The fight between Blizzard and unruly “Overwatch” players is a vicious one. Both sides continuously research new tools to gain the upper hand and hold their ground. Stalemates are common, but neither of the two is ready to give up just yet. In an effort to curb cheaters, the latest update included a small but deadly surprise.
Patch 1.12 has been out for a while and experts thoroughly analyzed most of its content. The new maps and characters buffs were all extremely cool. One specific detail, though, managed to remain hidden until today. A handful of lines of code made it into the package. Their objective, you ask? Disable auto-aim programs!
Designed To Confuse and Disorient
Aim-bots are special applications that run alongside “Overwatch”. Injecting their code within the game’s, these programs give unfair advantages to the players using them. Aim-bots make targeting easier, reducing the difficulty and allowing for more precise and lethal hits. Opponents see little to no difference, which makes spotting a cheating contestant much harder if the applet is used correctly.
How do image-recognition aim-bots work, though? Basically, they force your cross-hair onto an enemy character. Each hero has a hit-box, a three-dimensional series of polygons closely matching the outline of their model. These are marked by thin red line, that the bot seeks out in order to land each hit within its boundaries. In layman’s terms: using an aim-bot means being unable to miss, even if you actually wanted to.
According to a post on Overwatch’s official Reddit space, Blizzard started to implement a system that should confuse the programs and make them useless. Outline colors will slightly change after every match, albeit not enough to be noticed by the human eye. A computer, though, works through numbers and color codes. Bots should be unable to find the right color and function correctly.
A Step In The Right Direction
It’s unlikely that this system can completely solve the issue. Still, the new patch puts a good number of cheaters out of commission. Coupled with Blizzard’s heightened pressure and harsher punishment, the whole endeavor is definitely hitting a nerve. The resulting ban waves seem to be doing us all a favor as well.
The creation and sale of cheats is now also illegal in many Asian countries. This includes South Korea, where “Overwatch” is still a much-loved sensation. Perhaps, the future shall bring us more effective ways to completely eradicate this cancer. Up until then, we can’t but be happy with the new system!