I came across one of the thousands of pro-/anti- Punkbuster threads on a mainstream gaming forum today and was curious as to whether anyone’s done a really good article on the growth of this particular anti-cheat software and it’s effect on the industry. If not, I’d settle for informed opinions from Qt3.
In particular, I’m interested in the claim that Punkbuster has a “global ban list” that spans all the games that support it, so that if you were banned while using cheats in Battlefield Vietnam, you would also be banned from Enemy Territory, Quake 3, etc automatically.
Also, there’s the claim that they can effectively id you as a player from identifying you through hashing the contents of your hard drive, something that I’m skeptical about, at least in it not being defeated by a simple rearrangement of the file system.
The anti- camps claim that the Punkbuster team are notorious for completely ignoring the possibility of false positives, something I’ve not actually come across happening to anyone I know personally, but wouldn’t be surprised about.
So what’s the straight dope on Punkbuster?
I’m really pissed at it now. I was a major CoD player, and finally when the v1.4 patch came with Punkbuster support I was happy. No cheaters = good.
Well, all was well for about 2 weeks. Then, it kept kicking me from the game! It kept giving me an error message claiming “IInsufficient O/S Privileges”. This was REALLY pissing me off - because I’m an admin on my computer. I can’t assign myself any more privilages.
So, I go through all of the FAQs and try to fix it. Nope, still doesn’t work.
I set down Call of Duty and went into brighter fields, newer games, ect. However, then UO hit, and I’ve got it. And I’m still stuck with the same god forsaken error message. So I get about 1/100th of the selection, and most of the servers are laggy and infested with cheaters!
Why does the PB-God spite me?
But, uh, that was totally unrelated. I just thought I’d rant a little. Sorry.
I’ve had similar issues with Cheating-Death, a util for Half-Life (1) servers that does what punkbuster does. It’s wierd, on some Natural Selection servers that run C-D, I can play with no problems. On others it says I have illegally modified files. While the idea of active anti-cheat programs is a good thing, I still don’t see it as truly viable until they can do a better job of getting rid of false positives.