The Division developer Ubisoft Massive today published an in-depth blog post in which it frankly acknowledges the game's recent glitch/exploit problems and outlined the steps it's taking to provide a "smooth, high-quality experience."
"Unfortunately, the gameplay experience was recently impaired by in-game bugs and players violating the rules of the game," Ubisoft said at the start of its address. "In order to bring back a better and healthier environment, we have taken new steps to address the situation."
In regards to cheating, Ubisoft said it has heard the feedback "loud and clear" about problems in the Dark Zone. The developer is now taking steps to "strengthen" its security through a number of measures--and the early results sound promising.
"First, we have implemented new cheat detection methods that have allowed us to identify many more players currently using cheat engines in the game," the developer said. "We have already caught more cheaters in the last few days than we had in total during the previous weeks. As a result, we will be handing out the biggest wave of suspensions and bans to date over the course of the next few days."
The Division players found to be cheating are given a 14-day suspension for their first offense, which is up from the previous three-day penalty. If a player is found to be cheating a second time, they will "always" receive a permanent ban, Ubisoft said.
"We anticipate these two changes will noticeably improve your experience," the developer explained. "New upgrades on cheat detection are underway."
The blog post also covers exploits and bugs in The Division, which have been something of a problem of late. Ubisoft said it cannot possibly test for all possibilities internally, so some bugs/exploits are always likely to pop up. That said, the developer explained that it is looking to improve its processes going forward.
"Identifying and fixing bugs before releasing new content is one of the most important parts of game development," Ubisoft said. "This is also the best way to guarantee a smooth and enjoyable experience for our players. Learning from the past and your great feedback, we are currently reviewing our development and testing process to further minimize the amount and impact of these bugs going forward.
"Unfortunately, we cannot simulate the experience that millions of different players will have, and how they will play the game," it added. "As a result, some bugs may make it through testing, and may be present when an update is deployed. In the event that a bug makes it into the game, and this bug can be used by players to gain an advantage, we need to be able to react and fix it, but also dissuade players from exploiting this bug until it is fixed."
With this in mind, Ubisoft also announced it will "adopt a stronger stance" against players found using exploits. The first step, however, is to better communicate to players what is a bug and what is an exploit.
"All known exploits will be clearly listed in a public forum thread and across our various communication platforms," Ubisoft said. "We want all players to be informed. This will ensure that those caught after an exploit was confirmed are aware of the consequences and actions that can be taken against them."
As for sanctions for offending players, people who "repeatedly" make use of exploits will be punished depending on the severity of their abuse, along with the person's own history.
"Possible sanctions include character rollbacks, account suspensions, and permanent bans," Ubisoft said.
There will not be any punishments handed down for players who happen upon bugs "during the normal course of play," however.
"We are fully committed to providing an enjoyable and fair environment for all our players, and will take all steps necessary to achieve this goal," Ubisoft said to close out its message.
The Division launched in March for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It was the top-selling physical game in the US during the month, while it was also reportedly the highest-grossing digital console game worldwide.