LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby theckhd » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:41 am

Shoju wrote:I don't understand why you are so quick to dismiss the EULA and TOS as rules to the competition. Even without a governing body for the competition, you have to abide by the rules of the TOS and EULA to continue to be allowed on the field of play. Therefore, the rules of the TOS and EULA are the enforceable rules for the competition.

If you don't want to abide by the rules to use the field of play you have an option.

Find a new field of Play.


Because, as I said before, Blizzard isn't running the competition. They don't hand out prizes. They don't crown winners. They don't say, "to be eligible for world firsts, you must not do X Y and Z." Those aren't decisions that Blizzard makes, they're decisions that the community makes. If Paragon exploits for extra loot and manages to get a world first kill, public perception is that they have the world first. Blizzard might ban them, revoke the achievement, or any number of other things. But it's ultimately up to the community to decide whether that kill is "legitimate," based on whatever criterion the community uses for legitimacy.

You obviously wouldn't consider it a legitimate boss kill, because they cheated by violating the TOS. And most people probably agree with you. On the other hand, if the majority of the competitors are engaging in an activity that the community deems acceptable, even if it's against the TOS, then that activity is legitimate within the bounds of the competition. The fact that Blizzard may ban players for that activity is irrelevant, apart from the fact that it affects those players ability to compete.

Returning to my stadium analogy, Blizzard owns the stadium and the field. They can decide whether you're allowed to enter and play on it, or not. But if you get a group together to play football, they don't referee your game. If you and your friends decide that it's acceptable to wear cleats that destroy the field, or shoulder pads with knives strapped to them for that extra danger factor, then that's not against the rules of your game. Right up until they remove you from the premises and lock you out of the stadium, of course, at which point the game ends.


Shoju wrote:Why? Why is it less clear? Why is it less clear just because a bunch of people do it? Is it any less clear that speeding is against the law when oh so many people do it every second of every day in every place with roads, laws, and automobiles? If you get a ticket, is a valid defense "BUT THEY WERE SPEEDING TOO!?"


Speeding is against the law, just as exploiting is against the TOS. Nowhere am I claiming in my argument that "everyone else is doing it" was a valid defense for a ticket, nor am I saying that Blizzard isn't 100% justified in banning the players that participated. However, that still doesn't make either activity illegal in a competition that isn't organized and arbitrated by the source of that law. Organizing a street race on a state highway is definitely against the law, because the participants are speeding. So does that make the winner of the race a cheater? Immoral? What if someone juices their car up for the competition? Remember that this isn't NASCAR, it's a loosely-organized street race. Who decides what's acceptable in those conditions?

And again, it's the moral angle that bothers me moreso than the sportsmanship angle. I'll agree that it's unsportsmanlike behavior, but I question whether you can fairly claim it's immoral. To use your speeding example: is speeding immoral? Almost everyone does it at one point or another, some habitually and some by accident. It's against the law, and it's breaking the rules. And it's even more relevant than the question of cheating at a video game, because by speeding you are increasing the risk of bodily harm to yourself and other drivers. By your definition of morality, 90% of the population is immoral and doesn't deserve to be on the road.

I just have trouble with that logic, because morals aren't state-imposed; they're based on people's perception of what's right, fair, or just. If the public at large thinks speeding isn't a horrible thing, then it's not immoral even if it is illegal. You could make similar arguments for pot, or any number of other things (prohibition anyone?). I feel like the "immorality" of cheating at a video game falls into this category, because it's a low-stakes contest where ultimately what's "moral" and "immoral" is up to the participants.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby halabar » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:13 am

theckhd wrote:I just have trouble with that logic, because morals aren't state-imposed; they're based on people's perception of what's right, fair, or just. If the public at large thinks speeding isn't a horrible thing, then it's not immoral even if it is illegal. You could make similar arguments for pot, or any number of other things (prohibition anyone?). I feel like the "immorality" of cheating at a video game falls into this category, because it's a low-stakes contest where ultimately what's "moral" and "immoral" is up to the participants.


I dislike using the moral argument, as that involves belief systems as well. I'd use that it's ethically wrong.

But there are a few problems here.

