Updated: Mar 1, 2019
This chapter will be a special chapter without much economic analysis, but made in the view of a hacker. Hacking Maplestory is definitely not the right thing to do, nonetheless, if done correctly, can and will bring about great profits. Things that the hacks in maplestory used to allow you to do (with the recent mass bans in July, now you can't) included moving at 15x hack, complete freezing of the map, floating, teleporting to points that you want, vacuuming all mobs to you, full map attack... the list was endless. In the period of late 2013, MapleSEA was under massive attacks by hackers, who flooded the system with cheap goods due to the extremely low costs of production, this made things great for the poorer population, but they caused massive inflation with the massive amounts of mesos being pumped in. This chapter talks about the experience of a hacker that took advantage of the flaws in the system to join in the crashing of the market that took place in late 2013, which resulted in many rollbacks as well as many maplers to quit the game.
Who is the hacker? He is a fictional character named Bob, so do not ask me whether I am affiliated to the person in the later part of the chapter, for he is completely fictional and any similarities to real life people or real life events are completely coincidental. You cannot hack maplestory for now given the new updated security system and time is needed to find the bypass to it, so if you do have the intent, you might have to wait quite a bit.
Hmm, let's see, the action of entering monster life tutorial will result in this series of packets being received from my bypass, I need to isolate the packet required to ensure that the only command being bypassed to the system is the quest teleporting command... There! Found it (ED 00 04 4D 65 48 6E 8A 00 00 00 00 00).
"Would you like to go through monster life tutorial?"
This was the NPC chatbox I had been waiting, finally after numerous tries did the packet I send manage to work. Now I can complete my map reset script at last...
The map reset is one of the hacks that is one of the most valued, not just because it is not found in the default launcher system, but also because it provides an avenue for the quickest exp gain available in game, a total of 20 billion exp per hour should this hack be able to pull through. For those who do not get the above terminology, packets are bits of information that the system sends and receives from your client, every action you do, moving left or right, jumping up or down, will send a packet to the system located at MapleSEA HQ. Due to the system being located at HQ, not just is it an offence to attempt to hack into their system, it is also really hard. But for hacking client side? Sure thing, not a problem at all. In order to send packets into the system, a launcher has to be created in order to bypass the BlackCypher Shield the game has put in place against hacks, fortunately, the foundation of this bypass was already laid down, so that will certainly take a lot of trouble of my hands, besides, who loves sitting in front of your desktop for hours seeing digits and corrupt systems the whole time. Back to the map reset hack, the map reset hack does exactly what the name says, it resets the map, even after the boss has been killed. So how do you get 20b exp per hour? Simple, you enter Queen Cygnus's chamber, Mob freeze, generic no delay (approx 500 hits per second), and you down her within seconds. Get the loot, use my packet sender to enter monster life tutorial, go through the short 15 seconds tutorial, and there you are, back in Cygnus's chamber with Cygnus respawning in front of you, and loot still on the ground. (FYI Empress Cygnus gives 256 million exp upon death).
Well, this packet will sure be enough to take me through to 200 in a day, wonder if I can find any other uses for it...
How it happened
Part 1: Testing out
With this new array of auto bots, and full map attack as well as vacuum hack in the default system, it was high time to try those new features out, so I created a character, named Equilibrium, on a new account, to test how long it would take before I would get banned. I started out using a Phantom, Phantoms are really great because of the Holy Symbol skill they can steal from Bishops when they reach 4th job, which grant them 150% bonus experience, coupled with the auto buffs and full map attack, it is definitely a steal (quite literally). Hunting at the blue ribbon pig beach was kind of too slow given the fact that I had a full map attack of 200 hits per second, so I shifted on to the more higher level golems, of which granted me a decently fast rise in terms of exp, reaching level 30 in 30 minutes. Upon completing my 2nd job advancement, I went on to the ludibrium clocktower to hunt teddies, before moving down to the robo section to eliminate them. It took me quite a while, about 3 hours before I reached level 60, and I was really amazed at how I was not caught yet given the efficiency of the lie detector and bot detector presented exclusively by MapleSEA. In order to ensure a higher chance of success, I set an auto change channel every 3 minutes, as well as an auto change whenever a person enters the map.
Upon reaching level 64 (due to extreme efficiency), I got my 3rd job and went off to steal Holy Symbol. Following which I went on to Sahel to bot on the scorpions. Of course to ensure further insurance, I went into the mini dungeon that is exclusive only to the person to enters to prevent someone from catching me in the process.
Getting to 150 through this rinse and repeat process was not very difficult, I got caught once and was banned for 3 days, but after which everything was fine, I went on to level up at Hilla Supply mode, where you have 1 full hour of free farm with nobody to disturb you. I invested in some decent equipment, to allow this mule to go kill Cygnus and get the loot, sadly the map reset had stopped working for Cygnus, so it is back to 2 runs per week. At least the equipment and the flames dropped by Cygnus were good enough to cover the cost of the equipment.
