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Game Breaker / Simulation

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Game Breakers in simulation games.

  • Crusader Kings II has the Tyranny mechanic, which is essentially a long-standing opinion penalty for doing things without just cause. In theory, this prevents players from simply imprisoning and executing anyone they want because what people remain free will be angry and form Factions to stop them. While a powerful deterrent in normal play, it is nevertheless possible to break the mechanic by imprisoning everyone. This gets around the Faction deterrent because imprisoned characters can't join Factions, and the opinion penalty can be worked around by the fact that the penalty only applies to people who were vassals or in your court when the tyranny occurred (meaning you can imprison all your vassals and courtiers then invite new ones who don't know any better). It is also possible to hold all the titles in your realm for yourself (though there is a 90% penalty to taxes and levies for breaking your Demesne Limit that badly), meaning that managing the happiness and power level of your vassals (arguably the biggest part of the entire game) is no longer a concern to you.
    • Also, there is the ability to hire and fire Councilors anytime you want. Councilors are a group of five officials who passively enhance the government with their skills on top of voting on Laws and other political decisions, and in normal play, players may have to make a choice between having good Councilors and having ones that will vote in their favor. However, given the unlimited hiring and firing, it's possible to have a "functional council" with the highest stats, switch them out with a "voting council" every time the player wants to change the Laws or make a decision, then switch back to the functional council the moment the vote is over. The only consequences to firing Councilors is a minor opinion penalty which goes away over time and can be easily neutralized by bribes or the granting of a few harmless Honorary Titles.
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    • The Mongol Hordes: 50,000 strong, attrition-free "doomstacks" are more or less the most dangerous and terrifying thing for a player to ever have to encounter in the game, or one of the most glorious things to have at your disposal if you choose to play as them! Hordes in general tend to spawn on the Eastern side of the map, meaning that Eastern-most rulers face apocalyptic armies that Western players simply never have to deal with. The East/West Horde imbalance is so great it took an entire DLC (Sunset Invasion, which portrays an alternate history where the Aztecs invade and bring disease to Europe) to correct the balance by bringing in Hordes from the West as well.
    • There's also the Seduction Focus. With a +2 to Intrigue and a +10 "Attraction Opinion" bonus with all other characters who have a compatible orientation, it's innocuous enough, but with enough successful uses of the "Seduce" action you can work your way up to becoming a Master Seducer, which adds a +50 attraction opinion bonus. Unlike other opinion modifiers, Attraction Opinion is a modifier on half the characters at any given point in the game, and it's so big (for reference, opinion runs from -100 to +100) that if you have that trait literally half the world will love you. As for using that opinion, it means that you can invite dozens upon endless dozens of people to your court and get them to join all your Plots (Opinion is a huge factor in whether or not a character joins an assassination Plot), which means you can get 600% Plot Power in a game where 200% would be amazing. And this is before one remembers that all of this is for a Master Seducer (i.e. a man). If you're a Master Seductress, then take that +50 opinion modifier with half the world and then add in the fact that essentially all the rulers, vassals, religious heads, military commanders, and councilors in the game are heterosexual men.
      • The Seduction Focus is doubly overpowered for Patricians in Merchant Republics, since the number of trade posts they can own (and hence, their primary source of income) is capped by the number of adult males of their dynasty are in their court. This is primarily increased by having lots of children; the Seduction Focus gives a +25% Fertility bonus and seducing women outside of your marriage brings plenty of bastards to legitimize. Yet female children are far from useless: they can be married off for Prestige, a huge factor in determining who wins the elections for Doge (the head of the Merchant Republic). As yet another benefit, the aforementioned 600% plot power means you can win Doge elections by easily assassinating all the other candidates.
  • You can do this in SimCity 4: build one single tile of road, pass the Legalized Gambling ordinance, leave the game running overnight, and you'll end with a large amount of cash in your coffers (Aproximately 250.000$ an hour).
    • Alternately, make a map with only a couple of power plants near the edge, then an adjacent map with a house, a road, and a power line connecting it to the first map. Run the game for a few moments, and then sign a contract with the first town buying power from that city. Go back to the first city and let time fly. You will be making a lot of money off the deal, endlessly. The second city doesn't suffer as long as you don't play it, and the deal can always be cancelled when you've got enough money. This has not and probably will not be fixed by patches.
