This great story reminds me of the old EQ2 dupe story. You know the one with the Gnomish Thinking Chair. I know its long, but its a great read if you’ve got the time.
Part 1: Imagine if someone found a working dupe method in WoW
You can almost feel the anticipation throughout the gaming community, especially mmorpg gamers. It is late 2004 and Blizzard has announced that everyone is invited into the stress test to finalize beta testing for what would become the world’s most popular online game ever. World of Warcraft was almost ready for release. One ambitious gamer knew WoW dupe methods and farming bots would be in high demand, just like they were in Diablo II. This gamer wasted no time and began testing ideas. For the rest of this story I’ll refer to the gamer as Stewie.
First Stewie tested ideas compiled from his limited knowledge of WoW along with previous experience working with Diablo II dupe methods. As expected, Blizzard had corrected their errors and the code that allowed those old dupe methods to work was solid and seemed bulletproof in their new masterpiece. With little time, Stewie moved onto coding the bot. “First,” he thought to himself, “I’ll create a fishing bot.” The more valuable bot would feature fishing and leveling/farming, but that would have to be completed after release. There was not enough time in the stress test to develop a leveling bot, and the max level was only 25 anyway.
So Stewie worked day and night coding a fishing bot that worked beautifully. The bot fished like a pro, responded to tells, and even fought off anything that aggroed the character. The bot’s GUI allowed the player to choose which fish to keep and which to throw out to maximize gain. Stewie left the bot on for 18 hours the final day of testing. It worked flawlessly filling the character’s inventory with the most valuable catches. Stewie marveled at his creation right up until the infernals started falling from the sky. (Blizzard’s fun way of ending the WoW beta test)
November 24 finally arrived and Stewie rushed to a local Wal Mart to pick up World of Warcraft just after midnight. That night, Stewie didn’t sleep, leveling as quickly as possible. He reached level 20 and decided to take a break. He turned the fish bot on and took a nap. Upon waking, Stewie found his character’s inventory filled with the fish he wanted. “Perfect!” he thought as he headed for the vendor. To Stewie’s surprise, Blizzard had adjusted the vendor price of all fish to almost nothing. “What a great way to break fishing…” Stewie and many other players agreed. Unfortunately, this also crashed the value of Stewie’s bot. So Stewie changed his focus to his character grinding the slow trek to 60.
Upset that his awesome bot would not be worth anything, since it no longer farmed gold as fast, Stewie was always on the lookout for cool new exploits. He came up with two interesting ones that were not terribly useful. One helped earn extra gold towards his 1000g epic mount, the other was only really useful to excite his friends. He really wanted to find a good old dupe method, the top dog exploit of an mmorpg hacker’s arsenal. Eventually, a patch came out that fixed the useful exploit Stewie had found. He began to realize, like all of the other elite mmorpg exploiters, that a dupe method may never exist in WoW.
He thought, “I better get to work on a leveling and farming bot.” But just before starting on the new bot, Stewie thought of something. He calmly tried the new idea combining the two exploits he’d found earlier. His heart nearly leaped out of his mouth when he saw the results. He tried it again, then again, just to be sure. Before he knew it, he’d already duped an item 10 times just to make himself believe it. Stewie had just found the only working dupe method in World of Warcraft!
Part 2: Imagine how a WoW dupe method could be used
Stewie had just discovered a working dupe method in WoW. He knew he had to keep it quiet, or it would be hotfixed in an instant. So he used it sparingly to help his character. After a short while, he owned both of the epic mount choices and all of the best BOE epics that he found on the auction house. He thought, “Its time to try to monetize this dupe method.” Stewie had worked with RMT companies before when he could dupe in Diablo II. So he contacted those companies to see if any of them wanted to buy the WoW dupe method.. Half of them straight up didn’t believe him. They laughed at him stating that there will never be a working dupe method in World of Warcraft. “Oh well, their loss.” thought Stewie. The other half were not much better telling him, “Just give us the method, we’ll use it to dupe a huge inventory and sell it, then give you the commission.” Not one offered to pay for the method first, even after they were shown proof and believed that it worked.
So Stewie had to think of another way to enjoy this digital prize. Gold was selling for about $9 per hundred. (lol crazy right?) So Stewie concluded that selling gold wholesale to the RMT companies would be the best route to take. He knew that if he flooded the economy selling top quality epics, the dupe would be patched. He also knew that the game was still young, and most players didn’t have a fortune yet. Stewie enjoyed the game and made sure he would not be responsible for the destruction of any server’s economy. So he decided that the best way to mass produce the gold privately was to dupe the highest value items and vendor them.
Stewie set a schedule and only duped as often as he felt was safe. He also used some servers as control groups. He monitored their economies precisely to make sure they were exactly the same as the servers he duped on. Stewie probably knew more about WoW’s economy than the developers responsible for monitoring it.
So Stewie continued on his merry way, playing his uber character, duping gold, and enjoying life. Then the news headlines hit. WoW Dupe Method Exists? “That’s it,” Stewie thought, “fun’s over.” He read on. Apparently the dupe method had something to do with the instability of the new instance, Mauradon, released in the latest content patch. “Well, at least they didn’t find my dupe method.” Stewie thought, but knew he still had a problem. Blizzard would do some research, and surely find that his lower level characters across many servers had been moving thousands of gold around quickly. So he laid low and did not use his dupe method for a month or so.
Instead of finding and banning Stewie, Blizzard stated that the WoW dupe method probably very rarely worked anyway, but is now fixed. Blizzard seemed just as confident as everyone else that no working dupe method exists for World of Warcraft. “This is great news,” Stewie thought as he continued duping and selling gold again. Eventually, the price of gold dropped and Stewie thought it was too much trouble to continue selling. So he only used the dupe method to help his character out so that he wouldn’t have to spend hours farming in between the good stuff.