Method (or it's rep here) has already stated that they only really care about competition from one other guild. It's a 2-horse race in their eyes. In that case, all of our bluster really doesn't matter.

Speeding isn't a great example, as the state/city owns the highways and makes the laws, and there is real risk involved.

Blizz actually does sanction the competition however. By providing achievements, and monitoring in-game during attempts, while they don't actually crown a world winner, they do facilitate the competition.

Best example I can think of goes back to NASCAR, where a couple of top teams get early access to new parts. They get caught, and get banned for one race, and pushed back to the last starting spots in the next race. All the other teams push the edges of staying legal, but some teams push too far and get smacked.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Shoju » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:18 am

theckhd wrote:Because, as I said before, Blizzard isn't running the competition. They don't hand out prizes. They don't crown winners. They don't say, "to be eligible for world firsts, you must not do X Y and Z." Those aren't decisions that Blizzard makes, they're decisions that the community makes. If Paragon exploits for extra loot and manages to get a world first kill, public perception is that they have the world first. Blizzard might ban them, revoke the achievement, or any number of other things. But it's ultimately up to the community to decide whether that kill is "legitimate," based on whatever criterion the community uses for legitimacy.

You obviously wouldn't consider it a legitimate boss kill, because they cheated by violating the TOS. And most people probably agree with you. On the other hand, if the majority of the competitors are engaging in an activity that the community deems acceptable, even if it's against the TOS, then that activity is legitimate within the bounds of the competition. The fact that Blizzard may ban players for that activity is irrelevant, apart from the fact that it affects those players ability to compete.

Returning to my stadium analogy, Blizzard owns the stadium and the field. They can decide whether you're allowed to enter and play on it, or not. But if you get a group together to play football, they don't referee your game. If you and your friends decide that it's acceptable to wear cleats that destroy the field, or shoulder pads with knives strapped to them for that extra danger factor, then that's not against the rules of your game. Right up until they remove you from the premises and lock you out of the stadium, of course, at which point the game ends.

Speeding is against the law, just as exploiting is against the TOS. Nowhere am I claiming in my argument that "everyone else is doing it" was a valid defense for a ticket, nor am I saying that Blizzard isn't 100% justified in banning the players that participated. However, that still doesn't make either activity illegal in a competition that isn't organized and arbitrated by the source of that law. Organizing a street race on a state highway is definitely against the law, because the participants are speeding. So does that make the winner of the race a cheater? Immoral? What if someone juices their car up for the competition? Remember that this isn't NASCAR, it's a loosely-organized street race. Who decides what's acceptable in those conditions?

And again, it's the moral angle that bothers me moreso than the sportsmanship angle. I'll agree that it's unsportsmanlike behavior, but I question whether you can fairly claim it's immoral. To use your speeding example: is speeding immoral? Almost everyone does it at one point or another, some habitually and some by accident. It's against the law, and it's breaking the rules. And it's even more relevant than the question of cheating at a video game, because by speeding you are increasing the risk of bodily harm to yourself and other drivers. By your definition of morality, 90% of the population is immoral and doesn't deserve to be on the road.

I just have trouble with that logic, because morals aren't state-imposed; they're based on people's perception of what's right, fair, or just. If the public at large thinks speeding isn't a horrible thing, then it's not immoral even if it is illegal. You could make similar arguments for pot, or any number of other things (prohibition anyone?). I feel like the "immorality" of cheating at a video game falls into this category, because it's a low-stakes contest where ultimately what's "moral" and "immoral" is up to the participants.


I hate using this line in support of my previous argument, because it is a crappy line, and similar in the vein of an argument that I didn't like earlier on the other side. The fact of the matter is, if you don't have kids, especially kids of an appropriate age who not only could play WoW, but do play WoW, and do watch things like this, it is really hard to see it from my perspective.

There is a definite morality position in play in this for me, and it does drive my opinion about things. I want my son to grow up understand that if you agree to something, in this case the ToS / EULA of WoW, you abide by the rules. It is their sandbox. It is their toys. You use them, because they allow you to do so, and if you break their rules, they can and, as we have now seen, will tell you to go home, that you don't get to play with their toys for a week.

So, if you decide that you are going to have a competition, and you are going to use their field, you have to include their rules in the rules of your competition, otherwise, you can't be a part of any competition that you would have there.

