Of COURSE it was an exploit!

As many of you have noticed, and some of you pointed out in comments to one of my previous recent posts, farming Lovely Charms in Ulduar or in Battle before the Citadel no longer works.

Let me be clear, in reference to Keeva’s post; Yes, farming Lovely Charms in this way WAS an exploit.

If you claim it wasn’t… then you just like to deny reality when it conflicts with you justifying what you want to do as ‘fair’. Saying it was fair doesn’t make it so, and Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt (written for the 2 people in the audience that ain’t heard that one before).

An exploit is anything you find that allows you to bypass what the game designer clearly intended.

Now, in a tabletop pen and paper role playing game, finding inventive and imaginative solutions to complex problems gets you bonus experience points. There is no way to cheat, because you are actively playing with a live, and hopefully awake, game master that has the ultimate power of veto. In an RPG like that, a lot of the fun is in using your brain housing group to think your way out of trouble (or into even greater trouble… sometimes, double or nothing is a valid, and highly entertaining, strategy).

The only real way to try and cheat in a tabletop rpg is to shut off the brain, engage cruise control and snooze through the situation. And I hope you get eaten by a grue.

If you are in a tough situation, and you try some crazy shit… the GM can choose to enjoy it, and likely will. It may fail disastrously, but heck, that can be fun too. But if you try and cheat your dice rolls (No, really, it was a 20. The dice rolled off the table, and behind the chair, but it was a natural 20. I should have left it for you to see, but you trust me, right?) or do something else to get out of thinking and really cheat, he or she can respond interactively with an immediate rebuttal. Such as dropping a 50,000 ton meteorite on top of your character’s head.

Or, if your character for some reason is immune to such things as direct impacts, can prove a point by dropping a 50,000 ton meteor on top of the nearest city… and then hand you an Encyclopedia open to the chapter on Kinetic Energy and mention indirect fire weapons.

In WoW, there are no live moderators or GMs to see what you attempt to do when faced with a challenge, and adjust the difficulty or amend the rules or drop a meteor on your head if you try and slip one by.

Instead, there are pre-defined responses to your input. The results are checked… and if the GMs find general results sh0w that there is a way to bypass their intent, they have to adjust the code. A hotfix.

The argument that “If they didn’t want us to do that, they should have coded the encounter to prevent it” is specious bullshit; it sounds good if you like to take no responsibility whatsoever for your own actions, but it doesn’t really play well in Peoria.

I take full responsibility for my own actions… I knew darn well that I was exploiting a bug that was allowing me to garner up far more Lovely Charms that I should have been able to when I did Battle before the Citadel jousting, and again when I hit Ulduar for no other reason than Charm farming.

I wanted to do the achievements, saw how many Lovely Charms I’d need, spent an hour farming hardcore off mobs in Icecrown, and felt quite daunted. When someone told me you could get ’em from jousting, after the hour I spent, I didn’t feel guilty… I felt overjoyed.

“Yay! Less time farming, more time having carefree fun! Woot!”

Still doesn’t change the fact I didn’t do it straight.

And I’m okay with that.

17 thoughts on “Of COURSE it was an exploit!

  1. … Rants about bad drivers, gleeful gushing about movie trailers, asking for input on your favorite music when I get bored of my playlist, all that stuff is equally valid here. The story stuff I write, in particular, is near in dear to my heart…

    Speaking of movie trailers… have you seen the one for the new Tron movie? Due out end of the year.


  2. . . . hey, my mom’s cousin’s brother’s wife is a turkey and her breath doesn’t smell any worse than anyone else’s. I’m offended 😛


  3. Couple things:

    1. Bracelets at the Citadel

    I didn’t know about the Citadel thing. When I needed to farm stuff, I did it for a days worth (ie. 4 bracelets), and because just farming seemed boring I choose accordingly. I would go to Icecrown, grab various kill dailies like “Blood of the Chosen” along with all the Tournament dailies, and do them. Then I’d kill a few extra. Then I’d go north of the Citadel and kill some of the mobs there, because they cluster nicely for AoE’ing, and finish off. It occurred to me to do Citadel while there, but I figured what was the point? I mean, they _probably_ don’t you charms, and if they do I’m killing a handful of things. Little did I realize. Now reading all this I realize how exactly there could be _so_ many Bracelets on the AH the very same day the holiday started.

    I do think “pity I never tried that, it would have gone faster”, but I’m not unhappy at all. I initially thought it unlikely that doing stuff on a vehicle horsey would yield the things, and I made sure to farm in such a way as to not get burnt out.

    2. Bracelet and Charm hot fixes

    They hot fixed far more than just Citadel. Heck, I didn’t notice the Citadel fix. I did notice that they smoothed out who gets charms, though. No longer is just the person who gets the kill shot. Now it’s everyone in the combat. I know this because after the fix, I started getting Charms in instances. _Any_ amount of Charms. Since I healed, I had gotten the impression that they simply did not drop in instances for some reason. The my friend who farmed them _entirely_ in instances told me what’s going on.

