In the course of writing about what makes one happy about gaming, sometimes the very bad must be addressed to give a full and complete view of the game in question.
Sadly, today’s post will deal with the latter.
As most people know, I’ve been playing Rift pretty heavily (since about mid January). I was extremely impressed by beta, which was what made buying the game easy: the communication between players and devs was the best I’d ever seen.
On Thursday (March 17th) morning, Trion implemented a security protocol called “coin lock”. This was put into place to stop hackers from stealing game currency and selling it to ignorant and/or lazy players. What the first version of coin lock did was lock and account and render hackers unable to steal said currency. Hacked accounts were unable to: access the auction house, sell any items to vendors, BUY any items from vendors, mail any items or currency, etc. Any currency gained could not be disposed of. If an account was coin locked (“you” logged on from a significantly different location or computer), you would get an email from Trion with a code attached that would need to be entered in game to unlock your account.
On the surface, this seemed like a unique way to combat gold farmers. However, there was a VERY fatal flaw in this plan: if an account was hacked, characters could be deleted.
Early Friday morning, my account was hacked and my main characters were deleted. Upon logging in and noticing that the characters were gone, my immediate reaction was denial.
“I haven’t been hacked, this is just some weird fluke. I’m sure that there’s a perfectly rational explanation for this.”
Once I accepted that I had indeed been hacked (it took me less than five minutes, give me a break!), I contacted a GM , changed my password, checked my game and bank account – all of that good stuff. Lucky for me, everything was fine in that respect. However, we came to find out that stealing information was not the ultimate goal, as is rarely the case in these situations. The goal was simply to get in and cause chaos, which WAS the case as an enormous amount of people got hacked within a very short amount of time.
Long story short, what happened was that Trion had a VERY serious lack of security that revolved around a browser’s cache – a string of characters could be entered that would essentially trick the launcher into thinking that you were already logged in, eliminating the need for a password. The hacked account would still go into coin lock mode, but this massive wave of hacking happened before characters were unable to be deleted.
Most people don’t realize that courtesy will take you a long way in life. When I talked to customer support, I made it clear that I was very disappointed with what had happened, but I kept my tone civil. I also mentioned that because I’m a fan of the game and all of the devs hard work, I appreciated their effort in resolving this issue, thank you very much in advance. I got a response in less than 24 hours, whereas people who responded in angrier tones were waiting several days for their response.
All things considered, I have to give Trion credit for jumping on this quickly. Please understand that I’m in no way excusing the lack of security – what happened was unacceptable – but they were quick as always to start fixing things.
As it stands now, it’s been nearly a week and I still haven’t had my characters restored. Yes, I’m annoyed. However, anyone that knows me knows that I’ve always been one for second chances. Third and fourth chances, no – but I honestly believe that everyone deserves a second chance. I’m really enjoying my time in RIFT, and not being able to play my mage has given me time to try out a tanking rogue (like!)
Come on Trion, don’t make me regret my second chance rule.