The Division Now Permabans Cheaters On First Offence

Civilization may have fallen in The Division [official site], New York ruled by might alone, but that’s no reason to be a dick about it. So Ubisoft have decided to crack down harder on cheaters. Previously, people who got caught using cheats would be suspended for fourteen days for their first offence. Now, Ubisoft are going straight to permabans. Get caught cheating once and you’re gone. A speedhack may help you push other players around, shaking them-upside down until XP and murdercoins rain from their shorts pockets, but it’s not much use against an admin with a banhammer.

Ubi explained yesterday that their most recent justice spree saw them take actions against over 30,000 accounts, including 3,800 permanent bans. “This led to a significantly improved experience, particularly in the Dark Zone,” they say. But it’s not enough. Once you get a taste for justice, you want more justice, tougher justice, rougher justice. They continue:

“Following this campaign of suspensions and bans, it also became clear that while huge progress has been made in terms of cheat detection, our 14 days suspension on first offense policy has not been dissuasive enough. Judging from your feedback, and based on what we witnessed when cheaters came back to the game, we have now decided to push our policy one step further: we will now start applying permanent bans on first offense when players are caught using cheat engines and we will communicate clearly when new ban waves are taking place.

“We are committed to constantly improve your experience in the game, and this begins with ensuring a positive and fair environment free of noxious players willingly violating the rules. We will take all steps necessary to track down cheaters and make sure they cannot spoil your enjoyment of the game.”

That’s pretty tough, and I approve (assuming their process doesn’t have a big problem with false positives or that they deal well with appeals). Heck, before the fourteen-day suspension, The Division only suspended cheaters for three days for their first offence before escalating to a permanent ban for the second. It’s nice that they’re taking it more seriously.

Ubi have also started going straight to permabans in Rainbow Six: Siege. Tough justice today on the mean streets of the Information Superhighway.

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25 Comments

  1. Wisq says:

    I’m all for this, as long as they’re really banning for confirmed cheating, and not just for some heuristic that gives a lot of false positives — e.g. just having a generic game cheating tool open at the same time as the game, which happens (if they were playing another game before) and is entirely harmless.

    If someone finds themselves in the above situations, 14 days is a dick move but at least it’s a lesson learned. An outright permaban would be a serious “so long, Ubisoft” moment.

    • LANCERZzZz says:

      Fuck that. If you use cheats on any game, you don’t deserve to play any game

      • Nick says:

        single player games?

        • pepperfez says:

          “git gud” cry the angry Gamers.

        • Wisq says:

          Yeah, I was honestly surprised that anyone was taking this post seriously. Then I realised, you were all probably assuming “… use cheats on any multiplayer game”.

      • Qazinsky says:

        Maybe that’s a little strong, what if the cheat engine was used for a singleplayer game? Now I totally agree that cheating in multiplayer is bad (unless a private server where everyone agreed on it) and I also personally don’t see any value in cheating in singeplayer, but some people do.

        As long as it doesn’t affect others negatively, I tend to prefer giving eveyone as many options to play their way as possible.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Right, and what if it chokes on a debugger for software development, which is basically the same tool?

        What if the cheat detection has a bug? Because if Ubisoft know how to make flawless software, they’re wasting their talents on games.

  2. cpy says:

    We need permaban for the crew cheaters too!

  3. Kabukiman74 says:

    Sorry, but that’s too little too late, at least for me. I played The Division for quite a bit, but the Dark Zone, was mostly unplayable from the start thanks to cheaters and hackers and since there wasn’t any more endgame content other than running the same missions over and over and over again I put down this game and haven’t looked back.

    But seriously, can someone explain to me, why they didn’t permaban from the start? A limited suspension only invites people to try, if being caught only resulting in a little bit of playtime lost.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      Same for me, I played the game with three friends, two gave up a week after finishing the campaign, one lasted a little longer but once the first incursion was released and people exploited and hacked all the best gear from it before going on killing sprees in the DZ he was done, I gave up shortly after.

    • XxBrentos9xX says:

      I’ll take a shot at answering your question Kabukiman. Division was (as far as I know0 Ubi’s first real attempt at trying to create an MMO, most likely after they saw Destiny’s sales and $$ from that structure. Personally I dislike MMO’s on their face, since I prefer my RPG’s to have substance and story and I have no time for grinding.

