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Players who used an exploit during Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s ’12 Days of Winter’ giveaway, will now feel the full weight of the consequences coming down on them as developer Infinity Ward is starting to hand out punishments to those who used the exploit to farm a ton of rare stuff for free.

The exploit involved a supply drop that gave players 20 keys, a form of currency used in-game to buy supply drops containing rare items. Some players managed to figure out a way to get an infinite number of keys from the supply drop. Using this method, players were able to get most, if not all, epic variants, which allow you to add weapon perks, skins or completely new models for your weaponry. The exploit was so widely used that Activision shut down the game’s servers temporarily to fix the bug.

Players who were found guilty of using the exploit have received a 48-hour ban from the game’s servers in addition to an account “adjustment”. An in-game popup expands on what this adjustment means:

We have determined that your account has gained excess keys and salvage via cheats, exploits, or other actions. Your keys and salvage counts have been reset to zero and your account was inactive for at least 48 hours while the reset took place. This action intends to help maintain gameplay balance while aiming to support parity amongst all players.

Additional violations of our Security & Enforcement Policy regarding account boosting will find you subject to temporary or permanent suspensions from our game.

This notification was preceded by Infinity Ward Multiplayer Designer David Mickner in a tweet he posted to his account yesterday.

If there is one thing you should take away from this is that using an exploit (known or otherwise) will most of the time result in disciplinary actions taken against you, especially when the exploit gives you an unfair advantage over other players. Long story short: don’t cheat or use exploits in a multiplayer game. It’s just bad form.

What do you think of the banning and account resetting in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Chris Anderson

Staff Writer

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.

  • Casey

    Let’s all be honest here. if there weren’t microtransactions to get this stuff, would they have even bothered with doing this?

    I doubt it.

  • giygas

    Using exploits to speed up the grind is bad mojo but it’s totally kosher if you use your credit card to pay for a shortcut. This is why I don’t play online shooters anymore.

    Also, making powerful items artificially scarce does not fucking “maintain gameplay balance”. If anything it does the exact opposite, especially when money is involved.

  • Tyler Szabo

    The “bad mojo” of exploits is a concept I’m extremely curious about, especially the ethics behind it. Obviously giving yourself an unfair advantage over others is unethical and makes multiplayer games difficult to enjoy at times, thus why cheating is looked down on in multiplayer games. However, I think exploits are inherently different issue because it isn’t the players forcibly creating a loophole, but the company accidentally doing it.

    The result may be similar and the players should have the advantage they garnered taken away, but I think the company should also take responsibility in this case. To drop the hammer on these players who took advantage of a situation seems like they are shifting their responsibility onto the consumer as to avoid taking any flak for creating the issue to start with. I don’t think I would have as much of an issue if all they did was reset their keys to the 20 they would have earned legitimately, but they took away all keys, locked them out for 48 hours, and marked this as a violation of their Security and Enforcement Policy. I understand that overpowered players, especially many of them, can ruin the game for so many and actions needed to be taken, but these aren’t people who hacked into the code of the game to cheat, they just took advantage of a situation.

    Maybe I’m way off base or don’t have enough knowledge in this field, but what do you think?

  • giygas

    To begin with, functional items should not require grinding or be made artificially scarce in competitive online games. I absolutely despise that shit because it’s the very opposite of game balance, despite the disingenuous claims of the developers. Making it difficult or expensive to obtain does nothing to offset the power of these items when one does show up in your game.

    I don’t really care if people use exploits to obtain items faster. If people have to turn to that sort of thing, then chances are the game is a glorified Skinner Box and isn’t worthy of my time or money.

    It’s obnoxious as all hell that companies punish users of said exploits while at the same time offering the option to pay to achieve the same result. Apparently cheating is okay if you grease the publisher’s palms in the process.

    You want to know what I think? I think every executive of every company doing this microtransaction bullshit should be tarred, feathered, and pitched from the roof of the nearest skyscraper. Fuck that gay shit. Unlock Treadmills are for morons.