Overwatch released barley a week ago, but already cheaters are finding it difficult to succeed in Blizzard's shooter. The banhammer is dropping harder than Reinhardt's ultimate ability, and cheaters are at a loss for how to prevent it.
The forums of one popular Overwatch hack provider are already flooded with players recounting how their accounts have been banned. Some banned players have even gone so far as to purchase new copies of the game, changing their MAC addresses and much more in an attempt to throw Blizzard off the scent.
"Bought the game during beta, did a d3d11 wallhack which wasn't the best thing but meh," one cheater writes. "Got banned [one] day after the official release ... Bought the game again. Didn't hack on it at all, just wanted to enjoy the game a bit. Two days later - banned again. Bought the game ... again. But before doing that, I deleted Overwatch and launcher completely. Enjoyed it again without cheating only for a day."
So far the attempts of various cheaters to continue playing after having been banned don't seem to be working. It appears that Blizzard's bans are account bans, meaning that even if users purchase a new copy of the game, they still won't be able to play thanks to Overwatch's "online only" approach. But it's not even clear if creating an entirely new account and rebuying the game will save cheaters.
In China, Blizzard has taken an even harder stance against cheaters. Not only did the company ban 1,572 players in one fell swoop, but the developer took the extra step of publicly shaming each cheater by including their account names in a lengthy forum post for all to see.
Prior to Overwatch's launch, Blizzard said it would take a no-nonsense approach to cheating in their shooter.
"If a player is found to be cheating - or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage - that player will be permanently banned from the game. Full stop," Blizzard writes in a forum post. "Not only does cheating undermine the spirit of fair play that all of our products are based on, but it works to diminish the fun and enjoyment of others."
Not only is Blizzard staying true to its word, but it appears that its cheat detection methods are stumping even the most experienced cheaters. That's good news for all players. Word to the wise? If you want to play Overwatch, don't even think about cheating. It won't end well.