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"Badass" Bug Infects and Kills Borderlands 2 Characters

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the it's-a-feature dept.

Games 189

An anonymous reader writes "BBC News claims that a feature in Borderlands 2 that can only be activated in modded XBox 360s has a bug that can cause characters to be permanently deleted when they die- even if they weren't the ones who activated the feature. 'The hidden option within the game, known as "badass" or "hardcore", is turned off by default but can be enabled by those that have modified or hacked their console. [..] When a player with an unmodded console joins a Borderlands 2 multiplayer game in which there is a character running in badass mode it too gets kicked into that mode. [..] Gamers who play alongside people who have modded their console "contract" the bug which deletes their character if they die during play.'"

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189 comments

Ah yes... Non-featured features... (3, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827025)

Or as most people call them, bugs.

A âoefeatureâ that is not really a feature turns out to be âoebuggyâ! WOW!
News at 11, 10 Easternâ¦

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827081)

Or as most people call them, bugs.

A âoefeatureâ that is not really a feature turns out to be âoebuggyâ! WOW!
News at 11, 10 Easternâ¦

That depends on how deeply you look at this "problem", and from what side, now doesn't it?

From a gamers perspective, it is a bug, or could even be defined as a virus.

However, from Microsoft's perspective, sounds like it's "attacking" (or at least pointing the finger) at the very group they likely want to eradicate; those who mod their consoles.

So, the question is...was this feature really all that undocumented? Hmmm...

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (5, Informative)

maxdread (1769548) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827109)

It would seem you lack basic reading comprehension skills.

This doesn't just target the modders, it targets EVERYONE that happens to be in a game with people that enable this option.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827195)

Wow.. what ever will we do? Is this the end of Borderlands 2 multi-player?

If only the developers could write a single line of code that disabled this feature and somehow could get this code to us, the end users. Why, if that happened, this wouldn't be a story at all, but just a report of a simple bug in some game some people play, that temporarily inconvenienced a few players.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (5, Insightful)

Selfbain (624722) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827239)

I'd say the ability to permanently kill an opponent in multiplayer is more than a simple bug.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827593)

Yes, it's a feature game designers always take out when people start to whine. Stupid majority. Most games would actually be more like games if they would allow permadeath. Or at least severe penalty for dying. Borderlands just started to sound interesting.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828361)

if they would allow permadeath

Allow, or force without choice and warning?

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (3, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828773)

That's all fine and dandy until you include things like "lag" into the equation. Joined a game with 30ms ping then find out they're on wifi when their signal goes to crap and you jump to 700ms?.. Died? So much fun!

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827271)

Yes, it would still be a story. The severity of the of the bug's effect and the novelty of the way players run across it both make it newsworthy all on their own. More so in combination. The fact that a bug is fixable does not in any way make it less newsworthy.

And you know it. You are lying because you are a stupid little puke who's trying in vain to impress Slashdot with your clumsy attempt at being too cool to care about stuff.

This is a bug. No ifs, ands, or buts. And certainly no other "perspectives".

You will now shriek your inadvertent confession that I am absolutely and irrefutably right on every point. It is your only possible response.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827375)

No perspective ? What about :
"Modders are evil people who's characters are infected with a virus that kills your characters permanently" .

Because in effect, they are saying that because it's modded, it can be turned on, and turning it on causes problem for everyone.
That doesn't mean everyone who uses a modded version turns it on, just that they can.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827523)

Sounds more like a removed feature. I would speculate that hardcore was a planned and implemented feature and hardcore characters were probably only supposed to join multiplier games with other hardcores. With the feature disabled the online play separation also got removed or broke causing this issue.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827667)

The severity of the of the bug's effect and the novelty of the way players run across it both make it newsworthy all on their own.

Severity? Last week I heard of a bug that could have caused someone to actually be in a life threatening situation. It will probably not hit the news at all.

