?
part of me doesn’t want to tell anyone because despite the fact it is actually available online it isn’t common knowledge. making this information available on a public blog will contribute to it becoming common knowledge and perhaps then it will be “fixed”…. and I like being able to make deep safes despite the fact I don’t actually use them for anything.

What would happen if there was an exploit that made my ship look bright pink to other players? should I post about that?

Compare this exploit to the moon goo reaction exploit that was clobbered last year. This particular one affected everyone in game causing artificially low prices for tech II ships and making production nearly impossible for those not in 0.0 alliances. This was clearly an exploit which I would not have told anyone.

So, the question is. should I write a nice, screenshot-filled guide on how to make deep safes for those of you out there who don’t know how and can’t be bothered searching to find the goonswarm produced PDF or the scrapheap challenge forum post?

What should happen in the future if other exploits like this come up?

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  1. February 16, 2010 at 23:43

    If you want to share, I’d so go ahead and post it. If its deemed an exploit, remove it or add text stating such. I can’t see CCP banning bloggers for sharing this information prior to it being declared an exploit, especially since its common knowledge now.

  2. February 17, 2010 at 07:09

    Navigating the novel use of game mechanics versus exploit situation can be challenging. I am not sure that making a deep safe qualifies as an exploit, but I also am not sure how you do it. (L L R R UP UP Down Down select start?)

  3. February 17, 2010 at 11:23

    You are such a tease!

    Whether a method is an exploit depends on your point of view. Is it an exploit to insure your ship, fit it cheaply for gank, and profit by destroying a reasonably expensive ship in quick time before the security forces can destroy yours? Is it an exploit to setup a bubble camp so that you can pull a ship 100+ km further than they wanted to go? Is it an exploit that allows any cloaking device to work indefinitely with no energy use? What about two Basilisks producing enough surplus energy to keep each others capacitor from running out?

    Go on, tell us your method. If it is an exploit then remove it (like Kirith wisely pointed out) but if only you know about the method then how can you be certain it is an exploit?

    • evemonkey
      February 17, 2010 at 11:42

      none of the things you mentioned are exploits imho because they all use established, deliberate game mechanics. the method of creating safespots in effect uses a disparity between the client and server (or seems to anycase – I’m not sure of the exact technical goings on)

      • Darina
        February 17, 2010 at 12:09

        Yeah, that’s my point! You might be right and the method you have is a game breaking exploit, but it might also be a game mechanic along the lines of faux physics simulations!
        Let us know your method and we can decide for ourselves. The only method I know for what you are describing only gives me a 1au safe, if I am quick on the add BM button. 😦

  4. February 17, 2010 at 12:19

    If the exploit is considered harmful, by directly affecting others or offering you an unfair advantage, then CCP will probably fix the problem if they can, and most likely tell you to stop using the exploit. If you don’t stop when asked, you then may face a ban.

    I doubt that you will get banned without any warning for using a minor and fairly useless exploit. Publishing the exploit will probably only bring it more attention, perhaps accelerating a fix, and I doubt there will be any significant repercussions. This looks to be more of a technical curiosity than an exploit.

    • evemonkey
      February 17, 2010 at 14:05

      that’s part of my conflict – I don’t want it to be fixed 😀 but also it’s not very gamebreaking, I didn’t discover it and I’m nearly certain that every 0.0 alliance knows how to do it now if they didn’t before.

      fine, I’ll go post it tonight when I get back from work 🙂

  5. AnkleBiter
    February 17, 2010 at 14:29

    There is a bit of a fallacy in “If I make this exploit VERY public then gamedeveloperX will HAVE to fix it soon(tm)”. You are also right in that this is already “public knowledge”, at least I know how (I’m not in a 0.0 alliance), I must assume that MANY more know too (I’m not the biggest tech-snoop), I never would have found out otherwise.

    Submit a petition/bug-report, go ahead and ASK if it’s an exploit (I know GM responses can be pretty random sometimes), but I wouldn’t “publish” anything I would consider “dodgy” (eg: Goonswarm Grid-Fu).

    I’m kinda hoping they find the “new” lag problem first.