Part 2: Upping the stakes
Seeing the effectiveness and efficiency of the hack, perhaps it is time to up my game and to use the hack on my main, with my main's damage output, I could definitely clear the harder bosses like Chaos Root Abyss and Hard Magnus.
Let's see, with 10 hits per second on my assassinate, that would amount to 160b damage in 30 minutes, more than enough to clear hard magnus and the 3 weaker CRA bosses, the problem here lies with not getting caught... In GMS, the release of hard magnus was a trap to catch hackers due to the fact that it WAS impossible to kill, and anybody that was in the team that managed to kill it would get permanently banned. The move caused a lot of controversies, as it saw many top players being banned, and guilds that were know to be very righteous and hack free suddenly saw a fall in numbers. Fortunately, with the release of unlimited patch, the 1 million damage per hit cap was removed and it was finally possible to kill hard magnus.
Without further ado, I went out to clear hard magnus in approximately 25 minutes, and ending up looting a few tyrant capes over the next few weeks. However, none of the capes suited my class, so they just were just left stagnant in my inventory. Over the next few weeks, I repeated the process and ended up getting banned for 3 days due to an act of carelessness on my part, but still, not a permanent ban.
Apart from slaying the hardest of bosses, me and my friend went to the Chaos root abyss, which died really fast, though upon their death, we were disconnected, probably because the developers did not really plan for any loot to come out in the first place. As much as we wanted the fafnir equipment, we did not really want to risk getting ban for fear that it was another trap set up by the developers, so we aborted plans of finishing CRA after that.
Apart from bossing, the hack of generic no delay certainly has its benefits in the mu lung dojo, whereby we could easily clear the dojo within top 10 rankings, which got us the mu gong gloves, second strongest gloves in the game, second only to the hero's gloves. We could very well get the hero's gloves, but the top player was legitimately hitting max damage on every hit, so overtaking him with our relatively lousy equipment will be beyond fishy.
The next few weeks was spent practicing the usage of the hacks with different classes, using full vacuum hack to get the desired loot. Time got by quickly, and due to my exams being near, I left my bots to do their jobs while I went on to study Chinese. On the bright side, Chinese helps you to understand all the things being posted on china hacking websites, so at least there is some use for that as of now...
Part 3: The wolf strikes
MapleSEA is known for being really terrible at new events and programs, as well as also having inflated cash shop prices and nerfed content. In an attempt to make the game more interesting, they released a game called Running Attack, which includes a person just pressing space bar while moving forward in a futile attempt not to die. The game had really cool rewards such as White Angelic Blessing Recipe (Now worthless), as well as other rings and enjoyable winters. However, little did they know, people were already at work figuring out how this new entrance into MapleSEA can be exploited. In fact, within the first day it was launched, people were already duping stuff. Big ticket items like legendary dominator pendants were secretly being duped in small amounts to prevent the developers from detecting. The owner of the equipment will dupe the equipment, keep one for himself, and sell the duped one for hundreds of bucks.
I chanced upon an article about a dupe hack being released, which took advantage of the poor programming on the developer's part. Because of the fact that the running attack game was a separate application in the game (think maple chat, and no, maple chat can't dupe hack).
So this is how the hack works, in order to ensure that my main account does not get banned due to some misstep or mishap, I used one of my botting accounts for the whole duping process. I first purchase a shop permit from the cash shop (fixed cost), after which I placed whatever items I wanted to be duped inside the store. The items that I wanted to dupe were transferred over from my main, from the usage of 2 computers, and they were not transferred through trade, but from dropping. In order to ensure further security in this process, I did it over multiple accounts, to ensure that the equipment had gone through many washing processes so it would be extremely hard to track the origin. After which, I set up my shop, and sent the packet 06 01 10 4C 00, which opened the running attack game WHILE my shop was open. This will freeze the contents of your shop, so I immediately went into the cash shop so that the shop would remain "open to public", after which when my friend has finished buying all the pro equipment from my store at 1 meso, I crash my client and my shop automatically closes, returning all equipment to me. This way, the equipment splits into 2, 1 with my friend, and 1 with me.
Apart from equipment, anything and everything tradable can be duped. By rinsing and repeating the process, I duped a total of 400 miracle scrolls for dagger attack, 200 scrolls for wand magic attack, 350 pet Weapon attack scrolls, 500 level 140 ress crystals, 700 suspicious cubes, 500 AEES, and many many more. However, this hack was soon severely exploited hours later, when people started releasing miracle scrolls in the 100s in the free market, selling each for 200m.
