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Combat Arms Wiki:Administration
This article addresses the never-ending struggle against hackersNX-imbalance, and other issues of Combat Arms.
In regards to The Great Hacker War


Disclaimer


WYS
The neutrality of this article is disputed.

This article contains many opinions that do not represent the CAWiki as a whole.

Overview

This page contains more text than ANYWHERE ELSE on the site.

So in order to make it easier for our readers, we have divided the story into sectional chapters. These should allow you to go through the entire article much more efficiently, in case you stop at a certain point and decide to go back to it later.

This is an extension of the artlcle, which due to a lack of room is not displayed here on this page.

Pre-War Era

From the genesis of Closed Beta until early 2009, Combat Arms was a haven for a fair, prosperous online community. Players could enjoy hours of teamwork and gaming without questioning each other's skill or credibility. At the time, any "hacking programs" were regarded as myths, and the few hacks that did surface were soon patched after their release. As such, no particular hack was well known during this period.

Though players knew that hacking would eventually arrive in CA, as it did for many greater FPS games before, they tried to keep that fact in the corner of their minds. Players enjoyed the unique UI and HUD of the game (which no other game came close to compare), while the old BGM tunes ignited their thirst for fun, competitive gaming. The Vote-kicking system was unnecessary at the time, as well as the failure known as the Elite Mod; because there was almost no need to kick anyone.

Regardless of what happened back then, hacking soon became a nightmare made reality, changing the CA community forever.

Primordial Hacking

During this Pre-War era, hacking was few and far in between. The majority of exploits were glitches in the newly released maps (such as Waverider & Snow Valley), and the main "hacks" that were utilized were light chams, minor aimbotting, or even speeding. Though not as fast as it is potentially today, players could still easily detect a "speeder," since NX vests, common Speed Gear, and female character bases had not been released yet.

Occasionally, one player might have even used the precursor to the modern OPK hack, but they were unable to kill more than one player at a time, and they were often killed before they could cause a lot of trouble or damage.

Hacking during that period mostly an insignificant issue, because it almost never occurred. Very seldom did a person ever call anyone else a hacker. People took careful and polite approaches to things. They knew the rules then, and they carefully heeded them and so the majority of players were still fair gamers at the time.

Even during the peak of pre-war hacking, it never reached a tantamount point. A worse situation may have resulted from someone using God-Mode or a player who utilized rank hacks to earn a few promotions. Luckily, these "primordial hackers" could do little, as each premature hack was not without its flaws, the offenders were quickly dealt with, and in-time these hackers (and their hacks) were all rendered obsolete.

The early Combat Arms never saw the outbreaks of massive OPK riots, unlimited item spawning, or the other infamous hacks that would soon come later.

Probably the most well known exploit of the time was the discovery of how to utilize Nexon's special in-game announcement feature (which during that time was ONLY used to warn players about an incoming server startup/maintenance), allowing early hackers to start to "megaphone" hacking advertisements.

In turn, these incidents caused the first major (server-wide) lag. It was also one of the elements which led to the chaos ahead...

The Great Hacker War

The Great War has been a looming threat ever since the days of Open Beta. Only a year later did a real turn of events ignite this never-ending feud...

The Dawn of Unrestricted Warfare

Few months after Combat Arms was released, its popularity had begun to spread to many communities over the web. Unfortunately, as Nexon's first major stand-alone FPS game (and one of few F2P shooters at the time), it was also made known to several "well-known" hacking websites, who specialized in destabilizing video-games. These were (and are) people who acquire their entertainment and profit from seeing whether companies could do anything against the exploit of their game's many codes. All they had to do was rearrange a line here, insert some things here, and the seeds of destruction were sown.

As referenced earlier, very few players hacked during the early era, and literally a handful of players knew of their existence. Through many different methods (including the "great announcement jack" mentioned above), the new hacking community began to make itself known.

Beginning in early November (2009), several of these infamous hacking sites released a new breed of hacking to the general community. Commonly referred to as "Public hacks", these exploits managed to draw large crowds of users into the new, rapidly growing hack industry, which in turn contaminated Combat Arms' newly formed community. Before, hacking was only accessible to a select group of "VIP" buyers, who paid their way to victory. These new hacks were free, easy to implement and understand, and they gave users a simple yet major advantage over other users. With only a simple, yet balanced Arsenal (the newly added "Black Market" only sold cosmetic variants at the time, something that is no longer true), players could not match the hackers without relying on the purest skill.

The first to resort to hacking were users with bad sportsmanship, a lack of skill, or those who nurtured a hatred for Nexon itself from bad past experiences.

These new hackers seriously disrupted Combat Arms' gaming flow. Many legitimate gamers were outraged; their much harder-to-earn Kill-to-Death Ratios were being seriously compromised, and they demanded action. Nexon responded by saying that they would continue to update their security, and again told players to keep their account information safe and secure.

In December 2009, Nexon claimed to have banned over 10,000 suspected hackers, though this was barely a miniscule fraction of the ever-growing hacker community (and even then, it had a little impact on the rest of them).

