Let The Wookiee Waltz – SWTOR’s God-Cheat

By Alec Meer on January 4th, 2012 at 9:19 am.

Luke Skywalker does a safety dance

Taptaptap. Is this thing on? One, two, one two. Hello mum. One two. Two. Two. Two. And she’s buyyyyyyyying a stairway to heavennnnnnnnnn. One two, one two. Okay, 2012 is go!

I’ve occasionally wondered what it would have been like had RPS been around back when World of Warcraft first launched. The excitement, the moaning about queues and bugs and griefers and customer support, the mad little adventures in a new world. SWTOR offers a taste of what might have been, though the deep familiarity of EA’s MMO means RPS as a whole hasn’t been able to conjure the drooling desperation to play that we had for WoW back in the day. I am quite sure, however, that we would have found all sorts of things like this to post about – an exploit that keeps your character safe from harm if you can activate a safety dance in time.

This’ll be patched out any picosound now I’m sure, but here’s how it goes. Type ‘/getdown’ and you will starting busting a move. Additionally, any enemy currently targeting you will be interrupted. Including if it’s a boss about to do some monstrous special attack. That there is what they call an exploit. Here’s how it looks in action:

Dance, dance for your life! Dance then, wherever you may be, for you are the lord of the dance said a bug in the MMO.

It’s quite lovely, and frankly it’s the kind of teething problem I’d expect from an MMO in its early days, though I am surprised this one didn’t rear its rhythmic head in beta. Oh well, it’ll be gone soon, more’s the pity. Unless it’s a secret Force power.

Allegedly one of the guys who posted this video on the official, warning-heavy SWTOR forums received this message, which he later share on the hive of GIFs and villainy that is 4Chan:

“We recently removed your thread about the /getdown video. We appreciate you trying to bring it to our attention but we do not allow the posting of potential exploits on the forums. Note this message is just to let you know and is NOT a warning against your account!”

I imagine they’re being a little more careful about warnings and bans right now.

Thanks, A N et al.

Bonus: the entire galaxy must have been invincible during the end-of-beta Dance Party:

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62 Comments »

  1. Flukie says:

    If they ban anyone for this, I won’t play this game despite being interested after playing the alpha.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Apparently they have banned someone from this… there’s another screenshot of a support email stating so.

      Of course, like the last one (that turned out to be true) it looks like a rather questionable email since it’s obviously talking about something rediculous.

      here: http://i.imgur.com/HnKp7.jpg

    • Phantoon says:

      “Dance zones”?

      C’mon, there’s no… way…

      Right?

    • Spinks says:

      lol, of course there aren’t special dance zones.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      If it is true, I’d imagine it’s not a specific “Dance Zone”, but rather a social zone/combat safe-zone where players can be without fear of attack from PvP/monsters.

      Though why dancing would trigger this sort of “immunity”, rather than such zones simply preventing combat directly (and dancing simply leaving you open to attacks as if you were just standing around), seems an odd design choice.

    • Xqon says:

      Even here criticism is censored? You biodrones know no bounds.

    • Phantoon says:

      I played 30 minutes of the game, thought it was absolutely terrible.

      That said, if you just ranted a whole bunch and found your message deleted, ESPECIALLY AFTER USING CAPS TO SWEAR LIKE A TOSSER, I have no sympathy for you.

      If you didn’t, it’s likely that the great and terrible captcha-bot ate your post, and you should just try again.

  2. Drayk says:

    That’s hilarious.

    I also had a strange bug last night during one personal quest on my assassin… I was facing a boss and used a power which makes me vanish from the sight of ennemies. It also ended the fight and left me victorious.

  3. Alexander Norris says:

    We appreciate you trying to bring it to our attention but we do not allow the posting of potential exploits on the forums.

    This is pretty standard, to be fair. The usual way of reporting exploits is to email the devs directly so they don’t become public knowledge and used by everyone.

    • Clavus says:

      Actually you do want to make it public knowledge, so the devs are in a bigger hurry to patch it. They should fear the discovery of exploits. Makes sure that Programmer Pete doesn’t go home at 5PM to his loving family, but instead, dedicates another few hours double checking what he wrote that day.

