Activision is serious about getting rid of the cheaters that have infested Call of Duty: Warzone, and the results of the latest ban wave prove it. This large mass ban is hardly the solution itself, though - it's just the beginning, with the publisher and developer Treyarch committing to bringing more anti-cheat updates in the new future to further help curb the problem that has been ruining the game experience for so many players.
Cheaters have been a serious problem in Warzone ever since the free battle royale mode launched, back in the Modern Warfare days. It went through the entire lifespan of the previous game with the problem unmitigated. Luckily this didn't stunt the game's popularity as much as it could have, but the inability to solve the issue was a stain on the game's reputation. Popular content creators and streamers were unable to properly play because of the hackers. Attempts like mandatory phone verification were made to stem the tide, but were ultimately ineffective.
Now, it seems the developers have been busy overhauling the in-game anti cheat system. Many fans suspected that the problem lay with most cheaters getting away undetected, and manual reporting was hardly enough to deal with so many. It seems the new system is definitely a step in the right direction as Activision revealed that a ban wave which occurred earlier this week took out over 60,000 cheaters in one fell swoop. Considering that the total number of accounts banned from Warzone since launch is 300,000, that represents a major increase in efficiency.
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Over the course of the past year or so, players were frustrated with the lack of communication from Activision, Infinity Ward and Treyarch. It wasn't clear what, if anything, was being done against this crisis. This ban wave was paired with a length blog post pledging to improve on that front too, with detailed descriptions of what is already being done to decrease hacking, and what the studios have planned to curb the issue further.
According to the blog post, since launch the developers have made the following steps to ensure the game experience is ideal:
- Weekly backend security updates
- Improved in-game reporting mechanisms
- Added 2-factor authentication, which has invalidated over 180,000 suspect accounts
- Eliminated numerous unauthorized third party software providers
- Increased dedicated teams and resources across software development, engineering, data science, legal and monitoring
As this has unfortunately proven to be insufficient, further plans have been drawn up to finally put an end to the cheater issue. While eliminating cheaters altogether is likely impossible, there are ways to reduce numbers to a manageable level. These include:
- Enhancements to internal anti-cheat software
- Additional detection technology
- Adding new resources dedicated to monitoring and enforcement
- Regular communication updates on progress; more two-way dialogue
- Zero tolerance for cheat providers
- Consistent and timely bans
One of the most effective ways to reduce cheaters is going after the cheat providers as well, not just the users. Whenever an account is banned, most cheaters simply get a new one and continue using hacks. If the source of the cheats is removed from the equation, a single ban becomes enough. Hopefully these measures will prove to be effective enough to push down the cheater population, making Call of Duty: Warzone the enjoyable experience it is meant to be.