The Elder Scrolls Online players discover serious item duping exploit

The MMO's in-game economy may have been disrupted by players making use of a bug.

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.

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MrBlondeX

Chris Pereira

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The Elder Scrolls Online

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247 comments
azrael666
azrael666

I was debating on waiting for the Xbox One release but now I don't want either. The gold farmers/sellers have destroyed this game already. And the debate over an auction house makes the game as sad as World of Warcraft. Too bad I really enjoyed the original 5 games. Goodbye Tamriel.

BurningUp99
BurningUp99


@azrael666   You obviously haven't been paying attention -  this bug was fixed a long time ago and the vast majority of people did not even know about the bug.  The game economy is fine people are not super rich it's hard to sell anything for over 300 gold even because so many people still are saving up money for the 42k gold mount.  I play the game every day since launch.  Talk to people that know what they're talking about not some of these idiot publications like PC Gamer that have always been biased against the game anyway and have really shoddy journalism. 


In regards to the AH they didn't put in a server wide AH on purpose.  This helps the economy.  There are guild auction houses and guilds can have up to 500 people in them.  You can be in up to 5 guilds per account. 


It's so annoying how many people are misinformed when it comes to this game and I blame a lot of the articles on the internet.


The gold sellers/farmers have destroyed nothing.  The game is fine and it's an awesome game.


cagaregras
cagaregras

BUP99, your tireless defence of the game got old many post ago! Do you work for Zeni or Beth???

cyberwookie72
cyberwookie72

I was duped into believing this would be a good MMO!

BurningUp99
BurningUp99

@cyberwookie72   It "is" a good MMO...stop listening to the haters and people that don't even own the game. 

Every hater I see posts inaccurate info about the game which clearly shows they don't even own it.


Matchews
Matchews

@BurningUp99 @cyberwookie72 I own it and it bored the living hell out of me. I spent about 13 days or so playing it until I finally decided it wasn't getting any better as I progressed. Just kept getting more repetitious and more boring.

cagaregras
cagaregras

BUP99, your tireless defence of the game got old many post ago!

brianricotta
brianricotta

I was hoping we would have more info on when the PS4 beta for ESO will begin. I remember seeing that PS4 is supposed to get the first beta for consoles but with potentially less than 6 weeks to release (June) there has been no updates on console beta.

grin89
grin89

hurry up and finish the review vanord i really wana know if i should get the game or not and if its worth the ridiculous amount of money and subscription fee.

BurningUp99
BurningUp99

@grin89    Ridiculous amount of money?  Are you new to the world of gaming or something?   WoW was 50 bucks when it came out 10 years ago.  You do know this right?   Also do you really listen to the opinion of just one person when you decide to buy a game or not?    I honestly can't figure people like you out..makes no sense.



cagaregras
cagaregras

BUP99, do you work for Zeni or Beth? Speak the truth!

jdc6305
jdc6305

99% of multiplayer is shit because of cheaters. I stay the fuck away from the garbage.

nickfitz_99
nickfitz_99

Is this ftp- or does it require a monthly? 

IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

Fixed a few days ago, update the title much Gamespot???

PacoTaco
PacoTaco

I read and hear a lot about people experiencing quest bugs but I have not had any problems with my quests.  The only real problem I have is loading dungeons...sometimes hangs forever.  Other than that, I would say it is pretty smooth.  Beta just before launch was a joke though, glitches and bugs *everywhere*.  Now they need to do something about the gold spammers!

santinegrete
santinegrete

move your ass people! this will get patched eventually.

cthulhuspawn82
cthulhuspawn82

I think its stupid when developers do intrusive things to combat cheating (e.g. locking feature, doing rollbacks, deleting "suspected" accounts). Honestly, this kind of stuff doesn't seem game breaking to me. If Items are all restricted by level, then all the money and duping in the world wont give a level X character any better gear than any other level X character could have. I don't honestly care if that other guy got his flaming sword from doing a quest to typing in a cheat, its not worth starting a witch hunt over.


People raising their stats, making themselves invincible, or having infinite mana are the kind of cheats that break a game. I'm not saying the other type of cheating should not be banned, but its not worth harming normal players to fight it.