    • And a sure-fire way to kickstart a region while making ridiculous amounts of money is to zone lots of high-density residential on one side of the map, lots of high-density industrial on the other side, three coal power plants, one water pump, a landfill, connect the areas with rail, or if the Rush Hour expansion is installed, build connecting roads with toll booths. Not only you will make ridiculous amounts of money from transit fares, but since impoverished Residential demand always skyrockets unless taxes are higher than 12% (which is already a lot), you can fill a large town with almost half a million people in two hours or less and roll up §500,000,000 given enough time. Best part? Impoverished zones are almost maintenance-free — which is even justified, considering poor people cannot afford to be picky about their dwelling — so if you put your power, water and waste facilities in a neighboring town, you can actually leave the simulation running completely unattended and return 6 hours later for massive cash. Plus, this will leave you with a base of inhabitants on whom you can later invest in education and healthcare to make them rich.
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    • Less breaking, but still valuable was the railroad trick in the original SimCity. Railroads only cost twice as much per tile as asphalt roads. But they gave the same bonuses, completely eliminated traffic and a massive chunk of your pollution problems.
      • Completely financially gamebreaking in the original SimCity on the SNES: (Easiest at the beginning of a game) Spend all of your money on fire stations, police stations, and roads/rails (anything upon which taxes must be paid), until you are broke, and make sure "Auto Tax" option is deactivated in settings. When the screen pops up, hold L or R, close the screen. While still holding L/R, manually open the tax screen, drop tax rate to 0%, ramp up tax support to 100% for all services, close the screen, and finally release L/R. Presto! Full cash meter. Bulldoze your police state and start fresh with unlimited funds. Operates, near as could be determined so far, due to a glitch: when L/R are held, the game can still be operated, but time does not pass. When the screen is brought up by default, you cannot raise support costs to higher than tax income (sensibly). "Pausing" the game in this screen, then bringing up the screen manually, allows you to create a debt - which the game can't handle, and converts to $999,999.
      • However, it sometimes resulted in an instant loss instead.
    • In Sim City 2000 Network Edition all players play on a shared map, and in order to build anything you need to buy the land area first. The price is based on the land value, which means that you can buy a very cheap 5x5 spot in the middle of nowhere, build one 100 dollar Big Park there to increase the value a lot, and then immediately sell the whole area (which erases the park) making a huge profit, and repeat it over and over.
  • The Cleveland class cruiser in World of Warships can be this. She's a tier VI light cruiser with 12 fast-firing 152mm guns. If that was it, she'd be just a relatively minor upgrade to the Tier V Omaha. But it's not. Cleveland is very fast, much more heavily armored, has 10,000 more hit points in base configuration, has a very difficult-to-hit citadel, and her secondary weapons are like stapling an additional destroyer to each side of the ship. In short, she's a World War II ship in a tier otherwise populated by smaller, lighter interwar treaty cruisers. Even after a few rounds of nerfs, she's still an excellent ship for tier, capable of seal-clubbing same-tier destroyers and coming out on top vs. battleships.
  • A similar trick can be done in City Life 2008: bring in lots of impoverished Have-nots to your town, leave the simulation running, and return later with millions of dollars in your treasury.
  • In Sim City Societies, the reward buildings you get cost nothing to build or maintain, and give you a small but significant amount of money each day. You can start a new city, only building these and leaving the game to run for an hour, after which you will have a LOT of money. (depending on how many you have unlocked off course).
  • In Hardwar you fly weird little plane/speeder crossbreeds called moths in a city carved in Titan's craters. The game comes with five relatively balanced choices, but a subsequent patch included the Swallow. It was by far the fastest moth in the game, so much so that it kept being faster than any other moth even when loaded with the heaviest, largest cargo pod available. It also had a strong hull, strong shields and was very maneuverable. No other moth in the game could stand to it in a one-on-one fight and hope to win.
    • Swallows? Expensive, hard to manufacture, and almost strictly an end-game option. The Police moth included as a starter option in the patched version comes pre-equipped with the largest cargo pod there is (And those are rare over the course of a normal game) and an infinite-energy fusion cell for power, meaning that you could remain effective in combat during the night while your foes have to stop at lightwells to recharge. Oh, and these cells only start turning up in the game after an optional plot point. The Police moth also had enough weaponry to chew apart pretty much everything in the game; the Swallow's only real weakness is that it is completely unable to mount a laser turret for defensive combat because of an engine mounting that rests on top of the moth and even that is rendered inconsequential with its blistering speed and great agility.
