A known troublemaker is currently again causing issues in the Neverwinterverse. Last Friday the Gateway suddenly went down and what first looked to be a simple outage, was yesterday confirmed to be intended to fight botting.
The cause of this in unknown. We speculate that it must be some sort of emergency shutdown that stems from exploiting a specific function. Most think it might be Leadership botting again, but that doesn’t make tons of sense. As bad as Leadership botting was, Cryptic never brought down the Gateway because of it. Additionally they already “took care” by nerfing the profession multiple times. Same applies to the Sword Coast Adventures, which can be botted to get Companion gear.
Auction House or ZEN Exchange?
Our money currently is on the Auction House or the ZEN exchange. It’s pretty obvious players are using the Gateway to automatically post auctions and instantly undercut the competition. More botters monitoring the Auction House could even cause the stability issues that we’ve seen in recent weeks. You might have run into problems posting items and such. Our own crawl engine is capable of requesting 300 items per minute. If hundreds of bots are doing the same, it’s trouble. The ZEN exchange could be automated to buy low and sell high, generating ADs out of thin air. I don’t think it’s as easy but I can see how professional gold sellers could abuse the exchange.
This is all full-blown speculation though. There could be a completely different exploit.
At this point you should at least be concerned about the Gateway going forward. It is known to cause problems and since the devs like to nerf before redesigning, the ultimate nerf would be a shutdown. Let’s also not forget that the Gateway is a PC only feature. Allocating resources to something that cannot be utilized on the big console market is hard. On the other hand botting might be the main reason they are hesitant to introduce the Gateway for Xbox and PS4. Hence finding a solution could benefit all platforms eventually.
I personally don’t think a shutdown is the likeliest outcome. We will probably see a usability downgrade in some areas, which should also indicate what was going on. ZEN exchange transaction limit? No longer allowed to post auctions on the Gateway? RPs from Leadership or Companion gear suddenly bound? The Russian Gateway is still running by the way, which would indicate this is not a global problem. Additionally the devs have been very clear in the past that the Gateway is a feature that’s not going anywhere.
The market however already reacted and refining points and especially the Companion gear has gone up significantly. But this is a total gamble. In case the Gateway won’t come back there’s definitely tons of ADs to be make, but the market will of course quickly return to its known state otherwise.
World of Warcraft Companion App
A shutdown would also not be a smart move. The market leader recently extended its own version of the Gateway. The World of Warcraft Companion App seems to be a huge success already and complains mostly aim at the fact that this hasn’t been done earlier. Managing accounts while offline is an unique feature and shutting the Gateway down while WoW just added to its own would be a weird business decision to say the least.
These apps are more likely to grow than to disappear. The Gateway ties players to the game and Cryptic better carefully judges whether they finally invest some resources to bring it up to speed. For once they need to deal with a situation instead of taking their usual cheapish nerf route.
What is your opinion on the current situation and the Gateway? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!