Over the weekend, the developers of open-world ex-zombie survival gameRust have deployed their newly-created anti-cheat software on the official game servers. The result? 4621 banned players.
The software, called CheatPunch, is similar to Valve’s VAC system in that its bans are permanent and incontestable — if you’re banned, you’re banned. Period. No second chances. As studio founder Garry Newman wrote in a blog post:
We don’t know how stable it’s going to be, so we’re testing it out on our official servers to make sure it all works before forcing it on everyone else. If you get kicked from the official servers with the message that you’ve been banned then you have been caught. You’re a naughty boy. You know what you have done. You won’t get unbanned. We know it was your 9 year old cousin. We know your computer got hijacked. We know that the CIA is getting you banned from all your games on Steam so you will join them in the hunt for aliens. We’re aiming to get a site set up for people that have been banned so they can go and see proof that they’ve been caught.
Several commenters voiced their concern about false positives — understandable, since we’re talking about permanent bans instated by software that’s still under testing. We’re contacting Facepunch Studios to find out what measures, if any, they are taking to eliminate false positives, and will update this post should they respond.
UPDATE: Garry Newman has told Kotaku the following regarding false positives:
We haven’t seen any false positives yet. I’ve been checking everyone that has complained and haven’t come across anything. In fact, it seems like the louder they shout about being innocent the longer they’ve been cheating. The one thing we don’t want to do is ban innocent people, we try to collect as much irrefutable evidence as possible before banning someone.
We’re going to be adding a system where people that legitimately feel like they’ve been banned for no reason can sign in and ask for a review.. and a human will review it. We probably won’t be providing any evidence, but people will either get unbanned or a ‘nope’ and not be able to appeal again.
CheatPunch [Rust Official Site]