Raid Lockout Timer Lockdown — Rushed Fix for 5 Year Old Bug

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, Raiding

Less than 72 hours before this year’s SOE Live fan gathering in Las Vegas, the EQ2 team have rushed a ham-handed fix for an exploit that, according to one player, has been present in the game since launch, and players have been exploiting for at least 5 years.

From hennyo on EQ2 Flames:

This is a bug that has been in the game since day one. The first time I heard of it being used was [Spirits of the Lost], but the first [expansion] I know it was extensively abused was [Echoes of Faydwer]. Even then though, most people that used this bug back then only used it sparingly, because quite frankly everyone thought anyone caught using it would get their accounts banned.

So why is after all this time did they implement this fix, instead of just banning the exploiters? Did they seriously not know about this bug, do they have no clue what they are about to do to their game? Seriously are they THAT mad about a few players farming loot a tad faster than they planned?

An Ineffective Fix

Novusod on EQ2Flames has shed some light on how this exploit works:

There was a bugged way to reset a full clear zone every 30 minutes by having alts A, B, C, D set timers within 30 minutes of each other. Then as the timers were about to end a 24 man raid could run the full instance 3 or 4 times in single night. It was a pretty big bug exploit that needed to be closed but the way SoE is doing it is just stupid. It still might not even fix the bug completely which is why this fix is just a big joke that will hurt real raiders.

Casual Guilds and Progression

The documented fix will have have a damaging effect on Casual and Mid-Tier guilds that are currently spending 2 or more nights to progress through Underdepths or Plane of War. With all non-PoW lockouts now set to a hard deadline of 2 days, 20 hours, a guild that raids 2 nights a week will no longer be able to continue a zone on Friday that they started on Tuesday. This change could have sweeping effects on the raid schedule of hundreds of guilds.

Conclusions

With just 6 weeks prior to the expansion, and with an 8 year old bug, it seems like an announcement followed by the introduction some anti-exploit detection code and the threat of suspensions would have been far more effective while a sensible long-term fix could be developed in time for the Chains of Eternity expansion.

Several top raiders have pointed out this fix won’t actually solve the issue, as the 30 minute minimum “soft” reset remains and can still be exploited. The only people affected by this “fix” will be casual guilds. A better fix would have been to increase the minimum “soft” reset time on raid zones from 30 minutes to 2 days 20 hours and leave the maximum at 7 or 9 days.

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Comments (39)

  • baddabing

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    That sucks ban the players exploiting

    Being able to lock raid zone’s and reset them and run them again is the only way some guilds are able to do a zone enough times in a week and also allows people to have some time to do other things then play eq2.

    Biggest fail fix ever get a grip and why does pow lock out need to be different then any other raid zone my 13 accounts wont be paying for the next xpac if this is up held

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    It is the resetting that is being exploited. They opening up a second instance and doubling the amount of times they can go into the zones.

    Reply

  • Mrgreenthumb

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    Man why the hell are they changing a good thing ? I myself think when you first a raid zone as new content it might take a week to clear it for a lot people . This is a bad fix from what is in my opinion a lazy development team that dosnt really want to fix the problem . Thanks for the bandaid guys, but were still bleeding over here :)

    NOT HAPPY :(

    Reply

  • chris

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    soe — your killing the game for raiders … many will leave the game over this imo .. i really dont think any1 at soe has even a clue about there own game and the community. so now we can only raid pow twice in a 10 day period .. im telling ya peoples gonna leave .. get a grip soe

    Reply

  • Stark

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    PoW is on a longer lockout because it’s a bigger zone.. Takes most guilds more than one raidnight to finish, unlike most other raidzones..
    It’s like VP, Underfoot Depths or Emerald Halls. They have always been 4 days 20 hours to 9 days.

    For my guild this means that Sundays raid will be simply farming, we used to open up zones for next week but now we just have to farm.. It’s a low attendance day usually so no progression and our next raid night is Thursday so no timers will survive that.

    Reply

  • Madcat

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    The fun part is it will not prevent THIS. It will still be possible to run 2 time in raw the zone after saved it. Just you have to time better when you save it.

    Or just lock account player cant play when you have done something :P

    Or better dont allow sell loot right and problem is solved lol.