If the stadium has a 'no bladed weapons' policy, you, as a byproduct of that rule, have a no bladed weapons policy in the rules that govern the competition that you conduct on their field.

If the stadium has a no metal cleats because they ruin the playing surface rule, you, as a byproduct of that rule, have a no metal cleats because they ruin the playing surface rule.

If blizzard has a Exploitation clause in the TOS and EULA, you, as a byproduct of that rule, have a no exploitation rule in your competition.

It goes back to, if you don't want to abide by those rules, go find a new field that will allow your rules.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby halabar » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:27 am

Shoju wrote:There is a definite morality position in play in this for me, and it does drive my opinion about things. I want my son to grow up understand that if you agree to something, in this case the ToS / EULA of WoW, you abide by the rules. It is their sandbox. It is their toys. You use them, because they allow you to do so, and if you break their rules, they can and, as we have now seen, will tell you to go home, that you don't get to play with their toys for a week.


The LFR exploit was cheating. Even Method agrees with that. The description said you could get loot once per week.

But what about places where there are grey areas? Standing in the certain spot on the floor where you discover you take less damage? The ToS doesn't cover that.

Let's try taxes. Say you live in one of the european or asian countries where EVERYONE cheats on their taxes. If you actually paid everything the government said, you'd hand over your entire check. So what do you do? Cheat like everyone else?
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Shoju » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:36 am

halabar wrote:
Shoju wrote:There is a definite morality position in play in this for me, and it does drive my opinion about things. I want my son to grow up understand that if you agree to something, in this case the ToS / EULA of WoW, you abide by the rules. It is their sandbox. It is their toys. You use them, because they allow you to do so, and if you break their rules, they can and, as we have now seen, will tell you to go home, that you don't get to play with their toys for a week.


The LFR exploit was cheating. Even Method agrees with that. The description said you could get loot once per week.

But what about places where there are grey areas? Standing in the certain spot on the floor where you discover you take less damage? The ToS doesn't cover that.

Let's try taxes. Say you live in one of the european or asian countries where EVERYONE cheats on their taxes. If you actually paid everything the government said, you'd hand over your entire check. So what do you do? Cheat like everyone else?


If you believed in being moral and ethical, yes. You would hand over the check. I'm very thankful that I don't live there, and I'm not faced with that moral dilemma.

The standing in the certain spot on the floor where you discover you take less damage is very similar to what it has been rumored a well known tank did on the eredar twins fight in Sunwell Plateau by standing on a decroative fire to take miniscule fire damage which cleared his shadow debuff stack.

While I don't know if he was punished for it, I have heard that same story come up multiple times when talking about his guild's kill the the fight. I don't know for sure, as in TBC I was far to busy dealing with getting myself geared and ready and out the door to tank.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby theckhd » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:38 am

Here's some more in-game example for what I mean; Keep in mind that Blizzard can make any arbitrary rule they want. The fact that these rules would be stupid is irrelevant for the point being made.

Let's say Blizzard decides it's against the TOS to send gold from one character on an account to another. So you can send your friend 50k gold through the mail, but you can't send that same 50k to your alt. That makes it "illegal" within the rules of the game. Is it immoral, though? If so, why? Just because it's against the TOS? Are players who get a second account to be able to send money back and forth to circumvent the rule immoral?

Or let's say they decide that it's against the TOS to log on to your account from more than one computer. You're now only allowed to play WoW from the very first computer you install it on. If you upgrade, buy a new computer, etc., then tough - buy another copy of WoW, or risk having your account banned. Is that immoral?

The point is that Blizzard may make the rules, but they don't get to decide what is moral, or what the "rules" of the world-first competition are. The rules are exactly what the community and the competitors decide is acceptable, including things that may be against the TOS.

Most people probably take the stance that Shoju does, and say that LFR loot exploits aren't acceptable. However, it may not matter what he or I think, because we're not in the race. We're not competing with those players, we're spectators. And as spectators, we can commentate, complain about the lack of integrity, or even decide not to recognize the race. But we don't set the rules for the guilds actually in the competition.

