6 Wild Ways Video Games Messed With Cheaters
While accusing someone of cheating is the go-to excuse for many suffering from acute needtogetgood syndrome, the truth is that people cutting corners really is a mainstay of both online and single-player gaming. Luckily, so are developers who've created hilariously messed-up ways of making their lives e-hell ...
Modern Day Rome Crucifies Cheaters
Roma Victor is an oldie MMO where players faced the hard choice of picking between playing as the Roman Empire or as some random barbarians. The game was innovative in how instead of implementing simple bans, it implemented simple crucifixion rituals (innovative for a game, not for an empire) for those caught walking over water or whatever else was illegal back then.
The game would then display the cheater's crucified bodies in random public spaces for a period of time to show everyone cheating is not the way. When the
ban crucifixion time was up, the game would just set them free and somehow unscathed to live in shame.
On top of it being a hilariously over-the-top way of dealing with cheaters, it also resulted in the most unintentionally funny headline anyone (who's never been persecuted) will ever read.
Prey Will Sniff Out Cheaters, Punish Them Forever
2017's Prey invites players on a treasure hunt to get a cyberpunk thingamajig that will permanently enhance the main character's attributes. (No, not those attributes.) The quest is rather simple, merely requiring players to find a code to open a safe. Players gifted with patience will see their time well rewarded, while those who rush to the internet to find the secret code will be forced to slowly regret their decision.
Prey is aware that players aren't likely to guess a multi-digit code out of the blue, so if they happen to insert the correct code before the time one would normally take to find the code, they'll face a harsher punishment than they would've gotten from simply sucking and inputting an incorrect code.
But, instead of just electrocuting the character to death or forcing players to sit through a "You wouldn't steal a cybertruck?" type video, the game is actually going to give players a chip.
The chip impatient players will install before noticing it's called "GAME MASTER'S IRE V1.x" will surprisingly not work as intended. Instead of improving the character's abilities, the IRE chip cannot be removed, forces players to carry fewer grenades (in the future, chips will give us more pockets), to move even slower when crawling through tight spaces, and even reduces the flashlight's battery capacity.
Slenderman Will Kill Cheaters Anywhere
Speedrunners know the fastest way to beat the game is by breaking its boundaries. Sometimes they walk through walls, around the map, or just straight up swim through the air. Don't try that with Slenderman. Despite seeming like a relatively low-budget effort to make money off a popular public domain character, Slenderman: Arrival is surprisingly aware of this and is ready.
Ever-in-character, Slenderman has a surprise for anyone who tries to play outside of the game's rules. Anyone breaking away from the physical realm will learn the hard way that Slenderman also lives outside of its confines and doesn't want any neighbors. He'll grab anyone out of bounds, and the message "not even a bug will save you from me" will haunt players while he kills their characters.
Though, to be fair, the same thing will also happen to players unlucky enough to fall through the cracks because of actual bugs.
Jade Empire Will Put the Blood of Innocents on Your Hands
Luck-based mini-games are a fun way of allowing players to get the cash to buy the best weapons and plant the seeds for a beautiful real-life gambling addiction. And no players are luckier than those who "save scums."
Save scumming is the practice of reloading a save file until you get the desired outcome. This is a surefire way to get rich in most games that involve gambling mini-games. Jade Empire isn't most games. In it, you can indulge in a game of dice, which can make you very rich, but only if you play it correctly and don't get too lucky. Yeah, suppose you either get 20 successive wins or savescum your way into victory. In that case, the game will get very serious and seemingly burst every single blood vessel -- not in the main character's body, mind you -- but in the body of the NPC rolling dice against the player. And yeah, it does come off as surprisingly graphic.
Battle Royale Games Create Cheater Lobbies, Call Them Daycare Centers
The Battle Royale genre has so many cheaters that one could fill entire (100+ people) lobbies with them -- so developers started doing just that. Now imagine 100 players who all have all sorts of absurd powers fighting each other on an island, and find a problem with that other than how that's not being filmed and broadcast for everyone to see 24/7. The best part is that this is not just put in practice by the developers of one game, but by a lot of them.
Apex Legends features a machine learning algorithm that detects cheaters, which means they have a scouter dedicated to looking for players with "special" abilities to bring them to their "gifted only" lobby. It's just as the old saying, "If you can't beat them, make them beat each other."
They even tried it with Fall Guys, a Battle Royale title that has nothing to do with actual battling. Enter Cheater Island, a Utopian destination meant to work as a daycare center for
sociopaths in the making boys who will be boys.
Unfortunately, it didn't work for long, and bad boys are now just punished by getting banned and having to face the reality that is playing Call of Duty forever ...
Runescape Becomes SAW for Cheaters
In 2012, the developers of the seemingly harmless MMO Runescape created Botany Bay, a place meant just for bot-using cheaters to be tried and punished for their crimes. The game would teleport cheaters to the secret island where cheaters would meet the aptly called Botfinder General. There would be a hearing, and other players wouldn't get to pick the verdict because it would always be guilty, but they got to pick the punishments the cheaters would face. So, after the mandatory "throwing of crap" ...
... players could pick between:
Having a huge demon hand come from above and crush the cheater.
Feeding the cheater to an abyssal wyrm.
Or getting the cheater seemingly taken to the heavens only to see him get blasted to smithereens.
So yeah, it's death. It's always gory death. The punishments are all essentially the same -- especially as they all come accompanied by a permanent ban. This leaves us with many questions, questions that we sure as hell won't be asking to a bunch of devs who so happily come up with unnecessarily devious ways of torturing those who tread on them.
Top image: Jagex, Devolver Digital