Bobbacast Sessions takes a snapshot of what is going on currently in the Habbo community. With interviews and opinions from all over the community, this podcast aims to understand how Habbo players are responding to the happenings in-game.

#1 HabboGroupGate: The September Disaster

On Monday 28th of September 2020, when users from the .com and .nl hotels were hit with a large array of glitches including irredeemable HC boxes, outfit saves reset, and most shockingly, changes to core group mechanics which allowed users to pick up someone elses items and have it appear in their inventory. In this episode, we talk to Window whose Rare Trade Auction room was decimated, and an anonymous guess who was banned for picking up items to see what went down.

Behind The Pixels:

Window is a player on the .com Hotel who has a strong presence in the trading community which he joined in 2017, accumulating a large wealth of items. In this episode, he talks about how the September glitches affected him, how he thinks Habbo handled the incident, and how this has shaped his opinion of Habbo2020 due to be released shortly.

Our anonymous guest is a keen Habbo player on .com who is also part of the trading community, and judging by the equipped clothing on her second account, it seems she had money to spare! In this episode she talks about why she was banned and how she feels Habbo has dealt with the incident. This guest interview was voiced by user OhSoSpicy.

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Full Audio Transcription:

Elysse: Hello and welcome. You're listening to Bobbacast Sessions, a spinoff podcast hosted by Fuusio, where we will be focusing on some of the hot issues that are taking place throughout the mass multiplayer online game for teens, Habbo hotel.

This is the very first Bobbacast Sessions, and I am very excited to be here. My name is Elysse. It's great to meet you all. I'm also known as LC22 on the.com hotel. And I'm your host for today's episode, which focuses on the September glitches, also known as the Habbo Group Gate. Now let me take you on a journey. Let's imagine for a moment that you are a regular Habbo player and over your time on the game, you've managed to amass quite a collection of wealth: from Rars to clothing, to bundles and badges. You have it all. And to top it all off, you are the proud owner of a number of extravagant rooms built with your friends through the group feature of the hotel.

Now you'd think yes, the furniture is safe, right? Well, that was not the case. On Monday, the 28th of September, 2020, when users from the.com and .NL hotels were hit with an update that rocked the core of group mechanics. Instead of being able to place your furniture securely in the group room and have it returned to your own hand, upon ejection, the glitch allowed users to eject furniture, and instead have it appear in their own hand and not the owners. While this was an unknown effect to a large portion of the Habbo community, enough users figured it out for people to report missing items worth thousands of credits. In addition to the areas with the way Habbo groups functioned, there were also report of other minor errors, including players saved looks being wiped, and the HC boxes no longer being redeemable. Now I'm lucky enough to be joined today by the user known as Window, who many have speculated to be one of the most affected by the group Furni eject aspects of this glitch.

Window: Hello

Elysse: Hey, it's great to have you here. So let's start off with an easy question. You're known as quite a rich player in the game of Habbo. When did you start trading to collect some of the amazing pieces you have in your collection?

Window: Probably about 2017. I missed a few of the good clothings that come out where to start like the scarf and that, but I've got a few of the good ones. I think I came on at one point, I don't know, 2016 maybe, and bought a fish hat. No one wanted them. Yeah.

Elysse: Now on the 28th of September you're room, the RJ trade auction room, was absolutely gutted. And for those who aren't familiar with this room on the.com hotel, uh, it's owned by Window. It's filled with a number of his rares, including over 300 Rose gold items, about 30 limited edition dragon eggs, including the Easter, Pearl and black additions, ice cream makers, a Habbowood chair, a girl Habbo trophy so much more overall. This room has about an estimated worth of 750 gold bars or 37,658 credits. And that was based on a calculation at the time of the glitch. Now, as users entered the room to see the carnage that was left behind as a direct result of the glitch, the only things that were left of value with a full catalog trophies gifted by not myself and ex staff member on.com valued at about a gold bar each and the Habbowood chair valued at 4,500 credits. So my question to you window is how did you first find out about your room that it had been trashed from this glitch and what was your first reaction to hearing the news?

