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Old 05-28-2023, 09:34 PM
Findel Findel is offline
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Post Methical & the EQ2 dupe

[ Hey all, for those who haven't heard it, here is the EQ2 dupe story (I checked, could not find prior post.) ]

This is a story written by Methical, about our adventure in molesting EQ2. He found a glitch and we all got rich. Notice the shoutouts, inside jokes, etc. All True….
EQ Duping and The American Dream

I write this story, for entertainment purposes. I have always been interested in EQ Lore. What guilds got banned, what characters were legends, who found dupes and what happened to them. This is the story of a Guardian named Methical and his pal Mr. Pink (who’s name has been changed at his request, and also he doesn’t believe in tipping) and the strange and wild journey that selling furniture would take them on.

Chapter 1: The Discovery

It started out innocent enough. I sell upscale modern furniture in the real world, so I figured it would be fun to sell furniture in EQ2 as well. I was promised that tradeskills would be more fun in this game than the last. I tried them, they weren’t. In was like handing me a coloring book while getting dental surgery. Tradeskills were nothing more than a no a talent button mashing marathon, with the end result being unsellable, unwanted, and for lack of another “un” word, I’ll say “crap.” So, I passed on making furniture, and instead started buying it.

You can buy a nice painting for your room, a cool glass globe on iron legs, a stick with a skull on it and a nice wine rack for less than 50 silver if you have connections on the evil side and a general knowledge of what NPC vendors sell what. I found this out within the first few days EQ2 went live, while most other people didn’t know for at least a month into it. So, thus began my blackmarket trading scheme. I was making 50 silver a pop selling Erudin Globes and Thexian Wine Racks. At that time, it was a decent amount to make. I went and bought new spells, and of course, a ton more globes and wine racks.

My bags were full, my bank was full, and I ran out of places to store globes and racks. This, coupled with the fact that people kept sending me annoying tells asking me what the racks and globes looked like when placed in your apartment, lead me to set up my own furniture show room. So, I started placing things around my house. A few wine racks here, a few globes here, a couple elven bed sets there. I made sure to keep a few in my bags to sell while I was in vendor mode. As I hit “start selling” I decided to close the sell window so I could look at my show room while I sold, being quite proud of my interior decorating abilities. As I was about to close it, I noticed I had a Gnomish Thinking Chair up for sale. I also bought this from an NPC merchant, and was only selling it to make a 10 silver profit. Still selling, I closed the sales window and rummaged through my bags to see if I had another one that I could place on the floor. No luck. I only had one and it was highlited in red, telling me it was up for sale and unplaceable.

I right clicked it. The menu popped up, “Examine-Destroy-Place”.

Hmmm….I stopped for a moment, then decided to place it on the floor. I figured it would either take it off the sale list, or it would poof off the floor if someone bought it. I went afk, and threw up my patented “IF you need to see what the furniture looks like, come to my apartment in the Willow Wood, don’t spam me with tells asking where I got it and what it looks like, as I won’t answer,” afk message. I had that hotkeyed. Fucking newbs. I had a clove ciggarette and returned to the computer what may have been 20 minutes later. I had a tell.

Jimbob tells you, “This chair isn’t as cool as I thought it was.”

I looked at the screen and was puzzled. What chair did I have? I was selling globes and wine racks. Oh yeah, the gnomish chair. I double clicked the message board and checked my sales log, nothing. Confused…I sent Jimbob a tell..

You tell Jimbob, “Hey, which chair is it?”

Jimbob tells you, “sec”

Jimbob tells you, “Gnomish Thinking Chair” (he linked it)

Instantly I turned my character around…and there, in the corner was a Gnomish Thinking Chair. I felt a twinge of nervous anticipation. I needed to verify this..

You tell Jimbob, “So you have a Gnomish Thinking Chair then?”

Jimbob tells you, “Yes.”

Jimbob tells you, “Gnomish Thinking Chair.” (again he linked it…he probably thinks im a moron)

You tell Jimbob, “Cool.”

I started laughing like a silly little girl. It was the kind of laugh you have when you’re a kid and just hit a house with an egg. I couldn’t contain myself, I had to tell the guild.

You tell your guild, “!”

You tell your guild, “I think I just duped something.”


Chapter 2: Testing a Hypothesis

The guild chatter started…it started with them asking me what I was talking about, what the dupe was. I was being told to report it. It started devolving into a nostalgic discussion of guild who had been banned for exploiting pathing in EQ1. I shouldn’t have said a damn thing. I stayed quiet for about 5 minutes, trying to retrace my steps. I think I had it. I needed a test subject. Nobody on the friends list was on, so I again shot a flare to the guild.

You tell your guild, “Anyone near a broker?”

One trusty guildmate informed me that he was at a broker. I sent him his instructions: “Type in my name and search for what I’m selling. Don’t buy until I say go.” He told me he was ready to go…and I did exactly what I did before.

Opened the sale window. Priced the Gnomish Thinking Chair at 5 copper. Hit sell. Closed the sale window. Right clicked the chair in my inventory. Placed it. I gave him the signal, “Ok, Buy!”

He replied, “bought it.”

I sent him a question in reply, “So you have a gnomish thinking chair in your hands atm?”

He replied, “yeah”

Holy shit.

I must have turned bright red. I was waiting for some alarm to go off. There, in front of me, was the most beautiful Gnomish Thinking Chair I have ever seen. I now knew a working dupe. God bless those gnomes and their thinking chairs.

