Does It Make Sense To Ban Players From Xbox Live Just For Using A Glitch?

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

Microsoft recently got some attention for cutting off hundreds of thousands of Xbox Live players for using modded Xboxes — even if there was no evidence they were used for cheating. This is already leading to talk of a class action lawsuit against Microsoft. Even so, Microsoft is now going even further, issuing temporary bans for all of Xbox Live for anyone using a certain “exploit” in Modern Warfare 2 that lets a player set off a grenade after they die in the game. It makes sense for Infinity Ward to create a fix for their own programming mistake, but it seems rather ridiculous for Microsoft to kick people out of the game for doing what the game actually allows. Why blame players for merely doing what is allowed by the game itself?

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Companies: infinity ward, microsoft

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Comments on “Does It Make Sense To Ban Players From Xbox Live Just For Using A Glitch?”

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111 Comments
Brian (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They’re temporary bans, people… it’s not that big of a deal and it sends a solid message to the affected players. Personally I think Infinity Ward should be handling these bans, not Microsoft… but that might be a limitation with the LIVE platform. I haven’t heard of players being banned on a game-by-game basis.

That said, the gamers who play the MW2 legitimately are going to want some semblance of justice, and they get it.

Now if only Microsoft would ban the little homophobic racists that squawk into the mic… then we’d be in business.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Every game played online gets exploited in full by the obsessive players, and ends up as a different game as people begin to master it. There are always ways to be good that aren’t quite what was intended, even if it’s not specifically a “glitch”. The best example of this would be rocket-jumping (shooting a rocket at the ground to propel oneself with the explosion while taking a bit of damage – for the non-gamers). It’s now a beloved part of many games, and was even in the commercials for Team Fortress 2, but it wasn’t originally conceived by a game designer. The fact that you can leap off of an exploding rocket and not die could almost be described as a glitch, and it definitely is (or was, originally) an unintended consequence of the game physics – but it got massively exploited by all the good players once it was discovered.

The only difference here is that it is a more overt glitch (apparently – I don’t have MW2 myself), but it is still 100% the developers’ responsibility to fix. Banning people for what is common gaming behaviour (getting ahead any way you can) is stupid.

Parallax Abstraction (profile) says:

Ban Them

Just because you have the ability to exploit the game doesn’t automatically make it right to do so. These glitchers completely ruin the balance of the game, artificially inflating their scores and creating a massive unfair advantage to teams who choose to play honestly. I agree that it is unacceptable that a glitch this obvious got through QA given MW2’s budget but just because the game allows you to cheat doesn’t mean you should. Play honestly or take your chances.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ban Them

Except you’re both missing the main point: If the game allows it, it is not cheating! You keep calling it that, maybe on the assumption that if the game isn’t balanced it’s unfair in some way (why would this be true anyway?), but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not cheating.

Life is unfair sometimes people ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ban Them

I know, right? Just like people who are charged with manslaughter should actually be charged with murder? Or how copyright infringement is actually stealing? Or how exploiting a game design glitch is cheating?

Semantics. Exactly. Why can’t we just call everything by what it actually is?

Everything is bullshit.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ban Them

No, not semantics. Cheating and poor sportsmanship are not the same thing at all, and nobody goes looking for good sportsmanship in an Xbox Live arena. There is nothing at all surprising about people exploiting this glitch, and Microsoft is kidding itself if it thinks Live is full of mature gamers who should be “above” that behaviour.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ban Them

Riiiight… like, how people that used grenade jumping were cheaters. And those who knew exactly how much recoil they got from machineguns in Quake 2 were cheating… and those who realize in certain games that switching to another gun and back is faster than reloading. Ban them all! Exploiters! Those damn semanticker raporists!

DS says:

Re: Re: Re: Ban Them

Technically it’s not that the game doesn’t allow it, it’s that the game does not dis-allow it. There was no intent for the game to support it, it’s causing disruptions, and everyone’s been told not to do it.

Or let me put it this way. My car is built to ALLOW it to go 130mph. There some situations where I could do this at no danger to others. But if I do in a public place, can you guess who wouldn’t be driving again for quite some time?

DS says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Ban Them

Not semantics at all, if you would just stop and think about it.

It’s either A: Intentionally programmed into the game/software, or B: It is an unintentional consequence of some other bit of code that allowed something that was never intended to be allowed.