What matters is the opinions of the players in those top-100 guilds; if they all decide "yes, we're all going to break the TOS in this specific way to ensure that the competition stays fair," then that's fair game for the competition. I realize there was no explicit meeting where they sat down and decided this sort of thing, but the principle stands; it's up to the competitors to decide what's fair within the bounds of their own competition.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby theckhd » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:45 am

Shoju wrote:There is a definite morality position in play in this for me, and it does drive my opinion about things. I want my son to grow up understand that if you agree to something, in this case the ToS / EULA of WoW, you abide by the rules. It is their sandbox. It is their toys. You use them, because they allow you to do so, and if you break their rules, they can and, as we have now seen, will tell you to go home, that you don't get to play with their toys for a week.

So, if you decide that you are going to have a competition, and you are going to use their field, you have to include their rules in the rules of your competition, otherwise, you can't be a part of any competition that you would have there.


I think the disagreement is on more fundamental grounds then. I don't have the same morality position. It's polite to abide by the rules set, certainly. And if it has notable adverse effects on another human being, then I'd certainly be with you on the moral stance. But I also think that rules should be scrutinized rather than followed blindly. People make rules for all sorts of stupid reasons, and they're not always good rules. Sometimes, you can safely ignore them, other times not. That critical thinking ability is important, in my mind.

So maybe you're right - I don't have kids, so I can't say how I'd feel if I did have them, and maybe I'd be on your side of the argument. However, I do like to think that I'd teach my kids to use their critical thinking skills to determine whether the rules make sense, what the potential consequences of breaking said rules are, and whether or not those rules should be followed, ignored, broken, protested against, or whatever.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby sahiel » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:55 am

theckhd wrote:What matters is the opinions of the players in those top-100 guilds; if they all decide "yes, we're all going to break the TOS in this specific way to ensure that the competition stays fair," then that's fair game for the competition. I realize there was no explicit meeting where they sat down and decided this sort of thing, but the principle stands; it's up to the competitors to decide what's fair within the bounds of their own competition.

In principle I'd agree, so long as everyone worked within the legal framework that Blizzard has laid down for access to their game. If all the top guilds decided "A world first only counts if your raid leader is wearing a christmas hat in game." and everyone agreed to that then fine, that's up to them! But deciding "lets break the legal ToS we agreed to" isn't the same thing, it's not an ingame choice it's cheating and, despite Blizzards laxity and poor record on the subject, not something that should even be up for discussion.

The problem is that in your argument it's up to all the competitors, not just the top 1%. A small fraction of those top 100 guilds decided to cheat and gain an advantage, against other real people, secretly and without informing everyone what they were doing until it came out via leaks and rumours. Whether the top guilds considered the rest real 'competition' is irrelevant, for all they knew there could have been a 'super guild' with the skill ready to take them down and get world first.

There are countless examples in history where a totally unexpected underdog has managed to pull off an amazing win and are justifiably lauded for the accomplishment, if that had happened here it would have been tainted with the 'not a true race' issue because the top guilds chose to cheat and break the ToS.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:05 am

theckhd wrote:Most people probably take the stance that Shoju does, and say that LFR loot exploits aren't acceptable. However, it may not matter what he or I think, because we're not in the race. We're not competing with those players, we're spectators. And as spectators, we can commentate, complain about the lack of integrity, or even decide not to recognize the race. But we don't set the rules for the guilds actually in the competition.

What matters is the opinions of the players in those top-100 guilds; if they all decide "yes, we're all going to break the TOS in this specific way to ensure that the competition stays fair," then that's fair game for the competition. I realize there was no explicit meeting where they sat down and decided this sort of thing, but the principle stands; it's up to the competitors to decide what's fair within the bounds of their own competition.


So, we don't have the gravitas to call them cheaters?

I'm sorry, but like I had said before. If you play to get the recognition of the spectators, don't call foul play on the commentators if they label you a cheater, for you know, cheating.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Passionario » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:14 am

I think we're all missing the point here. It's not about loot, or competition, or philosophy, or morals, or strategy, or any of these things.

It's about love.