This bug has a small impact on the spare time entertainment for some people, pretty much like the color of some celebrity's underwear. It shouldn't be newsworthy but for some reason it is still written about.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827983)

Well it's no Therac-25 [wikipedia.org] but it's still a "bug".

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828325)

Well it's no Therac-25 [wikipedia.org] but it's still a "bug".

Yes, it is clearly a bug and the Therac-25 problem is clearly newsworthy.
A few days ago an editor I used crashed and I lost two lines of unsaved code. The crash bug in the editor is also clearly caused by a bug but it is no way newsworthy.
That game companies releases unfinished products and charges full price for them is not really news but it could be deserving of an article. Highlighting a specific bug could serve as an example in said article. Having an entire news story dedicated to a specific bug on BBC News feels a bit "tabloidish" when they should have focused on the underlying problems and why game companies feel that it is acceptable that bugs like that reach the customers.

This is more of a game related blog than a news story.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (2)

Kiraxa (1840002) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828333)

You're forgetting that Microsoft charges 10000-30000 to push a patch. Its not something that most publishers want to do unless they absolutely have to.

It's worse than that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827199)

It hits anyone who is in a game with anyone who has ever been exposed to it. So if player A enables it, plays with player B, and player B plays with player C, and I play with player C, I'm infected, and anyone that plays with me is also infected and a carrier.

Re:It's worse than that (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827449)

What's remarkable is that after having similar problem with "contagious" bugs in the first Borderlands, they did not safeguard against the possibility in BL2.

In the original, two missions could be left in an unfinishable state, and everyone who played with someone with this condition would catch it too. Luckily, one of the two was a beginner's mission, and most people would already have moved the storyline past that point, and the rest get around it by recreating the character. The other one, though, was nasty.

Re:It's worse than that (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828421)

What's most remarkable is that a bug like this is possible at all. It reveals that the game developers did some seriously stupid shit. Nothing that another player has done to their profile should affect what happens to my profile.

Re:It's worse than that (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827893)

At least this is not in the level of the fictional world of Sword Arts Online where the player is the one who dies. Still, a serious level of a bug and lack of security in the xBox 360 software.

So ...vampire and zombie movies have it backwards? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827897)

So mortality is contagious? And here all the zombie and vampire movies had me thinking immortality was what was contagious.

Not that I have any inkling what's really going on (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827233)

But I wouldn't be surprised if this was an attempt to go after people with modded consoles that went terribly awry.

Re:Not that I have any inkling what's really going (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827383)

But I wouldn't be surprised if this was an attempt to go after people with modded consoles that went terribly awry.

No. It's a partially completed feature, a Hardcore mode that either wasn't finished or left to be padded out as DLC. There's some code left in the game for it, including a check to see if anyone has the mode enabled, but since it wasn't finished it just enables it.

Bit of faulty logic, easily fixed, although apparently the game outright deletes your character data upon death with the mode enabled, so if you have already been nailed by it, too bad.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (3, Insightful)

drkim (1559875) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827397)

However, from Microsoft's perspective, sounds like it's "attacking" (or at least pointing the finger) at the very group they likely want to eradicate; those who mod their consoles.

It would seem you lack basic reading comprehension skills.

This doesn't just target the modders, it targets EVERYONE that happens to be in a game with people that enable this option.

Actually, you're both wrong.
"When a player with an unmodded console joins a Borderlands 2 multiplayer game in which there is a character running in badass mode it too gets kicked into that mode."

...so the vulnerable group here would be user who don't mod their consoles.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827665)

Uhhh...what idiots are putting their HACKED X360s on XBL? Seems like a good way to be banhammered to me. But on a positive note, just one more plus for us PC gamers, yay us!

but it's hitting unmoded boxes (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827173)

but it's hitting unmoded boxes due to users joining others in a online game and getting a flag set on there character that is tied to unused / leftover code

Re:but it's hitting unmoded boxes (3, Informative)

gnapster (1401889) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827351)

Right. Which is exactly the sort of thing that engenders ill-will towards modders. "What? My character died permanently? And this could have been avoided if the modder were in jail instead of playing Borderlands? I'm going to write my Congressman!"

