Punkbuster violations have been a point of contention within the Battlefield community as of late, particularly the new codes that have appeared.
If you’re new to this topic, and unfamiliar with Punkbuster violations, this is how it works. Punkbuster detects unauthorized files (“hacks”), and issues a violation, which results in a kick from the server. For those streaming to an anti-cheat solution, such as BF4DB, that violation is also sent to our database. They are not bans in themself, but most services will issue their own bans for it.
Hypothetically, once the offending files are removed, the violation should no longer be triggered. That was the working theory, until recently.
As of late, according to Evenbalance (the company that owns and operates Punkbuster), new violations are issued on an unspecified delay to maximize confusion and reduce the likelihood of the cheat developer changing the code to circumvent detection again. The downside to that is if it’s a false positive, it’s virtually impossible to figure out what caused the violation to trigger.
We have worked with a number of those who claim innocence in an attempt to figure out what caused the erroneous violation to trigger. Based on background checks and comprehensive stats review, we didn’t believe these individuals to be guilty of cheating. We compiled lots of information from these players but were unable to find a correlation between them.
If you’ve read any of our ban appeals, you’ve seen how the PB appeals go. Player appeals, and we tell them to appeal to Evenbalance, and if they admit the violation was triggered in error, then we’ll lift our ban. We’ve found that during the course of those appeals to Evenbalance, a good number of those appeals were denied and their violation kick turned into a Punkbuster Global ban.
Our staff have been in contact with Evenbalance, but they have been tight lipped. Apart from admitting there is an unspecified delay, they are not willing to discuss the idea of a false positive citing that there isn’t one.
BF4DB has been wary of these potentially false positives, however we chose to continue to enforce violation bans as we didn’t have concrete proof of false positives. That changes today.
We have received conclusive evidence that proves Punkbuster is issuing erroneous violations on innocent players who just want to play the game. As an anti-cheat community, we have lost complete confidence in the company that was hired and paid to keep cheaters out of our game. BF4DB no longer believes Punkbuster has the players’ best interest at heart.
As of today, our staff has been instructed to no longer issue ANY bans based solely on Punkbuster violations, regardless of violation code. While they are still logged, primary evidence must be present in order for a ban to be issued. The violation can only be used as supporting evidence.
Additionally, anyone who was issued a ban for a Punkbuster violation triggered in or after 2/1/18, is eligible to open a new ban appeal with BF4DB. If no other proof of cheating is present, the ban will be lifted.
Our linked account policy will remain the same: All accounts linked to bans issued for violations prior to 2/1/18 will be banned according to our banning policy. All accounts linked to bans issued for violations after 2/1/18 will remain unbanned as long as no other proof of cheating is present.
We’d like to apologize to the players affected by this issue for the inconvenience. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out to any member of staff.
Thank you for your continued support of BF4DB, and of course, we will continue to update everyone if the situation changes further.