Now, it’s arguable what the morally right thing was to do here. On one hand, I could have just reported the dupe, maybe they would have just patted me on the back and said thanks. Maybe they wouldn’t even have replied and just nerf fixed it based on my information. Maybe, if I was really lucky, they’d give me a cool title like “Methical the NARC.” I had no interest in any of those results. I’m no Luke Skywalker, and I began to embrace the dark side.

I needed reinforcements. I called in Mr. Pink, a friend I’ve known for years in EQ1. He lives in Oregon so it was still early when the phone rang at his house. He picked up.

“Mr. Pink…,” I chuckled uncontrollably, “You gotta come on EQ2 real quick…this is hillarious.” He stayed on the phone with me as I explained what I had found. He laughed and told me I was going to get banned.

I weighed the consequences. I had spent maybe 2 weeks playing my guardian. In all honesty, I found EQ2 lacking the competition of the first EQ. At times, the competition is what made EQ a bitch to deal with. KS’ing, camp stealing, training…it all seemed to be missing or watered down from the first one. This also meant the fun of living through a train and laughing at people, KS’ing your own spawn back before the KS’ers could, racing a guild to a cool spawn…it was all watered down as well. That’s what seperated EQ from a single player RPG. I missed the competition, even at the smaller levels. It felt bland and boring. I had no fear.

“Screw it, I don’t care if I get banned.”

Mr. Pink laughed.

I started trying what I knew about Gnomish Thinking Chairs with other pieces of furniture. I tried paladin braziers. It worked. I tried candleabras. They worked. I was duping items left and right.


Chapter 3: The Roots

I’d go into my apartment, set up 10 candleabras, and tell Mr. Pink over the phone when I was ready for him to buy them. He was sitting at the broker, awaiting my command. He would buy, then tell me he was done, and I would scoop up the candleabras and zone in and zone out. You couldn’t dupe the same piece of furniture twice unless you zoned out and zoned back in. Then Mr.Pink would run to the wholesaler in his tradeskill instance, and sell all of the candleabras back to him for 2 gold a pop. He would then run back up the broker, type in my name and await my next set of commands. We eventually just modified this to be a simple code…

“R?”-Ready?

“Y”-Y

“N”-N

“Inc” -Meant I was hitting “Start Selling” but the items were not ready to be purchased because I had not placed them yet.

“B”- Meant I was done placing them, and buying them now would successfully dupe the item.

“d” meant done, and was my cue to zone in and zone back out…

Eventually all of our in game conversations were just a string of single letters.

Before I knew it, Mr. Pink and I had 2 platinum pieces. Wow. 2pp. Barely anyone even had one PP by this point. We were loaded. Unfortunately, I was also tired as hell. I ended up sleeping without spending a copper. I was certain I was going to wake the next day to find my account banned.

Day 2: Woke up and checked the account before work. Not banned. Sweet.

I thought about it at work. I remember hearing stories of people who found dupes in EQ1 and used it to make bank on Ebay (back when Ebay wasn’t taking orders from Sony). Maybe this was my opportunity to make a couple bucks. When I got home that night, I duped like a fiend with Mr. Pink. We duped and duped untill our eyes bled. We moved on to high dollar paintings that sold back for 4g. It was slow moving. We had 10pp when we were done; a massive amount at that point in the EQ game. We were laughing the whole time. Occasionally we stopped to say, “We should just get some for ourselves, then report the dupe,” but I never really meant it. Like Chris Rock says about organ donation, people just say they’ll donate organs because they think they should say it. We had no intentions of stopping, at least not any REAL ones.

Suddenly it started to feel alot like Goodfellas. You know, that scene where they rob the airport, then all the mafia members are told to lay low and not spend any money. The one guy shows up with a fur coat and a cadillac and Deniro goes ape shit crazy. Well, we bought horses. Not just any horses, we bought the most expensive ones available. Not only that, but we bought sweet houses, upgraded our spells, bought the best gear we could equip. We started buying all the collection quest items and just finishing them for fun. We bought all the illusion eyes, all the best furniture, hell, I even bought stuff and then just destroyed it. I had a crazy idea that the more I spread the money around, the less chance I would get banned.


Chapter 4: How To Turn Fake Money Into Real Money

I checked the prices on PA, they were rediculous. 300 for a platinum. We were pulling platinum out of thin air. We set up some Player auctions and started selling. The first day of sales we made five hundred dollars and I felt that was plenty to cover the emotional damages I might incur if I were to lose my EQ2 character. Little did I know this was pennies compared to what we’d become.

Somewhere around the third day, Mr Pink came up with the idea to start using pets. This would eventually be our downfall, but I’ll get to that later. In the meantime, each haulasian mauler sold back for 12 gold. 12 GOLD EVERY time we duped just one of them. We would buy one dog, dupe it then Mr.Pink would hand me his duped dog. Then I’d have two dogs to dupe. He’d buy them, and then hand them to me, giving us four dogs to dupe. We’d continue until we had about 20 dogs, then we’d sell them all and use the money to buy fresh, unduped dogs. We thought we were smart.

Ray A Kroc style, we started franchising. We’d pay 20 bucks for the minimum amount of gold on a server, then by the end of the day we’d have about 100 times more than the next highest guy selling platinum on PA. To anyone with half a brain and a list of our feedback history, it must have been obvious we were duping. Fortunately, nobody seemed to care. We were on 4 servers by the end of day four.

