uououo.jpg Cheating by using third-party programs and bots has always been a problem in MMOs, and it's fascinating to note that, while nobody pays much attention anymore, EA's Ultima Online has announced that it will be introducing PunkBuster anti-cheat technology into the game this July.

The official website phrases it thusly: "Player cheating is a serious problem inside Ultima Online, as it is with all online role-playing games. It hurts the economy, gives players an unfair advantage in PvP, and puts honest players at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for resources, spawns and treasure. It’s no wonder the use of cheat programs is the number one complaint to customer service. We hope to greatly reduce the use of cheat programs through the use of PunkBuster, the most recognized name in cheat protection. Used in virtually all triple-A shooters, Ultima Online will be one of the first MMOs to use PunkBuster technology." [Looks like there are some Korean MMOs also using the tech, including War Rock and Knight Online.]

This has obviously come under fire from anyone who's actually still playing UO, since, well, they're the kind of anti-progress types who are still playing UO (kidding, mostly, guys!), so there are plenty of concessions: "We will provide at least one shard to play on that will not require PunkBuster. Non-PunkBuster servers will be barred from using the character transfer service." Interestingly, as well: "PunkBuster will only take screenshots of the Ultima Online game screen itself" - but it does screenshot. So... good thing, or downright Orwellian? [Via Zen Of Design.]