Furwings
Furwings

A bug in an Elder Scrolls game? No way! ;)

Algearond
Algearond

Really upset that this happened, but, BUT, my wife, myself my brother and the friends I have that play are all absolutely blown away by how much fun, and good-looking TESO is. Do things like this happen? Unfortunately, but the game carries on, and I have faith Zenimax will continue correcting issues like this.

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

Welcome to Diablo 3 pre ROS and Loot 2.0. They finally got their crap together and put 3rd party gold sellers, dupers and 3rd party gear sellers out of business and made doing such crap pointless. You'd think ZeniMax would have paid attention to the Blizzard drama over the last 2 years and avoided crap like this from happening.


If you're going to have an in-game economy, better be prepared to test and police the shit out of it on an hourly basis. My question is, with stupidly high cost of playing this game i.e. $60-$70 for the initial game + a monthly subscription, why the f**** do they need any kind of economy or micro transactions anyway - that also allows trading and gold buying? Any MMO with any type of economy needs to have account bound on everything. This is what happens when companies get greedy.


TL:DR - They make the most expensive game in history and allow shit like this to happen? I was on the fence about getting this game. Looks like I'm jumping off of said fence and into the "not for me" side.

nzscorpion1980
nzscorpion1980

@bdrtfm  High cost most Mmorpgs cost about 60 bucks for the box + thats the normal for a sub anyway, move out of ya parents basement ya loser & get off the benefit you will probably find out that its not alot of money for the amount of hours of entertainment you get from it. Eso is not even the most expensive game in history is you basing it on that twitter message ages ago, star wars cost 200 million.

lutarian
lutarian

@bdrtfm  

Shows you don't know much about MMO's and programming.  ALL MMO's have issues at launch and when you fix one bug, it could be smooth, or create another bug or two.    It's not a major deal as bugs keep getting fixed and the game is very, very good.

BurningUp99
BurningUp99

@bdrtfm    Because you fail and listen to the haters.  The game is fine and a blast to play.  The economy is also fine.  The sky is not falling.  I play every day and I see what items go for.  Nothing is going for exuberant amounts of money.  For the most part no one pays over a few thousand gold for anything.  You're missing out.



Kayweg
Kayweg


Well, that sure would explain why there is such a massiv number of gold sellers this early after release.

The chat is almost useless, as you constantly have to block the spammers.

I know it would cause a shitstorm but my suggestion is, wipe everyone's gold and start afresh.

BurningUp99
BurningUp99

@Kayweg   Another dishonest poster that doesn't know what they're talking about.  It gets so old.   Yes there are some gold spammers but in the past week they have been reduced drastically..ALSO they are only in the start zones once you leave the starter zones you don't see any at all, period. 


The game is fine...the sky is not falling. 


MN121MN
MN121MN

Well, this might be a perfect breeding ground to.. eh.. study economy... in detail....

Nepti
Nepti

Personally speaking, item duping is the least of this game's problems. There are some aspects to it that are unique, but the core of the game is very WoW-like but without the features and functionality of WoW that has evolved for 10 years. It took everything in me to stay with it to L20 but that was the end for my toon. It was just too boring, even when fully engaging the dialogs and lore (which were decent). May my toon RIP.

BurningUp99
BurningUp99

@Nepti I call complete bs...you have never played the game.   The combat and skills system is nothing like WoW.  You fail sorry.  ESO has a two weapon set swap system that decides what skills you use depending on what weapon and set you have equipped.  WoW does not have this.  The combat is completely different if you are trying to say they are alike at all you're a complete idiot and have clearly never played ESO.  Nice try back to your browser game now k thanks.


Nepti
Nepti

@BurningUp99 Really? I'm an idiot? Isn't it ok if I don't like the game and you do without getting all nasty about it?

That you enjoy ESO is NOT a statement from me that I think you're dumb or anything negative. To call me a liar - that's just bizarre.

I have played the game and I can easily name more than a dozen specific things that are different between WoW and ESO, not just the combat and skills systems.

But the broad strokes of the game play much the same as WoW and many other fantasy MMOs already on the market. Dialog and lore stand out as positives. But the main leveling up treadmill feels too familiar.