      • Yes, everything... except swallows. And yeah, they're expensive and hard to manufacture, but there's the small detail that there are five abandoned ones free for grabs in hangars around the game...
    • And if you need cash, then you could do what pretty much everyone in the know did: Save up enough to buy the Downtown 05 hangar and install a distillery, then spend the rest of your days buying cheap water and chemicals from the nearby Sewage Control building, producing scads of Alcohol cheaply, and put it all up for sale. There's only one other source of alcohol in the game, they sell it reassuringly expensively, and are nowhere near as central as Downtown 05. You can undercut their prices by insane amounts, just so long as you keep your prices above the base cost of materials (And since 1 Chemicals + 1 Water = 8 Alcohol this isn't hard to do), you can recoup the cost of the hangar and the distillery within a day or so. Eventually every single moth in the game will instantly flock to your hangar and cause an immense traffic jam that creates a tailback across half the crater.
  • In Warship Gunner 2, a battleship with the Massive Wave Gun, a good Auto Reload System (alpha, or above), and the Ammo Assembler or sufficient Ammunition Depots is a Game Breaker for this reason — everything in the air or on the surface in your Massive Wave Gun's line of fire DIES. On Normal difficulty, this includes bosses. And it has the second longest range (by only a slim margin compared to the longest-ranged) in the game too!
    • An Auto Reload System increases the rate of fire, so it can be used for targeting groups at closer range and not just "sniping." Finally, the Ammo Assembler system grants infinite ammo for all of the ship's weapons, but comes later (destroy 999 superweapons) than Ammunition Depots which provide 20% max ammo increase for all weapons on the ship; without them the Massive Wave Gun has 5 shots before it needs reloading. Its weaknesses are all in design elements such as weight and size (the latter making the battleship superior to the battlecarrier, the only other compatible ship) but are practically marginal or already compensated for in a good battleship design.
    • Try the frigate from hell. It can hold 10 system slots (ammo assembler plus 9 more systems of your choice), has enough room to house ASROC, Anti-Air and High Explosive Missiles, as well as pulse lasers, AGS cannons, and a magnetic pulse gun. It has as much firepower as a battleship but comes with higher speed and maneuverability, making catching up to defense targets no problem. True, the Magnetic Pulse Gun isn't as strong as the massive wave gun, but hey, when you can spam those shots to full effect, it doesn't really matter in the long run.
  • Although not quite as egregious as examples in the sequels, the woodworking table in the original The Sims 1 qualifies. Using this object, a Sim crafts a lawn gnome which can be sold for a tidy sum. A Sim with a perfect mechanical skill that starts the day in a good mood can make about twenty gnomes in a standard eight-hour day. Each gnome sells for $100, resulting in a $2,000 daily income, which is significantly more than the highest-paying career (which leads to a bit of Fridge Logic when you realize that a gnome craftsman can make more money than a business tycoon or an A-list movie star). The best part? As opposed to the normal career paths, you can set your own hours, work as little or as much as you want, don't need to raise other skills, and don't have to worry about making and maintaining friendships. The only downside is that working on the table is taxing on your sim's fun and energy levels. However, since you'll be quickly able to afford all the best mood-raising items and equipment, this downside is easily mitigated.
    • Another method is the "Perfect Sim" method, which makes a sim max out their personality stats which may or may not be useful depending on who you ask. To do it, you need to have Livin' Large to have a chemistry set, and make a sim who has no points to any of his personality and a lot with at least the chemistry set inside it. Make the sim keep using the chemistry set until he gets a yellow potion, then have him drink it so he'll reverse his personality, maxing them out. A similar method can be done for pre-existing sims who already have some points in personality, which require them to have a yellow potion handy, and have at least two sims in their lot. The sim who will have maxed out personality must be close to the other and must be killed while the other pleads for their life (which may take awhile) until the dead sim is revived as a zombie. Because zombies have no personality, it will empty the personality points the sim already had, and they can then drink the yellow potion to max their personality out.
    • The Chinese fan, an official downloadable item makes earning money a complete and utter joke. Its purchase price is $99, which is among the lowest in the game. Wait one day and it appreciates to $492. All money woes are solved. Bonus, the Sim suffers no job-related motive decay nor requires any skills or friends.
  • The Sims 2 is rife with these, especially in its expansions.
