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On the Topic of the Recent Bans

AuthorMessage
Survivor
Feb 02, 2013
47
As a lot of you probably know, there have been many suspensions and bans going around due to a pickup glitch. I think you guys over a KingsIsle have highly misjudged the situation. I'm one of the people who happened to use it myself, and am partially here to apologize. However, I am going to say some things you might need to take into consideration.

-One of the most important thing is the gravity of what was going on here. Assuming I'm one of the average users of this, you got 1-2,000 gold a load. So on average, you're probably getting 10-20k gold total from this. For the level of players using this, that's extremely minor. For this little lot of free gold, I wouldn't deem it fair to give us the mother of all prosecutions and ban us.. Permanently

-Another thing you must consider is the fanbase of your players. Quite a bit of us are preteens or teens. With the game geared towards fairly young plays, curiosity can drive us to, as you said, collect hundreds and thousands of this one item. When I first found this, my mindset was indeed "Hmm, how many of these until it disappears?", and not even intentionally glitching the game. (with that said, most people do consider glitches harmless despite them being against the rules. most players would find them fun or useful over harmful)

-On the argument that this was unfair, you must see the game is an MMORPG. Thusly, you're going around and meeting other people. That friend button is there for a reason. You're making friends while going around on this virtual world. When taken away for something that minor.. I'd consider it tragic. Many of these people we're getting very close to, and to take it away suddenly for something like that can lead to legitimate stress. You're not even giving us a chance to say goodbye?

Now, I could rant on and on about many different reasons that could go beyond this one message. However, with those three major things in mind, I'll just ask one thing: lower the severity of what you've done, and turn it into a ban lasting from 3 days, a week, or a month(or multiple if its bad). I'd deem that much more fair than what you've done.

-Alexander "Lexi" Skullspear, Level 94

Geographer
Dec 14, 2009
848
I strongly agree with KI on this one. Anyone who participates in activity like this,deserves the sanctions they are receiving.

Survivor
Sep 02, 2009
2
I'm so sorry to the players who were banned from Wizard. I know that I clicked more than once on a couple of items but I didn't come back for a hundred or a thousand. However, I thought this was just part of the game as I imagine did many other players. Since this game aims it's content toward children, I think Wizard administrators did not handle the problem well. I think a Ravenwood announcement would have been a great answer with clear instructions that if this type of incident ever happens again, a player's account can be banned. Clear and concise leads to less problems and less hurt feelings. I've read posts all over the place from non-banned players who have lost their faith in Wizard. This is such a great community and game, we want to keep everyone together. Just my opinion...

Mastermind
Jan 23, 2011
318
rinkworks on Jan 16, 2014 wrote:
As a lot of you probably know, there have been many suspensions and bans going around due to a pickup glitch. I think you guys over a KingsIsle have highly misjudged the situation. I'm one of the people who happened to use it myself, and am partially here to apologize. However, I am going to say some things you might need to take into consideration.

-One of the most important thing is the gravity of what was going on here. Assuming I'm one of the average users of this, you got 1-2,000 gold a load. So on average, you're probably getting 10-20k gold total from this. For the level of players using this, that's extremely minor. For this little lot of free gold, I wouldn't deem it fair to give us the mother of all prosecutions and ban us.. Permanently

-Another thing you must consider is the fanbase of your players. Quite a bit of us are preteens or teens. With the game geared towards fairly young plays, curiosity can drive us to, as you said, collect hundreds and thousands of this one item. When I first found this, my mindset was indeed "Hmm, how many of these until it disappears?", and not even intentionally glitching the game. (with that said, most people do consider glitches harmless despite them being against the rules. most players would find them fun or useful over harmful)

-On the argument that this was unfair, you must see the game is an MMORPG. Thusly, you're going around and meeting other people. That friend button is there for a reason. You're making friends while going around on this virtual world. When taken away for something that minor.. I'd consider it tragic. Many of these people we're getting very close to, and to take it away suddenly for something like that can lead to legitimate stress. You're not even giving us a chance to say goodbye?