Many players were not satisfied...

Flight of the Legit

Several months after the initial outbreaks, the hacking situation eventually became so out-of-hand that most legitimate players began what is now a standard routine for many; to play only the first few days after a patch's release before going back into submission.

Most players agree that a new patch allowed a short time slot (1–3 days) where hacking was minimum, making it the best time to play Combat Arms and "enjoy" whatever new content was added. In doing so, it would ensure that there would be a hack-free period of time, because a majority of the previous hacks had just been patched.

However, newer updates eventually became unable to patch certain hacks. Even on the day of a new patch, a wave-after-wave of hackers could be encountered; most of whom were seen hacking before the patch came out. The predictability reached the point where "pro-hacking" websites could produce hacks for an upcoming patch even before it came out.

As such, many legit players began to quit Combat Arms.

Permanently.

As the number of hackers grew (through corruption, exploitation, and the selfishness of formerly-legitimate players); the number of legitimate players decreased greatly. Even today, veteran players claim to "quit" because of the current hacking situation; coupled with lag, rage-kicking, and the major imbalance within the game. These people point-out that hacking causes lag, among those other problems. These issues culminated to disrupt the community, making even the most hard-core players leave out of disgust.

During this time, barely a year into the game's release, Hackers were already rampant. They utilized every known hack at the time, including enhanced versions of the earliest Chams, OPK/Ghost, and Fly Hacks.

It seemed like 9 out of every 10 games had at least 1 or two hackers (even more) within the room. In every game, some player would be hack-cusated at least once. The Vote-Kicking and Elite-Modding features were greatly abused, as they continue to be today. To make matters worse, many of these kickers and Elite Moderators were hackers themselves. Players who remained steadfast in the face of exploitation were now deeply entrenched in Hackanoia: No one could be trusted; not their friends, and certainly not Nexon. People would log in and their friends would say things along the line of, "Hey, try these new hacks I found!, "You won't get in trouble if you use them!," "Nexon doesn't care if you use hacks," or even the subtle "No one will ever catch you using them!".

And of course, the lure was irresistible. Many players fell for it one-after-another.

Why side with the losing team? Why fight the unwinnable?

It would be so much easier to simply use these "abilities" to transcend the average player; which were right there for the taking...

As if this wasn't enough already, the gap between free and paying users began to widen. By this time, Combat Arms was no longer a F2P (Free-to-Play) game. It had even exceeded P2P (Pay-to-Play).

Combat Arms had become a P2W. A Pay-to-Win game.

Any "balance" between the two factions (GP and NX-Users) had long deteriorated, as Nexon continued to implement caches of new weapons, all of which had a clear advantage over any standard-GP user. This included the then-infamous M416 CQB, the first near-recoil-less weapon; and the introduction of the Specialists and their exceedingly OP gear.

Sure. With the right amount of skill, one could equal a Specialist in terms of power. But why have to think? Why struggle to survive? Why not use spend a few dollars to ensure victory...?

It would be so much easier...

Though Nexon tried to "re-compensate" with rank-restrictions and price adjustments for GP items, it still wasn't enough. More and more items were released as NX-only; items which were unbalanced and required no rank to use, while GP players saw even less variety choose from.

Combat Arms, it seemed, was on the verge of collapsing.

Like many other FPS games before it..

The Hackers' "Eradication"

Towards the alleged "final days" of the War, the number of ever-loyal players continued to dwindle. Nexon remained silent to the pleas of their customers. Players blamed them for their inactiveness; or if they did act, it didn't make any difference.

Finally, as a last-ditch effort to greatly stem the flow of hacking, Nexon came "out of the blue" with a series of large and sophisticated patches, unlike any which had been released before.

Though shaky at first, these "super-patches" greatly impacted the hacking community's efforts to destabilize the game.

Changes were made regarding the way players logged in, so that they could "safely" do so from the CA Website itself without fear of losing their information (and to render several hacks obsolete; though players are still able to log-in without going on the website)

The game's UI (User Interface) was reformatted for "quicker, easier access"; greatly reducing the number of possible exploits (which is debatable).

Another major target was the reduction of lag; by implementing more-reinforced servers. A large number of infamous glitches that were still remaining were soon patched, though a number of obvious ones were left alone (It is speculated that these are Nexon-approved spots, which are acceptably NON-glitch spots...). This was the introduction of the 'grey wall' system which Nexon implemented to discourage glitchers. Before the series of patches, glitchers can simply glitch into a wall and have an open area of which they can fire at the enemy without the obstruction of the grey/black walls Nexon implemented. If a glitcher enters the grey zone, they will simply fall to their death.

The most devastating hacks were patched, patched again, and simply re-patched; in an attempt to ensure that Combat Arms would be secure once again.

After taking these new things into consideration, many of the game's remaining players considered the first "stage" of the Great Hacker War (or for some, the entire War itself) to be over.

It unofficially came to an end in March 2010, when (at the same time) AnhLab Hackshield severely updated many of their protocols, decimating the number of hackers at the time.