    • Open for Business adds the ability to make robots using a crafting bench, culminating with the ability to make a humaniod, fully controlable robot called Servo. The kicker is that the Servo inherits all the skills, abilities, and personality of its maker, meaning that it can immediately be put to work on creating more Servos. Within days you can have an exponentially increasing population of robots in your backyard, and given that creating a Servo costs $3,000 and selling one gives you $6,000, this essentially equals unlimited money.
    • Open for Business also allows you to make flower arrangements. The highest tier flower arrangement you can make is the Snapdragon, which occasionally releases a cloud of perfume that fills all of a Sim's requirement bars except energy. Spread clusters of them them around your house, and you'll never need to do anything but sleep and fulfill aspirations.
    • Open for Buisness also contains a much more extreme game breaker - by exploiting a quirk in the way businesses work, plus the aforementioned Snapdragons, it is possible to make MILLIONS of simoleans per day. Notably, you can legitimately earn money from a buisness faster than by entering the "motherlode" cheat code repeatedly.
    • Bon Voyage added massage tables. Two of the massages fill Fun and Comfort which is nice but not game breaking. The third massage, Acupressure, fills Energy and does so faster than sleeping - so a pair of Sims who know how to perform an Acupressure massage can keep each other going indefinitely without ever sleeping, needing only a massage table and some snapdragons.
    • Apartment Life adds magic into the game by allowing sims to become witches/warlocks. Not only are some of their abilities/spells ridiculously overpowered (instant teleportation (though this was already available in Bon Voyage), timestop), but once they reach maximum skill and alignment they gain the ability to craft a throne for themselves. This special chair replenishes all their needs very much like the Energizer aspiration reward item, but unlike that can be used an unlimited number of times with no chance of failure (as long as the witch/warlock doesn't switch to the opposite alignment), completely negating the need for any other items or activities.
    • Generally speaking, The Sims 1, and The Sims 2, suffers from Power Creep: with each successive expansion pack, Sims gain more and more advantages with fewer drawbacks. By the final expansion pack of the original Sims (Makin' Magic), the player could do literally anything within the game engine, including auto-promotions and free friends, without any effort. The Sims 2 tried to counter-balance the bonuses with penalties, particularly penalties that require either large amounts of recovery time (due to lowered stats) or large investments of time themselves (Free Time expansion pack, for example). In short, The Sims games eventually deliver themselves into Game-Breaker status, and that's not even including the undocumented Game Breakers that people are able to find. By the time the Power Creep gets out of control, Maxis/EA simply reboots with the next game (The Sims 3, in this case).
    • The dev team REALLY didn't think of just how exploitable some of the game features are. A vampire can run a business and bite all his employees so they can work happily all night, or a witch can craft some thrones, convert her employees to witches and they can work FOREVER. A vampire can make a killing with the wrecked car from Free Time, by spending all night fixing one, selling it for 5,200 simoleons and then only needing a shower and maybe a coffee after he's finished. Vampires also have the easiest pregnancies ever thanks to their lack of motive decay at night.
    • Plant sims from the Seasons expansion require only water (by washing or by drinking), sunshine, and "love" (social interaction). They can spawn young who inherit their skills, and speak fluent plant (enabling them to farm perfect produce and fulfill their "love" need at the same time). Give one a sink, a sunlamp, and a garden plot, and they're set until they die of old age (or become vampire plantsims, which can't take natural sunlight but do fine under a sunlamp).
    • That may have been one reason why they made non-knowledge sims want all paranormals cured, and feared becoming paranormals, though this does smack of tall poppy syndrome.
    • There's also the pink flamingo lawn ornaments which cost under 20 simoleans and can be kicked repeatedly to rapidly fill up a Sim's Fun motive.
  • The Sims 3 is Gamebreakingness incarnate.
  • The Urbz, a console exclusivenote  Sims game set on a big city, have a recliner chair at one area that refills all your energy in two seconds.
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 has scenarios where the player is severely limited in what he can build, and the challenge is to meet the goals of the scenario with only a few attractions available. Upon installing one or both expansion packs, the player would find that none of the attractions added are affected by these limitations, unless he plays one of the new scenarios. In essence this makes the original scenario limitations worthless.
    • Plus, if you own the first two RCT games, you can import fully finished rides into it, meaning that you can get coasters you can't have anyway.
