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ZOS Stance on Exploiting Game Bugs

Turelus
Turelus
Community Ambassador
[snip]

"Exploit until they fix it, you won't be banned"

That's the statement I often hear within this game. Sadly ZOS has a very poor track record of any kind of enforcement of their own EULA/ToS. Since the launch of the game there have been dozens of exploits within the game (as with all MMO's) and very few of them have ever seen official statements, warnings or bans.

Known Exploits Enfoced
Guild Bank Duplication
Soul Gem Farming (Darkshade)
Invisible Characters in Cyrodiil
Wabbajack Campaign Emperor (spoiler for more information)
An Emperor back on the Wabbajack campaign who made use of speed bugs, high damage caltrops and many others was permanently banned from the game. However upon petitioning they were able to reduce the ban to one month, then down to a removal after a second petition.
Killing Players Inside Cyrodiil Safe Zone.

The above list are the only times I have ever known of players removed from the game due to exploitation. Of all of those only two of them ever received official statements warning players that making use of those exploits would result in a ban.

It doesn't take much to see that other games have far better deterrents and communication about exploiting, you can simply Google a games name and "exploit warning" to get a few hits. Below are several links to information on how this has been handled with other games.

SWTOR Exploit Warning Post
EVE Online Exploits Page
Diablo 3 Exploit Warning Post
Guild Wars 2 Reddit Comment

The sad truth is that the above examples just don't happen here, ZOS don't talk about exploits, they don't talk about enforcement and sadly in many cases they don't do anything.

So what should we be doing as players, are all exploits just considered regular bugs we can abuse without being punished for it? I would love to hear some actual input on ZOS regarding this.

Lastly I want to make clear that FOTM overpowered abilities, sets etc. are not exploits. This thread is aimed specifically at repeatable bugs which grant players massive benefits rather than OP skills/builds.


[minor edit to remove reference to moderated content]
Edited by ZOS_CoriJ on 17 March 2016 14:43
@Turelus - EU PC Megaserver
:: Unofficial Forums FAQ :: MissBizz ESO Guides :: AlcastHQ Guides :: Tamriel Foundry Forums :: UESP ESO Page :: ESO Sets :: Woeler Tank Guides :: ESO Community Discord ::
"Don't count on others for help. In the end each of us is in this alone. The survivors are those who know how to look out for themselves."
  • LiquidSchwartz
    LiquidSchwartz
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    There was an exploit to have both werewolf and vampire at one point and i knew a couple people who got banned for a hot second as well


    but all this happens cuz they're so broke
    they cant afford to do anything quickly or even put out small patches monthly

    May the Schwartz be with you.
    EP/XB1/NA

  • Samadhi
    Samadhi
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    There are two views I have seen from companies regarding exploits,
    the first is a hard-line approach, where players are at fault for exploiting broken mechanics
    the other is a significantly more permissive approach, where the company feels at fault for producing broken mechanics, and does not punish players as a result

    ZOS seems to fall into the second category
    "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -- the 14th Dalai Lama
    Wisdom is doing Now that which benefits you later.
  • daemonios
    daemonios
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    I wholeheartedly agree with OP's diagnosis. I also suspect ZOS don't have the resources to actually fix the bugs faster. But at the very least the should address the sense of impunity that reigns unchecked in this game. We are all but being told that we can exploit to our hearts' content until they fix whatever bug is being exploited.

    If ZOS can't act any faster, they should at least disclose disciplinary measures taken against exploiters. Admitting any measures are actually taken, that is.
  • gw2only1b14_ESO
    gw2only1b14_ESO
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    Turelus wrote: »
    Just to be clear here ZOS. This is an actual conversation I just had with another player. This is the mentality your lack of action has caused within this game.