Now, I could rant on and on about many different reasons that could go beyond this one message. However, with those three major things in mind, I'll just ask one thing: lower the severity of what you've done, and turn it into a ban lasting from 3 days, a week, or a month(or multiple if its bad). I'd deem that much more fair than what you've done.

-Alexander "Lexi" Skullspear, Level 94
Personally I didn't even know the glitch existed and haven't been banned because I've never done it. But KI should not ban people for using a glitch in the game. It is KI's own fault for not fixing it sooner. I understand KI can't get around to all bugs in the game, but banning people for KI's own mistake is wrong!

Astrologist
Aug 20, 2011
1077
I'm not saying banning is the perfect punishment in this case, but it doesn't seem completely unfair either. (Besides, all KI has to do is point to the terms of service that you agreed to when you signed up to play. Legally, that's all that's required.)

There are some issues where the programmers goofed up, like with the free mounts glitch, where KI simply removed the ill-gotten gains. That's ok, no one is perfect and foresees all the possible exploits of elements that just got inserted into the world.

But then there are other glitches you would have had to go looking for... where you have to deliberately mess and with something that was already made well. Messing with the gold system alters gameplay on a massive level. People were basically getting free hatching passes, free houses, free gear, etc. That's kind of a big deal, you know? And KI can't use the same strategy to make this right, as by simply deducting gold from your account. What if it's already spent? How would you keep track of who owed what? Even if you could find out, it would still take forever to set everything straight.

Squire
Sep 07, 2011
596
I don't know the details, but from what I've read most of the sanctions were temporary and some have been reduced. That's nice. I hope everyone will learn from this. As Prof Greyrose has said "if it seems too good to be true..." Ask yourself if something is right, and if you aren't sure, don't do it.

The other lesson, which I hope KI will take to heart, is please let us know right away if something is against the rules. Perhaps everyone should have known not to do this, but there were "how to" guides on fan sites, and some players apparently thought it was ok since it was a free "given" item in the game, not an "exploit" that involved hacking or any manipulation. Now everyone knows but if there had been an announcement that it was a known glitch that should not be done, a lot of people who did it would not have.

It would be great if we all had perfect judgement. But better communication and more clearly defined rules would help too.

Delver
Dec 30, 2012
277
I also tried to discuss this topic but Kingsisle apparently denied my thread...
I too think they highly misjudged this.

Basically, they banned people without no warning at all, and even after all the reports of the glitch. The glitch was out for a year. Most people probably just thought Kingsisle didn't care, like they don't about the rug glitch.
I have to also agree on it being such a small amount of gold. I can make 100,000 gold in an hour or two in Avalon. In Khrysalis it is probably even faster.
After so much money and time spent into a game, why ban them? Maybe a short ban, but permanently? Seems unfair and a little extreme.
Like you stated, little kids also play this game. If my six year old brother logged on, and found this glitch, would he stop and consider the consequences? Would he even think it is a glitch at all? I doubt he knows what a glitch means. If they banned him, he would not understand the reason, and it would seem like he was banned for something he could not help.

Personally, I haven't taken part of the glitch (Neither has my brother, that was an example). I didn't even know about it until everyone began to go crazy over all the bans.
I understand it was a glitch, and yes I would have stopped myself after the first couple times and reported it. But this is a level of severe extremity, and I personally request nicely that Kingsisle continue to revise the bans.

Armiger
Mar 18, 2009
2381
rinkworks on Jan 16, 2014 wrote:
As a lot of you probably know, there have been many suspensions and bans going around due to a pickup glitch. I think you guys over a KingsIsle have highly misjudged the situation. I'm one of the people who happened to use it myself, and am partially here to apologize. However, I am going to say some things you might need to take into consideration.

