Bungie announced that it is cracking down on Destiny players who are cheating by interrupting the connections of their opponents during multiplayer matches. The tactic became obvious during this week's new Trials of Osiris event. Bungie decided to take action against those employing this tactic after other players complained via this Reddit thread and on the game's official forums.
Riot Games announced that it has begun initial testing of a new automated instant "player reform system" for its popular MOBA game League of Legends. The new instant feedback system delivers actionable feedback and appropriate punishment to players who are being verbally abusive in-game.
According to a recent tweet from Daybreak Game Company (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) president John Smedley, 24,837 H1Z1 accounts have been banned for various infractions including cheating. In case you don't know, H1Z1 is an online focused zombie apocalypse survival game for the PC.
Blizzard has banned more than 100,000 World of Warcraft accounts for the use of bots, according to this PCGamesN report. Blizzard's latest round of World of Warcraft account bans were related to those who used automated programs ("Honorbuddy") to farm "Honor" in PVP modes.
ArenaNet did something mildly amusing when it found out that a Guild Wars 2 player was cheating: they took control of the account, stripped the player's character (Darkside) in the public square, sentenced it to death, deleted characters off the account, and then banned the account holder. All of this was captured on video and shared for the entire world to see (as first reported on by Eurogamer).
Valve has made it easier for developers with games on Steam to ban players. Under a newly deployed system, developers have the full authority to ban players, ultimately taking the burden off Steam. The new system gives developers oversight and responsibility to ban cheating or disruptive players as they see fit.
This also means that any player appeals of bans will have to be directed at the people who make the game and not Steam/Valve.
Here's more from the Steam community announcement:
Valve Software has banned a new batch of professional players accused of betting against themselves. At first, the number of professional Counter-Strike Global Offensive players banned was quite high but Valve later reinstated five of them after their investigation seemed to vindicate multiple players. The accusation from Valve is that all of these players engaged in match fixing and betting on themselves to earn real world money.
Obviously this is an illegal act for pro players so Valve banned the following players who supposedly engaged in the activity:
Valve has banned a number of high profile professional Counter-Strike players who were caught match-fixing, according to this Eurogamer report. The maker of Counter-Strike punished multiple high-profile players profited from a recent Cevo Season 5 match between teams iBUYPOWER and NetCodeGuides.com.
Sledgehammer Games is banning players who deliberately kill themselves to "reverse boost" their levels in multiplayer sessions of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, according to this Eurogamer report.
According to this Redbull report highlighting some tips and tricks to spot cheating in Counter-Strike: Go, several pro players have been banned for cheating and have been kicked out of this weekend's Dreamhack Winter tournament.
According to this Ars Technica report, Activision is using DMCA takedowns on YouTube videos that tell players how to use glitches and exploits in its latest Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Over the weekend video network Machinima sent out a tweet warning other YouTube video makers that Activision was cracking down on videos that highlighted possible ways to cheat in Advanced Warfare:
Last week Blizzard announced its intention to start banning bot users in its popular collectible card battle game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Thousands of account were banned for using bots, but it also had an effect on one bot maker - Crawlerbots. The company's Hearthstone and World of Warcraft programs are no longer available for purchase, and its website now consists of one simple and short statement.
Blizzard announced that it has banned "several thousand" Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft players who allegedly used bots to cheat in the popular collectible card game. Blizzard says that a number of players have been using illicit 'bot' software to play the game endlessly in the background, allowing them to hit the daily gold cap and in turn make it easier to level up with minimal effort. It took the company until this week to deal with the issue of cheating.
While details on the exact nature of a new Diablo III exploit (thanks Blue's News) uncovered by players and already being investigated by the developer is unknown at this time, there are some concerns within the community that the problem will receive a hotfix without offering any kind of punitive action against players who are gleefully exploiting it.
In a new open letter to the FIFA community, EA Sports revealed the new actions it will take against those involved in FIFA Ultimate Team scams involving in-game currency in FIFA 15. EA Sports has vowed that it will crack down on those using bots to farm Ultimate Team coins, and those engaged in the buying and selling of those virtual coins on third-party websites.
