With it winning several most anticipated game awards as well as rocketing to number one on Steam’s wish list, Elden Ring‘s hype was nothing short of enormous. After the launch, where many players have beaten the game at least once, Elden Ring continues to dominate and stays stable among some of Steam’s most played games.
However, it was not always so positive for the game, especially the pre-launch. Back in January, specifically FromSoftware titles Dark Souls 3, was threatened by an extremely dangerous hacking method that could be used to gain access to players’ computers. Not only was hacking a problem for previous titles, but it was assumed Dark Souls 3 hack also affected Elden Ring.
This led FromSoftware to turn to Easy Anti-Cheat for help, incorporating the system into the game to prevent hackers from accessing online games. Although this seemed to work, as there have been no reports of the specific hack since the game’s launch, hackers have still been able to manipulate the game. In more harmless cases, hackers used techniques to gain access Elden Ring‘s empty Colosseum area; however, recently a hacker managed to computerize an unattainable object.
Normally, this would simply result in a ban for that player; however, the event led to a soft ban on Reddit user Ok-Communication7125, with the potential for a harsh ban. What happened is that Ok-Communication7125 picked up an item that another player dropped for them; this is a feature of online gaming that is typically used to give new players a boost in levels or useful gear. However, Bandai Namco Entertainment issued a surprisingly soft ban on Ok-Communication7125’s account.
What’s worse is that the threat came with an ultimatum for Ok-Communication7125: they had to choose between erasing 220 hours of progress or receiving a harsh ban that would last for a devastating 180 days. Much like the poor player who lost to Elden Ring‘s Godskin Noble 100 times, Ok-Communication7125 had been told by Bandai Namco Entertainment that regardless of their choice, they lost a wealth of progress. Based on the post-title of Ok-Communication7125, they decided to delete all their game files, which, while certainly heartbreaking, was probably the right step to take in light of a six-month ban.
However, it is worrying that this was Bandai Namco Entertainment’s response to a player using an online feature they created. Comments told Ok-Communication7125 that they never pick up items from other players for fear of this particular scenario. However, it should not be a player’s responsibility. In previous FromSoftware games, goods sharing has been a healthy, community-driven activity built to help lower-level players. Response to hackers abusing this feature in Elden Ring by threatening hackers’ targets with massive bans is a backwards reaction that threatens to destroy player collaboration and encourage hackers to continue manipulating the game.
Elden Ring is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5 as well as Xbox One and Series X / S.
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