As with most online role-playing games out there, Path of Exile is not void of players who are constantly beset by the need to become more effective in the game but don't really have the means to at the moment. They could achieve that level of play later on by building up and getting those coveted Path of Exile items that will take them to the next level, but there is quite a bit of temptation out there that could promise them those gains and more at a much faster rate. Of course, there is a price to pay for gaining that kind of ace in their sleeve.
There was a massive dispersal of warnings to 3912 accounts following Race Season 10, reading that they had been detected running third-party cheating software. This is something that has plagued online games for ages now -- anytime there's an online game with a sizable competitive population, someone is going to put out software or methodology for cheating. It is a lot like sports, wherein athletes who are looking to compete at the highest level will have to contend with the decision on to either go all-natural or use performance-enhancing drugs to get on that level.
Perhaps that comparison is not fair for gamers who happen to have stumbled upon what looks like a magic bullet, but it is something that people tend to face in whatever aspect of life. In the case of Path of Exile, where the core gameplay and the concept behind the game itself are centered around freedom and being able to choose and experiment, perhaps it was to be expected that some players would take their game to that direction. Whether you can say that it is because of their love for the game or the lack of it that makes them want to excel through these means, the state of cheating is still a greatly concerning one for Path of Exile.
There are various cheats that are employed in this game like botting and such, but it seems to be most prevalent in races. The stakes in races are quite a lot since you have to build up a character that is just good for that race. There are a lot of reasons to cheat, but there are also reasons to avoid doing so. While the rewards can be quite great, the effects on the community and the game itself can be overreaching as it tips the scale of competition unfairly. Its prevalence can even dissuade people from playing if things get really bad, and there are a whole lot of other variables and intangibles that are in play whenever it becomes the norm. That is where regulation with the mighty hammer of banning and penalty come in.
Grinding Gear Games have been adamant in its spirited defense against cheating and other illicit activities in the game, and they have stated that they do have plans of action regarding what they are going to do with those who do get caught red-handed. However, it must be said that they will have to remain silent, not out of inaction but of caution as they do not want to spill anything that could be useful information for those who cheat.