We started buying more everquest boxes. We needed more accounts, more mules, and some fresh accounts that had never been touched. We had totally tapped into the dark side now, and felt there was no way to return. Onward we went, pushing and selling and buying and duping and laughing the whole time.

We were getting on more and more servers, buying 5 gold, making 2000 by the end of a couple hours. Half the time we didn’t even remember what server we were on. I literally had to /shout “What server is this??” more than once a day. You wake up on Kithicor, you wake up on Unrest, you wake up on Oasis……(obscure Fight Club reference)

Chapter 5: Boiler Room

This is when I started hitting the distributors. You name them, I sold to them. Rock bottom prices too. There was a time in EQ2 where if you had bought any gold off the internet, it was probably a 50% chance it was from us. Didn’t matter what company you bought from, we had a list of every company who bought currency and we probably hit 80% of them. Our money was spreading like syphillus at a nymphomaniac recovery summer camp.

Since it took basically no time to produce this inventory, it didn’t matter what we sold for. We’d pretend someone was twisting our arm as we feigned like we were trying to haggle over prices. We didn’t care. We just had to get rid of it. We were taking the whole market down. Within three weeks, plat prices dropped over 60%. We had companies buying from us, who directly compete with one another. We would sell to one company for .50 per gold, and another company for .45 a gold. Both companies would drop their prices, trying to compete with the other guy, meanwhile we were already talking to the next distrubutor. Doing an E-hand shake and a nod, we passed on the dirty money to the next guy. The whole time, we were sure we were going to get shut down by some Sony guy that we were quite sure would be named GM Frodo.

To be honest, it’s the little companies that are the greediest. The bigger companies will give you a flat rate, they’ll pay you fast, and they’ll be nice about it. The little companies will try and negotiate like a mexican flea market, they’ll tell you that you don’t have anywhere else to sell to. They’ll try and muscle you. They’ll tell you the major companies will only pay you half of what they’re paying, when it’s usually just the opposite. Not mention they’re unprofessional as hell. Half the time we had to sit and wait for them to create a mule and get it off the newb island just to do a transaction. Amateurs.

The auctioning wasn’t working out so well either. We got hit by about 5 or 6 scammers who took us for a total of about $5,000 worth of platinum pieces. Of course, it didn’t get us too hot and bothered, but just wasn’t worth the hassle.

This is when we decided to quit dealing with the low budget distribution companies and go to the top of the line, which will remain nameless. I Guess Everyone will be able to figure it out, easily enough.

We started filling up accounts with money and handing it over to them as fast as we could. They moved platinum so fast, so professionally, so flawlessly, that we were just in awe. We hadn’t had much experience with this company prior to now, but they were impressive. Our money was selling at about half the rate in which we could create it, and considering how fast we created it, that’s pretty damned fast.

That’s when the money started pouring in. Rediculous money. Money that made me so scared I went and consulted with a lawyer and an accountant. Needless to say, neither of them had a clue as to what the hell we were talking about. Try telling your accountant you’re making money by selling pieces of gold in a video game. You’ll get a good 20 seconds of them just straring at you and blinking. Throw the words “swords” and “dragons” into the conversation, with a thick and fake english accent, just for giggles. Bonus points if you can say “WE RESCUED THE MAIDEN FROM THE BALDUVIAN ORC MASTER FOR THE WIN,” with a straight face.

Chapter 6: Cue The End of “Layla”, The Instrumental Part where Clapton just goes nuts on the strings…

There were 3 ways in which we would eventually raise enough suspicion to warrent a e-investigation.

1. The downfall of the way we duped was that for a very brief moment in time, there was anywhere from 8 to 24 haulasian maulers up for sale for 2 copper apiece. It was just brief instances, so if the buyer could buy them fast enough, they would be off the market before anyone knew anything happened. Unfortunately, we would occasionally get busted. The tells would come in like:

“Hey man, where did you get all those dogs?”

“I want to buy a dog.”

“Sell me all those dogs please.”

“What are haulasian maulers?”

Sometimes people would just show up in my apartment. A couple of these times I had about 28 dogs walking around the room.

So, I had to start coming up with explanations.

“Well, I”m quitting EQ2, so I figured this would be a fun way to blow my money.”

or

“I’m a guild mule, and we’re transporting money to the evil side by selling dogs.”

or

“It’s a new tradeskill…dog breeding.”

Other times, I would just remain quiet, or fake a link death. If these people saw us putting dogs up for sale, they’d put us on their friends list, meaning everytime we logged in, they’d watch the vendors looking to hit the lottery by snagging some 12 gold dogs for 2 copper. I couldn’t blame them, I would have done the same thing, but I hated them. Some of these people got greedy eventually, telling us they knew we were doing some sort of exploit, and unless we gave them some dogs or money, they would report us. We told them to report us. We don’t negotiate with blackmailers, company policy. Meanwhile, every chance they’d get, they’d try to steal our dogs off the market. On one hand telling us we were doing something corrupt, on the other hand they wanted a piece of the action. Well, we’d get our revenge on them eventually…..

2.) We didn’t know much about EQ2 players and the types of information it had on the site. Pretty soon I was getting cross-server tells asking me how fast my horse was, what did it look like, etc. At times, I would get 4 of these tells within an hour. I went and checked the site. Sure enough, Methical was the first to own the most expensive clydesdale horse.

Ooops.

Then I checked the wealthiest player rankings for all servers, we had about 6 characters in the top 20. We had mules that were level 5 and the wealthiest on probably 5 or 6 different servers.

