I subscribed to World of Warcraft for a few years when it was first released. I enjoyed the game for what it was up until I hit the level cap (which was 60 at the time), at which point everyone who I played with joined end-game raiding guilds with strict schedules, seniority hierarchies, loot distribution policies and all kinds of things that I had absolutely no interest in.
Around the same time I discovered that it was sometimes possible to gain access to areas of the map that were officially off limits—usually zones that were part of future planned patches or expansions. Generally this involved exploring every inch of a neighboring zone, and jumping randomly into walls or barriers until you lucked out and found a precise coordinate and landed on it in the precise way that allowed you to clip through into the otherwise inaccessible area of the map.
Doing this became an obsession of mine, and consumed pretty much all my time in the game. It was such a rush to find these little secrets and know that I could be the only one—or at least one of just a few—out of millions of players to explore those creepy, abandoned, often only partially completed areas of the game world. Trying to puzzle out what the zones would eventually be used for, piecing together possible ties to the game lore from different landmarks, and then regaling other people in the game with tales of my excursions and what I had seen was more fun than I ever had actually playing the game and grinding my character’s level up.
Eventually I got perma-banned for trying to glitch my way to GM Island (a special zone normally only accessible by Blizzard employees). But ever since then I’ve always been fascinated by glitches and hidden things in open world games. I wasn’t even aware of this mystery in GTAV. I own it for Xbox One. Might be time to spin it back up and check out this whole Chiliad thing…
I worked as a QA tester for a console game company about 17 years ago, and I did hours upon hours of this. I definitely learned how game geometry / collision detection is a never ending battle for game designers. People will do things you never even consider in order to trigger aberrant behavior in-game. One of my favorite big discoveries was in a 3rd person shooter I got it to crash by blowing up almost every single destructible in the map since it couldn’t allocate enough graphics memory for the texture swaps or something. Who would do that in real gameplay? Hah. It took the developers a while to find that even though I could reproduce it just because it was not at all obvious what triggered it, I was just bored running around hitting walls during testing so passed the time by blowing things up.
How did you find these glitches? Do you spend hours holding down the “jump” key and moving inch by inch along every wall until something happens?
More or less that technique works. If you can sorta jam yourself into corners one wall might be able to push you through the other wall (or object). The more you do it, the better you get at spotting possible places where you can clip through the normal geometry.
Yup, they ended up fixing a variation of this. The trick was to just zoom into first person and just keep walking into the wall until you went through. I used to to get some items at C'Thun vendors before beating Twin Emps.
Another fun exploit I used to do is replace the fireplace model with the Dark Portal model, which was huge compared to the small fireplace that you could place anywhere. Since physics is calculated locally, you could use it to climb to places you normally couldn’t get to.