Titanfall: The good, the bad and the cheaters

About a week has passed since Respawn publicly announced their implementing of “the Wimbledon of aimbot“, an affectionate name for the separate matchmaking queue reserved for those found guilty of using cheats. Those who are caught cheating are not banned from the game entirely but are instead forced to play against other cheaters. If playing with non-cheating friends, they are also dragged into the cheaters’ queue, meaning that all players in the party will be treated as cheaters as long as the party exists and thus will join the world of wall hackers, aimbot users and more.

The basic idea behind this is smart in multiple ways. Instead of leaving a convicted cheater with no choice but to get a new copy of the game to play and possibly continue to cheat in, you allow them to keep their account but give them a newly opened world to explore. Additionally, the desire to play with friends on unpunished accounts might even dissuade those who have been relegated to the cheaters’ queue from buying another copy of the game in order to get around it. This is certainly a good first step, but where does it leave cheaters?

Cheaters are essentially left with only three options from the point they get banned from regular queues. With no chance of redeeming themselves and escaping the realm of cheaters, they are damned to live that “Wimbledon of aimbots”, which is most likely a pain to play for an extended period of time. If they want to leave the cheaters behind, erstwhile cheaters’ only options are to stop playing Titanfall or to buy the game again, just like they would have to with other games with anti-cheat systems. So what is the main reason behind allowing the cheaters with active accounts to continue to play?

A cost of around €50 – or US$60 – to buy the game again is a big barrier for the largely young players who would otherwise be locked out forever. Let’s be honest – only playing against those who’ve got nothing to lose and will almost certainly cheat could be one of the worst gaming experiences around. Being able to stand that for a long period of time is something that only very tough players or relatively new cheaters will do. A second chance, even if you need to work for it, could be a better solution.

Let’s say you got caught cheating but at the same time you have an epiphany. Play the game for a set number of hours, days or months in the cheaters queue without a single cheat attempt or other bad behavior being reported and you get one last chance to go back and play with everyone else. If you attract negative attention again, you’re out with no chance to come back.

Giving cheaters a chance to come back does sound weird at first. A cheater-specific queue is a great idea, and gives cheaters something to do while keeping them separate from normal players. However, that’s rarely what cheaters want. Buying the game again or stopping playing completely appear to be the two main options, but both are as bad as one another in that they result in a possible ‘new’ cheater or a lost player. Giving cheaters some sort of hope for the future might be a step Respawn will have to take once certain circumstances are met. 

The availability of a second chance would help keep the number of players up as offenders would need to redeem themselves by playing without using any cheats, so perhaps offering them a glimpse of hope rather than locking them down is the way go.

However, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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