    • SeeBeeW says:

      “Actually you do want to make it public knowledge, so the devs are in a bigger hurry to patch it.”

      I love being woken up by panicked texts at 3:00 a.m. as much as the next engineer, but it would be lovely if you could make at least a modicum of effort to work with the people who are sacrificing a giant chunk of their lives specifically to entertain you, instead of treating them like they’re somehow continually in your debt for deigning to play their game.

      Just sayin’.

      Edit: for the record, I like it when bugs make it to forums first, because customer support, great though they are, often suffer from a very high noise to signal ratio, and I like it when actual emergencies reach my desk as soon as humanly possible. But then I don’t work on SWTOR or know anything about their policies or engineering timezone coverage or workflow.

    • pandora says:

      @Clavus “Makes sure that Programmer Pete doesn’t go home at 5PM to his loving family, but instead, dedicates another few hours double checking what he wrote that day.”

      While I agree it is ok to publicize exploits, esp. if it remains unpatched a few days after contacting support first, buying a game doesn’t make Programmer Pete your personal slave who should cease all personal life out of fear and instead patch codebase for your entertainment. That is, you sound awfully mean.

    • kavika says:

      @SeeBeeW

      …it would be lovely if you could make at least a modicum of effort to work with the people who are sacrificing a giant chunk of their lives specifically to entertain you…

      We pay a subscription fee that pretty much drives your salary (which should be north of 90k USD – possibly significantly so – if you’re any good. This means upper-middle-class or more).

      You also get a major egoboo of saying you make video games for a living.

      Nope, not giving a damn for your “plight”.

    • Shkspr says:

      On the other hand, Kavika, you’re paying pennies an hour for a service for which you’re demanding 24-hour obsequiance to fix things like excessive boogieing and looting shit way too high for your level – things that wouldn’t be a problem if players would just stop fucking around.

      Not actually giving a rat’s sorry ass for YOUR “plight”, either.

    • Grygus says:

      I am glad that shareholders do not think like gamers.

    • SeeBeeW says:

      A plight is not having access to proper healthcare, getting trapped under the wreckage of a car or having the bank foreclose on your house. So, yeah, I never claimed it was particularly plightful.

      But the maddening and disheartening thing here is that people are working very, very hard to keep you entertained—and sure, they’re well remunerated, but $90K+ is, realistically, typical for an engineer with 5+ years experience with 4-6 years of education*, while $60K is probably a better industry average—and yet the player response is somehow that they should constantly be at your beck and call, leaping into action at any hour, staying late every day, making any sacrifice asked of them, because “players pay their salary.”

      Everyone’s salary is paid by someone. Most people still like to be treated like human beings. Honestly, engineers, designers, artists and other actual developers (i..e, not corporate) are like your bartender in this context. They spend most of their time trying to make you happy and they deserve your respect.

      * Footnotes, yeah, whatever! That might seem high, but actually it’s comparable to many other industries given the level of education and work experience, and those industries don’t tend to demand the sorts of hours and personal sacrifices the game industry does. Also, after that long in the game industry basically all the people you know are also in the industry, which makes “I work on games” a pretty poor icebreaker.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      Developer salaries in the UK are far lower than $90k p.a. – the average over here is $50k, with the upper limit being $70k unless you’re a lead programmer.

  4. MannyCalavera says:

    How is that a bug? Looks pretty deliberate, like an Easter Egg cheat.

  5. Vayl says:

    This game will be a empty wasteland in 2-3 months. There is basically no reason to play this after you level a character (maybe 2 if you want to level on the other faction).

    • Rik-the-Viking says:

      Sooo, you wouldn’t want to see what the (completely different, I might add) stories of the 7 other classes are? Not even a little?

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Could you not say that about every MMO?

    • Grygus says:

      There is an entire planet devoted to level 50 activity. There are also PvP instances, higher difficulty levels in PvE instances, and a raid. I mean, there isn’t a whole amusement park set up but it’s more content than most MMOs have available upon release.

      I do halfway agree with the OP about replayability, though. Playing every class to level 10 is a lot of fun; you only repeat each area once and the stories are different and all engaging on some level. After that though, the vast majority of the game is the same regardless of class, so while I absolutely would love to see all eight stories, there is no way I have the patience to play through all of that content three extra times per faction. I agree that most people will level to 50 once or twice and be done with that. Still, that’s a couple of months for people with jobs, and in that time BioWare may well have the level 50 carnival in place.