    Reply

  • Beefeater

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    @Madcat: Please don’t turn this into a SLR debate. There’s nothing wrong with selling gear.

    My guild too sets zone timers early so that we can do more content, as we have a pretty light raiding schedule that happens to be three straight days, rather than spread out over a week. This will get rid of that option. Sucks. :(

    Reply

  • Tomatoh

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    So Basically they want you to do one zone a week?
    On Sunday you go into DP and UD and set the timers
    You will be able to go into it a new DP and UD on Wednesday?
    And on Friday you do ST?

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Another ham-handed solution to a non-problem. My alliance raids Wednesdays and Saturdays–with that length on non-PoW timers, we can’t finish a zone started either night on another night if it came to it.

    Not a positive change, at all.

    Reply

  • Tylia

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    This is such a bad decision and seems to be an irrational knee-jerk reaction that will have far more negative consequences than it will positive reactions. :(

    Reply

  • Lokim

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    This raid zone timer means we can clear 1 zone per week with the nights we raid… With 35 raiders to gear up this basically means we might be able to gear everybody up before the next expansion – If perfect loot drops and none is wasted which never happens. Roughly 1/3 of the guild will never get their drops due to this.

    This is a terrible fix for a non existant problem. They could have easily figured a fix to still have resetable zones so people can do more than 1 zone a week. I don’t see how running a resetable zone again like they are saying is an exploit. It is by definition: resetable.

    All they are accomplishing is a lot less gear will go around, zones will not get cleared and people will quit this game.

    Reply

  • Daalilama

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    It’s complete and utter bullcrap doesn’t fix the problem at all way to kill the player base even more SOE

    Reply

  • Tomatoh

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    Hopefully those going to FanFaire will hammer the devs on this stupid change!

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    The reason they are doing this is do to an exploit. No, I don’t think this is the right solution but here is the exploit.

    You log in and run a zone and set a timer.
    The next night you open a new instance of the same zone, say PoW on some alts.
    You clear everything you can in the first zone and when the timer is resetable you reset and open up a new zone with a 30 min lockout.
    When 30 min is up you go into the zone set by the alts and get all the loot from that one.
    Now you can reset again and have gained a full extra zone of loot.
    This is what the raid guilds are exploiting.

    I don’t know what the best fix is for it, but that is the exploit they are working on closing. So if you want to get mad at someone get mad at those guilds who are exploiting and causing you to loose the ability to set timers.

    Reply

  • Lempo of Everfrost

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    @Kruzzen

    So get mad at the people that were exploiting this???

    SOE is where any anger should be directed at, they do not enforce the policies they have laid out. If there were any true repurcussions for the people that were exploiting this then it would be a completely different story, but instead the rest of the population is punished because of the actions of a few.

    I don’t know who was exploiting it, but I know who the mind numbing retards are that took a wrecking ball to an issue that could have been fixed with a small ban hammer. Thanks, but no thanks I’ll direct any anger over this exactly where it should be directed and that is at SOE.

    I mean seriously Nu’Roga has been broken for 5 months or more and there are plenty of other things that are broken that affect gameplay in a negative way and these idiots go and screw something up that was working just fine for everyone, all because a few wanted to bend the rules.

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    Really? After all these years? Surely there must be another way.

    Agree they will get an earful from fans. Maybe a better suggestion, too.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    And BREAKING from Twitter:

    John Smedley @j_smedley

    We’ve found a way to let existing players of our current games that are migrating over to Prosieben (EQ, EQ II, Planetside 2) keep their SOE accounts and stay with SOE. Down the road we may offer an option to move over to Prosieben. Just to be clear after these games launch on Prosieben’s service new accounts will be created on their sites. However all US and EU players can still play together no matter which service they are on.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    Also talk about “improvements” in P7S.1 CS, whatever those may be.

    Reply

  • Uberfuzzy

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    Horse, Barn. I see what you did there :)

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    (Heh, thanks on the edit. Still getting used to twitter etiquette…)

    Reply

  • Elderon

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    Come on SOE, give us casual raiders a break once in a while!! 2 times per week… that is all we raid, and only on Saturday & Wednesday. We don’t finish all of UD on Saturday and usually go back in on Wednesday and clean up what we didn’t finish. So NOW guess what… Poof, it gets wiped out and we never get to Dozekar… and no BP.

