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The Cycle: Frontier Season 3 Ignites War on Cheating With Better User Experience

Content has been edited for clarity from original source.

Following earlier looks at the Free Loadout Runs feature and the upcoming aerial threat that is the Howler, developers YAGER is back once more for another update about the upcoming Season 3 of The Cycle: Frontier, this time focusing on the technical side of things and especially cheating.

Protecting the Players

In order to help reduce overall player frustration and prevent unfair happenings, The Cycle: Frontier will be utilizing the CHeating Victim Compensation system. The system will log every kill and every death from every Prospector, and will trigger when a player is banned for cheating, scanning every one of their kills and automatically resending what their victims lost on death.

There is also Shielded Matchmaking and, alongside it, Trusted Status. As seen at the start of Season 2, the pair of systems prevent banned cheaters from immediately creating another account and causing further havoc in the community. Basically, whenever a Prospector drops on the surface, the system takes a look at their account history and decides if they should be thrown into trusted queues or not.

By default, most players will be identified as trusted while others can reach that status rather quickly. The community feedback has been positive thus far, save for a few mistakes here and there, and the team is constantly keeping an eye on its criteria to make sure the systems are performing at the optimal level.

Working From the Shadows

At the start of Closed Beta 2, cheating in The Cycle: Frontier became a heated discussion. YAGER realized that the team had to step up their game on that front. The first course of action was to create a new team, entirely devoted to researching and developing anti-cheat solutions. At that point, several engineers became 100% focused on that goal, and since then, more have been recruited to bring additional brain power onto the task, including beloved community manager, Toast.

On the technical end, partnerships with third parties have led to the integration of new software dedicated to the fight against cheating in The Cycle: Frontier through data encryption. This aids in making it harder and more difficult to create cheats that will harm the overall experience.

At the same time, YAGER is tweaking and adjusting the automatic cheat detection systems along the way. Almost every update since the start of Season 1 included changes to the systems to ensure newly created cheats do not succeed n the never-ending battle against cheating.

Friends in Adversity

The Cycle: Frontier uses BattlEye, a software that contributes to the fight by detecting cheats directly on user computers, which helps to cover some of the blind spots that current systems are unable to. Also, players play a key role in stopping cheating in The Cycle: Frontier, which is why the report system was completely revamped in Season 2. The entire interface has been reworked, and there is more useful data being shared compared to before.

Reporting a suspicious Prospector has become a lot less tedious than it used to be and there has been a sharp increase in the number of players using this function, allowing YAGER to track down and remove cheaters even more efficiently.

A Comfy User Experience
A Prospector’s First Steps

One key area of improvement is the overall game experience for newer players. The beginning of a prospecting career can be harsh and difficult, and it’s just not fun when it feels like a confusing slap in the face.

To help with this, the team has made substantial improvements to the tutorial and general early experience with the game. This includes better explanations of basic mechanics, such as how to sell items and how important PvP is to the game. Several more explanations have been added to the tutorial itself, on top of giving new blood a better loadout, allowing new players to discover more interesting weapons and giving them something to look forward to.

Past those first steps, green Prospectors can expect a much smoother and fairer experience than around release. Matchmaking has been fully reworked to make player encounters a lot more balanced. On top of the aforementioned Shielded Matchmaking, new players also enjoy a bit of protection, preventing them from running into grizzled veterans. Finally, the first map has been made a bit friendlier, while Shielded Prospectors dropping alone on Bright Sands will find themselves in a fully solo lobby.

Enter the Game, Stay in the Game

Stability is also a very important aspect for YAGER. On that end, the team has greatly improved the infrastructure stability over the course of Season 1 and significantly reduced the lag and frequency of disconnections experienced by players.

A reconnect feature was added with the start of Season 2, a change that was largely requested by players throughout Season 1 and allows those who find themselves kicked out of the game to log back in and pick up right where they had left. This further helps mitigate frustrating losses, especially on long trips or when taking along high-quality equipment.

While work continues on the cheating and technical fronts, The Cycle: Frontier continues to march on towards Season 3. There will be more news to come, and as usual, Fortuna Favors the Bold.

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