“Name and Shame” Death Penalty

Wave buh bye!

Wave buh bye!

Blizzard has repeatedly refused to “name and shame” people caught using exploits for personal gain in Diablo 3, and there’s never any transparency about why User X was punished while User Y was not. They post “people were banned/rolled back” but never list who was, or for how long, etc. This is their corporate policy and obviously it lets them act with more freedom, and can punish or show favoritism/leniency entirely at their discretion.

I think it’s a bad policy with a taint of secret police, and I would must prefer them to act with greater transparency, like a proper public justice system. Failing that, a list of who was banned/rolled would be a great resource, and act as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to abuse the next exploit to come along.

That said, I’m not sure we need the public shaming and punishments to be quite this visible. News from Guild Wars 2:

This week, a player named DarkSide was caught using a cheat program to teleport into buildings, kill powerful characters and make off with all the loot. When other players complained, some of them capturing video of the crime taking place, developer ArenaNet stepped in. Security lead Chris Cleary took control of the character in-game, stripped off all its valuable armour and then forced the avatar to run off a bridge, plunging to its digital demise. The player was then banned.

Not exactly Blizzard-style justice there, eh? Obviously Arena Net could have just banned the guy secretly and privately, like Blizzard does, but this method certainly caught headlines and made other GW2 players aware of what might happen if they cheated also.

Imagine this in D3? Say a Hardcore player was going to be banned for abusing some exploit. What if Bliz locked the user out, and instead of a “Play Your Way” next week brought “Die Your Way” livestream. And via Diablo TV we got to see Nevalistis log onto the cheater’s account, empty his stash into the street, and then march his HC chars off, one at at time, to death in the dungeons. Are you not entertained?

Our vote from the last Blood Shard exploit. Most fans favor heavy punishment, but publicizing it? Unknown.

How should Blizzard punish those who exploited the Blood Shard trick?

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  1. Blizzard’s always been a bunch of wimps when it came to bans. Remember the first bot ban in D2? Nebu posted a giant ASCII skull in the forums and that was that. A quarter million accounts announced as banned.

    For Blizzard, that was probably as extreme as it gets – because cheating in a video game is a totally private affair and shaming them may cause the person to lose friends, careers, possibly family members, and most importantly their sense of accomplishment, superiority over other mortal players, and their self worth. If that happens, one never knows how far the cheater could take it, possibly ending up as yet another red stain on the internet and then we would have to hear from the families about how he/she was such a good person and will be missed. Do we really want this? I don’t think so.

  2. Actually, this tells a lot about “my heroes”, “my items”, etc. (Or the line on the EULA/ToS that says everything belongs to blizzard, you only have the right to play).

    That player lost the right to play before the possession of the character, the entire video was just a “what happens to cheaters”. I don’t know about the ownership of character/items (if it’s like blizzard), but, usually, if it isn’t offline with a backup on a flash drive, it isn’t really “yours”.

    At least, this kind of childish behavior from devs is good enough to silence the endless waves of rant on official forums, so there’s a plus.

    I’m more like – I really don’t care for cheaters and exploiters, since I’m not part of the top 100 players that will aim for the top of the leaderboards, but fix the lag/rubberbanding/green “299 ms” ping. And the act 5 mobs/unavoidable damage.

    I know my approach isn’t the right or righteous one, but the heart wants what the heart wants, I guess… 🙂

  3. The quote from “Gladiator” was very fitting. Not much changed since ancient Rome times. People are still thrilled to see blood (even virtual) and death (or character deletion).
    There should be a line dividing justice and spectacle somewhere…

  4. The GW2 hacker used a 3rd party program. Most of the D3 exploits don’t use a 3rd party anything. Nobody is perfect. The devs will make bugs, and people will exploit them. D3 isn’t a particularly competitive game, so rollbacks/patches are more than enough to address the problem.

    Personally I’d like to see servers set up without any rules. And with cheat codes useable. A server where players can gear up instantly by just selecting what gear they want, with what stats they want. Something like the PTR, but better.

  5. Yeah let’s not start a rally urging more devs to be petulant [REDACTED]s who are just as bad as the community. If you want pointless infantile drama go watch reality TV, there’s plenty of shaming spectacle available there.

  6. I actually don’t really care. On the one hand, Blizzard’s way is fine. The cheaters get banned, and that’s that. They also don’t allow shaming on their forums cause accusations aren’t proof, causes hostility, etc.

    On the other hand, it does leave bans as not very visible. I like the way Valve does it. They don’t exactly release lists, but if you look at someone’s profile you can see that they’re banned.

    People are greedy idiots. If they think they can get away with it, they’ll do it. People with morals and ethics on any given subject often feel in the minority. Take speeding for instance. It’s illegal to speed, people do it anyway. Bringing food into movie theaters. Pirating books, movies, video games, tv shows, anime, manga. If people think they can get away with it and not get punished, they’re a lot less resistant to the idea of doing it, even if they know it’s “wrong.”

    Seeing other people get punished is a deterrent. A deterrent that I feel Blizzard is weak on. Part of why so many people try to cheat at Blizzard games, especially the Diablo series. There’s not enough deterrent there.

  7. I think what we have now is fine–as long as we are PvM only. Severe infractions in a PvP scenario should be dealt with in a more public manner. Sure, maybe not quite as in the example above, but if someone say, uses a third-party cheat to kill HC players, the community should know who they are (or were) and what happened to them. Balanced and fair gaming needs accountability, esp. in PvP.

  8. rollback everyone who exploited and ban them from current season

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