Window: So I was at work, so I checked the discord and, um, one of my friends had message me saying like half I was a bit weird at the minute and I was like, what you mean? And they said, there's this bug you, if you've got like group admin in someone else's room, you can eject the Furni and it will go straight into your own inventory. So you could essentially like steal Furni, if you had admin in a room, he explained that to me. And I was like, all right. And like I said, can you, um, you know, check my rooms and stuff. Um, and then obviously I was getting on with my work and I'll chat again, like a minute later. And like he had messaged me saying my room had been trashed, a few other people had as well. Uh, and I was like, ah, like, you know,

Elysse: Yeah, I'm sure everyone would have had felt the same as you, if they were in that situation as well.

Window: I had hope that like you'd know it will be fine and that, but, um, I was a bit worried. I think, I mean, thousands of coins worth of staff fly, I guess it often is sort of a, like the whole bug was like an impossible nightmare. You would never afford that would happen, but it happened.

Elysse: Yeah, and I'm sure it was a PR nightmare for Habbo at the time as well. Now, this room that got trashed of yours, it's just a drop in the water for your overall wealth. And generally with group rooms, users do tend to choose people that they trust to be group admins. So it doesn't get messed up or trashed in terms of room design. Now, obviously having the Furni ejected and essentially stolen is a much higher stakes issue than having to rebuild a room. So I guess my question is, are you surprised that that happened, you've chosen the members of your group admin based on trust. Are you surprised that someone went and objected furniture from you?

Window: Yeah, to be honest. Yeah. I mean, I didn't really get too many people. I've met like my close friends. So that does, you know, the question who was the, obviously I have my suspicion on who I think it was, you know, other people maybe though, but you know, at the end of the day it got trashed. I weren't online. I was the work. It had to be someone.

Elysse: Yeah. It's interesting to see how, like this can really bring out the worst in people, especially people that you thought you could trust.

Window: Yeah. I mean, I think everyone knows everyone's probably experienced, but like, no matter how long you sort of know someone in guiding them or trust them, like, you know, that can, that can just turn around years later. If the opportunity is there, people are going to take it, scam you or whatever; just because you didn't have your room trashed by, uh, people who had admin. I wouldn't say you can, you can necessarily trust that they wouldn't have done something. You know, if the opportunity was, if they knew that the bug was live and they know how to do whatever, who knows if they would have took that chance or not, because I don't think it was really active too long. I think that maintenance went down quite quick and they turned off trade in. Uh, so I wouldn't say just because nothing happened to you means you could trust it. No one would have done that.

Elysse: Yeah, You never really sure are you, and of course with glitches like this, not everyone is aware of them in order to exploit them, which is a positive thing because it means that Habbo is on top of it really quickly. May I ask what was the most expensive item you'd lost as a direct result of someone exploiting this glitch?

Window: Well, it has quite interesting because, um, the most expensive item in the room didn't get ejected.That was, um, Habbowood chair, I think they are about 4,500 coins each and it, it didn't get ejected, which I thought was weird. And I mean, it kind of looks like a normal,

Elysse: Maybe they felt guilty.

Window: Well, I don't know. I'd say, uh, the LTD's were probably the most expensive. My favorite been my executive cabinet. Cause it's got a cool number.

Elysse: Yeah. 1,111 is a pretty cool number. How much would you estimate that to be worth?

Window: Uh, I paid 500 quid for it, but like, I wouldn't sell it for like a thousand, maybe.

Elysse: A bit more than I can afford that's for sure. So now that the dust has settled a bit, have all of your items returned?

