Blizzard to Take "Aggressive Action" Against Mei Ice Wall Exploiters in Overwatch

ffronw

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Oct 24, 2013
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Blizzard to Take "Aggressive Action" Against Mei Ice Wall Exploiters in Overwatch

//cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/1372/1372428.jpgNot only is Blizzard planning to fix the Mei ice wall glitch in Overwatch, it plans to punish those who abused it.

Overwatch is unquestionably one of the most popular games of 2016. As with any multiplayer game, though, people are finding ways to exploit it. One of the more annoying exploits is a glitch where the character Mei creates an ice wall, and it throws a player outside the map. From there, they can shoot the other team, but cannot be shot themselves. If you're sick and tired of getting shot by someone outside the map in Overwatch, you're going to like what Blizzard had to say about the issue.

It turns out that the glitch was a little bit challenging to identify and track down. In a post [https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20752459036#post-16] on the Overwatch forums, game director Jeff Kaplan said, "This bug was surprisingly tricky for us to track down but we believe we have identified a fix. Our hope is to have it fixed sometime tomorrow (1/5/2017 PST) but there is always the chance that our fix could fail. We're currently testing to verify the fix."

That's great news, but what's even better is that Blizzard plans to take action against the people who have exploited this glitch in the past. Kaplan warned in his post,

"This bug is clearly an exploit and we consider this cheating. Do not attempt to reproduce this bug. If you see someone abusing this mechanic, please report them.

We will be taking action against those who abused this exploit. Overwatch is a PvP experience so that means exploiting game mechanics like this comes at a cost to those you are competing against. We take aggressive action against people who abuse game mechanics, hack or cheat. This case is no different. Apologies that this bug lingered for as long as it did. Hopefully this should go away soon (along with those who abused it)."

It's nice to see that Blizzard is not only fixing the issues in Overwatch, but holding those who have abused the issue to account as well. Of course, there's sure to be another bug/exploit pop up in the future, but players can at least take solace in the fact that those who exploit it will get their just rewards.

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Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
 

RaikuFA

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Jun 12, 2009
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Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story.
Agreed. It's like banning people who used the Dancer glitch in DS3.
 

MetalheroDamien

Blackwing Hybrid Hero
Mar 25, 2010
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RaikuFA said:
Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story.
Agreed. It's like banning people who used the Dancer glitch in DS3.
But Dark Souls 3 is a single player game. It's wholely different to exploit a glitch when they're playing on their own, as opposed to when there are other people.
 

09philj

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Apr 3, 2020
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You can't punish people for using bugged mechanics; it's Blizzard's fault for not producing
MetalheroDamien said:
RaikuFA said:
Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story.
Agreed. It's like banning people who used the Dancer glitch in DS3.
But Dark Souls 3 is a single player game. It's wholely different to exploit a glitch when they're playing on their own, as opposed to when there are other people.
Dark Souls is a multiplayer game.
 

MetalheroDamien

Blackwing Hybrid Hero
Mar 25, 2010
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09philj said:
You can't punish people for using bugged mechanics; it's Blizzard's fault for not producing
MetalheroDamien said:
RaikuFA said:
Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story.
Agreed. It's like banning people who used the Dancer glitch in DS3.
But Dark Souls 3 is a single player game. It's wholely different to exploit a glitch when they're playing on their own, as opposed to when there are other people.
Dark Souls is a multiplayer game.
Not in the same way that Overwatch is, though. Most of the experience of the Dark Souls series is you, the player, against the big, evil monsters, the computer. Yes, other players can show up, but you can easily turn that off and not lose out on the core experience. Overwatch is 100% you, the player, with other players on your team against a team of other players.
 

Deathfish15

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Nov 7, 2006
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Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
I highly doubt you're a game programmer on the same scale as online multiplayer games (maybe a cutesy mobile game, but that is it). Your opinion is...wrong. Because for as long as there have been multiplayer online games, there have been bans for exploiting game code that wasn't intended.

