Blizzard Bans Single Player SCII Cheaters

By Quintin Smith on October 11th, 2010 at 3:10 pm.

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The digital scoundrels at CheatHappens.com have posted an interesting article about what they’re calling an “unprecedented act” from Blizzard. Namely, at the beginning of this month Blizzard began banning the Battlenet accounts and CD keys of StarCraft II players who were using cheats and trainers (at least one of which was created and distributed by CheatHappens.com) in their single player campaigns and in matches against the AI.

Blizzard’s stance is that since those single player games affect the achievements and score displayed in multiplayer, they can’t be standing for it. In response, CheatHappens point out that these elements “have no bearing on multiplayer standings, matches or games”. Personally, I always thought achievements were harmless. This is causing me to reconsider.

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211 Comments »

  1. Mac says:

    Has this been verified – has the person in question really never been on multiplayer servers?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Can Blizzard even tell whether folks are cheating in SP or MP?

    • donmarker says:

      aren’t there games that disable stuff like this if you cheat? Like Red Dead for example? I believe I’ve seen something like this where if you cheat you opt out of receiving achievements, titles, scores etc.
      Smells like blizzard laziness. Lots o’ that going around, especially around december I’ve heard.

    • Metal Chao says:

      The game has built in cheat codes, these disable achievements like in a normal game.
      This appears to be about people… hacking the game to win at singleplayer? What?
      Why not just turn down the difficulty?

    • Al3xand3r says:

      I don’t know what hack exactly this guy used but I think people selling hacks for games should be stopped, or Blizzard and whatever other company should find ways to get a cut from such activities since a third party essentially profits from their game. However, the people using them or free hacks should not be hunted in any way whatsoever. Blizzard probably don’t know exactly what he used either and simply detected something fishy or altered in his game so this sets an awful, awful precedent.

      And no, ignorami, the included cheats and functions don’t do everything you could wish for. Yes, you can potentially do crazy shit using the included editor, but that crazy shit can’t be played on the game’s campaign unless you recreate the whole game with the whole a-mod-is-a-map setup Blizzard have going. Once again, the included functions are nowhere near enough to say that noone would ever use harmless third party cheats to mess around in and get more fun out of the game he paid for. Nowhere near enough. Also, the fact they’re called cheats doesn’t mean they’re simply about winning the game so don’t act dumb and suggest things like lowering the difficulty.

      Did none of you ever enjoy mods for Valve’s games that could affect the single player, like, I don’t know, Counter-Life which allowed you to play through the main Half-Life campaign with the Counter-Strike weapons and handling, or whatever else similar to that? What about the various realism mods for Half-Life 2, or mods that otherwise enhance the content? If so, don’t you see that Blizzard’s implementation of both cheats and modding is lacking and many would want more out of it? If not, is it really that hard to understand? Come on. Think.

  2. jph wacheski says:

    I can’t be stand for it it neither!

  3. Rinox says:

    lol @ achievements. It’s one thing to score a few fun achievements, but the desperate need to get ALL achievements in every game no matter how ridiculous or un-fun it may be to there is way beyond me. Without saying that I agree with the ban, cheating to get achievements? Triple lame.

    • Aemony says:

      That is if they cheated for the achivements. I personally would never cheat for the achivements but to have A LOT of fun with the AI, cripple him with mah überbig army and then wait while he slowly recovers.

      So no, I don’t think many actually cheats for the achivements but for the gameplay itself.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @Aemony: Is there anything you couldn’t do in the map editor, and/or with plain old cheat codes?

    • Xercies says:

      The thing is what is cheating to get achievements, this is clearly cheating since hes using hacks. But wouldn’t say putting the AI on easy so its easier to get a certai nachievement also be considered cheating, exploiting the ingame bugs/design to get a few achievements easier. Its a slippery slope to start saying cheating for achievements is lame because really, what do we consider out and out cheating to exploiting and everything else in between.

    • LintMan says:

      Who said the guy was “cheating to get achievements”? The guy was probably using the trainer to just play the game and have fun with it. The map editor is powerful, but not even close to the same thing as playing through the campaign. And IIRC, the trainer can do things that the built-in cheats cannot.

      I personally think achievements are a big waste of time, but that they were fine for those who like them. But now if they are going to be a justification for blocking the game for people just wanting to use cheats in single player, then that moves achievements into the BS negative feature column.

      And for all the people below saying it’s only 14 days, or to use “offline mode”, see this article:
      here
      In short: Bans for using cheats prevent access to single player and can be permanent.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @pkt-zer0: Does Starcraft 2 even have cheat codes? I don’t have the game but that seems counter productive if they are trying to prevent people from getting achievements without trying. Not to mention hypocritical. Unless said cheat codes automatically disable you from earning achievements when you enter them, I can’t imagine they put cheat codes in the game.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Nevermind, after reading further posts the cheat codes do disable achievements, so ignore my post.

  4. Nallen says:

    My flatmate thought those achievement points were directly related to your multiplayer performance/skill.

    I always thought they were totally pointless.

    And you should be able to cheat all you like in SP.

    • Azradesh says:

      You can with the normal cheats, but they disable achievements. This trailer allows you to cheat whilst leaving achievements on.

    • Metal Chao says:

      He’s not “cheating” he’s “hacking”, using third party programs to change the code.
      There’s NO REASON to hack single player anyway, and I don’t blame Blizzard for banning someone for hacking their game. They broke the Terms of Service, now they reap the consequences.

