‘Complete rewrite’ needed to fix The Division on PC

A multiplayer shooter development veteran has questioned whether Ubisoft can ever fix the PC version of The Division without completely rewriting the game.

The game has been getting lots of press in recent weeks over the growing plague of cheaters and exploits. Now former Sony, Respawn, Irrational and Pandemic dev Glenn Fielder thinks the underlying tech is the main problem, meaning there will be no easy fix.

A lot of people are complaining online about cheating in The Division lately, especially on PC. But how bad are these hacks, and more importantly, can they be fixed?” he asked. Not a great thing to see in a shipped game, but also not the end of the world. These glitches can be fixed.

But then, I saw this video. And this is super bad news… because here we have a client-side cheat program that is poking memory locations and giving players infinite health, infinite ammo, and teleporting players around the level. This indicates that The Division is most likely using a trusted client network model.

I sincerely hope this is not the case, because if it is true, my opinion of can this be fixed is basically no. Not on PC… unless they completely rewrite most of their netcode and game code around a server-authoritative network model. To me this displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how FPS games are networked.”

Fielder goes on to explain that most FPS games have, since the days of Quake, paid attention to server-side actions (based on the actions of the player), which are moderated in such a way to ensure they behave as they should. However, when actions are controlled on a client-side basis, as appears to be the way with The Division, players are able to enable all sorts of cheats, and these actions are fed through to the server, which is powerless to alter them.

I’m rooting for the dev team on this one and I sincerely hope really they can turn this one around,” he added. I hope they’re not using a trusted client networking model. I hope they have something up their sleeves. I hope they have a valid networking approach based around server-side checks that can address this issue in some way… But unfortunately, so far, all signs point to no.”

Hee’s the video in question:

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