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"Badass" Bug Infects and Kills Borderlands 2 Characters 189

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it's-a-feature dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC News claims that a feature in Borderlands 2 that can only be activated in modded XBox 360s has a bug that can cause characters to be permanently deleted when they die- even if they weren't the ones who activated the feature. 'The hidden option within the game, known as "badass" or "hardcore", is turned off by default but can be enabled by those that have modified or hacked their console. [..] When a player with an unmodded console joins a Borderlands 2 multiplayer game in which there is a character running in badass mode it too gets kicked into that mode. [..] Gamers who play alongside people who have modded their console "contract" the bug which deletes their character if they die during play.'"
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"Badass" Bug Infects and Kills Borderlands 2 Characters

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  • hehe (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:15AM (#41827067)

    quick! deploy a small update to fix that!

    Oh wait. there is no quick.. or small. when it comes to xbox updates.
    But on the pc even the pirate version of borderlands is upto update #6 now. lol

    tell us again how consoles are better... i always liked that joke. :D

  • by maxdread (1769548) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:23AM (#41827109)

    It would seem you lack basic reading comprehension skills.

    This doesn't just target the modders, it targets EVERYONE that happens to be in a game with people that enable this option.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:07AM (#41827275)

    Uhm. No. Developers usually develop stuff halfway, then some higher-up decides that it needs to be cut. So they leave in the code, but remove every way of getting to it.

  • How to avoid the bug (Score:5, Informative)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:23AM (#41827333)

    How to avoid the bug, from the Gearbox forums [gearboxsoftware.com]:

    We also advise that before ceasing play, users always select "Save and Quit" from within the pause menu while their character is alive. If after the death of their character players find themselves at the main menu of Borderlands 2 instead of respawning in-game, be sure to immediately select "Continue" to resume playing as that character.

    The bug only affects the Xbox version, not PS3 or PC.

  • by gnapster (1401889) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:28AM (#41827351)

    Right. Which is exactly the sort of thing that engenders ill-will towards modders. "What? My character died permanently? And this could have been avoided if the modder were in jail instead of playing Borderlands? I'm going to write my Congressman!"

    GP was suggesting that Microsoft is trying to generate this kind of social friction against the 1337h4x modding community.

  • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotma i l . c om> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:29AM (#41827353) Homepage

    The story is that the developers of Borderlands 2 have decided that players who mod/hack their console are a market segment worth developing for.

    Talk about misguided claims. The "badass mode" discussed here is just the same as "hardcore mode" in any other game, including Diablo II and III and so on. The developers simply didn't remove all the code relating to the hardcore mode, they just didn't include it in the menus for the game. The hack involves manually toggling the hc mode on via config files, nothing else. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with developing for modded consoles.

  • by donscarletti (569232) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @02:02AM (#41827473)

    They didn't include it.

    Game programming involves a lot of seperation of policy and mechanism. Policy is the rules behind the game, things like leveling up, binding items, calculating damage, UI layout, etc. Mechanism is the tech that holds it together, things like 3d rendering, database transactions, network layer, physics simulation, particle simulation, font rendering, etc.

    Generally speaking game programmers work on the mechanism side of the spectrum and game designers work on the policy side, but where they meet is determined by the individual team, generally speaking there will be a core engine handled by specialist engine programmers on the very mechanism extremity, some core systems handled by game programmers built on top of that, with policy written in a scripting language that interfaces with those. Mechanism is hard to implement and moves slowly, good game programmers will focus on making the interface for this very clean and flexable to allow policy to change rapidly while leaving the mechanism clean and undamaged. This allows the best play experience to be developed with the minimum expense of programmers (who are the only game developers who regularly get 6 figure salaries, so the fewer the better).

    Programmers almost never remove mechanism, since the policies controlling them get turned on and off on an almost daily basis and a seasoned programmer will never fully trust a designer who confidently says "oh, we won't need that anymore". It is the norm to be told "hey, you know that thing we got rid of 6 months ago because testers hated it? We want it again!", so programmers just tend to leave everything in there in the assumption it will come back.

    Anyway, games are shipped with maybe 1/3rd of the the functionality turned off by scripts and config as a general rule, unless you have a programmer dominated studio where the attitude is "I wrote it, it's going in". What you're seeing here, as with Hot Coffee and every time you see hidden content/functionality coming back through fan mods is just a product of standard operating practice, there is a lot of vestigial functionality lying around since code and resources in modern games are just too big for any individual to keep track of. You turn something off, make it unable to turn on and it's not there. If some idiots want to mod their consoles and screw with the game, turning stuff on and off like a trained monkey at a switchboard, well, that's pretty much what most game designers do for a living and designers still get their name on the credits, so I don't see why we can't give credit to the Hot Coffee modders for "creating" that feature from nothing.

    As for this bug, I'd be more critical because it's implemented wrongly. If a modder could have turned it on, then a game designer could have switched it on, seemingly at random before shipping, since he "is an expert in game theory, emergent narritive and human machine interface, why won't anyone take me seriously as a professional?" The golden rule for programmers is to never throw sharp toys into the playpen.

  • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @08:55AM (#41829107)

    Incorrect. Players with modded or unmodded consoles who join a multiplayer game with a character in badass mode get kicked into that mode. Having a modded console does not protect you from this bug. The article highlights the fact that an unmodded console to make it clear that it's not just modders who are at risk of losing their characters.

  • by HaZardman27 (1521119) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @09:38AM (#41829519)
    From you:

    use a wired connection

    From GP:

    then find out they're on wifi

    Let me make this more clear for you:

    then find out they're on wifi

    Don't participate in the conversation if you lack reading comprehension.

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