    • Guhndahb says:

      @Metal Chao: Bah, why? There’s lots of things you can do with hacking that you can’t do with difficulty settings and cheat codes. For example, I wrote trainers for the later Hitman games allowing me to save as much as I want in Silent Assassin difficulty. Why? I had more fun that way. I could have all the fun challenges but without the punishment of playing the levels over and over. That’s fine for people who have time, but I don’t. That allowed me to maximize my fun and no one else was harmed by my act. That’s just a single example, but applies to many SP games.

      Now, in regard to SC2, if they think achievements are such a big deal (I personally don’t and could care less about people abusing achievements) and their systems can detect cheating in SP, then simply clear out the offender’s achievements. Bans for this are absurd and they’d better revise this policy if they ever want a penny from me in the future.

      Cheating is MP is absolutely wrong, and I’ll never do it. But I’ll do what I want in SP. If devs and publishers try to take that away from me, they don’t get my money.

    • Metal Chao says:

      How can Blizzard differentiate between the people using their third party tools for good and people using them for evil?
      They can’t!
      And what about the people who do hack multiplayer? It doesn’t send out a very good message if they say “oh feel free to use third party programs to break our terms of service that you signed in this one specific instance but we’re banning this other guy for breaking the same rule but in a different part of the game”.
      They can either ban everyone for hacking or ban nobody.

    • malkav11 says:

      Hacking singleplayer affects only the person hacking the game. Hacking multiplayer affects everyone playing with them. The two are clearly, qualitatively different and treating them the same does no one any favors.

    • Froibo says:

      @Metal how about just removing their achievements instead of banning their accounts and making them waste 60$? Or maybe a suspension as a warning? But a ban?

  5. fearian says:

    I think this is pretty over the top. Fair enough if people cheat in online games, but singleplayer is your own time. Its like being arrested for public nudity when walking around your living room naked!

    Where’s the problem? Who gives a fuck if someone cheated for an achievement.

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      People who (a) care about achievements and (b) worked hard without cheating to get said achievements give quite a large one. Achievements create a multiplayer metagame on top of the single-player game.

    • pupsikaso says:

      By the way, people do get arrested for walking around naked in their homes. I can’t link you to the site with the story, but one man in a European country was arrested when he woke up at 5am and went down to make coffee (while still naked, something he’s been doing forever), and some retarded mother and child decided to peer into his house while walking by at the moment.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yes. He walked downstairs naked with his curtains wide open, living on a school route at a time when kids would be walking to school. He was either stupid or deserved it.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @pupsikaso: That actually illustrates his point. That is stupid you can get arrested for that because some idiots are looking through your window. Unless he was jerking it on his balcony or walking flagrantly by a large window in view, that’s stupid. Just like Blizzard banning for single player cheats.

    • Aerozol says:

      @ ScubaMonster, time for me to buy a house with nice large windows at street level, on a school route.
      If any delicious kiddies happen to look in, that’s their choice, right?
      Err.. back on topic folks!

  6. Freudian Trip says:

    That’s an absolute joke if true. Blizzard games have always had in built cheats previously.

    WhosYourDaddy - God mode

    KeyserSoze [amount] – Gives you X Gold

    LeafitToMe [amount] – Gives you X Lumber

    GreedIsGood [amount] – Gives you X Gold and Lumber

    Those are from WC3 only. If someone wants to enjoy your game how they want let them. And if you don’t want achievements being borked do what GTA did and turn off achievements if you use codes.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      SC2 also has cheat codes. Memory editing requires external tools, though.

    • Archonsod says:

      Last time I checked I owned the memory in my machine, not Blizzard. If they didn’t want me mucking about with it, they shouldn’t have allowed their software to install on my machine. Letting it do so constitutes agreement to the EULA that I’ll do whatever I damn well want with my hardware.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @Archonsod: Sure, you can do whatever you want. But wouldn’t an offline/cracked version of the game suffice for that, though?

    • DrGonzo says:

      Why would you bother going offline though? No one has ever been banned for anything like this. You would just assume it will be fine cheating in singleplayer.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      This has worse implications for Diablo 3. Trainers are a bigger part of Diablo than Starcraft. I enjoyed single player Diablo 2 using a trainer to tweak my stats or make super weapons. Guess I won’t be doing that in Diablo 3.

  7. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    Coming up: Blizzard requires you use your DNA sequence to identify you on their forums and will ban you if you share this information with anyone else. People are then banned for procreation. South Korea becomes an aging popluation caught up entirely in SCII and becomes overrun by North Korea and their new Pob-like Dear Leader. America reacts in much the same way as Team America depicts, nuclear armageddon occurs, world ends.

    Bobby Kotick reports excellent profits for the quarter and continues to grin like he’s been munchin’ shit all morning.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      With all that money he can pay for the world’s best dentists.

  8. Lobotomist says:

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    I think that Blizzard reached the point where they do not give a crap what players think.

  9. Wilson says:

    This seems pretty bizarre if true. Surely a more reasonable stance (if it is really such a big deal as Blizzard claim) would be to disable the achievements for these players. Cutting someone off from their game for cheating in a single player game seems hugely unfair (you do need a Battlenet account to log into the game at all, right?)

    • user@example.com says:

      Cheating disables achievements already. People who don’t like this and get all pouty and want the achievements anyway and hack the game to get them are the ones being banned.

    • user@example.com says:

      So basically what I mean is they’re effectively being banned for hacking achievements on the server, not for anything they’re doing to the game.

      I’ll forgive Blizzard anything if they throw enough bright rainbows into Diablo 3. :3

    • Wilson says:

      @user@example.com – Ah, well that’s quite different. Especially if as pkt-zer0 says below it’s only a 14 day suspension. I guess I should have read more about the facts before commenting. Because that seems reasonable to me.

