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We don't allow questions about cheats or exploits in online multiplayer games, but does this include games where players don't play against each other?

For example, a cheat that would give a player achievements that they didn't really earn, or duplicate cosmetic items.

This doesn't have a direct negative impact on other players. On the other hand, it does devalue the efforts of other players who actually earned those things.

Should we allow these questions?

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    Specific examples, please. – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 8 '15 at 16:17
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    @LessPop_MoreFizz I plan to answer this question if the answer is yes, but I'm leaning toward no. Another example would be using cheats to get cosmetic items in an MMO. – Brian Apr 8 '15 at 16:19
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    Does it matter if the cheat/exploit is depriving the game maker of revenue, eg duping an item that costs real money? – GodEmperorDune Apr 8 '15 at 16:22
  • @GodEmperorDune If that's the case, it's probably illegal, but let's assume that it isn't the case for this question. – Brian Apr 8 '15 at 16:25
  • Thinking out loud, the MMO example is where things get dicey, because then what you call cheating, a dev might very well call piracy, when said cosmetic items come from a cash shop. This is why, in general, the easiest way to assess 'what constitutes cheating' is to look at what the hosts of the games online servers sanction players for; we're not in the business of enforcing other peoples TOS or NDA's, but the existence of said TOS and NDA's provide nice bright red lines for what are otherwise often fuzzy and highly disputed concepts. – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 8 '15 at 16:27
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    Therefore, it's easier to just say 'we won't answer questions that violate those' than it is to try to come up with some other standard... and whether the game is competitive is, as a result, something of a red herring. It doesn't actually matter. – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 8 '15 at 16:28
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Our current cheat policy says

A cheat in a multiplayer game, for the purposes of determining whether a question violates our cheating guideline, is a tool that uses out-of-game resources to give you an advantage that the other players in the game don't have.

and

Remember that questions that break the terms of service of the game in question are also off topic.

Questions covered by the first point are banned primarily because we don't want to give players an unfair competitive advantage. Questions covered by the second point are banned because, as LesssPop_MoreFizz said in a comment,

we're not in the business of enforcing other peoples TOS or NDA's, but the existence of said TOS and NDA's provide nice bright red lines for what are otherwise often fuzzy and highly disputed concepts.

Duplicating items in an MMO is an action that is likely against their rules, so we wouldn't accept it.

Duplicating items in Animal Crossing would be allowed, because it (apparently) doesn't require out-of-game resources, doesn't give anyone an unfair competitive advantage, and doesn't violate any terms of service.

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