Double oops.

3.) We checked the forums on EQ2 players. Under the Kithicor section, there was mass complaints of inflation. Where was all this money coming from, why were the prices set so high? Who was inflating the market. People were pointing fingers left and right. “He sells his spells too high!” “He buys up all the bone chips and then marks them higher!” etc etc. I had to admit, it gave me a giggle. I felt like the Illuminati, pulling economic strings from behind the scenes. They all were so quick to blame each other, yet there was an obvious suspicion that someone was pumping money into the economy at an accellerated rate. Yet, other servers were complaining about rapid inflation as well. Servers that we hadn’t even given our Midas touch to. Other people must have known about it.


Chapter 7: Sony Puts the Smack Down

I got a call from one of my associates. There was a new patch out.

I came home, ran the patcher and read the messages. Nothing of interest to me, untill the very last line. “Merchants will no longer have any interest in purchasing your pets.”

It may have well as just said “Oh hey Methical, you’ll be going down soon.” Now, each of our mules had dogs on them. The dogs were fresh and unduped, but it probably looked pretty suspicious to have 35 dogs on your character. So we scurried and tried to destroy the dogs rapidly. One minor snag. Dogs are “No Destroy,” Dogs also can’t be sold to the vendor. So…what the hell do you do with your dogs? Well, I decided to get revenge. I went back to all the servers that people had friends listed me and attempted to buy my dogs or blackmail me, and I put the dogs up for sale for 3 gold. 35 at a time, then went afk. Sure enough, the same people who had gotten our dogs before, were buying them as fast as they could. I can only imagine the look on their face as they went and tried to sell the dog to a vendor, realizing they had been tricked into buying my non destroyable evidence. Hell, it’s like if O.J. ebayed a bloody knife.

What’s better than hiding incriminating evidence? Selling it.

Whatever I couldn’t sell on other servers, I would put into my apartment, then relenquish the room. Poof, no more dogs. (Thanks for the idea Baminar)

Unfortunately, these last ditch efforts to cover my tracks were in vein. I tried to log into an account the next day, and it was banned. I checked the rest, all banned. This wild ride had come to an end. I was thinking that Sony figured out there was a dupe but had no idea what it was yet, so I was going to plea bargain to get at least one of my accounts back that had a considerable amount of money left on it. It didn’t work, they didn’t even reply to me. I finally sent one last email to Sony, in an attempt to see what they knew…

To: EQAccountStatus

Subject: Hi. I’m banned!

Hey,

I’m banned. Why? Thanks!

From: EQAccountStatus

Subject: Re: Hi. I’m banned!

Greetings,

I regret to inform you that your account has been banned for duping items in order to generate large amounts of coin. Your account will be closed from this point forward.

We always regret when this type of action is necessary. We ask that you please review our game policies, which are posted at http://eq2players.station.sony.com/en/support.vm.

Regards,

EverQuest II Account Status Administration

EQ2AccountStatus@soe.sony.com

http://everquest2.station.sony.com/

————————————–

Sony Online Entertainment

www.station.sony.com

—————————————

-If you reply to this message please be sure to include the entire thread of our prior correspondence. Thank you

This is where the story ends. The exact total of what I profited is not important. Just know it’s more than some people make in a year…hell..maybe 3 years, and it was enough to take my girlfriend and entire family on a vacation to Paris. But, It’s the story that’s important. The history of EQ1 is plagued with all sorts of scandal, and EQ2 should be as well. Scandal is what makes MMORPG’s more than just a game, but a community. A really nerdy community.

I still have about 9 unbanned accounts so I may see you around…

Shoutouts from Meth and Daij to Fennin Ro: Baminar, Knifin, Sam and Jimmy, all my friends from EA, Feregal, TKR (I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to make you cry.) Sue, Ros (thanks for keeping it under wraps), Lethargy, OGaming, who has some of the worst board admins ever, my original HoK family- Aquaenus, Psyth, Mirtam, Raquell, Sueture, Kiyann, Connel, Egg, Notwen, and anyone I might be forgetting. Savik, who always encouraged me to “Dupe, lie, steal, that is the cobra code” And of course…the mastermind, Frank Stallone.

P.S. Sorry for ruining the economy and all that.
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Old 05-28-2023, 10:49 PM
Ekco Ekco is offline
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I ain't reading all that. I'm happy for u tho. Or sorry that happened.
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Old 05-29-2023, 01:00 AM
aussenseiter aussenseiter is offline
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I think I played on Kithicor and didn't care about the dupe because the game was bad.
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Old 05-29-2023, 01:57 AM
SyanideGas SyanideGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekco [You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]
I ain't reading all that. I'm happy for u tho. Or sorry that happened.
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Old 05-29-2023, 12:20 PM
Evia Evia is offline
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I was very entertained. Thanks for sharing! I love hearing stories like this.

Back in the early days of eq I remember working the tunnel with some friends to make phat stacks of plat! But it was never to the level of this enterprise you ran here lol. What time period was this? I'm assuming from eq2 launch for about a year or so? Or even longer?
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Old 05-29-2023, 12:57 PM
Findel Findel is offline
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Heya,
I had nothing to do with it, I think it was fairly early in EQ2.
I found the story online and kept it, seems to have disappeared now.

