About a week ago, the rumors hit mainstream — there was a way to exploit a bug in Asheron’s Call to get permanent item enchantments on weapons and armor. A few made profit during this mysterious time, trading their “permabuffing” services for rare-drop items, informal money through Paypal, and eBay auctions. Within a matter of days, though, the exact method was public knowledge, thanks to slow moderation on Crossroads of Dereth boards and certain AC sites of ill repute. Armed with that knowledge, a significant number of players went out in force to exploit to their hearts’ content — as they were well able to.
You see, it’s not really your fault if you exploit in AC. Even with perfect knowledge that you’re acting outside the clear intended purpose of item enchantment (that is, recasting your spells a maximum of every 15 minutes), it’s not really your fault if the bug is in the game. It’s not really your fault if you use this bug to make permanent, godly armor with a matching shield and weapon. It’s understood that you have no moral qualms about cheating, as per the definition above, and you shouldn’t be punished for that minor shortcoming.
The exploiting would have gone on until every person on every server had the best equipment in the game, with no regrets, except that it was finally decided that it just might be unbalancing. After this week of bliss for a huge number of players, the servers will be patched tonight with a quick fix. This wasn’t expected — why, if the bug’s there, and you’re given full license to exploit it as you wish, why did it need to be so expediently removed?
People were quite happy to exploit this bug. It enabled them to take low-level characters into tough locations they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to handle, if left to rely on their own magic skills, and made these places into overcrowded locuses of lag, pushing out the people that were legitimately there using their own skills and not advantages given by cheating. Surely hundreds of people managed to level their affectionately-titled, rerolled “lowbies” in relative safety with their “\’c3\’bcber” exploited Faran robes. They wonder why it needs to be patched.
Another group claims that the entire tenor of the game was better with the exploitation of this bug, as they were finally able to leave the stress of levelling behind, and be friendlier to others, when they could both level and chat with people at the same time — the stress of baning and casting Impenetrability on every single piece of armor every fifteen minutes being removed. They cry that they finally got to see how much fun the game would be without paying the price for playing a magic-dependent character, and the game just won’t be as much fun ever again.
All camps were surprised with the speed of the emergency patch, as most all were convinced the apparently lackadaisical developers would let it go until next month’s “event.” No evidence was given earlier than today that that attitude would change. And, after 10:00 PST tomorrow morning, everyone will be sad again — forced to cast every single bane on every piece of armor they wear at all times; forced to stress over levelling instead of chatting and helping others, as the bug had so benignly helped them to do; forced to only take their solo characters to places they could only reach with their own lower-level magics; forced to rely on themselves or mages in their fellowships, and play the game as it is currently intended. Fortunately enough, to make up for this drastic loss, nobody will be punished for use or sale of the exploit.
After all, it’s not your fault if you have no ethical standards.