'The Ravaging 2015'

Three weeks ago, I vaguely described the Ravagers Exploit, and voiced my opinions on whether or not there should be repercussions (the answer was a "yes" but nothing very specific; mainly just waffling on and on as per usual). Yesterday, BioWare came out and formally announced what actions they would be taking against those who had undergone this activity.

I must admit that I am impressed with the rigorous actions which they promised to take, which ranged from a one-day ban to a possible permanent suspension depending on the severity of your own actions. Also included in the deal was the intention to remove all schematics and even gear in the worst cases, which does seem to imply that they were going about this as seriously as they could do. I also like the fact that they claimed full responsibility for this exploit.


That said, there are things which I personally find quite questionable about this procedure as a whole.

First: No public 'definition' of "egregious versus deserving-of-lenience". Exactly how severe an exploiter would you have to have been to receive a week's ban up to a permanent suspension? For that matter, where's the boundary that you have to cross to ensure that you even got suspended at all? Was it considered more severe to have done the exploit numerous times over being a vessel for others to do it themselves for Credits, or less severe? Are the Story Mode exploits something we can ignore in order to focus purely on the Hard Mode ones? There is this annoying vagueness about the entire ordeal, which I feel would be negated by them simply stating "if you did x and y, you were in big trouble, but not as much as those who did xy, and z!"

Second: The duration of the temporary suspensions. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of short > medium > long/permanent suspension transition depending on the severity of your actions. That said, 24 hours does seem too short. I'm not saying everyone who did it should be permanently banned - far from it - although bearing in mind my next point, I feel that this could have been handled much more properly.

Third: Not everyone who exploited received a suspension. There are people who did this half-a-dozen times, at least, who remained untouched by these effects. This is where I believe more detailed definition of exactly how the suspensions were distributed would be useful. You will get no sympathy from me if you simply say you were hard-done by with 24 hours and leave it at that. I'd say you were fortunate. I would say that you were hard-done by if you presented your case in comparison to someone else who did just one less run than you and completely avoided punishment. Some have theorised that the suspensions were being handed out in batches to keep the server population alive, however, this would contrast BioWare's projected numbers of players who had done it - they refer constantly in their posts on the matter to "the majority" who did not take part. If only a minority exploited, server population would not be affected by everyone eligible receiving a suspension (of any length!) at once. Defining boundaries, as mentioned above, would in this light allow people to chase BioWare up on their promise, point an accusing finger and say "you promised this!" and consistency would be... consistent. That several people - exact numbers aren't clear - are still without so much as a warning for this does not have good tidings for BioWare's justice system; distribution of punishment is apparently uneven.

There doesn't really seem to be much here, beyond the mark on all these people's records, to serve as motivation not to exploit again. Obviously, those who received the week's ban are in a more precarious position in this regard than those who only received the one-day ban, but there doesn't seem to be much by way of a definitive "final warning".

As for maintaining consistency, it would have been better if BioWare had come out and said something like this:

  • 24 Hours: 1 - 6 times inclusive

  • 72 Hours: 7 - 12 times inclusive

  • One Week: 13 - 24 times inclusive or transferring servers to bring the lockout across

  • Permanent: 25 times and beyond

These are of course just sample figures. With something like this in the public eye for all to see, then I feel that they would have been a lot more consistent, and everyone would know where everyone else stood. They themselves said that they knew how many people had taken part, and how many times. The direct contrast of their strongly-worded message with the knowledge that "x many" people avoided punishment altogether really does not do them any favours.

Kind of reduces the whole impact of "full responsibility" somewhat.


I do like what they've promised to do and have done so far, but I do not feel that this was handled as well as it might have been. The apparent lack of consistency and the absolute absence of their definition of severities with regards to the punishments both undermine this, and considering just how severe this entire ordeal should be for this company and game, their response, particularly regarding dealing with their own Terms of Service, should not have had these apparent holes for people to have slid through.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the plan sounded good on paper, though like you say 24-hour-suspensions seem way too short to have any sort of impact.

    The practice really seems to be lacking though. Someone I know admitted to having used the exploit 7 times and received not even a temporary ban. Also, while Bioware removed some schematics he had learned, they missed the fact that he had also gained one on an alt to whom he had transferred exploited drops via legacy gear. GG I guess...