Afterwards they did not delete all the cash, so now EQ2 is crazy inflated prices.
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Old 05-29-2023, 02:22 PM
Sizar Sizar is offline
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I remember reading this many years ago, great story
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Old 05-29-2023, 05:46 PM
Enderenter Enderenter is offline
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Fun story
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Old 05-31-2023, 10:57 PM
RolonRolon RolonRolon is offline
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Great story. This is what EQ is all about. If you didn't make some bank in high school selling some dubious EQ items, you missed out.
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Old 06-01-2023, 11:55 AM
Sadre Spinegnawer Sadre Spinegnawer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Findel [You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]
[ Hey all, for those who haven't heard it, here is the EQ2 dupe story (I checked, could not find prior post.) ]

This is a story written by Methical, about our adventure in molesting EQ2. He found a glitch and we all got rich. Notice the shoutouts, inside jokes, etc. All True….
EQ Duping and The American Dream

I write this story, for entertainment purposes. I have always been interested in EQ Lore. What guilds got banned, what characters were legends, who found dupes and what happened to them. This is the story of a Guardian named Methical and his pal Mr. Pink (who’s name has been changed at his request, and also he doesn’t believe in tipping) and the strange and wild journey that selling furniture would take them on.

Chapter 1: The Discovery

It started out innocent enough. I sell upscale modern furniture in the real world, so I figured it would be fun to sell furniture in EQ2 as well. I was promised that tradeskills would be more fun in this game than the last. I tried them, they weren’t. In was like handing me a coloring book while getting dental surgery. Tradeskills were nothing more than a no a talent button mashing marathon, with the end result being unsellable, unwanted, and for lack of another “un” word, I’ll say “crap.” So, I passed on making furniture, and instead started buying it.

You can buy a nice painting for your room, a cool glass globe on iron legs, a stick with a skull on it and a nice wine rack for less than 50 silver if you have connections on the evil side and a general knowledge of what NPC vendors sell what. I found this out within the first few days EQ2 went live, while most other people didn’t know for at least a month into it. So, thus began my blackmarket trading scheme. I was making 50 silver a pop selling Erudin Globes and Thexian Wine Racks. At that time, it was a decent amount to make. I went and bought new spells, and of course, a ton more globes and wine racks.

My bags were full, my bank was full, and I ran out of places to store globes and racks. This, coupled with the fact that people kept sending me annoying tells asking me what the racks and globes looked like when placed in your apartment, lead me to set up my own furniture show room. So, I started placing things around my house. A few wine racks here, a few globes here, a couple elven bed sets there. I made sure to keep a few in my bags to sell while I was in vendor mode. As I hit “start selling” I decided to close the sell window so I could look at my show room while I sold, being quite proud of my interior decorating abilities. As I was about to close it, I noticed I had a Gnomish Thinking Chair up for sale. I also bought this from an NPC merchant, and was only selling it to make a 10 silver profit. Still selling, I closed the sales window and rummaged through my bags to see if I had another one that I could place on the floor. No luck. I only had one and it was highlited in red, telling me it was up for sale and unplaceable.

I right clicked it. The menu popped up, “Examine-Destroy-Place”.

Hmmm….I stopped for a moment, then decided to place it on the floor. I figured it would either take it off the sale list, or it would poof off the floor if someone bought it. I went afk, and threw up my patented “IF you need to see what the furniture looks like, come to my apartment in the Willow Wood, don’t spam me with tells asking where I got it and what it looks like, as I won’t answer,” afk message. I had that hotkeyed. Fucking newbs. I had a clove ciggarette and returned to the computer what may have been 20 minutes later. I had a tell.

Jimbob tells you, “This chair isn’t as cool as I thought it was.”

I looked at the screen and was puzzled. What chair did I have? I was selling globes and wine racks. Oh yeah, the gnomish chair. I double clicked the message board and checked my sales log, nothing. Confused…I sent Jimbob a tell..

You tell Jimbob, “Hey, which chair is it?”

Jimbob tells you, “sec”

Jimbob tells you, “Gnomish Thinking Chair” (he linked it)

Instantly I turned my character around…and there, in the corner was a Gnomish Thinking Chair. I felt a twinge of nervous anticipation. I needed to verify this..

You tell Jimbob, “So you have a Gnomish Thinking Chair then?”

Jimbob tells you, “Yes.”

Jimbob tells you, “Gnomish Thinking Chair.” (again he linked it…he probably thinks im a moron)

You tell Jimbob, “Cool.”

I started laughing like a silly little girl. It was the kind of laugh you have when you’re a kid and just hit a house with an egg. I couldn’t contain myself, I had to tell the guild.

You tell your guild, “!”

You tell your guild, “I think I just duped something.”


Chapter 2: Testing a Hypothesis

The guild chatter started…it started with them asking me what I was talking about, what the dupe was. I was being told to report it. It started devolving into a nostalgic discussion of guild who had been banned for exploiting pathing in EQ1. I shouldn’t have said a damn thing. I stayed quiet for about 5 minutes, trying to retrace my steps. I think I had it. I needed a test subject. Nobody on the friends list was on, so I again shot a flare to the guild.

You tell your guild, “Anyone near a broker?”

One trusty guildmate informed me that he was at a broker. I sent him his instructions: “Type in my name and search for what I’m selling. Don’t buy until I say go.” He told me he was ready to go…and I did exactly what I did before.

Opened the sale window. Priced the Gnomish Thinking Chair at 5 copper. Hit sell. Closed the sale window. Right clicked the chair in my inventory. Placed it. I gave him the signal, “Ok, Buy!”

