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Fallout 76 data miner banned after reporting exploits to Bethesda

Published: 22:04, 12 November 2019
Updated: 22:08, 12 November 2019
Bethesda
Picture of Fallout 76 dude in a Power Armour
Fallout 76

Bethesda banned a high profile Fallout 76 data miner that maintained the website called Map 76 following the latter's testing of an exploit. The company denies that was the reason for the ban but the wording leaves a lot of room for debate.

Fallout 76 seems to be a neverending mess. Considering Bethesda's history of releasing bugged games, it was only a matter of time before the community started testing exploits on their own, with a portion reporting glitches in hopes they would get fixed. However, these cases often ended up with ban hammer slapped over those who reported the problems.

This was the case with the person behind Map 76, an interactive map project for Fallout 76. The person behind the website was also working on finding exploits, reporting them and ultimately having them fixed. The website was closed recently, after a month of unsuccessful attempts by the owner to get their account reinstated.

Apparently, there was a glitch that was not known to Bethesda where players would abuse The Purveyor vendor's currency. Instead of hard-earned scrip, the exploiters were able to use regular bottle caps in order to acquire Legendary items. Map 76 owner caught onto the exploit after noticing players were running around with great gear rolls, too soon into their release to be an accident.

After thorough testing, they were about to report the issue to the designated community manager but someone on their team had already done so. Map 76 owner's account was permanently banned the day after.

Bethesda tried to mitigate the backlash by a statement of their own . While it says that Bethesda are not banning players who report exploits, provided they don't continue to do so after reporting it, the evidence contradicts those words. The person behind Map 76 was too well-known for running these tests for Bethesda not to be aware of them and they apparently had a Bethesda community manager that they reported to in their group.

Fallout 76: Wastelanders

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM

The statement continues with condemnation of anyone who "used third-party software to take advantage of an exploit usually in excess of hundreds of times" which is a rather odd point of non-discrimination. While cheaters certainly use third-party software to exploit issues, so do the testers who are trying to expose them.

Technically, Bethesda are in their right to suspend accounts using third-party software such as Cheat Engine but that undoubtedly cripples the community's ability to detect issues. The company is essentially preventing the community from detecting issues the developers themselves can't put an end to. It's almost as if they aren't aware of the white hat concept, despite being in contact with such community members.

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