A few days ago New World had to temporarily switch off the in-game economy, following the discovery of multiple duping glitches. Players could essentially create multiples of extremely high-value items like trophies (endgame house accessories that grant buffs) and even in-game gold.
Well: the economy's back, and Amazon Games is not playing around with those who took advantage of this or an earlier exploit. A developer blog posted by community manager Luxendra reads: "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 post goes on to apologise to the vast majority of non-duping players who were impacted by the downtime and the flood of stuff into the economy. "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."
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Amazon Games also investigated how deep the impact of the exploits was, and reckons there wasn't "a significant uptick" in high-level gear. The developer says it's still working through lists of items involved in the housing exploit and is ready to wield the permaban-hammer as appropriate. "Exploits will not be tolerated, and penalties can and will include permanent bans for those players using them."
There was some grumbling among New World's community about the initial response time from Amazon Games: there were videos doing the rounds and many posts on the official forums about these exploits before action was taken. That said, there's being fast and then there's doing the job right. Amazon Games could probably stand to look at how it communicates with those players trying to warn it about this stuff but, when it acted, it's done so in a comprehensive manner. Though of course this is an MMO, so we could well be reporting on another glitch tomorrow.
The post ends by promising further retributive action as Amazon Games works through everything that happened: "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." So don't be a bad actor: Go out and kill some bots instead.
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Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."