He replied, “bought it.”

I sent him a question in reply, “So you have a gnomish thinking chair in your hands atm?”

He replied, “yeah”

Holy shit.

I must have turned bright red. I was waiting for some alarm to go off. There, in front of me, was the most beautiful Gnomish Thinking Chair I have ever seen. I now knew a working dupe. God bless those gnomes and their thinking chairs.

Now, it’s arguable what the morally right thing was to do here. On one hand, I could have just reported the dupe, maybe they would have just patted me on the back and said thanks. Maybe they wouldn’t even have replied and just nerf fixed it based on my information. Maybe, if I was really lucky, they’d give me a cool title like “Methical the NARC.” I had no interest in any of those results. I’m no Luke Skywalker, and I began to embrace the dark side.

I needed reinforcements. I called in Mr. Pink, a friend I’ve known for years in EQ1. He lives in Oregon so it was still early when the phone rang at his house. He picked up.

“Mr. Pink…,” I chuckled uncontrollably, “You gotta come on EQ2 real quick…this is hillarious.” He stayed on the phone with me as I explained what I had found. He laughed and told me I was going to get banned.

I weighed the consequences. I had spent maybe 2 weeks playing my guardian. In all honesty, I found EQ2 lacking the competition of the first EQ. At times, the competition is what made EQ a bitch to deal with. KS’ing, camp stealing, training…it all seemed to be missing or watered down from the first one. This also meant the fun of living through a train and laughing at people, KS’ing your own spawn back before the KS’ers could, racing a guild to a cool spawn…it was all watered down as well. That’s what seperated EQ from a single player RPG. I missed the competition, even at the smaller levels. It felt bland and boring. I had no fear.

“Screw it, I don’t care if I get banned.”

Mr. Pink laughed.

I started trying what I knew about Gnomish Thinking Chairs with other pieces of furniture. I tried paladin braziers. It worked. I tried candleabras. They worked. I was duping items left and right.


Chapter 3: The Roots

I’d go into my apartment, set up 10 candleabras, and tell Mr. Pink over the phone when I was ready for him to buy them. He was sitting at the broker, awaiting my command. He would buy, then tell me he was done, and I would scoop up the candleabras and zone in and zone out. You couldn’t dupe the same piece of furniture twice unless you zoned out and zoned back in. Then Mr.Pink would run to the wholesaler in his tradeskill instance, and sell all of the candleabras back to him for 2 gold a pop. He would then run back up the broker, type in my name and await my next set of commands. We eventually just modified this to be a simple code…

“R?”-Ready?

“Y”-Y

“N”-N

“Inc” -Meant I was hitting “Start Selling” but the items were not ready to be purchased because I had not placed them yet.

“B”- Meant I was done placing them, and buying them now would successfully dupe the item.

“d” meant done, and was my cue to zone in and zone back out…

Eventually all of our in game conversations were just a string of single letters.

Before I knew it, Mr. Pink and I had 2 platinum pieces. Wow. 2pp. Barely anyone even had one PP by this point. We were loaded. Unfortunately, I was also tired as hell. I ended up sleeping without spending a copper. I was certain I was going to wake the next day to find my account banned.

Day 2: Woke up and checked the account before work. Not banned. Sweet.

I thought about it at work. I remember hearing stories of people who found dupes in EQ1 and used it to make bank on Ebay (back when Ebay wasn’t taking orders from Sony). Maybe this was my opportunity to make a couple bucks. When I got home that night, I duped like a fiend with Mr. Pink. We duped and duped untill our eyes bled. We moved on to high dollar paintings that sold back for 4g. It was slow moving. We had 10pp when we were done; a massive amount at that point in the EQ game. We were laughing the whole time. Occasionally we stopped to say, “We should just get some for ourselves, then report the dupe,” but I never really meant it. Like Chris Rock says about organ donation, people just say they’ll donate organs because they think they should say it. We had no intentions of stopping, at least not any REAL ones.

Suddenly it started to feel alot like Goodfellas. You know, that scene where they rob the airport, then all the mafia members are told to lay low and not spend any money. The one guy shows up with a fur coat and a cadillac and Deniro goes ape shit crazy. Well, we bought horses. Not just any horses, we bought the most expensive ones available. Not only that, but we bought sweet houses, upgraded our spells, bought the best gear we could equip. We started buying all the collection quest items and just finishing them for fun. We bought all the illusion eyes, all the best furniture, hell, I even bought stuff and then just destroyed it. I had a crazy idea that the more I spread the money around, the less chance I would get banned.


Chapter 4: How To Turn Fake Money Into Real Money

I checked the prices on PA, they were rediculous. 300 for a platinum. We were pulling platinum out of thin air. We set up some Player auctions and started selling. The first day of sales we made five hundred dollars and I felt that was plenty to cover the emotional damages I might incur if I were to lose my EQ2 character. Little did I know this was pennies compared to what we’d become.

Somewhere around the third day, Mr Pink came up with the idea to start using pets. This would eventually be our downfall, but I’ll get to that later. In the meantime, each haulasian mauler sold back for 12 gold. 12 GOLD EVERY time we duped just one of them. We would buy one dog, dupe it then Mr.Pink would hand me his duped dog. Then I’d have two dogs to dupe. He’d buy them, and then hand them to me, giving us four dogs to dupe. We’d continue until we had about 20 dogs, then we’d sell them all and use the money to buy fresh, unduped dogs. We thought we were smart.