    I’m happy with the hot fix. Very happy. Less meaningless farming for me, and I don’t feel like as a healer I’m getting gipped, and as an occasional DPS’r that I’d have to fight for the kill shot. (I do feel a tad sorry for my friend now who only gets 1/3rd of what he was getting before for them… but only a tad.)

    3. BBB Posting Bear Tanking information

    My main is a druid who was Feral until 70, eventually switched to Resto, and after the +damage/+healing => Spell Power change went Balance/Resto. I’m have a handful of useful Feral gear, a lot of Emblems of Triumph, and a guild that is short on tanks, and I have some questions. Reading your blogs — bear tank focused or not — has always been wonderful. I was wondering, would you mind a few questions I have I’ve found ambivalent answers to?

    How important is it to be hit/expertise capped as a bear tank? Mainly I mean in 10- or 25-man content, but I’d love your opinion on instances as well.

    What do you gem for? If I’m putting gear together and trying be be good enough to be a tank in a 10-man ICC raid… well… am I “wasting” potential in trying to make a socket bonus if it’s a yellow socket? Should I gem for hit and expertise if I’m under the caps? Or should I only be going for AGL, AGL+STA and STA gems? How do you decide what gems you use in your gear?


  4. Well in the bear tanking side of this “Farming” Charms, as of yesterday killing the mobs in the “Broken Front” section of Icecrown still count. Those mobs used by the Exploding Abomb quest count. My son and I would go in (Me on my Bear Druid and He on his Ret Pally) and gather about 1/3 of the area because they seem to Evade if you drag them more than that. We did this early in the week and did it again yesterday. Respawn times are quick enough to keep you busy…. aka you’ll still be looting when they respawn.


  5. @ Firecrotch
    Seriously? I mean ….. Seriously? You are mad at them for hotfixing an exploit before you had exploited it sufficiently??

    Wow. Freaking wow.

    I don’t have a bear tank, so I’m enjoying the general WoW posts and reading the comments. I can understand wanting more of BBB’s obvious expertise, but I don’t think this is a “Bear Tank Information Website” only. It’s John’s personal blog and he happens to be a bear tank. Just sit back and enjoy. I’m assuming you read regularly, so should be aware of his recent guild drama and personal frustration with the game almost turning into another job. Be patient and let the guy be a guy for a while. No one can or should post about one thing and one thing only all the time for years on end unless they are being well paid for it. As John is getting nothing whatsoever out of this other than personal satisfaction and fun – that screams at me “Hey, let the guy post about whatever the hell suits him at that moment!”

    If he gets pressured into writing what he is not wanting to wrote about – the blog becomes a job. I for one don’t want it to become a job. I want him to post about sandwiches, ring around the collar, and ingrown butthairs for as long as possible. I think he writes very well and I enjoy reading the posts. I’ll read anything he writes about because I find humor in it and I think he gets enjoyment out of it. I like having my co-workers look at me oddly as I laugh out loud in this quiet room after reading something he put together. I save the BBB Blog for last as I’m catching up on the morning RSS feeds because I want time to savor it and laugh.

    I only rant because I want everyone, and especially John, to know that some of us just enjoy your writing and hope you keep it up. We agree that you’re a good player and know the game well, but it seems to me that you are also a cool guy and would be a blast to hang around with. Thanks for making my day better and sharing your life with us.


  6. in the “About” section, it reads: “BigBearButt offers his cranky opinions of a long time World of Warcraft casual feral druid about druid life, the WoW world, and everything. He is also a PCB Engineer, former US Marine, husband and father, and casual Feral Druid in the World of Warcraft.”

    Note the ‘everything’ part.


  7. @losinginterest…

    I write about what I want to write about. You don’t like what I’m writing about, then don’t read it, and don’t come back. Buh bye. If I offend a nice person, then I really care. But if someone gets pissy because I’m not writing what you WANT me to write… well then.

    Your comment, while seeming to be politely phrased, is passive-aggressive in the sense that it is meant to show me that you have been putting up with this other stuff I’m doing, but you are patiently waiting for me to return to writing what YOU want, and you are losing patience fast. The implied threat is, if I don’t get off the stick and resume posting bear tanking material, you will leave.

    Door is ===> thataway. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.

    The mistake here is, first, that approach may work on people that are desperate for attention, but I’m not. I’m writing for fun, not pagehits. I would far prefer having a small audience of really nice people, even if it’s only my wife that visits the blog, than to have a huge audience that has a large component of demanding asshats that think I’m your personal puppet. I have proven this position time and again, first by quitting writing for WoW Insider/WoW.com, and then again when I stopped writing Bear posts for several months just to shed some of the more pissy asshats. I do not seek an ever increasing audience. I am not under the impression I’m some awesome writer. I’m having fun, in my own way, and enjoying chatting with friends here in the community that for some reason enjoy the whole package and stick around with me to read the occasional post. I love the readers that choose to visit, and comment… but most of you are mature enough to know you don’t own me.

