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.
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?
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?