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It's the difference between understanding the incident (programmer makes mistake) and the root cause (failing at data integrity 101). Not just no backups, but no audit log of what's happened in the game - I'd expect an MMO to have an append-only event history quite apart from their state information.

At least all transactions for purchased game items should have been logged in a separate database. There's nothing worse for a digital content company than forgetting who bought what.

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