From Software’s updated re-release of Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin has proven that the classic game still remains popular among the gaming community, especially PC gamers, but a recent series of softbans of unwitting players is threatening to create a rift between the community and From.
Softbanning in Dark Souls 2 is what happens when the developers detect players who are cheating or using hacks in the game. Rather than banning players from playing the game outright, softbanning restricts their online play by only allowing them to summon and invade other players who have also been softbanned. As you can imagine, this has the effect of making interaction with other players in Dark Souls 2 nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, a growing number of players have been reporting on reddit that they have been softbanned, despite not using any cheats or hacks. The general consensus is that the bans are taking place because players are using DS2fix, a fan made patch that fixes several of Dark Souls 2‘s problems that From Software have neglected to repair. Many of these problems can be game crippling, such as items that corrupt saves and a durability bug that causes weapons to degrade much quicker than they should.
The creator of DS2fix, Alessandro De Micheli, said that he wasn’t certain that his patch was at fault, telling Kotaku:
Unless Fromsoft patches the game to recognize DS2Fix64, it cannot be detected (because the game doesn’t know what to look for). So, the only logical conclusion here is that the game is actually flagging any hook / injector—that means that even by using x360ce, SweetFX, ReShade, DXTory or the Durazno Dead-zone fix for controllers will put users at risk of getting banned. Being DS2Fix64 the only ‘SotFS-made’ tool available it also is the most exposed one to accusations—players would likely think DS2Fix is at fault, not anything else they’ve been using for years.
Still, many users claiming to be softbanned also claim that DS2fix is the only mod they use for Dark Souls 2: SOtFS, so there must be something to that.
From Software and publisher Bandai Namco have not commented on the issue so far, and while the latter has cautioned users from using mods in Dark Souls 2 in the past, the Dark Souls series on the PC has benefited enormously from the modding community, and refusing to address this new concern would be a very bad idea.