Ubisoft hits Division 2 cheaters with 2-week bans and warns of worse to come if they don't knock it off

Ubisoft says Division 2 players who are "exploiting a bug" in the Descent game mode to gain "unfair amounts of XP" will be hit with two-week bans for their efforts, and could end up permanently banned if they persist in taking advantage of it.

The roguelike Descent mode went live in The Division 2 earlier this year, enabling 1-4 players to square off against multiple waves of enemies in a guns-blazing quest for skills, talents, and weapons. In the context of The Division's story, it's a training simulation for agents; in more practical gameplay terms, it serves as kind of a test bed for character builds because you begin the mode with no gear, perks, or specializations, and build out as you go.

But some players have been taking advantage of a glitch that lets them join others already in Descent mode in order to gain experience and SHD (Strategic Homeland Division) levels they're not properly entitled to. Ubisoft said today that it is aware of the problem, and more importantly, has identified and will punish players who have "systematically" taken advantage of the exploit.

"First-time offenders who have exploited this feature will receive a two-week suspension starting immediately and will be unable to play Tom Clancy's The Division 2 during this time," Ubisoft said. "Furthermore, sanctioned players' accounts will be flagged, and any further offense will result in an increased suspension duration. Multiple offenses will result in a permanent suspension."

Any ill-gotten gains will also be lost: "Sanctioned players' accounts will be rolled back, causing all account progress through the exploit to be reset."

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

A two-week ban on a first offense is harsh, but even though Descent mode is standalone, the cache rewards it provides for completing Descent mode levels have an impact on the main game. Reddit snruff said the problem isn't the SHD levels themselves, but "the ridiculous, economy busting amounts of free Materials exploiters received while bumping their SHD level." That may at least partly explain why the reaction to Ubisoft's announcement on The Division 2 subreddit seems quite positive overal.

"This is 100% what they should do," redditor Dragonbourn00 wrote. "If you exploit shade levels you should be rolled back and banned 2 weeks."

"This is fantastic news and also very hopeful for any future exploits," said Sparrow_DZ.

"Amen," 0K4M1 wrote. "Earn your progress or (virtually) die tryin'"

Naturally, a few people claimed that they've been improperly suspended, or were permanently banned on their first offense. But others, to their credit, copped to it and took their medicine.

(Image credit: RomireOnline (via Reddit))
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.