It’s not semantics, it’s intent.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Ban Them

Therefore, they’re not cheating, they’re just having trouble not making the grenade go off, which is something the software should do for them.

If the software is so buggy that people start flying off the ground, does it mean people have to expend extra effort trying to stay on the surface?

So, technically, the users failed in making their grenades not go off.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Ban Them

No, it’s just that the stories are written in a manner to evoke the largest amount of outrage, even if the focus is placed on one side without the slightest consideration to the other.

Basically, in this situation, you have millions of gamers on one side, and a small number of abusers on the other side. The abusers get a time out, and Mike is basically complaining about them getting a time out. But what about the other gamers who play fairly, and get screwed out of their gaming experience by someone exploiting a hole? You could end up with a whole bunch of players who just stop playing because of it. In the end, Microsoft is protecting the gaming experience of the majority of users, and at the same time doing something good for it’s bottom line.

Sadly, protecting honest players doesn’t bring moral outrage, so the story doesn’t lean that way.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ban Them

not everyone can do it, everyone doesnt go online to look up how to ruin others games, and some are too young.

Aside from this being one of the lamest responses ever, it still doesn’t hold water. You say not everyone can do it, and then you list a reason why people might not know how. That simply restates that everybody could do it, if they cared. So you contradict yourself. As well as it is a stupid response.
ChadBroChill is perfectly correct, everybody can do it, so it is still balanced.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Ban Them

Just because the game allows you to mass kill people with the rocket launcher doesn’t mean that you should, but no one is getting banned for rocket spamming. And remember, if one person can use something that is built into the game, another person can use that same exact thing. It’s not unbalanced if you can’t play the game.

Gordon says:

Re: Re: Ban Them

Time out. You’re calling that “Rocket Spamming”? IT IS A WAR GAME people…..are you all forgetting this little fact? You guys are the same generation that in little league, nobody won or lost right? Nobody kept score so you would all feel good about yourselves?

A cheat is a cheat…in Black Hawk Down there were those who would get close enough to a wall that they could shoot through them. Of course you couldn’t hit them, and the server hosts would boot them and they’d have to re-enter the map.
This situation on the other hand is an IW problem, not MS. If I remember correct, It’s called Martyrdom in World at War and maybe even Modern Warfare. Correct me if I’m wrong.

But beyond ALL that, It’s a WAR SIMULATION. In actual combat, the enemy doesn’t play with kid gloves…..EVER.
Life blows.

Dementia (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Ban Them

You would be correct, in CoD4:MW and CoD:WaW the perk is called Martyrdom, and while I hate it, its a perk that was designed into the game. If they left it out of MW2, well, its the first good thing I’ve heard about the game. If people have found a way to make it happen, seems like maybe IW forgot to remove the code for it. Either way, what does MS ToS have to say about using glitches? Does it say a temporary ban may result? If so, the discussion is pointless.

bcosta (profile) says:

If the game allows the players to “cheat” that way, then everyone else has to deal with it. The correct response is not to kick people off of Xbox Live but to fix the glitch. Complain all you want about cheaters within a game, but if they are not hacking the game but simply taking advantage of what the game allows, the players should not be punished for that. I can understand why it would piss off a lot of people, but learn to deal with it. Have the developers fix the glitch.

JOJI says:

Re: ARE YOU KIDDING !!!!!!

LOOK !!! There are other people that would like to enjoy the gaming experience….. If you had a brain my dear you would would go to college like my husband did for PROGRAMMING, GAME DESIGN, AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT !!!! Other that that your statement validating that you are a worthless cheater is just a “WHO FLUNG POOH” comment which in reality holds nothing in regards to being HELPFUL in showing a GLITCH !!!! A real “WINNER” gets paid to do such things in the REAL gaming WORLD ok LITTLE MAN….. LMAO You cannot actually get anywhere on XBOX live OBVIOUSLY unless YOU CHEAT…. But the funny thing is YOU CANNOT BACK UP YOUR RANK unless you continue CHEATING, so in all reality you ARE STILL GOING TO BE A LOSER…. NUFF SAID!!!

Runner23 says:

Re: Holy Christ

Whats absolute bullshit is those who continue to exploit it and defend it.

I work in the Anti-Cheat field with the largest known anticheat software in the world.