Any remaining hackers were dealt with swiftly and heavily, and all but the most inconspicuous regressed into "hiding" for fear of retribution: from Nexon, and especially from the then-hackless Community itself.

For the first time in a long time, all was well once again..

Post-War Era

Soon after the GHW's "end", the number of hacking incidents greatly fell. The community of Combat Arms once again enjoyed a peaceful prosperity during the next few months, with only a few minor hackers in-between patches.

Hackers guilty of exploiting the game now feared instant punishment; in the form of suspension, bans, or even demotion. As Nexon's policies grew increasingly "strict," those who were even suspected of hacking were finally caught and banned this time around.

(Though this also led to some dissent, as many legitimate players were caught between these constant "banhammer" protocols and were unjustly punished...)

...At the same time, however; many pro-hacking websites began an attempt to recover their ground.

As all good things must come to an end, a number of ever-increasing riots soon set ablaze another conflict...'

Alliance - The Rise of Hope

Taking us back to the Pre-War era, we need to look at the "brighter" side of things. Although hacking incidents have continually occurred for some time, there were also some positive outcomes that resulted from hacking.

A new, "player-safe" way of hacking was introduced while hackers controlled the community: Anti-hacking.

These unique hackers used the same exploits as their evil counterparts, though that's where their similarities end. Anti-hackers took their hacks to the next level: by using them to benefit others instead (if such a thing is possible...).

Many Anti-Hackers worked around-the-clock to eradicate the "bad" hackers to ensure that gameplay was fair and safe. If some random player began to OPK, an available Anti-Hacker would quickly put them down, and they would most likely leave the room.

The majority of these Anti-hackers used means such as ghosting, tapping, and chams to their advantage; and even then, only if necessary. Also using the latest hacks, these players could easily match rival exploiters through their own game.

After the GHW, Legitimate players and Anti-hackers decided to themselves that enough was enough. If Nexon wasn't going to help them, they would take matters into their own hands. Unofficially in spirit, the two factions formed a truce.

Their plan?

To take the fight back to the hackers themselves.

Though these allied players knew that they couldn't stop the flow of hacking forever, legitimate players and Anti-Hackers alike prepared for a counter-strike aimed the so-called "source" of all their hacking problems.

In the meantime, dedicated players banded together to try and keep the hackers at bay. "Legit" and "White-hat" clans assembled and recruited players for their cause. They roamed through various sites and forums, giving advice and helping those who needed it.

In an act of espionage, some of these players also frequented the hacking websites in order to learn more about how these hacks worked. They managed to analyze the most critical exploits and figured out how to best attack them.

These heroic players reported their information to Nexon, from the oldest to the newest hacks, with the hopes that they would be rendered obsolete. Though unresponsive as ever, Nexon might have very well been grateful to these players, who assisted the "constantly over-swamped" Nexon Staff of their own accord.

Many players hoped to combine the skills of Pro-Gamers and Anti-Hackers alike to finally have a solution to their never-ending nightmare, even if it was only temporary.

Resurgence - NX Exploit

The first major (Post-War) hacking emergence occurred in late-January, 2010, when Nexon joined the newest-growing trend; Free Online Surveys. This allowed people who were not able or could not afford to purchase NX to finally earn some in small amounts, a comfort as well as a flaw.

Several hackers saw this as a golden window of opportunity to once again re-surge hacking. A great majority of "2nd-Generation hackers" managed (and are still managing) to complete massive amounts of surveys in a short amount of time.

The little increments of NX soon accumulated into large amounts of spent NX-credit, adding to their grade, and allowing them to enter the infamous Black Market server.

Though there had already been many hackers in the Black Market before, the overwhelming number of new hackers flooded the server and affected the entire game. The BM server itself crashed and experienced maintenance repeatedly, which (in-turn) affected the other servers.

Their new-found NX also gave these rookie hackers the liberty to abuse and spam incredible amounts of NX items in-game; like the M32 Grenade Launcher, the Airstrike Designator- LGB; and of course, one of the deadliest weapons in their arsenal: Super Megaphones.

Legitimate NX-Users were enraged. Many of them demanded for the BM grade requirement to be raised. In February 2010, the server's grade lock was raised to Silver.

While this idea seemed great at first because it eliminated a majority of hackers; at the same time, it also took a good percentage of the ordinary players out as well (Although some people still managed to bypass the grade lock, via invites or by simply overcoming its weak security).

The fickle community of CA flooded the Forums with demands to change the grade lock once again: this time to lower it. Once again, the grade lock was reverted to Bronze.

However, as a precaution, Nexon also changed the grade requirements so that it required more NX usage to gain higher grades, while implemented a new grade entirely: Copper.

To this day, however; hackers and power-levelers have mostly dominated the Black Market scene.

Retribution - Fall of the Fortress

Back to the story at hand...

All throughout this time, the majority of hackers were finally beaten back. With constant interference from professional gamers and anti-hackers, regular hackers and other saboteurs lost the nerve to continue playing in a an ironic situation where they could not win.

The mutual alliance between each player seemed as strong as ever, as every occasional hacker was kept at bay.

