Game developer Blizzard has issued a fix for an exploit that hackers used to bring death to dozens of playable and non-playable characters in popular MMO World of Warcraft (WoW). The exploit came to light two days ago when hackers used level one players to kill off every player in some of WoW’s towns.
The exploit, which was unseen until now, let hackers use level one characters to access a “kill hack” for every character in some of the game’s towns and dungeons. Blizzard has acknowledged the exploit and yesterday issued a fix that disables the exploit.
Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera stated in a post, “Earlier today, certain realms were affected by an in-game exploit, resulting in the deaths of player characters and non-player characters in some of the major cities. This exploit has already been hotfixed, so it should not be repeatable. It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth.
As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation. If you have information relating to this incident, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologize for the inconvenience some of you experienced as a result of this and appreciate your understanding.”
Hackers turned World of Warcraft into World of Skeletons
A few players quickly recorded the deaths as they were happening in the game and have put up streams on YouTube showing in-game characters dropping dead all around in some towns. Although the videos are a little funny, this sort of hack is serious for a game where players invest thousands of hours developing a single character.
One of the hackers who used the exploit was tracked down by Eurogamer, and reportedly said in a forum post: “We didn't do any permanent damage. Some people liked it for a new topic of conversation and a funny stream to watch, and some people didn't. The people who didn't should be blaming Blizzard for not fixing it faster (four hours of obvious use is sad). It's not like I added 20,000,000 gold to everyone's inventory and broke the economy, but look at the big Chinese gold seller companies who are doing this every day. Now ask yourself who is really ruining the game. It's not us. That's my justification,” the hacker posted.
Blizzard recently released an expansion pack for World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria. Now that the expansion pack is out, players belonging to both the Alliance and the Horde can visit and explore the long-lost continent of Pandaria and see the mysteries the continent hides.
Mists of Pandaria is available on DVD-ROM for Windows XP/ Vista/ 7 and Mac at the price of $39.99. Those interested can also buy the game from World of Warcraft’s website for the same price, or £29.99 for access to the European client.
Blizzard had also announced back in August that purchasing the expansion pack will not be necessary to play the new Pandaran race, which is set to be one of the biggest features of Mists of Pandaria. Usually, if an expansion pack for the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) has a new race, players would need to buy the expansion pack to be able to play the new race. Previously, these races included the Draenei, the Blood Elves, the Worgen and the Goblins. Blizzard has said that it will unlock all the races to be able to be played by anyone without them having to buy the expansion packs.
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