Call of Duty Introduces Innovative Anti-Cheating Method Incorporating Hallucinations

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Call of Duty

The developers of Call of Duty have recently introduced a new method to combat cheaters in the game. This latest anti-cheating technique is called “Hallucinations,” and it aims to disrupt and disorient players suspected of cheating.

According to Activision’s blog post, Hallucinations involve the deployment of “decoy characters” within the game environment. These decoys are only visible to players believed to be cheating and have no impact on the experience of legitimate players. Their purpose is to confuse and distract cheaters in various ways. Interestingly, Hallucinations can serve both as a means of mitigating the impact of verified cheaters and as a covert method of detecting suspicious players.

To effectively deceive cheaters, the Hallucination-based soldiers are designed to mimic the appearance, movement, and behavior of real human players. They are not driven by AI but rather replicate the actions of an active user in a match. The goal is to make cheaters believe that they are engaging with another human player, increasing the chances of them being caught off guard.

Activision also highlighted that Hallucinations trigger the same information cheaters would typically have access to using cheating tools, thereby providing unique data to make the decoys appear genuine. This clever implementation aims to make the hallucinations even more convincing.

Apart from their use as a mitigation technique, Hallucinations can also be employed to identify cheaters. For instance, Activision may position a Hallucination character near a suspected cheater. If the player engages with the decoy, it would reveal their true cheating nature.

Activision specifically mentioned that Hallucinations target “non-rage” hackers, referring to individuals who cheat by utilizing software that grants them an unfair advantage by accessing real-time in-game information. By focusing on this subset of cheaters, the developers hope to tackle a specific type of cheating prevalent in the game.

For those interested in a more detailed understanding of Hallucinations, Activision has made an in-depth whitepaper available on its website. This document provides comprehensive insights into the mechanics and implementation of this new anti-cheating feature.

Interestingly, while Activision introduces Hallucinations, it is removing a different cheating mitigation feature known as “Quicksand.” Quicksand used to slow down or freeze the movement of cheaters, making them easy targets. However, Activision decided to remove Quicksand due to its potential visual disturbance for other players in the game lobby. Nevertheless, the company has not ruled out the possibility of reintroducing Quicksand in the future.

In the same blog post, Activision also mentioned the success of its system launched in April that detects third-party cheating hardware. Within the first two weeks of implementing this detection system, there was a significant 59% decrease in the use of such devices across Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone. Of the users detected, 57% did not attempt to use the cheating hardware again, while 43% made subsequent attempts to circumvent the policy.

Activision has also taken steps to improve the in-game reporting systems for Call of Duty by introducing “Malicious Reporting.” Players who knowingly submit false reports may now face warnings or account suspensions as a consequence. Additionally, some automated penalties, such as feature restrictions and voice/text restrictions, have been temporarily disabled.

Overall, with the introduction of Hallucinations and the continuous refinement of their anti-cheating measures, Activision aims to create a fair and enjoyable gaming environment for all legitimate players while deterring and catching cheaters in Call of Duty.

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