Building a game such as Overwatch takes 10,000's of hours with hundreds of people to make millions of lines of code. There might be a thing missed in the code that players find later down the line. But the EULA strictly says if it doesn't look like proper gameplay and is exploiting the base mechanics, DO NOT USE THAT EXPLOIT. I'm pretty sure it is obvious that going outside the map to shot players inside the map but not be able to get shot is an exploit. It is entirely on them for 1) not reading or abiding by the EULA [yes, people DO read those] and 2) using what is clearly unintended advantage to win at the game.


BAN AWAY!
 

hentropy

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Feb 25, 2012
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Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
I'm not sure what this has to do with the philosophy of programming- it has much more to do with the philosophy of gaming. It wouldn't be a problem if it were a single-player games, but in Overwatch you play against other players. I personally never ran into this glitch and I play Mei a good bit, so hopefully it was a relatively rare one that was difficult to reproduce.

I don't think people using this exploit should be permabanned a la aimbotters, but especially if they were caught using it in competitive, they were using a rare, impossible-to-adjust-to glitch to gain an advantage over the other team, having no regard for other players. It's the same as griefing, trolling, or other forms of malicious play, and claiming that because you can do it you should doesn't fly in those cases either. People who only used it in other game modes should not be punished as harshly, but should be given some kind of warning.
 

09philj

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Deathfish15 said:
Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
I highly doubt you're a game programmer on the same scale as online multiplayer games (maybe a cutesy mobile game, but that is it). Your opinion is...wrong. Because for as long as there have been multiplayer online games, there have been bans for exploiting game code that wasn't intended.

Building a game such as Overwatch takes 10,000's of hours with hundreds of people to make millions of lines of code. There might be a thing missed in the code that players find later down the line. But the EULA strictly says if it doesn't look like proper gameplay and is exploiting the base mechanics, DO NOT USE THAT EXPLOIT. I'm pretty sure it is obvious that going outside the map to shot players inside the map but not be able to get shot is an exploit. It is entirely on them for 1) not reading or abiding by the EULA [yes, people DO read those] and 2) using what is clearly unintended advantage to win at the game.


BAN AWAY!
Rocket jumping and bunny hopping are exploits, remember.
 

Solkard

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Sep 29, 2014
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I wonder if Blizzard is able to track the usage of this bug in the past by players and if they have publicly stated that this was an exploit in the past. If so, ban away. If not, then I feel there may be a grey area between people purposely exploiting the bug and people who have stumbled on it by accident.

Not to mention if there are multiple character involved in an incident, how do you decide who is culpable? Is it the person who got pushed outside the map, or the person who did the pushing? Blizzard has obliviously not banned everyone who have played with a cheater or allowed a cheater on their team to carry them to victory. I wonder if Blizzard is planning on taking a more stern approach to the community moderating itself and employing a "guilt by facilitation" stance in people allowing and benefiting from the cheating and exploiting of others.
 

McElroy

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I just tried and it won't push you through the roof anymore D: It was easy to do in that one spot in Ecopoint: Antarctica. Dunno if it was used elsewhere. I hope the aggressive action they're talking about is whipping their own asses.
 

The Enquirer

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Apr 10, 2013
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Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
It may not be on the same level as hacking but people who do it repeatedly know damn well what they were doing and effectively ruin 5 other player's experiences with the game. I don't think it should warrant a perma-ban, but a punishment is more than warranted.
 

loa

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Jan 28, 2012
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Yeah no, using a glitch is not on par with using an aimbot or hacking.
You can't punish people for only utilizing the game mechanics and besides, the presence of that glitch is on blizzard.
 

Daelin Dwin

Accidentally Prescient
Feb 3, 2014
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I see two options:

1. Disable Mei until the flaw within our programming is fixed.
2. Ban anyone utilising the flaw within our programming to their own ends.