However, nearly everything fell apart.

In just one day.

It was a seemingly average time for the Combat Arms community, with no events or updates in sight. System Maintenance commenced and finished as usual, and no known issues were recognized.

Then, as some sort of a test-run, a string of mysterious hackers began a spree throughout the servers, just after the maintenance. Before there was a chance to put down any recognized threat, the attacks disappeared just as quickly. Rumors began to spread that a monstrous series of hacks were on the rise.

Fearing the worse, many players began to prepare for the situation that loomed ahead. In those critical moments, players tried to remain up-to-date with each other across gaming communities. They did their best to stay "in-the-know" about anything that might happen.

But no one could predict what would happen next.

The hackers, who had finally found their opening via a major flaw caused by the maintenance program, took the opportunity to once again reclaim the Community as their own (Even to this day, it is unknown exactly who created these new hacks).

Once set in motion, the trend was infectious. The number of hackers began to re-surge uncontrollably, and the so-called "Alliance" readied to wage the war it had been preparing for.

Yet, an awful turn of events took place; which, once again shattered Combat Arms and tore the community apart.

As these outbreaks occurred, a number of well-known legitimate players seemingly turned on their friends and fellow comrades. These long-standing role models began to utilize those hacks themselves, and players were stunned as their once-admired and respected teammates became corrupted before their very eyes.

The seemingly-impenetrable "fortress" of good, legitimate players cracked from within, and the "survivors" did everything in their power to ensure that it didn't fall apart.

Disarray was rampant within our Community, as hacker-after-hacker revealed themselves.

Multitudes of once-revered clans were now marked as "CBL Dirty". Widely-renowned Forumers, ones who had sworn that they would never hack, admitted to using illegal programs and ceased any contact with the Community. Players from all over were stunned by these betrayals.

Meanwhile, a select group of hackers, infamously known as the "AUG" series (since "AUG" was the primary word in each of their usernames) led the rest of the hackers in for the kill.

They utilized only the most devastating hacks available: from entire server crashes to massive Quarantine exploiting. Wherever they went, they brought a firestorm of Airstrikes and other weaponry along with them.

No player was safe from their reign of terror.

And the most devastating blow had yet to come. Through the use of Rank Hacks, which were long thought to be obsolete, the infamous player known as -AUG---WOGL- surpassed Greatfullded himself as the General of the Army.

The players of Combat Arms were devastated.

How could all of this happen so soon, so quickly? Had they not prepared for this fight?

Was Nexon' security system that bad that even an illegitimate GOA could rise above the rest without punishment?

The tranquility these players had worked so hard to re-achieve fell apart right before their eyes, and many were helpless to stop it.

However, the remaining Legitimate and Anti-Hacking factions held their ground. They coordinated their own events and games through other community outlets. They hosted tournaments underground. And they eventually pushed back the hacker forces and kept them at bay.

This time, Nexon intervened as soon as possible. They kept the servers stabilized, and continued to support the players as much as they could. Thanks to Nexon's contributions, the playing field was greatly leveled once again. The leaders were apprehended.


Some demoted. Others banned.

The Second War had begun.

The Second Hacker War

Once the Alliance had fallen, hacking was once again in full swing. Newer, more deadly-efficient ways of exploiting the game had been conceived. The ongoing fight between the player-created factions set the mark for newer generations.

But this time, the innocent players of Combat Arms weren't totally helpless.

They could fight back.

Overtaken - Hackers within a Mist of Defeat?

Though the fighting within the initial months of the Second War were brutal, more sophisticated updates came, and the hackers took blow after blow. Losses were heavy on both sides, but the good players of Combat Arms stood their ground.

Anti-Hackers began to feel the toll as newer hacks became less available to them. There were now many secrets and other untrustworthy methods in place that kept most hacking exploits "hidden", so an ordinary user would have a hard time accessing them without the right help.

Eventually, a large number of long-standing hackers went into remission, hoping for a better chance to strike and waiting for the moment to bypass Hackshield's security.

The remaining legitimate players and Anti-hackers decided to use this time to regroup their efforts and prepare for a second assault.

Fast Forward - 2011: A New Destiny

Hacking continued rampantly throughout 2010 and well into 2011, as hackers and legit players alike endured a long-lasting, exhausting struggle. Though Nexon's policies were still as shallow as ever (reminiscent of previous years), a rising amount of common complaints coupled with a shattering loss for CA on the MMOSite poll may have caused the company to rethink their priorities.

If only temporary.

Based heavily on User:LastGoodbye's Petition (No More Guns, Gear, Maps or Modes! Focus on Real Priorities!), Nexon underwent a massive "attempt" to change their overall performance.

A cache of new, user-friendly events were released; and most of them no longer required absurd pre-completions, making them easy to complete.

Less items and maps were released, as the company's intent focused on "repairing issues" within the game.

More outstanding people in the community were inducted into the prestigious CA "Hall of Fame," which had not seen a new member for years. Even the first Map-Naming and Map-Creation contests were held as an attempt to reconnect the long-absent ties between Nexon and the community, and as a result, Costa Recon was conceived.