    The second mistake is your implied belief that, by writing these other posts, I’ve gotten away from what I’m supposed to be doing.

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    This blog truly is a place for me to write exactly what I like, and what I feel like writing about, at any given time.

    Rants about bad drivers, gleeful gushing about movie trailers, asking for input on your favorite music when I get bored of my playlist, all that stuff is equally valid here. The story stuff I write, in particular, is near in dear to my heart.

    This is not a dedicated Bear tanking blog, with all other discussion verboten. I’ve had many people ask to post Bear tanking posts here as guest posters, thinking this is a World of Matticus type thing, a burgeoning business empire discussing all things Bear and working at nailing down the “Bear tanking” niche.

    This blog is not all things Bear tanking and only Bear tanking, it’s all things Big Bear Butt and family. It’s me and Cassie’s place to write and express ourselves. That’s why you won’t find guest posters here… it’s not everything and anything Bear tanking, it’s our place to be ourselves.

    Is that clear enough? You have obviously fallen into the trap of thinking that, like so many other pseudo celebrities, I’m someone that is ravenous for attention, desperately needs your approval, and will fetch and carry to keep you happy.

    Wrong answer, turkey breath.


  8. quote: … dropping a 50,000 ton meteor on top of the nearest city… and then hand you an Encyclopedia open to the chapter on Kinetic Energy and mention indirect fire weapons.

    i FELL off my couch reading this!
    thx a lot BBB


  9. I farmed enough charms to make the 12 bracelets and then I stopped before I knew they were gonna nerf the exploit. I didn’t realize that you’d need quite a few more if you wanted to buy the other items you need. I’ve been grinding the Converted Heroes but my RNG is continually bad and I have to clear almost every single pack in the zone to get 10 and then wait for them to respawn. I wish Blizz hotfixed this after the event was over and not just in the middle of it.


  10. I guess for me, there are shades of grey when it comes to exploits (but, I consider most, if not all, to be wrong.. so I won’t participate). Some are blatant exploits, others small unintended niggles. Calling it an exploit or a bug or an oversight etc.. it really doesn’t matter where on the scale I place it. I think I am mature enough to spot something that I consider to be “wrong”, and that’s really all I need to know.

    I think people are generally smart enough to know when something isn’t working right (and smart enough to know it won’t last, so they get in while the going is good). It’s pretty obvious that Blizzard didn’t intend people to kill hundreds of dwarves a minute for bulk charms. But I wasn’t really sure it could be labelled an “exploit” when (as far as I could tell) at the very least, Neth had seen it, and didn’t let on that it was an issue at all. In fact, her post sounded a little weird, like she was hiding a secret way to get more charms – and I don’t doubt that many people took that as their green light to farm Ulduar. As though she was tapping the side of her nose, acknowledging the clever farming tactics… but never giving the official nod, exactly.

    (I didn’t take it that way, but I’m willing to bet others did.)

    But I think even within the idea of this exploit, I have different levels of “wrongness”. The people who went in, farmed enough for their achievement and got out – slightly wrong. I still wouldn’t have done it. But I could see the attraction, sure – over hours of normal grinding.

    The people who went in, farmed for 12 hours and then bragged on the forums post-nerf about making 7500g in one day, “haha suckers, you missed out, now I’m going to list them for 100g each” (etc) – sliiiiiiimy.

    Whether or not it falls under my own personal definition of exploit (rather than oversight, small bug, blatant cheating, etc..) doesn’t really matter. To me, it was against the spirit of the event, clearly unintended, and it was wrong to do. So I didn’t. And yes, I also think it’s stupid when people try to play the “if Blizzard thought it was an exploit, it wouldn’t be in the game” card. Don’t play dumb to justify doing the wrong thing. Especially when they then couple it with “and check out how much money I made out of it!” … yeah, you had absolutely no inkling that what you were doing wasn’t really intended, I’m sure.


  11. I still… STILL cannot grasp the fact that some people would pay money for these charms…. jeez, they’re so bloody simple to get anyways, just seeing trade erupt in charm selling make me /boggle.

    I’ve got PLENTY of charms left over, but I’ve decided not to sell those… just feels wrong selling something so easily procured, like selling canned air. I’ll give em to some guildies, I guess.


  12. Yep, I was aware that this was an exploit. My guildie dragged me into Ulduar a few days ago when I wondered by anyone would want to set a paw back into that titan-forsaken place ever again! Then he showed me what he was doing; how he earned about 6,000+ gold from the event. I stuck around to help him for a wee while, but stopped after he had to leave. It just didn’t seem right even if everyone else was doing it. I even tried out the [Battle Before the Citadel] method after that; still didn’t seem very ‘right’.

    Then I tried AOE-grinding Converted Hero mobs on Icecrown Glacier since they naturally come in packs. Much better. Icecrown raid trash? Woot! Random Heroic grinding? Enough to sustain my own needs.

    Fear of getting banned there? Maybe. My gut made me do it the tedious way anyhow.


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