So, I think it's safe to say that we're all painfully aware of all the hacking/modding/glitching/exploiting aka cheating that has been going on in Ghosts since release. It's truly ruining the COD experience. I know I rarely play these days and would love to play a lot more. But, I'm not a slayer and definitely don't want to go up against cheaters or chance that I get put into an XP lobby and suddenly reach max prestige with a single kill.
I assume that the game developers are trying to stay on top of this with their anti-cheat tool (whatever that is) and their security team reviewing the many, many, too many player reports for same.
Not saying that I have a total solution here, but maybe we as a community can help the developers out by providing some ideas of what they could do. In the end, it could be a win-win situation. What else can we do because the in-game reporting system in itself gets exploited, even if unintentionally, and it takes too long for the cheaters to be punished and stop their cheating. The vigilante idea of trolling the cheaters (sounds like fun) and/or everyone leaving a lobby/game when a cheater was spotted so that the cheater has nobody to play with was even discussed on these forums. And while I agree that if the cheater had nobody to play with they would be forced to give up their cheating ways, we all know that there's a slim to none chance that every non-cheating player would know enough to do the right thing. So, that puts the ball right back into the game developers court, where rightly it belongs.
Defensive programming: any software developer knows what this means...it's called validation and/or error checking. If added in the "right places", error checking shouldn't cause any noticeable in-game performance impacts. Let's look at a few cases where this could be effective just as an example of what I'm talking about. The assault streak hack, where players were obtaining assault streaks as if they were support streaks, meaning the software was not taking into account that the player had been killed before the streak reward was actually earned. How difficult would it be for the software to validate that a streak award was in fact earned right at the time when the player called it in? Another example, special DLC guns being used before they are actually released to the public. How difficult would it be to add a date check (ie. live date obtained from the PSN network, not a player's console) when a DLC released gun is placed into/used from a player's loadout before the gun is actually released? Prestige glitch: how difficult would it be for the software to validate some of the player's key stats while COD is entering multi-player mode...to see if the stats are blatantly unobtainable? These are just a few examples off the top of my head and some would argue that they don't even care about some cheats like the prestige glitch, since it doesn't affect their in-game experience. But, in the end, it does expose a cheater. Granted, some of the cheats could be difficult for software to detect, but that doesn't mean nothing can be done at all. And game release after release, the issues are similar so once the code is in place and works, the developers don't need to continually revisit it, they only need to add new code when new cheats come into existence.
Automated ban/kick: there have been numerous discussions/mentions of frustration where cheaters are reported in-game and nothing happens or it takes too long to happen because the developer's security team is overwhelmed with the number of daily reports and time to review the situation. Then there's the issue of should it be a game ban or console ban and who owns the issue (Sony or the game developer) and then what about those jail broken PS3's? (Not everyone who cheats jailbreaks their consoles, btw.) Or, is it a first offense or second offense and what should the penalty be? So, what if the software, when it detects a "known cheat" during game play, just kicks the player out of multi-player mode and back to the main menu? If the cheater goes right back to multi-player and tries to cheat again, bam...back to the main menu. How many times do you think it would take before the cheater figures it out and stops cheating, if they really want to play? Did you prestige glitch your account...well, I guess you'll never be able to play since you can't reset your stats. Harsh, I know. Leave the security reviews to those situations where the software automatically reacted to a cheat but the person was innocent, such as being unwittingly thrown into an XP lobby.
Maybe some of the people that read this thread with a better understanding of how some of these cheats work can come up with some good ideas of how the software can detect them. Someone from Activision monitors these forums, so they should pass the ideas onto the development teams. It might not end all cheating, but if we can help reduce the overall amount of cheating with little to no effort, it would make for a much better playing experience in the long run.