Window: Right, so when I was panicking throughout the day at work a bit and get a message by load of people, obviously when I got home, I rushed on and everything was there in my inventory. I had, um, like a full room of people waiting in there. Um, but when, when I bought online, everything was there. So I guess from my point of view, I never actually had any missing items. Like other people I think have maybe, um, I saw a tweet from, uh, one girl. Um, I think her username was cupcake with a few K's in it. She had a whole room of like clothing ejected. Uh, I think she got it back. All the examples I've seen. I don't know if people actually got their things lost. I may be wrong. From my point of view. I didn't, I didn't have anything taken, but I was worried that I had, because you know, people were legit picking up the phone and then they had it. So was, was it duplicated it or was it taking it? I dunno, like I seen a few tweets or something where people have gotten banned, uh, for it, they were claiming to be like saving their friend's furniture, or whatever. So I don't know, but I've also heard people trying to duplicate and that's why they got banned. Cause you know, if like, I think Habbo would pick up if you were like placing a lot of it.

Elysse: So one of the things that's interesting to note about this is that the Habbo terms of service deem the Habbo items or furniture itself to be something owned by the company, not by the individual user, how would you have felt if they chose to ignore this issue and not do anything to help those who had been affected by the glitch?

Window: We thought they say that in their terms of service. I think they only really act upon that with like you, if you were to make the claim like, "Oh, it's my furniture". If I had banned you, or if you've been hacked, they say, well, it's your own fault, you know, like yeah. Sort of thing, if we own the furniture anyway. But, um, I think that'd be a real loss of trust if you know, a lot of people lost things or had taken, lost, stolen, whatever fruitless bug, and they decided to do nothing. There'd be a real life sort of luck trust there from quite a few people. And I mean, I think Habbo sort of needs to start and care about their relationship with the community and the people who play it a bit more nowadays. Cause uh, you know, it looks like it's maybe dropping off a little bit. I mean, well this year, cause the COVID maybe, maybe not, but, um, it's something I think they really sort of need to care about, you know, if I want to keep people who spend money on their game on the slide.

Elysse: I mean, I guess a lot of people have been saying that for years and they're still playing. So it's hard to know when to listen to the users and when to ignore them, I guess. But I also think because of COVID and the return of so many users, it's such a great opportunity to capitalize on those who have returned and are spending money. It would be a real shame to waste the opportunity to bring people back along for the ride long-term.

Window: Oh yeah. If people have, um, just like, you know, come back and then within months they see a groundbreaking glitch or bug like this, you know, it's not really a good look towards Habbo if, if, um, if I were to have done nothing, I guess then yeah. It would look pretty bad.

Elysse: Absolutely.

Window: From the point of view of those people. Although saying that, I reckon that the minute there's still probably people who have been banned, um, I think I saw a tweet. Someone was banned and they were claiming they were helping their friend built, you know, when you like, like group builds.

Elysse: Yeah like making a room. And you're like building it together. So you're both taking part in the making of it.

Window: Yeah, people making claims they were doing that and they've been banned and apparently Habbo haven't solved that. So with that, I think that's something they should really look into. Yeah.

Elysse: Yeah, absolutely. Now, um, on that note, I do actually have an account from another.com user who was banned during the Group Gate, September glitches. Uh, she has asked to remain anonymous. And so we've found a third party to read her account out. And this interview was conducted on Habbo Hotel with her second account. Judging by the clothes she was wearing, she is another rich user. Now, she had been banned as a direct result of this glitch for allegedly exploiting the system in order to obtain free furniture. And I asked her if she was able to give an account of what happened to her.

Guest User: I wasn't sure what happened as I was minding my own business, opening a shop with a friend. We have a sister where we move furniture around and ejects low demand item, so we can put out higher demand furniture to sell instead keeping all of our items in hand when they're needed. Of course, this means we eject each other's furniture assuming they will go to the owner's hands. So we didn't even realize it was a bug at the time. We weren't trying to capitalize on it because we didn't even realize it existed. I mean, why would you want to steal your own friend's furniture when you can just purchase it off them for a discount? So we have a mutual understanding of ejecting unwanted furniture from our group shop to create this cleaner image for our buyers. But when we submit a ticket to Habbo to dispute the bans, we in our face and for stealing, we don't get any replies.

Elysse: So how does this make you feel about the future of Habbo?

Guest User: This bug definitely saddens me. It makes me upset about the future of Habbo.I've credits diamonds and plenty of furniture, which I might never get back. I've paid real money for and saved up tone. It's October down. I've really been looking forward to the Rares I was planning to buy. The least Habbo could do would be to give me some sort of compensation.

