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"Badass" Bug Infects and Kills Borderlands 2 Characters 189

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:49AM (#41827195)

    Wow.. what ever will we do? Is this the end of Borderlands 2 multi-player?

    If only the developers could write a single line of code that disabled this feature and somehow could get this code to us, the end users. Why, if that happened, this wouldn't be a story at all, but just a report of a simple bug in some game some people play, that temporarily inconvenienced a few players.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:50AM (#41827199)

    It hits anyone who is in a game with anyone who has ever been exposed to it. So if player A enables it, plays with player B, and player B plays with player C, and I play with player C, I'm infected, and anyone that plays with me is also infected and a carrier.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:58AM (#41827233)

    But I wouldn't be surprised if this was an attempt to go after people with modded consoles that went terribly awry.

  • by Selfbain ( 624722 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:00AM (#41827239)
    I'd say the ability to permanently kill an opponent in multiplayer is more than a simple bug.
  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Velorium ( 1068080 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:01AM (#41827245)
    Wasn't South Park's WoW episode like this?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:06AM (#41827271)

    Yes, it would still be a story. The severity of the of the bug's effect and the novelty of the way players run across it both make it newsworthy all on their own. More so in combination. The fact that a bug is fixable does not in any way make it less newsworthy.

    And you know it. You are lying because you are a stupid little puke who's trying in vain to impress Slashdot with your clumsy attempt at being too cool to care about stuff.

    This is a bug. No ifs, ands, or buts. And certainly no other "perspectives".

    You will now shriek your inadvertent confession that I am absolutely and irrefutably right on every point. It is your only possible response.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:09AM (#41827291) Homepage

    Wasn't South Park's WoW episode like this?


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:40AM (#41827375)

    No perspective ? What about :
    "Modders are evil people who's characters are infected with a virus that kills your characters permanently" .

    Because in effect, they are saying that because it's modded, it can be turned on, and turning it on causes problem for everyone.
    That doesn't mean everyone who uses a modded version turns it on, just that they can.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:43AM (#41827391)

    We hear all this talk of how modded/hacked consoles are bad for the game developers and industry as a whole. If that's the case, why would the developers include a feature that can only be used on such a console? The real story here is not that your character may get deleted. Your character is not real. 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. That's a real problem for the console manufacturers with real consequences because it flies in the face of their claims.

    The bigger question is how Microsoft let multiplayer play on hacked Xbox360s

    It's generally considered that Microsoft scans the Xbox when it connects to Live, and since the Xbox can't run unsigned code, it's trusted.

    With this, connecting a modded Xbox to Live is generally a good way to get console banned on your account because Microsoft detects the mods. Especially since Microsoft pushed an update recently.

    Now, it could be possible to hack your savegame though and make the necessary mods to your character, causing the dormant code to be "woken up". In this case, you're running signed game code (though untested, obsolete game paths), so your Xbox is completely original, you just hacked your save game. In which case it's a developer problem...

  • by drkim ( 1559875 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:44AM (#41827397)

    However, from Microsoft's perspective, sounds like it's "attacking" (or at least pointing the finger) at the very group they likely want to eradicate; those who mod their consoles.

    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.

    Actually, you're both wrong.
    "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." the vulnerable group here would be user who don't mod their consoles.

  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:45AM (#41827401)

    I'm assuming that this happens because the server is trusting client stored data. That's approximately the same as not validating ones inputs in a fill-out-form. Why in this millennium would anyone ever trust data stored on a client without validating it first? Isn't this 2012? Or is there some other way this could happen?

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:55AM (#41827449) Homepage Journal

    What's remarkable is that after having similar problem with "contagious" bugs in the first Borderlands, they did not safeguard against the possibility in BL2.

    In the original, two missions could be left in an unfinishable state, and everyone who played with someone with this condition would catch it too. Luckily, one of the two was a beginner's mission, and most people would already have moved the storyline past that point, and the rest get around it by recreating the character. The other one, though, was nasty.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tisepti ( 1488837 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:56AM (#41827451)

    No. Though wow did have another similar bug. []

  • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geirzinho ( 1068316 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @03:52AM (#41827755)

    The corrupted blood incident is actually better described as emergent behavior in a complex system.

    The Blizzard developers didn't make a mistake, they just didn't think about all the consequences that debuff would cause in a world-like environment. And researchers had a field day studying the CB spread of the epidemic:)

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @06:59AM (#41828421) Homepage Journal

    What's most remarkable is that a bug like this is possible at all. It reveals that the game developers did some seriously stupid shit. Nothing that another player has done to their profile should affect what happens to my profile.

  • by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @08:07AM (#41828773)
    That's all fine and dandy until you include things like "lag" into the equation. Joined a game with 30ms ping then find out they're on wifi when their signal goes to crap and you jump to 700ms?.. Died? So much fun!
  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:02PM (#41831127) Homepage Journal

    p>Im no programmer-- but this isnt difficult. .

    You sound exactly like the manager who told the coder "just get rid of the setting but don't rip out all the other code behind it. We'll have to retest everything and we don't have budget or schedule for that. This isn't difficult. "

  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @04:10PM (#41834485) Homepage

    Why would you have to retest "everything" if youre only modifying the permadeath function?

    That depends. Do you want your company featured on [] or not? It's full of stories about PMs and business owners who insist that changes be made without adequate testing, and none of them end well.

    When you start working with big projects, large teams, and looming deadlines, you realize that nothing is ever that simple.

    If you spend an afternoon writing a program that makes the screen flash and types "Hello, World!" over and over again until someone kills it, then yes all you need to do is comment out a line or two and everything will work perfectly.

    When you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of lines of code, interdependent modules and inheritance diagrams that resemble buckyballs, all written by dozens of people over several years time, things get complicated.

    If you honestly think that you can make changes to a product without needing to test them then you may have a future in high-frequency trading [], but I advise you to be a little more careful in truly competitive markets like gaming.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!