I already spoke my mind regarding the latest Call of Duty. The latest I bought I mean, and probably the last.

It’s not cheap (60$ the game, plus 15$ every three months in order to get a few extra maps). And you cannot even expect decent support in the long run. As previously said, at some point they decided to remove the possibility to get random games, still no clue why. And since a few months, I’m absolutely unable to play more than a few minutes without hitting obvious cheaters (never reloads, killstreaks without the relevant required kills, etc). It’s no secret, tons of threads on the steam MW3 Game Hub describe it.

We could imagine that’s an obvious drawback of the P2P server model: making an unreliable end the host of a game, it’s quite sure he can break the rules. There are ways to detect it (random signature check of server files and immediate steam ban would probably easily catch most cheaters, at some point) but not immediately.

But the main issue is the game publisher behavior: cheats are a pain in the ass since months, they still find ok to release map packs and a new game without having even started to fix the current one. The message is obvious: they mostly want cash, they’ll see afterwards whether by any chance providing a nice game experience is worth it. For instance, they published the following message a few days ago:

“Hey everyone –

The latest PC patch includes added security measures to prevent our legitimate players from matching with players that are known cheaters and hackers.

Every time a legitimate player automatically quits a lobby or game due to a bad host or client they will receive a message. For example:

“Disconnected due to bad client”

This means that we’ve prevented continuing play where some players had an unfair advantage (aka hackers). These players are also reported and banned when appropriate.

We believe that our legitimate players should only be matched with others that play without cheats/hacks. We realize that this may cause some issues in the short term as we begin to find and ban the bad players.

Please be patient as we let the system do its job, which is to provide you with a fair and balanced multiplayer experience as it was intended by our designers.”

This is so wrong I cannot even know what issue to begin with.

First, they speak like dirty politicians. When they write “legitimate player automatically quits”, that actually means “legitimate player get kicked by the system”, there’s no such thing as automatically quitting. Because, and that’s the real issue, their way to cope with cheaters is the punish the legitimate ones. You’re playing with/against a “bad host”, which means a plausible cheater, they first put up a message about a bad client issue (while it’s likely the host to be in cause – nicely misleading) and then, instead of migrating to a new host (what the software already does when a regular host disconnects) , they kick you and probably do the same with all others players (otherwise it’s even more broken by design). Who the hell came up with such a dumb idea? It’s obvious poorly designed but, worse, it’s the kind of poor design that clearly is at the expense of the legitimate users.

Afterwards, they add Please Note: This has been rolled back temporarily while we sort an issue out. So amateur. So careless.

Activision robs players blind, they are the true cheat. It’s not rock’n’roll but a great swindle still.