Ray A Kroc style, we started franchising. We’d pay 20 bucks for the minimum amount of gold on a server, then by the end of the day we’d have about 100 times more than the next highest guy selling platinum on PA. To anyone with half a brain and a list of our feedback history, it must have been obvious we were duping. Fortunately, nobody seemed to care. We were on 4 servers by the end of day four.

We started buying more everquest boxes. We needed more accounts, more mules, and some fresh accounts that had never been touched. We had totally tapped into the dark side now, and felt there was no way to return. Onward we went, pushing and selling and buying and duping and laughing the whole time.

We were getting on more and more servers, buying 5 gold, making 2000 by the end of a couple hours. Half the time we didn’t even remember what server we were on. I literally had to /shout “What server is this??” more than once a day. You wake up on Kithicor, you wake up on Unrest, you wake up on Oasis……(obscure Fight Club reference)

Chapter 5: Boiler Room

This is when I started hitting the distributors. You name them, I sold to them. Rock bottom prices too. There was a time in EQ2 where if you had bought any gold off the internet, it was probably a 50% chance it was from us. Didn’t matter what company you bought from, we had a list of every company who bought currency and we probably hit 80% of them. Our money was spreading like syphillus at a nymphomaniac recovery summer camp.

Since it took basically no time to produce this inventory, it didn’t matter what we sold for. We’d pretend someone was twisting our arm as we feigned like we were trying to haggle over prices. We didn’t care. We just had to get rid of it. We were taking the whole market down. Within three weeks, plat prices dropped over 60%. We had companies buying from us, who directly compete with one another. We would sell to one company for .50 per gold, and another company for .45 a gold. Both companies would drop their prices, trying to compete with the other guy, meanwhile we were already talking to the next distrubutor. Doing an E-hand shake and a nod, we passed on the dirty money to the next guy. The whole time, we were sure we were going to get shut down by some Sony guy that we were quite sure would be named GM Frodo.

To be honest, it’s the little companies that are the greediest. The bigger companies will give you a flat rate, they’ll pay you fast, and they’ll be nice about it. The little companies will try and negotiate like a mexican flea market, they’ll tell you that you don’t have anywhere else to sell to. They’ll try and muscle you. They’ll tell you the major companies will only pay you half of what they’re paying, when it’s usually just the opposite. Not mention they’re unprofessional as hell. Half the time we had to sit and wait for them to create a mule and get it off the newb island just to do a transaction. Amateurs.

The auctioning wasn’t working out so well either. We got hit by about 5 or 6 scammers who took us for a total of about $5,000 worth of platinum pieces. Of course, it didn’t get us too hot and bothered, but just wasn’t worth the hassle.

This is when we decided to quit dealing with the low budget distribution companies and go to the top of the line, which will remain nameless. I Guess Everyone will be able to figure it out, easily enough.

We started filling up accounts with money and handing it over to them as fast as we could. They moved platinum so fast, so professionally, so flawlessly, that we were just in awe. We hadn’t had much experience with this company prior to now, but they were impressive. Our money was selling at about half the rate in which we could create it, and considering how fast we created it, that’s pretty damned fast.

That’s when the money started pouring in. Rediculous money. Money that made me so scared I went and consulted with a lawyer and an accountant. Needless to say, neither of them had a clue as to what the hell we were talking about. Try telling your accountant you’re making money by selling pieces of gold in a video game. You’ll get a good 20 seconds of them just straring at you and blinking. Throw the words “swords” and “dragons” into the conversation, with a thick and fake english accent, just for giggles. Bonus points if you can say “WE RESCUED THE MAIDEN FROM THE BALDUVIAN ORC MASTER FOR THE WIN,” with a straight face.

Chapter 6: Cue The End of “Layla”, The Instrumental Part where Clapton just goes nuts on the strings…

There were 3 ways in which we would eventually raise enough suspicion to warrent a e-investigation.

1. The downfall of the way we duped was that for a very brief moment in time, there was anywhere from 8 to 24 haulasian maulers up for sale for 2 copper apiece. It was just brief instances, so if the buyer could buy them fast enough, they would be off the market before anyone knew anything happened. Unfortunately, we would occasionally get busted. The tells would come in like:

“Hey man, where did you get all those dogs?”

“I want to buy a dog.”

“Sell me all those dogs please.”

“What are haulasian maulers?”

Sometimes people would just show up in my apartment. A couple of these times I had about 28 dogs walking around the room.

So, I had to start coming up with explanations.

“Well, I”m quitting EQ2, so I figured this would be a fun way to blow my money.”

or

“I’m a guild mule, and we’re transporting money to the evil side by selling dogs.”

or

“It’s a new tradeskill…dog breeding.”

Other times, I would just remain quiet, or fake a link death. If these people saw us putting dogs up for sale, they’d put us on their friends list, meaning everytime we logged in, they’d watch the vendors looking to hit the lottery by snagging some 12 gold dogs for 2 copper. I couldn’t blame them, I would have done the same thing, but I hated them. Some of these people got greedy eventually, telling us they knew we were doing some sort of exploit, and unless we gave them some dogs or money, they would report us. We told them to report us. We don’t negotiate with blackmailers, company policy. Meanwhile, every chance they’d get, they’d try to steal our dogs off the market. On one hand telling us we were doing something corrupt, on the other hand they wanted a piece of the action. Well, we’d get our revenge on them eventually…..

