Author Topic: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip  (Read 742 times)

inkcorvid

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Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« on: November 28, 2022, 10:51:39 AM »
A character without enough UMD to use an equippable item can still use that item by temporarily boosting their UMD to equip that item.

With Bard Song, a Palanthir of Knowing, Cha boosts, and various magic rings, even a character with almost no UMD investment can wear gear - even hold weapons - that are class, race and alignment locked, that they would be otherwise unable to wear or equip. They can then safely remove the items and buffs that are boosting their UMD score, but the special gear will remain equipped for as long as they're logged in.

Krosenq recently asked in Discord: is this an exploit? DM Agony confirmed that yes, this is an exploit. You shouldn't be using gear that you don't have the UMD to use. But noted that EO should probably clarify.



When a character with such gear equipped logs off and back on, the gear they're using that they don't have the UMD to use will automatically unequip - even to the point of stripping the character naked in public. This suggests that it's not intended behaviour that UMD is forever. And if you're holding a sword with an opposite alignment requirement to your own, it might make sense that when your UMD drops back down, you find that sword too odious to hold.

But this is also default NWN behaviour. I'd always put it down to NWN jankiness: it presumably only makes the check at the moment of equipping the item to save resources. It's also super, super common player behaviour. Palanthirs are often used in the moment to equip gear, because you only need to bring out the orb once and then put it away.

According to Agony, per PnP, when using an item long-term, you're making a UMD check every hour. I don't know if there's a way to force an update like that every in-game hour, but that would bring the server back in line with PnP.
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Adamant

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2022, 04:10:22 PM »
To be honest if its feasible to be fixed I would like this change. I play alot of wizards, but despite that this change would hurt tenseers wizards it makes sense. If you want to keep the item equipped in your build spend the feats/skill points required. However on the coding side of things I am unsure if that is doable.

This may nerf the Tenseers spell/Melee wizards without Martial prof into the ground however as randomly dropping your sword mid combat would be a nightmare.

Anastian

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2022, 05:02:10 PM »
A clarifying question: in situations like when a bard song negatively affects your skill roll on UMD, but according to NWN you can still hold the equipment on as it was already worn when the encounter initiated, how are you supposed to behave?

If the check is hourly it shouldn't affect you for the length of the encounter, correct? This ruling applies when it is intentionally exploited, or should characters immediately drop their UMDed items ?
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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2022, 05:12:25 PM »
I do think it's a little bit odd we call equipping a Palantir (and then putting it away when you're done) to use a Scroll you couldn't ordinarily use acceptable but we cannot do the same with an item.  Particularly since this has been a pretty open practice for as long as I've been on the server, and default NWN behavior, but I suppose it is what it is.  Certainly good to know going forward.



zDark Shadowz

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2022, 05:17:19 PM »
Yes, skill draining effects, of which there are many, will impede your UMD ability. This makes it awkward to apply an easy fix.

On login is fine, on area transition could make you lose items, esp. if you are picking up reagents. Minute ticks could force it to drop anywhere on a full inventory.

There are people that legitimately have the base rank skills for what they equip, and others that keep things equipped.

From a roleplay standpoint, "why" is Use Magic Device required? Should an item need continuous "convincing" once the requirements are met?

Currently those doing umd tricks and then unequipping run the risk that when they have a full inventory, losing the item when they log in.

Its a hard thing to determine if someone *else* is keeping the necessary items on (mystical ouroboros rings, gloves of the rogue / feathertouch which people would *want* to keep on) and whether they should lose stuff after a temporary curse, and scripting around that and item issues if a check were to occur to unequip, and potentially drop, with a full inventory.

A design fix isn't going to be kind checking every equipped item on a person in the server every X interval.

If you want to report someone, go for it, you may be wrong for your assumption though.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2022, 05:26:16 PM by zDark Shadowz »

ZSRunner

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2022, 05:24:23 PM »
I do think it's a little bit odd we call equipping a Palantir (and then putting it away when you're done) to use a Scroll you couldn't ordinarily use acceptable but we cannot do the same with an item.  Particularly since this has been a pretty open practice for as long as I've been on the server, and default NWN behavior, but I suppose it is what it is.  Certainly good to know going forward.

