Cheating is as old as gaming, and it's even more frustrating with multiplayer video games where we trust in computers to keep everyone following the same rules. While cheaters might never be stopped -- especially now it can be a lucrative business for cheatsmiths -- we must still fight them and do what we can. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds can do more to combat the rapscallions, the developers have conceded, and today they're rolling out more anti-cheat measures. Another cheat-fighting update will follow next week, and PUBG Corp. say that in general they intend to take stronger actions. If we can't climb and vault yet, at least let us Plunk in peace.
Today's statement explains the plan:
"As we announced before, we are in the process of adopting new tools to detect and verify users with unusual gameplay patterns and today, we will be rolling out additional measures. We will continue to permanently ban those who are using cheats. When unusual gameplay patterns are detected from an account, that account will be temporarily suspended and investigated."
Then next week will bring "yet another patch related to cheat detection."
Known cheats for Plunkbat include aimbots, wallhacks, labels and health bars hanging above players' heads, and speedhacks. While some of those can be tricky for other players to definitively identify, there's no mistaking speedhacks. I've seen a good number of speedhackers trolling popular Twitch streamers, zipping around to distract them and chasing after their cars. The youth of today, eh?
Don't expect these updates to fix everything, mind. This is an ongoing war.
"Although we hope to bring about a safe and fair environment in PUBG as soon as possible, our battle against cheaters will not end overnight. We will continue our research and development to establish a better system for combatting cheaters. We will take stronger actions to find and ban cheaters, while at the same time taking good care to not harm innocent players."
I don't expect Plunkbat will ever be cheat-free. Cheatsmiths are always toiling to counter countermeasures. It's an arms race with no seemingly end. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, for example, still has cheats after five years of work from Valve fighting them.
The scale of Plunkbat means that, after 170 hours, I'm still not entirely certain if I've encountered cheaters myself. There was one person who seemed to have unnaturally good aim at vast distances, picking off loads of players, but maybe they were skilled and had good elevation and cover? Ah, I don't know. I try to stop myself from jumping to accusations of cheating because that suspicion eats away at a person. Or maybe I'm so safely in scrub-tier matchmaking that cheaters are whisked away to the upper echelons before I really get a chance to meet them.
The only time I've cheated online was way back in Quake 2, having a high-ping Ratbot duel against a pal who was also botting. The bot made us worse, if anything, because it couldn't lead shots to compensate for modem pings. Innocent days!