GP was suggesting that Microsoft is trying to generate this kind of social friction against the 1337h4x modding community.

Re:but it's hitting unmoded boxes (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827553)

Right. Which is exactly the sort of thing that engenders ill-will towards modders. "What? My character died permanently? And this could have been avoided if the modder were in jail instead of playing Borderlands? I'm going to write my Congressman!"

Only by people who are really, really stupid.
I see your point.

Re:but it's hitting unmoded boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827629)

More like its going to make everyone want to mod. All you need is a USB stick, then you can backup your character and mod it to kill everyone and keep your ass safe.

Re:but it's hitting unmoded boxes (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827951)

How long before a victim of permadeath launches a law suit, seeking damages from the modder (or MS!)?

You can imagine the headline "modder takes plea bargain of homicide saying 'I'd rather take my chance in the big house than suffer punitive damages' "

It is only a matter of time...

Re:but it's hitting unmoded boxes (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828093)

I'm in favour that everyone should have the right to mod, hack and homebrew the hell of whatever they bought. But they shoud stay out of online games! At least as long as consoles don't sport a cheat-safe homebrew mode that allows your own stuff to run but still keeps games in a safe sandbox. But I don't think we'll ever see that.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827765)

From a gamers perspective, it is a bug, or could even be defined as a virus.

Not a virus. A computer prion.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827163)

Or as most people call them, bugs.

A âoefeatureâ that is not really a feature turns out to be âoebuggyâ! WOW!
News at 11, 10 Easternâ¦

It's like playing hardcore mode in a roguelike. Permadeath. For whatever reason the host is able to enable it for everyone.

Why does this happen? (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827401)

I'm assuming that this happens because the server is trusting client stored data. That's approximately the same as not validating ones inputs in a fill-out-form. Why in this millennium would anyone ever trust data stored on a client without validating it first? Isn't this 2012? Or is there some other way this could happen?

Re:Why does this happen? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827463)

Why in this millennium would anyone ever trust data stored on a client without validating it first? Isn't this 2012?

Which part of "Microsoft product" did you not understand?

Re:Why does this happen? (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827703)

It's also common on consoles and is one of the reasons they spend so many resources locking them down. Some PHB a long time ago decided that if the client is locked down, they can trust the data coming from it. Apparently IT forgot to tell said PHB that there is no such thing as a locked down consumer product or that devices can be spoofed!

Re:Why does this happen? (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827719)

Borderlands is NOT a MS product. The only MS product really involved here is the console and that has been specifically modded to ignore the hacked data.

Re:Why does this happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828267)

Borderlands 2 isn't a client. It's a server.
idk if thats relevant though.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1)

Cabriel (803429) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827441)

And this is exactly why modded boxes should be banned from XBox Live.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1)

Agent ME (1411269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827959)

Because they can trip on a few more bugs than other people?

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (0)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827549)

Well, "Bug" may indeed be an incorrect term here. "Virus" is more applicable.

Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828369)

permadeath used to be a feature, back when 'gamer' wasn't synonymous with 'pussy'

Oh snap, i gotta return to the combat zone ASAP, the screen went all black and shit! See ya later /.

hehe (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827067)

quick! deploy a small update to fix that!

Oh wait. there is no quick.. or small. when it comes to xbox updates.
But on the pc even the pirate version of borderlands is upto update #6 now. lol

tell us again how consoles are better... i always liked that joke. :D

Re:hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828075)

I think you answered your own question.

It looks like the console version of Borderlands currently only needs one patch (which btw can be pushed out quickly on consoles, others have managed it on the 360 within 24 hours of such major issues, I don't know why the Borderlands folks are struggling), whereas you've stated the PC version is on patch 6.

I mean seriously? The PC version is so buggy that it's already needed 6 patches?

That's why many people think consoles are better - because things just work. No dicking around downloading and installing patches every 5 minutes, no, when they're genuinely needed they get pushed out to you with an option to accept or deny them.

