It has been an interesting week. Any week in which I spend a full 30+ hour period in the office qualifies as "interesting". The "unplanned and unwanted volunteer event" some of you had the pleasure of enjoying on Tuesday night kept us pretty busy through until Thursday afternoon. For those of you who were not present someone got ahold of an account with GM powers and proceeded to have fun with it on the live servers for a period of almost two hours. Items like the "combined combined" armor that was never made available to the players was definitely available on Tuesday night. To be clear this is far from the first time something like this has happened. Over the years there have been many occasions where GM enabled accounts have brought havoc to the live servers...this is to be expected in an environment where we empower volunteers and was something we were always willing to live with and always cleaned up the mess as quickly as possible. This time was a little bit different in that this individual really did go out of his way to put on a spectacular show with special guest stars like The Beast and Tarasque making special appearances in Borealis...unfortunately with the distribution of unapproved loot and getting some individual characters stuck in a no-fight state through the use of fear effects they also created a significant mess to clean up. If it wasn't for the mess I would have said it was an exciting event enjoyed by a great many people...very creative. The subsequent spawning the next night of 100+ Christmas trees in Borealis was SOOO last year.
Unfortunately in the aftermath we needed to suspend approximately 140+ accounts until we could have the opportunity to remove items they had the misfortune to get outside of normal game mechanics. These accounts will be restored to their owners without punishment and time credited as soon as possible. Customer service should be finished with these accounts at some point soon if they are not already finished. A great many people received items without their knowledge...if your account is/was suspended during this time this is probably why. We have been fixing people who are unable to fight as we become aware of these cases...if you have this issue please petition it and we will fix you as soon as we can. It is a bit upsetting the amount of time we have to dedicate to this kind of thing...I would have much preferred to have actually made something during this time. Dealing with this kind of mess is boring, time consuming and largely pointless. These kind of attacks are generally going on ALL the time...if anyone is reading this who is responsible for these attacks GIVE US A BREAK. All we are trying to do here is trying to continue to develop a game we all enjoy. If you are mad about your accounts being banned...or something like that...please try to grow up and accept the fact that you very likely deserved it. Please also keep in mind that a great many of these activities are illegal (regardless of whatever "experts" tell you on the "internet")...and while it isn't easy to motivate anyone in law enforcement to actually do something about it...eventually we'll speak with someone responsible and you are going to feel very stupid explaining to real criminal that you gave up your freedom and greatly impacted your future to "Hack a video game". Given the opportunity I will throw the entire book at any of you I get a reasonable chance at. To be clear here...this whole thing doesn't make me angry...it is simply depressing. I have also discovered that I am now officially too old to stay up all night anymore...this happened some time while I was working on AO... has it really been such a long time?
In other more productive news the Doctor and Trader documents should be available NEXT Friday. Preparations for our move to Canada continue and it looks like the flights will actually be the week of January 24th.
Have a great weekend involving no packing everyone!
Kintaii Edit! Everybody please remember to take a moment and head over to Massively.com's "Choose My Adventure" poll and cast your vote for Anarchy Online! No registration is required and it's just one click to cast your vote for AO to receive what could be a great series of articles about our favourite (not that we're biased or anything) MMORPG. Every vote counts and AO's quickly catching up to first place, so tell your friends, tell your org, tell your family, tell your dog - Vote for Anarchy Online! =D