‘Elite Dangerous’ Player Wedges Invincible Ship In Space Station Entrance To Protest Cheats
This weekend a player frustrated with the rise of reports of cheaters in Elite Dangerous launched a protest that saw him fly a giant invincible ship into the entrance of a space station, blocking the entrance for players trying to dock their ships.
Frontier Development's epic space game, that lets you explore a vast galaxy, hunt pirates, mine asteroids, and trade goods between space stations, has seen an increase in cheaters since late last year. It's down to a new cheat program that allows players to tweak pretty much every part of their ship, giving themselves infinite health, stronger weapons, and god-tier heat management.
Players report that the cheaters don't necessarily give themselves invincibility, but, instead, simply tweak their ships so they're a little faster, a little stronger, and a little more hardy. This, of course, gives them an advantage in PvP.
The new cheaters are undermining players' trust in the game and their interactions with each other. When you know this cheat software is out there, you end up doubting every combat encounter - 'Is this other player cheating? They should have destroyed by know, right?'
On Sunday, a player called Nick Naylor decided to protest the prevalence of cheats, highlighting the problem to Frontier by making it as public as possible. Naylor got into the cockpit of a Beluga, the largest pilotable ship in the Elite Dangerous, used the cheat program to give the cruiseliner invincibility, and wedged it into the entrance of Jameson Memorial station, one of the most popular stations in the game.
The entrance to Jameson Memorial is a single rectangular corridor that, with a Beluga parked across it, is practically impossible to enter or exit. Usually, when an object blocks a station entrance, the station's guns would destroy the blockage but Naylor's invincibility hack meant that they could do nothing to get rid of him.
Players trying to get into and out of the station eventually managed to ram Naylor out of the way. At which point, Naylor jumped away to a different system. He actually used another hack to do that, because he was so close to the station he shouldn't have been able to jump.
According to streamer Cmdr Plater, Naylor has been permabanned by Frontier Developments since his protest. You can hear an interview Plater held with Naylor about his motivations for protesting the cheats below:
"Cheating in our game is something that we take very seriously, and do not condone," Frontier community manager Paige Harvey said in a statement posted to the game's forums. "Using a cheat engine, mod, hack etc. is in direct violation of the Terms and Service and EULA agreed to by all players upon setting up a Frontier account. [...] We strongly advise that no player runs Elite Dangerous using a cheat client, hack, software mod etc as this will put your account at risk now, and in the future."
The statement isn't to Naylor's actions specifically but the chatter it spurred on the forums and among the Elite community may have spurred a response. Harvey does also say Frontier advises "against promoting or publicising of any programs which claim to mod/hack or cheat for Elite Dangerous. Doing so can give players a false sense of legitimacy regarding these programs and ultimately lead to increased risk to players accounts."
Despite the increased reports of cheaters in Elite Dangerous, Harvey says "the number of people using these are a very tiny number of players."
The most important takeaway for fans frustrated by cheating is that Frontier is "still working on new and improved ways of stopping these cheats and tracking and measuring activity now and in the past." And the takeaway for fans tempted to try out this cheat software is that if you're caught you will be banned.
Featured Image Credit: Frontier Developments