Gone are the days when Chinese companies could get away with ripping off games left and right: Blizzard is going after another one of these alleged copyright-violating piles of crap.
The game in question is mobile title Heroes of Warfare; Japanese publication PC Watch reports that Blizzard’s Chinese conglom and publisher NetEase are suing the the maker, demanding and apology, restitution, and removal from Apple’s appstore, on the grounds of IP violations in China.
Meanwhile, stop cheating, cheaters. Your day has come, as the studio has apparently begun another round of six-month bans to folks who use cheat tools. Stoppit.
And in happier Blizzard news… here’s the whole WoW dev team. The fluffy white dog on the left personally made the no-flying-in-Argus decision, we’ve been informed by the PR collie being hoisted over on the right.
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.
Smack talk all you want, but cheaters aren’t lasting long in Fortnite. In fact, apparently “thousands” of miscreants have been banned already.
Earlier this week, Epic gave cheaters a massive warning. “Addressing cheaters in Fortnite is the highest priority across Epic Games,” Epic’s Nathan Mooney declared. “We are constantly working against both the cheaters themselves and the cheat providers. And it’s ongoing, we’re exploring every measure to ensure these cheaters are removed and stay removed from Fortnite Battle Royale and the Epic ecosystem. We don’t want to give too many clues about what we’re doing, but we are rolling out tools and will continue to do so.”
At least one of those tools will be arriving over “the next several weeks” in the form of account progression. Quick cheating, jerks.
The game most recently celebrated 7M players following the opening of its controversial F2P battle royal mode, while PvE players are grumping over their brand-new Horde Bash mode.
Let this Black Desert
story be a lesson. Actually, no, let it be two lessons: Don’t cheat, and definitely don’t cheat if your job might be on the line. Maybe three lessons, in that we can’t always trust the people running the MMOs we play.
Black Desert, as MMO Culture reports, has suffered a black eye thanks to its Taiwanese studio. Apparently, a pair of Pearl Abyss Taiwan employees in the region used their personal, non-employee accounts to play the game during maintenance (while it was down for regular players), scooping up some sweet loot from the auction hall in the process.
“Both were stripped of their positions,” MMO Culture translates, “and 30% of their pay will be withheld for 3 months.” So apparently they keep their jobs?
OK, so four lessons: The penalties probably won’t be harsh enough.
Over in the west, there’s no patch today, but there are new bits and bobs in the cash shop this week.
It’s best to read the latest letter from the Worlds Adrift development team with a slightly exasperated tone of voice. After all, the developers really thought that during the game’s closed testing with limited buy-in access, anti-cheat measures were really not going to be necessary. Apparently, though, that isn’t the case, and now the developers are going to have to move people off of feature development to roll out anti-cheating solutions just to make sure people don’t cheat.
Because, you know, cheating is bad.
Aside from promising that anti-cheat solutions will be in place in the very near future, the developers also take the time to remind players that cheating is not permitted and will be punished to the full extent of… well, banning players caught cheating. Pretty straightforward. If you’ve been cheating, stop that and don’t cheat any more. And if you published videos online about how to cheat in the game, you kind of deserve whatever happens next.
The business model for Overwatch in Korea is very different than it is here in the USA, which means that there will be at least one person looking at it with longing. After all, there’s something seductive about the idea of not having to buy the game to play, just buying time on a PC in a gaming cafe and making a free account right there. Of course, the result is that the game’s Korean servers are like the wild west, as players can easily make disposable accounts for hacking antics that thoroughly demolish the game’s rules.
It’s like the wild west insofar as it’s a lawless wasteland, that is. The actual wild west featured very few teleporting robots, aimbotting purple French women, or invulnerable British lesbians who could teleport.
In response, Blizzard is changing how the account setups work starting on February 17th, requiring a permanent Battle.net account to log in and play even at a gaming cafe. The hope is that players who hack the game and get banned will then find themselves unable to create further free accounts to harass people who want prefer a version of the game not filled with hacks and nonsense. If you’re reading this while haunting the cafe and hacking your way through the game, know that your days are limited.
OK, cheaters, listen up. You’re jerks, you’re ruining the game for everyone, you’re wasting developer time, which means you’re wasting everyone’s money, you’re not as slick as you think you are, and eventually, you’re gonna get caught, which means you’re wasting your own money.
I’d like to think these are the lessons learned by the latest round of Overwatch cheaters to whom Blizzard has issued ban slips, but alas.
A forum thread baiting hackers with “OH YES FEED ME THOSE SALTY TEARS” (a sentiment I suspect our readers will share) tells the whole story: Blizzard has clearly been cracking down on specific hacks that advertised themselves as undetactable, including the Overjoint and Highnoon aimbots. As Kotaku pointed out, some of the banned hackers as threatening to sue, which is pretty cute.
