Exploit History Vol. 18: Gateway Scripting

Exploit History BannerIn today’s episode of our Exploit History we are looking back at the game’s Gateway and the harm it caused. If you’re new to Neverwinter, or play on consoles, you might not know that the game featured a web interface in which players could access and maintain certain aspects of their account.

Gateway Was Superb

The Gateway was indeed a superb tool. Among other things players had full access to inventory management, the Auction House, Astral Diamond exchange, professions and a mini-game called “Sword Coast Adventures”. All that was available everywhere, you just needed a browser and could log in. Especially doing professions while “on the road” was simply amazing. Back then just like today, Leadership was important. The fact that you still could fully manage it even without actually playing the game was major.

Nonetheless Cryptic decided to close down the Gateway in 2016. It featured an API and soon the first scripts became available to automate processes using the Gateway. Botting eventually took its toll, and a great tool away from players. It was a controversial decision as many players felt like they should have gone after the bots instead. But as often Cryptic with their own resources in mind took the more convenient nerf path.

Botting Took Over

Now what did botters do on the Gateway? Well, actually a lot. The basic functionality of the most popular scripts was to automate the professions. You could basically level any profession with a 24/7 uptime. But it didn’t stop there. Convenience scripts auto-sold trash from inventories and mass-opened Leadership boxes. Back when the profession would still grant ADs, bots automatically transferred them to a main character using the AD exchange.

Speaking of which, the ZAX was not always at 500 all the time. Bots would automatically buy ZEN low and sell high, using the usual fluctuations throughout a day. It was an AD generating machine. On the Auction House bots were able to post auctions and undercut the competition automatically, or search for and buy out bargains.

Last but not least, the mini-game “Sword Coast Adventures” was fully botted as well and a large amount of “Loyal” companion gear (example) that dropped there was generated and sold. To date this is still among the best available gear on PC, because it unintentionally features an insane item level of 840.

Quite a List

Looking through the list, you can’t blame anyone for being happy that the Gateway is gone. But it was still a sad display of how little Cryptic was actually able to do against botting other than shutting the whole thing down. You would think that a captcha of some sort would probably already helped at ton. So the closing of the Gateway was never fully about botting, but more about business and resources.


Exploit History: Locking Auctions – Caturday – Masterwork Nodes – Permadodge – Arcane Reservoir – Full GF Runs – Attribute Enhancement – Using the old Refining System – Killing Fulminorax and Valindra From Below – Skipping Shadowfell – Resonator Exploit – Safely Killing Traven Blackdagger – Foundry Power Leveling – Castle Never Picture Frame Shortcut – Infinite Buff Stacks and One-Shotting CWs – Max Level In About One Hour – No Ward Consumption While Fusing Enchantments

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4 thoughts on “Exploit History Vol. 18: Gateway Scripting

  • December 16, 2017 at 8:10 am
    Permalink

    Thank You! I keep trying to explain all the problems that created the turmoil on PC but never had a complete list. Hard to explain why I will report any glitch I see or hear about. This will really help!

    Reply
  • December 16, 2017 at 7:52 pm
    Permalink

    The odd thing was the number of idiot players blaming bots for high AH prices. The truth is that the players were the greedy ones and over charged. Often the same ones who forced Greed runs and Speed runs on PuGs and kicked people on the Boss Loot roll. Even after Boss Loot was BoP and could only be salvaged, so a DC gets kicked for rolling NEED on BoP DC Boots he could actually use!

    As j0Shi clearly shows, Gold Seller Bot Server Farms did not care how much time they grinded. They never got tired, they never ate or slept, they did not care about under-cutting, they did not have to be paid. They deal in mass volume and pile high, sell cheap.

    Do you think there would ever have been hundreds of stacks of 99 Radiant enchants for less than 10k, sometimes 6000 AD, if they were being farmed by players?

    And, after all, many, many of the Uber-Toxic Greed runners were the very ones running botting programmes for Professions etc, not just the Pirate “Gold Sellers”. We even see people on the NWU forum talking about their 5 VIP accounts, or multiple accounts with 50 characters each. I could run Professions 3 times a day completely manually with 12 characters. With 22 I hardly ever bother now. It’s enough of a chore just to invoke on them all six times a day for the XP, Celestial coins and a good pool of 50% AD bonus for Salvage from the ones I play. I’d only just started getting that Loyal Avenger/Commander Companion gear when they shut it down. I did buy a few Girdles of the Striker from the AH pretty cheap, as people did not realise they were actually Belts of the “Loyal Avenger” with a different name. The companion gear I still have in the bank are on the AH now for several million. The ones I have bound to characters I stopped playing are worth even more. Bots sold them for a lot less back then.

    😀

    Reply
  • December 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm
    Permalink

    Kodereader, if you mean the massive inflation and 14 million ZAX backlog that stayed around for months and months on end, that was caused by the Astral Resonator Exploit. And that was players, not bots. People were talking about it in-game for months. People were telling me they’d reported it, nothing was done. Even today, the moronarators from the official forums will lie about it here and claim the devs did not know about the Astral Diamond Fountaineers until someone posted a link to a YT video showing how it was done, in order to get it stopped. He was banned for his trouble, of course. For “Promoting” an exploit.

    So, bad coding, bad devs, bad detection. Not Bots.

    How hard could it be to detect a character with 1 Astral Resonator opening and farming dozens of Astral Rifts and the Resonator not getting used up? I had a post edited to nothingness by Zebutard for using the phrase “Astral Diamond Fountaineers” on the grounds that I had made a claim that exploiters were still in the game!

    They were.

    AND. THEY. STILL. ARE.

    The only ones who got caught and banned were the ones who used the glitch after the post to the official forums. But Craptrick knew about it for months. They just did not care until they thought it might affect Zen sales. Then they removed the Resonators. Then they made Keys bind to account on pickup. Then they removed Coal Wards from the Trade Bar Store because they forgot they had previously made them BtA when they dropped the price, so now there were cheap, unbound Coals and the AH got flooded. And that might affect Zen sales.

    It’s an endless stream of Dev stupidity.

    WORLD: Hey, Craptrick! Did you see that report from the Better Business Bureau? Did you see what they said about you? They used the word IMBECILES! four times in one sentence!

    CRAPTRICK: “What was the rest of the sentence?”

    WORLD: Just your name and a dash.

    😡

    Reply
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