Re:hehe (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828403)

What you say perhaps applies to consoles back in the time they were actually made of different components than standard desktop PCs. Now you've got the same, just arbitrary stripped down in terms of possibilities of doing anything else with it.

Re:hehe (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828455)

What you say perhaps applies to consoles back in the time they were actually made of different components than standard desktop PCs. Now you've got the same, just arbitrary stripped down in terms of possibilities of doing anything else with it.

That, sir, is complete bullshit. The only console for which that has ever been true is the Xbox, and even it had a new and improved GPU which wasn't available on PC, NV2A which falls between NV20 and NV25. Every other games console since the 8 bit era at least is made of either purpose-designed or at least purpose-customized components.

Re:hehe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828643)

I think I'm running BL2 v1.1.0.3 last I looked. Guess how many patches I actually manually downloaded or installed? It does "just work" for me.

So let's look at a more apples-to-apples comparison. L4D2 was patched on the PC a couple of times whereas the XBox port had, I think, two real patches. Was that because there were more bugs in the PC version? Nope! It's because the PC version could be patched easier and faster whereas the XBox version had to wait around a few months before the bugs fixed in the previous four months (and already deployed to the PC) were collected into one big patch.

In short, you got me to respond, so keep trolling.

Well... (1)

klingers48 (968406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827077)

Bugger.

Russian roulette... (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827101)

Sounds like being forced to play Russian roulette...

haaaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827161)

"When you die in the game, you die for real" LOL

Up the ante... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827265)

Die in the game - take a taser blast to the butt from XBox. Wonder how many "hard core" gamers would prefer that over character deletion?

Re:haaaa (1)

tinkerton (199273) | about a year and a half ago | (#41828265)

No, that was the first draft, but the legal department advised against that implementation.

First BTD (2)

Flipstylee (1932884) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827181)

Or Borderlands Transmitted Disease, i've been wary not to go screwing around with the public, shit's rough nowadays.

Re:First BTD (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827465)

No, third, actually. The first BL has two of them.
Yes, really.

Re:First BTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827997)

Yea they apparently didn't learn from the first game. Hell, they never even fixed the transmission of broken quests in BL1 multiplayer.

Do we care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827193)

You lost me at Xbox

mega lolz (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827217)

This is so similar to The Ring, it's not even funny (the movie, not the Xbox hardware failure)

You're Missing The Point (-1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827225)

We hear all this talk of how modded/hacked consoles are bad for the game developers and industry as a whole. If that's the case, why would the developers include a feature that can only be used on such a console? The real story here is not that your character may get deleted. Your character is not real. The story is that the developers of Borderlands 2 have decided that players who mod/hack their console are a market segment worth developing for. That's a real problem for the console manufacturers with real consequences because it flies in the face of their claims.

Re:You're Missing The Point (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827263)

The story is that the developers of Borderlands 2 have decided that players who mod/hack their console are a market segment worth developing for.

Or it's for use in a later patch/expansion.

Re:You're Missing The Point (5, Interesting)

Linsaran (728833) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827269)

My gut feeling is that the 'badass' code is probably either legacy settings they intended to include but decided not to for whatever reason, or it is a feature that they were going to unlock at some point in the future. I doubt that they included that setting specifically for moders, it's likely that moders just happened to be the ones who discovered it.

Re:You're Missing The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827349)

This "badass" feature sounds trivial to implement, its a take on Hardcore mode from old RPGs like Diablo. They probably put the code in then said "Wait, this is Borderlands, you will die dozens of times before you get the first skill point." so then they disabled it without actually removing it. Probably much of the same process that went into removing "Hot Coffee" section from GTA then people unlocked it with a PAR or GameShark.
This however, doesn't explain why the host can set that. You'd think it would be set up to not let a regular character into a hardcore game, but then they took it out so they probably didn't get that far.