Elysse: Now, as I mentioned earlier in this podcast, when talking with Window, I pointed out that the terms of service don't actually cover you for your items. They're not your property, they're Habbo's property. And when I pointed this out to her and she had this to say:

Guest User: But we didn't do anything wrong. If we had done something wrong, I would understand it, but we are innocent, so why are we paying the price for the glitch?

Elysse: That's all she had to say on the topic, but it was great to get the perspective of someone who had been affected with a ban as a result of this glitch.

Now, one of the issues with these accounts, I'm sure, is that it's difficult for Habbo to keep track of who is telling the truth and who is in fact exploiting the glitch. Window, what do you think about that?

Window: I dunno, I guess it's hard. Like, you know, as time goes by, I guess it gets harder for them to sort of look into them issues, you know, uh, and the bans...

Elysse: I mean with a small team as well, to sort the bands, the appeals, like it takes about five standard days to get an appeal through when you're banned incorrectly.

Window: Yeah...

Elysse: But with such a big scandal, you're going to have so many more tickets to sort through. And so many people who are making appeals and maybe they did use the glitch, maybe they didn't, but they're going to have to find a way to figure out how to differentiate between the people who are turning the truth and the people who are lying.

Window: Yeah. That's the thing as well. You'll even get people sending tickets who haven't been affected. They just sending it for their friend or whatever. So it just doubles the amount of tickets. I personally didn't send the ticket, you know, luckily everything's all right. There was no need for me to. People were saying, I should have asked for compensation and I'll just ask that like, what for?

Elysse: Yeah. Good luck.

Window: Oh, I was fine.

Elysse: Yeah. I mean the only thing you really lost in the end was time to rebuild your room, I guess.

Window: Oh, to be honest though, um, as my room was full and I had all my stuff in my inventory, I figured out the, you know, take the opportunity to just rebuild it there. And then I'd free friends that helped stack everything real quick. I'll just placed it all when they stacked it in place. I just said the, uh, stack higher and how many high, hurdle their help. It was done quick.

Elysse: Yeah. I guess that's the true beauty of friendship then. Yeah. So this glitch has been one of the few issues Habbo has put a public statement out about taking ownership for their mistake. Is this something you'd like to see more of on Habbo? And how do you think this has helped the community to heal from this glitter?

Window: Um, yeah, I think, you know, if they mess up, transparency is the best thing for them. I mean, like again, going back to what I said earlier with the customer relations sort of side of things to their users, uh, it just looks good. You know, let people know what's going on. Why did we have the maintenance break today? Why was trading disabled? Uh, why are people claiming there was a bug that allowed you to take people's furniture? You know, if everyone in the site's talking about it and Habbo say nothing, it just looks bad. They've got to address it with something. And I think if they had another bug in the future glitch or something happens again, just like, just come move us with, you know, straight, only sweet or give us an update or sign. I think is good and that is something they should continue because I feel like a lot of people feel that that's something they lack on, you know, updates on stuff. And our, especially with the, uh, well, it's not bugged, but the, uh, the new 2020 version of the game everyone's dying for, uh, or wants to say it least, um, you know, it's not really given us a huge amount on that yet. You know, a few minor things. I think people would want to see more.

Elysse: Yeah. It definitely helps to take people on the journey and it really does help build that trust. I think it's wonderful to say that they've put out a statement taking ownership, especially considering just a few months prior, there was this big scandal about their ambassadors and their response to the black lives matter's movement.

Window: Oh, I saw that. Yeah.

Elysse: Instead of responding Habbo was silent on it and it was such a huge issue and it was very glaringly obvious that they did not want to get in the middle of something, but by not joining in on the conversation, they actually made it worse for their brand image, in my opinion. So it's wonderful to see that they're actually taking ownership of something now, and it hopefully will continue into the future. In regards to the glitch, are you worried that something like this is going to happen again?

