Ubisoft’s For Honor is a hack-and-slash massively-multiplayer online (MMO) game where gamers choose a faction and fight in battles with other factions. The title was just released last month, and cheaters have already plagued the title. The cheating comes in the form of AFK farming.
AFK (away from keyboard) farming is when players rig their controller with a rubber band or tape to hold the joystick in place and then just leave it. This way the player’s character continues to move in the game and keeps them from timing out due to inactivity. It might not seem like cheating, but it is in violation of Ubisoft’s For Honor Code of Conduct policy. Plus, when you consider that the player gets to collect the rewards from the match without having done anything at all, it is evident why they consider this cheating.
AFK farming is also disruptive to other gamers who are genuinely trying to play a serious match. Since the AFK player is not attacking, he is not getting points for his team. Since he is not defending, he is giving up points to the opposing team. The situation becomes especially frustrating when more than one player is doing it in a match.
Ubisoft was quick to act on the matter. As PlayStationLifeStyle reported, the company issued warnings last week to For Honor users and followed it up with around 1,500 three-day suspensions this week. Additionally, it has detected and sent out another 4,000 warnings. Players caught AFK farming multiple times will earn themselves a permanent ban from the game.
According to Bleeding Cool, community developer Eric Pope posted a statement on the Ubisoft blog regarding the matter.
“Because this kind of behavior negatively affects the player experience of others, it has become a top priority for us. As such, we will be sanctioning all the players who have been found to be using AFK Farming repeatedly. Depending on the situation, and the existence of additional sanctions already on a player’s account, we can apply different degrees of sanctions.”
Generally, the first offense warrants a warning with punishments increasing in severity with subsequent offenses, up to a permanent ban from the game. However, Pope notes that instances of cheating are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and depending on the severity and other factors, disciplinary actions can be adjusted appropriately. Pope’s warning on the blog had come before Ubisoft issued the first round of notices to For Honor cheaters.
For Honor is not the first title in which Ubisoft has come down hard on cheating. Last April community managers threatened to take action against Tom Clancy’s The Division players who exploited a glitch in the game’s code that allowed them to collect top-tier gear without having to face off against the boss of the level. The threat of sanctions in that instance was much more controversial because users felt they were not cheating since the game allowed them to do something that it should have been coded to prevent. Basically, the player under specific circumstances could clip through a wall without activating the boss, allowing them to finish the level without a fight.
Ubisoft’s stance on the issue was that it does not matter that the code has a bug that can be exploited. The problem is, players were using it to become super powerful by collecting rewards that they did not earn. It is cheating because it put other users who played the game honestly at a severe disadvantage. In Monopoly, there is nothing to prevent a player from taking $400 from the bank when passing Go, but it is still cheating to do so. However, in Monopoly other players can prevent the cheater from taking that $400. In The Division, users cannot prevent others from exploiting a glitch, and that is why it is cheating.
Ubisoft’s bottom line on cheating in For Honor or any of its other MMOs is this: games are meant to be fun for everyone playing. If a player is doing something that is ruining the fun for someone else, its community managers will deal with the situation appropriately. Cheaters never like having sanctions slapped on them, but it is always for the good of the community.
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]