The Division Closed Beta on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC ends tomorrow, but there's already been one good outcome from the entire process. Fans on The Division's Reddit community noticed that a number of PC players were cheating or exploiting glitches in the game. The entire list of cheats includes having unlimited ammo, super-speed, teleporting, and shooting through walls.
The community seems to think that the issue isn't a lack of anti-cheat, but the fact that in The Division's client-server handshake, the client's information takes precedence for certain values. In an online game, players interact with the game client, while the server takes the information from multiple clients and makes sense of everything. If you've ever played an online title with high ping, you'll notice that you sometimes teleport back to where your were seconds before. This is the server telling the client, "No, you're not up here, you're back there." The client and the server are simulating the same version of events and the server is correcting any errors it notices in the client's information. This is done at a certain set tickrate, usually x times per second.
The alleged problem here is players can manipulate information on their client and the server just goes with it. If I hack my game to make the client think I have 10,000 bullets, the server should put the kibosh on that, because it should know I had 200 bullets only seconds before. Furthermore, any anticheat system would catch the fact that a player randomly gained unlimited ammo and would ban that player for cheating. The Division supposedly just agrees with the client's version of events and there's no anticheat in place currently.
Ubisoft is aware of the issue, with multiple community managers commenting on it.
"We are aware of the cheating issues in the Closed Beta on PC. The team is fully committed to providing solutions against this and a system will be in place to ensure a fair experience for players when the game is released on March 8," wrote one community manager on the official forums.
"Guys, so you're aware the things discussed here are not in fact hacks or cheats, but merely abuse of glitches that exist in the game currently. These glitches are currently being worked on by the team," wrote another CM. "We've taken the feedback regarding possible cheats/hacks to heart and will be thoroughly investigating."
This is a problem that players have complained about before in Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Siege. A recent patch for the game was largely aimed at tackling cheating, with an improved tickrate and heavier consequences for detected cheating.
It's probable that Ubisoft has the anti-cheat and server side correction systems turned off or tuned low for the time being, because I can't see them launching a massive online game without those basic systems. In the rumored open beta, we may see those issues resolved and hopefully by launch, Ubisoft Massive will have everything cleaned up. The Division is a rather enjoyable MMO that came out of nowhere for me, so I hope Ubisoft has a plan in place to resolve the issues.