Valve, the developers of MOBA Dota 2, recently announced that they have permanently banned over 40,000 accounts for using third-party software to cheat in the game. The devs explained that the software used was able to access information used internally by the Dota client that wasn't visible during normal gameplay. This information would ultimately give the cheaters an unfair advantage over other players.
In order to remove these cheaters from the active Dota playerbase, Valve released a patch that created a honeypot to achieve this goal: “a section of data inside the game client that would never be read during normal gameplay, but could be read by these exploits.” Each of the accounts banned had read from this "secret" area in the client, giving Valve a high level of confidence that every ban was more than well-deserved.
While the ban wave was large, this is only the first step in an ongoing campaign in the battle against cheaters. Valve has made its position clear: If you are running any application that reads data from the Dota client while playing games, your account can be permanently banned from playing Dota. This includes professional players, who would also be banned from all Valve competitive events.
Valve emphasizes that Dota is a game best enjoyed when played on an even field, where victories are earned by skill and tenacity. They expect that some players will continue to develop and use new exploits to gain unfair advantages, but they will continue to detect and remove these exploits as they come and ban users who cheat.
As the blog post itself read, “Cheaters will never be welcome in Dota”.
About the Author
Aspen is an avid gamer and Twitch streamer currently residing in Japan. She is most attracted to games narrative design and is a huge fan of player choice in games. If Aspen is not playing games, she is most certainly writing about them.
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