  10. F*ck'up says:

    Absolutely ridiculous, it’s vandalism, burning someones else 50 bucks.

  11. ExplosiveCoot says:

    I’m feeling very glad I didn’t buy Starcraft 2 right now. I am horrible at RTS games so I would’ve definitely cheated just to finish the single-player campaign without having to re-play levels. If this story is true; that would prevent me from not only playing any multiplayer in the future but also prevent me from playing the single-player campaign? Yuck.

    If this is actually Blizzard’s stance, there’s no way I’m buying Diablo III. I understand we license and don’t really own games, but this is making them feel waaaay too impermanent.

    • mrmud says:

      SC2 has so many difficulty levels that you would have easily been able to do the single player campaign on the easiest setting.

      That said, it is a huge problem for PC gaming when achivements prevent modding or tweaking of the single player experience.

    • Jutranjo says:

      If you want to cheat you got Blizzard cheats that you just enter like in WC3 for showing the whole map, invincible units, winning missions outright, etc. If you enable those it turns off achievements.

      They’re banning people for using trainers which change the game’s memory as it’s running afaik. What do I know, maybe a single player trainer that shows the whole map also works in multi to show you the whole map?

    • Azradesh says:

      No you can use the normal cheats, the people that were banned used 3rd party trainers. Blizzard’s warden can only tell that 3rd party software has altered the game, it doesn’t say if it was in single player or not. Saying that I do think a complete ban is way too harsh, they should just ban them from the multilayer and achievements if anything.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      I am horrible at RTS games so I would’ve definitely cheated just to finish the single-player campaign without having to re-play levels.

      You could just use cheat codes, you know. God mode + increased damage + infinite money + faster build times + all upgrades + whatever else should be able to get almost anyone through the missions. And there’s still the instant win cheat, if all else fails.

  12. Forscythe says:

    Beyond how completely wrong and evil this policy is, this should remind us all how absurd it is that they even have the _power_ to ban you from your own single player game. As far as I know there has never been any case like this before, even the dreaded VAC bans (where you can still play singleplayer AND multiplayer on LAN or non-VAC servers) are warm and cuddly by comparison.

    This may even be worse than Ubisoft DRM if such a thing is possible.

    • Vinraith says:

      this should remind us all how absurd it is that they even have the _power_ to ban you from your own single player game.

      Exactly. It’s insane that we’ve reached a point where publisher’s/distributors having the power to remotely disable your single player game at whim is an accepted thing. This specific ludicrous incident is just the beginning, once that kind of control is present it will be exercised sooner or later.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      And the fact that this is Blizzard doing this, a veritable juggernaut in the gaming industry, certainly means more companies will follow suit. Blizzard has the clout with gamers to get them to accept this stuff. Or at least make it more acceptable than it currently is.

    • Serenegoose says:

      Oh thank you for pointing this out. I was genuinely worried others hadn’t noticed it. It’s amazing how much publishers presume nowadays. They’re pretty much the only people who will sell you something and then follow you around 24/7 telling you how to use it. It’s more than a little worrying.

    • malkav11 says:

      It worries me especially because it’s Blizzard. Let me tell you a little story:

      I bought the World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition the day after release (I was stupendously lucky to find a copy). I played for several months, closed my account for a while, reactivated, played a bit, and then closed it again. Then the hype buildup began for Burning Crusade. I eyed my bank account, made plans to save for the Burning Crusade CE, and waited patiently. Then, my best friend told me that he would pay for a server transfer to get me set up with him and his guild so that I could be quickly levelled the rest of the way to cap in preparation for BC. We went to do that aaaand… I couldn’t log in.

      After some poking about, I discovered that my account, which I had not touched in over 9 months, had been banned for use of unauthorized programs. I attempted to contact Account Admin about this issue, which I could only do by e-mail. After some time with no response, I tried again. Nothin’. Finally I called Blizzard customer service, which wasn’t able to do anything about it but did let me know that my account had been reactivated by someone else a couple of months previously and that apparently e-mails had been sent but never reached me. I tried again with a different account and finally got a response back. A terse e-mail with zero informational content that pretty much stated, “We’ve looked at the issue and stand by our original decision.” Some arguing on my part ensued. The only thing they added was that my password security was my responsibility. Gee, thanks. My WoW password certainly would have been the weak point, what with its being a random 9-character series of letters and numbers that I hadn’t used in over six months prior to the account reactivation.

      They’ve never restored my account to me, explained why they wouldn’t, allowed me to prove my identity, or given any sign that it wasn’t a completely arbitrary decision made without consideration or investigation. So, yeah, that’s definitely the sort of company I want with their finger on the ban button on my singleplayer gaming.

  13. Durkonkell says:

    This seems like a colossal overreaction. I cannot comprehend this. What is the meaning of this?!

    Is a player’s achievement score used for matchmaking somehow? Because that’s the only situation where I could understand why Blizzard cannot be stand for it. Otherwise, what are they concerned about? That a player will see that another player’s achievement score is higher and instantly surrender to them?

  14. subedii says:

    Unfortunately, Blizzard have this daft system whereby your achievements and “points” dictate how many Avatars you’ve unlocked and have access to.

    Which basically means that people are going to whine relentlessly (relentlessly) on the forums when somebody doesn’t “work” for their Kerrigan portrait by playing through the entire campaign on the hardest difficulty and instead just uses a trainer.

    Whichever way I look at it, Blizzard were acting dumb. Even if they’d just limited it to multiplayer this wouldn’t have been an issue (which is what Relic did with DoW2 and the multiplayer “Ranks”).

