The Dark Souls series' relationship with PC gamers has been contentious at best. The vanilla versions of the first two games weren't unplayable per se, but if it weren't for the enterprising community of modders around the franchise it'd look and run kind of, well, crappy. This apparently extends to the recently released Scholar of the First Sin as well. But there's a twist this time: Players installing the popular "DS2fix" softmod that addresses weapons durability glitches and save corruptions have found that they aren't able to easily summon other players into their game for help or adversarial combat. As Kotaku reports, the players aren't hacking in a nefarious way, they're just using a patch that makes the game work better on their platform of choice. Instead of pulling "undead" (how the series refers to its protagonists) from a general population, it's grabbing them from a comparatively smaller pool of other players that've been deemed cheaters for using DS2fix.
It's a "softban" versus prohibiting people from playing outright. Souls developer From Software's response to fans is that by using soft-mods you've violated the mandatory end user license agreement that requires consent for online play, and basically you're on your own here. A company representative says that the best way to avoid softbans is to not install any mods at all, explicitly calling out DS2fix.
On one hand, that's technically correct, but it's a blanket policy that sounds like it could use some serious oversight or revision. That's doubly true when the games have relied on community modifications to fix issues that From either isn't worried about or simply doesn't care to address. The problem is that there really isn't a way to prove that players only have DS2fix installed exclusively. A possible way to sidestep that would be for From to issue a patch that recognized the helpful mod and whitelist it. If that'll actually happen is anyone's guess at this point. For the developer's full response, head over to Kotaku and for our playthrough of the PlayStation 4 version, check out the video below.