Monday, August 31, 2009

Someone is trying to end it all right now in Vana'diel...

This has not been a pleasant last several days, neither in Riverside, CA (102-105-108-106-105-108), nor in Vana'diel, where a recent spate of hackings may have made it even hotter there.

A number of players have reported in, basically, every conceivable FFXI forum (BG, TTTO, Alla, etc.) that a number of characters have been hacked, stripped, and, effectively, sold off.

(Now, you can make the joke all you want about that my gear sucks so bad that no one wants it, blah blah bullshit bullshit...)

But several things are very very clear here:

First, this is a very organized operation trying to get lots of gil for characters which they know will be effectively frozen and deleted in fairly short order. In this manner: It's RMT, taken to the next level.

It's clearly not surprising, therefore, to come out and say something:

Square-Enix' unwillingness (or inability!) to properly police RMT has empowered someone to the point where a hostile takeover of Final Fantasy XI (and as many relevant computers whereon it is played) is taking place.

Someone is trying to end Final Fantasy XI. It is clear that someone, in seizing functional control of whatever characters and gil, as and when they choose, is basically declaring themselves kings of FFXI, and there ain't a damned thing Square-Enix is willing to do about it, nor us able to do about it.

Insofar as that is true, it's clear that someone is saying that this is no longer Square-Enix' game.

I partially blame Square-Enix for this, because I think they set the table for something ominous quite some time ago, and then chose to basically ignore the signs (of just about everything) until, now, it's quite clearly too late.

Now you have an outfit which is basically able to grab the POL passwords of just about anyone they choose, even if by only keylogging the mess (and even then, maybe not even through just POL means), and, going from there, locking out your account, and, whichever characters they could get into, strip the characters blind, sell the stuff for insane prices, and then get the character banned or just hand it back...

It's clear that this is a hostile takeover - the question is, is it RMT basically telling Square-Enix who's boss, or is it Square-Enix actively driving players off the game...

The one argument I've heard is that Square-Enix is trying to drive players off XI for when XIV comes out.

That argument can't hold water, because it makes no sense! Why would anyone so completely fucked over by Square-Enix on XI want two seconds of XIV??

I said it before, and will say it again: Square-Enix is only keeping XI alive (especially in North America) to fund XIV. FFXI is dead.

Now someone is trying to disintegrate the corpse.


Katarzyna said...

Behind every hacked account, there's an SE representitive unwilling to do anything about it. Behind every RMT tell, there's an SE developer who refuses to limit tells made from trial accounts.

Yes, SE is to blame, but not in the direct way people are insinuating.

syaradj said...

The sort of digital skulduggery going down here is more than disconcerting. The VASCO token system is something that major banks, government agencies, and corporations use for security. Heck, where I work, I use a VASCO just to log into terminals daily.

If I've read what happens correctly, the fact that RMT (or another accomplice party) has developed a sophisticated method of capturing the token and password data, crashing POL to keep it from hitting SE authentication servers (and thus keeping the one-time password live), and corrupting POL's application data (almost necessitating a restart) to buy them time to change passwords and clean house is just staggering.

RMT truly have chutzpah the likes of which I've never seen...either that, or POL is more of an Achilles heel for FFXI's continuity than we all originally thought. I'm leaning toward the latter.

Starcade, now from Leviathan said...


And this is not to say you are wrong... :)

Even if this is not an active act by Square-Enix, their actions in response seem to lay on the table that they care not for their playerbase in any way, shape, or form -- almost as if (almost?) they want that playerbase eliminated!

I mean, consider how much they probably know about how many in the playerbase actually cheat, and in how many ways!!

It's been my belief that, once the scope of the abuse of Salvage came to light, they had made the formal decision to throw the baby out with the bathwater sometime around January 22, 2009 -- the date of the Salvage bans.

Starcade, now from Leviathan said...

syaradj: The fact is that if it is as bad as this situation indicates, then "SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING!" might not be a joke...

If they are going to have people buy access to a game and have that access mean anything, then the first job of any such entity is to abjectly insure that the access to the game is secure and is not corruptible.

This is basically a hostile takeover of FFXI, and, if it's like some of the BG crowd are (correctly??) saying -- that there's nothing you can do about it if they want your shit -- then it's over and needs to be shut down, because Square-Enix has lost actual PHYSICAL control of the game, not just of the conduct of the players on it.