Nexon decided to dedicate the year of 2011 to revamping the entire game: from deep within the Community towards the heart of the Combat Arms itself. They began with a massive list of fixes in February, and promised to follow through with further issues. Partly in-thanks to Kalika and some others, the connection between Nexon and their own community began to strengthen.

Most importantly, Nexon took a major step forward in preventing future full-scale riots, by implementing the so-called "Zero-Tolerance Hack Policy"; which tried to ensure that large-scale punitive actions would be taken on a regular basis to prevent hacking, including permanent bans.

"Combat Arms is about being a soldier, being part of a community, and having fun. Abuse of any kind violates the spirit of the game, and we hope this policy helps make your experience on the field a more positive one." -the Nexon team.

The events that followed were shocking. The legendary EnailisNailo, founder of the massive "legitimate" Dark Templar alliance, had admitted to hacking and was ultimately banned and deranked. A number of important and respected clan members and other players like began to follow suit. Exceedingly high-ranked players were finally banned after years of suspected hacking, especially many Majors, Captains and Lieutenant Colonels.

As a result, the overall effect was enormous; thousands of suspected hackers were banned immediately; including a GM.

Hacking, lag, and other errors were greatly reduced, and appreciation for the game began to rise.

Other changes were made to prevent any file additions/modifications, as doing so would instantly render the game client unusable (until you uninstalled and downloaded it again).

As Nexon continued to try and "fix" their many errors, many players waited in hope that CA would have a better tomorrow.

The light at the end of the tunnel shone as dimly as ever...

"Forged" - Beyond the Limit

As with every minor breakthrough, there is usually an even larger tragedy which follows. The following events took place through mid-to-late 2011, and the describe the other issues within our game as well as the hacking that took place.

Once again, the company known as Nexon had become cocky. The company figured that, with the recent (yet temporary) approval ratings they received, they had finally gotten the hang of things and could finally move on with the backing of the Community.

Unfortunately, this was the farthest thing from the truth. At first, Nexon's bug-fixing policy did too little. Then it went into overdrive until it bordered on aggravating. Too many silly issues were being "fixed" instead of those that needed to be dealt with. To make matters worse, Nexon proved that they knew more than they showed when they literally had to nerve to ASK the Community to choose a bug that, in their opinion, caused the most pressing issues, so that the company could "focus their efforts" on fixing that particular error (out of a poll!). Eventually, they stopped fixing bugs entirely; and went back on their words by releasing pointless new content (such as GE-forged weapons and a new mode).

Attempting to complete events became futile once again, when the requirements became impossible to meet. For time-related events, players could not log on or STAY ON for the specified time because the servers were always experiencing issues that were never fixed. For most other events and mini-missions, players were required to achieve insane tasks or purchase costly items; and most of the time, the rewards were simply never given out.

The "Zero-Tolerance" policy proved to be shallow and self-contradictory, as hackers were not un-mercilessly punished as many had believed (or wished for). Many of these hackers were banned for a few days, before they came back and simply continued to hack. The excuse this time? These people were paying customers too (clearly), and they needed to be treated with "respect" and "fairness." Yet the thousands of players who faithfully contribute to Nexon's revenue, especially those who are commonly and unjustly banned, did not receive treatment even CLOSE to what the hackers had been awarded. When asked why it was called "Zero-Tolerance" if the true concept of zero-tolerance was not being used, the company simply shrugged it off without answering.

One of the most prominent mistakes that were made during this time revolve around the fact that Nexon also went ahead with the release of the so-called "Gun Emporium," which did not turn out like anyone had expected. Instead of the stable, reasonable, and universally-coveted weapon-trading system that many had been hoping for, players were left with a silly, pointless "shop" which allowed players to upgrade only NX Items with a few "modifications", all of which had a percentage of failure.

In other words, the weapon-scrolling system so commonly seen in Nexon's other games (such as Vindictus and especially MapleStory) had been implemented into CA, a supposedly "fast-paced FPS" (which uses modern firearms!) that operated in real-time strategic combat. Eventually, it would lead to schemes such as "evolving items" such as plants that would yield rewards in exchange for in-game play time.

Only after persistent badgering did the company finally allow other, uncommon GP weapons to be modified as well.

Though the GE was supposed to be a "different" way to modify and customize weapons, the original Modification system (suppressors, scopes) remained limited in variety and drowning in unused potential.

"Newer" weapons were also released, mostly (Civil-War Era) historical weapons that were somehow even more overpowered than most modern weapons (note that no historical weapons from any other era have been featured), and immature toy weapons that were almost CERTAINLY aimed at a younger audience, such as the Guitar, Box, Squirt, Alien, Baguette, and Toy Guns.

When accused of such, Nexon simply denied it, stating that they aimed to add some "lightheartedness" to an otherwise "serious game." The very same people who decided that turkey legs and nut-shots were of the utmost gravity.

Their statement left players to consider the half-naked female Specialists also featured in the game, and how they were aimed at a younger audience to add some so-called "lightheartedness" as well...

