E3 2013 Trailers.

The Banhammer: Glitches are now Your Fault

Posted by Scott Grant | 06 Jan 2012 |

Developers can now ban you for being mildly annoying.

Maybe all of you were Javelin Glitched one time too many in Modern Warfare 2 so you won’t agree with me here, but when I see something like this pop up twice in one week I notice. Earlier this evening Infinity Ward ‘Creative Strategist’ Robert Bowling (@fourzerotwo) tweeted a pic of the Modern Warfare 3 banning tool; the Banhammer, if you will.

The pic was a goofy size so I cropped it a bit. It's still a goofy size. Sorry.


This was a cool thing to see as I’ve always been very interested in how this all goes on; the banning in online multiplayer games. I know this is common practice and fully support it for legitimate cheaters. Everyone who hacks a game to make it so that they win needs to get a life. Shortly after showing us the banning tool, Bowling then tweeted the following guidlines (read it for yourself) that detail how a person can get themselves banned from Modern Warfare 3. I decided to read it because I’m that kind of nerd and it was filled, mostly, with the things I expected. Cheating, hacking, verbal abuse, all of the things I expected were there. Then I got to a section called “Glitching”. This is defined as:

c. Glitching – Any player demonstrating ‘game abuse’ in the form of organizing cooperative or single game play for the purpose of gaining experience, prestige, score, weapon levels, icons, titles or other related in-game unlocks. Examples: Exploiting map holes, the javelin glitch, and participating in modded lobbies


Cool! That makes sense. Then I read the Example and thought, “Hold on, what? Exploiting map holes? The Javelin Glitch (google it)? Just a second, these things are your fault.” Now, before you say it, I’m not the kind of guy who does things like the Javelin Glitch, I’m the guy who will be shooting you in the face once or twice with the Type 95 while happily dying 20 times a match. My issue with this is that things like map holes and weapon glitches are the fault of the developer. Shouldn’t the efforts of said developer go into patching said glitches instead of tracking down and banning the people exploiting them?

Now, I’m not here to pick on Bowling or Modern Warfare 3 exclusively, they just happened to be in the line of fire at the moment. The first article that brought this issue to my attention is the following from Rock Paper Shotgun. This details accounts of players being banned, temporarily, from Star Wars: The Old Republic for exploiting something that is, again, the fault of the developer. Bioware in this case. It seems players of a low level were travelling to high level areas and looting chests for high level gear. If none of that made sense to you, go play an MMO, I’m not explaining it here.

My god, it's full of chests....


This isn’t a case of hacking or cheating, the chests were simply laying there waiting to be looted. Bioware just forgot to lock them based on player level, or otherwise bar low-level characters from this area. A seemingly simple fix on the part of the developer, but as in the MW3 story, they would rather ban players while they fix it than just fix it faster. To be fair, the players who were banned apparently did this a lot. A whole lot. But, again, to be fair, the chests were just lying there.

It’s tough to side with people who would rather use unscrupulous tactics to win than just play the game, but I find myself having to. If you don’t like the way people are playing your game, change the rules. Especially if it’s that your game is broken to begin with. Let me know what you all think, I’m curious to see how people feel about this.

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  • Jaap

    By the way, I doubt the law allows the developers to do this.
    I always compare banning with the real world:
    If you do the prestige glitch/hack I’d compare it with writing ‘$10,000′ on a note. It would be wrong.
    But if you find $5 on the ground you’d pick it up right? And if you find a hundred times $5 you’d pick them up as well right?

  • Jaap

    Banning someone because he has hacked the game (changed the script) seems to be OK for me, but banning someone for a glitch?
    In CoD4 there was a map called Ambush, If you’d jump on another player near a wall you could just jump outside. The first time I saw this I actually thought it was a part of the game!
    I agree it’s the developer’s fault. But banning people for the developer’s faults? No.
    But they could fix it, by resetting your tokens and double xp or by placing a barrier on that wall.

  • Davey

    If your local bank accidentally left it’s vault unlocked, would it be legal to walk in and grab a sack of money? You know it’s wrong, so you dont do it. Please don’t justify cheating. It ruins the experience for all the legit gamers.

    • http://thecontrolleronline.com/staff/ Peter Carpenter

      But the bank wouldn’t just leave the vault unlocked after the first robbery, they would close it. Just like the developers should fix the bug/glitch or whatever it is once it is found, to prevent future exploits.

  • http://www.thecontrolleronline.com aDaM

    100% agree scott. If i cancel a channel pack with my cable provider but still have access to it, They don`t demand the money for the last month, they see i called to cancel it (providing that documentation is on their system as it should be, lol) and just fix it by removing it once the error has been noticed. I will say if i ever get banned from a game (after purchasing the game, paying for xbox live, paying for DLC map packs, etc) due to their games own technical faults, it will be the last game i purchase from the Developer, ever…period. If every Dev banned people who ran into their own technical glitches, a total of 8 people would have played “Reality Pumps” game “Two Worlds” That game had more technical holes than an Edwood Movie.

  • Bacon

    Well prestige token glitching is basically boosting…

  • http://fakewebsite john

    i agree with you 100%….im just wondering why im getting banned for something that 1. is not my fault YOUR game is broken 2. they could have enforced bans on far greater exploits EXAMPLE: Tenth lobbies, wall hacking, boosting,

    • jxspyder

      Because, John, you know it’s wrong. You found a glitch. THEN…you absused the crap out of it. That’s why you got banned. Not because it’s there, but because you’re trying to justify doing what you know was wrong. It’s kinda simple.