It would appear that a large number of Dark Souls 3 PC users are experiencing bans from the online servers.
Following a number of recent Reddit posts, the bans appear to be affecting a wide range of players after a number of different incidents. Some have reported receiving a ban notice after experiencing either a crash or an internet disconnection, while others have reported to have received one just opening the game for the very first time.
From the initial reports, the error messages appears to come in two forms. The first form is an initial warning, stating that invalid game data has been detected and players must remove this data or be penalized. The warning message reads as follows:
[CAUTION] INVALID GAME DATA HAS BEEN DETECTED
Invalid game data has been detected on your account. The use of invalid data during gameplay is a violation of the online service end user license agreement. You will be penalized if you continue playing with invalid data. Please take this opportunity to remove the invalid data from your system/account and discontinue further use.
Despite some users wiping the save data, it would appear that the issue is still persisting and players are unable to permanently get rid of the warning messages. As such, players are then presented with the following second message:
[CAUTION] YOU HAVE BEEN PENALIZED
Invalid game data remains present on your account; as such your account has now been penalized to restrict your online experience. The use of invalid data during gameplay is a violation of the online service end user agreement.
While some users have proposed that the issue may actually be with Dark Souls 3's warning system, others have speculated the issue might be with their actual servers.
In a post from the Bandai Namco forums, user Skannerz22 tested out this theory by moving his inventory around while playing offline. His message is as follows;
i tested if the error is indeed server related
i movedstuff from inventory to box on my offline data
quit and saved
loged into online and obviously got the error
the items i moved were back in my inventory as if what i did offline did not happen
it's a server error not cheats or your save data
they f*** up
If this error is true, then the issue might be with the Dark Souls 3 saved data not correctly syncing with the server. No news as of yet if this issue is persistent on console versions.
Dark Souls 3 is currently out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that these users have been unfairly punished? Have you yourself been unfortunate enough to have experience a ban? let us know in the comments below!