As video game makers continue to incorporate more online and multiplayer elements into their games, they need to give special consideration to how they deal with cheaters. Consoles are locked down by default, meaning players have fewer tools to manipulate their experience, but Bungie has confirmed it’s (finally) ready to drop the banhammer in an attempt to stop people ruining Destiny’s competitive multiplayer modes.
In a tweet, Chris “Cozmo23” Shannon, community manager at Bungie, said that console bans are now being issued “for devices with a history of banned or restricted accounts.” Shannon links to a support page on the Bungie website, outlining the various phases of player bans.
If a gamer receives an “account restriction,” that’s it — they won’t be able to play anything until that suspension lifts. An “activity restriction,” however, is a lot more specific: a player will be banned from playing a game mode in Destiny, like Iron Banner or Trials of Osiris, and they may also lose all gear and emblems that are associated with it. Many players enter Iron Banner or Trials of Osiris to level their character with multiplayer-specific items, so Bungie is looking to impose the virtual equivalent of taking cheaters’ toys away from them.
Bungie says that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players will given one of these penalties if they play Destiny on a modded console or have altered the game software. Bans will also be handed out to gamers who use third-party apps to change the way Destiny operates, which includes the use of apps or services that impact other players’ connections (like a denial of service attack). This increasingly happens in Crucible playlists.
Over the past few months, players have taken to forums and the game’s subreddit to complain about DoS attacks, which involves slowing down their connection so the griefer can win a multiplayer battle without any skill involved. Bungie also warns that players on consistently unreliable connections may receive warnings, as it ruins the experience for other people playing the game.
To begin with, Bungie will impose limits on accounts, meaning that those who are caught will be allowed to return to the game once they’ve had time to think about what they’ve done. However, if they’re repeatedly caught, the game maker will ban their console indefinitely.