Part 3: Imagine if someone offered you hints to find the WoW dupe method
Stewie was still an avid reader of many mmorpg exploit forums. He had enjoyed those communities since the original DiabloWorld. He thought, “All of these poor hackers are fighting for the table scrap exploits while I know a dupe method. I’ll throw them a bone.” He tried to offer some hints about the dupe bug that worked in World of Warcraft.
He was astonished at how quickly he was shot down by the community. Everyone thought he was just some scammer trying to sell a $10 fake. They assured Stewie that a working WoW dupe method would never exist. It was almost as if they had trained themselves to believe that. He couldn’t blame them though. He would probably believe the same if he had not found the working dupe so early after the game’s release.
So he decided to let those communities continue to praise the ‘elites’ who shared weapon skill gaining and wall climbing exploits. He was not interested in becoming an internet hero on some game exploit forum. He just wanted to help out any aspiring mmorpg hacker with some hints to find one of the most powerful dupe methods in history. Nobody took him seriously. So Stewie returned to using the dupe method to help his own characters and to sell gold for some extra cash.
Then, Stewie logged in one fine morning to find that half of his gold selling accounts were banned. “It would only be a matter of time before they find out how I got all that gold and the rest of my accounts would be banned and the dupe method patched.” thought Stewie. He waited, not duping at all for a month, two months, when would they ban his main accounts? They never did…But a new patch was released. Sure enough, the dupe method was fixed.
Part 4: What would Blizzard do if they found out about a dupe bug in WoW?
Blizzard had fixed the dupe method, but Stewie thought for a long while. “Why on earth would they fix it that way. It’s like they put a band aid on a severed arm of a bug.” Stewie knew he could find a work around, and within a few hours, he did. Stewie analyzed it a bit further. Maybe Blizzard didn’t know after all. They hadn’t banned his main accounts that had all duped like crazy and were geared like kings. They didn’t do a great job of patching the dupe method, although the previous method was useless. So Stewie still had the working dupe method and continued to use it as he always had.
Stewie thought it would be hilarious if he used the dupe method to fund a trip to Blizzcon. So he did just that. With the money he earned selling gold from his dupe, Stewie flew to Anaheim for all three conventions. At the first, he was nearly sweating when he entered, thinking that Blizzard were waiting for him to personally catch him. By the last, he was relaxed, enjoying it, playing Diablo III demos and watching tournaments.
Stewie decided he would let Blizzard know. He’d used the dupe method for almost five years, and didn’t mind if they patched it. He figured they might even be impressed and wonder if he was interested in joining their anti-hack team. So he sat in on the Blizzard hiring panel’s presentation on how to get a job at Blizzard. Afterward, Stewie spoke with a senior manager. He said, “I have plenty of experience working with mmorpg exploits and I think I would be an asset to the anti-hack team at Blizzard. Does Blizzard discriminate against potential employees who have previously discovered and exploited bugs in their games?” He assured Stewie that Blizzard would not discriminate as that is a way many security teams work hiring hackers as employees. So Stewie let it loose, “I know a very powerful exploit, a dupe in WoW. Would Blizzard be interested in hiring me onto their anti-hack team if my info proves to be useful?” The senior manager shrugged, he said, “You can apply for entry level QA jobs. If you’re good and they could use you on the anti-hack team, maybe you could move up.” Stewie gave him a bert stare. He thought, “I just told this guy that I know the most powerful exploit in WoW, a game that everyone assures is clean of this exploit. He just tells me I can apply to be a GM?”
Stewie politely finished the conversation and went on his way. “If Blizzard won’t even offer a little for such powerful information, then why give it to them?” Stewie just continued to dupe away so he could raid and pvp rather than grinding for gems, enchants, glyphs, armor enhancements, consumables, etc. the whole time. Blizzard did not patch the dupe method yet. He told them up front that it exists and he knows it. They didn’t care, probably because they didn’t believe him completely, but still should have investigated his claims.
Part 5: How much is a WoW dupe method worth to you?
Then, one day, Stewie saw someone offering a large sum of money for a working WoW dupe method. He thought, “Someone actually believes a WoW dupe can exist? I’ve got to talk to this guy.” So he contacted the person and let him know about the dupe method. The person was very skeptical as Stewie assumed he would be. So Stewie offered to show him proof.
He told the buyer to do some research, to find some of the hardest to farm items that are rarely available on the AH, and to choose any server. He would trade Stewie these items and the next day, Stewie would show the person a guild bank packed full of dupes of those items. The person returned with some very rare items and traded them to Stewie. Sure enough, Stewie duped enough of them to fill the bank, then showed the potential buyer.
The buyer was in shock. A WoW dupe method does exist…He asked Stewie about a million questions. (The answers are compiled into this story.) The buyer decided to not buy the WoW dupe, but to try to find it himself. Stewie was not worried. He was excited that another game exploiter wanted to find the dupe method themself. Stewie allowed the fellow mmorpg hacker to invite others to the guild bank to see the proof hoping to get other mmorpg hackers interested. If any inspired mmorpg exploiter wants to see the proof, they can do a little research and find out how to get a guild invite.
Stewie is still using his dupe method to play WoW in style. He did not like how game exploit communities became, shutting out any newcomer and shunning them for trying to find anything useful. He is happy that he was able to help the community understand that a dupe method can exist in any game. He hopes that he has planted a seed that will attract smart gamers to work together to find the dupe just as he had worked with friends to discover Diablo II dupes back in the day. Do not stop searching. The working World of Warcraft dupe method exists. Believe it.