The American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke said, “There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.” I imagine there are some of you all right now who were wishing that wasn’t true. Welcome to the great banning of January 2014.
Earlier this week, KingsIsle banned (either temporarily or permanently) a significant amount of Wizard101 accounts for taking advantage of an in-game exploit that allowed them to illicitly acquire large amounts of gold. In some cases, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of gold – pet money, mount money, heck, house money, even. There are reports of players having exploited enough gold to buy the most expensive houses in the game.
Let’s start with KingsIsle official statement straight from the Wizard101 Facebook page:
Account Sanctions for Game Exploitation
If it seems too good to be true, it’s probably an exploit.
It’s one thing to pick up a few of the same item and think “hmm something’s not right”
It’s another to pick up a few dozen of the same item. Now you’re getting into a grey area
It’s wholly another to pick up hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of this item – now you’ve slipped into the dark side and are clearly exploiting
It’s this last group that were sanctioned based on the egregiousness of their infraction
Some recent sanctions have been reviewed and reduced.
Please check your email or log in to verify your individual account status.
I understand we’re talking about what is potentially a large part of someone’s life. This is their KI account – the home of wizards they may have worked on for months or even years. The home of wizards they have bought and spent crowns for. The home of identities they carry into the Wizard101 community on places like Central, Facebook, Twitter, and other community forums. It might even be the primary point-of-contact for friends whom those folks may not otherwise have. I feel sympathy for those banned, but that’s not where this ends.
Let’s get down to brass tacks: you all cheated. You discovered a glitch in the game and figured out a way to exploit it for your own personal gain. You created gold that you did not earn by taking advantage of an error in the game. You folks cheated, full time.
I’ve watched some YouTube videos and read some blog posts by those who have been banned, and the righteous indignation displayed by some of those folks is…let’s just say it’s something. One universal theme in most of these protests points the finger back at KingsIsle; the error was in their game – it’s THEIR fault. Why am I in the wrong? I think we all need to reflect a bit on a kitchen knife.
Let’s say I build kitchen knives. Really good ones. They’re expensive and chefs far and wide praise them for what wonderful tools they are to have in the kitchen. The kitchen knife is intended to cut, slice, dice, chop, julienne, trim, and otherwise disassemble food in the preparation of meals. I think we all agree on that, right? Now let’s say some guy takes that kitchen knife and stabs someone with it. That’s not what I intended it for, sure, but it can be used as a weapon. At that point, the onus of the crime falls on the guy holding the bloody knife. I, as the knife manufacturer, just created a tool to cut onions. It took a conscious decision by that guy to perform an act he knew was wrong.
I refuse to believe those who used this exploit didn’t know what they were doing was wrong. I refuse to believe they thought this was a little trick KI included so that clever players could make heaps of gold without earning it. Those individuals knew what they were doing was wrong, they did it anyway, and they did it A LOT. To be frank, these are people with whom I’m not interested in sharing the Spiral. My advice is to accept that actions have consequences, and to learn and grow from the experience. I am sorry for the unhappy situation those individuals find themselves in, but you made your bed.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other members of the Spiral Radio101 staff.