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Thread: A game breaking Xcom Multiplayer Bug

  1. #1
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    A game breaking Xcom Multiplayer Bug

    We found a bug yesterday that allows you to use overwatch and hunker down after move and dash. By digging deeper we found this can also apply to unit actions, such as launch and greande throw. Depending on the timing of activating the overwatch, you can position floaters and heavy floaters through launch so they are not within the normal elevation ranges of the map. This means the opponent can never kill your floater since they cannot target them. The floater also becomes stuck in position. It cannot cancel flight mode, move, or target enemy units. So essentially, you have a TRUE stalemate. The opponent can never satisfy the win condition of killing all of your units. However, the player using the glitch can still kill the opponent's units with his remaining units. If it comes down to all other units are gone except for the glitched floater, then neither player can win. It then becomes a staring contest on who will leave the game first.

    This is similar to roof camping on police station, but it is on a much worse level as the glitched floater has no way to get out of the glitch. Now, this glitch does allow you to launch into overwatch at a normal elevation, but it is dependent on timing the landing. Just having slightly bad timing can cause the floater to get stuck above normal elevation. This becomes a problem as players may try to use the overwatch trick and mistime it so that the floater becomes glitched.

    Aside from the floaters being glitched, it allows players to setup overwatch traps on turn 1 that the opponent can easily lose to. So moving your units if you have 2nd turn is no longer safe.

    In addition to the floaters, this also gives squadsight sniper an extreme advantage. Using sniper switch, you would need another unit in order to reselect the sniper after going on overwatch. With this new trick, you no longer need units. You can simply dash and go into overwatch with sniper rifle. In addition, you still retain the opportunist ability making it very difficult to chase down the sniper on overwatch. This allows the sniper to dash into positions that can potentially make killing shots on turn 1 so long as a floater is used in conjunction to provide vision of the opponent's starting location.

    Furthermore, the bug avoids many inventory checks. So using the overwatch trick with alien grenades allows you to throw an alien grenade, go into overwatch, and keep the alien grenade you threw all while dealing damage to the opponent. By doing this you have infinite alien grenades.

    We have tested this only on a small number of abilities in the game and so far, some will not work or produce undesireable results. Such as defaulting to a shot instead of poison. Also shooting rockets and using the overwatch trick causes the rockets to go off the map yet still keeps the rocket in inventory. However, many abilities do resolve properly and still allow for overwatch or hunker down.

    I have spoken with a few well-known players on this forum about the ramifications on this type of bug and we have decided to make it public instead of trying to keep it secret. The reason is, someone will eventually find out how to do this trick and as a result may abuse it in ranked matches and tournaments. It is very easy to hide the trick so long as the opponent does not have vision of your units. So, I feel it is better to make it public, let the developers know about it and hope they release a patch very quickly.

    I am hesitant to make a video that demonstrates the trick in action and go into more detail on how it works in fear of players abusing this. I would prefer that Firaxis opens lines of communication in order to patch this bug behind the scenes.

    In closing I hope Firaxis will pay more attention to the bugs in multplayer and take more action to develop communication with players that can provide insight into how these bugs work in order to work them out of the game. Unfortunately, it seems we are finding more bugs and exploits faster than Firaxis is patching them.

  2. #2
    Shin showed this OW/hunker trick to me tonight and I can attest to its potential to be abused. It's definitely game breaking and ridiculously easy to do, giving anyone abusing this bug a huge game advantage.

  3. #3
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    I have to say thanks in advance for making this public and i hope they do fix this asap. Shin keep up the good work.

    Edit:

    Just saw this .. OMG that was to funny... this needs fixing like now.. or the game will die.
    Last edited by Scwarlock; 02-10-2013 at 09:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have created a video that demonstrates the bug and how it works with a few units. I have kept the video private to prevent players from figuring this out. I'm sure that eventually, players will run across this by accident and start using it in multiplayer. If a member of the dev team would like to view the video, please contact me by private message. I can grant private access in order to help with a patch and explain how it works in more detail.

  5. #5
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    I will also verify that this bug exists and is consistently reproducible.

    Also thank you to Shin for handling this in a professional, mature, and productive manner.

  6. #6
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    Oups!...

    Now we just need Firaxis to wake up from deep comfy sleep and fix this.

