Escape from Tarkov devs use public shaming to combat recent waves of cheaters
Developers want to show honest players which annoying cheaters have been "punished"By Cal Jeffrey 22 comments
But it's too hard: Escape from Tarkov is a hardcore multiplayer online shooter. We're talking about a game that requires you to inspect your magazines and ensure you have enough ammo for upcoming battles hard. Despite its steep learning curve, the game has become highly popular through Twitch, and many players are preordering to get in on the long-running beta. Unfortunately, some find it so hard that they feel the need to use cheats.
Cheating is so common an entire industry has been built to combat it. Show me an online multiplayer game, and I'll show you a game rife with cheaters. For the most part, the solutions the anti-cheat sector offers are decent at detecting those exploiting the game but not very good at deterring their behavior.
Online multiplayer shooter Escape from Tarkov has recently seen a significant problem with cheaters. According to the game's developer Battlestate Games, it has banned over 6,700 players in the last several days --- around 4,000 over the last weekend of February and another 2,700 since then.
So the developers have created a wall of shame of sorts. It is just a simple Google Docs spreadsheets posted publicly and listing the handles of all the cheaters they have banned. Some industry pros think it might be an excellent policy to deter repeat offenders.
"Good. I wish we did it too," one anonymous employee of an unnamed rival studio told TechCrunch. "Many cheaters fabricate a false image to their friends and significant others, and when their deceitful behavior is exposed publicly, it brings shame to their name and discourages them from repeating the act."
We have decided to resume the practice of sharing the information about large ban waves done with the support of BattleEye anticheat. Throughout the weekend over 4,000 cheaters were banned in Escape from Tarkov. https://t.co/c3hp3QGGPd--- Escape from Tarkov (@tarkov) February 27, 2023
The public shaming would also expose the handles of cheaters who might wish to play professionally in other competitive games. If more studios adopted the practice of posting nicknames, it might become a way of warning would-be cheaters that they have a chance to ruin their budding careers. It's the old "put your name on the chalkboard" tactic that primary school teachers have used for decades.
"Also, cheaters who try to be professional and win tournaments would be exposed to the public, so other players never give them the chance again to play," the insider added. "You have broken the trust, you do not deserve the chance to come back."
Battlestate Games looks at it a bit differently. It uses the wall of shame to let other players know they are not just dealing with cheaters by banning them as every other studio does. They are posting the names so that the real players can have the satisfaction of seeing their annoying nemesis has been dealt sweet "justice."
"We want honest players to see the nicknames of cheaters to know that justice has been served and the cheater who killed them in a raid has been punished and banned," said the studio's spokesperson Dmitri Ogorodnikov.
Of course, some cheaters just don't care about their reputation. Such shaming has little effect on them. They simply create a new account to continue with their annoying behavior. There will always be a cheating issue in online gaming. It's practically unavoidable because the internet ruins everything.