Readers of Massively OP will recall that over the past few years, skin trading in games like CSGO have made international headlines when the FTC raided skin traders for facilitating gambling and regulatory bodies hassled Valve over facilitating the facilitation of gambling. Wheee. Anyway, Valve’s apparently had enough of the scofflaws running amok with skin trading and is curbing the practice hard with a seven-day cooldown.
“Steam trading was created to allow customers to easily exchange items with each other, and each day we see thousands of customers using Steam Trading in this way. Recently we’ve been looking into ways to reduce some negative unintended uses of trading in CS:GO (such as fraud and scams), with the goal of preserving trade between players,” says the company. Specifically, it seems Valve’s goal is to thwart the third-party services that make use of automated Steam accounts to make mass trades, as it says most individuals trade a specific item just once a week.
A friend of mine in Final Fantasy XI cheated at one point in a way no one was ever going to find out. He bought some gil, because the economy in that game was honestly a mess (thanks in no small part to a concentrated effort by a small part of the Japanese playerbase), which meant that he could buy more stuff without as much tedious farming. But no one was really ever going to get him for it; the developers were more concerned with finding the people selling gil, not buying it, and the only people who knew were people who had not intent of selling him out.
They say, of course, that character is what you do in the dark. Flashy, obvious cheating is the sort of thing you can wind up getting banned for. But what if you could cheat in such a way that either no one would ever find out or you knew you would never face consequences for it? Would you cheat in an MMO if you could get away with it? Or would you still consider it just plain dirty pool?
Thinking about cheating in Black Desert
? Probably not; cheaters are hiding out in the bowels of the internet trading hacks with the other script kiddies. Our readers, then, will surely care that Kakao is apparently in the midst of another crackdown, as it’s announced it’s banned 647 cheaters
over the last month.
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.”
Last month, Fortnite developer Epic sued two alleged associates of a cheating software site as part of the studio’s hard-line approach to cheaters. Makes sense; cheating is not all right, and this approach has a chance to actually shut down some cheating. Only the mother of one of the defendants has come forward protesting Epic’s actions, stating that her 14-year-old son is being made into a scapegoat and is unfairly being targeted by this legal action.
The mother’s objections include the claims that she never gave parental consent for Fortnite’s terms and conditions, that the developers claims of profit lost on a free-to-play game are impossible to substantiate, and that her son did not help develop the cheating software but simply downloaded it as a user. Furthermore, she stated that the company released her son’s name, which is illegal under Delaware law when concerning a minor. You can draw your own conclusions about how valid her complaints are, but it may well add an extra wrinkle into the ongoing legal battle against cheating software.
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