In what's starting to sound as inevitable as death and taxes, it seems someone's managed to hack the Battlefield 3 beta currently underway, unlocking alternative game modes, namely support for up to 128 simultaneous guys running through the streets of a certain famous French municipality, guns-a-blazin'. That's the...shall we say intriguing news.
The bad news, is that if you partake of this ill-gotten feature, you may see your EA Origins account suspended, locking you out of not just the Battlefield 3 beta, but everything else—legitimate or no—associated with the account.
Word is, hackers discovered a way to fiddle the player cap on Operation Metro, one of the maps in the beta (also shown at E3 this summer), raising it from 32 to 128. The map itself involves ye olde gunplay between U.S. Marine Corps and Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) units staged throughout central Paris. I know, some developers will do anything to get the Eiffel Tower in shot, but then this isn't a referendum on DICE's absurdist theater license.
Instead, it's a warning: A DICE rep dropped into an official forum thread on "hacked servers and stats boosting" and acknowledged the hack, encouraging players to "please try to remain on official servers."
Writes DICE rep Bazajaytee: "Please avoid temptation and remain on those official servers while we work to have these servers dealt with. Playing on those servers can cause your account to become compromised, stats to be altered or other issues to arise which may lead to having your account banned by EA."
And in a second post, added a few minutes later: "If your account gets banned it does mean any EA game you have your account would also be unavailable."
How official any of that actually is remains to be seen, as the post has since reportedly gone poof.
At least one blog suggests that DICE's reaction is a bit much. You know, because it's incumbent on companies to let gamers do whatever they want. Beta testing with strict control variables (like user caps on maps) to troubleshoot issues that only occur within specific play parameters? Who needs it! Heck, let's just give Anonymous and LulzSec a call and ask them to unlock the full game or something. Why not? Beta testing's just a corporate smokescreen and everything's working completely 100% bug-free already anyway, right?