Oct 11 2010

Debate of the Day: Should Blizzard Ban Single Player Hackers from Starcraft 2?

Published by at 1:00 pm under Debate

When news broke that Blizzard was cracking down on hundreds of thousands of Starcraft 2 players employing map hacks and other cheats, it was a cause for celebration. Nothing taints a game more than suspecting your opponent cheated after all. But now it’s being revealed that even those playing single player exclusively received bans or suspensions for violating Blizzard’s Terms of Service, even though by playing by themselves, their actions “weren’t hurting anyone.”

This news is all over the internet at the moment, with people arguing for or against the fairness of the decision, so I thought I’d bring it up for today’s debate. Here’s my take:

Blizzard doesn’t care if you want to cheat in single player. That’s why they have a whole host of their own codes for the game that make things quite a bit easier for players to win. I don’t know exactly what these outside hacks do above and beyond these codes, but presumably it’s something to make the game easier or more enjoyable.

TWO Motherships? Cheatery!

But I think the problem is Blizzard’s new achievement system. While Blizzard’s codes automatically deactivate your ability to work toward achievements, thus increasing your uh, Starcraft gamerscore (not sure what else to call it), I’m pretty sure these hacks have no such mechanism in place, and with them, achievements like beating the game on Brutal, or winning 1000 games against insane AI opponents, are unlockable in a much easier fashion for those who have hacks.

And on top of this, the fact remains that Blizzard wrote their own Terms of Service, you agreed to it. It might not be fair, but it says ANY hacking will get you a ban, so it’s not like you weren’t warned. Legally, they have the right to do this, and though it may be kind of a dick move for players who really were just trying to enjoy the game alone, being a dick is not a crime.

So even though on first glance this seems like a clear cut issue of Blizzard being sloppy with their banhammer, I think on closer inspection you can actually see the company has a point. With their own codes in place to make the game easier, there’s no real reason to hack the game any further, unless you just want to make snagging achievements easier, which DOES affect other players who are working hard to earn the same prizes.

But that’s just my opinion, what’s yours?





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11 responses so far

  • MrDudeMan

    This sort of relates to bungie banning 15 000 people for using cheats to boost up their credits in Halo Reach. While it doesn’t in reality affect anyone else because it doesnt give you an advantage. Cheating to get a certain rank/achievement takes away the experience from everyone else. And if a company lets players get away with it, it takes away any incentive to play the game (i.e MW2). Also what could you possibly want to do in starcraft that you cant do now? Even if you want 30 motherships on one map, there are custom maps where you can do that, and using the single player cheats only making the game enjoyable for about 10 minutes.

  • ComfortableMadness

    I think Blizzard is fully in the right. Aside from all the reasons you mentioned above, I think hacks cause the game to become less replayable. Back in the original Starcraft days you could just type in “power overwhelming” and instantly become invincible. While that one was an actual Blizzard “hack” it made playing the game kind of pointless. Anytime you were losing a match just type in the magic words and instant success. Maybe its just me but I think that completely ruined the single player mode.

  • oyzx

    of course they have the right to, but c’mon, its single player. its like punishing a kid who doesnt dribble the basketball when he’s shooting hoops by himself.

    then again, maybe hacking single player leads to hacking online games, so as a deterrent, might make sense.

  • R

    Hackers in all forms shouldn’t be allowed to play anything so I say ban them all.

  • Prof. Frink

    Armor lock sucks!!!!!

  • I.

    First of all, the fact that it was already written Blizzard’s Terms of Service and people blatantly violated is like they wanted to be banned.

    It’s like going out of your house and smashing the car that’s blocking your driveway with a baseball bat knowing that after you did that, you would arrested.

  • Akari

    I suspect the issue is that the Blizzard hack detection can’t distinguish whether the player was using the hacks for single player or multiplayer and is basically lumping everyone using those 3rd party programs into a single group because that’s all they can do.

    Usually these cheat detectors are looking for specific processes running on your machine at the same time the game is. Odds are, Bliz didn’t bother to distinguish what you’re doing specifically at the time the cheat was detected, deciding that evidence of having the cheat program meant you were already a cheat risk in multiplayer.

    This does call into question whether people will get banned for playing SC2 total conversions… some existed for SC1 that did involve a tweak to SC1’s executable to get working. Doing the same thing with SC2 will almost definitely get you banned under their current policies.

    -Akari

  • Dude

    No brainer here, no free achivments for anyone.

  • Wizardface

    If they agreed to the terms and conditions then they signed a contract. Even if they are only hurting themselfs, they are violating said contract.

    That being said i, as an avid pot smoker frequently use the same argument. So… i dont realy know.

  • AnubisWrath

    Not totally on subject but that pic is from pre-beta, before they had constrained toss to only one mothership

  • Duff Duff

    K to all the ignorant mindless idiots who think all hackers and cheaters should be banned/die IRL, single player hacks DONT work in multiplayer. There are only a few i.e. fog of war remover, everything else causes a desynch and crashes (i.e. changing your crystals/gas, invincibility, etc.). The people using fog of war hacks and other CLIENT SIDE hacks (things that only affect your client, i.e. NOT anything like crystals/gas, invinciblity, and therefore doesnt cause a desynch) SHOULD be banned. BUT people should be able to do w/e they want in singleplayer (i.e. to all of you anti-cheater idiots with no imagination, playing free for all with 8 players with unlimited resources, no population cap, instant unit build, etc. and having a full out super battle lasting 2+ hours). Some stupid little number that signifies how many achievements you’ve unlocked in SINGLE PLAYER shouldnt mean DICK in multiplayer, and it DOESNT. DO you guys think that if some cheater has a score of 2000 it means he is as good as a player with a score of 2000? NO, it means when he gets matched with people that have a score of 2000 he is going to get SODOMIZED. Learn to think for yourselves JUST A BIT… not all hacks/hackers/cheats/cheaters are bad, LEARN IT.

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