Players of The Division have been having a field day exploiting high level gear in the recently released raid-like “Falcon Lost” incursion and Ubisoft has been thinking about how to best handle it, possibly even resorting to punishing the players themselves for “going rogue” against the developer’s End User License Agreement (EULA).
While the EULA strictly prohibits making use of glitches or exploits created by hacking or modifying the game or its servers, this exploit was easily achievable using the updated coding of the game itself with no required changes. Obviously this has been causing some severe problems in the Dark Zone, the games PVP area, due to how quickly the exploit enjoying players are able to obtain max level gear and basically steamroll anyone trying to play the game legit.
In a number of threads on the official Ubisoft forums, community manager Natchai has been responding that using the exploit is “obviously… against our Code of Conduct and the team is looking into what can be done in terms of punishment for those who have exploited.” The Code of Conduct says explicitly that “exploitation of any new or known issues or bugs is forbidden and may result in account suspension or revocation,” with a first offense leading to “temporary suspension” and multiple offenses leading to a “permanent ban.” Whether or not this will be the path they choose remains to be seen, but while Ubisoft has yet to announce their decision on this, the gaming community has been quick to discuss the ramifications of punishing players when the exploit itself was coded into place by the developer themselves.
As we learned from Destiny and its many exploits and “loot caves”, gamers will always be looking for that next open situation where they can cut hours out of “the grind” and gain themselves the higher level gear and end game equipment as quickly and efficiently as possible. With many games using random number generators to dictate the rolls of equipment and collectible items, it can take an excruciatingly long time to get an item that you want with the attributes that you were looking for. Bungie has been playful in how they deal with those that get the better of their code, and generally allows players to keep any treasures they may have gained in the process. Ubisoft’s decision in regards to how they handle this situation could set another dangerous precedent on the battlefield of gamer versus developer, already a heated debate concerning who owns the purchased game data in the first place.
[Update: Ubisoft has recently announced that players who have suffered from previous coding bugs that would cause missing character data or have had problems logging in will be receiving 500 Phoenix credits in restitution, which can be used to purchase high-end gear and crafting materials. All Division players that log in this weekend will also get 150 Phoenix credits to make up for a lack of Daily Challenge updates last week.]