Should they also ban anyone who uses Roadhogs broken ass hook? The same hook that is being changed next patch, the same fate as this Mei exploit.
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
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hentropy said:
Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
I'm not sure what this has to do with the philosophy of programming- it has much more to do with the philosophy of gaming. It wouldn't be a problem if it were a single-player games, but in Overwatch you play against other players. I personally never ran into this glitch and I play Mei a good bit, so hopefully it was a relatively rare one that was difficult to reproduce.

I don't think people using this exploit should be permabanned a la aimbotters, but especially if they were caught using it in competitive, they were using a rare, impossible-to-adjust-to glitch to gain an advantage over the other team, having no regard for other players. It's the same as griefing, trolling, or other forms of malicious play, and claiming that because you can do it you should doesn't fly in those cases either. People who only used it in other game modes should not be punished as harshly, but should be given some kind of warning.
Because as a programmer it is my job to make the game rules. If I fail at that and people find ways to abuse what I wrote, it's on me for not finding the flaw to begin with. I see it as the job of the players to maximize their effectiveness at the game within the rules of what i wrote. If I made a mistake and they capitalize on my error or carelessness, i see it as fair game.

At my company it's not up to me to deal with the players, we have the community people who do that.
 

Borty The Bort

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Jul 23, 2016
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Thank. Christ. This was an absolute nightmare in 3v3.
hentropy said:
I play Mei a good bit, so hopefully it was a relatively rare one that was difficult to reproduce
.
It is incredibly easy to reproduce, trust me. All you have to do is put an ice wall beneath you and boost yourself into the roof. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, even at first, and it was a cancer when I was playing on Echopoint: Antarctica. You can even get teammates up with you; Widowmakers tended to be in the walls as well. I got reported as Tracer when a Mei on my team boosted themselves up into the ceiling, because I was trying to hide behind the starting area table and since the enemy team couldn't find me they presumed I was cheating. I am a huge troll when it comes to 3v3 and 1v1, but the Mei glitch was a step too far.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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Deathfish15 said:
Weaver said:
Speaking as a game programmer I philosophically disagree with punishing exploiters. Hackers yes, as they're modifying the game - but if you create a mistake in game and people exploit it, that's entirely on the company that created the exploit.

The people are playing the game within the programmatic rules set forth. If you didn't want them to do something, it shouldn't be doable end of story. I simply don't see it as an "abuse of game mechanics". If your mechanics can be abused, you made bad mechanics.
I highly doubt you're a game programmer on the same scale as online multiplayer games (maybe a cutesy mobile game, but that is it). Your opinion is...wrong. Because for as long as there have been multiplayer online games, there have been bans for exploiting game code that wasn't intended.

Building a game such as Overwatch takes 10,000's of hours with hundreds of people to make millions of lines of code. There might be a thing missed in the code that players find later down the line. But the EULA strictly says if it doesn't look like proper gameplay and is exploiting the base mechanics, DO NOT USE THAT EXPLOIT. I'm pretty sure it is obvious that going outside the map to shot players inside the map but not be able to get shot is an exploit. It is entirely on them for 1) not reading or abiding by the EULA [yes, people DO read those] and 2) using what is clearly unintended advantage to win at the game.


BAN AWAY!
I have not worked on anything the scale of an MMO or an FPS, but I have worked on a game with direct P2P multiplayer - think of a sort of space-ship horde mode type where you and your allies control fleets and fight against the enemy ships in real time.

Networking adds a ton of complexity to the game. And our players have found a plethora of issues we couldn't replicate in office. And yes, you have to fix issues very promptly in multiplayer driven titles because the user enjoyment drives revenue.

I do not think my opinion is wrong, it just doesn't match yours. Players should not be punished for doing things in the game, whether those things are there advertently or inadvertently.

Now keep in mind I use the term punished on purpose. If you feel the need to correct a bug a user has profited from (eg, they gained a billion in game currency somehow) and you remove what they gained, then fine. But further punishing them is wrong IMO.