For anyone who has never played a fantasy MMO and wants to, I would recommend ESO over others. But if you've been around to play others like UO, EQ1, EQ2, and of course, WoW, there isn't enough difference in ESO to warrant spending another half-decade with this one - in my humble opinion.

lutarian
lutarian

@Nepti

There is a huge difference in ESO and WoW.  When did you play ESO and how much time did you put into it?

Algearond
Algearond

@Nepti  Yah I have to agree, while I will not insult you for having an opinion that I disagree with as a 7 year wow vet who no longer plays, TESO is NOTHING like wow in any way I can think of, which is a very very good thing. 

BurningUp99
BurningUp99

The game launch has been very smooth one major bug hits just about every MMO that comes out.   The game itself is still awesome and the vast majority of people are loving it.    I play this game every day and I assure you gold is still hard to come by and it most definitely has value.    A stack of Orchilaen Ore goes for like 1k and most players can only afford to buy a couple stacks of it.  It's hard to sell a decent piece of gear for 300 gold even.  The game has a real economy going so far you can really see it progress.   I'm loving the game...I recommend that people give it a try. 

d_kell411
d_kell411

@BurningUp99  My roommate loves it. I've been waiting to get it on the PS4. I will say this, though: It's riddled with bugs that need to get fixed. Nobody likes having quests that they can't finish due to developer error. Hopefully when they release for consoles they won't repeat and it will be an even smoother launch.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Honestly, people who get uptight about fake money in a video game make me laugh. I see it all the time in SWTOR, people getting upset because they got "undersold". lol. Boo hoo. The term "in-game economy" is that itself an oxymoron. You can't have "economy" in a video game. It's a GAME, it's FAKE, not REAL.

tigzar
tigzar

@DarthLod  its not just fake money my friend ... people sell ingame money for real money and have probably made a fortune :P . so no ingame money is not essentially fake.

DarthLod
DarthLod

@tigzar People sell illegally. That's illegal, so not even worth mentioning. 

SoulxReaperx366
SoulxReaperx366

@DarthLod It's an online game where that system significantly affects people's playing experience. What if you played a racing game and there were players who found an exploit to go significantly faster than they should, and they don't crash so you always lose. Imagine a fps game where people find some sort of invincibility exploit. You're not REALLY losing the race, you're not REALLY getting shot to death, it's a GAME. Sound familiar? Sure you'd still get to play, you'd still be able to play the game, but you're losing whatever is of value in said game. For millions of players who are paying $15 a month for the game, they certainly deserve a good playing experience.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@SoulxReaperx366 @DarthLodThe question is do other people having money affect your gameplay experience.


In most cases the answer is no.  So it's not comparable at all to people going faster in a racing game or being invincible in an fps.

SoulxReaperx366
SoulxReaperx366

@Thanatos2k @SoulxReaperx366@DarthLodThey duplicated rare items and sold them, making said rare items worth less by increasing supply. This hurts your ability to make money in game to buy certain things that improve your experience playing. So yes, it does affect my gameplay experience, which is why it is comparable.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

@cyloninside @DarthLod @tigzar  its against the terms & conditions and acceptable use policy. therefore its illegal because the players in question have broken a contract they agreed to. a breach of contract is against the law. darthlod is right.

Spacewalker0001
Spacewalker0001

@cyloninside @DarthLod@tigzar You don't face jail time when selling/buying gold, just an account ban. So there IS a big difference between breaking the game rules and breaking the law. Cyloninside is right.

nzscorpion1980
nzscorpion1980

@Spacewalker0001 @cyloninside @DarthLod @tigzar  Just cause you dont face jail time dont mean its not illegal lol, parking in a disable parking spot is illegal, downloading a pirated movie is illegal etc etc, selling gold for real economy money is illegal because you have gone against the terms & conditions of the contract you agreed too to play the game. Man theres some dumb fuckers around.

toddze
toddze

@nzscorpion1980 Parking in a disabled spot without proper documents will in fact land you a fine from law enforcement, its illegal. Downloading movies can land you a fine AND jail time, its illegal. Selling gold for money is not illegal as long as you pay taxes to the IRS on your profits. Terms and conditions is NOT a law, It is a contract to use their services.You break it, only thing that will happen is termination of such services (AKA Ban). You will not receive a fine, jail time or anything else from selling gold. Under law selling gold is not illegal. So in regards to your last last statement, I concur, look in the mirror.