While this wouldn’t get you on our ban list had they chose a real anti cheat software, it will cause you to end up on most all of our member severs private ban list for this bullshit.

If you have no ethics in game what ethics do you have in real life. Thats the question people should be asking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Holy Christ

“If you have no ethics in game what ethics do you have in real life. Thats the question people should be asking.”

HAHAHAHA! Yes, that’s it. Because gaming is SOOO important, such a high priority, and has such high real-life stakes that it inspires just the kind of moral and ethical decisions that a person makes in life.

Seriously, it’s a freaking game. What is the worst possible thing that can happen if someone cheats? Some pixels get artificially killed when they shouldn’t have. That’s why games are escapism. There are no real consequences, and that’s a lot of what makes games so attractive. Talk about moral outrage. To suggest that a person who exploits a glitch is necessarily dishonest in life is laughable at best, and ridiculously, hilariously, nutso outrageous at worst. Give me a break. Take a look at your life’s priorities.

Shawn says:

Re: Re:

So myself, bought a 500gig hdd. Modded the security sector to make it appear to be a 120gig is modding to play pirated games? No it was to pay $60 for a hdd expansion. Didn’t see the point paying $180 for a cheap 120Gb propritary crap.

Why the 500GB. foresight. the 250GB is running around and all i need is a security sector from it ๐Ÿ™‚

JOJI says:

Re: LMAO >>>>> LIAR

FIRST OF ALL DIP-IT-IDDY-DO,
YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO REAL KNOWLEDGE OF ANYTHING YOU SPEAK OF. YES PEOPLE DO MOD THEIR XBOX TO CHEAT…. LMAO YOU CANNOT HOWEVER DO IT TO THE NEW XBOX SLIM AS IT WILL SEND A SIGNAL TO MICROSOFT AND THEY WILL; BAN THE MAC ID OF THAT MODDED XBOX FOR LIFE OFF OF XBOX LIVE !!! YOUR IGNORANCE IS TOTALLY EPIC !!!! HAHAHAHAHA WERE YOU BORN THIS STUPID OR DID IT TAKE YEARS OF DEDICATION ???

Nastybutler77 (profile) says:

Why am I not surprised to see that IW has pissed off more gamers? That seems to be their MO. This time due to shoddy game testing. The gamers aren’t to blame for this as MS seems to think. That would be like saying, “Look I know that the game has guns, but we want this game to be all about hand to hand combat. So don’t shoot anyone or you’ll be kicked out.” Well then maybe the developers shouldn’t have put the guns in.

In economics there’s a similar principle called the Tragedy of the Commons. Sure you can talk about not “exploiting” the glitch that gives you an advantage, but people by and large are selfish and will do what’s in their own self interest, even if that means that others will suffer, and they themselves will at some point face negative consequences. Is that the gamers fault? Not really. It’s just human nature, and in this case the blame falls squarely on the programmers shoulders.

Naturally MS seeks to make the negative consequences immediate to preserve some semblance of fair play. As long as everyone knows about this policy from the get go, then if they still choose to use the glitch, they can’t complain when they get banned. But what a boneheaded move by IW. Nice job in QA, asshats.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’m not even sure why it’s MS’s job to do anything about this, especially considering all the pre-release bragging by the developers about how their anti-cheat software would ban all cheaters.

Oh, and what about anyone who got past the software? Answer: Umm, the anti-cheat software will ban all cheaters!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You know what’s an even worse glitch? The one where a player can hop into a rock or an overhang. Hide behind the game’s geometry.

That’s the worst. You can’t see them and the get a near 360 view of their immediate area. So dumb.

Why haven’t they fixed that glitch? Or banned player’s who take advantage of it?

JOJI says:

Re: Re: ANOTHER DIM LIGHT

LMAO,
HERE IS A GREAT ANSWER FOR A RETARD LIKE YOU….. BECAUSE SPAWN KILLS ARE JUST THAT….. YOU COMMIT SUICIDE THEN RESPAWN ON A BLINKING FLAG….. THAT IS CALLED FLAG DEFENSE…. STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE GLITCHES YOU LOVE SO MUCH AND OBVIOUSLY ABUSE…. HAHAHAHAH YOUR TOTAL FAILURE IN VALIDATING YOUR CHEATING WAYS IS IN TURN A TOTAL ADMISSION BY YOU THAT YOU IN FACT ARE GOING TO BE ANOTHER BANNED LOSER….. HAHAHAHAH….. I HOPE IT HAPPENS SOON FOR YOU… HAVE A GREAT DAY OK MR. ICAN’TBACKUPMYRANKSOIHAVETOCHEAT….. LOL

