Sn1p-Sn4p: Cheaters and Bans without Reasons
What is the Problem?
If you play Summoning Portal into Mechwarper, you are able to play Sn1p-Sn4p for 0 mana. Normal players can play Sn1p-Sn4p 25 times a turn (limited cause of the animations). Some players have disabled the animations with third-party tools and are now able to play over 60 Sn1p-Sn4ps a turn.
July 15, 2019:
Hearthstone China issues permanent bans to ~100 Wild accounts for illegal use of third party programs, including high legend players.
This all came to a head when top Chinese streamer (Kripp, Thijs level) 安德罗妮 Andeluoni was matched with 波瑞斯 Boris on stream. Andeluoni immediately felt something was off, and reported it to NetEase on the spot.
Here’s a video – https://www.bilibili.com/video/av58112458
- Magnetising starts at 1m
- Calling NetEase on-stream at 6m 30s
There were already accusations towards these accounts and players prior, but as one would imagine, it blew up properly with Andeluoni’s very public report.
September 06, 2019:
HiddenPants is playing versus CNBattleWolf. In a clip HiddenPants shows that CNBattleWolf is playing over 60 Sn1p-Sn4p in a turn, which is normaly not possible.
September 14, 2019:
In a reddit post FirePaladinHS is asking Blizzard to not ignore the voice of the wild community. He and other one wants that CNBattleWolf gets banned.
Mike Donais, Principal Game Designer on Hearthstone is saying
We will continue to action people doing this. Apologies for their behavior in the mean time.
September 16, 2019:
The Wild Player Eddetektor is getting banned. In a Reddit post, he says he doesn’t know why he is getting banned. The only reason he is thinking of are rare situations where he used an “extended time bug” (he wasn’t aware of it) and was able to play up to 30 Sn1p-Sn4ps in a turn (normally not possible).
September 18, 2019:
We got a update by a Community Manager on Reddit – Eddektor and other players are getting unbanned.
I have an update for everyone on the SN1P-SN4P conversation that started up over the weekend.
This week we spent time reading this thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/d4tnb4/time_to_say_goodbye/) and gathering all the details on the situation. For some added context, all of this hinges on a situation where, under some circumstances, a player can end up with a significant amount of extra time on their turn – even over a minute.
SN1P-SN4P is a card that relates to this behavior that we’ve had a close eye on, as we’ve noted that it has also been used by cheaters, playing an impossible number of cards in a single turn. Under normal circumstances, a real human player can only play a small number of cards in a turn – it’s just a limit of how fast a human can perform those actions. However, when you mix this with the extended time situation, a player could legitimately play far more cards than usual if they’ve been given additional time in a turn. We recently banned a number of accounts that had been marked as playing an impossible (or so we thought) number of cards in a single turn. We now know that some of these turns were possible under normal play because the turn had been given so much added time.
WHAT WE’RE DOING:
Given the interaction with the extended time issue described above, we are rolling back a large quantity of these bans. We’re also updating the procedures that led to these bans to ensure they only catch cheaters.
Statement by Eddetector
Eddetector was so kind and gave us a statement about the situation. He finally is unbanned now and even got 7 packs (hurray).
Slowly I do realize, how much luck did I have in this whole situation. I guessed the ban reason correctly. I came up with the correct theory, that longer turns can cause false-positive cheat detection. There existed videos, that supported the existence of longer turns. I had the Wild community behind me. My Reddit post happened to capture a lot of attention. If any of those where the other way around, I would most probably stay permanently banned. I can’t think how many genuine players were in a similar situation but didn’t have enough luck to receive the fair trial. I can only hope that incidents like his one encourage Blizzard to treat the appeal process more seriously.