Like two star-crossed lovers, Paragon and Method are willing to slay any dragon, overcome any challenge, break all rules and compacts, suffer the hate and ridicule of the world and be subjected to suspension and banning - as long as they face this fate together. And no one - not other guilds, not Blizzard, not WoWProgress and certainly not us - will stand in the way of their passionate UST-laden rivalmance. :D
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:23 am

Passionario wrote:I think we're all missing the point here. It's not about loot, or competition, or philosophy, or morals, or strategy, or any of these things.

It's about love.

Like two star-crossed lovers, Paragon and Method are willing to slay any dragon, overcome any challenge, break all rules and compacts, suffer the hate and ridicule of the world and be subjected to suspension and banning - as long as they face this fate together. And no one - not other guilds, not Blizzard, not WoWProgress and certainly not us - will stand in the way of their passionate UST-laden rivalmance. :D


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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby KnotUrDay724 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:29 am

In time it will be settled and we will look back at the ban hammer wagon and say "Ahhh, yeaah, Blizzard showed up to that one."

I really just hope this doesn't leave a bad taste for Tier 13. It may have stained the fabric of raiding for top guilds this tier, and as in some cases, the raid groups/guilds quit WoW all together. That should speak volumes to Blizzard about keeping a closer eye on PTR known exploits/bugs/issues, and having them fixed before content releases.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:39 am

I understand that this isn't a formal competition and with that comes a large gray area about rules and what not, but a basic principle required to any competition is some level fairness. Now this competition will never be completely fair, different time zones get to start at different times, different guilds can play more than other...etc but I think at least in a general sense the community accepts that the TOS matters and Blizz is able to play the role of arbitrar (referee). It's really about the only expectation of fairness that the community seems to follow.

In such a gray area, each case of "cheating" really needs to be evaluated on its own, and I really think that is where this instance runs into so much scrutiny. There is no ambiguity here, the action clearly violated a long time fundamental game mechanic, it violated the TOS/EULA, and even Blizzard punished those involved.

I really hate to make an analogy, given the number of failed attempts in this thread, but I've never really been one to follow my own better judgment, so here it goes...

Imagine you and a group of friends get together for a friendly Magic the Gathering tournament. No money changing hands, no rewards, just a small group of friends having some fun. Now, when the it's down to the last two people, you are somewhat excited to watch because you know both of these players are pretty good, and it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

However, while that final game is being played, you notice one of them slips another card into his deck (I assume that is cheating in this game, I've never actually played it). Now, there is really no victim here because it was just a casual game. I don't know if I'd call it immoral if only beacuse that tends to be a loaded word (though it would qualify by the dictionary definition) used for more serious things, but regardless, it's a pretty shitty thing that your friend just did. It leaves doubt in your mind over the competition and even whether or not your friend is all that good at Magic or just really good at cheating. It's disappointing to say the least.

To me this situation is somewhat like that. This is a competition basically was invented by the masses, and the participants get E-Fame as a reward, the flip side of that is that they kind of have to live with how their actions are perceived. This sort of cheating, being so obvious clearly falls outside the bounds of strategy, you certainly can't make an argument that Paragon wasn't trying to make skew the fairness of the competition in their favor. I don't think it's a stretch for the fans of this competition to be disappoined with the folks that violated that sort of common sense contract of fair play that ultimately undermines the competition itself. For this competition to continue to exist, this sort of behavior needs to be judged as inappropriate. Whether the cheating crosses the line of morality is for each person on their own to determine, but certainly it was a kind of shitty thing to do.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:46 am

Currently, 7 guilds are 6/8 in 25 HMs, including STARS.
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Re: LFR Exploit - Loot / Tier drop farming

Postby Brekkie » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:53 pm

As Theck said, the fundamental disagreement here is on different perspectives of morality, and I don't think that something so integral to everyone's world-view is capable of being resolved in the scope of this discussion.

A lot of you are really idolizing the TOS/EULA, when EULAs are of questionable legality and binding authority anyway.

For the record, I don't put this in the same category as bosskill exploits. It's just an annoying logistical inconvenience that was forced on guilds due to Blizzard's horrible lack of foresight, as usual.
No different than the multi-group nightmare of ToC/ToGC/10-man/25-man trinkets maximization, or having to spend hours farming trash when ICC first came out to farm exalted reputation rings. Both of those were arguably against the "spirit" of how Blizzard implemented the content too.
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