2.) We didn’t know much about EQ2 players and the types of information it had on the site. Pretty soon I was getting cross-server tells asking me how fast my horse was, what did it look like, etc. At times, I would get 4 of these tells within an hour. I went and checked the site. Sure enough, Methical was the first to own the most expensive clydesdale horse.

Ooops.

Then I checked the wealthiest player rankings for all servers, we had about 6 characters in the top 20. We had mules that were level 5 and the wealthiest on probably 5 or 6 different servers.

Double oops.

3.) We checked the forums on EQ2 players. Under the Kithicor section, there was mass complaints of inflation. Where was all this money coming from, why were the prices set so high? Who was inflating the market. People were pointing fingers left and right. “He sells his spells too high!” “He buys up all the bone chips and then marks them higher!” etc etc. I had to admit, it gave me a giggle. I felt like the Illuminati, pulling economic strings from behind the scenes. They all were so quick to blame each other, yet there was an obvious suspicion that someone was pumping money into the economy at an accellerated rate. Yet, other servers were complaining about rapid inflation as well. Servers that we hadn’t even given our Midas touch to. Other people must have known about it.


Chapter 7: Sony Puts the Smack Down

I got a call from one of my associates. There was a new patch out.

I came home, ran the patcher and read the messages. Nothing of interest to me, untill the very last line. “Merchants will no longer have any interest in purchasing your pets.”

It may have well as just said “Oh hey Methical, you’ll be going down soon.” Now, each of our mules had dogs on them. The dogs were fresh and unduped, but it probably looked pretty suspicious to have 35 dogs on your character. So we scurried and tried to destroy the dogs rapidly. One minor snag. Dogs are “No Destroy,” Dogs also can’t be sold to the vendor. So…what the hell do you do with your dogs? Well, I decided to get revenge. I went back to all the servers that people had friends listed me and attempted to buy my dogs or blackmail me, and I put the dogs up for sale for 3 gold. 35 at a time, then went afk. Sure enough, the same people who had gotten our dogs before, were buying them as fast as they could. I can only imagine the look on their face as they went and tried to sell the dog to a vendor, realizing they had been tricked into buying my non destroyable evidence. Hell, it’s like if O.J. ebayed a bloody knife.

What’s better than hiding incriminating evidence? Selling it.

Whatever I couldn’t sell on other servers, I would put into my apartment, then relenquish the room. Poof, no more dogs. (Thanks for the idea Baminar)

Unfortunately, these last ditch efforts to cover my tracks were in vein. I tried to log into an account the next day, and it was banned. I checked the rest, all banned. This wild ride had come to an end. I was thinking that Sony figured out there was a dupe but had no idea what it was yet, so I was going to plea bargain to get at least one of my accounts back that had a considerable amount of money left on it. It didn’t work, they didn’t even reply to me. I finally sent one last email to Sony, in an attempt to see what they knew…

To: EQAccountStatus

Subject: Hi. I’m banned!

Hey,

I’m banned. Why? Thanks!

From: EQAccountStatus

Subject: Re: Hi. I’m banned!

Greetings,

I regret to inform you that your account has been banned for duping items in order to generate large amounts of coin. Your account will be closed from this point forward.

We always regret when this type of action is necessary. We ask that you please review our game policies, which are posted at http://eq2players.station.sony.com/en/support.vm.

Regards,

EverQuest II Account Status Administration

EQ2AccountStatus@soe.sony.com

http://everquest2.station.sony.com/

————————————–

Sony Online Entertainment

www.station.sony.com

—————————————

-If you reply to this message please be sure to include the entire thread of our prior correspondence. Thank you

This is where the story ends. The exact total of what I profited is not important. Just know it’s more than some people make in a year…hell..maybe 3 years, and it was enough to take my girlfriend and entire family on a vacation to Paris. But, It’s the story that’s important. The history of EQ1 is plagued with all sorts of scandal, and EQ2 should be as well. Scandal is what makes MMORPG’s more than just a game, but a community. A really nerdy community.

I still have about 9 unbanned accounts so I may see you around…

Shoutouts from Meth and Daij to Fennin Ro: Baminar, Knifin, Sam and Jimmy, all my friends from EA, Feregal, TKR (I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to make you cry.) Sue, Ros (thanks for keeping it under wraps), Lethargy, OGaming, who has some of the worst board admins ever, my original HoK family- Aquaenus, Psyth, Mirtam, Raquell, Sueture, Kiyann, Connel, Egg, Notwen, and anyone I might be forgetting. Savik, who always encouraged me to “Dupe, lie, steal, that is the cobra code” And of course…the mastermind, Frank Stallone.

P.S. Sorry for ruining the economy and all that.

Yup. Hey I got a boss house still in freeport. The big house with the roof deck. Everyone should visit. I set up a mini version of the Rathe Council in my main room using those old ogre scylptures you could get cheap.

I got ebon torches all through the floor level, for that cool blue glow. And upstairs in my lab, I got these on my second floor:
[You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]


You had to have played eq2 to understand how idiotic it is that I have these skull lights. That's likely a hundred+ hours of faction errands.

Do not ever doubt how retarded I am.

Hard to break eq2 but this happened, I remember. The game has no reliable core to do TLP's on for this reason. I always assumed the first few expansions they were still making the game. Raids worked, etc., but eq2 is vastly more complicated game in terms of elements.

Did you ever do tradeskills while having infravision on you? I did. I got that bored.

I liked eq2. If you went all out and got competitive it was a rush.
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