Blizzard Entertainment has outlined its policy on cheating and hacks for the soon-to-launch shooter Overwatch. In a forum post, the developer said "Play nice, play fair" is a "core value" for Blizzard, and there will be stiff penalties for cheaters.
"If a player is found to be cheating -- or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage -- that player will be permanently banned from the game. Full stop," the developer said.
Blizzard is taking such a hard line because it says it believes cheating "undermine[s] the spirit of play" and also affects other players' enjoyment. The developer stressed that is has systems in place to monitor the game in search of "exploitative behavior" and will "take action as needed to preserve the integrity of game."
"We've always taken cheating in Blizzard games very seriously, and that stance is no different for Overwatch."
However, don't expect Blizzard to publicly announce when cheaters are caught.
"We are unlikely to publicly acknowledge when accounts are closed as a result of cheating or using unauthorized programs," the developer said.
Blizzard also confirmed that Overwatch will have an in-game player-reporting feature that can be used to alert the developer to suspicious behavior. Additionally, you can send tips to Blizzard at firstname.lastname@example.org. You won't get a response from Blizzard, but the company monitors the mail that is sent to the inbox. In fact, Blizzard said it's already tweaked the game and kicked cheating players out of the beta.
Before you report a player, however, you may want to consider the following items (written by Blizzard):
- Our in-game camera system does not always play back footage at the same fidelity as real-time gameplay (this loss in fidelity applies to the killcam, Plays of the Game, Highlights, and--to a lesser extent -- the spectator camera as well). This can sometimes result in a player's aim appearing more snappy or less fluid in playback than it did in-game.
- With the above, there may be bugs with the in-game camera system that affect playback footage. In the closed beta, we actually had a bug that caused the killcam and spectator camera angle to suddenly "snap" whenever Zarya cast Particle Barrier or Projected Barrier. While we're unaware of any issues with the camera system at present, undiscovered bugs are always a possibility to consider.
- Lastly, some players are just really good at first-person shooters. Through practice and years of experience, these players' movements and reaction times can occasionally appear unnatural (if not physically impossible) to those who may not have been exposed to that particular level of play before.
In other news about Overwatch, the game's recently concluded beta attracted 9.7 million players, which is more than the betas for Destiny, The Division, and Star Wars Battlefront. Overwatch launches on May 24 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.