Now CCP’s Team Security is trying to make good on that promise. A new dev blog out today claims that CCP banned over 1800 accounts in January for botting – mostly mining bots, followed by ratting bots. A third of those were repeat offenders receiving permanent bans, while the rest were merely temp-banned. In March, the botting policy will be updated to inflict a mandatory 3-day temporary ban on the first offense, with permabans on the second.
Targeting specifically “the use of nefarious software that automates gameplay and gives people unfair advantages,” the company says, it is “following up the ban wave from December 13th with an additional wave of 647 accounts. As before, this wave primarily consists of fish bots, although other bots are also included.”
Fish botting just makes the whole thing sadder. “Hey so why’d you get banned from BDO?” “Oh, I was fish botting, and I wasn’t even good enough to get away with it.”
And now it’s happening again. As Kotaku reports, the Destiny 2 forums are overrun with banned players arguing they aren’t cheaters but instead are being flagged for unrelated third-party programs, like kernel debuggers and Visual Studio used in actual game development.
But Bungie is once again denying that its detection could be overzealous.
Remember how yesterday Destiny 2’s community was all freaked out about account bans they believed were being caused by use of overlays from programs like OBS, XSPLIT, Fraps, Mumble, and Discord? And remember how Bungie’s PC project lead tweeted to call that “internet BS”?
Bungie followed that up with a statement clarifying that 400 PC players were indeed banned, but manually and not for overlay-related reasons, and that it had overturned four beta bans. Now the studio has walked back its initial statements even more.
“As part of our ban review process, we have identified a group of players who were banned in error. Those players have been unbanned. The bans were not related to the third-party applications listed above. We will continue to review the process we use to ensure a fun and fair game.”
Bungie denies Destiny 2 community claims that third-party apps are triggering PC permabans [Updated]
We’ve updated with Bungie’s latest statement at the end of this post.
It’s a classic case of he said, she said: the MMO edition.
Following yesterday’s rollout of Destiny 2 on the PC, players have flocked to the official forums and Reddit in consternation. The issue? Apparently, some folks claim that the use of certain third-party apps has triggered account bans despite Bungie’s never having expressly forbidding the community from using such programs. Even worse, players who receive a permaban in this fashion cannot appeal their case to the studio.
Some of the alleged programs that are causing these issues include OBS, XSPLIT, Fraps, Mumble, Discord, MSI Afterburner, and EVGA Precision XOC.
Despite the rising outcry, Bungie denies that this is the case. “We do block programs from pushing their code into our game,” PC Project Lead David Shaw tweeted. “Most overlays work like that. We don’t ban for that tho. That’s internet BS.”
Dumb name or no, PUBG continues its meteoric climb in popularity. The battle royale shooter just reached a staggering 2.3 million concurrency, although these levels haven’t been achieved without a few (hundred thousand) bad eggs spoiling the batch. The studio claims that it has banned 322,000 accounts so far for cheating.
As the studio struggles to stay on top of this monster that it created, it also prepares for the holiday Xbox One release, the PC 1.0 launch, and the imminent addition of climbing and vaulting.
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.
Here is a fun bug indeed: Overwatch has a glitch that’s been accidentally slinging seasonal bans at players who did not deserve them. It’s not a particularly widespread issue, having only impacted about 200 accounts, but it has concerned Blizzard and stirred the team to resolve it and restore affected players to their glory.
“We recently identified a bug that, in extremely rare cases, can cause players to lose their skill rating progress and receive a seasonal ban from competitive play without any prior penalties for leaving early or being kicked for inactivity,” Game Director Jeff Kaplan posted in the forums. “This bug is a high priority for our team, and we’re working on a fix to prevent further instances of it occurring as we speak. In the meantime, we’ll be removing the seasonal ban for all players affected by this bug as well as restoring their skill rating.”
On a happier note, Blizzard published a new 12-page comic starring everyone’s favorite Russian heavy hitter, Zarya. Keep your eyes open; another Overwatch hero or two might be popping in to say hi during this one.
Overwatch’s next great character isn’t a product of Blizzard’s labs at all but the imagination of a masters student who whipped up a Thai hero named Tara as part of a school project. The result is a 40-page document with concept art and design specs for the hero, her abilities, her outfits, her weapons, and even a Thailand-themed map called Arun Town.
“I created a female character as a support hero,” the student posted on the forums. “Her name is Tara (meaning ‘water’ in Thai). The character’s theme is a fish, a Siamese fighting fish to be specific, and a plaited bamboo fish which is a local product in Thailand.”
In response, Game Director Jeff Kaplan said that the project was “amazing!”
Another side to the debate is that the internet itself has evolved over EVE‘s 14-year lifespan, and a lot of toxic behaviour that was accepted or commonly overlooked on the early internet is now considered totally unacceptable. Many of us have grown from a bunch of anonymous actors playing roles in fantasy game worlds to real people sharing our lives and an online hobby with each other, and antisocial behaviour is an issue that all online games now need to take seriously. The lawless wild west of EVE‘s early years is gone, and I don’t think it’s ever coming back.
So what’s the deal? Does EVE Online tolerate less toxic behaviour today, has the internet started to outgrow its lawless roots, and what does it mean for the future of sandboxes?
News of The Judge’s betrayal trickled out of EVE all through the night, and it wasn’t long before the full extent of the incident was known. The 68FT-6 keepstar was sold to enemy alliance Goonswarm Federation, while CO2’s smaller citadels throughout Impass are now in the hands of TEST Alliance. The theft combined with the value of the citadels is estimated at over 1.5 trillion ISK, easily beating the 2011 trillion ISK Phaser Inc scam to become the highest-value theft in EVE‘s history. The actual damage done is even more extensive, injecting a huge dose of chaos into CO2 alliance and throwing fuel on the fire of the southern war.
Read on for a detailed breakdown of last night’s record-breaking theft, the reasons behind the betrayal, and the political situation that led us here.
Circle of Two’s leader, a notorious player named gigX, was so furious to learn of The Judge’s betrayal that he went into full meltdown mode in the alliance chat channel. Not content to keep his rivalry in-game, gigX asked his alliance to give him The Judge’s real name and home address. He followed up the request by writing “The Judge feel free to use your hands by typing here” before adding “while you can” to make a pretty serious threat.
Of course, it’s easy to step away from the game if you’re unexpectedly banned, isn’t it? Players who preordered the game through Amazon seem to be having some issues, getting banned despite being players in good standing. Players who ordered physical copies of the game are still waiting on delivery of same, which seems to be the cause behind the unintentional bans. The community service team has been working with affected players as best they are able, but it’s still a bit of a kick for players who have done nothing meriting the banning. So… here’s hoping that if you are looking forward to the game’s next updates, you didn’t order through Amazon.