    While they are at it - they could iron other bugs too and throw extra MP map or two or three...

  7. #7
    Oh, so grenades work too? Same principle?

  8. #8
    Just saw the infinite grenade thing. Yep. This thing is dead until patched.

  9. #9
    I just figured out form Shin's description what could that be and easily and successfully reproduced it in SP. My point is that if you want to keep it as "private" as possible, you should cut the description to its minimum. IMO OW traps are not that groundbreaking as the infinite grenades.

  10. #10
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    Good find.

    I hate that the ridiculous severity of bugs in MP has left such a bad taste in my mouth about this game and about Firaxis. I really enjoy the SP, but I have never played such a broken game as XCOM multiplayer.

  11. #11
    Infinite grenades takes some mastering and for some reason is a bit more difficult with floaters (at least for me) but after about 30 training session with Cabal_ I never ran out. It's also safer to use with humans as they don't self harm like HF and SC.

    And, of course, it breaks the game completely. But as Cabal said, it also makes it a bit more realistic : ) Now you get to throw around several grenades before you die instead of just one.

  12. #12
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    Can this be done with the controller UI too, or do you need access to the mouse?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by V1cT View Post
    Can this be done with the controller UI too, or do you need access to the mouse?
    According to Shin it's only mouse but I haven't done any controller tests. Keyboard is no good either.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Water Gasoline View Post
    According to Shin it's only mouse but I haven't done any controller tests. Keyboard is no good either.
    I presume, from this, that it's only the PC version that's affected or are consoles screwed too?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by trueprophet View Post
    I presume, from this, that it's only the PC version that's affected or are consoles screwed too?
    Only PC as far as I can tell.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Water Gasoline View Post
    Only PC as far as I can tell.
    On the plus side, that should make it easier to patch, if they choose to. I'm honestly a little afraid to see where this goes.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecase View Post
    On the plus side, that should make it easier to patch, if they choose to. I'm honestly a little afraid to see where this goes.
    Hopefully they'll think the same thing. But they could always go "screw PC, that's not our market anyway". : (

  18. #18
    Awesome. This just reinforces my decision to put this game down. Shame really given that this *could* be a GREAT multi player experience. Sadly Firaxis either can't or won't address the issues. I love how the response is simply to "go tell the forums" then we do that...but nothing happens. They're still swimming in all of their recent awards and far too busy to fix their broken game.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shin_sankuzen View Post
    I have created a video that demonstrates the bug and how it works with a few units. I have kept the video private to prevent players from figuring this out. I'm sure that eventually, players will run across this by accident and start using it in multiplayer. If a member of the dev team would like to view the video, please contact me by private message. I can grant private access in order to help with a patch and explain how it works in more detail.
    I think the devs don't pay much attention to the MP boards, given that they just created a thread in *General Discussion* to find the best MP players. Kind of idiotic of them, and shows they haven't been following the MP scene at all. If you want their attention, I'd recommend posting in Support or General Discussion. Better yet, get an invite to the live stream, and then show off as many bugs as possible. That should get their attention.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ikarigendo View Post
    Better yet, get an invite to the live stream, and then show off as many bugs as possible. That should get their attention.
    I think that's kind of the plan : ) Whoever goes there, if at all, should just field a single floater, do the glitch and ask them to find him : )

    Or infinite grenade them. I will do it if I'm selected but I doubt it's going to happen since most people don't think I'm good enough or whatever. I know Shin will do it. Hope Edge and other top players are up for this as well. This could be our best (last?) chance to get their attention.

    Though, to be honest, I think they'd rather pull the plug on the stream than fix anything or even acknowledge. Sorry, nothing has been happening in this regard for months and I'm a bit pessimistic.

  21. #21
    I tweeted the link to this thread to Garth as well, but no response yet. I don't really even expect one this time honestly. You're right to be pessimistic FWG.

  22. #22
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    Yeah... Optimism is really getting rather low...

    What a shame though - this game had such potential :s

  23. #23
    2K/Firaxis doesn't seem to care. All they seem to care is how much more money they can milk with DLC rather than fixing numerous critical bugs. X-Com could and should have been so much more if only they do something to help our community, or let us know something is in the works. I'm all for MP DLC if thats what they want to get this game fixed. Enough rant.