Anonymous Coward says:

Playing golf allows you to write anything on your card, so you ace every hole, no you’re not cheating, your just exploiting a glitch in the scoring system. Basketball allows you to carry the ball down the court without dribbling, not cheating, just exploiting a glitch by holding onto the ball. Take to the extreme, your car allows you to hit other people, but you don’t, not that’s cheating, but it is allowed.

Please, those people using it during a public match are cheating and spoiling the match for the others. Get over it and don’t risk the suspension, or do it in private match only.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Not the same thing at all, the rules in the game do not state that you can’t kill people with grenades. In the deathmatch world we call it postmortem kills. Been around since Quake (Probably longer). It’s also not hard to give them a bad review and stop seeing them. That’s what the reviews are for, not only do they report to Microsoft but the avoid that player for future matches.

Kazi says:

Re: Re: Re: Stupid golf and car analogy

Exploiting game mechanics is cheating.
Exploiting hacks is cheating.
Exploiting game features is cheating.

Whenever you play a game in a unintended manner it’s cheating and you will more than likely be discplined by the GM’s. That may result in termnation of your account or a suspension of your game priveleges. Period.

ChadBroChill (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The game of basketball does not allow you to carry the ball down the court. The rules of the game state that you must dribble the ball. If you try to break these rules, the ref will shut you down (in theory). If they don’t, and you do in fact travel and get away with it, it’s called bad officiating not cheating.

The rules in a video game are defined by what you can and cannot do in the created world. If you can throw a grenade after you die, then a glitch has occurred and the rules of the game must be revised with a patch. Same principle as a ref who doesn’t call a traveling violation.

JOJI says:

Re: I SO AGREE

WOW….. I LOVE HOW YOU SAID THIS !!!!! I LOVE IT !!! HOWEVER I BET THE CHEATERS AND EXPLOITERS ARE SITTING BACK READING IT AGAIN AND AGAIN BECAUSE THEY JUST DO NOT GET IT….. LMAO MAYBE IF WE DUMB IT DOWN A BIT THEY MAY BE ABLE TO BETTER UNDERSTAND AND RETAIN WHAT THEY READ….. I BET THEY ALL DROPPED OUT HIGH SCHOOL AND ARE CURRENTLY ATTRACTING FLIES ON THEIR MOTHER’S SOFA LIKE THE WORTHLESS PILES OF CUSHION CRAP THEY ARE….. OOOOPS DID I REALLY JUST TYPE THIS??? ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous1 says:

To answer your question: Best solution? NO. Does it make sense in light of the game company stepping in? YES.
Also Mike, ask yourself, if it has gotten to this point,
Microsoft banning people, the coders who built the game couldn’t develop a patch by this time ? I call BS. Unless and until I hear from the developer here, I will assume they were simply taking their sweet time. If MS got enough complaints, they probably were promted to step in, or asked to. Any backlash the developer takes is well deserved.This isn’t a permanent ban. It only temperarily bans knowing cheats. Again, tough.

Parallax Abstraction (profile) says:

You can use BS semantics all you want but yes, it is cheating. You are using something that falls outside the intended design of the game to give yourself an unintended and unfair advantage to the detriment of everyone else playing. That it is due to a bug in the game doesn’t make it cheating, it’s just a different form of cheating.

Just because you have no self-control and are falling into “human nature” isn’t an excuse. I (and everyone else playing honestly) paid $60 for the game same as you and you’ve got no right to ruin it for us. As I said, IW gets their share of blame here too as this glitch apparently exists on all platforms. They have said it will be patched but it is being rolled into another title update that will include a bunch of other changes and has no announced release date. That’s ludicrous and is a sign of this developer’s continuing arrogance towards their community.

All that said, it does not justify ruining the game for others by taking advantage of this exploit and yeah, if you choose to be an idiot and do it, you damn well shouldn’t be allowed to play with those of us who can use it but choose not to because we’re more honest than you. I agree the ban should be temporary (as I believe it is) and that permanently kicking people off Xbox Live is going too far. You have the ability to be a racist, homophobic, threatening douchebag over the Xbox Live voice chat too but most people would agree that it isn’t OK to be one just because the system allows you to be.