    I've snipped the names/exploits but otherwise these logs as was.
    Turelus: Exploit in ESO on how to farm <snip>.
    Turelus: Someone just explained how on the forums as well.
    ESO Player: i love exploits :p
    Turelus: I hate them with a passion, and ZOS are pathetic at dealing with them.
    Turelus: I was so angry when all of the <snip> members exploited the <snip> bug.
    ESO Player: :p
    ESO Player: why? why do u hate them?
    Turelus: It's cheating.
    Turelus: I always found it funny that people would cry about <snip> exploiting. However would glitch <snip> and farm thousands and free hides.
    Turelus: Or cry <snip> jump over keep walls, yet use the NB shadow image exploit.
    Turelus: Personally I wanted to remove every member of <snip> I knew who abused the wax one. However I had <snip> (as a leader) teaching people so...
    ESO Player: because u r so narrow minded :p
    Turelus: No, because I actually follow the ToS/EULA as I want a fair and fun game.
    ESO Player: exploits for me is a rebel action... and too much clever
    ESO Player: for me.. when u can use the game u just do...
    Turelus: Any other MMO I have played people would be banned for this kind of stuff.
    ESO Player: its not my job to respect gitches... my job is that im given an environment and i use it the best as i can
    Turelus: heh.
    Turelus: I never expected that from you TBH.
    ESO Player: now.. if zos dont fix them.. or if there r no concequences for that.. thats not my problem
    ESO Player: u should have expected it...
    ESO Player: the reason i do not exploit.. is that i dont know how..
    Turelus: I'm sad to hear that.
    ESO Player: and i always fond fascinating how ppl find these things..
    ESO Player: i consider them really clever
    ESO Player: why? because u go by the rules... even if there r no rules
    Turelus: There are rules.
    Turelus: They're in the ToS/EULA.
    Turelus: Which you agree to when you join.
    Turelus: The problem is ZOS doesn't enforce them.
    ESO Player: i have agreed in RL rules too.. but they ALWAYS exploit them...
    ESO Player: others .. ON ME!
    ESO Player: a rule that is not enforced is NOT a rule my friend

    Also as a reminder to others posting. Please do not talk openly about current exploits here. I was this thread to be about how ZOS deal with them, not what they currently are.

    I see they shut the other one But ths guy here and other follow the :


    Of playing games and yes its pretty crappy...
  • Turelus
    Turelus
    Community Ambassador
    What bugs me most is that as shown by my examples in the opening post every other company that wants a serious MMO takes steps to show they enforce abuse of issues like what we have seen today.

    ZOS doesn't. Their constant lack of any action and seemingly unwillingness to make any formal announcements only encourages players to abuse bugs and exploits. Someone said it in the other thread as well, it doesn't matter than ZOS will fix this because as soon as the next exploit rolls around the same people will be doing it again, once again without any worries action will be taken against them.

    I am not calling for permanent account bans for a first offence, but at the very least players who have been caught doing this (and ZOS should have the logs to check) should have their gold stripped and some kind of short ban to make them realise what they will lose if they keep on down that road.

    If they don't learn, let them lose the progress and time they have invested into the account permanently via a full ban. Also seek out alt accounts and ban those as well (which is one of the main reasons account sharing is a horrible idea in most enforced MMO games).
    @Turelus - EU PC Megaserver
    :: Unofficial Forums FAQ :: MissBizz ESO Guides :: AlcastHQ Guides :: Tamriel Foundry Forums :: UESP ESO Page :: ESO Sets :: Woeler Tank Guides :: ESO Community Discord ::
    "Don't count on others for help. In the end each of us is in this alone. The survivors are those who know how to look out for themselves."
  • KaleidoscopeEyz
    KaleidoscopeEyz
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    If you can do it then you should. It's up to the creator to patch the exploits and glitches. Don't punish the users for sloppy development. Mass abuse of the exploits will also incentivize the creator to fix it faster. It is known.
  • rfennell_ESO
    rfennell_ESO
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    ZOS' stance has been to give 2nd and 3rd chances.

