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.
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.
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.