CrushU says:

Re: Re:

Exploit vs Cheating:
For those who are unaware, there IS a difference. An exploit is using a bug or other glitch in the game, as packaged, to produce an unintended consequence. Rocket-jumping in Team Fortress Classic was actually an exploit. (In TF2 it’s a feature. Go figure.) Using this is an exploit. Cheating is purposefully using something extraneous to the game to affect the game’s state, and, in theory, gives you an unfair advantage over everyone else. Using the developer console to turn on godmode, flight, or anything else, when that’s nominally disabled, is a cheat. Using a memory editor to alter game values, is a cheat. Editing the game files to cause every player to have a large red box around them, is a cheat.

MOST Online communities understand this difference. The penalties usually less for exploits, because you couldn’t exploit something if they hadn’t put it in there in the first place. This doesn’t mean it’s ok to exploit, merely that the penalties are less because it’s originally the devs’ fault, and they will fix it.

So from this perspective, banning these players is stupid. At least it’s only 24 hours though. That’s really a slap on the wrist. A week would be serious NERD RAAAAGE business, I suppose.

JOJI says:

Re: Re: LMAO STUPID PEOPLE AGAIN

OK…. ON YOUR WAY OF THINKING….. YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO EXPLOIT A CHILD AND TELL THEM TO ROB A BANK…. SO THEY DO…. RIGHT? BUT YOU ARE THE ADULT… HMMMMM…. HERE IS ANOTHER ONE…… YOU HAVE A PARTY AT YOUR HOME ON YOUR PROPERTY THAT YOU OWN…. AND AT THIS PARTY YOU HAVE MANY MANY MINORS AND YOU HAVE A KEG OF BEER….. WELL!! THE MINORS WANT DRINKS SO YOU LET THEM BECAUSE IT IS YOUR HOME….. THEN THEY LEAVE AND GO HOME….. THEIR PARENTS ASK WHERE THEY GOT THE BEER…. THEY POINT YOU OUT….. LOL…. NEXT THING YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN HANDCUFFS AND IN JAIL!!! MORAL OF THIS SCENARIO IS JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD…. AND JUST BECAUSE THEY GOT THEIR OWN GLASS AND POURED THEIR OWN BEER DOES NOT MAKE YOU INNOCENT NOT EVEN BY A LONG SHOT…. JUST BE GLAD THAT THE DEVELOPERS ARE NOT GOING SUE YOU FOR “HACKING”, “MALICIOUS SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT”, “CORRUPTING COPY WRITTEN SOFTWARE”, AND MANY OTHER THINGS THEY COULD AND MORE THAN LIKELY WILL SUE YOU FOR IN THE FUTURE…. JUST REMEMBER IF ANYONE IS BANNED FOR JUST THESE THINGS FROM XBOX LIVE AND THEY TRY TO SUE….. PEOPLE LIKE DEVELOPERS CAN COUNTER SUE ON THE GROUNDS I HAVE LISTED ABOVE COSTING YOU MILLIONS….. LMAO THEN WHO WILL BE SAYING IT IS UNFAIR??? NOT US…. WE PLAY HONESTLY……OOOOPS

Parallax Abstraction (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m not sure if they actually have the ability to ban people from a specific game. They’re able to track what you’re playing so I can’t see why not and they definitely should add that functionality if they haven’t. Personally, I’d say ban them until the title update is available. And I think instituting some kind of fine system into the Microsoft Certification process for glitches that enable this kind of game breaking behaviour would ensure better QA real damn fast.

Nameless says:

OMG! HAKORS!!!!

Ok, seriously? What we have here is a bug from bad coding. Obviously, this isn’t the intended way to play. Does that make it wrong to use it? One of the biggest complaints in gaming is spawn killing (at least when I played games it was). Spawn killing was not the intent of the game developers, but does that make it wrong? It is definitely a cheap tactic, but it’s not cheating. There are no rules against it. You’re just using the tools you have at your disposal to win the game. I see bugs in games as the same thing, a tool to be used.

Anonymous Coward says:

I blame project natal

All the signs point to Robbie Bach trying to recoup losses from that idiotic natal project.

