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Opinion: Warzone’s Anti-Cheat Isn’t A Special Feature. It’s The Bare Minimum

Sledgehammer Games | Unsplash | Markus Spiske

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Posted 

31st Aug 2021 11:17

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August 19 was a big day for Call of Duty and its communities. This was the day that saw the reveal of Call of Duty: Vanguard, the WWII shooter that had been teased for many months before. And, to its credit, it came with quite a bang.

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Reveals seemed to keep coming. Warzone’s Battle for Verdansk event began to commemorate the reveal, and we got to see a whole new cinematic teaser for the upcoming game that could change the franchise forever. But, it came with a bit of a sting in its tail.

As a part of its huge slew of announcements, new details about the future of Warzone arrived. An all-new map has been announced to be on the way, and something that fans have wanted ever since the game’s arrival - a new anti-cheat system.

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This should be cause for celebration. Finally, the nigh-on unstoppable, grim cheating problem that fans of the game have endured for the duration of the game’s existence could be over soon.

But, the very fact that this was announced along with all of the other goodies set to come to the franchise makes for a sour taste, and shows just how misaligned Raven Software’s priorities are.

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Raven’s Anti-Cheat Efforts

Warzone's Anti-Cheat Isn't A Special Feature. It's The Bare Minimum
Raven Software

For as long as anyone can remember now, Warzone has had a problem. Cheating in the game is not only rampant and violent, but it’s developing a stark resistance to any measure that Raven Software make attempt to implement into the game. Cheating in the game is getting worse, it’s getting stronger, and it’s spreading faster.

You’d expect that all hands would be on deck to keep the game clean of cheaters. Warzone is a game that relies entirely on its multiplayer matchmaking, and when the integrity of the game is breached, it uproots the experience for everyone. The battle royale game has been undeniably compromised, and Raven’s efforts aren’t anywhere near enough to balance it.

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Raven have fought back against cheaters just enough to save face. They’ve expressed that Warzone’s cheating problem is an important issue that they’re tackling, and are announcing every time they elect to delete 50,000 and 100,000 accounts at a time when they’ve been caught red-handed with hacks.

The trouble with this is, for most players the problem can be solved for a matter of days, and some players have publicly stated that these bans haven’t changed their gameplay at all - because they’re still there. The dam is broken, and Raven at its foot with a few buckets, ready to fill them, throw the contents over their shoulder, and tweet about the great work they’re doing.

It’s not enough.

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Warzone’s Anti-Cheat Announcement

Warzone's Anti-Cheat Isn't A Special Feature. It's The Bare Minimum
Raven Software

Call of Duty’s announcement that a new Warzone anti-cheat is ready, and is on its way with the new Vanguard themed map shows us a few things about their attitude to in-game cheating. The first, and the most glaring thing it indicates, is that Raven Software think that anti-cheat is a special feature in itself. They see it as giving the people the thing they’ve wanted for so long, like it were a new weapon or cosmetic skin. But it simply isn’t - it’s the medicine for a broken game, and one that’s making Raven Software millions of dollars. To allow the game to remain broken and ruin fan experiences while a developed anti-cheat sits behind display glass and the splintered Warzone continues to make them mountains of cash is indicative of Raven’s warped priorities and moral bankruptcy.

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Secondly, the flashy reveal indicates once again that Warzone is thought to be second to the paid Call of Duty titles. It’s clear that Call of Duty would much rather bolster the titles that make the series seem innovative than actually cater to the people who actually care for the franchise. It’s an act of abandonment that especially stings.

Plus, the anti-cheat so far looks like it’s set for PC only, making the franchise’s decision to use the anti-cheat as a cog in the hype machine for Vanguard an even more peculiar choice. The very fact that this anti-cheat will be ready before the release of Vanguard, and will sit festering in the Raven offices until such a time that it will make a splash large enough to coax fans back to the game is deeply upsetting. And frankly, it’s a pretty scummy practice.

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Warzone Fans Deserve Better Than This

Warzone's Anti-Cheat Isn't A Special Feature. It's The Bare Minimum
Raven Software

The bottom line is, anti-cheat systems shouldn’t be advertised as brand-new features - they’re the absolute bare minimum of developing a game. Slapping a big “we’re not broken (on PC) any more!” sticker on the front of your product doesn’t make it look alluring - it makes it look fragile.

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Warzone fans deserve better than this. The moment a new anti-cheat is available, it should be released, especially into a game that has been as ravaged by cheaters as Warzone has. It’s very possible that the anti-cheat is ready to be deployed, but it’s being held back by either Raven or other franchise heads so that it can be used as a promotional tool for an entirely different $70 game. And, to be candid, that’s pretty wretched.

Raven - you can do better. So do.

 

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Warzone Integration Starts As Vanguard Operator Joins The Game

Raven Software | Sledgehammer Games

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Posted 

28th Sep 2021 14:14

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