Apologies are in order. Exactly one week ago we promised you guys that we would move on from Huntgate and never touch on the topic again on Unblogged. Well, that was not correct… Because news and information were just pouring in throughout the week. So we don’t really have a choice to get you folks up-to-date with the latest developments. Here we go!
1,000 Hunts = 1,000 ToS Violations
First of all, we learned a little bit more about who got banned and what customer support used as basis for ban durations. Logically, you would think that exploited currency would be the number one criteria, but according to some exchanges with customer support, that’s not the case. Apparently they first and foremost looked at the number of times you were doing glitch overall. One exchange we saw clearly states that the “exploited ADs don’t matter” and that by exploiting X times, a player violated the ToS X times.
That’s a bit of a weird approach. But it might explain why players that felt that their net gain from the exploit wasn’t too big still got severe punishments. Talking about punishments: Apparently another heavyweight content creator got caught up in the whole mess.
— Nova (@NovaIIDBZII) September 30, 2018
FNHUSA57 had remained silent very long, which already raised questions what’s up with him. He finally released a video last week saying that his account is suspended, but hasn’t received an e-mail yet. Now some messages from peers on social media indicate that he has indeed received a perma. His guild started to sent out ingame messages urging members to contact support and plead for his release. Players can also use the hashtags #freefhnusa57 and #freetheplayers to support FNHUSA57.
You can surely debate about the circumstances, but losing a content creator of this magnitude is never great. We don’t know how often he did the glitch, but he said in the video that he got “caught up” in it and has streams to proof it. But that might actually be the issue because PWE especially came down hard on those that streamed the exploit, knowingly or not. So maybe him streaming bugged Hunts might be what triggered the perma. If the ban stands, the game surely lost one of its bigger creators. FNHUSA57 streamed every week and additionally produced YouTube content. Huge shout-out and we hope he lands on his feet!
Perfect World Statement
While Perfect World by the way still hasn’t answered their players, it did sent out a statement to official news outlets that reported the ban wave. The matter of fact that this made the news on sites like MassivelyOP.com and others shows that this is definitely big. Neverwinter is a small game and most outlets only ever repost official blogs or press releases. Apparently that’s why Perfect World felt like they had to “clarify” the incident.
In our opinion this sounds too much as if the devs gave warning in advance and then banned those that would still exploit. Which obviously wasn’t the case at all. The day the devs posted the acknowledgment was the day they also hotfixed the exploit. Additionally not all players regularly visit the Arcgames forum or Reddit. So PWE did not make sure all the players got the message. A better way to carry out the announcement would have been via an ingame message or e-mail.
Unfortunately many sites just picked up the statement and made it sound like the game handled the incident transparently when the opposite was the case. This didn’t prevent Huntgate from becoming a PR disaster though. Some sites chose to post a more in-depth coverage highlighting more sides of the argument. And of course pretty much every bigger YouTuber went out and released critical coverage.
New Subreddit and Microsoft Refunding Money?
Huntgate also led to players trying to establish an alternate Subreddit. You can find it at /r/neverwinteronline and it’s already fairly active. The sub aims at providing a more open talk about ingame topics without any toxicity. So in case you like Reddit as platform, but feel like the official sub is too restrictive, you now have an additional option. Please spread the word!
Here’s also some rumor from the new sub: A thread indicates that Microsoft might refund money for Huntgate. We can’t say whether it’s legit. But in case you received a perma on Xbox you might want to contact the Microsoft support and see if you can work something out.
Is This Finally the End?
That’s the news for today! This time we won’t promise that we’ll never speak about Huntgate again by the way. Unless Perfect World itself addresses the issue however, there might not be too much to talk about going forward. We’ll still be monitoring the community and will update you guys on any developments!
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