    Thanks for sharing this info Shin. I'm sure there are tons more awaiting to be discovered. I've seen people taking extra shots with a sniper rifle without double tap. I know for a fact that I was able to move a unit into a dashing spot on my first turn, and was able to move the same unit again or take any other action. Felt like a random glitch, but I'm there's a method to repro it.

  24. #24
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    +1

    This really saddens me. I've noticed some of these bugs for a while now and have been privately talking to players about how disastrous the state of the game is.

    This game has such multi-player potential. With that said, it is impossible to compete in a fair manner when the game is constantly working against you: forcing you to fight the UI, deal with connection issues or allowing players to abuse glitches that give them an in-game advantage.

    I find it odd that a company like Firaxis wouldn't leap at the opportunity to embrace a competitive scene for this title. Competition brings additional players. Additional players mean additional exposure as well as additional revenue when you consider that you have to pay to play this game (Unlike titles such as league of legends which generate revenue from selling aesthetic changes to your character). There are just as many people that value competitive play as there are people who demand a polished and deep single player campaign.

    "E-Sports" is a growing community that is constantly embracing new titles. Competitive leagues such as IPL, IEM, and WCG have picked up several new titles a piece in the past year. I couldn't see any of them even considering including a game like XCOM, so ridden with bugs and glitches, in their line up. On top of this seeming oversight, the developers have almost no interaction with the community of players. The best games take feedback from their users and try to improve the experience. If there is something the players or community want/need implemented but is simply not possible-- There is nothing wrong with admitting that. As developers, working with the players, at the very least talking to them, is how you support a game after it launches. However, a complete absence of consideration of player feedback // an absence of communication with the player base is a terrible waste of a game that begs to be played competitively, but lacks some of the basic features to do so. Not communicating is driving players away from this game-- If you are working on these issues please acknowledge that you are doing so.

    Like the rest of the community, I'm not getting my hopes up. Taking a look at Firaxis' website shows about how well they're doing keeping up with their players/fans. http://www.firaxis.com/games/ XCOM: Enemy Unknown is still listed as "coming soon." Granted, there is a redirect to the game's website (which I assume is managed by people @ 2k Games and _not_ firaxis ). Maybe as a community we're not directing our efforts to the right place? Is there anything we can do that would be a more effective means of showing the developers how broken this game is//and or a more effective means of ensuring that people who can fix these issues are actually aware that they exist. I find it hard to imagine that people at Firaxis would work for years on a title (just consider for a moment all of the nostaglic backstory (I mean that in the most sincere and polite way, I'm all for chasing your dreams folks) in this game's press blitz about how Jake Solomon loves this game and has wanted to make this title for two decades) only to let it rot in an unsupported hellish nightmare. It seems unbelievable that none of the people who created this game are playing it enough to experience all of these game-breaking issues. If they are playing and if they are aware of these bugs it is appalling that so little has been done to address them.

    There are people out there who love this game enough to put in the effort to fix it; The question is, do the developers fall in to that category?

  25. #25
    Consoles FTW

  26. #26
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    Hey guys, thanks to shin I forwarded this issue onto Firaxis to research. Hopefully we can get you an update soon, but I'll defiantly let you know when I hear something. Feel free to PM me any new issues so I can pass along the info.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by drcane View Post
    Hey guys, thanks to shin I forwarded this issue onto Firaxis to research. Hopefully we can get you an update soon, but I'll defiantly let you know when I hear something. Feel free to PM me any new issues so I can pass along the info.
    Thanks for the update, and the "defiance". We know you guys are doing your best.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by drcane View Post
    Hey guys, thanks to shin I forwarded this issue onto Firaxis to research. Hopefully we can get you an update soon, but I'll defiantly let you know when I hear something. Feel free to PM me any new issues so I can pass along the info.
    Awesome thanks! Because tweeting the link to this thread to Garth, and him seeing it but essentially ignoring it was pretty disheartening. All we really want is some communication. "Tell the forums" is a pretty sad answer when it's the only communication we get.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenacellSobriety View Post
    Awesome thanks! Because tweeting the link to this thread to Garth, and him seeing it but essentially ignoring it was pretty disheartening. All we really want is some communication. "Tell the forums" is a pretty sad answer when it's the only communication we get.
    In fairness, Twitter is generally a horrible place for him to respond to a post of that kind, because every single person following him would get a "HEY LOOK WE HAVE AN EXPLOITABLE GAME-BREAKING BUG" notice right in their feed.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecase View Post
    In fairness, Twitter is generally a horrible place for him to respond to a post of that kind, because every single person following him would get a "HEY LOOK WE HAVE AN EXPLOITABLE GAME-BREAKING BUG" notice right in their feed.
    He could always DM me if he felt inclined. He responds, but it's always just stock answers.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenacellSobriety View Post
    He could always DM me if he felt inclined. He responds, but it's always just stock answers.
    I'm pretty sure you can only DM somebody if you're both following each other.