Which makes sense. I mean, if you can find a way to make users go buy new hardware, you can finance project natal, but, it puts Horacio Gutierrez, working with his wife’s brother, Cesar Chavez on the problem which in reality is like a bad episode of The Dog Whisperer.

Next thing you know, Robbie Bach will greenlight a new XBox Live “Feature”. It will allow you to play again, if you go to BestBuy and purchase the $79.99 XBox Credit Card Terminal Accessory, and swipe your credit card and agree to pay a $50 penalty fee.

I mean, positive incentives could work as well as Bing Cash Back.

Inside sources tell me that the next generation of XBoxes will be scent enabled. They will put out the scent of warm cookies when everything is working right, and let out a real rancid smell if it detects a modchip or you find something a lazy/cheap/overseas programmer didn’t run proper QA on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE Terms of Use

In using the Service, you may not:

use or distribute unauthorized cheats, macros, or scripts; or

exploit a bug, or make an unauthorized modification, to any software or data to gain unfair advantage in a game , contest, or promotion.

—–
Don’t like it or the bans, don’t agree to the Terms of Use and don’t use Xbox LIVE

Anonymous Coward says:

They can declare whatever behavior they want to be cheating and temp-ban players accordingly. I imagine the the vast majority of players are probably quite happy with this announcement (and likely even more happy once the bug is actually fixed).

Of course, if they don’t communicate well to the players that doing this is cheating, that could make the bans a problem; even if that were the case though, it’s just temporary bans we’re talking about here.

This is really a completely different issue from the modding conflict, and I don’t see how even the temp-banned players can really fault Microsoft in this case.

batch (profile) says:

In real life, if I pull the pin on a grenade, then die, the grenade still explodes! This should be a feature, not a glitch. Too many games remove this and its lame. Not all grenades thrown before death were cheap shots.

The glitch exploits in other games though? Like in Halo 2? Fuck yes ban those asshats, temporarily, for a day. It’s not a perma-ban offense, but it sure is lame to have the other team super jump up somewhere you can’t reach them without also exploiting a glitch.

The glitch ruins the experience if something has to be exploited to level the field. Those super jumps I mentioned in H2 aren’t just a button press, something dumb like crouch under this over hang and jump in this direction. Something like this should be discouraged with a temp ban.

Jason (profile) says:

More like a bitch than a glitch

Honestly, this is no different than a dead man’s switch on a bomb. Wake up people, this kind of thing happens all the time. If you don’t like it, then go play Old School Warfare where the enemies play nice.

I’d even wager that this was originally an intended feature with unintended effects, then when too many people bitch about it, so the mods called the ban.

Instead of banning people they ought to instantly send you to a secret level called 10,000 virgins only to find that they are eternally whining about how you chose to play the game.

Anonymous Coward says:

Your incorrect that it’s a grenade going off after death, that is actually a legitimate feature in the game for 4 deaths if you have that death streak enabled.

The glitch is by holding a sticky grenade in your hand while your Javelin is equipped results in the undischarged *Javelin ammo exploding* and killing everything within a ~50 yard radius. (If you watch the videos close you’ll see in the kill list that the kills were credited to the Javelin, not a grenade.)

That gun is not built to do explode on death and there is no way to legitimately trigger this in game without using the quick swap weapon glitch/bug.

I see no problem with MSFT removing disruptive players who employ bugs in the software to gain an competitive advantage or to grief others. This is why I’m OK paying $50 a year for the service. I don’t want to play games in the wild west where anything goes, I want a fair playing field where I can have fun and being on the receiving end of this glitch (which I have been a number of times) is not fun.

People get temp banned for language used that has zero impact on gameplay itself, why should this behavior which has a direct impact on gameplay be any different?

[Full Disclosure: I work at Microsoft but do not work in the games group in any way.]

Anonymous Coward says:

And I’ll say again for the cheap seats (people who keep talking about grenades), it’s NOT the grenade that blows up, it’s the UNFIRED JAVELINE ROCKET LAUNCHER.

It is obviously unintended and people who exploit this unintended effect (which only happens when you create a race condition on weapon switching, this doesn’t happen simply because you equipped the Javeline) are knowingly trying to gain an unfair advantage due to a bug in the game.

william (profile) says:

Lots of people missing the point

I think a lot of comments in this post is really missing the point.

