MMORPG: When was the exploit discovered?
Andy Velasquez: The issue was brought to our attention by our players on Sunday morning (5/19) at which time we took immediate action by bringing the Auction House and Astral Diamond exchange offline. To follow the course of events that day, check out the forum.
MMORPG: How many team members came in to work on the issue? How many hours did the team put in to correct the issue?
Andy Velasquez: We want our players to have a great experience with Neverwinter at all times so the Neverwinter team really makes it a high priority to address issues right away, call in reinforcements if necessary, and ensure that we are in constant communication with our players via the forums or social pages.
As soon as we discovered the issue, we were all hands on deck and worked until wee hours of the morning to get to the bottom of it. Of course, at some point, we need to get a bit of sleep once the thick of the storm passes, but then, it's back to fixing the issue.
MMORPG: What is being done to the offenders? If AD was dropped onto alt accounts, how is that being tracked?
Andy Velasquez: During Sunday’s maintenance, we took action against many players who took advantage of the bug, including but not limited to enforcing permanent bans. Those who took advantage of the exploit were permanently banned, including all "mule" account that were used to transfer illegitimately obtained AD. The rollback also pulled the damage out of the AD Exchange and Auction House.
Additionally, we are performing ongoing investigations to identify any other accounts that received Astral Diamonds or other high value items via illegitimate means, including mule and alt accounts. Those will be permanently banned, their AD and items dissolved. Finally, we have improved our internal systems to better track the movement of currency within Neverwinter, meaning that we are enabled to respond even quicker to future reports from our users regarding potential illegitimate currency.
We take this matter very seriously and would like to ensure our community that we are absolutely committed to ensuring Neverwinter is a fun, fair game for all and that exploiters are dealt with in the strictest way possible. For more details on this topic, visit this link.
MMORPG: How secure is the team with the fix that's been implemented?
Andy Velasquez: Supremely! There are no certainties in software, but we’re as confident as can be that this particularly exploit is crushed. We are committed to making sure something like this doesn't repeat.
MMORPG: What sort of items will be in the "thank you" package for loyal players who were not involved in the exploit? Anything else?
Andy Velasquez: Again, very special thanks for everyone's amazing support, patience and feedback through Open Beta. As a token of our appreciation, we've given all players a Caturday's Pack. Items in the pack include: Stone of Health, Cape of Catastrophe, Dwarven Facemask, 5x Teleport Scroll, and 2x Adventurer's XP Booster. For more details about the pack and our thanks, visit this page.