  6. yandexx says:

    /canttouchthis

  7. Baboonanza says:

    What the hell is the point of a dance party where you’re not actually controlling the dancing and everyone is doing the same dance but out of sync?

    MMOs confuse me.

  8. Electric Dragon says:

    We can dance if we want to
    We can leave the Sith behind
    ‘Cause Sith don’t dance and if Sith don’t dance
    Well, they’re no friends of mine.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Incidentally, the dwarf actor in the music video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPau5QYtYs – class A drugs were much stronger in the 80s) was an ewok in Return of the Jedi. So the safety dance is pretty much an official SWTOR theme tune.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      Looking for a “small world” joke (without meaning to offend the vertically idiosyncratic, naturally).

  9. Christian says:

    For some reason, the sheer thought of the concept of there being “dance-parties” in MMOs just creeps me out. Somehow, it’s spooky imagining all of those people sitting in front of their monitors and “dancing”. And also a bit sad.
    But hey, who am I to judge..I’ve been spending most of yesterday playing Portal 2 ;)

    • Apples says:

      If that creeps you out, you should try Second Life. I can understand dancing in an MMO – one of my fondest memories of the few months I spent playing WoW was having a victory party with a bunch of other noobs after our first ever instance, and sometimes it’s just fun to forge a random, quick connection with someone you’ll never meet by virtually dancing with them – but why in god’s name would anyone go to a club/restaurant/poetry recital in a game instead of real life?

      (I guess the answer is that most of them are fat and have no self-confidence irl)

    • yhancik says:

      I guess the answer is that most of them are fat and have no self-confidence irl

      It’s an overly simplistic answer, and quite sad considered that similar clichés are still sometimes associated with us gamers.

    • Wulf says:

      Another person that doesn’t realise that aesthetic expression in games and real-life can overlap.

      Okay, one thing to think about in Second Life in particular: Many people actually create their own dance animations or remix animations themselves, and many people also create their own avatars, either via 3D modelling programs or by mixing and matching existing stuff in such clever ways that it would make Champions Online’s character creator blush.

      The end result is that you have a nifty character and a bunch of animations to show off. It’s not about the dancing, that’s an incredibly simplistic way of looking at it and completely ignores that we’re talking about a virtual world here. No, it’s not about the dancing, that’s dim, frankly. It’s about showing off the stuff you’ve pupt together, the stuff that you’ve spent hours slaving over. Just because it’s fun to show off the bounty of your creativity. If you are creative.

      Or maybe you’re just dead-headed in regards to creativity and you’re totally jealling. That too. Stop being so jealous. It’s unbecoming. :|

      But saying something like this is about as silly as saying: “Well, why would you ever want to build something in Minecraft? EVERYONE SHOULD STOP PLAYING MINECRAFT! Instead, go and build a damn house with bricks and mortar!” That misses the same element – it’s not about using bricks and mortar, it’s not even about making buildings, it’s just about creating stuff and using a virtual world as a means of self-expression.

      Whenever I hear someone look at the self-expression of others and dismiss it with a nasty comment, all I can think is that they’re seriously afflicted with a massive dose of the green-eyed monster.

  10. SiHy_ says:

    Should everyone be waving lightsabers around like that? They’re not glowsticks, they’re supposed to be the sacred weapon of a nobel group of space monks and can cut through steel. That’s just an accident waiting to happen!
    Also as RedLetterMedia said – “Enough with the freaking lightsabers already!”

  11. aircool says:

    Roffles, I wondered what people had been talking about :))

  12. bit_crusherrr says:

    It’s nice to see SWTOR’s GMs are spending their time smiting down people who dance in inappropriate places instead of answering tickets.

  13. yhancik says:

    Unless it’s a secret Force power.

    I really wish it was a feature instead of a bug :p

    • Wulf says:

      If this were a Cryptic game, it would be. Seriously, I’m not just beating a dead horse here but I’m making a point. If Cryptic had had a bug where dancing made you powerful, they wouldn’t ban for it. Instead they’d fix it, and then eventually they’d bring out a dance powerset.