  • The Solarii in the first Majesty game, as well as the wizard class. At high levels, they can utterly demolish enemy buildings and monsters/heroes. One Solarus on her own can take down one half of an enemy lair...with one swing of her might club/hammer/mace!
    • There are few challenges in the game that cannot be solved by simply throwing more Paladins at it. With great hit points and some of the best armor, they're natural tanks, but after a few levels they pick up a remarkably good personal shield ability. When combined with a ring of protection, a high level paladin could easily achieve a 95% chance of blocking or dodging any melee or ranged attack in the game, with the 5% that did get through barely nicking the paladin's HP, easily solved by delving into one of the stocks of potions. To make the deal even more appetizing, these ladies had some of the most player-friendly AIs in the game, prone to seeking out trouble free of charge, and intelligently spending their money, boosting both your economy and their survivability.
      • While not quite as physically tough, Monks and Adepts could become similarly immune to physical attacks, rather impressive considering how lightly armored they were. Adepts had sheer physical movement speed (and high level teleportation) on their side to let them go anywhere you needed them, while Monks (at least in the expansion) had an unadvertised defense-piercing critical hit (usually accompanied by a "Hi-Yah!" and the enemy crumpling to the ground), most noticeable against otherwise Mighty Glacier-like golems.
  • The X-Wing series is fond of these:
    • X-Wing gave us the B-wing.
    • TIE Fighter gave us the TIE Defender and Missile Boat. The former is better than any other ship available before it either game at everything besides carrying the most ordnance, which it was still good at. It was faster than the A-Wing and Tie Interceptor, better shields than the Y-Wing and B-Wing, four laser cannons, ion cannons, and could carry a good set of missiles. The latter was well shielded and fast, not as much as the TIE Defender, it could carry WAY more missiles than anything else and had the ability to use a temporary boost that doubled its speed, making it the fastest ship in the game, and it carried so many missiles it could just rely on them exclusively.
    • X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter gave us the rule that you could use any Rebel craft on any Rebel mission and any Imperial craft on any Imperial mission. And you could use the TIE Defender, B-wing, TIE Avenger (called TIE Advanced for some reason), and Assault Gunboat. Yeah.
      • Freighters like the YT-1300 have turrets, completely negating the maneuverability advantage of unshielded Imperial craft. A pair of these can wipe out dozens of Tie Fighters in a single battle.
      • The Otana also qualifies. It allowed even intermediate players to slaughter capital ships singlehandedly, to say nothing of mauling squads of enemy fighters. For those who haven't played: the Otana is the Player Character's personal transport, a civilian freighter, but between the massive shield banks, nigh-impenetrable armour and auto-targeting laser turrets with 360° coverage, it went through the series' signature fighters like a mower through grass. The Millenium Falcon was even worse, having all that and a high top speed to boot, but we can kinda forgive that.
  • Dwarf Fortress is absolutely full of these, thanks to massive Combinatorial Explosion and the fact that the game is still in alpha; as such, it's generally agreed that the game (once learned) is very hard to play, but very easy to cheese, leading to the many Self Imposed Challenges players are famous for. Some examples, including patched ones:
    • The Dwarven Atom Smasher: when a drawbridge lowers, it will crush everything under it and erase it from existence. Only the largest of beasts are immune. A single bridge can wipe out entire goblin raiding parties, or it can be used to hurl trash into another dimension.
    • Until the most recent version, projectile weapons were massively effective. A single crossbow bolt could pierce multiple internal organs. In Adventure Mode, this applied to throwing - a thrown handful of sand or vomit could decapitate an enemy.
    • Basic combat stats like strength and speed are increased by both military and civilian skills. Take into account that some civilian skills (like Mining and Record Keeping) can increase very quickly, and it's not hard to create a ludicrously powerful soldier who can take on a dragon on their own or knock a goblin back three screens in a single blow.
      • As of version 34.11, this is no longer the case. No more pump operators capable of punching limbs off of a bronze colossus.
    • Not to mention your damage with a mining pick is greatly increased by the mining stat itself. Powerful pickaxe + 10 skill points in mining = a dwarf that can reduce almost anything that bothers him when mining to red mist with it. Just pray to god he never goes insane.
