Bad actors discovered through packet manipulation, a bug that allowed players to duplicate in-game coin and resources – a similar attack against a different game system was also recently used in housing. Together for these exploits we have permanently banned over 1200 players, removing their items from the economy, and cancelling their trade post listings. We took decisive action against obvious bad actors with a first pass on November 2nd, permanently banning accounts of the most egregious offenders which eliminated over 80% of duped Coin and item value from the economy.
The remaining duped items have continued to hurt many player’s experience. It didn’t affect all players or worlds equally, and also more significantly impacted players who were pursuing end game goals and gear. We apologize for the impact this has had on some of our most dedicated players. It’s disheartening to see others cheat to obtain what you have worked so hard to achieve, while also hurting the economy in the process. It has taken us time to unravel and identify where the items and coin landed, but as of November 15th, we are glad to report we have permanently banned 460 additional players from either the original trade or newer housing exploits. By doing so we were able to remove 98% of remaining duped items and Coin in the game. The small amount of duped items that remain were a result of players who stumbled upon the duping issue but did not take exploitive action, and will not be banned.
We’ve also investigated how these duped items have impacted the end game progression. Our investigation has not shown a significant uptick of max level gear. The below chart shows that the number of players with even a single piece of max level gear is still quite low. We did a specific deep dive into Voidbent Armor, and while some of the armor was duped, much of it was removed from the game through bans and it is still a very rare item. We are still examining the narrower list of items involved in the housing exploit and there will be further permanent bans there as appropriate.
We are working to improve our response time and will remain vigilant against players who violate our ToS. Exploits will not be tolerated, and penalties can and will include permanent bans for those players using them. Our team is working tirelessly to continue our investigations, and preventing future dupes from happening by correcting or replacing game systems that can be attacked. Please continue to report any issues you see and we will continue to take immediate action.
A big THANK YOU goes out to our community members for bringing this to our attention as well; we appreciate all of the information you provide to help keep Aeternum safe and fun! While it took some time to investigate and track down where the duped items were funneled, our telemetry tracks all these transactions, so rest assured we can and will find all the bad actors.