Bluehole continues its fight against PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds cheaters. The developer announced Thursday that it is banning a huge number of cheaters in a "single wave." Additionally, an update has hit the PUBG test servers to begin evaluating tweaks to how the blue zone behaves during the mid-to-late phases of a match.
Cheating has been a rampant issue in PUBG, with the vast majority of cheaters coming from China. This led to community members demanding Bluehole put the country behind a region-locking. However, the Chinese market also represents a significant area of growth in sales of the game over the last several months, and the studio understandably doesn't want to punish non-cheaters.
Instead of region-locking China, Bluehole is taking more drastic measures to battle cheaters beyond standard methods like the anti-cheat service BattlEye and home-grown measures. The developer has begun poring through data logs, which presumably includes player submitted replays, and discovered over 100,000 instances of a new cheat. The players caught in this dragnet will be permanently banned in a single wave, per the developer.
"We will continue to check the data logs like this even if it means the anti-cheat team has to filter through hundreds of billions of data logs manually," Bluehole explained. "In addition, we are looking into adopting a new solution to detect and ban more cheaters and we have been continuously strengthening our security systems. We have also liaised with investigative authorities in some countries to take legal actions against developers and distributors of cheats. We are determined to take strong measures against them going forward."
Those legal actions have already started, per a recent Bloomberg report. Chinese publisher Tencent, who is going to serve as the publisher in the country, recently enlisted the aid of Chinese police to arrest 120 individuals suspected of developing and distributing PUBG cheats.
Blue Zone Changes
Meanwhile, the circle of death (aka the Blue Zone) is receiving some timing and damage tweaks based on player feedback. The PUBG test servers have been updated to begin evaluating changes to make the mid-game feel a little less barren compared to the hectic early and late action in matches.
The changes include decreasing the waiting time of the blue zones in the mid-to-late phase of a match while conversely decreasing the shrinking speed of the blue zones. This will cause the blue zone to change position and size more frequently but still provide players time to move to the new circle.
Standing outside of the last blue zone will also now cause more damage per second. This is intended to counteract players who load up on bandages, medkits, energy drinks, and other health boosters and sit outside the final play area.
There is no timeline yet on when these changes will land on the official PUBG servers. Bluehole plans to evaluate these changes on the test server for several days and make further adjustments based on player feedback and game data.