No one is here to argue about To Ban or Not to Ban. That issue is already passed. The glitch is disruptive to regular player so ppl are told not to do it and if you do you’ll get a temporary ban so you won’t cause grief to other players.

HOWEVER, what MS is doing is banning people completely off Xbox live, which seems to be overly broad and over the top. Xbox is a device that ties into the online service so much that if you cannot connect to xbox live, the machine is quite useless.

If you have problem comprehending the issue, consider this. A person is found to repeatly yelling in a library disrupting all other users. However, the city government sent him a notice to ban him from all city owned facilities including but not limit to, the library, the swimming pool, the skating arena, the motor vehicle branch, the city hall building, public parks…etc. How is that an appropriate action?

MS is either overdoing the punishment, or they simply lack the ability to ban an account from using one single service inside Xbox live services. If it’s the first then they are a whole bunch of a**holes. If it’s the latter then it’s really something they have to implement, quickly.

either way, MS is really demonstrating how one should NOT buy an xbox because MS can tread all over you, when it wants and however it want.

Jason Harris (profile) says:

Re: Lots of people missing the point

This is a load of crap, and was just as much of a load of crap when people were talking about modders being banned. I take my console off of XBL and play it offline all the time, and EVERYTHING WORKS FINE. No, i can’t log on to facebook, stream netflix or listen to last.fm, but these are peripheral features of my gaming console. It still plays everything fine and 99% of what people do work fine.

All of this moral outrage because asshole kids exploit games and can’t go online to download new clothes for their avatar is incredibly irritating. Especially because it’s just academic and coming from people who don’t even use the service in the majority of instances.

HolaJohnny (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lots of people missing the point

Here’s why your whole comment is a load of crap. Yes it works perfectly fine offline. Many of my friends, family, and myself didn’t buy it for offline functionality solely. We PAY a annual fee to be provided a service. I personally spend 85% of my time when using my Xbox on live. 99% of people huh? I’d like to see how many people who own a Xbox also use live. Its a bit more than 1%. I don’t cheat or exploit any game on Xbox. But you can sure as hell bet I get downright pissed when Xbox Live constantly fails to connect me to my friends, or drops connection, or simply doesn’t work. So when I see they are wasting time and energy on things like this instead of maintaining the service its understandable why as a customer I would be unhappy. What majority of instances are you talking about? People getting banned? People exploit many games besides this, yet now, in the case of this one big seller its suddenly justified to step in and cover up the Infinity Wards screw up? Do us a favor and besides taking your console off XBL, take your computer off the internet and stop wasting peoples time. Go back to that little bubble you live in.

HolaJohnny (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Lots of people missing the point

I apologize AC. I’d happily format my thoughts again for you but alas your but a Anon coward. Simply put, I think Mr. Harris is misrepresenting for at least a significant if not a majority portion of Xbox 360 owners. He is offering a singular opinion but construing it in such a manner that he represents more than himself.

Jason Harris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Lots of people missing the point

I think the opposite, which is that the vast majority of Xbox 360 owners are happy to see cheaters and people who abuse exploits kicked off the service. It’s a very vocal minority who rabble rouses on the internet stating how M$$$$ made their console useless and that’s not FAIR! that is being extremely over represented.

Jason Harris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Lots of people missing the point

I happily play my console on live all the time, but the implication that it just DOESN’T WORK without Live is idiocy. The fact is, unless you’re modding your box to pirate games or cheating at online games to ruin everyone else’s experience at the cost of your own, you don’t have anything to worry about. Everyone who is up in arms about it is either looking for a reason to rail on MS because that’s what they do, or pissed off that they can’t cheat anymore.

Excuse me if I don’t find this position sympathetic.

Jason Harris (profile) says:

Your description is off, for starters. A grenade exploding after you die is actually a feature of the Martyrdom perk, and part of the game.

The exploit here is that people somehow glitch out one of the rocket launchers so that every time they die a huge explosion (MUCH MUCH bigger than a ‘nade) kills everyone in the area.

I was playing yesterday, and 2 guys were exploiting this. Basically what happens is, every time you shot them, you would die. They would blow up in an explosion so big that you and anyone else around would die. It made the game pretty much unplayable for everyone else on the other team.

They were fully aware that it was an exploit and were laughing at everyone about it on voice after the match.

