Oct. 3, 2011 at 2:25 PM ET
The temptation is easy to understand. Thanks to some hacked servers, "Battlefield 3" players who've been given access to the game's beta test have had a chance to play the highly-anticipated military shooter against more than 100 online players at one time.
According to VE3D.com, after "Battlefield 3" server files were leaked, several rogue servers have appeared in the "Battlefield 3" beta offering various alterations to the game. The one that's gotten the most attention: hackers managed to raise the player limit on the Operation Metro map (set in Paris) from a mere 32 people to a whopping 128 players.
The opportunity to play one of the year's most anticipated games not only early but against an enormous number of online players is enough to tempt even the most straight-and-narrow "Battlefield" fan. Needless to say, DICE is none-too-happy about this and has threatened to ban players from EA's online Origin service.
"Please avoid temptation and remain on these official servers while we work to have these servers dealt with," reads a post from a DICE rep (captured by a Reddit user here) to players. "Playing on those servers can cause your account to become compromised, stats to be altered or other issues to arise which may lead to having your account banned by EA."
But players won't just lose access to the "Battlefield 3" beta.
As the rep adds: "If your account gets banned it does mean any EA game you have on your account would also be unavailable."
Some gamers feel that threatening to kick loyal, paying fans off the service is, well, more than a little harsh (though no one has yet reported actually being banned).
Alec Meer over at PC game site Rock, Paper Shotgun calls the threat a "gut punch," writing, "I entirely understand that EA and DICE want to protect their beta, use it to test and promote the game in the way they want to test and promote it, but the emphasis should be on getting the servers and the loopholes that led to them closed down, not punishing the curious."
But not everyone agrees.
Writes one DICE defender by the name of dheath1971: "I know most of you kiddies are still impressionable lemmings who think it's imperative to immediately go up in arms about the smallest attempt by a corporate entity to protect their intellectual property, but it was a simple warning on how to help protect your account, not a evil emperor shooting lightning bolts at you for looking at him out of the corner of your eye."
For a look at what all the fuss is about, check out the below gameplay video uploaded to YouTube which claims to have captured the chaotic 128-person "Battlefield 3" action in, well, action.
Is it really worth getting banned over? That's up to you to decide.
(Thanks to Kotaku for the heads up.)
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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here