Friday, February 05, 2010


So Ensidia claimed the world-first kill of Arthas, but were then hit with a 72-hour ban and had their kill and titles revoked.

I admit that, like Tobold and Larisa, when I first heard the story I was a bit sympathetic to Ensidia. Their story was that a rogue using Saronite Bombs as part of his regular rotation happened to make part of the encounter easier.

However, now I think it's likely that the ban was completely deserved. Apparently, what happened was something like:
  1. The Lich King destroys part of the platform during the fight.
  2. Valkyrs come and snatch raid members. They have to be DPSed down before they reach the edge or they drop the person to their doom.
  3. Saronite Bombs are bugged and apparently rebuilt part of the platform.
  4. Ensidia apparently sent the Saronite rogue to deliberately rebuild the outer edges of the platform where the val'kyrs drop people.
  5. Ensidia ignored the val'kyrs when they appeared, focusing DPS on the Lich King.
  6. The val'kyrs dropped the people, but they landed on the rebuilt platform safely, and rejoined the fight.

That's textbook "exploiting a bug to avoid part of the fight". Thus, Ensidia fully deserves their ban.


  1. Judging if they were doing it deliberately or on accident is pretty hard, even impossible to do. If you've never seen the fight before, you couldn't know if what's happening is the way it's supposed to be or not. In the heat of such battle it's even harder to notice those things. So I don't think they've been proven guilty. They might be, but I'd like to see some hard evidence, not just all the speculation I've seen going around.

    What I do believe is that they'd probably be world first even if this exploit wasn't available, and I think everyone knows they would have been. Though honestly, I would've really liked to see some other guild get the honors, because it's getting a bit boring.

    But it's still just the normal mode fight here anyway, and the world first that really matters is the hardmode one. I'm going to wait and see how that one turns out.

  2. I don't think they did No. 4. As far as I see it they did not know what caused the bug. But they knew that the platforms weren't supposed to rebuild and that this was a bug. So No. 5 is where they were using a bug to their advantage.

  3. The whole controversy is if they did it intentionally, or if they thought it was just some random bug. I've not actually seen anyone confirm that they did infact send their rogue out to fix the platform. If they did, then there's obviously no discussion. If they however only used bombs where and when they normally would, and that made the platform rebuild, it's a different thing alltogether. What's your source on the rogue deliberatly running out to fix the platform?

  4. What people don't seem to be taking into account is that the Saronite Bombs have a One Minute cooldown. Unless a single bomb was re-popping the Entire platform extension, how long would the phase have to have been for a single rogue to repop enough areas around the platform for it to make a difference, and unless the Valkyrs are dropping people off a single, predictable area of the platform how is the Rogue restoring one area of the platform a minute going to trivialise the phase?

    And if it Was only taking a single bomb to restore the entire platform, it's a lot harder to prove that it was done deliberately I would think.

  5. Ensidia is well aware of the interaction of terrain constructs and siege damage from Saronite Genades in a raid context.

    That's a blog post from one of Ensidia's raiders. The last major use of terrain constructs in a raiding environment was when the Lich King destroyed the floor in ToC. Ensidia found out that by using saronite grenades, they could destroy the floor before the Lich King. They even did it on seven seperate occaisions, in order to make sure it was the grenades that was doing it.

    The most damning thing in my eyes is Ensidia's evasiveness and lying with regards to the exploit and providing proof of their innocence.

    They claimed that the exploit did not significantly alter the difficulty of the fight, when in reality it trivializes the hardest part of the fight. It is exactly what Exodus did to cheese Yogg-Saron.

    The most damning thing though, is that, exactly as Exodus did before them, they've refused to release their video of the encounter. This would provide proof as to weather or not they were doing something out of the ordinary.

    A member of Ensidia, Tuns, posted on mmo-champion that the reason why they don't post a video is that there is no video, as Ensidia does not, and has never frapsed their first kills.

    The mere suggestion that a guild of Ensidia's calibur does not fraps every single progression attempt from multiple angles is laughable, and quite frankly, insulting.

    This is further compounded by his claim that Ensidia never did this for any of their previous kills. Which is even more insulting, given that the fraps of their world first kills of Yogg-Saron and Algalon are on youtube, available for all to see.

    Their evasiveness and dishonesty damns them in my eyes. They commited the exact same crime as Exodus did. They've handled the situation in the exact same manner as Exodus did. They got the exact same punishment that Exodus did. The only difference is that Exodus took their punishment, apologized, and moved on. Ensidia got pissy and raged at anyone who suggested that they might be wrong. And for a normal mode encounter no less. At least Exodus reached for the hardest fight in the history of the game. Ensidia sold themselves out for a fight a guild one shotted less than 12 hours later.

  6. Yeah, I was giving them the benefit of the doubt and that the exploit may not have been evident.

    Should what you say here be the truth, then yes, the ban is completely warranted.

  7. Agreed - but some measure of responsibility should fall on Blizzard as well, who needs to examine either 1)their internal testing methodology, or 2) their internal testing personnel.

    When was the last "final boss" of a raid instance (thus, no beta on PTR) that wasn't bugged? Been a while, hasn't it...

  8. Oh wow, after reading your post, I have to agree they deserved the ban. I initially thought that they got punished severely on account of all the previous shady things they did rather than the current transgression. So I guess this is the one that actually got them in trouble rather than an undeserved sentence.

    Well written =)

  9. Forrest, Yogg didn't have any major bugs. Aside from tuning down the gaurdians in the first phase, and slightly altering the sanity threshold, yogg was pretty much left untouched.

    Anub had some abilties tweaked, but for the most part, was clean on release.

    Maly was glitch ridden, but Kel'Thuzad 25 and Sarth were pretty much clean.

    For the most part, when compared to the completely bug ridden and ruined bosses in BC and Vanilla, Wrath has been a relatively bright spot in Blizz's QA history.

  10. i fully blame blizzard on everything involved in this mess. instead of fully testing the encounter and making sure the pinnacle boss of the expansion would not have such a huge flaw. they spent time trying to band aid the train wreck that is wotlk pvp.

    the thing is the bombs did seige dmg to the frozen throne which caused the platform pieces to be rebuilt. the unintended here is that something that shouldn't have taken dmg did and blizzard didn't catch it because they didn't test fully.

  11. People who bitch about test teams not doing their job in something as complex as a raid encounter should be dragged into the shot and flogged for stupidity.

    Fully testing a well understood system is difficult. Fully testing an emergent system, like a World of Warcraft raid encounter where there are literally thousands of variables, is downright impossible.

    We should all commend the Blizzard testers for the far that so much of their content is released with very few issues.

  12. I decided I was annoyed enough to reply with a full blog post:

  13. Why the ban ? Don`t understand that. Exploit or not, they don`t deserve the honnor of first kill when the encounter has a major bug. So remove the loot/acchivement and announce the bug and fix it. But banning the a guild - any guild for playing the game, I don`t get it. To me it reeks of some kind of revenge.
    And btw, if this bug with saronite bombs was also present in TOC, why was it not fixed for this very important encounter with the LK ?