Cheating in Call of Duty has been a persistent issue, prompting Activision to take aggressive measures. The Ricochet anti-cheat software, introduced in 2021, is a kernel-level solution primarily targeting the PC audience where cheats are more prevalent. With ongoing updates, one recent addition, known as “Splat,” takes an amusing and punitive approach towards cheaters.
- Machine Learning and Faster Identification:
- Ricochet employs machine learning to sift through the extensive player report data generated by Call of Duty.
- The software has become faster at identifying cheaters and suspicious clips but emphasizes that only humans can issue bans.
- Introduction of “Splat”:
- Splat is a feature designed to add a touch of humiliation to cheaters.
- If a cheater is detected, Splat may randomly disable their parachute during the initial jump, causing them to crash upon landing.
- For cheaters already in the game, Splat can adjust player velocity, turning a bunny hop into a deadly fall, eliminating the cheater instantly.
- Humiliation as a Deterrent:
- Ricochet aims not only to stop cheaters but also to humiliate and demotivate them.
- The software takes a proactive approach, seeking to prevent cheaters from even entering matches.
- Security Measures:
- Activision identified over 110,000 player accounts on the dark web, derived from reused email and password combinations. These accounts were reset to prevent misuse.
- The company banned 80,000 accounts across Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare II, ensuring they cannot access Modern Warfare III.
- Ongoing War Against Cheaters:
- The battle against cheaters is described as a continual effort, with the Ricochet team comparing the game executable to sending out copies of house keys.
- Despite encryption measures in the game’s executables, the ongoing challenge remains significant.
- Thwarting Spam Reporting:
- Ricochet dispels the misconception of spam reporting being effective. The system only considers the first report and throttles subsequent reports.
- Activision updated its “Malicious reporting” policies, making spam reporting a violation of the Terms of Service (TOS).
- Long-Term Goals:
- While enjoying the process of annoying cheaters in games, the primary goal remains to prevent them from accessing matches altogether.
The Splat update showcases Activision’s creative and relentless approach to addressing the persistent issue of cheating in Call of Duty, emphasizing not only deterrence but also a touch of in-game embarrassment for those who attempt to disrupt fair play. The ongoing battle reflects the challenges in maintaining the integrity of competitive online gaming.