Window: I'd say with the whole bug thing, like and the trust with, uh, like who your group mods are. I'd say people should probably relax. Like you, you can chill people now. I don't think that they're similar bugs going to happen by a way. I think there'll be careful on that. Um, you know, if people are worrying about giving admin, so people in their group, again, if people are worrying about that now I wouldn't, you know, I don't think that will happen again.

Elysse: So with Habbo 2020 coming and the end of the flash client, how does this glitch make you feel about the future of Habbo in general?

Window: Obviously when it launches, I do think there probably will be problems. There probably will be some bugs. Uh, there probably will be some exploits that people will, they probably will be like, you know, a few.

Elysse: Yeah. That would make sense.

Window: Hopefully not too many, but there will be. And uh, I just hope that yeah, they're able to develop it forever, fix them and not miss the game up too much, you know, keep it to what it sort of is, you know. I know it's changed a lot over the years, but they've got to sort of keep it to what it is. I know a lot of people aren't too happy at how it now looks like the, the app, the desktop version. Now it looks like the app. I know a lot of people aren't happy about that, but I guess it is what it is. Let's see how it goes and how they update it from there.

Elysse: Yeah. I mean, I think it's okay to have the desktop version and the app version to be similar, as long as the app version isn't what it currently is because, jeez, the functionality on the app as it currently stands..., it's nonexistent.

Window: Yeah. It's not good. I don't like it.

Elysse: I know a lot of users who play it solely on the iPad or on their iPhone. And I just don't understand how they can do that and have a good time on the app.

Window: Yeah. Why'd you play?

Elysse:

Like I find it a nightmare. The only reason I'm using the app generally is, I'm logging in to check the marketplace, see if I've sold anything. And then I'm like, hello, bye, I'm out.

Window: You don't even see what number your LTD is on the app, I think. Yeah.

Elysse: So hopefully they do expand upon the app and the desktop app if they're going to align. Well, thank you very much Window for joining us today! It's been wonderful to have you for the first episode of our spinoff series, Bobbacast Sessions.

Window: No problem. Yeah, it's been nice to come on. It was quite a cool thing. I didn't know there was a Habbo podcast.

Elysse: It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for your time. And a special thanks to the other following users on the .com hotel. Uh, including our anonymous guest. Oh, so spicy for voicing the anonymous guest account grasping for offering advice on rare values when figuring out what the room was worth and Fuusio, of course! for hosting this new spinoff podcast series. If you'd like to take part in any future episodes or suggest any future themes for this podcast, please let us know on Twitter. You've been listening to Bobbacast Sessions with Elysse, also known as LC22 on Habbo.com. See you next time!

#2 SaveHabboTrading: What happens if you take away a core game feature?

With little to no interaction from offical Habbo channels about the Habbo 2020 updates, users are left to speculate what is coming based off leaks from fansites. This podcast considers the implications of starting off Habbo 2020 without a player to player trading feature and how Habbo has failed the community when it comes to transparency and communication resulting in a disgruntled playerbase.

Behind The Pixels:

Pulx is a player on the .com Hotel who has been playing since 2005. He has been working closely alongside Habbo staff as a sandbox user building official rooms and bundles, and as a fansite owner, formerly with HabboCreate and now with Fuusio. In April 2020 he was elected Habbo's 'President of Fun' which saw him act as a voice for all the communities across Habbo, with particular focus on Habbo agencies.

Graspingg started playing Habbo on the Swedish/Russian Hotel since 2008 and is now a prominent player in the trading community on the .com Hotel. As a collector of rare Habbo items, she co-owns the Coin Club group where you can discuss items, seek trades, or request an audit to value your approximate Habbo wealth.

Electricana is a .com user who has been playing since 2014. Recently coming back from a break due to coronavirus, he plays Habbo to chat with mates and form new friendships.

Vado also known as Joshie Sparkles has been playing Habbo since 2006. Although he has spent time owning and running fansites, he is often recognised as a troll because of his online persona. He uses the game as inspiration for new music. His latest album VADOPHOBIA will be out at the end of this year.

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