    Banning people for cheating against bots though? I don’t think it’s going to hurt the [I]AI’s[/I] feelings.

    • Clive dunn says:

      Maybe they developed the AI to such a point that the bots actually had feelings and could be offended by cheating scum. They formed a union and petitioned Blizzard to step in a do something about it.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I’ve always thought that achievements were dumb, especially when made mandatory.
      *Ding!* it says, *You’re not in a warzone/pirate castle/moonlit cityscape, you’re actually sitting at a computer in a darkened room, alone.*

    • Ateius says:

      @Gap Gen: “*Ding!* it says, *You’re not in a warzone/pirate castle/moonlit cityscape, you’re actually sitting at a computer in a darkened room, alone.*”

      This. So much this. Nothing ruined Mass Effect 2 more for me than the bloody achievement pop-ups spamming my screen. And they were so big!

      Oh, right, account bannings. Um, outrage, orwellian dictatorship come to life, etc. etc. Alternately: smug moral superiority, keep the holy achievements pure, etc. etc.

      Insert whichever stance is appropriate depending on which side’s winning at the moment.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @Ateius: Also, Insert whichever stance is appropriate depending on the developer/publisher in question. Ubisoft… bring out the torches and pitchforks. Blizzard… pat them on the back for a job well done.

  15. Bob Bobson says:

    This is a clear and solid reminder to me that I really need to stop buying single player games that aren’t just files that I install on my computer as I see fit. Sure for online gaming I’m paying for a service, but I really need to get discerning in my solo play choices.

    The market must not continue to get into situations where it’s even conceivable for a company to stop me playing a single player game on my computer while whatever I *!/@ing like runs in the background.

  16. Mac says:

    They probably wouldn’t have been banned if they played offline and used it. There already are inbuilt cheatcodes they can use as well, but they had to use a program that affects the game during runtime which probably triggered Blizzards warden which probably couldn’t see if someone was cheating in multiplayer against bots or against players.

    I really have no sympathy for people who cheat, especially to game the system like that, and the singleplayer along with the multiplayer bots got enough difficulty settings that no one could possibly take that as an argument for cheating.

  17. ChampionHyena says:

    I’d like to know what precisely it says in the EULA, specifically if there’s a “no tampering with normal software operation” clause.

    Moreover, if Blizzard already gives you cheat codes… why use trainers? Unless you are–as mentioned–achievement whoring.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      Already mentioned in the linked article. Duh! Ignore me.

  18. Lukeyb says:

    I was going to put in my 2 pence about how cheating to get achievements is wrong. You may not value them (and you obviously don’t if you cheat to get them) but other people do, it’s not fair on the people that value them for what they are if others are allowed to cheapen them by cheating. Cheat all you like in your games, but don’t cheat for achievements and bragging rights which aren’t yours. I don’t buy into it myself, but I have enough respect not to ruin things for other people simply because I don’t value them myself. Ban them from MP if that is the only way to stop it.

    Then I read further – they are locking them out from even there own single player game!? That’s seriously not on.

    That’s like getting thrown out of a club for wearing trainers and then the bouncer nicking them as well. Seriously not on.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      A more appropriate response would have been to remove their achievements and disable their account from getting achievements. Disabling them from playing is just nonsense.

  19. Mac says:

    Starcraft 2 even got references to Firefly and Battlestar Galactica in their cheats, why wouldn’t you want to use them instead of a trainer!

  20. Eclipse says:

    the game has already cheat codes for single player use, using shit in memory is probably just caught by the software as an hacking attempt, or maybe even as a non legit copy of the game.
    If I’d made a multiplayer-able game I’d ban every attempt to hack the game in every way too, cheating is a plague in multiplayer games, and using trainers in single player when the game has cheatcodes of his own seems just pointless

  21. Soobe says:

    This reminds me of how they patched GTA 4 to make it much more difficult to modify the game world, including vehicle handling.

    This is the sole reason I bought the game, as while I like the story mode, driving a 50000 pound, 300 m.p.h race car trough the streets of Liberty City was never ending fun.

    Why did they make this change? To make cheating in multi-player more difficult.

    I get that, but the change ruined my experience with the game, and more broadly, ruins what makes PC gaming so special–the ability to modify the game, even in ways the games makers don’t want.

    That said, while I cannot agree with banning single players from playing the game, online cheaters be damned, all of ‘em. The worlds full of eat for free types, and I hate ‘em.

    Even still, this is a step too far, and will prevent me from buying Blizzard games in the future.

  22. Urthman says:

    Quintin, Achievements stopped being benign as soon as developers started to change game design to take achievement systems into account.

    Psychologists have known for a long time that extrinsic rewards are less satisfying than intrinsic rewards. Playing a game for achievements has been scientifically proven to be less fun than playing a game because the game itself is rewarding.

  23. Chris says:

    While I think Blizzard is definitely over-reacting (though if that one comment is right and the tools on their side just detect the third-party hacks, not whether they’re used for SP or MP, it would make even more sense)…I have to wonder if people are being intentionally stupid on the subject. It’s *not* an issue of ‘cheating’ per say, it’s a problem with using third-party/external hacks on the game to do it. As has been pointed out, they *provide* the means to cheat in MP in a fashion that’s fully in their control and bound by their fairly reasonable restrictions, so they’ve got decent justification to banhammer those who feel they can’t abide by those restrictions.

    • Premium User Badge

      Schaulustiger says:

      I’d agree with you if they printed the cheats right in the manual or have a menu button that says “click here for cheat codes”. But how should I know that there are “official cheat codes” and that I am therefore not allowed to use any other cheats for my singleplayer campaign?

