It’s safe to say that it’s been turbulent times in the Tarokka printing industry. Strahd Limited, the leading producer of Tarokka cards north of Waterdeep, suddenly saw orders decline sharply only weeks after an insanely successful market launch. Heads at Castle Ravenloft HQ quickly gathered and tried to identify their apparent competitor, but were unable to find anyone! They still had the monopoly on the cards, but customers simply didn’t seem to need them any longer.
Struggling for answers, some workers were put on short-time work. Others never showed up again after a meeting with Strahd himself. He later said they quit voluntarily, but we spoke to at least one family member that claims nobody ever saw their relatives again! Sources inside the company said that the tension continued to rise in recent weeks. Some executives completely lost their head (quite literally!) and restructuring into a garlic bread facility failed due to the boss’ inability to test the product.
When all seemed lost, the government stepped in and released a statement yesterday that could save the company:
RIP Hunt Exploit
Ok folks, enough of the nonsense! The Hunt Exploit on consoles is no longer. Cryptic additionally wants to let you know that they plan to punish offenders. Here’s a quick recap of what happened: The exploit allowed to run Hunts without losing any Tarokka Cards and bugging the target in one location. It had been active on PC since the Ravenloft launch and not fixed until recently. Unfortunately the fix also led to leaking details to the console crowd. And as it turned out, the bug was still very much active there. So exploiting Hunts on Xbox and PS4 quickly became the norm.
Exploit Handling Still Hilarious
Cryptic now seems to be have fixed the loophole. While that’s generally a good thing, leading into this article with some humor actually wasn’t by accident. Because the way the devs handle these exploits still remains a hilarious mystery. It was pretty much known and used on PC for months. Yet they were unable to include the fix on consoles initially. And now, more than two weeks after the Xbox/PS4 launch, after everyone and their mother already has exploited Hunts, they finally get an announcement out and threaten with bans.
You’re very much talking about worsening the situation. Because if an exploit is live for that long, it turns into a feature and it gets increasingly more difficult for legit players to withstand. If everyone is doing it anyway, why bother? Of course Cryptic can always pitch their “Terms of Service” (as they did yesterday) and refer to the fact that exploiting is not allowed. But what’s an exploit fully depends on what Cryptic classifies as such. So you pretty much never know. Some players think that if you’re unsure, you simply shouldn’t do it and wait for a clarification. That’s a flawed approach of course, because if it’s an exploit nobody will tell you anyway. And in case it’s not, you might still wait weeks for an answer, not being able to participate in whatever activity.
Low Priority Until Leaked to the Public
That said, the Hunt thing was described as “exploit” by us, so it’s not like you can talk yourself out of it (sorry!). However, had Cryptic dealt with the issue more transparently, it wouldn’t be such a mess. Why didn’t they? Well, because public exploits almost certainly come with a bunch of extra work. You have to fix the bug asap, review logs, and hand out bans. If only a few players know and do the exploit, you only have to silently patch it at some point and move on.
Of course that never works. Over time word spreads and so you’ll have to put in the work anyway. So it would have been much better to inform players at launch that there is a known Hunt exploit that they better not use. What would be fair now is to only sanction players that did the exploit after their announcement. And that doesn’t even consider the fact that only very few players read the forum. If folks tell you they genuinely didn’t know, what reasoning other than “we can ban as we please” do you even have?
Of course all of that could very well be unfortunate circumstances. Let’s say they knew about the exploit early, but had trouble fixing it on PC earlier. When they did, it was already too late to push the fix on the final console launch, but they still wanted to get it out on PC as soon as possible. Then everything leaked and bang. Sure, shit happens. But it’s not the first time Cryptic wasn’t able to react in a timely fashion, which always raises suspicions that the problem is more deeply rooted with how they generally deal with such incidents.
Anyway, you folks will have to find legit ways to do get your Hunt rewards now! We’ll also keep you posted in case we hear anything about bans or suspensions.
What’s your take on the exploit? How did Cryptic handle the situation? Should players get punished? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!
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