On June 4th, 2001, SOE banned and/or suspended 28 players belonging to the guild Conquest. Plainly put, they were cheating, we observed them cheating, they knew they were cheating, they admitted they were cheating, and they got caught.

While SOE does not want to spoil the game by releasing full details of the cheats to all players, basically the 28 Conquest players were (among other things) purposely using world geometry, aspects of the hate list, the “z” coordinate and its nullification of NPC’s ability to summon, and multiple atmospheres (e.g. water/land) to arrange dragon-type encounters so they could attack without getting hit back for the vast majority of the time that it took to kill the monster. In short, what they did was carefully orchestrate 100,000+ hps encounters so that, for 75% or more of the time that it took to kill the encounter, the monster got beaten on and was not able to fight back.

In addition, SOE staff observed various members of the guild discussing the cheating — these comments include:

“we’re useing [sic] massive amounts of exploits and u send a gm down here?”

“Any lead GM shows up, this show is over.”

“yeah, this is the most impressive Itz-guyversploit [sic] to date”

“every guild exploits these”

The EverQuest Rules of Conduct state, among other things:

“You will not exploit any bug in EverQuest and you will not communicate the existence of any such exploitable bug (bugs that grant the user unnatural or unintended benefits in game), either directly or through public posting, to any other user of EverQuest. You will promptly report any such bug via the in-game “/bug” command or via the email address.”

“Disciplinary issues involving guilds will also be addressed on a broader basis. Guilds whose members habitually violate any of the Rules of Conduct . . . may be disbanded.”

As a result of this unfortunate incident, (i) most of the participants were suspended for one week, (ii) a few, who had received previous warnings or suspensions, were banned, and (iii) this guild has been disbanded.

SOE regrets having to take these measures, but SOE is committed to protecting the health and viability of the game and of the EverQuest community. We\’e2\’80\’99d also like to correct a few related misconceptions regarding this event: (i) Conquest did not complete the encounter \’e2\’80\ldblquote SOE staff inadvertently spawned the Sleeper during it\’e2\’80\’99s efforts to stop the cheating, (ii) the \’e2\’80\’9chuman figures\’e2\’80\’9d in some screenshots are a result of the screenshot taker not patching, and (iii) the zone is complete and working — once SOE has patched fixes to these exploits we encourage players to wake the Sleeper.

We appreciate everyone\’e2\’80\’99s emails with regards to questions and we do hope this will assist everyone in an understanding of the situation.

-The EverQuest Customer Service Team

An anonymous former of the Conquest guild had this response:

They basically took about 5 or 6 lines from over 8 hours of guildchat that were jokes and twisted them. We don’t have the logs that they do obviously so there is no way to defend ourselves. I didn’t even remember those statements until they reprinted them.

I am done with EQ, I wasn’t banned but I am cancelling my accounts. I thank you again for your time on this and wish you the very best with your site. I will still continue to read and support your site even though I no longer trust online games the way I used to.

So now you know two sides of the story. The third side (what we like to call “The Truth”) will probably be somewhat slower in developing. On the other hand, I bet the next guild to clear Sleepers doesn’t see a human placeholder!