    PS: Ah, the good old days of Diablo-duping

    • evemonkey
      February 17, 2010 at 14:36

      funny – I didn’t consider the grid-fu thing “dodgy” – it was using in-game mechanics, they just used the scientific method to find the limits. the whole logging out and back in and hoping the client still thinks you keep warping in the same direction is a bit wrong to me.

  6. February 17, 2010 at 14:39

    is this the login and log off many times one after another and have the “emergency warp” throw u further away each time? bookmarking each time before logoff?

  7. Jheherrin / Kasreyn
    February 17, 2010 at 14:55

    CCP nerfed creation of Deep Space Bookmarking a few years ago.
    If you bookmarked a system from the map screen, then warping to that bookmark from within the marked system took you 100’s or 1000’s of AU away.

    If this new method is reliably workable then i’m sure they will fix that as well.

    To be perfectly honest, I think any method that puts you too far outside the system, apart from flying a fast inty for a few days/weeks/months, will get changed.

    • evemonkey
      February 17, 2010 at 15:13

      I agree – I’m afraid it will be changed – but it’s certainly not a new method.

      it took me under 30 mins to make that bookmark in the screenshot there 125au away from the nearest celestial in a battleship – other ships can apparently do it faster but I haven’t given them a go… yet.

  8. asc
    February 17, 2010 at 23:02

    Since the ability to make them by abandoning fighters hasn’t been removed, it’s pretty clear that making them isn’t considered an exploit.

    (also, I want to know because it would be useful >_<)

    • asc
      February 17, 2010 at 23:03

      EDIT: *that making deep safes. Ambiguity, my old nemesis….

  9. evemonkey
    February 18, 2010 at 09:35

    Eve’s weekend warrior beat me to it: http://evewarrior.com/archives/deep-deep-safes

    that’s the goonswarm PDF. long-story short: get in a plated cruiser (my onyx works fine with 4 800mm plates) open up two eve sessions in windowed mode – have your password already typed in one. log into the other, open up your people and places window and warp to a place at the edge of the solar system when you’re under 9au away from your destination ctrl+Q and immediately log into the other session and make a bookmark when your ship slows down to sub warp speeds. there you have it a 25+au safe spot.

    then use that spot as a warp destination and repeat.

    doesn’t really require a whole post to itself does it?

  10. Eyecosis
    February 24, 2010 at 02:15

    If it’s possible to get out there then it’s not really an exploit. You set the ship to go and just leave it that way you’d get there eventually. If it’s not a secret then chances are that CCP already knows and if they haven’t “fixed it” yet then it’s not something they consider to be an exploit or at least not a harmful one.

  11. Meh
    February 24, 2010 at 10:49

    Meh, it’s not that hard to find how to do it, since the GS pdf was released on e-on forums and SHC is a public well know forum, if you wanna know how to do it, that’s it.
    Go on, or not.

  12. Meh
    February 24, 2010 at 10:56

    Btw (can’t edit :(), it works well with a covops too, better then a plated cruise to make these in enemy territory. 😉

  13. hursagmu
    February 24, 2010 at 17:47

    the instructions for doing it are on the evelopedia page for safespots, i don’t think it’s too risky 🙂

  14. luke
    February 24, 2010 at 21:31

    um mate u might wanna see if the “exploit” ur talking about which is the one i know is actually the one featured and written about on ccp’s own invention evelopedia, if it is then its pretty ironic to have it on a ccp endorsed website dont u think if it is an exploit???

    heres the link http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Safe_spot#.27Deep.27_Safe_Spots

    • evemonkey
      February 27, 2010 at 01:22

      This wasn’t on there when I wrote this post – I still think it’s an exploit but hey if it is on evelopedia then so be it.

  15. welshrarebit
    February 25, 2010 at 06:06

    try contacting ccp 1st

  16. February 27, 2010 at 01:45

    Leaving Deep Safe Spots aside, the line between an accepted game mechanic and an exploit is often quite blurred and may seem random and arbitrary some of the time, so the point you raise in this post is a good one and deserves more discussion.

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