Part 4: "The early bird guts the worm" ~ Swain, Master Tactician (League of Legends)
Deciding that the collusion between hackers has been breached, I set up a store using one of my proxy accounts, and released all the duped items, selling miracles scrolls at 100m each, ress crystals at 50m each, suspicious cubes at 50m each, and AEES at 70m each. The whole process netted me a total of 30 billion mesos from the first rush (I did not sell everything). During this time, I went to fully upgrade all my equipment using miracle scrolls and tons of suspicious cubes. I went to ress flames all my equipment till I got the desired +3% all stat additional option on almost every equipment. During this time, my range almost doubled, and sensing that the developers will take action really soon, I took all my duped items, and split them amongst all my accounts, through continuous mesos trade and transfer, I took the risk of splitting the risk, whereby if the developers were to ban anyone with duped items, all my accounts would be banned. However, thinking logically, if the developers were to do so, no one would play the game anymore, for who would not want to buy a miracle scroll for only 100 million? Everybody would certainly have something duped in their inventory, and how will the developers be able to track down everything given that they allowed this spreading of duped items to take place for over 24 hours?
Part 5: The aftermath
The long awaited server check was finally here, and it took place 18 hours after I first started duping. During this initial phase, they permanently banned a total of 207 accounts suspected of continuously crashing the client and duping, of which the account which had the shop was one of them. Quite a pity for that account still had 80 billion worth of stuff, but considering that all these things only cost a shop permit, it is pretty worthwhile. Apart from the permanent bans, 26000 accounts were trade blocked, needless to say, all my accounts were trade blocked, but seeing the massive numbers of accounts being blocked, I knew that I would escape unscathed, besides, the game-masters cannot possibly track down every duped item.
Throughout this 24+ hours, many things happened. Prices of miracles scrolls dropped down to 2 million, a severe supply shock on luxury goods occurred, and suddenly they became worthless. The prices of all big ticket items were really low, with perfect endless hearts of arias being sold for 1 billion, and other equipment that were clearly duped. I did not purchase any of those for fear that these perfect equipment are too easily traceable given their fixed stats and legendary potentials being the same for every single equipment.
In short, it was a huge victory for the hackers.
In order to stop the crisis, the developers as mentioned issued a trade block on almost every account that traded in the past 24 hours. Surprisingly, there were no roll backs, and the developers were extremely tardy in getting back to the maplers who were trade blocked, as well as the "innocently banned" ones. This frustrated many maplers, and those who saw the downfall just stopped playing. After 2 weeks, nearly all the trade blocked accounts got unblocked, and 90% of my accounts were unblocked as well, including my main account. To further "rectify" the situation, they completely removed any items that were in bulk, original or not. So I lost about 200 onyx apples, all my miracle scrolls for daggers, and quite a lot of cubes. Fortunately, I still had about 20 miracle scrolls for 2h sword attack, 300 AEES, and a hell lot of level 140 ress flames, if only purple cubes had been released then, I would already have 2 million range by now.
Due to the developers being lazy and simply removing items in bulk, people who had the originals launched complaints to the developers, and even lawsuits were launched to the developers for scamming the gamers, and for poor security systems. Many whales (people who donate a lot) ended up leaving the game, for once again it has proved to benefit hackers more than the legit players, leading to a huge dip in revenue for MapleSEA.
Part 6: The end of the scam
Following the trade unblock, duped items were still being released into the market, though now the prices of miracle scrolls shot up to 1 billion. With the remainder of my duped items, I set up the shop and slowly released them into the market, and over the next two weeks, netted a total of another 120 billion mesos. Of course I spent quite a lot of mesos upgrading my equipment into better ones, as well as improving the damage on my proxy accounts, having a change in 100 billion mesos in one account is nonetheless quite suspicious.
In total, the amount of mesos in terms of net worth earned from this one month of dupe incident was.
In conclusion, being a strong believer in Keynesian principles, the money I earned was shared with my friends and circulated back into the free market, of which had very high multiplier for the MPT is only 3%. The MapleSEA fiasco was certainly an interesting one worth talking about, as well as a lesson for many other games to learn about the severity of dupe hacks. If your marginal cost of production for Ferraris was 0, it is without doubt the road will soon be full of Ferraris, this market failure caused by duped hack is a cause of concern for developers, and thus government intervention is necessary to prevent the severe deadweight lost due to allocative inefficiency.
"Hey guys! I finally managed to clear Mu lung dojo in less than 15 minutes! Want to try to take on Empress Cygnus as a party later? Hopefully we have enough damage output." I screamed into my buddy chat.
It has been quite some time since I decided to retire from hacking, and no doubt that the quote that all cheaters are winners still seem to hold true, it still depends on how you define winning. If winning means getting the highest range possible and killing all the strongest bosses by yourselves, then so be it. But to me, winning would be the interactions that I have with my friends, the strategies we plot together in taking down the hardest of bosses, the steps required to ensure we get maximum damage output, and most importantly, the joy of defeating the boss together as a team.
To me, it is more than just the equipment. It is more than just the numbers I see on my screen.
To me, it is my friends that make this game enjoyable, and the experiences we share together that make it memorable.
Guild Wars 2
Nexon and Asiasoft