    • kikito says:

      No, you just can’t use external trainers that you find on http://www.the-warez-sitez.to . The in-game cheats are just fine.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Think of Diablo 3 though. Diablo games have never had built in mod tools. Using trainers to tweak stats or create super weapons for fun in single player was great. Diablo 3 is pretty much guaranteed to have achievements, and thus you won’t be allowed to use trainers in single player.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Schaulustiger says:

    Ok, so what’s with The Average Gamer who just googles for “starcraft 2 cheats”, clicks on some random link and downloads said trainer? He’s banned for cheating in his singleplayer game and probably doesn’t even play multiplayer at all, let alone being interested in those pointless avatar pictures or achievement points.

    Way to overreact, Blizzard. Ah, what the heck, I don’t play their games, anyway.

    • kikito says:

      I don’t think it is overreacting. The guy you mention is just hypothetical while the guys that use trainers on multiplayer are a verifiable reality.

    • Nalano says:

      So ban them from multiplayer. Leave singleplayer the fuck alone.

  25. pupsikaso says:

    Huh? You mean there are no in-built cheats in SC2 campaign? Blacksheep wall? Operation CWAL? Show me the money? None of that stuff? Not to include cheats in singleplayer is very unlike Blizzard…

    • Mac says:

      There are, it’s been mentioned a few times. There’s a ton of cheats even, including such hits as “hanshotfirst” and “sosayweall”. Only need to search for starcraft 2 cheats to find it.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Then.. I don’t get it? What kind of cheats are we talking about here?

    • Mac says:

      Trainers that modify the game memory during runtime while being online. Basically what people would use to cheat when playing multiplayer in every game, but this good-hearted man says he’s a special case and only used it for singleplayer so now everyone’s complaining about Blizzard being greedy for taking away the game from one dude for 14 days.

    • Matthew Minix says:

      @Mac – more than one dude, several according to the article and other sources, and it’s not while online, it’s while offline, and for a 14 day ban it means they know he was offline. (If not, why do a temporary ban?) The concern was achievements, but again, if they can tell it was while offline, why not just disable all achievements?

    • Mac says:

      It IS online, they sign online to play the singleplayer, if they would’ve played offline they wouldn’t have gotten banned cause achievements are disabled then, and the whole thing was that they can cheat their way to achievements and multiplayer rewards by using this trainer. And he can still play offline singleplayer while banned, against bots or whatnot, so he’s just banned from their online service for 14 days, cause he cheated online, so everyone in the comments here are overreacting like crazy.

    • Boldoran says:

      Yeah I would gladly join in a righteous outrage but this blown way out of proportion.

  26. pakoito says:

    INB4: Blizzard banning single player “trained” Diablo 3 characters.

    • pupsikaso says:

      If, like in D2, single player characters could be taken over to multiplayer that would be a very reasonable move.

    • pakoito says:

      This is not an MMO nor it has monthly subscription. If you feel like playing your lvl 999999 Paladin with your friends and they allow you to, you should. Just stay awar from scoreboards, if athere’s any.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @pupsikaso: But in Diablo 2, single player characters could only be brought in to open bnet. Not closed bnet that had ladder play. If Diablo 3 is always online for multiplayer, it’s then impossible to play multiplayer with a friend using a trainer. And single player too unless you switch to offline mode. Unless Blizzard drastically changes the Diablo 3 bnet model from the Starcraft 2 bnet, I don’t see how this will turn out differently.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I’m of course assuming they will axe the open bnet play for Diablo 3. I could be wrong. Here’s hoping they are smart enough to do that.

    • JKjoker says:

      They havent announced the next stupidity to hit bnet2 in diablo 3 yet, but its very likely the local storage gets the axe, that the game will be online only is a given after sc2 so forget mods, trainers or whatever

  27. Jezcentral says:

    I’m sticking this in the “I’ll consider this later” file. It seems outrageous for Blizzard to do this, but I would like proof that this person was banned for doing what he said he did, and not for cheating during online multi-player, before I start having a go at Blizzard.

  28. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Even -if- the people banned used trainers, if it’s true that using them has “no bearing on multiplayer standings, matches or games” .. it’s still a huge overreaction and frankly ridiculous.

  29. Freud says:

    I think Blizzard has been developing a ban-them-and-they-will-buy-again method in WoW with gold farmers and it has been spreading (in addition to other money grabbing methods like charging you up the ass for name changes, realm changes or a pwetty mount). I don’t understand why anyone would be surprised by this development, unless you have taken the position that Blizzard somehow are the good guys.

  30. Kid A says:

    Given that this is probably covered by the typical EULA clause of “Blizzard reserves the right to terminate/suspend your account at any time should we suspect you of altering the software without consent”, I think we’ll be lucky to see anything other than a “read the EULA, kids” from this.

  31. Yghtdsf says:

    Sounds just about right to me. Not sure why do people feel like they should be entitled to cheat their way through achievements – it defeats the whole point. As for people who want to cheat for the “gameplay” and not achievements, they can use the offline/guest mode.

  32. Eamo says:

    Isn’t chievement tracking disabled if you are playing in offline mode anyway? So there would be no reason to cheat to get achievements if you were playing offline since the game doesn’t track them anyway.

    Sounds like this guy is following the long cheater tradition of telling a lot of lies after getting caught in the hopes he gets his account back.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Problem is Blizzard never announced beforehand that you could be banned if you aren’t in offline mode. I’d wager most people would assume just using trainers in single player and not multiplayer would be sufficient to avoid banning.

    • Metal Chao says:

      Then maybe those people should have read the End User License Agreement before they clicked accept.
      It forces you to scroll down before enabling the button precisely so that you cannot use ignorance as an excuse.