Bye, Pokemon Go cheaters.
Niantic confirmed in a blog post last night that it’s cracking down not just on the cheat apps but on the people using them.
“After reviewing many reports of in-game cheating, we have started taking action against players taking unfair advantage of and abusing Pokémon GO,” the company said. “Moving forward, we will continue to terminate accounts that show clear signs of cheating. Our main priority with Pokémon GO is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience for all players. If our system has determined that you cheated, then you will receive an email stating that your account has been terminated.”
Previously, players who’d used GPS spoofing cheats and bots reported receiving soft bans, meaning they could log in but not catch ’em all, but these new bans shut down accounts permanently.
Niantic does say that anyone who believes he or she was wrongfully banned can lodge an appeal.
For some of Overwatch’s cheaters, August 1st could be the date that lives in infamy.
From the sound of it, it looks like Blizzard triggered a banwave today that’s reaching out far and wide to wash out some of the worst elements in the game’s community. It appears that many of the cheaters were using triggerbots and aimbots in their matches.
If you want to drink in the salty tears of cheaters, well, there are plenty forum posts from those affected. “Blizzard will feel my wrath!” said one player. “Can we make a petition or something? I deserve an extra chance if I spent extra to buy the pre-order edition,” asked another.
Winners don’t do cheats, kids! Warning: Harsh language below.
Overwatch bans 1 august
Cheaters are not wanted in The Division. They’re not wanted in any game, really, but Ubisoft is taking a harder line against cheaters by taking action against 30,000 accounts. This action led to 3,800 permanent bans and many more temporary suspensions, ensuring that anyone caught as a cheater is going to be just a bit more cautious before trying the same thing again.
But the action doesn’t stop there; Ubisoft is preventing recidivism by keeping players from getting a second chance in the first place. Moving forward, players who get caught using cheat engines can say hello to a shiny new permanent ban for a first offense. It’s unclear how a second offense would take place, at that point, but you probably don’t want to know how hard the company would come down on you. In short, don’t cheat.
It’s been a little over a week since Overwatch launched, and in that short time Blizzard’s new team shooter has become a bonafide success in the market.
As of yesterday, Overwatch passed its seven millionth player, which represents a lot of revenue for the buy-to-play game. Need some more big numbers before you’ll be impressed? To date, Overwatch players have collectively clocked 119 million hours in the live game and swapped heroes 326 million times.
A small handful of those players won’t be seen in the game any more, however. Over 1,500 Chinese accounts have been permanently banned due to cheating. This is the first wave of bans, with Blizzard obviously sending a message to any players out there who might consider using a hack to gain a competitive advantage.
Curious what the Overwatch experience is like? Read our launch impressions of the super-powered shooter!
There are few things more aggravating in online games than to clearly see people use hacks to cheat their way into riches and power, especially when reporting them seems to do nothing. That’s why it’s a cause to celebrate when a game cracks down on players who use third-party software to get ahead in the game, such as yesterday’s announcement from Elder Scrolls Online.
According to ZeniMax, the devs upped their detection software and caught 43 players in the act. The penalty? Permabans for all, with the promise of more to come to those still using these cheats.
“We’ve adjusted our automatic anti-cheat systems to focus specifically on the cheats we’ve seen in the last few days, in addition to launching investigations on specific players,” the studio wrote. “We’ve permanently banned 43 players in the last 24 hours who were found to be cheating. We don’t take cheating lightly, and will continue to ban those who are found to be cheating. We’ll be going back through game logs to identify players who were violating our anti-cheating policies in the hours before we performed the automatic cheat detection adjustment.”
Red Fox Insights analyst Jake Parmley has a piece on Gamasutra today about Black Desert’s business model that confirms what you might already suspect: People invested enough in the game to buy Daum Cash also recommend the game to their friends, at least according to the results of 230 self-reported surveys of a relatively young and almost entirely male gamer population.
“Just under 20% of our surveyed gamers have purchased Daum Cash. However, this group has proven a powerful promotional tool. Of players that purchase optional vanity and convenience (booster) items in game on top of their entry package, 50% are very likely to recommend BDO to a friend, compared to 38.61% of the sample population. The Red Fox Insights research reveals players purchasing Daum Cash on top of starter packs are very likely to champion Black Desert. These ‘champions’ – or players who promote and actively support the game – have remarkable effects on community growth and involvement.”
Parmley questions criticism over the price of items in the cash shop, wondering whether buyables are appropriately priced to target whales — he’s calling them “committed players comfortable with making purchases” — or should be lowered to incentivize more people to buy in and therefore increase the pool of “champions” and activists for the game. It is not clear whether shoppers become influencers (and why) or influencers become shoppers, but either way, Daum gets paid.