Ubisoft on Friday revealed its plan to stop the rampant cheating that has seen "The Division" go from a source of delight to frustration for players. Bug exploits have ruined the competitive balance of the multiplayer experience in the latest game in the "Tom Clancy" franchise of shooters. After an update to address some of these issues, Ubisoft unveiled a suspension plan for cheaters along with a way to track players who may be exploiting bugs found within the game.
"Unfortunately, the gameplay experience was recently impaired by in-game bugs and players violating the rules of the game," Ubisoft wrote in a blog post Friday. "The Division" will have a two-strike policy for cheaters. The first time a player is caught cheating, his or her account will be suspended for 14 days, a significant increase from the previous three-day ban. A second instance of cheating will result in the permanent ban of the account. In its efforts to stop cheating, Ubisoft said it has suspended or banned more players in the last few days than it had in the first weeks after the game's launch March 8. Cheat detection methods were also upgraded to address these issues.
Cheating affects games like "The Division" more than it would for a traditional single-player game. "The Division" has a main storyline that can be completed through a series of missions, but the reason why players can spend hundreds of hours with the game is the endgame — content for players who have reached the progression level limit of their character — and the multiplayer area known as the Dark Zone. The first endgame content, the free "Incursions" update, included a Gear Set featuring high-level equipment and the implementation of a Gear Score that act as a way to upgrade a character's abilities even after they hit the level 30 limit of progression.
By exploiting a bug, players could easily reap the rewards of the "Falcon Lost" challenge, thus giving these players an unfair advantage throughout the game. In the Dark Zone, these well-equipped players could easily overwhelm other players who have not exploited bugs.
Bugs and other exploits were another major concern for players in the "The Division" subReddit. As Ubisoft notes, testing out a new update within the studio is no match for how the game performs when millions of players are playing "The Division" on a variety of consoles and PCs. To better track exploits, Ubisoft will create a public forum where players can log any bugs. Ubisoft will confirm any potential exploits, which will provide clear guidelines for what is allowed within the game. Abuse of exploits will be tracked with penalties ranging from character rollbacks to bans, according to Ubisoft.