    • Thants says:

      I personally put aside four hours a day to go over EULAs with my lawyer. If people don’t take the time to parse through 5000 words of legalese for every piece of software they use they have no one to blame but themselves.

    • Jordan says:

      Yes they did actually. Not only do they state you cannot modify the game’s runtime with 3rd party software in the EULA, but their community liaison team has written many forum and blog posts about the subject.

      There is no excuse. Don’t pretend that cheaters are acting from some moral higher ground. Cheating to play single player even is disgusting. There is NO excuse. You are pathetic if video games are too hard. How will you ever meet life’s real challenges? People who need a crutch are weak.

      I wish blizzard would ban people from league play, who cheat code in the campaign even.

    • crooon says:

      I can make a freeware app and write in the EULA that I get your car if you click accept. That doesn’t legally make it so. You own what you buy. Lose multiplayer – fine, as that is a service. You can’t disable the product for personal use after purchase.

  33. Kurt Lennon says:

    @Archonsod

    And consequently, Blizzard will do whatever they damn well want with your account.

    Like, say, ban it.

  34. Jerry says:

    Makes complete sense. There is absolutely no way for you to be 100% sure someone in Multiplayer is cheating. What may look like an obvious maphack could easily be extraordinary luck or excellent foresight/intuition.

    So rather than risk an outrage by accidentally banning innocent players, they’ll ban cheaters they can detect, release a statement saying they’ve banned 5000 cheaters and expect 99% of Starcraft 2 players to assume they mean maphackers.

  35. utharda says:

    Blizzard.

    Damn.

    Is anyone really shocked?

  36. Razoric says:

    Nice article guys… too bad it’s full of nonsense. Surprised that it’s coming from here.

    A few facts:
    Fact 1 – The guy received a 14 day ban for hacking the game, not cheating.
    Fact 2 – StarCraft 2 comes with built in cheats that disable achievements.
    Fact 3 – The site that posted the original story is also the same site that SOLD the hacker the cheats.
    Fact 4 – The account that was banned for 14 days can still use the offline pass to play StarCraft 2.

    Feel free to ignore these facts and continue on if you wish.

    • Rich says:

      Assuming that’s all true, their response seems pretty reasonable. Particularly if SCII T&Cs actually forbid it.

      Having not yet got my hands on it, this article had me worried that they hadn’t put in any built in cheats. I probably won’t use them, but I used to in SC1 (for resources mainly).

    • Mac says:

      Considering those facts wouldn’t however make for a very tabloid-esque article where people can come in and leave comments about never buying another Blizzard product again though.

    • Rich says:

      Actually, I would say that it’s unreasonable to ban him from using his single-player game for 14 months, as it’s heavy handed. Rather they should have just removed all his achievements.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @Rich: it’s 14 days, not months.

  37. Sharkticon says:

    Never bought a Blizzard game in my life, and looks like I never will. Companies need to learn (or re-learn?) to keep their dirty hands off single player.

    • Eamo says:

      As has been said before, achievement tracking is disabled when you play in offline mode. It is impossible to get achievements unless you are playing in online mode so the entire premise that the guy was playing single player is untrue. Achievements are a multiplayer component of Starcraft 2. They don’t exist as part of the single player game and the guys assertion that he never logged into battle.net is patently false since you can not get an achievement without being logged into battle.net.

    • kikito says:

      Read the comment just above yours.

    • malkav11 says:

      Uh…have you actually played SCII? There are three singleplayer achievements per story mission plus a whole bunch of campaign wide achievements and ones for skirmishing vs the AI and doing certain training scenarios. All of which are disabled if you play offline, true, but by default SCII asks you to log in to Battle.net as the very first screen and singleplayer is still done with an active connection to Battle.net servers for achievement tracking.

    • Eamo says:

      I find it hard to credit that a guy using a paid cheats site doesn’t know what he is getting involved in. Especially when the link to the hacks program has, in big bold letters on it the words “For offline mode only, use at own risk”.

      So the guy goes to a paid cheats site, uses his credit card to pay the $30 a year subscription, downloads hacks programs, installs them successfully on his computer but we are supposed to believe he is a poor naieve innocent victim who couldn’t possibly have known that what he was doing might get his account banned even when it says exactly that in the description of the hacks package he installed?

      Nevermind that it asks you to log into battle.net to play. You don’t think that maybe, just maybe, a guy who does all of the above might have an inkling that the big dialog labeled “LOGIN” that asks for his battle.net account name might have something to do with logging into battle.net? I don’t buy the naievity for one second. I suspect the guy knew exactly what he was doing but is feigning innocence now he has gotten caught.

  38. royale says:

    “It was either this or make their real IDs public on Battle.net.”

  39. bleeters says:

    This seems overly harsh, frankly. I understand where they’re coming from, sure, but who is actually hurt by folks using a trainer to unlock a spectre avatar, or somesuch? Nobody? The only damage caused is to folks who unlocked theirs the intended way, and if they feel their supposed accomplishments are somehow degraded as a result, then I despair. Much like I despair at those who feel the need to cheat in order to obtain irrelevant achievements.

    When did games become about unlocking pictures of people’s faces and pretending it was fulfilling?

  40. Erik says:

    I’m a subscriber at cheathappens, part of my evaluation of buying a game is whether or not there’s a good trainer available or not.

    Why?

    1. I don’t have time to play many games, I’d rather not get stuck halfway through and get frustrated.

    2. I really enjoy messing around in a game, seeing what happens to X if I do Y (which the game designers probably didn’t anticipate). I like sandbox games, and even in games with cheat codes (like SC2) the trainers allow you to do a number of fun/odd things.

