The highly controversial zombie survival MMO, The War Z, hasn't had the best of press coverage since it reached its alpha testing phase but the developers are hard at work trying to change the negative opinions of many of the player base.
The first step in along this difficult road is the implementation of a anti-hacking system. Up until now hackers literally had free-roam in The War Z, using horrible advantages such as Wall Hacks, Teleport Hacks and Speed Hacks, totally destroying the experience of the average player. Sergey Titov, one of the lead developers of the game, just posted a forum post detailing some of the changes with the anti-hack system in place.
So today we've updated our anticheat engine - okay "updated" is a wrong word - we've been updating it non stop for a last few weeks, today we just turn on ban engine
Over last few weeks we've been gathering information about cheats and hacks being used and being perfecting our detection system. Goal was to make system with potentially zero false positives. today we've decided we're at state when we can turn this system on and ban all those who're abusing game.
So let me go over all hack/cheat types and tell you how we address them :
1) ESP/ wallhacks.
While those being less game ruining than others, they're hardest to detect. Creators ( okay - one of the creators, others didn't even bothered to think what they're doing ) of those cheats are pretty clever guys, so it was a challnge to create system that detects them. We've started wuith system that gave us 95% false positive results, and at the end we come up with soluton that gives us only 15% of false positive results. Yet it still to high to allow system to decide who deserves ban - so we're feeding iformation from the system to real human operators, who will analyze data and logs and will decide if person deserve ban.
2) Stats modification
Stupid, stupid hacks. Number one only few not exactly important stats are calculated on client, so by hacking those you won't get much of the advantage. More important - our system right now have 0% false positive on those types of cheats. Means - try to use it - you'll get automated BAN.
3) Ghost mode, engine exploits, getting inside geometry, etc.
Once again - we're detecting those hacks, and automatically ban users. Yet - each ban case is alos sent to operators for review.
How we ban ?
First time we've detected you're cheating in a game, we'll give you 24-72 hours ban. After that time you'll be able to play game. Second time you'll try to use hacks - you'll be banned permanently. No refunds. BTW technically at least in USA this is also criminal offense - but clearly we won't be going after each person who's hacking unless they'll be persistent
My biggest problem with all this is that spending time on hacks are delaying release of the game features we've promised. For example clans/friends have been delayed for more than a week. YET, we firmly believe that hackers issue must be addressed first.
Will this be enough to convince players to continue to play? Or is this too little too late? Leave a comment and let us know your opinions.