The Division’s PC beta is not without its problems. Over the weekend multiple posts appeared on the subreddit and elsewhere claiming they had seen a lot of hacking going on, from obvious wallhacks, to speed hacks that also happened to turn the player invisible, to just changing client side values and a lack of anti-cheat or synching meaning they were accepted by the server with no complaints. Ubi have come out to say that these sorts of problems are a few players exploiting glitches, rather than actual hacks, but it looks more like a mix of both.
When it isn’t rife with cheaters, Matt says The Division will be a great RPG.
A reddit poster using temporary account division_throwaway posted a big explanation as to what was going on. The Division in its beta form lacks any form of anti-cheat or server-side checks for the majority of its values and statistics. If your client tells the server you have maximum ammo in your clip, or a billion experience points, or that the threshold to go up in experience points is one, the game will shrug its shoulders and say okay. Much like a single-player game, if you modify the files to have infinite ammo, you will – a bit more of an issue when you can use that to ruin the experience for others.
They posted a pair of videos to show this off, one with infinite ammo:
And another where you can see the character progression values changing as they edit them off screen:
The only values stored on the server, it seems, are health and money, so it’s difficult to be invulnerable or infinitely rich. However, speedhacks are also being implemented which desync the servers information about your position, making you effectively invisible as well as too fast to hit anyway.
Ubisoft’s response so far has been to claim that glitch abuse is causing these problems, rather than actual hacks or cheats. That obviously isn’t the case for everything you see here. Nevermind the videos above that clearly show someone editing their values on the fly, a quick google found this video of a good-to-go aimbot and wallhack:
Here’s another one, in case you had any doubt that hackers were real or that they had terrible music taste.
Obviously, the folks at Massive will be looking to fix all this. It’s possible their anti-cheat software simply isn’t ready yet, or wasn’t turned on for the beta to prevent bugs causing permanent bans. Having so much trust in the client-side information is a larger issue and possibly less easy to fix. I’m not a programmer, clearly, so perhaps implementing a checking step into that pre-built process is simpler than I think, but it’s still a rather worrying problem. Fighting against hackers and cheaters is a constant battle on PC, you don’t want to start this far behind.
Some more information over on the official subreddit. There’s also this postfrom NyuuPingu that explains why it probably isn’t torch, pitchfork and real-life Dark Zone in the Massive offices time – still a month for them to fix it, essentially, and it doesn’t require a complete rewrite of the netcode as some have claimed.
On the upside, the beta has been extended an extra day, so it’s still running right now and lots more people have been given access. It’s not due to go offline untilTuesday, February 2nd, 11am CET / 6am EST / 3am PST, so you’ve got about 24 hours left. If you signed up for the waiting list or pre-ordered, you should now have access, and will see it registered on the beta access page of uPlay.