Vindictus Manual is currently unavailable, for an indefinite amount of time, possibly permanently.
Nexon has continued to display disgust and hatred for Fan Sites and their owners, permanently banning Sanitee, the owner and sole developer of Vindictus Inn, for a SECOND TIME for doing nothing wrong. Including the false permanent ban I received, this makes three in total, and at least one for every American Fan Site developer.
After Sanitee reached out to Nexon a second time about this, they have refused to acknowledge their mistake, just as they refused to the last time this happened to her as well (as well as for me), and refused to unban her. Basically, they said that since they had already removed an unjust ban from her once, they weren't willing to do it again. Makes sense.
Until Sanitee is unbanned, Vindictus Manual will remain offline and all development will be halted. In the remaining space on this page, I will explain why this is a risk to ALL players, and not just Fan Site owners.
Jan 29 Update:
In response to the strong reaction from the community about the ban, Nexon took the unusual step of actually telling Sanitee what program she was banned for using. VZipFlip, apparently. Given that Sanitee is very nearly certain it was not running, and given Nexon's general lack of honesty, we are left with a case of "He said, she said" here. I'm not going to make an opinion on this personally, as I don't know which to believe. However, I do want to talk a bit about VZipFlip, given some information that is new even to me.
Back when Sanitee and I first got our accidental permanent bans for having had it running, we were baffled that BlackCipher wastes resources scanning for it, but grudgingly understood it, since VZipFlip could potentially repack HFS to modify Vindictus. As it turns out, VZipFlip is not actually capable of this. Plot twist!
The HFS files that Vindictus uses are a weird format. Think of it as encrypted, with each having a signature to stop them from being tampered with. VZipFlip can decrypt and unpack these, to allow you to read the files, and by coincidence it can repack files back into the HFS format. *However* it cannot insert that "signature" into the HFS files that it packs. As it turns out, if you try to insert these VZipFlip modified HFS into the game files, Vindictus will fail to even start. You'd have as much luck renaming a random rar file into the HFS format and sticking it in there.
Given that this is the case, and that development of the tool has been abandoned for years, I plan to try to discuss with Nexon in some way about possibly removing this tool from their list of "hack tools". Since, you know, it cannot hack anything. I expect Nexon to do more sticking their fingers in their ears and refuse to even properly reply back to me, but literally everything about this Fan Site situation has started because of the detection of VZipFlip. Every bit of the drama over the last year or two. It is worth at least trying to get them to think rationally about this.
VZipFlip is not a hacking tool. As it turns out, it is literally only capable of reading the files. AKA harmless. I'm going to ask Nexon to unflag it and by extension unban those banned for it. Updating this page continually is awkward. Here is a thread on my forums (which I never took down!) discussing this situation:
Discuss the Sanitee/VZipFlip Incident Here
Jan 23 Update:
Nexon is auto-closing any tickets Sanitee sends, essentially sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming loudly that they can't hear anything. Saygo is ignoring any attempts at contact, despite an initial reply. That "possibly permanently" is looking like "definitely permanently". Maybe I should look into RuneScape again, instead of Vindictus. Or does anyone else know any other interesting MMO? PM me on Discord or ingame if you have a suggestion. Other than a PVP game that is.
Below is information about how BlackCipher functions, and why it is leading to issues like this. You might find it a bit of a scary read, to hear about what BlackCipher can/is doing, check it out:
BlackCipher is fundamentally flawed, and Nexon doesn't care.
Have you ever had a time where the game kicked you for an "unauthorized program", a "speed hack", or any other kind of false detection, even though you KNOW you weren't doing anything wrong?
Every time you get kicked for that, a server-side counter goes up by one. When it reaches a certain number, you are permanently banned. Period. And when you appeal it, Nexon NA is going to take the high ground and say that you broke the rules, and that this is your fault.
Does elapsing time reduce the counter? No. Can you appeal to have it reset before a permanent ban happens? No, they will say that the detections were valid, and thus they will not remove them.
The reason that we Fan Site owners have been disproportionately hit by this is that in order to provide accurate information, we need to look at the game data itself sometimes. So, having access to *copies* of the files, we read those copies, and then close them when we are done. BlackCipher detects this as editing the running game, which is overtly false, and quite ridiculous. If you have ever used a Fan Site (The official Wiki [Outdated], Vindictus Inn, VindictusDB [Dead], Vindictus Manual, vindictus.kr [Korean, closing soon], or HeroesDB.net [Outdated, Abandoned(?)]), then you have used a site that RELIES on this data. Without it, making a helpful Fan Site is quite literally impossible. If they insist on banning helpful developers, then they can have their wish, there will be no Fan Sites.
More on BlackCipher
Let's go back for a moment to the fact that BlackCipher was detecting copies of files, and treating them like client hacks. How is that happening, and why? This has to do with the capabilities that BlackCipher has.
The entire time that you are ingame, BlackCipher is monitoring your RAM. All of it. It is constantly scanning it looking for *anything* that it doesn't like, and reporting this scan info to Nexon NA. When it does find something it doesn't like, you get kicked for so and so reasons. These scans are the probable cause of its gigantic CPU usage.
As all powerful as you'd think the scan is, it is actually pretty dumb. It can't tell where these files/programs in RAM are coming from. So when we are reading the file that has all the item names/etc, it doesn't know that it is a copy, and thinks we are editing the running game, and kicks us for hacking.
You might be thinking, "But why don't you just close the files before you open the game then?". Sanitee confirmed that she had, that absolutely nothing suspicious was running, and that it still banned her for some detection anyway. Remember the mention above about random false detections almost everyone has had, likely even you? You all should have closed those botting programs before running the game /s.
A last note on the spying: BlackCipher seems to have capabilities of identifying individual running files, and thus possibly individual open web pages by extension. And all of this info is being reported back to Nexon, tied to your account. Isn't spying great when it's done without your consent? But at least it is stopping bots, right? Right?
Why I have chosen to take my site offline in protest.
I like playing Vindictus. The combat in it is unmatched by any other MMO right now. Unfortunately, Nexon NA happens to be the publisher. Also unfortunately, I happen to like helping people play the game, too.
Under Nexon NA management, I cannot have both of these things; I am forced to choose between playing Vindictus, or running a Vindictus Fan Site. Given that I cannot make a Fan Site for a game I don't play, there is no actual choice here at all.
I don't want to invest thousands of hours into Vindictus Manual only to have my account taken from me by Nexon NA out of some strange contempt they have for any kind of community interactions that they can't rule with an iron fist.
Unless Nexon NA can prove that they have even a shred of decency by unbanning Sanitee, I cannot bring myself to continue to work on Vindictus Manual.
If you want to show your support for Sanitee, send Nexon NA a tweet. Their profile is here: Vindictus. I'd give you a link to their Facebook, but they will delete your posts if you complain about *anything* there.
Additionally, if you have this game on Steam, please consider leaving a review for Vindictus. The link is here: Steam.