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The RPG Files: Ubisoft is Right to Punish Cheaters, Now to Fix Their Game...

Columns By Christopher Coke on April 22, 2016

Ubisoft is Right to Punish Cheaters, Now to Fix Their Game...

On April 12th, Ubisoft Massive released its first major content addition to The Division, finally adding its version of raids, called Incursions. While the additional content for max level players is welcome, the execution of the update was terrible. In no time at all, players were exploiting the raid and earning multiple max level items, breaking the Dark Zone while they were at it. Ubisoft needs to teach these players a harsh lesson.

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The exploit, if you haven’t heard, allowed cheaters to force their way into getting multiple max level items by glitching through a wall and sticky bombing a boss who won’t shoot.  Another exploit allowed them to hide behind an invisible wall and hide from damage. Players have been able to solo the hard mode of the raid using these tricks. A different exploit allowed them to get the weekly mission reward without actually completing the mission. Then? You guessed it: to the Dark Zone to walk all over players who would stand no chance. It’s game breaking on multiple levels.

Also, another bug with this update completely deleted some players’ characters. How does that even happen?

These issues have been chipped away at with hotfixes as Massive scrambles to save their reputation, but I think it’s safe to say that this whole update has been a giant disaster that should have been avoided. That said? These cheaters have no excuses. Ubisoft is right to promise punishment for players who’ve exploited and tarnished their game.

As an MMO player, exploiters are nothing new. Exploits happen all the time in MMORPGs, and over the years I’ve developed a healthy distaste for anyone who thinks cheating is an acceptable way to play an online game. How about you follow the rules like everyone else?

These are the same people who hop on forums and paint themselves the victim when their accounts are banned. They didn’t know any better! It was their first time! How sweet is it for the rest of us when the CMs have had enough and share their sorry history for all to see?

The Division cheater community -- like all cheating communities-- is already up in arms trying to defend themselves and explain that no really, they’re doing Massive a favor by taking the game. After all, Ubisoft would never know to fix it if they didn’t abuse the living crap out of it first. And, of course, it’s all really Ubisoft’s fault for shipping a game with potential exploits in the first place.

That line of thinking really bothers me because it’s so easy to blame the developer instead of the person gaming the system. First of all, I could get a new car a lot easier by driving off after a test drive too. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. And yes, that is an extreme example compared to some “digital pixels” but the fact remains: No one made these people take an unfair advantage over everyone else. They chose to, and given that no normal person would ever stumble across these bugs and think they were intended, they did so knowing they were risking their accounts.

Second of all, it completely ignores the impact on the rest of the community. The Dark Zone is a mess right now. Players running around in high level gear are having a great time abusing everyone who plays normally. And that’s the long and short of it, players who exploit in online games do selfishly and greedily horde loot for themselves and don’t really care how it might affect anyone else. I hope they enjoy the lonely Dark Zone because many players are simply giving up until Ubisoft decides what they’re going to do.

To that, I think it’s clear to see that Ubisoft has royally mishandled this situation front to back. Without a doubt, the Incursion update should not have launched how it did. Even the “raid” smacks of a rush job, having a lot more in common with a protracted horde mode than anything from MMORPGs or Destiny. They should have stopped the raid as soon as the glitch became apparent and immediately began rolling back players who took advantage of the exploit. As I write this, that hasn’t happened.

These players need to be dealt a heavy hand. We have a hint of how they’ll respond based on a report by VG 24/7 earlier this month, regarding other exploiting and cheating issues. First offense, three day ban. Second, permanent. That’s fair, and any ill-gotten gains should go out the window with them, right along with any trophies or achievements.

If this were a single-player game, none of this would matter. But it’s not. These cheaters are hurting the community. And frankly, if I were Ubisoft, I would want them put to bed to stop drawing attention to how horribly they botched this update. What started as a promising launch is quickly turning ugly, and it’s time Ubisoft proved they actually know how to handle an MMOG.

Quick Hits

Fans of the cult hit NeiR will be pleased to see the forthcoming sequel, Automata, has a new trailer. Check it out here and then head to the PlayStation Blog to find out more.

Speaking of Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV will be getting a new crop of Collector’s Editions. The company notes that they may not be ready to launch on September 30th, the game’s official release date, but are striving to make sure there is no delay. The CE contains an artbook, soundtrack, a Noctis action figure, as well as some in-game goodies.

Dark Souls 3 is a bonafide hit! Namco Bandai is touting it as their fastest selling title ever and has released a new trailer, titled “Kingdom Fall” to celebrate.

The Banner Saga 2 is out in the wild and the reviews are good. With more than 30 reviews in on the PC version, Metacritic has is pegged at an 82% from critic score and 93% from users.

Lastly, big news out of SuperGiant games, makers of the wonderful Transistor and Bastion. SuperGiant is going further down the RPG rabbit hole with its upcoming party-based RPG, Pyre. Not much is known yet, but they did release a trailer (above) and will offer a playable version at this weekend’s PAX East convention.

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.