Do I feel bad if those guys get banned for 24 hours? Not one bit. These people are fully aware they’re doing something they shouldn’t, and laughing in the faces of the 10 other people who’s games they’re ruining.

I’d be shocked if any of the people bitching above had played MW2, or were gamers at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Really, Microsoft?

So Microsoft kicks users off because of a failure within their own AI?

It’s amazing, but it seems the rub is that someone (maybe the gorillas and baboons in marketing that have chiggers) somehow think this AI/programming issue is the player’s fault. Whoever made that decision is going to get a hefty promotion for Christmas, as failure happens to be a very desirable trait… or so I’m told.

faceless (profile) says:

This is hilarious.

The reason Microsoft is banning people is because Activision and Infinity Ward are cheap.

Many of you may not know this, but Microsoft charges publishers for certifying game updates, and also charges them for publishing them (iirc, the first is free) onto Xbox Live.

Activision doesn’t want to pay out more money when they already have a planned update coming. They just want to roll up the fix for this into their big update.

So the compromise is Microsoft bans the small about of people using this glitch so Activision saves a few bucks, which is pretty despicable considering the MILLIONS of dollars they made selling the game.

It’s all about the almighty dollar, as is extremely evident in the handling of the PC port.

TechNoFear (profile) says:

If the supplier of a service you use sends you a warning that a particular part of your behaviour is unacceptable (and under the TOS you agreed to, your access may be restricted if you continue with this behaviour).

You decide to continue that unacceptable behaviour.

Why is it the supplier’s fault for following through on the ban?

Why don’t you have to accept responsibility for your actions / choices?

faceless (profile) says:

“Or let me put it this way. My car is built to ALLOW it to go 130mph. There some situations where I could do this at no danger to others. But if I do in a public place, can you guess who wouldn’t be driving again for quite some time?”

the terms of service are fairly broad, and as many people have pointed out, there are many other games with glitches that were abused and people weren’t banned. it’s more like the speed limit on a set of roads was ‘not too fast’ and people who have been driving at their normal speed on the new road got a suspension, then someone updates their twitter to say that on that particular road, “not too fast” has a lower limit that other roads.

Xander C (profile) says:

Are Glitches part of game design?

Mike! I think you may enjoy this site if you wish to learn more about game design and the ecology of player communities:
http://www.sirlin.net/

I agree with William though, MS’s take on the issue with full day bans are overboard for a developer’s hindsight of testing.

On the other hand, there has to be some repercussion to disrupting play with a game-breaking glitch. Most “glitches” tend to sort themselves out as people will find a counter to the glitch, an then a counter to the counter and so on. But when you reach a point where there’s no counter outside of full cheating exploit, then something is wrong that needs to be fixed.

It should also be noted, that banning moves and glitches should be rare, and only for things that can be out-right pointed out. For example, what if it’s illegal to stall a fight, or to run away for longer then 30seconds? If it’s a very useful tactic, people would try to stall for 29 seconds to avoid the ban. (As silly as it sounds) But what if someone isn’t stalling, but their strategy just takes 31 seconds to implement? This is why most competitive games will not have a full out-right ban.

In this case though, the ban is justified for something that can be pointed out.

hohoho says:

fun with xbox

I’m having fun with my modded xbox(gotten cheap of eBay after ban)

I send out random serial numbers and get people banned.

I’m working on a way to cycle through thousands of codes to see if I can get MS to ban as many innocent people as I can.

THE REALLY FUNNY PART IS I never even owned an Xbox until this happened.

I GUESS I have to do something with my EE degree while I’m unemployed.

I’m entering my (fake your Xbox ID) hack in next years DEFCON.

Megore says:

How people get banned from using this glitch is from other people using the official Filed Complaints through XBL’s reporting system. Specifically the Cheating complaint under the Tampering tab “The player used known or unknown in-game or other exploits to influence the results of a game.”

So its more like other people playing the game that’s banning glitchers than it is Microsoft.

Tony says:

screw xbl—i just cancelled all my kids accounts —cheating —lagging—usung stand by—and now using jtagg to get back online after being banned—xbl does not care one bit about cheaters—so they banned 1 million last time—75% of those were back online in less then 2 mins—what a joke —reporting these idiots does nothing—and xbl customer service has not a clue what to do—-a cheaters is low life scum—that cant compete with others that just want to play a good online match—

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