  32. #32
    No, you can DM someone if they're following you. So he could DM me but I wouldn't be able to DM him back. Pointless anyway, like he's going to give me some answer that he wouldn't put out publicly lol.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenacellSobriety View Post
    No, you can DM someone if they're following you. So he could DM me but I wouldn't be able to DM him back. Pointless anyway, like he's going to give me some answer that he wouldn't put out publicly lol.
    Looks like you're right, I just checked (never use DMs personally). In any case, this bug is real, so actions are going to speak here, not words.

  34. #34
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    Ok it's time to fix it. I see ppl use it not only in friendly testing games!

  35. #35
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    boy am I glad the people at the beginning skill level do not know what this crap is

  36. #36
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    I'd like an update please. What is being done about these issues? Has anyone at 2k heard anything from the people at Firaxis?

  37. #37
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    Permission was requested from 2k for access to my private video outlining the details of the bug and how it affects multiplayer. This was a few weeks ago. This was then passed along to the developers at Firaxis. I was told we would be updated when there is something to report. Since then, they have watched it a few dozen times. The depth of the problem requires changing the source code and mechanics on how the user interface works. The problem may be deeper seeded, as it affects certain abilities like launch and nades, while others like rockets and poison fail to resolve. When you consider the steps involved, I wouldn't expect a fix so soon. So it appears they are working on a fix, but we dont understand the depth and scope of what all needs to change to fix it. Until then, more players are discovering the trick, using it, and telling this'd friends. So the race is on. Will a patch be released before word spreads?

  38. #38
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    I'm sure not, since they probably have their own development roadmap (DLC, etc). Revenue generating work has to come first, they probably don't have a choice about that. And as you point out, the fix might not be easy / resource-light.

    Is it right that it's a week since the info was forwarded on? Betting it takes a bunch longer than that, even if they decide to work this immediately (which they might not be able to do).

    Don't get me wrong btw, I think it stinks. MP in this game could be beyond great, but it's still basically tacked on to the main single player focus, and it shows.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by shin_sankuzen View Post
    The depth of the problem requires changing the source code and mechanics on how the user interface works.
    I'm probably jinxing the #### out of it right now, but I really hope they take this opportunity to go in and fix the other wacky keyboard+mouse-specific issues.

    That said, I'm not expecting this fix to go live before the next major release; whether that's a patch that's sync dropping with the Mac release or the launch of the DLC that replaced Progeny, I don't know.

  40. #40
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    Normally, I don't like to call attention to this kind of thing, but I think it needs to be done in this case.

    I've been made aware that there is an individual with knowledge of the steps to reproduce the bug, who plans to make the information widely available in the next few days. This individual expressed an extreme level of frustration with the lack of communication about this and other major functional deficiencies in the game.

    I realize that this amounts to extortion, and I don't particularly expect the community team to bend over backwards to respond under duress. However, I can't say that I'm wholly unsympathetic to the views expressed; on the whole, I think the inability of the team to effectively communicate and deliver fixes for issues of this severity borders on shameful -- not "shame" on the coders for writing bad code, or on the designers for setting up bad mechanics, but the shame that no one will ever be able to play the game as it was intended, for all the bugs that are ruining the experience.

    And I hate to say it, but unless a fix drops in the next few days, public knowledge of this exploit is going to ruin a lot more people's experiences.

    Edit: Coincidentally, a second, equally game-breaking bug has emerged recently. I'm sure it could end up going the same way. We need some help down here.

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