-One of the most important thing is the gravity of what was going on here. Assuming I'm one of the average users of this, you got 1-2,000 gold a load. So on average, you're probably getting 10-20k gold total from this. For the level of players using this, that's extremely minor. For this little lot of free gold, I wouldn't deem it fair to give us the mother of all prosecutions and ban us.. Permanently

-Another thing you must consider is the fanbase of your players. Quite a bit of us are preteens or teens. With the game geared towards fairly young plays, curiosity can drive us to, as you said, collect hundreds and thousands of this one item. When I first found this, my mindset was indeed "Hmm, how many of these until it disappears?", and not even intentionally glitching the game. (with that said, most people do consider glitches harmless despite them being against the rules. most players would find them fun or useful over harmful)

-On the argument that this was unfair, you must see the game is an MMORPG. Thusly, you're going around and meeting other people. That friend button is there for a reason. You're making friends while going around on this virtual world. When taken away for something that minor.. I'd consider it tragic. Many of these people we're getting very close to, and to take it away suddenly for something like that can lead to legitimate stress. You're not even giving us a chance to say goodbye?

Now, I could rant on and on about many different reasons that could go beyond this one message. However, with those three major things in mind, I'll just ask one thing: lower the severity of what you've done, and turn it into a ban lasting from 3 days, a week, or a month(or multiple if its bad). I'd deem that much more fair than what you've done.

-Alexander "Lexi" Skullspear, Level 94
I disagree. I believe KI had the right response following the incident.

1.) The amount of gold a player may have gotten or not gotten in relation to other legitimate methods is irrelevant. You call it free gold, but KI didn't give it away freely. It was a glitch that players were using illegitimately to obtain free gold. Cheating is never right (no matter the amount) and a ban is appropriate, especially when KI has indicated that only those players that did hundreds upon hundreds of times received a ban. A ban prevents that player from finding the next "minor" glitch and exploiting it to, since they didn't have the courage to report it and walk away during this latest incident.

2.) Age does not matter with regards to cheating, but if young players did take advantage of this glitch and exploit, hopefully it serves as a lesson in life that if is seems to good to be true than it probably is and questions should not be asked later, but rather before you undertake such activities. Also, I assume KI did not ban players for simply picking up hundreds of items, but rather using those hundreds of items to receive gold illegitimately. Remember just as someone was testing how many they could pick up, they could have easily just trashed those items instead of selling. Just because a glitch is fun and doesn't appear harmful to you, doesn't mean it isn't harmful to the community or KI. Players asked about the rug glitch and KI indicated in official communications that it was okay. No such statement on this last glitch.

3.) If friendships in game are valued then they won't be jeopardized with being tempted by glitches or exploits that threaten those very friendships. However, I suspect that friendships also lead to the discovery of multiple players knowing about the glitch to reproduce at a massive scale (or MMORPG scale). This particular glitch has likely been in the game since the inception of Azteca, but only became known recently due to friends passing knowledge of the glitch in game or through social media.

The average player likely picked up a couple of the same items, noted something was wrong and continued on. KI targeted certain players that knowingly sat there and repeated the glitch numerous times. A player that has reached the level required for Azteca understands what is right and wrong about gameplay in Wizard101 and won't be "confused." This lesson from these latest bans isn't how does the offense rank in terms of severity, but rather cheating will never be tolerated in Wizard101.

Archon
Sep 17, 2012
4117
stormninja542 on Jan 17, 2014 wrote:
Personally I didn't even know the glitch existed and haven't been banned because I've never done it. But KI should not ban people for using a glitch in the game. It is KI's own fault for not fixing it sooner. I understand KI can't get around to all bugs in the game, but banning people for KI's own mistake is wrong!
KI did NOT force them to take the money repeatedly. By your logic, if an armored car crashes on the side of the road, passersby collect all the money and drive away. You think that isn't crime? You think the bank feels that way? You think the police do? The players who were banned knowingly abused an exploit. Did they know it was wrong? OF COURSE they did! "Finders keepers, losers weapers" isn't a valid defense and doesn't make the stealing any less a crime.

A+ Student
Jan 11, 2012
1681
I have a few problems with this whole issue. First of all, let's blame accurately.

If KI knew about the glitch and didnt bother to fix it till now, that's their responsibility. When I buy a product, I expect it to work as it should. Now, that being said, computer games are a bit different because bugs are expected. If it's true they knew about it for a year, then why didnt they just "rem out the items" in the programming to fix it later? That much is on them. I blame them for this part of the issue. It IS after all their fault this even happened in the first place.