    Even if they ban you, it likely won't be permanent.

    So... people exploit everything and anything they can. I see a couple or more exploiters every day in cyrondil... abusing something or outright exploiting something else.
  • MaxwellC
    MaxwellC
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    If there's an exploit you address it but it's not the players fault for finding a fault in your design of the game. This is just like what's going on in 'The Division', if players find an exploit then fix it as soon as possible. Depending on how severe the exploit is the best option is to shut down the servers.

    Simply banning players for exploiting something in the game shouldn't be what everyone wants to see happen especially if the exploit was around for quite sometime; that my friend is called negligence and I'll reiterate it's not the players fault.
    不動の Steadfast - Unwavering
    XBL Gamer Tag - Maxwell
    XB1 Maxwell Crystal - NA DC CP 800+ Redguard Stamina DK
    XB1 Max Crystal - NA DC CP 800+ Brenton Magicka DK
    PC Maxwell-Crystal - NA DC - CP 200+ Brenton Magicka DK 「Retired」
    Band Camp statements: To state "But this one time I saw X doing X... so that justifies X" Refers to the Band camp statement.
    Coined by Maxwel
    l
  • VoiDGhOs7
    VoiDGhOs7
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    The reality is that players aren't scared by ZOS.If there's something to abuse players will abuse it and there won't be any consequences thats why when an exploit gets fixed and a new one appears players are going to abuse it.
    Edited by VoiDGhOs7 on 29 April 2016 14:35
  • Turelus
    Turelus
    Community Ambassador
    If you find an exploit report it and stop using it then you're fine, there should be no sanctions.

    If you're finding it and repeating the use of it without informing ZOS, or informing them and still abusing it for massive personal gains then you should be punished. This is how every other MMO has functioned before, to keep the game fair for everyone.

    By coming out and making statement that something is an exploit and you will be sanctioned if you continue to use it, then taking actions against players who ignore it then ZOS will start to build up players expectations of how to act within the game.
    @Turelus - EU PC Megaserver
    :: Unofficial Forums FAQ :: MissBizz ESO Guides :: AlcastHQ Guides :: Tamriel Foundry Forums :: UESP ESO Page :: ESO Sets :: Woeler Tank Guides :: ESO Community Discord ::
    "Don't count on others for help. In the end each of us is in this alone. The survivors are those who know how to look out for themselves."
  • MaxwellC
    MaxwellC
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    That's my point you address it and move on but players who exploit it seriously so what? If anything just remove the materials that were gained/remove the gold profited by that. Everyone here is having the witch pitch fork hunting mind set where you wanna find the witch and burn them; seriously chill out it's a game.

    Players in the other thread that you commented on had already reported the exploit and unfortunately they were stupid enough to make a forum post instead of just sending the information to ZOS. I feel as though you're coming off as what they'd called a goody to shoes or just out right jealous that you felt you needed to make another forum post regarding the horse that was already caught by ZOS.
    不動の Steadfast - Unwavering
    XBL Gamer Tag - Maxwell
    XB1 Maxwell Crystal - NA DC CP 800+ Redguard Stamina DK
    XB1 Max Crystal - NA DC CP 800+ Brenton Magicka DK
    PC Maxwell-Crystal - NA DC - CP 200+ Brenton Magicka DK 「Retired」
    Band Camp statements: To state "But this one time I saw X doing X... so that justifies X" Refers to the Band camp statement.
    Coined by Maxwel
    l
  • Turelus
    Turelus
    Community Ambassador
    This thread was made a month ago regarding another issue which ZOS didn't enforce.

    I understand it's a game but it's also an online game which has rules to keep a fair playing field for all involved. We all agreed to the rules when we signed up. I have played a number of MMO's over the years and this is only the only one where cheaters and exploiters are free to do as they please with no consequences.