Re:You're Missing The Point (4, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827363)

I can think of a couple of possibilities. One, is mistaken exchange of AND/OR in an expression. I've done that one, it's hilarious and depending on the likelihood of various components of the expression, hard to find in testing (though code review might catch it -- people, have other people look at your code!) Two, some mixup in the way that a property is queried or set, so that the property is accidentally merged into the different player objects. For instance you meant to write SetForPlayerObject() but instead you wrote SetForCurrentPlayerSet() which might do something subtly different, but again, hard to find in test, especially if the bug only involves some obscure feature that's intended to be disabled (lesson #2, do not disable code, yank that shit out of there)

Re:You're Missing The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828583)

I really don't post here that often, but cmon guys.

Think of any other hardcore mode e.g Diablo -- hardcore players only play with hardcore players. The problem here is since it was never implemented, you don't filter out hardcore games, and can join them. When you join somoene's "hardcore" game, you too, are hardcore.

Re:You're Missing The Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827581)

Probably a feature that got cut because it sounded better on the drawing board than it did once it was tested. Game developers these days seem to be missing the point behind having player selected permanent saves and auto-saves as separate entities.

Re:You're Missing The Point (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827791)

I am great-full for your insight, because I thought companies always left code in that hackers, cracker and moders could find and get those people to buy their hardware or software and that THAT was the real reason Windows made it so big and not Linux (and BSD even less).

Re:You're Missing The Point (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827275)

Uhm. No. Developers usually develop stuff halfway, then some higher-up decides that it needs to be cut. So they leave in the code, but remove every way of getting to it.

Re:You're Missing The Point (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827309)

...what? Are you serious?

The developers didn't intentionally leave in that code as a perk to console modders. Why would they reward console modders by letting them force permadeath on other people?

It's a bug, and it's one that can ruin people's fun, so they should be made aware of it. That's it.

Re:You're Missing The Point (5, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827353)

The story is that the developers of Borderlands 2 have decided that players who mod/hack their console are a market segment worth developing for.

Talk about misguided claims. The "badass mode" discussed here is just the same as "hardcore mode" in any other game, including Diablo II and III and so on. The developers simply didn't remove all the code relating to the hardcore mode, they just didn't include it in the menus for the game. The hack involves manually toggling the hc mode on via config files, nothing else. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with developing for modded consoles.

Re:You're Missing The Point (1, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827391)

We hear all this talk of how modded/hacked consoles are bad for the game developers and industry as a whole. If that's the case, why would the developers include a feature that can only be used on such a console? The real story here is not that your character may get deleted. Your character is not real. The story is that the developers of Borderlands 2 have decided that players who mod/hack their console are a market segment worth developing for. That's a real problem for the console manufacturers with real consequences because it flies in the face of their claims.

The bigger question is how Microsoft let multiplayer play on hacked Xbox360s

It's generally considered that Microsoft scans the Xbox when it connects to Live, and since the Xbox can't run unsigned code, it's trusted.

With this, connecting a modded Xbox to Live is generally a good way to get console banned on your account because Microsoft detects the mods. Especially since Microsoft pushed an update recently.

Now, it could be possible to hack your savegame though and make the necessary mods to your character, causing the dormant code to be "woken up". In this case, you're running signed game code (though untested, obsolete game paths), so your Xbox is completely original, you just hacked your save game. In which case it's a developer problem...

Re:You're Missing The Point (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827501)

Like everything else in the world, Microsoft's detection isn't perfect.

Re:You're Missing The Point (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827393)

I would guess the process was thus: feature was developed, at some point in the development cycle it was decided not to include said feature; it is far easier to just disable the portion of the software that controls the enabling or disabling of the feature than it is to actually go and remove all the code related to the feature - partly because a lot of the time someone will reverse the decision in n month's time anyway. This doesn't just apply to games, it applies to pretty much any form of software; I've had to do it countless times.

Re:You're Missing The Point (5, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827473)

They didn't include it.

