A number of players claim to have been wrongly banned from the online component of Dark Souls 3.
From Software has since the days of the original Dark Souls struggled with policing the series' community. Historically players who are deemed to have cheated in any way are pooled off into a separate ‘softban' server in which they can hack and cheat away to their heart's content.
However, accusations of unjust bannings are part and parcel of the community.
Now a number of infuriated Reddit users are crying foul about a new wave of Dark Souls 3 bans. Those who protest their innocence have been desperately trying to find a cause, with accusations being thrown at third party controller software, a program used to enforce a borderless windows mode and even that it is a side-effect of the game crashing.
Here's the message that is being received:
Bandai Namco has now told Kotaku that they believe it is possible some accounts have been flagged up incorrectly, adding: Our team will review their account information to see if the player has been using any sort of hack/cheat or if the flag was a false positive.”
It added that in the interim re-installing the game will make no difference, presumably as the ban is associated with a user's Steam profile and is logged on the game's servers.
One Reddit user also claims to have received the following update from Bandai Namco: "We understand your concern. But you can just consider this 'ban' as if it would have never happened, it will not leave a mark on your account after it has been fixed by our development team.”
Of course, the caveat to remember here is that while cries of unjust punishment have been rife for years, so too have later admissions of guilt. You don't have to dig far into any Reddit or Steam thread on the subject to find examples of players who at first proclaim their innocence only to later admit that they dabbled in the likes of item duping, typically on a different character” and offline”, and often for earlier access to high level PvP.
However, there have also been plenty of instances – especially with Dark Souls 2 – of people being softbanned for the use of graphics mods that don't give them any gameplay advantage and, realistically, should not be a bannable offense.