In the world of online multiplayer, especially of the most hardcore variety like that seen in Battlefield 3, cheating is a big deal. Not only can just one player cheating completely skew an entire experience for up to 64 players, but it can also make the developer look bad. Unfortunately in trying to achieve the goal of Battlefield 3 online equality, DICE and EA may just have passed some bans to players who didn't deserve them.
Through the use of software called Punkbuster, Battlefield 3 has been able to detect players who are using unauthorized software for play, and has thusly banned them from using the servers. However this didn't sit too well hackers, and they wanted to fight back.
In essence, hackers were using innocent players as scapegoats to show that the use of Punkbuster is flawed, and in turn getting those defenseless players banned. It's a tactic that has been used before, yet it never seems to truly get the point across.
Now, though, EA is stepping in to do something about those players who were erroneously banned, and is beginning to lift the restrictions. In a statement on Battlelog, DICE and EA said that the bans were directly connected with 3rd party services used in connection with Punkbuster, but the were in no way related to Battlefield 3.
When you think about it, it's really quite silly, this whole situation, but it's good to see those unknowing gamers get their accounts restored. Hackers have long been of the mindset that when presented with an obstacle to cheating they would rather go the extra mile to prove a point rather than simply accept that a developer wants their game's experience to be as pure as possible.
As Battlelog reports to any gamers who were erroneously banned, if you can access Battlelog all systems should be go. So get back out there and fly some jets.
Have you been affected by the use of Punkbuster or the hacker response to Punkbuster? Do you think that developers should use detection software as a deterrent for cheating?
Battlefield 3 is available now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.