May. 19th, 2013

kierthos: (Default)
Seems a massive bug had caused Perfect World to bring down the Neverwinter servers.

What is this massive bug? Well, it seems that you could put things up on the auction house for negative values, and through (I'm assuming) some sort of buffer overflow error, end up with truly spectacular amounts of Astral Diamonds (one of the in-game currencies).

You could then turn around and spend these Astral Diamonds on whatever you wanted to buy (that cost Astral Diamonds, as opposed to other in-game currencies, of which there are several). One of the things you could 'buy' was Zen.

For those who don't know, 'Zen' is a real-money currency you can buy. By real-money, I mean, normally, you have to spend real-life dollars to buy Zen (at a rate of 100 Zen for $1.00). But in Neverwinter, you can also trade Astral Diamonds for Zen, at a fluctuating rate. (I think it maxes out at 500 Astral Diamonds for 1 Zen, but I don't know for sure.) It's pretty much the same sort of thing Guild Wars 2 does with Gems<=>Gold, for those who have played that game.

Anyway, so by exploiting this bug, a player could have millions and millions of Astral Diamonds, when he would then either buy whatever the hell he wanted, or convert to Zen, and then use that Zen to buy things out of the In-game store. (Mounts, companions, trade goods, whatever.)

Thus, they (Perfect World) has brought the servers down to address this problem. And they're considering (maybe) a rollback. All because someone coded the auction house to accept negative numbers.

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's probably a little more complicated than that, but at it's base level, it should have been handled by "if(bid_amount < 0) then 'Fuck off, Charley.'"

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