UPDATE 15/02/2019: To the surprise of pretty much everyone, Bethesda's latest maintenance patch seems to have successfully removed many of the game's illicit items.
The "dupocalypse" - as some players have termed it - purged hundreds of duped items from player inventories. Bethesda says the patch targeted "400 weapon and armour items" that were identified as "common duplication targets".
While it's the toughest action on duping yet taken, Bethesda has been careful not to go full nuclear.
"Players who had multiple copies of any of these duped items, whether they obtained them using an exploit or by acquiring them from another player, will find that all but one of each of those items have been removed from their characters," Bethesda's post states. This means anyone who unknowingly purchased a duped item in-game will get to keep their goodies, while the dupers will lose their stacks of guns.
This also means my dodgy duped gun from eBay is still here - although I very much know the origins of that.
Bethesda also performed follow-up searches of suspicious accounts, removing stacks of nuka cola bottles from naughty players. Kind of like the government sugar tax.
Power armour items were not targeted in this patch (which means duped dev room paints are theoretically still floating around) - but Bethesda has pledged to tackle these in future.
Although duping has been something of a problem in Fallout 76, Bethesda emphasised a very small number of players are engaging in the practice. Less than 1 per cent of the player base needed to have items removed.
On the duping Discords, it seems that the patch was indeed successful in wiping weapons and nuka cola - although dupers are now worried Bethesda will go after their ammo, junk and aid. Given Bethesda has pledged to take further "aggressive action to eliminate exploits [and] duplication methods", they probably should be.
ORIGINAL STORY 14/02/2019: Dupers, it seems your time has finally come, as Bethesda is about to weed out duped items from Fallout 76. For real, this time.
Anyone who's been near the Fallout 76 subreddits will know the community considers item duping a severe problem. The process of doubling items through glitches and exploits - for which tutorials can be found on YouTube - has been accused of wrecking the in-game economy and contributing towards server instability. Dupers have become so unpopular, in fact, that some players have established vigilante death squads to root them out (resulting in the unfortunate targeting of several innocents).
Bethesda attempted to tackle the duping epidemic in previous patches, claiming it would remove certain duping methods, but the dupers have nearly always managed to find alternative ways to cheat. This time, however, Bethesda plans to actively remove the duped items - meaning some people could end up with rather empty inventories.
Today's maintenance patch, which rolls out at 9am EST (2pm GMT), seeks to "remove items that have been created through duplication exploits from player inventories and stashes".
"These item removals are part of our ongoing efforts to address exploit abuse and make positive changes for the overall in-game economy," the post states. "These removals are highly-targeted at a specific list of items.
"Players who have used an exploit to dupe items, or acquired duped items from other players, may find those items removed from their accounts once maintenance is complete."
Although some players have expressed concerns they may have accidentally bought a duped item, Bethesda adds that "only a small percentage of accounts currently have duped items, which means the vast majority of players will not be affected by this action".
While this likely won't stop more duping in future, it should at least clean up the mess from duping so far. I popped my head back into the duping Discords today, and can confirm they're in full panic mode.
If successful, the patch could also put a dent in Fallout 76's grey markets. Should players feel there's a high chance their duped items will be removed, the wipe may act as a deterrent against paying real money for illicit Fallout 76 items.
The patch should also end the circulation of duped copies of unreleased items from the Fallout 76 dev room, from which items can no longer be taken.
Despite the duped item removals and the loss of my grey market LMG, one thing Bethesda can never take is our knowledge of Wooby. #FreeWooby.