An exploit in The Elder Scrolls Online allowing players to farm unlimited sums of gold has been discovered and is making waves today. While developer ZeniMax Online Studios has already stepped in to prevent further use of the bug, it's unclear just how much the exploit has thrown off the in-game economy and what can be done to rectify the situation.
A Reddit post by user Mistress-Rarity today brought the issue--which has reportedly been known about since launch, and possibly the beta--to the attention of the public. Without going into detail, it describes the simple process of duplicating stacks of materials by depositing them into a guild bank. Those materials can then be sold to vendors for gold, and by repeating this process, players can amass huge fortunes without having actually done anything to earn them.
In response, ZeniMax disabled access to guild banks early this morning. Additionally, the most recent patch includes changes to the way auto-stacking in guild banks is handled, which may prevent the exploit from continuing to be used once guild bank access is restored.
The existence of an exploit like this has much more serious ramifications in the case of an MMO as compared with a single-player Elder Scrolls game. ZeniMax has not yet indicated how it plans to address the impact of the exploit. Earlier this month, it announced permanent bans for thousands of players found to be cheating, but bans alone may not suffice in this case, as the money and materials accumulated through the exploit may now belong to players who did nothing wrong.
Following a lengthy beta, The Elder Scrolls Online was released on PC on April 4 and is set for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June. The first update for the MMO, entitled Craglorn, is coming to PC later this month.