WHEN DEVELOPERS ATTACK [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

John Smedley, Chief Operating Officer of “We Can Cut It, dude.” Incorporated, dusted off his keyboard and set aside his COO hat to get nasty with the boys. His warning to Hackerquest was simple. You come around my house with that crap, and I’ll drop you like a bad habit. Or, in his own words,

This message is addressed to those of you that are attempting to hack EverQuest:

Read other messages on this board VERY carefully. You will find that a large number of people are being banned today.

We have been logging things on the server for some time and will continue to do so in the future. If you hack, you will be caught, and you will be banned. It’s that simple.


John Smedley

Chief Operating Officer

Sony Online Entertainment

I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t Smed. It serves no purpose, and Smed is not prone to drive-by threatenings. A few who pointed this out were invited to email him at his Verant address. According to those few, he responded and confirmed that this message was indeed posted by John “The Real McCoy” Smedley.

I’m not sure what kind of a response or reaction he expected from the denizens of Hackerquest, but those of us who have braved these waters before will find the responses familiar.

you fucking cock sucker, go to hell you fucking evil verant taking out money with mind control, ok had to let that out, YES we used hacks YES you suck at keeping them from working.

I suggest you leave here Hitler, and take your Verant bullshit with you, there are other ways to deal with this, then banning people, then making the tech support number A TOLL CHARGE, and you cannot cancel your account using eq.exe because when you try it just says your account has been banned, go to hell you bastard and get a life, THANK GOD my eq addiction is over!

I’m not sure what addiction this poster is referring to, but he really needs to see someone about this EQ obsession of his. Bear witness to the work of idle hands, True Believers. Summer Vacation was invented by Satan, the Lord of Perdition. Can I get an amen?


Log all the hacks you want, ban people all you want, I don’t care. Just make EQ work in a window, I’m tired of this lame interface taking over my desktop completely.


This being my personal #1 reason to not ever play EverQuest. If I’m online, and I cant task to find out who is instant messaging me, or what great earn-thousands-from-home email offers just arrived in my inbox, then something is very wrong. The defense for this desktop capture by developers like Verant (and Mythic. Don’t expect the interface at DAoC to be any better), is that this has to be done to ensure that nobody cheats.

Attention K-Mart shoppers: The only foolproof method of cheat prevention is abstinence. Simply put, if you boot your servers up and wire them to the internet, you will have cheaters in your product. Whether or not you want to inconvenience the entire customer base in order to make it seem like there is no cheating going on – well that’s a call you have to make. Not going to allow me to Alt-Tab to my email? Then guess what call I have to make: “Hello, Electronics Botique? Yeah, that reserved copy of Game X I requested? Yeah uhm, you can go ahead and take my name off that list. Right, okay. Thanks. Bye.”

The difference being, I’m not compelled to go out to EB, purchase EQ, and then attempt to hack it to iddy biddy chunks as a means of protesting an interface that I don’t like. Big gigantic DUH to that guy.

Do you even play your game? Do you know how frustrating it is? Do you know how much time it takes to get a stupid item? Do you know how many people you drive literally insane? Frustration? Divorces? Lighten up on us. Its a game pal. Sorry that you are taking as much advantage of it as you can to get many millions, but to us you are just a fuckwad.

I’m sure Smed plays EverQuest. In between sessions of bulletin board chest pounding. Don’t get me wrong, people. I don’t support hackers and I fully support the aggressive tracking and banning of these skateboard commuters. I’m just not sure of the COO of Corporation X should be playing the role of warden (no pun intended) by dropping by various bulletin boards with a shotgun over his shoulder, uttering variations on the “What we have here…. is a failure…to communicate” monologue.

Yes, it is your game, and you make your rules. But in the future, Verant is going to have to put out a FAR superior game to everything else on the market (read: Star Wars liscense alone wont do it) in order for me to buy it, now that I know how much they value their loyal customers.

You know, you really really want this guy to be right, deep down in your heart. But the reality is that you can ship an empty box with a wookie on the cover and picture of a cablemodem, and it will sell faster than hookers at a convention. But his basic premise is accurate. There are all kinds of EQ clones coming soon. Developers are so eager to clone EQ, that they have, according to at least one former programmer, fired entire development teams when they refused to turn their project into EQjr. I just dont think EverQuest is going to see any large scale emmigration. For what it is, people seem to enjoy it.

And anytime people enjoy something, there will be those who seek to destroy it, in order to have something in their life that makes them feel powerful. Designing fubar interfaces only frustrates your customers. It is obvious by now that it does little to curb hacking or cheating in online games. Take note, Mythic. I want to check my email when I’m online. Hacking and cheating will happen. Next time you are in a bank, take note of how secure it is. Look at all the cameras on the walls. Look at the door that is about as heavy as your standard SUV, with a lock as big as a manhole cover. Hell, most banks even put chains on their ballpoint pens so you can’t even steal those!

Then consider how many banks are successfully robbed every month. All the cameras and vaults and chains on pens serve one purpose, and that purpose is NOT to prevent bank robberies. It is to catch bank robbers. Doors that are too long to open, cameras that record your every move, entrances that can contain you in a bulletproof chamber – all these improvements in bank security serve to remove criminals from society and lock them in prisons.

The same reasoning needs to be brought to the MMOG. You will not prevent cheating and hacking. So stop wasting time making your game painfully inconvenient to play. Am I suggesting you not patch bugs? Of course not. Am I suggesting that gimping your game experience in order to curb exploits is a bad idea? Yes. Yes I am.