Equipping a palantir in order to cast a spell from a scroll is something that is done over a finite amount of time whereas equipping an item and holding on to in indefinitely in spite of the fact that your UMD isn't high enough to support use of the item is a bit more questionable.

EarlofEtheria

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2022, 07:51:58 PM »
One fix would be to restrict UMD to skillranks/attribute modifiers only, removing all UMD items from loot pools, and editing any spell/supernatural sources. Not a fun option of course and certainly not retroactive (removing restrictions from item design becomes an issue of balance/gp values) but is the scriptless solution... all presuming this is a problem the community believes deserves development time to enforce.

Krosenq

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2022, 12:08:51 AM »
One fix would be to restrict UMD to skillranks/attribute modifiers only, removing all UMD items from loot pools, and editing any spell/supernatural sources. Not a fun option of course and certainly not retroactive (removing restrictions from item design becomes an issue of balance/gp values) but is the scriptless solution... all presuming this is a problem the community believes deserves development time to enforce.

This would make it impossible for some people to reliably use scrolls, even with heavy investment.

I don't think this behavior is a huge problem, so I would hesitate to call for actions that would have a negative impact on other aspects of gameplay.

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2022, 12:11:30 AM »
Yes, removing UMD equipment would mean having to give everyone a relevel to be fair...
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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2022, 06:33:05 AM »
I currently have this problem despite wearing rings full time.

Every time I log in it checks and removes the item without checking for umd. It clears the inventory slot even though I have the required skill without equiping new items.

Just an FYI so that we don't automatically assume the worst of our community without knowing all of the info.
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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2022, 02:43:17 PM »
One fix would be to restrict UMD to skillranks/attribute modifiers only, removing all UMD items from loot pools, and editing any spell/supernatural sources. Not a fun option of course and certainly not retroactive (removing restrictions from item design becomes an issue of balance/gp values) but is the scriptless solution... all presuming this is a problem the community believes deserves development time to enforce.

Or, just one Dev.

zDark Shadowz

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2022, 03:13:42 PM »
I had the foresight to pick a background with UMD on my first character, and not set charisma to 8, so I'll be able to still do shadow shield scrolls if I took skill focus: umd. Cant say the same about other folks' capability if UMD got removed off all items that had it. Might be a lot of requested remakes going back to origin bonuses.

Anastian

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2022, 03:29:58 PM »
Removing all UMD gear would also require, aside for a relevel, a rebalancing of the scores needed to wear certain items I believe. They would be  somewhat too high otherwise for some of the highest tier items
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zDark Shadowz

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2022, 03:47:14 PM »
Scores are tied to item value, they arent adjusted so easily. Removal of UMD from gloves of the rogue & gloves of feathertouch will coincidentally reduce their scores.

Anastian

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2022, 05:47:20 PM »
Scores are tied to the values, but they are set in a 2da file so technically alterable (you can associate a different DC to different item values). In my opinion, a dedicated UMD investment of up to 20 (without items, without cha modifiers) should allow you to access all restricted items if we are removing skill modifying items altogether: this because UMD is a powerful but signature skill of bards, rogues and beguilers, giving them important ways to overcome some shortcomings related to their class (rogues in particular). 20 skill points are no meaningless investment too.

In general I would be in favor of removing UMD modifying items if and only if this condition of enabling UMD to still allow the usage of all alignment/class restricted items for those who dedicate a sufficient investment is left there.

As a side note this would be to the detriment of classes like the monster hunter that can cross class UMD... So it's a balancing act. I'd rather keep things as is and be mindful of the exploits, imho
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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2022, 06:38:13 PM »
Honestly, I thought that UMD worked like Animal Empathy or Sleight of Hand - if you didn't have skill points invested in it, you couldn't make rolls for it.

It seems strange to me that classes without access to UMD can use gear to bypass that restriction.
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zDark Shadowz

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2022, 07:32:11 PM »
Monster Hunter has access, just not as a class skill. They sit in a unique place for this skill.