Now, the bug exists in the game, which players took advantage of. We as players have to play the game properly, and when not, we should be punished. Now, I must say that I picked up a few of these glitched items, but I did NOT sell them. I used them as decoration. When the ban came out, I DESTROYED THEM so that way there would be zero temptation and therefor zero concern. I don't say this to show Im better than you, I say this because I want it understood there is an option other than profiting off of another's misfortune.

By the time we hit Azteca, we KNOW we can only pick up housing items once. Anybody who says otherwise is trying to justify taking advantage of the glitch. Azteca is the 12th area in the game. If you REALLY think that "oh they wanted us to pick this up over and over", you're jsut trying to justify your greed. Even really young players will assimilate a pattern over time and housing items are most definitely pattern reliable.

There are other ways punishments could have been doled out, and held for a year

Membership suspension (and automatically reinstating it after that year with however much subscription time was left)
Putting an XP cap on the account
Fining the account all their gold on all wizards
Penalizing them gained XP so they only gain half XP per action

Explorer
Jan 06, 2009
88
I agree that perma bans were harsh. A suspension is a much better punishment. I'm happy KI reconsidered. That said, I can understand newer players not knowing it was wrong. While the community has been warned repeatedly about exploits, not everyone was around to get the message. Some probably didn't even understand the warnings. The ToS probably needs to be rewritten in clearer language. It's clear to many of us, but perhaps including examples of bad behavior makes more sense. I don't know. But there seems to be a disconnect between what is being said by KI versus what is being understood by the player. Maybe videos would help?

As far as the exploit is concerned, getting something for nothing isn't the only concern. Every time a player clicks an item or hits the X key, they are communicating with the game. Hundreds of players repeatedly interacting with an item can tax a server. It can cause lag for other players. It can cause glitches in other areas of the game. I can understand the team at KI being upset over that especially with all the complaints about lag. I know people are shocked and angry, but I don't believe KI chose to ban or suspend out of malice. Nor do I believe the decision to sanction accounts was taken lightly. At some point we have to think: Is this what the devs intended? In this case, why would they give the items freely yet no one from KI ever mention it? It didn't seem right.

In any case, no matter what everyone decides to do, I hope we can put this behind us.

Survivor
Jan 07, 2013
8
Is there a mixed message being sent, in that in the game there are several dungeons (Wizard City's Briskbreeze Tower, Wysteria's Tournament Hall, etc.) where a character warns "the bosses cheat"?

KI and some wizards take such a hard line (i.e. "Cheating is never right...") and yet the fabric of the game incorporates "cheats". For most people exlporing and figurring things out is where the fun is... and yes this can include exploring game defects.

In this case banning high level wizards (I am guessing you would have to be 80+ to get Azteca, where the glitch shows up, and would have had to buy crowns or a membership to get there) for an in game infraction (ill gotten virtual gold) is punished by being banned from the game altogether.

This seems like cutting off you nose to spite your face. Humiliating and antagonizing the people who actually spend money on the game. Giving them time away to find another way to spend their time and money.

Wouldn't just docking each wizard for the amount of virtual gold they exploited (maybe with some interest) be a more balanced and tempered punishment and a better way to level the playing ground for those honest wizards that did not cheat?

Delver
Mar 05, 2013
241
I was one of the people that was banned for a week and I accept my punishment on this basis. This gamesite and our accounts are not our property. They are the property of KingsIsle and they have every right to control and punish conduct as they see fit. However, just because I accepted it does not mean I liked it or thought it was fair. It was my first offense of any kind, and usually a warning with a clear explanation of the infraction would be warranted. KI decided not to go this route. What's done is done, and I'm sorry it all happened and sorry I was involved in it. In the future I hope KingsIsle will be a little more attentive to glitches and bugs and fix them before knucklehead stuff like what recently happened occurs again.

Survivor
Nov 17, 2011
14
I really didn't even know this was happening, but based on what I've heard it's pretty unfair.
Yes, they did break the rules. Yes, they did unfairly get more gold.
But I read somewhere that KI let a bundle/crown exploit slide.
Does that make sense to you? :/. It doesn't to me, really. Maybe they're just getting so annoyed with the exploits that they're just banning for it. I guess I would be pretty tired of it, too. But still, perm bans over in-game money? Not sure about that.