Blizzard is currently trying to solve a rampant cheating problem in South Korean Overwatch servers. Any player caught using the new “nuking” cheating tool is banned. Sites such as Venturebeat report that Blizzard has banned over 10,000 player accounts (and counting) that have been caught using the nuking tool. One of the members of the Blizzard Korea team posted the following message on the Korean Battle.net forum in response to the nuking problem:
“Creating and delivering a pleasant game environment for the majority of our rule-abiding players is of paramount important to us, and we are committed to taking all the steps we can to stop players who create, distribute, and use these nuking programs.”
Nuking is a relatively new cheating tool that overwhelms servers with junk data, essentially creating a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) that messes with an opposing team’s controls. A thread on reddit lists some of the symptoms of nuking:
- Players cannot leave their spawn area.
- Players randomly teleport around the map.
- Players can no longer move properly or at all.
- Players are suddenly kicked out of a match.
- The current map is replaced by a new one, restarting the match and all related objectives.
Reports are unclear how many banned accounts belong to repeat offenders. Furthermore, the situation is compounded by the existence of “PC bangs,” South Korean internet cafes where gamers can play games for a small hourly fee, usually between $0.30 and $1.30. Many PC bangs carry a special free-to-play version of Overwatch, unwittingly letting nuke users create an account, cheat, have their account banned, and repeat ad infinitum. If Blizzard were to IP block the users of nuke cheats, everyone who plays Overwatch or any other Blizzard title in the cafe would be blocked, including those who don’t use cheats.
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