    I miss the game genie and similar devices on consoles. Now the trend is, apparently, to lock down PC games the same way … so a game-player can never do things the game-designer didn’t intend for them to do. That’s boring.

    • Mac says:

      What can the trainer do that’s so amazing you couldn’t accomplish with regular cheatcodes?

      If you enjoy messing around in the game even more there’s a fully featured editor where you can load up any campaign map and do whatever the heck you want with it.

    • TenjouUtena says:

      Plus, if this is your rationale… why do you care if you are banned from battle.net? You can still play offline (as indicated above), so it’s not like they’ve really prevented you from playing the game. Just go into offline mode, and hack to your heart’s content.

      And, while I don’t know what the trainers actually do, It’s hard for me to imagine that they are better or more powerful than the map editor, which lets you make some really really creative games.

    • LintMan says:

      @MAC –
      I don’t think you don’t get the cutscenes or campaign-unlockable units/bonuses or story order if you play the campaign maps in the map editor.

      What the trainer gives you that I don’t think you can get from the built-in cheats is money/points for the campain purchasables like the zerg/protoss research bonuses and the weapons-guy unit bonuses. I don’t recall seeing cheat codes for those when I was playing the SCII campaign.

      And “offline mode” is NOT a solution:

      From http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/blizzard_starcraft_ii_cheaters_will_be_banned_single-player_and_multiplayer:
      “If a StarCraft II player is found to be cheating or using hacks or modifications in any form, then as outlined in our end user license agreement, that player can be permanently banned from the game. This means that the player will be permanently unable to log in to Battle.net to play StarCraft II with his or her account,” Blizzard said in a recent statement.

      “If a Battle.net account is banned, a player will no longer have access to the single and multiplayer content,” the developer later clarified to PC Gamer.

    • Bob Bobson says:

      With a program that hacks parts of the memory that weren’t assigned to it, you can make the game do *anything*, at least in theory. Which is way more than you can do with a map editor. You could bind a key to change the palette when you press it. Or have the zerg textures replaced with live music visualisation, or make it so when you spend resources the AI received half as much or vica versa or… or anything (that a computer can do).

      Personally I’m not going to download and use stuff like trainers, there are professional game designers who design games better than I do, so I’m happy with the game as designed generally. And with mods written by talented and skillful people.

      But the base issue is: What I run on my machine, when I’m not interacting with other people, is my damn business. Increasingly games companies have the right and power to disagree with that.

    • Mac says:

      Eh, several of the main cheats are ones only applicable in the single player campaign, such as credits, research points and upgrades on units.
      5 million credits in single player campaign - whysoserious
      Extra research points – wapboinkers

      So I still don’t see what a trainer would give you that’s so amazing you can’t use the inbuilt cheatcodes. No you don’t play a proper campaign when you use a map editor so no cutscenes but I’d wager if you want to muck around you at least did it all once anyway, and then the map editor features more ways to muck about than any trainer could possibly do.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @Lintman: Replace “offline mode” with “cracked version”, then. Just don’t connect to Blizzard’s servers if you absolutely must use third-party hacks.

    • Erik says:

      I haven’t used this particular trainer as I don’t like FPS games very much, but here’s the feature list:

      Instant Cooldowns, Unlock Research, Unlimited Credits, Minerals, Gas, Troops, Kill Enemy Resources, Reveal Map, Instant Build, Instant Units, God Mode, Super Damage, Unlimited Unit Energy, Heal Unit/Structures, Drain Unit/Structures, Add Kills, Save/Load Position (Teleport), Speed up/Slow Down Units, Increase/Decrease Fire Rate, Increase/Decrease Unit Range, Instant Control of Entire Map, Control Enemy Units, Increase/Decrease Mission Timer

    • LintMan says:

      @MAC – Those cheat codes must have come out after I finished the campaign, because I looked for codes for that stuff at the time without luck. IIRC, the codes trickled out slowly in the days after SCII release.

      Can the map editor let you change things mid game? (ie: can you load a save into it and make changes?) If not, we’re really talking apples and oranges compared to a trainer.

      But in any case, while cheat codes make the trainer not all that necessary now, the anger is that Blizzard is capable of and willing to stomp people for what they are doing in a single player game, to the point they are capable and apparently willing to permanently prevent you from playing the game you purchased. All to protect some meaningless achievements, which they could do in a far less draconian way. Why couldn’t they just disable on-line achievements for anyone they see cheating in the single player game? There is absolutely no reason at all they couldn’t just do that. To do anything further is just an abusive power trip on their part.

      It’s all about slippery slope. The next single player game to pull this crap may not have any codes built in and the trainer might be the only cheat option.

      @pkt-zer0 – why should I have to do that? I paid good money for the game. I don’t want to have to download the cracked version and be counted as a pirate, justifying even more BS DRM measures.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @Lintman: How exactly do you propose Blizzard distinguish between one third-party application tampering with the game’s memory in singleplayer, and one that does so in multiplayer? Or one that’s acceptable, and one that’s not? That’s a slippery slope to walk, case-by-case moderation is obviously not going to be feasible.

    • LintMan says:

      @pkt-zer0 – “How exactly do you propose Blizzard distinguish between one third-party application tampering with the game’s memory in singleplayer, and one that does so in multiplayer?”