Game programming involves a lot of seperation of policy and mechanism. Policy is the rules behind the game, things like leveling up, binding items, calculating damage, UI layout, etc. Mechanism is the tech that holds it together, things like 3d rendering, database transactions, network layer, physics simulation, particle simulation, font rendering, etc.

Generally speaking game programmers work on the mechanism side of the spectrum and game designers work on the policy side, but where they meet is determined by the individual team, generally speaking there will be a core engine handled by specialist engine programmers on the very mechanism extremity, some core systems handled by game programmers built on top of that, with policy written in a scripting language that interfaces with those. Mechanism is hard to implement and moves slowly, good game programmers will focus on making the interface for this very clean and flexable to allow policy to change rapidly while leaving the mechanism clean and undamaged. This allows the best play experience to be developed with the minimum expense of programmers (who are the only game developers who regularly get 6 figure salaries, so the fewer the better).

Programmers almost never remove mechanism, since the policies controlling them get turned on and off on an almost daily basis and a seasoned programmer will never fully trust a designer who confidently says "oh, we won't need that anymore". It is the norm to be told "hey, you know that thing we got rid of 6 months ago because testers hated it? We want it again!", so programmers just tend to leave everything in there in the assumption it will come back.

Anyway, games are shipped with maybe 1/3rd of the the functionality turned off by scripts and config as a general rule, unless you have a programmer dominated studio where the attitude is "I wrote it, it's going in". What you're seeing here, as with Hot Coffee and every time you see hidden content/functionality coming back through fan mods is just a product of standard operating practice, there is a lot of vestigial functionality lying around since code and resources in modern games are just too big for any individual to keep track of. You turn something off, make it unable to turn on and it's not there. If some idiots want to mod their consoles and screw with the game, turning stuff on and off like a trained monkey at a switchboard, well, that's pretty much what most game designers do for a living and designers still get their name on the credits, so I don't see why we can't give credit to the Hot Coffee modders for "creating" that feature from nothing.

As for this bug, I'd be more critical because it's implemented wrongly. If a modder could have turned it on, then a game designer could have switched it on, seemingly at random before shipping, since he "is an expert in game theory, emergent narritive and human machine interface, why won't anyone take me seriously as a professional?" The golden rule for programmers is to never throw sharp toys into the playpen.

XBox 360 is a virus?! I knew it! (-1, Troll)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827241)

XBox 360 is a virus. As a PS3 and Linux user I've suspected that a long time, XBox 360 must die. Bring in Milla Jovovich.

Re:XBox 360 is a virus?! I knew it! (1, Funny)

EGSonikku (519478) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827421)

As an Xbox 360 owner I have to ask, how is your Skyrim DLC going? ;-)

Wait... (4, Insightful)

Velorium (1068080) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827245)

Wasn't South Park's WoW episode like this?

Re:Wait... (1, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827291)

Wasn't South Park's WoW episode like this?

No

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827623)

Yes, it was. The guy in the South Park episode could permanently kill other players, which normally is impossible.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827325)

No, in the South Park episode, one basement-dwelling middle-age slob's character became an unstoppable menace, killing everyone around him. He was eventually killed when the top brass at Blizzard conveyed an ultra-powerful sword to Stan's father, who in turn transferred it to one of the boys.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

tisepti (1488837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827451)

No. Though wow did have another similar bug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrupted_Blood_incident [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827609)

No. Though wow did have another similar bug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrupted_Blood_incident [wikipedia.org]

that was the best thing ever to happen to WoW, regardless of what people thought. Even NPCs died.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827649)

I don't thing corrupted blood thing was the same.

EverQuest had a similar issue when viral debuffs were introduced. A raid leader would give the call to gate out, most players would gate to the guild lobby which generally has anywhere from 50 to 150 players in it, most of whom are AFK just soaking up mass buffs. The zone also has a magus that can teleport you to several other zones, which could also be infected by the viral but was flagged not to take damage. So what happened was: players ran to the magus, got infected, infected the magus at the destination, died back to the lobby, repeat for about an hour or two until the servers were brought down for a rollback and to disable the viral until it could be fixed.