      Anyways, Ubi did not want bad press from auto-banning people, especially because (hopefully you remember) the first several months after the game came out there were glitches galore. It’s extremely hard for a company to fix bugs and glitches whilst also banning people for using hacks, since they didn’t do proper QAing in-house (which admittedly is damn near impossible with an MMO, since you can’t replicate the player base and server load, although the beta should have done this…)

      That being said, I really like this implementation in Siege. I still play that actively with a friend, especially with the ‘free’ operators and (actually free) new maps they come out with. The Division was a decent attempt at an MMO (even though I found it a complete bore in the beta), and I’m sure they will try again with the sequel.

  4. Mansen says:

    Cheaters? Wouldn’t that imply players?

  5. GoodBitey says:

    I’m feeling good about developers and game companies taking stronger stances on cheating/hacking, it is such a game ruining experience that I too feel that it’s best that they go with the permaban. I do agree that they will definitely need a proper appeals process to ensure truly innocent players are forgiven. Although if you got banned because you had “cheating software” up, how about…. don’t cheat *gasp*. I know… that’s a tough concept to accept.

    • pepperfez says:

      One person’s cheat is sometimes another’s quality-of-life mod. Changes to colors, for instance, can give a marginal edge to the average player but can also make the game playable by those with vision impairments. In general I’m squeamish about publishers reserving the absolute right to decide how their games are played, as anachronistic as that is.

      • Kabukiman74 says:

        Sorry, but I think using people with disabilities as a pro-cheat argument is a bit far fetched. Sure, there might me a tiny minority who, without massive infringements into the game might be unable to play but no-one can demand games to be accessible for people with every disability imaginable.

        No, 99,999% of the people using hacks and cheats do so to get an unfair advantage over their fellow players – I personally can live with the “false-positives” who might have “sincere motives” for using hacks/cheats.

        Btw. – I’m perfectly ok with people hacking/cheating in single-player games but as soon as there is any kind of competitive element added there should be a no-tolerance policy. Take “The Division”, without the DZ and it’s competitive nature I’d be fine with people cheating since it doesn’t influence my game.

        • Distec says:

          And in such cases case, addressing customers/players with vision impairments is something that should probably be handled via features introduced by the development team.

          I’m all for games supporting players with color blindness, for example (although I’m not going to harangue any dev for failing to include it). But if 90% of your “hackers” are trying get an unfair advantage versus the 10% who are simply using them for QoL purposes, I can’t blame them for putting down a blanket ban on all of them.

          I’m sure more leniency can be afforded if the game allows private matches that shouldn’t really require any kind of anti-cheat screening. But that’s obviously a no-go for MMOs.

        • pepperfez says:

          I don’t want to oversell it, certainly. Extra-contrast mods are just a thing I’ve seen picked up by anti-cheat systems in the (maybe too-distant) past. In general I guess I’m just old and cranky and deep down don’t believe in online-only games.

        • ButteringSundays says:

          99.999%? Are you high?

          10% of men have some form of color blindness.

  6. bit.bat says:

    It seems that Overwatch released with a very strong stance on cheating (which is a good thing in my opinion), perhaps its success has hinted to Ubi that its ok to do the same?

  7. simulant says:

    What needs to happen with online cheating is some mechanism that puts all the cheaters on the same server(s) with each other, away from the rest of us.

  8. GemFire81 says:

    Now they just need to figure out a way to make this game fun. Steam numbers have gone from in the 100,000 concurrent player range down to maybe 10,000. Basically the game is down to 10 % of it first months population. With the division beinging an mmo of sorts that is horrible news. With that being said , it has happened to the vast majority of mmos to come out in the last 5 or 10 years. Maybe the developers need to hire some people that are actual gamers to help stear these mmos in the right direction.

  9. elpewpew says:

    I think this is a good move. I’m fairly new to the game and I tried going into the Dark Zone pre 30 and got camped around by a guy shooting me through the walls and teleporting into the top of the buildings.

    So yeah, happy to see them gone

  10. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    I feel guilty for this but I secretly wanted this to be a total mess so that Massive could get back to making great and interesting strategy games again but that’s just me being really selfish. Great Dev team though

  11. geldonyetich says:

    Instead of banning them, perhaps their information could be forwarded to a clandestine organization in charge of erasing bad seeds from the human race. We’re not going to have a much clearer metric than ponces who feel nothing about cheating strangers in online games.

  12. NephilimNexus says:

    “Diary, day 174: Still have yet to encounter another human being.”