I’ve been a big Battlefield fan ever since Battlefield 1942 and the mod Desert Combat. I really enjoyed Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142, so I was expecting a lot from Battlefield 3 when it was released late last year. While the graphics and basic game play are truly amazing the team work aspects of the game seem very much an after thought which is very disappointing. In the initial release of the game you couldn’t manually select which squad you wanted to join, a feature that’s been in every Battlefield game since the beginning of time. And where was the in-game voice communications? A feature that revolutionized PC gaming was gone and replaced again by a solution that seem to be an after thought, ESN Sonar. With all those issues the game has still been a lot of fun, however, recently it seems that hacks and cheats are becoming spoiling the fun.
Which leads me to the current issue facing Battlefield 3 players. PunkBuster appears to be broken and is preventing a large number of Battlefield 3 players from enjoying the game. Players are getting kicked from server almost immediately after joining. Here’s an example of the log message you’ll find on the server side;
PunkBuster Server: RESTRICTION: player1 (slot #2) [1610dac7419406201db5a46fxxxxxxxx(-) 22.214.171.124:3659] Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe driver failure (PnkBstrK.sys) ffab PunkBuster Server: RESTRICTION: player1 (slot #2) [1610dac7419406201db5a46fxxxxxxxx(-) 126.96.36.199:3659] Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe driver failure (PnkBstrK.sys) ffab PunkBuster Server: Kick Command Issued (RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe driver failure (PnkBstrK.sys) ffab) for (slot#2) 188.8.131.52:3659 1610dac7419406201db5a46fxxxxxxxx player1 PunkBuster Server: Lost Connection (slot #2) 184.108.40.206:3659 1610dac7419406201db5a46fxxxxxxxx(-) player1
It didn’t take too long until I stumbled across a Battlelog post from EA/Dice that acknowledged there was an issue with PunkBuster. There was an article on PC Gamer that alluded to some issues around hackers potentially injecting unauthorized bans into the ban lists that are streamed from PBBans and GGC.
Several Game Service Providers (GSP) posted the following note on their sites;
We are hearing reports that GGC / PBBans are being exploited and many players are being incorrectly banned by an exploit in the streaming process. We suggest customers disable using the GGC / PBBans banlists until this is resolved.
There was also a recent blog post from EA/Dice where they claimed they were going to start clamping down on the rampant hacks and cheats that are pervasive throughout the multiplayer servers. It looks like they might have broken something when they started clamping down, let’s hope there’s a fix soon.
You can try updating your installation of PunkBuster but this time around it appears that the problem is somewhere in the cloud. Sorry!
What game(s) do you play if any?
Updated: Friday January 27, 2012 – apparently the PunkBuster problems have been resolved.