The community's response? Why was Nexon so "serious" about their intent to make money and generate self-profit, yet not serious at all about the important concerns within their game?

Many players agreed that Nexon could have easily made more money if they simply followed the advice of the Community, their most loyal customers and the spearhead of their revenue. If they stayed reasonable and gave the Community what the wanted without overdoing it, they could have a happy fanbase, not break the limits or topple the balance of the game, and STILL make a great profit.

Nexon could have also polled the community before and after an addition to the game, to recieve players' approval and get an idea of what the community really wanted.

Instead, they completely ignored the help of their players, especially the "high-class elite" who frequented the Nexon Forums.

In further "response" to that commonly-shared belief within the Community, Nexon stated that it was not their intention to do such a thing and that they were working towards the best for everyone.

And for obvious reasons, most players ignored the company's statement and listed the true facts:

For Nexon, Money > Quality, basic listening skills, and all known methods of reason.

Promises are constantly made, yet never followed through. As they had been for years.

If promises are indeed followed through, they are done so in the best way possible and the end result is always great.

In other words, there are always half-done or completely unrelated solutions to the most pressing issues within the game.

Hacking was once again at an all-time high, and a cheap "hacking-prevention" program did nothing to stop it. The mysterious "Nexon Guard/Black Cipher" program that had been so blatantly advertised for so long, which was supposed to prevent hacking and give the company a better measure of how to prevent hacking, had done little-to-nothing in the long run except to take up RAM and make the game experience even WORSE.

The Report System was a failure, as was the Customer Service portal, where problems were almost never addressed and left to collect dust.

Instead of referring to a reliable (and public/free-to-use) outside source, such as the CBL or YouTube for evidence of hacking, Nexon seemingly banned or suspended players at random.

All of the obvious evidence, collected by thousands of their loyal players, time-after-time, were ignored and left alone.

Perhaps once every blue moon would a guilty hacker be banned, and even then, by chance.

And despite all of that, the assistance that their Community's players required was not given, and for the ticket-holders, even the most basic needs were not addressed.

Lag was, clearly, a major issue. Even the most enthusiastic players, with their specialized gaming computers, could not resist the server-wide lag. If that was to be believed, then consider the average player; a young child, who along with many others like his/her kind, make up the CA community. He or she most likely plays on a simple computer WITHOUT a decent graphics card, because he or she is only a casual gamer.

And just begin to imagine how the lag might have affected them.

Glitches and other major exploits such as "shifting," "powerleveling," "shoulderpeeking," and the ever-decreasing EXP/GP rates were (barely) addressed as a last-ditch effort, while the true long-standing, prominent glitches such as camping on the crates at Warhead, the roof of Junk Flea (Bravo site), and several other places were clearly ignored.

And even then, the details regarding the subject of glitching were vague and punishments were empty. ("susceptible to a ban" for violations).

When the EXP/GP rates were FINALLY addressed, it brought two more issues: the fact that the rates were STILL not as high as they used to be (and Nexon practically admitted that they were secretly nerfing the rates the entire time, without telling the Community), and the unparalleled powerleveling that came afterwards.

Glitches like the ranking system were left completely unaddressed. There were at least 30+ GOAs at any time, and other versions of CA began to experience the same issues.

Elite Moderators, rage-kicking, megaphone advertisements, threats, and hate attacks on other players or clans. All seemingly uncontrollable, yet clearly too simple to solve. Elite Mods could kick straight to the channel lobby with a built-in auto-F6 feature?

Meanwhile, a F2P vote-kick was susceptible to room crashes from the guy in the room lobby, who usually just hung around until the next game to repeat the process.

At this point, there were too many more issues that can't even be addressed at this point.

Here is an example of some advice given by Nexon a while back: "To avoid being rage-kicked, simply play in a non-Elite room. When it's their room, it's their rules, and they can do whatever they please."

So basically, immature people who bought their way to power were allowed to do anything they liked. The ratio of non-Elite/Elite rooms was ever-dwindling. These "Elites" hosted entire game-abusive rooms and kicked anyone who interfered with their powerleveling.

Elite Moderators were able to kick an ENTIRE OPPOSING CLAN from the game, which gives them an automatic Clan War victory.

So much for not being able to "buy victory".

And yet, how would this advice have helped benefit anyone?

The unbridgeable chasm known as the "balance" between GP and NX users was at an all-time worst. Combat Arms' eternal "pledge" to stay a balanced, F2P game had clearly been voided years ago; when the first NX-Only and NX-Advantageous items, which many consider to be overpowered, were released.

When the company began releasing NX weapons at a 5(or more)-to-1 ratio compared to GP weapons, giving GP users no variety, no options, and no respect.

And when a majority of events required you to obtain an NX-Only item, making the only available option to spend real-life money.

And yet---that pledge is still maintained and clung to.

For example, quoting from the so-called "F2P pledge" (which has been since been "edited" several times to suit the latest releases):

"...we believe that in any first-person shooter, being able to use real money...sucks. It makes the game dependent on money and not skill (thus defeating the purpose of Free-to-Play), and skill is what a first-person shooter is all about."

