Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ensidia should be un-banned and given back their world first.

So Ensidiagate (thanks Matticus) exploded yesterday. For those of you who haven't heard about it: Ensidia, arguably the world's top raiding guild, got the world-first kill of the Lich King in 25-man. Then, Blizzard revoked the achievements and suspended the entire guild for 3 days for "exploiting" to win the fight. Evidently, engineering items that cause siege damage bug out the encounter, causing it to become significantly easier. Rogues with engineering are known to use Saronite Bombs on cooldown to maximize their dps, and this kill was no exception.

There's been some half-hearted debate and full-hearted buzz about the subject in the WoW community, with many trying to decide if the ban and loss of the world first was justified.

Boubouille's post on the subject, including Ensidia's raid logs, should put this matter to rest.

There was no way for them to know the fight wasn't supposed to work that way. Using the saronite bombs is standard. And now they are screwed out of not only the world-first, but they have to wait an extra week to do hardmodes. This basically invalidates an entire tier of content for a world-first guild. All for doing something that they had no idea was wrong, and no way of knowing was wrong.

I'm not a fan of Ensidia, but they are in the right here, so their treatment is disappointing. Blizz should give it all back and make a big apology. Then wipe the egg off their faces.


Ixobelle said...


"Apparently the siege damage caused by the bombs bugged the encounter's mechanics and respawned the platform destroyed by the Lich King during the encounter.

It results in the fight being fairly easier because you end up with more room to move and more importantly, you do not have to care about Valkyrs taking away your raid members anymore. (They will just land on the rebuilt platform when they fall down)

I think it's pretty obvious when the platform is getting smaller, because ol arthas is breaking chunks away, and then they reappear, automagically... even giving someone who SHOULD die a safe landing place....

you gotta stop and think maybe that shit's bugged.

Remember paladins and BWL's first boss? HELL HELL, JUST DI SOMEONE, AND YOU CAN'T LOSE.


(today's captcha: LIBEL)

Ixobelle said...

so to clarify: yeah they shouldn't be banned, because poor implementation, but they didn't earn world 1st.

Rem said...

I have no dislike of Ensidia, but they are in the wrong here.

They did figure out what's going on and what's causing it. They admitted it on their blogs, and, frankly, it is hard to believe that they, of all people, wouldn't have. Not even taking the suggestion that you have to throw the bombs away from the LK to cause it into account, because I don't know how verified that claim is.

Bombs don't repair. Bombs destroy. I mean. Seriously. Bombs make kaput, not whole. Claiming to not have been able to know that it's not how it's supposed to work would be the same as Exodus claiming to not have been able to know that the Immortal Guardians are not supposed to be evade-stuck.

The border line between "clever use of game mechanics" and "exploiting a bug" runs precisely between spell-stealing damage-buffing auras and resetting the platform through application of bombs. The difference between a security expert and a hacker is that the former reports a vulnerability while the latter one uses it to steal your data.

They knew what's causing it, they knew it can hardly be intended (i.e. they knew it's a bug), and they said afterwards - and I, in fact, believe it - that they think they'd have been able to make it without exploiting the bombs as well. Instead, they decided to run along with it (i.e. exploit the bug) and to keep quiet about it.

I do consider the punishment harsh. It would seem that revoking the achievements and resetting the locks would have been fair to everyone - "try again tomorrow". But bear with me for a moment longer, and I'll explain why I think they had to be this harsh.

Imagine you are Ensidia. Imagine you're there, fighting Arthas, racing for World First. You know Paragon is out there, you know Vodka is out there, you know Stars is out there, you know all the others are out there, racing with you. You're doing fine, you got a clear picture of the fight and the mechanics, your strategy works, you're improving every time, a couple more attempts and you'll nail it.

Now you discover a bug. A glitch. It doesn't look very clean, but exploiting it would give you an advantage. Not a huge advantage, you're genuinely convinced you'd make it without, but an advantage sufficient to make it a "sure kill". You realise it's not quite right, and the guy in white over your right shoulder tells you to let it go, to stick to what you've got and do it on your own, you'll feel better for it.

But the red guy over your left shoulder is doubtful. Yes-yes, he says, you WILL make it without. You're the best. But what if it takes you 2-3 more attempts because of it? What if you'll have to call it and come again tomorrow? And what if, in the meantime, one of the other guilds discovers the glitch? Will they be as diligent as you? No! They envy you! They want to beat you, no matter what! They'll use it, they'll use it against you, they'll beat you unfair, and then everyone will laugh at you, and when you complain that they exploited, they'll laugh at you even more! Go for it! Use it! Show them no mercy!

By laying down the law in all the harshness, Blizzard makes a statement that you really should listen to the white-clad guy. The red one will get you banned and not celebrated.

Hatch said...


I think you have a good point, that a better response from Blizz would be to unban them and reset Arthas so they can try to beat him this reset without the bug (but don't give them any attempts back), but the achieve and world first should be rescinded because the bug made the fight easier.

@REM: Wow that's a big post.

In response, I'm still in favor of the consequences I just mentioned because Ensidia had no idea what was causing the bug, or even if it was a bug. There was no way to know how the fight was supposed to go because it hadn't been tested, and

I think the jury is very much out on whether they figured out that the bombs were causing the bug and specifically took advantage of it on purpose. Their blogs (the same ones you cite as evidence) indicate that they actually thought it might be a mechanic of the fight, that something they were doing "right" was causing the edges to respawn because they were supposed to.

Beyond that, they couldn't know for sure that it was a bug and not a game mechanic, so they shouldn't be banned for sploitz, but the fight was made much easier than intended by Blizzard's error, so Ensidia should get the achieves and world first taken away.

That said, you make a great point that Blizz wanted to encourage caution in the face of possible bugs, so they made Ensidia an example.

Oliver said...

Nah, they knew they were using an exploit. When you intentionally circumvent a fight mechanic altogether, that is not legitimate strategy. They deserved the ban, and I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

Anonymous said...

I'm of a mind with Ixo. That was buggy behavior, and not really valid for the Achievement, but not bannable behavior.