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.
Activision has released a Call of Duty Ghost hotfix for all platforms that deals with several serious issues that have been plaguing the game's online community for awhile. The hotfix addresses various hacks including "invisibility" and "god mode" being used in multiplayer.
Activision has also released the first update for the Xbox One version of the game, including general performance and stability fixes.
Call of Duty: Ghost, the latest in Activision's best-selling military-themed shooter series, releases today, but current generation versions of the game have been hacked, according to this Polygon report.
Several major fighting game tournament organizers have decided to standardize rules about player collusion. According to a Shoryuken report, any form of collusion between competitors is now considered cheating and tournament directors who catch any competitor "intentionally underperforming" will disqualify them "immediately."
A PSN account holder allegedly used ill-gotten PlayStation 3 and Vita trophies to bid on items in Sony's Bid for Greatness campaign. The campaign gives PSN users a chance to bid on one-of-a-kind props originally used by actors in the "Greatness Awaits" PlayStation 4 trailer that was shown during E3 2013 in a special auction.
Blizzard seems to be having a hell of a time with its online auction houses lately.
Last month, a Diablo III patch introduced a gold-duplicating bug that forced the developer to take the game's auction house offline until it could fix the bug and audit players' accounts.
Valve has decided that players in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community should be able to police themselves. With that in mind, the company has launched a beta of a new system it has called Overwatch. The system will choose reputable members of the game's community to serve as investigators. When playing the game they'll have a special "Overwatch button" that will alert them that a case is pending to evaluate.
Blizzard announced that it will keep the Diablo III auction houses offline for awhile longer as it deals with the aftermath of a gold duping bug that was introduced in a patch released earlier this week. While the nasty little bug that saw a handful of users take advantage and create trillions of in-game gold has been squashed, Blizzard tells the community that it needs a little more time to audit players who may have used the exploit and made transactions in the auction houses.
The new Diablo III update has caused the game's in-game economy to go a little bit crazy after some enterprising (unscrupulous?) players found and exploited a gold duping bug. The problems with the game's economy forced Blizzard to shut down the game's auction house temporarily. According to some reports, the problems with the patch have enabled some players to generate "trillions" in gold. One post in the Battle.net forums claims that a user managed to amass a whopping 371 trillion gold using the exploit.
If you are interested in using some third-party video game hacks that you happened upon in the darker corners of the Internet, then you might want to think twice before using it. According to a report by AVG Viruslab Research Group, almost 90 percent of all video game hacks contain malware, putting gamers’ systems at risk.
Riot Games announced on the League of Legends forums that it has sanctioned several professional League of Legends players for engaging in what it calls "Elo-Boosting." Elo-Boosting is when one player stands in and plays on another player's client to artificially improve that person's Elo rating. Elo is a system that calculates a player's relative skill level. Mucking about with that system is apparently a pretty serious offense.
Cheaters never prosper, get banned and don't get a refund in The Castle Doctrine, an indie online game where players protect their "castles" and families from other players by decking it out with various hazards to ward of thieves. Developer Jason Rohrer has banned the first player from the alpha version of his online game The Castle Doctrine, and he says that anyone who uses the source code to create cheats or exploits a bug during the alpha test will be banned from play and not receive the early adopter $8 fee they paid.
Blizzard has banned "several thousand" Diablo III players for using bots, according to this Battle.net forum thread. In announcing the bans, Blizzard said that these kinds of acts (using cheats and exploits) are "undermining the spirit of fair play," and that the company plans to release new tools in the early part of 2013 that make it easier for players to report bad player behavior and cheating to Blizzard.
Blizzard community manager Lylirra announced the bans on the Battle.net forums:
Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley wants cheaters to know that he will hunt them down to the ends of the earth and ban them from the recently launched first-person sci-fi online shooter PlanetSide 2. Smedley took to Twitter to let the community know that he will not let cheaters ruin the game for everyone else.