Nearly a thousand players of Final Fantasy XI, apparently some 1% of the total global server population, have been punished after an item duplication bug spread across the servers, tempting many into exploits which are explicitly forbidden by all MMORPGs.
The offences of 550 were so egregious that Square Enix felt they had to be permanently banned outright, without recourse, whilst another 400 were suspended temporarily for lesser offences.
One high level account deleted is reputed to have contained ultra-rares (“relics”) worth a putative $50,000 or more (although these numbers are of course contingent upon a sale actually being made).
The duplication bug itself (of which there have been many examples across all manner of MMORPGs previously) was actually fixed during emergency maintenance on November 26th, 2008; however, prior to this fix, a great many players were tempted.
Over the coming months log file analysis conducted by Square Enix brought to light the thousand cursed names, culminating in the harsh discipline meted out on the 23rd of January.
Amongst those deleted was one account apparently loaded with ultra rare items, and ranked as the top player in all of FFXI, that of “Minidragon”. You can read his long winded apologetics at the end of the article.
He apparently had all his jobs maxed to 75 and 6 relics (a lot of stuff, in other words), which represents an account worth a great deal of money – estimates made by knowledgeable 2ch MMORPG otaku put this at some $50,000.
Of course, this would assume he could have completed successfully a near legendary “Real Money Trade”…
Whatever the case, his is a catastrophic loss.
A legend is unmade?
Minidragon speaks, in excruciating length: (skip to the end for the mercilessly condensed version)
Sorry for the late reply. I went to sleep after waiting on hold that long, just woke up a little while ago. Just to hear from the source, yep, it’s perma. Not the way I wanted to go out, but kay-sar-a, sa-ra. I had fun, despite the developers. I already picked out the TV I plan to get, the Pioneer PDP-5020FD. I’d get a larger one but I don’t have room in my place. Thanks to everyone who’s provided their condolences. For everyone that pointed out the SE banned me over and over, thank you for pointing out the obvious, I can assure you I’ve noticed. No, I’m not upset or really that sad. I believe it to be an unmeasured response, but that’s my humble opinion.
I am leaving the game, but I’m happy to say I’m leaving the game as one of the most accomplished individuals. I can say w/o a doubt, I couldn’t of had a better group to play with. I’m proud of our LS, what we accomplished, how far we came from day 1 till now. As far as the LS is concerned, I have no regrets. We accomplished a great deal for a shell of 25. If I had to pick a time for the LS to go out, I can’t think of a better one.
We were in our prime, at our best. The atmosphere in the shell was positive, and I was excited to get up everyday and do what we did. I tried my hardest to make decisions that I thought were fair, never tried to play favorites on loot decisions, and always tried to make sure I never became one of the LS leaders who took everything before their member. In every good HNM shell, there is a calculated risk and reward. My LS took the gamble and lost. But never reget rolling the dice.
As for me, I’m not going to commit suicide, or whatever else you guys have been cooking up in those heads of yours. SE made their decision, even if I don’t agree with it, I have no option but to respect it. I could be upset or angry over it, but what good would that do? I would much rather celebrate the accomplishments then dwell on the defeats. I don’t plan on playing another MMO, and now that Minidragon is gone, I don’t plan on playing this one either.
My simple regrets, I never got to parse one of our Amano sams with my Apoc after getting the Armada, Mar’s, and a couple minor HQ’s. I came really close last time, and I think I could match or beat him this time around. I didn’t get to finish the Burtgang, I was joking with the LS about how if I were to finish the Burtgang, I would instantly enter a CS with the FFXI credits rolling. I was at least happy to know that I was going to finish it. I don’t think there would have been any obstacles that I couldn’t overcome in the making of that weapon. My last regret, was not capping merits. I was about 216 merits from capping all jobs out for merits.
Just to clear a few things up (lot’s of strange rumors about me) and some neat facts:
I am the original owner of the account.
I am from the US.
No, I’m not a virgin.
Yes, I have friends.
Yes, I have seen the sun.
I’m actually a pretty normal person, I just happen to play a video game for a few more hours a day then average MMO players. I go out with friends, and have BBQs, play poker on rare occasions.
I did not buy gil in this game. Believe what you want, but I honestly didn’t.
I did at one point use the gardening exploit to amass a great quantity of Fire, Ice and Thunder ore. I had over 40 gardening mules at that point between 3 accounts. My ‘other’ major indiscretion.
At the peak of inflation, I dropped on accident a stage 3 relic katana worth about 200mil at the time. There was no way to recover it.
I spent about 1,000,000,000 on my first relic. Had I saved that gil, I would very likely have many more relics today.
Most of my relics were self funded, the only one that I received help on was the Horn, and NiN helped me complete it.
Most of the gil I used to unlock relics is the remnants of fortune I amassed during the inflation.
I did receive a great deal of accounts from previous Iron members, and one from a old JP friend.
I did at points trade away accounts for gil, but never for cash. I couldn’t afford keeping all of the accounts, so I picked the ones that benefited the LS the most to hold on to. This was also one of the major sources of gil for the most recent relic, and the burt.
I did not receive my D-ring from Iron or NiN, I got it in a Japanese HNM shell for my Ninja, the only other tanks there were a pld that had gotten one the week before, and a taru ninja who hasn’t played in a long time. It was the first NA D-ring on the server and the last NA D-ring for a year.
To the best of my knowledge, I was the first NA character on any server with a Maat’s cap. I was for sure, the first Maat’s cap on our server. When the Maat’s cap was released, I only had 2×75’s, 1×37, and I was in the middle of leveling rng at about 50.
There have always been a great deal of rumors about how I treated my LS. I never kicked someone out for missing a single event, I was strict on attendance, but not that strict. I respected everyone I played with, and I never tried to take anything that I don’t think everyone would agree I earned. I had a great deal of gear, but I honestly didn’t solo lot much of anything in the shell. I passed a huge amount of rare gear to LS members, and always tried my hardest to avoid being selfish.
I never stole from the LS bank, however I will most likely be keeping the remainder of the bank, which isn’t much. We had just bought several Salvage bodies worth of Khroma and brought it back to the server, so was a little on the low side.
I never botted on Minidragon. I did on mules, but never on my main.
I would like to end on a good note. I loved playing this game. It was really the people that I got to play with that made me excited to logon every day. Even despite all of the flaws, and SE going out of its way to alienate its player base. The people are what made this game fun for me. So I want to give a shout out to everyone that made this game that much better.
Finally, to the men and women that I had the distinct privilege of playing with everyday. To all the Nine Inch Ninjas members, past and present, thank you for all your time and hard work. We set a very high standard for people to follow.
We built something that was unique and fun. I have nothing but the utmost respect for each and every one of the people I played with. I couldn’t have asked for a better shell, or a nicer group of people. I loved leading this shell more then any single other accomplishment in this game. It brought me a great deal of pride to see us succeed.
It was truly you guys that made this game fun for me, and your absence is with out a doubt a great blow to the FFXI community. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors.
The condensed version: