As soon as Bungie confirmed that Trials of Osiris would be making its return in Destiny 2, players were quick to express their concerns over cheaters running amok in the PvP event, an issue that became increasingly prevalent in the original Destiny.
Last month, I detailed Bungie’s response to such concerns in this post, where I highlighted the ways in which the game publisher had reportedly tightened their security measures in preparation for the Trials revival in Season of the Worthy.
However, we’re now seven weeks into Trials, and players are growing increasingly frustrated as cheaters continue to infiltrate and shatter potentially flawless runs for those whose skills, strategies, and team communications alone would otherwise take them to the Lighthouse.
Many players now choose to bypass Trials altogether as cheaters become more numerous and continue to find workarounds to Bungie’s defenses. And that’s just Trials–the overall game is, in terms of cheating, up “roughly 50 percent since January,” reports David Aldridge, Destiny Engineering Director.
Aldridge acknowledges player frustrations, assuring the community that the team at Bungie is tenacious in their fight to eradicate cheaters. With PC as the platform most affected (to the point where Trials has become nearly unplayable), Bungie’s decision to integrate Steam Datagram Relay with the PC build has all but eliminated DDOS attacks entirely.
The idea that it could be worse becomes especially apparent when in the first four weeks after the Season 10 launch, Bungie tripled their average bans to 2133 per week, up from an average of 656 weekly bans prior to Season of the Worthy.
Extending the Banhammer
Now, Bungie has changed a key policy, further tightening their grip on the Banhammer, which is no longer just coming for obvious cheaters, but for their Trials teammates as well. The policy change allows Bungie to restrict or ban any player who benefits from cheating, whether or not that player cheated themselves.
“This includes scenarios where players group up with or provide account information to a guide or carry service, which cheats on their behalf,” Aldridge states, adding that “if you LFG your way into a fireteam with a cheater,” you should “get out and report them.” He then cautions, “if you ride [a cheater] to a flawless, the Banhammer will come for you as well.”
Because joining a Trials fireteam is a conscious decision, players who refuse to report a cheating teammate contribute to the unfairness that has caused many players to abandon the event entirely. These players should, in Bungie’s eyes, also face the consequences.
Perhaps this is just the policy Trials needs to get it moving in the right direction. Bungie can ask players to report cheaters all they want, but for this tactic to be effective, players need to stop seeing cheaters as their only assurance to reaching the Lighthouse. Instead, they must begin to view teaming up with cheaters as the assurance they will also get banned.
Activities that Warrant a Ban
The following is a list of activities that constitute cheating in the eyes of the Banhammer. Avoid the temptation to exploit these (or to team up with someone who does) if you want to keep playing the game:
- Memory-poking attacks which provide a team with an unfair advantage, including but not limited to:
- Infinite ammo
- Infinite respawns
- Infinite ability energy
- DDOS in Trials
Aldridge mentions that there are detection and banning systems in these areas which Bungie will continue to improve, but lag-switching is an especially tricky area to enforce, as some players have internet connection issues that make lag no fault of their own. As long as players aren’t lag-switching with the intention of gaining an unfair advantage, they should be exempt from the Banhammer.
All of the other issues mentioned above are not permissible activities, and with Bungie shifting even more people to an already extensive security team and fine-tuning their detection systems, those who participate in these activities will almost inevitably get banned.