Sadly corrupted blood, from what I heard was handled much better. The incident in EverQuest could have easily been solved by high level paladins casting just one single spell over and over again until it stopped spreading. That actually the normal procedure at the end of the event the viral comes from, everyone gets in tight and paladins repeated cast that spell to make sure everybody gets cured before moving on.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

Geirzinho (1068316) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827755)

The corrupted blood incident is actually better described as emergent behavior in a complex system.

The Blizzard developers didn't make a mistake, they just didn't think about all the consequences that debuff would cause in a world-like environment. And researchers had a field day studying the CB spread of the epidemic:)

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827485)

No, but there was the bad blood (?) plague in WoW. It was supposed to be limited to a very small region, but a bug allowed the whole world to be infected. Even NPCs could get it. It's very interesting.

or more likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827307)

They couldn't get hardcore mode working properly so they disabled it for everyone, and didn't realise that modded X-Box consoles could re-enable it.

Re:or more likely (2)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827437)

I suspect they didn't care what a modded 360 could do. What I further suspect is that they didn't realize was that it would cause collateral damage.

Re:or more likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828235)

Except you might misunderestimate what trolls & griefers will do for lulz. Intentionally hacking games to cause such mischief and distress to other gamers is not an exception to this rule. The fact that it affects saved games or characters would just be gravy to them.

How to avoid the bug (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827333)

How to avoid the bug, from the Gearbox forums [gearboxsoftware.com] :

We also advise that before ceasing play, users always select "Save and Quit" from within the pause menu while their character is alive. If after the death of their character players find themselves at the main menu of Borderlands 2 instead of respawning in-game, be sure to immediately select "Continue" to resume playing as that character.

The bug only affects the Xbox version, not PS3 or PC.

Re:How to avoid the bug (1)

Agent ME (1411269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827987)

The bug only affects the Xbox version, not PS3 or PC.

Are we sure it's not just that no one has bothered discovering a similar counterpart bug yet? (Though those platforms could have patched it out already.)

no big deal (2)

aquabat (724032) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827359)

Truly badass players don't die anyway.

Re:no big deal (1)

Mateorabi (108522) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827427)

You obviously haven't played BL. I don't even think there is an achievement for beating it without dying because I don't think they considered the possibility. Probably only slightly easier than beating nethack.

Re:no big deal (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827479)

Finishing BL without dying isn't hard - I did that on playthrough 2.

Completing BL, on the other hand, is hard. Killing Crawmerax is not easy without exploiting glitches. The description for that optional mission is, IIRC, "You. Will. Die."

Re:no big deal (2)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827491)

NetHack.alt.org - one player was consistently able to ascend 13/13 games.
_major_ caution.

Re:no big deal (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827521)

Truly badass players don't die anyway.

Yes, they do [google.com] ... the antibiotics abuse is to blame.

(grin)

Friends Don't Let Friends Mod. (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827409)

Now the poor guy who got adventuresome and inquisitive with his LEGALLY purchased toy will be shunned by those who are too dumb to take stuff apart to see how it works.

Also known as... (2)

EGSonikku (519478) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827429)

Nethack mode?

Re:Also known as... (1)

gronofer (838299) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827723)

Roguelike. Seems perfectly reasonable to me for a "badass" mode to feature permadeath.

Re:Also known as... (1)

StupiderThanYou (896020) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827771)

Agreed. Rogue has been out over 30 years, and finally console games have caught up.

In BSG Terms (2)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41827431)

When you die, you don't get uploaded, 'cause the stupid humans have taken out the ressurection ship.

Well, well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827639)

Reminds me of the bad ol' days of PSO.

At least it's a merciful death, rather than a NOL'ing.

Easy way of explaining this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41827655)

Its like AIDS.

Once only rumored in the modded community, it can now be transmitted unknowingly by both modded and non-modded users alike.

It will result in permanent death, and currently has no known cure.

Or as Microsoft would call it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41828567)

undocumented [wikipedia.org]

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