    Whilst today's issue isn't a direct effect on other players it does have effects on the game.
    How many players would be happy if there was a bug for 100% damage mitigation from all sources and a select few players who knew how to use it were running around PvP killing players or completing trials leaderboards with times not obtainable by others.

    Would players really take the view "this is just part of the game until patched, it's fine they're doing it".

    At the very least the materials/gold gained from this should be removed from those who used it. Then more severe is to start handing out the temp bans to discourage players from repeating this kind of behaviour again in the future.

    I can be labelled a goody to shoes or jealous if that's how people want to see my points. I however just want to know why ZOS are unable (or unwilling) to provide a fair gaming environment that every other MMO is offering.
    @Turelus - EU PC Megaserver
    :: Unofficial Forums FAQ :: MissBizz ESO Guides :: AlcastHQ Guides :: Tamriel Foundry Forums :: UESP ESO Page :: ESO Sets :: Woeler Tank Guides :: ESO Community Discord ::
    "Don't count on others for help. In the end each of us is in this alone. The survivors are those who know how to look out for themselves."
  • rfennell_ESO
    rfennell_ESO
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    The problem I have with all the exploiting is that it's become so common that you hear people openly praising exploiters.

    Stuff like "oh he's a beast" or "that guy is really good" when in fact they are exploiting the game and should be banned.

    Facts are they are using a cookie cutter build that is based on exploiting or abusing mechanics.

    I saw a guy who basically dodged attacks for a minute or so (and only dodge rolled a couple of times) with numerous players on him. Someone in group was like "wow he's so good" when in fact there isn't much "skill" in doing nothing except dodge attacks.

    Most of the run around a tree forever guys are just dodging so many attacks that you can't take them down with los and exploited dodges and their self healing. It's not skill, it's just exploiting. The problem is that they are extremely proud of their status and feeling of invulnerability and the likely praise they get for accidentally dodging all attacks on them. I say accidentally because they aren't doing anything to do it, they aren't dodge rolling... they aren't doing anything. It's just randomly (or not so randomly) occurring and that's about as far from "skill" as possible.

    Probably the worst of it all is the empowered internet tough guy attitude that exists in "nothing but an exploiter" play. I've never seen prouder cheaters in gaming... and it's ZOS' fault for not dealing with these problem and these people that abuse things.

    Most of the pvp exploiters can be plainly seen... broken animations, moving corpses, people that warp around and change positions like they were "lagging" and everything sped up to catch up to their position. These things only occur and the same groups of people... It's not a coincidence. They aren't hiding it... they are flaunting it... and ZOS is asleep at the wheel like usual.

  • Megalex1
    Megalex1
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    The problem is that banningpaying customers isn't the best way to make money for your business

    The exploit that's been going around requires using some stuff from the crown store, so if they get banned they might do a charge back, things like that

    Also it means losing revenue...
  • Turelus
    Turelus
    Community Ambassador
    Megalex1 wrote: »
    The problem is that banningpaying customers isn't the best way to make money for your business

    The exploit that's been going around requires using some stuff from the crown store, so if they get banned they might do a charge back, things like that

    Also it means losing revenue...

    That's not true. You stand to lose more customers from players ruining their game via abuse which they don't know how to do (or couldn't be part of before it was fixed) than you do banning those involved.

    Also you work on a strike system. 1st time offenders get a temp week ban, 2nd time a month ban and 3rd time permaban.

    Players can't do charge backs etc. they have no legal ground to stand on with ZOS because they agreed to all of this under the ToS/EULA. That's why companies have them so they can cover their butts when they want to enforce their games.

    EVE Online has less subscribers than most other MMO games and CCP are very hard on their players who cheat. However it hasn't done anything to deter players from their game, most in fact enjoy that they can play on level footing with others because exploiters, gold buyers, sellers, botters etc. are removed from the game.