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2022, 07:35:52 PM »
Honestly, I thought that UMD worked like Animal Empathy or Sleight of Hand - if you didn't have skill points invested in it, you couldn't make rolls for it.

It seems strange to me that classes without access to UMD can use gear to bypass that restriction.

An easy fix would be to add class restrictions on said items. If only classes with UMD can use them, problem solved.
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zDark Shadowz

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2022, 07:55:31 PM »
The skill still requires training, so only classes with access can train in them.

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2022, 09:31:35 PM »
Honestly, I thought that UMD worked like Animal Empathy or Sleight of Hand - if you didn't have skill points invested in it, you couldn't make rolls for it.

It seems strange to me that classes without access to UMD can use gear to bypass that restriction.

UMD does work like those skills. You have to train into it to use it.
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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2022, 11:31:11 PM »
Honestly, I see this change as more tedious than anything and I am with the idea that once its on it seems like you meet the criteria. With a scroll you are mimicking the act of a caster. Once you learn how to equip something, is it going to fall off you because you arent wearing an ouroboros anymore?  I see the concern in terms of skill point distribution but personally it feels more annoying than necessary to me. You aren't going to keep people from using UMD, they will just go enchant a cloak or something.

I get the arguement with a sword but uh... a helmet? We are going to say what? It starts constricting your head or something?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 11:32:53 PM by noah25 »

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2022, 11:49:45 PM »
Honestly, I see this change as more tedious than anything and I am with the idea that once its on it seems like you meet the criteria. With a scroll you are mimicking the act of a caster. Once you learn how to equip something, is it going to fall off you because you arent wearing an ouroboros anymore?  I see the concern in terms of skill point distribution but personally it feels more annoying than necessary to me. You aren't going to keep people from using UMD, they will just go enchant a cloak or something.

I get the arguement with a sword but uh... a helmet? We are going to say what? It starts constricting your head or something?

I imagine whatever the item might be that is worn on the body might become incredibly uncomfortable without the required skill to wear it.

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2022, 12:16:29 AM »
I mean I guess, im just not sure I fundamentally agree with the process. The way I see the description of UMD its about mimicry a continual check seems a bit odd to me but if the ruling is against that perspective then yes, there is no doubt that currently the intended system is being bypassed. I don't really buy the "because it de-equips on server reset its intended to function in x faction argument" there is a lot that happens post reset that isn't making a mechanical statement. Its just the reality of the server reset occurring. This change wouldn't personally affect me since the way I use UMD on my characters (bard and rogue) means I want my UMD to remain consistently high anyways (use it more for the scrolls than gear), but I can acknowledge having to re-equip every time you use bard song is going to be rather obnoxious.

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2022, 12:25:39 AM »
I mean I guess, im just not sure I fundamentally agree with the process. The way I see the description of UMD its about mimicry a continual check seems a bit odd to me but if the ruling is against that perspective then yes, there is no doubt that currently the intended system is being bypassed. I don't really buy the "because it de-equips on server reset its intended to function in x faction argument" there is a lot that happens post reset that isn't making a mechanical statement. Its just the reality of the server reset occurring. This change wouldn't personally affect me since the way I use UMD on my characters (bard and rogue) means I want my UMD to remain consistently high anyways (use it more for the scrolls than gear), but I can acknowledge having to re-equip every time you use bard song is going to be rather obnoxious.

The exploit of the mechanics was brought up because in PnP you're required to make a check every hour, I believe, to continue equipping an item in which you are not proficient and have used UMD to equip in the first place. Essentially what this means is that someone could equip two oroboros rings and a palantir, with an investment of only 1 point in UMD which would allow them to equip an item indefintely that they wouldn't normally be able to equip. So on login, the game sees that they are no longer meeting the requirements to equip said item and it is unequipped, as it should have been an hour after they removed the items that allowed them to equip it in the first place.


noah25

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Re: Exploit: UMD is only checked on gear equip
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2022, 01:31:52 AM »
I understand the low skill investment concern (though realistically you are going to need more than a 14 ish UMD anyways to use anything good) I just personally feel the QoL hassle there outweights the pen and paper deviation. I also dont think changing it would actually result in people investing more in UMD. I just think they would wear more tailored goods.