    These are older players and those who can’t raid on demanding schedules so the spread out raid days really works for us. However, it appears this won’t be a good idea anymore because we will never get to continue the zone. So, essentially this just discourages our dwindling EQ2 players to go find fun somewhere else…

    Brilliant idea… Just Brilliant.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    We need this to be brought up at SOE Live and ask what Idiot actually came up with the idea. :/

    Reply

  • Madcat

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    Sad in 5 years of thinking they havnt found a better way to fix.

    They should do fan fair realy more often that make them really work :P

    /bad sacrasm

    Like shawl was abused for duplicate items they totaly destroyed it instead of just fix the exploit. And so much more…

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    We used to do this on the Leviathan when we were trying to kill it. Open zone, set lockout timer. Next raid night, go into the saved zone, farm suits, reset, farm suits, try and kill levi. It gave us enough suits to try numerous times.

    Does seem kind of silly to fix this “exploit” that simply allowed people to run the zone multiple times in the same night. It’s not like it made the zones easier to do or anything. It just let people run the content more often. Heaven forbid people actually play more.

    Reply

  • Gaealiege

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    I’m not surprised by the response from Sony, but I’m certainly frustrated.

    How is it that Sony cannot seem to manage a moderate fix? What the hell is so wrong at SOE that things like Deadly Bane Warding, Shawl, or timers cannot receive a moderate fix that doesn’t entirely destroy the effect/item/activity.

    It has become tiring to read what overreaction comes out of the Sony pipeline next. How is it that this company makes millions of dollars? What the hell is wrong with those of us giving them money?

    Reply

  • Buffrat

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    This affects the guilds clearing PoW too, guys. With a 4d20h lockout we’re only able to clear it once a week instead of twice a week. :|

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    So Sony is nuking the problem instead of using a fine scalpel to carefully fix something?

    Color me surprised. Sony never does such a thing…

    Reply

  • Llenwyn

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    Don’t think it was exploiting with Levi, Deth. IIRC, the trash didn’t set the success lockout timer, so the zone reset after 30 mins once everyone zoned out.

    I feel for all the guilds that get hurt by this change. Seems like an extremely heavy handed way to fix an exploit, which will destroy the possibility to progress for a lot of casual guilds.

    Reply

  • Daalilama

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    Buff I agree but this “fix” has a far more devestating affect on the small to medium “casual” guilds and I’ve already been warned several times by the forum nazis for commenting on this assinine change…so I expect a temp forum ban in a day or two.

    Reply

  • Buffrat

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    True, but I think this is one of the first raid changes I can remember that actually craps on all raiders and not just casuals or just hardcores or just midtier guilds.

    Reply

  • Lempo of Everfrost

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    @Brasse – you were awful quick to jump in the other side and chide me about not being able to be happy with a good change are you even reading these comments? Or do you just not give a damn about the impact that it has on the raiding community?

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Well this sure screws up our 3 night a week raid schedule. So much for raiding Monday Tusday and Thursday. It was hard enough to field a raid for those days now we might have to change the nights. This is not a good thing.

    Reply

  • Ragefighter

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    This sucks for everyone…

    Reply

  • Feldon

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    I have spoken to Zoltaroth and the EQ2 team are looking into alternate solutions that would allow them to return to the [original] soft timers.

    Reply

  • Loch

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    Thanks, Feldon!

    Reply

  • Madcat

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    need more fan fair, thing go better, quicker

    Reply

  • Tylia

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    That’s great news Feldon. Hopefully they will get this mess fixed rather quickly.

    Reply

  • Daalilama

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    For christ sake just hire Feldon on the staff and give him a veto on assinine fixes already!

    Reply

  • Striinger

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    I guess I don’t get the real problem with the way it was. YEA, you can run the same content twice in a night (or finish some that you started early in the week, then try it again). It still doesn’t permit you to run the same zone 10x per week instead of 2x.

    Minimum lockouts determine how many times you can run it per week. Anyone thinking this is an “exploit” that deserves a fix is far too sheltered for human interaction….stay in your mom’s basement, and NEVER come out.

    Reply

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