A "game which is dependent on skill and not money" is Nexon's definition of a F2P game, instead of a game that requires money to constantly play? Then clearly, Combat Arms is not a F2P game. Typically, the company made it even more obvious when they created and annulled their own "definition" of F2P, something even the most basic of lawyers can address in court.

"...to buy an uber gun...No point in competing if some new guy has a mystical weapon with magic bullets that always seem to find your head". 'So, no unbalanced weapons will be bought with Nexon Cash, ever. If you're looking for the Golden Gun that will help you pwn everything with one shot, look elsewhere, because it's not here. Skills are not bought, they are earned."

Well, not only can a multitude of unbalanced weapons be bought with NX-Cash, but eventually; a very, very small selection of those weapons can be bought with a VASTLY incomparable amount of GP.

"Mystical weapon with magic bullets that always seem to find your head"

And behold, the dawn of the pre-nerfed Auto-Turret. Not to mention all the unpunished powerleveling that was achieved with it (as with Quarantine). And it's not the only weapon out there.

"Unbalanced weapons that can only be bought with NX Cash"

To name a few: the WA2000, T-2, Civil War muskets, etc.And the list goes on.

Specialists and their so-called gear? A player could spend less than 10K NX for a full-duration specialist and gear.

Yet a very high-rank and an extremely large amount of GP is required to obtain simply the Specialist itself, for a very limited duration. And even then, gear and extra-slot licenses must be bought separately (which are even more expensive than the individual Specialist).

Altogether, the combined GP cost can easily exceed 50K GP; all for something less than 7 days, as well as something that most people hate and will not let you use without discrimination.

For one, it takes a lot of time and effort to make any money at all anymore, without investing in NX.

And while these slim-modelled characters get to use weapons such as Airstrikes, Miniguns, Satellite Scanners, ammo replenishers and even team-friendly FIRST AID KITS; other players who lack NX and a high amount of GP are stuck with a bulky character model, with no special capabilities (who can't even swim) at all.

How much skill does it take to press a button or set down a bunch of spiky Caltrops?

Unfortunately, a LTC, COL, or even the General of the Army clearly doesn't have the clearance (or "authority") to be able to use such items.

While a mere Specialist can.

The Recon Vest and Cyclops Bandana? Unrivaled by any other GP item; the Light Vest and Military Bandana don't even come close. And it takes every single bit of skill possible to even be on-par these NX-Gear users, who usually don't even try and rage when they are overcome.

Yet there are hardly any GP-equivalent items. If any.

Overpowered NX stuff that can only be OBTAINED by using NX? They easily outclass most GP weapons, and are released at a more frequent interval than GP items. If more-and-more GP items were released, perhaps it wouldn't be such an issue.

But when almost ALL-BUT-ONE HOLIDAY ITEMS are released as NX-Only, you know you've pushed the limit. And yet, there's always that one, useless GP item (released alongside the other holiday items) looks stupid, is still just as expensive, but gives almost no beneficial bonuses.

When was the last time you saw some excellent, easy-to-obtain GP items be released?

And when F2P players DO get a decent weapon (ex. the G36E), Nexon somehow comes up with an NX-Only variant of the gun that puts the original model to shame.

Supply/Renewal/GP Crates? Of course, they happen to be NX-Only. The MYST-G is practically useless; why buy a GP item to get a GP item?

And to spend 4,000 GP for a reward consisting of a common one-day weapon (that can't even be sold back) is just... worthless.

Which brings us to: GP Crates.

Once again, honestly. Players have to BUY NX to get GP?

Thanks to the still-nerfed EXP/GP rates (disregarding Fireteam...), players are left with almost no choice but to constantly waste large amounts of GP each day, for a weapon with a very limited duration; against the skill-less, NX-wielding players.

Players spend their hard-earned GP on a one-day weapon, but who really plays for one whole day?

And yet, those weapons continue to expire, even during maintenance and patches, and yet nothing is done to reimburse the Community for it (not until recently, if barely...)

Releases are never on-time, as excused are made before they are always delayed. Players dread the words "scheduled maintenance" because the schedule is never adhered to, and the word "extended" is always involved. Instead of performing maintenance during the late hours, when hardly any players are on, Nexon chooses to begin smack-dab in the middle of a busy day, with no reason or explanation why as to their motives.

And yet, the stuff that Nexon does to "make-up" for these issues remain forgotten, never fulfilled, of poor quality, or late as well ("we will be handing out the rewards during the next content update" or "over the next two months," statements often made right after an event, especially after a Content Update).

When "responding" via the State of the Game address, Nexon simply makes excuses (as always) and once again, completely ignore the key points which had been addressed before.

Constructively negative comments were ignored in favor of the haphazard posts which praised Nexon for its dedication and efforts.

To make matters worse, players continue to support Nexon through all kinds of ways; many of whom didn't even know they were doing so.

Simply entering a contest, participating in an event, posting in the Forums, remaining silent, or openly supporting new features; these are all ways which you can support Nexon, something not limited to just buying NX.