      • Prior to the combat overhaul release, wrestling directly influenced the damage a dwarf would do with unconventional weapons (like shields or thongs), the odds of them breaking wrestling locks, how well they dodged, and would make sparring almost completely safe. Giving 4 or so migrants from your second wave of immigrants nothing but wooden shields and assigning them to train constantly would allow you to have 4 virtually immortal dwarfs by the end of your second year, well before even ambushes would normally start. These dwarfs would use their shields as maces (which they would use to great effect thanks to their legendary wrestling skills), would be immune to wrestling locks by larger creatures, would be able to block or dodge virtually every attack, and (thanks to being naked besides a shield) would be several times faster than anything they fought. By the 6th year mark, a single dwarf trained in this manner would be more than capable of fighting off anything, of any quantity, besides one very specific type of enemy.
    • After the combat overhaul, lashers suddenly became walking death. See, whips are tagged as a bludgeoning weapon, which makes the damage it does increases with greater size, smaller contact area, higher velocity, and greater material density. However, while whips are only a fourth the size of a warhammer, they strike five times faster and have a tenth the contact area, which basically gives them the stopping power of a .50 caliber bullet.
    • Danger rooms, essentially closets which repeatedly jab a dwarf with blunt wooden spears, can train a dwarf from zero skill to legendary weapon user, armor user, dodger, shield user, and fighter within a couple minutes of real-life time given that they're fully armored. Legendary weapon skill only takes around ten seconds. Now, sparring is significantly more effective while danger rooms (while fairly effective still) have become about as dangerous as they should have been from the start, with impalements aplenty, so it's generally "patched".
  • The GameCube release of Animal Crossing had the island minigame. With a GBA and a link cable, the player could go to an island and meet an animal not usually seen on the mainland, and on their way back, the island is uploaded to the GBA where the player can make the islander do various things depending on what the player leaves behind. By dropping fruits on the island, the islander will reward the player with bags of money. The problem is that the bags in question are randomized between the game's four types of money bags: it could be either 100, 1000, 10000, or 30000 Bells in any given bag, when native fruit normally sells for 100 and non-native fruit for 500. There is no weighting on that, by the way — 30000 is exactly as likely as 100. And you could carry up to 25 fruits to the island in one trip. What is this "debt" you speak of, again?
    • Tortimer's Island acts like this in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, as very rare bugs and fish/sharks spawn there. You can catch these and take them home to sell at Re-Tail. With careful catching and timing, one trip can easily earn you half a million bells. And you can go there as many times as you want, with the only penalty being a 1000 Bell payment for the round trip.
  • Story of Seasons:
    • In many games (especially the Mineral Town based ones), growing Pineapples in a greenhouse or other indoor growing space. Pineapples take a long time to grow, so grown normally, there's only time for two harvests before the season changes. But in a greenhouse, you have time to let the plants resprout, and they do so VERY quickly (every 3-4 days, depending on the game). Since they ship for upwards of 1000g per pineapple, a field full of them can earn you millions in just a couple of months. You can pull a similar trick with fast-growing reharvestables like yams.
    • Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns has the seed extractor on the Konohana farm. Thanks to the Scrappy Mechanic of an expansion system, it's a year minimum before you have access to it, but once you do, you get two bags of seeds for every plant fed into it. Not only does this equal a higher net profit on certain plants to begin with, but it means crops become pure profit instead of an investment and return. Compounding this is the fact it preserves the star level of said crop with no loss whatsoever, eliminating the need to buy fertilizer and sending your net profit-per-5-star-plant through the roof. As long as you don't mess up and sell your last 5-star instance of a crop or its seeds, you can keep watering and raking it in all season. And since seeds don't rot, there's nothing stopping you from keeping your stack of top-notch seeds in your cart for the rest of the year.
    • Harvest Moon 64 made its horse-racing Betting Mini-Game this due to a glitch. Placing bets on the horses then cancelling would refund your money without actually blanking out your bets. This allowed you a risk-free way to make massive amounts of cash quickly.
      • And on the romance side of the equation, there's your dog. Show it to an eligible bachelorett and it will raise their heart rating for you by one level. Every time. Making raising their affection for you a breeze.
