Fortnite patches battle royale, adds BattlEye anti-cheat measures, and sues cheaters

Are you one of the 10M people who’ve dipped into Fortnite’s battle royal mode? Or perhaps one of the 500K who played concurrently this past weekend? Then you’ll want to point your eyeballs at the game’s latest patch. The 1.7.1 update brings battle royale stats, a monster power balance in the Save the World mode, and changes to the progression system for Challenge the Horde game mode. At least if the studio can get the kinks worked out, anyway. My favorite patch note? “Added a few structures near Tomato Town.”

Of note, Epic says it’s making good on its promise to upend cheaters, having now implemented the contentious but widespread third-party BattlEye program, even for PvE players. The program is used in multiple games but has been criticized heavily for privacy violations, most recently by the ARK Survival Evolved community. Epic, however, has stated on Reddit that BattlEye was not to blame for the recent spate of false positives in cheat detection.

That isn’t to say nobody’s to blame. Indeed, the company is apparently personally suing the creators of two sub-based cheat service, AddictedCheats, at least one of whom has been “banned from Fortnite at least nine times,” according to the filing. MOP readers will recall that Blizzard’s enjoyed a measure of litigation success over cheat-vendors preying on its own games, so we’ll see whether Epic does too.

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Fortnite deals with cheat detection false positives, breaks half a million concurrent players

Cheating is bad in online games; we can all agree on that. Having anti-cheat software usually raises some questions back and forth, but the core idea of making sure that cheating is stopped swiftly at the root at least makes a fair amount of sense. Really, the only problem with it in the long term is if it mistakenly flags innocent accounts for immediate banning when they weren’t doing anything wrong. You know, like what seems to be happening to Fortnite players recently.

The studio quickly identified the issue and is working to both fix the problem and correct the automated cheat bans for players unfairly barred from the game; the bug appears to be caused by shooting whilst on a swingset, and players hit by this false positive should no longer be getting fully banned. Still, it takes some time to reverse bans, and it’s hard to argue that this makes the anti-cheat software look good. Unless you think swingsets are inherently evil, we suppose. So that’s a mixed result when the game cracks down hard on cheating, perhaps.

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BattlEye clarifies anti-hacking program and privacy to ARK players

After ARK: Survival Evolved players expressed some concerns about the new anti-hacking program BattlEye and its EULA, a BE dev took to the survival game’s Steam forums to address those concerns. Noting that the reddit posts that are stirring up concerns were written by a “well-known hacker,” the dev acknowledged that the program is invasive, as it needs to be to do its job, and that the EULA was purposefully meant to be very direct to give players a clear understanding. Then he emphasized that the program does not root through personal files, saying:

Yes, BattlEye has to be able to scan all memory (RAM) and all game- and system-related files on disk. However, this does not mean that BE is looking through your personal files, credit card details or other such information and sends them to our servers. I want to clearly emphasize that we don’t do this.

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Leaderboard: Would you pay for good anti-cheat measures in an MMO?

Today’s Leaderboard comes to us from MOP reader Hagu, who asks how much you value anti-cheat measures in MMOs.

Players say they want great PvP, PvE, crafting, pets, lore, exploration, etc. But at the end of the day, if you want more X, you have to give up or delay something else. Would players reward a company that invested in anti-botting but with a slower content cadence?

What about it, MOP readers? Do you consider anti-cheat measures to be a feature of an MMO? If so, is it a feature you would pay for? Vote after the cut!

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