FIFA Ultimate Team currency can be earned in-game by playing matches and trading players, but you can't buy them and EA does not sell coins to gamers.
The latest title update for the console version of Activision and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Ghost offers "overall anti-cheat improvements" to the game alongside general fixes to known bugs. The title update improves the game's spawning system, a 60-second match timer fix, and general balancing for the game's Extinction mode.
Riot Games announced that the public chat rooms related to its ultra-popular MOBA game League of Legends have been shut down, and while they plan on brining something back to take their place at some point, the space was so awful that the developer felt it had to do something about it.
The channels, which have been a bastion for spammers, scammers, cheaters, and generally uncivilized behavior, only offered players one option to deal with unruly characters: the "ignore button."
Oops. It looks like some Battlefield 3 players may have been banned by accident due anti-cheat multiplayer software Punkbuster. EA issued a very brief statement about the subject today:
"We are investigating an issue of Punkbuster bans that were incorrectly applied to some of our players. Please understand that our game advisors are not able to access or overturn Punkbuster bans, but we're working with our partners at Even Balance to get this resolved as quickly as possible."
The winner of Monday's DreamHack Hearthstone tournament has been accused of cheating by the community - even though organizers have reviewed the situation and given both participants a "pass," and the loser of the event says that the winner beat him fair and square. The trouble revolves around the winner, Radu 'RDU' Dima, who apparently received Battle.net messages from friends while the finals were taking place. Dima eventually bested Team Liquid's Jason 'Amaz' Chan by 3-0 to take home a $10,000 prize pot.
Blizzard Entertainment is suing the makers of the Starcraft II "ValiantChaos MapHack" cheat, according to this TorrentFreak report. Blizzard is suing the makers of the cheat program for copyright infringement, and for ruining the Starcraft II gaming experience for legitimate online players. In the complaint filed at a federal court in California, Blizzard said in its complaint that the cheat ruins the fun for other players.
Companies that provide the tools to cheat in the most popular online games are raking in millions of dollars a year, according to this extensive PC Gamer report. Companies that make and sell hacks for cheaters in online multiplayer games like Counter Strike and Battlefield are making millions of dollars annually from paying customers.
Respawn's website for Titanfall introduces a new section explaining what happens to players who are flagged as cheaters. According to the information on the site, if you are flagged as a cheater, you will be banned from normal servers and corralled into a special "cheater's only" category that limits your online play to matchmaking with your own kind.
On the question of "what happens" when you get banned, Respawn offers the following answer:
As is usually the case with new, popular, and multiplayer-focused games, cheating is a problem that has to be dealt with as swiftly as possible, and that is just what Respawn is doing with Titanfall. Respawn said that it is keeping track of those players who are cheating and will root them all out shortly. Titanfall launched on Xbox One and PC on Tuesday.
The developer announced via Twitter that it was keeping track of anyone using aimbots to boost their kill counts and has plans to ban them soon.
A Reddit thread raising concerns over how Valve's anti-cheat system (or VAC) works caught the eye of Valve CEO Gabe Newell, who took the unusual step of posting a detailed response explaining how it all works and why Valve's system must access data sometimes to identify and ban suspected cheaters. Newell addressed head-on concerns in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sub-Reddit that Valve was spying on players' internet usage.
Rockstar Games said that those individuals who are using money cheats in Grand Theft Auto Online can expect a swift and unmerciful ban. In a new blog post the company said that those who have used exploits and cheats to secure mountains of illegally-gained funds better watch out. They called the large influx of cash from cheating "game-breaking" and "disruptive to the overall experience."
Rockstar has released Grand Theft Auto V title update 1.09, which deals specifically with cheating and exploits in its popular crime caper game for various platforms. According to a very brief update on the Rockstar support website, the update offers "improved anti-cheat measures" and a "fix for several GTA$ and RP exploits."
New research published in the journal Behaviour & Information Technology explores what drives players of online games to engage in bad behavior such as cheating. A study of the habits of people who play online games shows that anonymous users are more likely to cheat, but their behavior is (usually) significantly tempered by the culture and dynamics of the group of players they associate with, suggesting that other forms of online ‘bad behavior’ – such as flaming and trolling – can be modified by the attitudes and behaviors of other group members.