My problem with the stance of "abusing game mechanics" is where is the line drawn? What if some diablo player stumbled upon some insane item combination that made even the highest level torment an absolute cakewalk. Are they abusing the mechanics? Cause the basic point of the game is to find the best item/skill/rune combinations to increase your survivabiltiy and damage.

In such a case I think most people would rather want some kind of nerf or alteration of that item combination and no one would want the person who discovered it punished any further than having their OP combo brought into line.
 

hentropy

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Feb 25, 2012
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Weaver said:
Because as a programmer it is my job to make the game rules. If I fail at that and people find ways to abuse what I wrote, it's on me for not finding the flaw to begin with. I see it as the job of the players to maximize their effectiveness at the game within the rules of what i wrote. If I made a mistake and they capitalize on my error or carelessness, i see it as fair game.

At my company it's not up to me to deal with the players, we have the community people who do that.
If you are a programmer of anything significantly complex, you should know that making it airtight and bugless is impossible as you make continuous changes to the code. If you find a bug like this, you essentially have two choices, either shut the game down on every server until the problem is fixed, or keep the game up but warn people that exploiting the game in ways that make it impossible for other players to play it as intended will have consequences. In the case of Overwatch, your playing affects not only you but everyone around you, so there is more responsibility on the player to do things that don't negatively affect other people's play.

It may not be "hacking" and using external programs, but the intent is the same as hacking, and should be punished. There are people who defend hacking as well on the premise that if they can do something they should be able to. Simply saying "code better" makes me question how much you actually know about coding in a game like this.

Daelin Dwin said:
I see two options:

1. Disable Mei until the flaw within our programming is fixed.
2. Ban anyone utilising the flaw within our programming to their own ends.

Should they also ban anyone who uses Roadhogs broken ass hook? The same hook that is being changed next patch, the same fate as this Mei exploit.
Roadhog's hook is not broken in a way that advantages the player, if anything it makes Roadhog much more inconsistent and difficult to play. You realize this Mei glitch makes Mei (or any other player on the map) invincible and able to shoot? It's not even in the same galaxy.

You are partially right about the available solutions, but taking Mei out of the game would require more effort than you think. The only immediate solution they can do is shut the entire game down, one of the most popular games out there that is played at professional and competitive levels.
 

Janaschi

Scion of Delphi
Aug 21, 2012
224
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loa said:
Yeah no, using a glitch is not on par with using an aimbot or hacking.
You can't punish people for only utilizing the game mechanics and besides, the presence of that glitch is on blizzard.
They can't? Says who? You?

It genuinely cracks me up when I read statements like that, because they have no basis in reality. The Overwatch team absolute can do whatever they'd like, in regards to keeping the game fair for everyone.
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
8,977
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hentropy said:
Weaver said:
Because as a programmer it is my job to make the game rules. If I fail at that and people find ways to abuse what I wrote, it's on me for not finding the flaw to begin with. I see it as the job of the players to maximize their effectiveness at the game within the rules of what i wrote. If I made a mistake and they capitalize on my error or carelessness, i see it as fair game.

At my company it's not up to me to deal with the players, we have the community people who do that.
If you are a programmer of anything significantly complex, you should know that making it airtight and bugless is impossible as you make continuous changes to the code. If you find a bug like this, you essentially have two choices, either shut the game down on every server until the problem is fixed, or keep the game up but warn people that exploiting the game in ways that make it impossible for other players to play it as intended will have consequences. In the case of Overwatch, your playing affects not only you but everyone around you, so there is more responsibility on the player to do things that don't negatively affect other people's play.

It may not be "hacking" and using external programs, but the intent is the same as hacking, and should be punished. There are people who defend hacking as well on the premise that if they can do something they should be able to. Simply saying "code better" makes me question how much you actually know about coding in a game like this.
Saying "code better" is not what I'm saying. It *is* impossible to catch all bugs and make a perfect game. That's entirely my point. You have to know that players are going to find things you aren't. Punishing them for finding these is not the solution, fixing the problem is.