Support for their many employees, in-and-out of game (who are just as to blame), continues to rise amongst those who don't any know better.

Criticism of the company is at an all-time high, and the number of leaving customers continues to rise.

The Community's point heir point is said to have been proven: Nexon never listens.

Players continue to wonder why they played a game (which many of them payed for), yet the owners never connected with the Community or followed through with simple demands...

Fragmented - The Chaos Ahead

Long after the glory days of the old Alliance, the state of Combat Arms had become comparable to a ravaged wasteland. So many hacks had left their mark on the game, to the point where it now featured a permanent state of lag.

Newer hacks were undetectable, untraceable, but certainly not unnoticeable. And yet, players were left with no way to combat these threats. All they could do was sit back and watch and some player received kill after kill without fear of penalty.

The new, immature Community was nothing like the old; these players condoned hacking and often supported it. Instead of kicking the hacker, it was often the legitimate players that were being kicked for going against them...

The time of the Anti-Hacker had long past away.

Battle-weary players trekked their way towards the remote sanctuaries scattered throughout the CA Community, awaiting the time where they could once play in freedom.

And to life without fear.

People from all over the world gathered to wait for a revolution; one that would change everything, promised to come in the distant future...

Fusion - At a Loss for Words

In response to the tired outcries of the Community; or rather, with no response at all, Nexon decided to suddenly implement a new and complicated game update known as "Fusion."

Similar to the many multi-part updates released shortly before (such as in MapleStory), players had hoped that this update would be just as revitalizing for CA. And during the first few weeks, it seemed so.

First up: the new "Ability System," a cross between ability points and "perks" from other games. The first of these abilities were released amidst a controversial storm, during the first part of the update: Enhance.

The videos and screenshots that had been posted before seemed to have been misleading, as players found that these abilities were not what they had expected them to be. And while these "Ability" items had some minor use in-game, it just wasn't enough to remedy the situation.

Soon, it seemed as though the entire system had been abandoned; with no further adjustments or updates.

Next, in a move that went against all their earlier promises, Nexon released a large amount of content to go along with the perks, such as several new maps (Hallow Ravine and Piazza; though the release of contest-winning Rural Estate was pushed back to December "at the latest," then January 2012 (for the same reason), and finally "early 2012" (Quote from Kalika - "On the subject of Rural Estate, the release is still set for early 2012 which doesn't guarantee it will come out with the next patch.")) and a continued supply of NX-weapons.

While these new maps were actually decent for a change, each one came with some sort of a "catch". They either had some major flaw (such as in lag or design), or they required some sort of requirement to play in (Piazza was originally for Clan S&D only).

Nexon also then promised to "bring back" the widely-coveted "Bug-Fix Month" program, something they had promised to follow through all throughout 2011 and had stopped doing (without notice) in the first place.

This act hurt and mislead many players, as it kept them in the dark and gauged the ever-increasing mistrust between Nexon and their own Community.

To make matters worse, the lag and hacking issues had been left untouched. The return of the infamous "Lifestealer" hack, coupled with Weapon Spawning and new, bizarre hacks such as "Soundwave" and "Teamswitch" completely demotivated the player base.

Not a single game could be played without an interference from some random hacker. And most hackers were either obvious (a low-ranked hacker with an indicative name) or a closet hacker who came out at the last second. Game crashes were constant and to be expected, especially once you had kicked a hacker into the Lobby.

As such, major riots broke out throughout the Community. The Forums ("newly updated") were always flooded with hate threads, rants, questions of Nexon's integrity, and hack-related threads.

And further hopes and dreams were ruined when Kalika announced that the old HUD would not return, ensuring that the UI/BGM (among other old features) would not be a part of Fusion, effectively sending many players out of the game.

And amidst all these problems, happening everywhere at every moment, Nexon did not do a single thing.

Except to host more pointless events.

And for reasons completely unknown, to buy a "new" FPS altogether.

The seven year-old game known as Sudden Attack (which Combat Arms was heavily based on) was bought out from GameHi Inc. by Nexon, and set to be a new major game.

For many, it was the last straw.

Players were outraged. With all the issues going on in one game, why did Nexon have to go out to buy another? Why not fix (or at least address) the issues at hand?

Had the company finally given up all hope on Combat Arms?

Many believed so.

With the Fusion updates amounting to nothing, with no response from Nexon whatsoever, and a different FPS game on the rise, the future of CA seemed as bleak as ever...

???

Resurgence and Vigilance

Recently, a group of players, affiliated with certain popular groups such as "Trollarch," "HuskyStarcraft," and "TheSyndicateProject" have begun a campaign against hackers similar to that of the old alliance, an anti-hacking policy imposed by players tired of the unrelenting war. This alliance is rather disorganized, and is not very popular amongst the Combat Arms Community, as it has been in other FPS games. The members seem to be more vigilante and individually-practiced than a coalition. Though their progress is little, this seems as though it is the only organized resistance against hackers nowadays. ???

The Restore Update brought about changes to the GP system...

Remember: To read more, please visit the Side-Story section.

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