    The idea that enforcing game rules will cause a game to crumble has no evidence when looking at every other MMO on the market.
    @Turelus - EU PC Megaserver
    :: Unofficial Forums FAQ :: MissBizz ESO Guides :: AlcastHQ Guides :: Tamriel Foundry Forums :: UESP ESO Page :: ESO Sets :: Woeler Tank Guides :: ESO Community Discord ::
    "Don't count on others for help. In the end each of us is in this alone. The survivors are those who know how to look out for themselves."
  • clocksstoppe
    clocksstoppe
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    If you can do it then you should. It's up to the creator to patch the exploits and glitches. Don't punish the users for sloppy development. Mass abuse of the exploits will also incentivize the creator to fix it faster. It is known.

    If I find a bug that allows me to steal all your items in your bank I agree noone should be punished because sloppy development ;)
  • KaleidoscopeEyz
    KaleidoscopeEyz
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    I love the TOS defense or as I like to call it, the "Goody Two Shoes" defense. Let me guess. You do exactly 30mph in a 30mph zone too.

    Should I have gotten banned for fishing in Wrothgar too because it yielded double fish? Clearly that wasn't intended.
  • Pomaikai
    Pomaikai
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    @ZOS_AlanG

    Except you MUST finally make a stand on what your policy towards cheating actually is, and then you MUST stick to it!

    The ambiguity MUST stop, and it must stop NOW!

    The phrase "Can result in disciplinary action." is no longer acceptable from management.
  • Sunburnt_Penguin
    Sunburnt_Penguin
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    ZOS_AlanG wrote: »
    Hi guys, it's OK to discuss rules enforcement in general, but please do not bring up specific examples. This includes discussing your own warnings, suspensions, bans, et cetera. As covered in the forum rules, discussing disciplinary actions like this on the forums is not acceptable. Some posts have been removed. We have a commitment to keeping disciplinary acts private, and will not discuss actions taken on any account. This creates issues if others are discussing them. We are unable to clarify anything, or confirm or deny. These topics also tend to attract other problems, which is a further reason we do not allow them.

    We'll also note that we do not allow the specifics of exploits to be discussed on the forums, and we want to thank everyone in this thread for not doing so.

    Hi @ZOS_AlanG .

    Can a member of your team release a general statement on the outcome of this investigation please?

    I'd like to know if I can use future exploits without worry of a ban, you see.

    Thanks
    :*
  • JKorr
    JKorr
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    I love the TOS defense or as I like to call it, the "Goody Two Shoes" defense. Let me guess. You do exactly 30mph in a 30mph zone too.

    Should I have gotten banned for fishing in Wrothgar too because it yielded double fish? Clearly that wasn't intended.

    Did you find out about the glitch and immediately abuse the heck out of it for a million or so fish for the 2 or 3 perfect roe you would get? [yes, that was sarcasm, even RNGesus would turn up more than 3 from a million fish. Maybe even 5.] A temporary glitch is one thing, abusing an exploit that could ruin the game is different.

  • Sheezabeast
    Sheezabeast
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    Maybe one day someone at Zos will roleplay as a mod who actually gives a crap
    Grand Master Crafter, Beta baby who grew with the game. PC/NA. @Shello2004 if you have crafting needs!
  • Pomaikai
    Pomaikai
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    Pomaikai wrote: »
    @ZOS_AlanG

    Except you MUST finally make a stand on what your policy towards cheating actually is, and then you MUST stick to it!

    The ambiguity MUST stop, and it must stop NOW!

    The phrase "Can result in disciplinary action." is no longer acceptable from management.

    You MUST calm down. They DON'T have to do a single thing you demand of them. Your use of BOLD and CAPS doesn't make them do what you want.

    God forbid you understand what emphasis is.
    /facepalm

    As an example, when a company fails to protect their copyrights, they lose them. In this case, if they fail to police their own game, then by default they lose that right and players become free to exploit all they want until the devs fix them.

    There are two sides of this coin. ZOS just needs to let us know which side they fall on. It's pretty simple.
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