Ubisoft is planning on punishing The Division players who took advantage of the Falcon Lost exploit, prompting  a frustrated response from the community.

According to a Ubisoft community manager, the team behind The Division is “looking into” ways to punish those who took advantage of an exploit found within the Falcon Lost Incursion. The exploit allowed players to bypass a significant amount of content in order to easily acquire the rewards. The planned punishment was mentioned prior to yesterday’s hotfix correcting the exploit, but has not been detailed in a more official capacity since.

The Division‘s community, for example on Reddit, is responding in a very frustrated manner. Since Falcon Lost went live earlier this week, the Incursion (and The Division‘s servers in general) has been experiencing abnormal amounts of lag and has been described as quite buggy as well – exploit aside. Many players believe that use of the exploit is an acceptable practice in response to the state of the game. Or, simply. that any bug or exploit in-game is free to use until fixed. As a result, the threat of punishment is not sitting well as a result.

Exactly what kind of punishment Ubisoft will apply, or is even considering, is yet to be made clear. With the hotfix eradicating the exploit, the bare minimum Ubisoft could do is absolutely nothing. Allowing players to continue on, with exploiters retaining the gear they took from the Incursion, would perhaps sit best with the community. Alternatively, Ubisoft could erase all Incursion loot from the past week, though that might cause an even larger uprising with the community. And of course Ubisoft could always ban the exploiters as well.

The Division Falcon Lost Exploit to be Punished

What the issue ultimately boils down to is precedent. Online console games have rarely gone to the extent of actively punishing exploiters, with Destiny being the shining example of players getting away with (Crota’s) murder. PC MMOs are an entirely different matter, as exploiters are consistently punished for all manner of transgressions. They do this to maintain the complex economies and balance structures within the game. Console multiplayer games like The Division and Destiny, however, are less precariously balanced and so have room to forgive and forget.

Which begs the question, what exactly would Ubisoft be trying to protect or preserve by punishing these exploiters? The most straight forward answer is, of course, the integrity of the game, though that’s a bit idealistic when mistakes like this are bound to happen. Protecting the balance of the game seems reasonable, but players were bound to earn plenty of loot from Falcon Lost eventually anyway. Basic progression control seems most likely, as Ubisoft wants players to be challenged by Falcon Lost for at least another month or two – until the next content drop.

Any reason Ubisoft might have for punishing the exploiters of Falcon Lost must be balanced against one fact, however. And that is that Ubisoft’s main goal must be to keep its players happy and playing. Judging from the current temperament of The Division‘s community, any future punishments could have unforeseen consequences. Then again, game players often love to complain, but rarely back that up by actually following through and abandoning a title.

The Division is currently available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game’s most recent content drop, which included the Falcon Lost Incursion, went live earlier this week.

Source: Ubisoft Forums