    • Nevard says:

      then I am glad I have never heard of Cryptic

    • Timmytoby says:

      If this were a Cryptic game, it would be. Seriously, I’m not just beating a dead horse here but I’m making a point. If Cryptic had had a bug where dancing made you powerful, they wouldn’t ban for it. Instead they’d fix it, and then eventually they’d bring out a dance powerset.

      Enough already with the constant praise for Champions. Are you Jack Emmerts spouse or something?
      Cryptic, and especially Emmert, have made decisions in the past that are far from understandable.

      When they still owned City of Heroes, there were unpleasant times when people who dared criticize wonderful decisions like the Enhancement Diversification where banned from the forums by the then Lead Designer himself.
      Once Mr. Emmert answered to valid critizism with the unholy battlecry of fanatic fanboys: “You are playing it WRONG!”. The player in question dared to question the placement of mission doors in the Hollows which led to pointless deaths and hours and hours of running through that horrible place. Because it’s fun and giggles to lead a newbie in the game to a 20 minute run across the entire zone into the middle of +8 Level mobs. Thats a really good first impression if you try to get new people to play.

      Or the time he almost broke the ban button on his almighty Lead Designer desk, because people dared question the vague and often misleading power descriptions. Which is something that has been repeated in STO and CO as well. Why would you need to know what your pretty buttons do? Just press them blindly!
      Or the time he foamed all over the forums because people dared asking for the opportunity to respecialize their powers. Which is of course unreasonable. After all: If you don’t know what your powers actually do (because the descriptions are missing/wrong) why would you need to choose new ones?

      You can keep Champions Online and it’s lunatic CEO, thank you very much.
      Not to mention his less than classy attitude once he sold CoH and NCSoft actually hired new devs and began implementing new stuff. It’s always nice to publicly bash on your former colleagues and business partners.
      And contrary to your constant wall of text comments CO is far from the perfect game. He made many of the same mistakes again and again. (And yes I’m aware he left CO pretty soon and started working on Star Trek Online. And look how that turned out)

      It’s okay if you enjoy Champions Online. I’m really glad there are so many different games around for different tastes. But it’s tiresome to constantly hear about CO and GW 2. One game which has more than it’s fair share of troubles and one which isn’t even released yet.

  14. D3xter says:

    Quick, to zeh banroom! We must stop zeh dancing, it’s zeh exploitz! It iz zeh great danger of unbalacing zeh high-level dance zones for everyone!

  15. bleeters says:

    Wait, that was a bug? I’d assumed the Sith just couldn’t handle the sheer, uncontrolled funk my vanguard was demonstrating.

  16. Buemba says:

    If only the people of Alderaan knew about this…

  17. Wulf says:

    We’re so sure about SWTOR’s success that instead of paying money to get this hotfixed quickly, we’ll simply take our time and pay for it eventually (maybe) and simply convince people not to use it via banning, because that’s cheaper and easier. All it’ll take is one or two instabans out of nowhere in order to stop people from using it, so why fix it?

    Sigh. EA, a while ago you were kind of cool. You did the whole EA Partners thing, you supported efforts like Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space. Then something happened to you, some foul, maleficent disease that had tainted you from the outset prevailed, and after that came Origin, a stab at all Ultima fans everywhere, then came the Origin bans, and then came the SWTOR bans.

    You may have it in you to save yourselves, EA. But currently? You’re off my ‘publishers to buy from’ list, and I can’t see that changing any time soon. And that’s a damn shame.

    • Grygus says:

      EA was cool? What manner of revisionist history is this? EA stopped being cool twenty years ago. They purchased and mismanaged or dismantled great developers like Origin Systems (1992), Bullfrog (1995) and Westwood Studios (1998.) The EA Spouse controversy over their mistreatment of employees was in 2004. They launched the (justifiably hated) Origin just last year.

      EA publishes a lot of good games, and a lot of people play them, but they haven’t been cool since Edie Brickell was making platinum records.

  18. Tei says:

    I love epic bugs, and this one is obviusly pretty cool. No one can touch me because I am dancing!, hell yea!. :D

    but like most exploits, people should try to avoid then.

  19. Sankis says:

    This was just hotfixed out of the game.