    • Spin-Off series Rune Factory tries to avert this, both by swapping greenhouses for monster-filled dungeons and (in later editions) introducing a soil health mechanic (regrowing on the same soil over and over will eventually cause lower quality crops that take far longer to harvest). But since the dungeons are level capped, the monsters will rapidly cease to be an impediment. And the soil depletion (at least in Rune Factory 3) has it's own game-breaking cure. You're told that hoeing Withered Grass on a plot of land will raise that plot's back to normal. What you're not told is that wilted crops have the same effect. So you can just plant rows of out-of-season crops, wait a day, then use your hoe to till them en masse (your charged, fully-upgraded hoe can till half a field - a 9x9 plot - in one strike), rather than one at a time. Combine this with the Formulas A, B, and C (which increases the speed at which the crops grow by 25, 33 or 50%, respectively) and soil management becomes a minor inconvenience at worst.
  • In Capitalism, the AI-controlled opponents will rarely build farms close to the cities, and thus you are able to undercut their shipping costs on products such as eggs and frozen meat that can be sold directly from the farms to retail outlets in the cities by building farms close to the cities. By specializing in these products early in the game you have a guaranteed cash cow monopoly that can be used to leverage the rest of your operations. This tactic turns the game into a cakewalk.
  • In Dragon Lord, you can cast alchemical spells on towns, your dragons, eggs you're incubating, and yourself. Casting spells requires components, which can get expensive the more you use. When you cast a spell on yourself, you gain a little money. The game-breaking part is that you don't need to actually use any components to cast a spell. So when you cast a do-nothing spell on yourself, it costs nothing, you gain money, and you can repeat this forever.
  • In Ace Combat's half brother HAWX the situation is arguably worse it's version of the QAAM the "All Aspect Missile" is rightly regarded as completely superior. It's actually even better than the AC4 QAAM as it can lock on anywhere once in range (even directly behind you!) and has a 100% hit rate baring the use of flares of which you have a set and very limited supply (Way fewer then he has missiles), but even this is normally useless since the missile is very fast and hits in a second at most. Who in god's name thought this was balanced for MP is beyond me, but preemptive usage of them in battle is cause for ridicule and shame and an honor code of "only use them if fired at you first" is very common.
  • Vending machines in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale can be stocked with ludicrously expensive items that customers never normally buy, such as carpets, wallpaper, and hilariously, other vending machines - and whether your customer buys them is independent of its actual price, meaning simple Save Scumming can essentially guarantee they buy your expensive items. Since the base price is vastly higher than what you pay at the market, stocking vending machines full of items like Checkered Floors (60,000 pix profit every sale) and the limited market items (you can only buy one per go but the profit is even higher than that) can result in obscene profits. Using this method, it's legitimately possible to pay off the entirety of the game's debt in one single quarter-day of sales, out of the 35 days you're given.
  • MechWarrior:
    • Knee Capping a battlemech has always been controversial - if only due to being obnoxious - but it was a full on game breaker in Mechwarrior 3, where destroying one leg would straight-up destroy an enemy mech without the need to destroy their center torso. And since you couldn't really protect legs from damage, people would run around in 10x Small Laser Shadowcats and insta-blast legs off of enemy battlemechs.
    • Mechwarrior Living Legends had several. Briefly, the Loki heavy mech had a variant with dual Ultra Autocannon/20s, a cannon which could rapidly shear off the armor of even the most durable mech. On top of this, the Loki was an extremely agile, relatively cheap and decently armored, leading to swarms of Lokis rampaging through enemy forces and slaughtering them; an Obvious Rule Patch nerfed the mounting points on the Loki, making it impossible to mount "assault" guns like UAC/20s on its arms. The Shiva "E" Space Plane - better known as the Beat Stick Shiva - carried dual LBX/20 and dual LBX/10 shotguns, allowing it to handily One-Hit Kill anything else in the sky due to the Anti-Air damage modifiers on shotguns. The Shiva E was also exceptionally affordable, easy to fly, and well armored. Organized games without a "no Shiva E" rule were decided by "how many Shiva Es" each team were fielding, as once the Shivas took out enemy aircraft, they could attack ground forces with impunity. Nerfed in an Obvious Rule Patch in the final release, though the equally (possibly even more) effective Heavy Gauss Shiva remains, albeit less common due to it costing three times as much.
  • FreeSpace 2 has the Trebuchet, presented in-game as an anti-bomber missile with an effective range of 5000 meters. However, it does extreme Sub System Damage, more even than the Stiletto II (which is actually designed to take out subsystems, much slower than the Trebuchet, and vulnerable to being shot down), and no anti-fighter capship weapons can reach even close to five kilometers. This basically allows you to disarm capital ships with impunity with no chance of the target ship retaliating or destroying your incoming warheads.


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