Intrepid players of the Battlefield 3 beta (which began last week) have taken to hacking servers to boost the player count from 32 up to 128. Joining such a server, however unwittingly, may result in your EA account being banned.

An official post from developer DICE on the game’s forum (seen above via Rock, Paper, Shotgun) asserts that playing on a hacked server can compromise your account and “may lead to having your account banned by EA.” A follow-up post states, “If your account gets banned it does mean any EA game you have on your account would also be unavailable.”

While reports of any actual bans have yet to surface, this is still troublesome for beta players. The hacked servers appear in the official Battlefield 3 Battlelog, the game’s browser-based server selection site, and as such are relatively easy to join – thereby making it quite easy to get banned and locked out of other EA titles you’ve purchased.

Hopefully rather than issue scores of bans, DICE/EA will use this as an opportunity to test and bolster the security of their servers. In the meantime, beta players should tread carefully and avoid servers running any extra game modes or player counts higher than 32.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 3, 2011 - link

    Yes, I do. And why should EA go threatening bans for people who are providing a free service? "OMG, they created a non-standard server and that's not supposed to happen!" Um, so what? That means there's a security hole that should have been plugged if you didn't want users to be able to do this with the beta, not that what the users did was inherently wrong.

    Put another way, legislating encryption isn't the same thing as making strong encryption that can't be cracked. It seems EA is basically counting on people not making the effort to hack a game rather than making a game unhackable -- and if they're wrong, and you accidentally join a "bad" server, they might just ban your account and deny access to any EA games you have purchased through Origin.

    Considering the number of bugs in the beta right now (you should have heard Brian go off on BF3 in our last conference chat...), users creating "unauthorized server configs" should be the least of our worries. This is a beta, yes, but more importantly it's a DICE beta. 'nuf said.
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    I always play betas under an alias tied to a separate e-mail address. I don't care if it gets locked or banned. I want to find one of these 128-player maps! Sounds like fun!

    EA/DICE, get a life. It's a beta, YOUR free beta. Fix it or shut up.
  • BlamTech - Monday, October 3, 2011 - link

    While understanding the need to "protect" things like Ranking, I can't say I agree in ANY way with prohibiting people from either running their own servers, or playing on "unofficial" servers.

    CallOfDuty series seems to have taken this same plan (MW1 was the last you could host your own server), and it's been harmful, both to the brand, and to the individual titles. Look at how many COD4:MW1 servers still exist, largely because people can host/control them. (And because they don't want to fight international lag to play on "official" servers...)

    Make "official" and "unofficial". Keep ranks unique between the two if you want.. .just retain the ability to run your own dedicated servers... players DO want this.. and some players will abandon a title simply because this feature is not available.
  • rcc - Monday, October 3, 2011 - link

    Bearing in mind that this is a beta, they can't very well iron out bugs if the bug reports are from a modified server.

    I too would like to see a return to the dedicated servers, but only after the code is stable.
  • faizoff - Monday, October 3, 2011 - link

    The Battle log has posted that the beta released is an old beta more than a month old and the final game is much evolved from what we currently see.
  • Deleted - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Which sort of defeats the purpose of a beta test, does it not? Why have an open beta where the testers have no idea which bugs have been fixed and which haven't? This is just a terrible demo with no actual testing involved.
  • khory - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Not if the primary focus is testing the netcode and server stability.
  • Menty - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Hrm, banning people because they released beta software that isn't bullet-proof? Classy act EA, and way to miss the point of a beta test.

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