Titanfall Cheaters' Pool Activated On PC--A Clever Approach To Online Cheating

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Steve Anderson
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Titanfall Cheaters' Pool Activated On PC--A Clever Approach To Online Cheating

Cheating in games is a fairly universal problem. While the cheat code has been comparatively sanctioned, its use in online play is much less so and represents a fundamental difference between the offline cheat and the online cheat. While different strategies have been put in place to address the concept of cheating, some have put together a more unusual package than others. "Titanfall," meanwhile, has put out something of a unique solution that's been seen before, but isn't seen often, in the creation of a "cheater pool."

Basically, "Titanfall"'s makers put up the anti-cheating mechanism known as FairFight on PCs, and under FairFight, those found cheating are moved to a specific subsection of gamers that were also found cheating, and now online cheaters can cheat their weasely black guts out, to borrow the phrase from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. Those who aren't banned to the cheating pool, but invite a banned friend into their party, will end up following said banned friend into the cheating pool. That may sound a bit unnerving, but Respawn--the guys behind "Titanfall"--make it clear that only cheating can put a person in the cheating pool, not playing with cheaters. Those who believe they've received an undue cheating ban, meanwhile, can drop a line to anticheat@respawn.com. Valve does something similar, by some reports, and it's been seen in other games previously, even ones mentioned here.

Respawn actually has a comical way to put it: "You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck." And indeed, this could make for some fun in and of itself. Imagine being the only non-cheater in a room full of cheats. You might well be hunted like the flag in a capture the flag match. Imagine mixed ranks of cheats and non-cheats in unknown proportions. All of these scenarios can take place, all in a separate pool where those who don't cheat get the added advantage of being able to rig up such scenarios at will. That's a bonus to playing things straight, an added slice of replay value.

The issue of how to deal with cheats, yet deal with cheats in such a fashion that they don't cancel their accounts and thus cost a slice of revenue for the company, is a hot button issue by any stretch of the imagination. Banning cheats is a great response for the players, but not so hot for the company. Ignoring cheats is simply a vice-versa approach. But a cheat pool, now, that's different. The cheat pool allows the cheaters to continue to play while letting the non-cheaters carry on in a non-cheating environment, which is a welcome development in and of itself.  This is an approach that's likely to continue on in other games, and one that may well prove the best approach of all. It might be better if cheaters could eventually get out of the cheat pool--assuming they don't; Respawn didn't seem to mention one way or the other--but still, this is a good move overall. Multiplayer gaming on "Titanfall" would likely be fun, and the cheater pool should make it even more so.
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