We received information today about a severe bug with how random results are being requested from the server. This new Neverwinter exploit is currently mainly used to get Unified Elements from every completed Elemental Evil HE and to manipulate the drops of several Profession Lockboxes, most namely the Leadership and Professions Special Pack. The bug is confirmed on the PC version, but could be working on Xbox as well.
Although a lower demand and a higher supply play into this development, the plummeting of the prize for Unified Elements definitely has something to do with the exploit as some sellers are posting insane amounts at the auction house.
We used our very own Auction House Tracker to evaluate the severity of the exploit and compile a list of suspicious sellers. We know that the exploit has been reported to the devs weeks ago and is live for at least over a year (yes, you read that right!) and a safe assumption is that it’s been there since the start of the game. That’s why we decided to immediately go public to speed up the fixing process.
You can find the details below, but we’re urging everyone to not use the exploit, because now that it leaked Cryptic will monitor and ban offenders. The spoiler text was submitted to us and has been edited (grammar, punctuation and some reference links).
Maybe this is the longest standing exploit of the game to date, the first mention of the exploit was during the third Lillend promotion in March/April 2014. What was only a vague rumor back then can now be verified as substantial. You need to know that the Currency Inventory looked like the Professions one before they reworked it in Module 5: Rise of Tiamat. During the Lillend promotions, the Professions Booster Pack from the ZEN shop was dropping either Tarmalune Trade Bars or the companion. Since you could block the currency inventory and rule out a Trade Bar drop, clicking long enough would eventually result in a Lillend. While that’s the first official hint it would seem that the exploit is around forever, but simply hasn’t been noticed before.
As said we used our own data to compile a list of suspicious sellers. Exploiters of the Heroic Encounters simply sell a lot of Unified Elements while those that exploit Profession Packs sell Dragon Eggs in combination with either Adventurers and Men-at-Arms from the Leadership Pack or blue assets from the Professions Special Pack.
Although we cannot ultimately verify everyone (albeit unlikely, those that sold a lot of Unified Elements could have gotten them from large Alchemy farms), we feel pretty confident about that list. As always, we have a more detailed one up here, which is divided into weekly columns and covers the last ten weeks. Just to give you a feel you can look up the top two sellers by typing their names into the search box under in the @Seller column. During the last week @warbeastpunch posted 960 Dragon Eggs along with 429 Leadership and 737 other assets, meaning the account is exploiting both the Leadership and the Professions Special Pack. @shoogaboogaloo is an example of someone mainly doing the Leadership Pack. In case you sell those packs on the AH you might recognize some of the names, because they are buying up the packs and resell the exploited drops for profit.
The list continues in this way and the first major exploiter of Heroic Encounters is @ll11xx, who has posted an absurd amount of up to 1,500 Unified Elements per week. The account bots or used to bot in the Drowned Shore completing hundreds of minor Heroic Encounters in the process. Also some classic bots made the list like @eattstyt (who already appeared in our botting report twice) or @flandrie (who will make our botting report this week), which did not exploit per se but just sold the UEs they were regularly getting from completing HEs. Some more or less prominent lockbox resellers are present as well, which seem to boost their profits by exploiting the Profession Packs they get.
Possible fixes include altering the client/server communication so that repeated clicking on the same pack or lockbox does not grant a new result. You could also simply disallow opening packs altogether while certain inventories are full. Or make all inventories auto-expendable like the currency bag or introduce an overflow mechanism. The only reason why this exploit isn’t even more severe is based on the fact that the regular inventory has an overflow bag and the incomprehensible decision to make some inventory space limited (although no money is being generated from it, because you can’t even buy expansions), backfires in a big way.
Last but not least, let’s talk some implications. Whenever fixed (or even before), the market should react as follows:
- The value of Profession Packs, that is currently partially tied to the price of Dragon Eggs, will drastically go down. Looking up our RNG value page you can see that the legit value of the Professions Special Pack is around 15k and it currently sells for 70k.
- The reselling value of lockboxes might diminish because the Profession Packs are overvalued.
- Prices of Dragon Eggs, Unified Elements and all Profession Assets will go up. Hard to tell for the Leadership assets though, because those are not actually being exploited.
It’s hard to foresee the actual development, especially because bullet three might partially offset the other two (Profession Assets affect the value of Profession Packs which affect the value of lockboxes). However, it’s safe to say that an investment in Unified Elements for example, which hover around 10k currently, can’t be wrong.