      What application the player uses doesn’t matter at all:
      Blizzard is absolutely and entirely capable of telling the difference between a player playing single player game (campaign or AI skirmish) and a player playing multiplayer game. If in single player, Blizzard has no need to be monitoring for tampering, (and really no business doing so). It’s as simple as that. I’m all for banning MP cheaters; I just want them to leave SP alone.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @Lintman: You didn’t answer my question. Also, if being in SP disabled security checks, what would stop third-party hacks from just pretending the game’s in singleplayer mode, then?

    • LintMan says:

      @pkt-zer0 – I did address your question – again, the answer is it doesn’t need to distinguish between innocent single player trainers and evil multiplayer ones. The SP/MP mode the game is playing in as all that matters, and faking that isn’t just a trivial matter of “let’s pretend” you make it out to be:

      The game absolutely fundamentally MUST know whether it is running multiplayer or not; if single player, all the units are controlled locally by the local player and the AI – no network interaction is used/required, and no cheat monitoring/reporting required. If multiplayer, then any/all remote players commands/data/etc are coming over the network – the game needs to read that stuff in, synchronize with the other players, etc – so enable cheat monitoring/reporting. Trainers generally manipulate data variables in the game and hack small behaviors, not rewrite all the networking and AI code. Further, since Blizzard’s servers are the matchmaker in all of this, they ALSO absolutely know when the game is multiplayer or not, and a trainer’s not going to fool them. And beyond that, there’s all the other non-cheater multiplayers in the same game who wouldn’t be running the trainer and who also won’t be fooled.

      If you want to presume some magic evil multiplayer trainer that was somehow capable of making the cheater’s game AND the Blizzard server AND all the remote players games think it’s single player but work fine as multiplayer, wouldn’t it be easier for such a grand coding wizard to just directly disable the local game’s cheat monitoring/reporting? The single player “loophole” you’re concerned about would be vastly impossibly more work to hack.

      The basic fact here is that this not a technical issue where Blizzard can’t tell if you’re in SP or not: They just don’t care and want to protect the ridiculous achievements in the most draconian fashion, and so are asserting their ability to prevent people from mucking with their code, SP or not.

    • Bob Bobson says:

      “are asserting their ability to prevent people from mucking with their code”

      I think Blizzard asserting themselves is the crux of the issue. They want to know “How far can we push the boundaries of invalidating copies of games, without losing customers?” They’ve found a test case where some people won’t have much sympathy, now lets see if the market will swallow it. That they ripped LAN support out of SC2 is part of the same need to assert themselves.

      *more ranting followed, deleted before posting*

  41. rocketman71 says:

    I’m not one to cheat in single player (or multiplayer, for that matter), but this is just ridiculous.

    Blizzard’s dickishness is going worse by the day. Guess that’s what happens when your CEO is the worst douchebag in the planet.

  42. fulorrr says:

    Good job Blizzard! The people who were retarded enough to buy this shit from them deserve it.

  43. pupsikaso says:

    Ohhhhh I get it now. So this guy went on battlenet, played some matches against the AI (comp stomp), and used trainers while doing it to cheat. So in other words he was quite clearly cheating and got what he deserved. What’s everyone fussing about? Nobody is being banned for cheating in singleplayer.

    I’d be the first person in line to kick Blizz in the sack for going the Arthas way, but this incident is being blown way out of proportion and in my opinion Blizz has done no wrong here.

    And Quinns, you should edit your post so that more people don’t misunderstand the story.

  44. datazbytes says:

    lol BlizzActivision
    Keep on giving money to them guys, you doing great job.

  45. nuh uh no way says:

    I clearly remember the acquisition of certain achievements being disabled when using cheats in GTA IV on the 360.

    ….Problem solved?

    • pupsikaso says:

      BSinc you idiot. Why do you think I did not link this site in my comment up above?

      You should have at least made it quite clear that THIS LINK IS NSFW and contains illegal fetish material.

  46. Zwebbie says:

    I wanted to pick sides here, but both of them are acting this way because they attach way too much value to achievements. So ‘booo’ to both, you’re all pathetic.

  47. Atholearl says:

    A 14 day ban for using hacks, internet outrage ensues.

    Considering the source of this “news” I’ll save my outrage for something else.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      What does how long the ban was for matter? Even after the two weeks pass the guy obviously can’t go back to enjoying the game the way the wants to because he’ll just get banned again, and likely perma banned since Blizzard obviously think he’s doing something wrong and will consider him a repeat offender.

      This wouldn’t be an issue if Blizzard fully opened their games like Valve does so that hacks, cheats and all sorts of functions can be implemented by mods without having to recreate the whole campaigns if that’s where you want to use the modified functions and content.

      And the way they handle achievements is dumb. So what if he got achievements while using such modifications to the game files? Torchlight has an achievement for using like 10 mods together for fuck’s sake. That’s the way to handle the functions, not by reinforcing the “it’s serious business for e-penis prowess” aspect.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      You know, the guy could just not play online, if he insists on running third-party hacks. But no, that’d make way too much sense.

      I’m not sure what you’re on about regarding the campaign, either, I thought you could open those maps as well. I remember one of the cutscene scripting examples for the editor being pulled from there, anyway.

  48. Someone says:

    1. I personally didn’t get a warning or ban, but my account got permanently closed, basically wasting my 50$.
    2. While they do offer some cheats ingame, trainers allow more, and just at the press of a button, instead of typing a long word. Guess which is better?
    3. I used a free trainer.
    4. Sure I can still play the singleplayer, but it’s the most boring thing you can find if you play through it several times, and I bought the game for the multiplayer, being able to mess around with tons of little people was just a plus.

    I don’t see anything wrong with banning people for some time, or restting their acheivments, but they freaking made my account unusable, which is way too big of a reaction.

  49. Someone says:

    @ Razoric