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Ubisoft threatens to "punish" The Division players who use a popular exploit

Weeks worth of end-game loot plundered in hours.

Last week, The Division received its big April update which included Falcon Lost, an multiplayer raid-style "incursion" activity.

There were technical problems as the update went live, but players were eventually able to battle through these to grab their first dollop of proper end-game loot.

Falcon Lost is designed to dole out its rewards to players just once every week. Ubisoft had intended the incursion to be a regular activity for everyone to to slowly inch their characters up to the game's level cap.

Alas, this was not to be.

Less than a week later, players are now rinsing Falcon Lost repeatedly. An exploit has been found to run the activity and its gain rewards time after time.

The glitch involves using the game's portable cover skill to slide through a wall. Doing so will skip most of the incursion's boss encounter while still providing access to its loot. It also tricks the game into thinking the loot has not been claimed - meaning the activity can be constantly re-run.

Players happy to partake in the cheat have found themselves richly rewarded. But it has left others - who are trying playing the game properly - long behind in the dust. The Division's community is split, and many players are incensed.

For its part, Ubisoft has said it is looking into the problem - and how it can punish those who cheated.

"Obviously it is against our Code of Conduct," community manager Natchai wrote on the game's official forum. "The team is looking into what can be done in terms of punishment for those who have exploited."

But Ubisoft's forum is awash with complaints about the Falcon Lost exploit - and many others. In particular, there is a feeling among many players that they are now forced to use the exploit to have any chance at keeping up.

This is especially a problem in the player-versus-player Dark Zone, where players who have cheated their way to weeks' worth of Falcon Lost rewards now have an insurmountable advantage.

Even in Falcon Lost itself, players report being abandoned by their match-made comrades if they try to run the activity properly without using the exploit.

For many, using the exploit is "now the norm rather than the exception".

"After two failed attempts at matchmaking and getting kicked out of groups for not wanting to exploit, curiosity got the better of me," MelMan0227 explained in a post on Ubisoft's official forum.

"I'm no saint as I'll openly use exploits like double revive, but when THE END GAME has literally gotten to s*** like this it's pretty f***ing sad. Good gear's supposed to mean you put the time and effort AND you've gotten really good at the game. There's a level of respect when you see someone geared up as you know they've been battle tested. That doesn't mean their MLG, but they know what the f*** they're doing.

"Sorry, I've defended the game up to this point despite all it's glaring flaws, but you can't have a glitch of this magnitude for YOUR F***ING END GAME and not get it fixed within hours. If this was WOW, they would shut down the servers until it gets fixed."

The sentiment is backed up by numerous others in the same thread. And outside of that, here are some of the top threads in Ubisoft's official The Division forum at the time of writing:

It remains to be seen how and when Ubisoft will address the problem, although many players suspect the developer will not go so far as a full roll-back of the game.

Individually determining who has cheated is incredibly difficult. Some players are simply calling for the activity to be taken offline as soon as possible until the exploit can be fixed - and are wondering why it hasn't been done so already.

Ubisoft has already issued one patch since last week - to fix one problem with the incursion and to remedy an issue where player characters went missing. But there's been no word yet on when this far larger issue will be fixed.

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