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General: MMOWTF: Lax on the HaXzors

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Dan Fortier returns this week to talk about his opinions of MMORPG cheating.

The are lots of great magical things that we experience in MMOs. Casters can summon giant balls of fire to burn their foes, healers can bring a fallen comrade back to life with a few muttered words and wily rouges can appear from thin air to stick a knife in between his opponents' ribs. Most of these abilities are defined by our character class or skills and determine the best way for us to beat an opponent. Other magical abilities are granted to players by virtue of game design, such chatting with another player in another part of the game world. Lastly, we have the powers granted by our real life skills, morals or income including purchasing in-game currency, having multiple accounts or choosing to log off as someone is about to kill you.

Now I'm not going to preach codes of conduct or attempt to encourage some kind of fair play standards, but I thought it might be fun to look at some of the ways players exploit game mechanics to best suit their needs. Everyone has a different moral compass when it comes to what is fair and what is cheating and what might be a perfectly legitimate strategy to me might me considered cheating to others. There is also a strange grey area of tricks that everyone has a different take on. In first person shooters for example, some folks cry "Camper!" if any person so much as stops to look around while others see it as a perfectly reasonable tactic for a defender to use.

You can read the article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • tigris67tigris67 New York, NYPosts: 1,783Member
    nice article...but " rouges"...cmon, its rogue..

    Hi! My name is paper. Nerf scissors, rock is fine.
    MMORPG = Mostly Men Online Roleplaying Girls
    http://www.MichaelLuckhardt.com

  • SamuraiswordSamuraisword Washington DC, MDPosts: 2,111Member
    Multiboxing is still the biggest cheat that hasn't been combated by the developers. There is no effective way to do so unfortunately.

    image

  • urzu7urzu7 Somewhere, ONPosts: 2Member
    LoL I'm not sure if I should say it ;p but wouldn't stopping to look around to see whats there and stopping to type "camper" look almost the same LoL ;p
  • McgreagMcgreag FalunPosts: 495Member

    Not sure what you are trying to say here, you talk about breaking the EULA but your list of cheats doesn't include even one "cheat" that actually breaks the EULA.

    What you have listed are not cheats, the worst you can call them is immoral and most of them are not even that.

    "Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."

  • xmojo1xmojo1 AucklandPosts: 52Member
    Dan didn't mention a popular form of cheating: macroing.
  • KoSPr0KoSPr0 Vancouver, WAPosts: 66Member
    He never said they were or weren't cheats, he said its in the eyes of the beholder,  2 boxing isn't really cheating but to someone who doesn't have 2 comps, they're gunna cry unfair, MMO's much like life aint fair.

    and the EULA's of games say alot of things that most players have no clue about
  • ZitchZitch Centreville, VAPosts: 129Member

    LOL cheats...

    I thought you were going to talk about Diablo...

    Fair fights are formal duels, designed to be fair in assuring level and equipment parity, where skill decides the outcome.

    In PvP their is no such thing as a fair fight, in fact fair is a misnomer.
    In PvP you bring it all, and overkill is best so long as the strategic resources are available.

    Camping a spawn? I call it an exploit or a developer oversight, but I don't consider it cheating because you are allowed to do so by the game. If the game allows it, it's not a cheat.

    Cheating is a hack or a way to unlevel the playfield. Diablo was famous for them.
    When Blizzard first launched battlenet, which BTW came to pass after consulting Jay Cotton (founder of kali (www.kali.net). Diablo was a game that was hacked to bits, and players could download the hack files and use them in game for all sorts of mischief. I know because I was a bad boy too image

    But it was all in fun...

    I also was in SOE's beta of Tanarus, a tank game that involved tanks and energy stations that you would compete for as bases of operation. There was a Tank style called the chameleon, which was a stealth tank. It was a very weak tank, but in beta could kill any tank that entered an energy station to recharge. It did so by two laser blasts and a large missle. It was'nt a cheat, but eventually considered an imbalance and so my fun was over. image

    So in short, I consider a level 1 cheat a hack, or some artificial means of advantage.

    A level 2 cheat would be an exploit or flaw in game design, but within the rules otherwise.

    And anything else? Well it's just smart play image

    So go cry me a river if you get ganked, I have no sympathy.
    Only a hack or an exploit would earn my compassion.

    No more Trivial MMO's, let's get serious "again". Make a world, not a game
    What I listen to :)

  • sysadminsysadmin Figueira da FozPosts: 30Member

    MMM.... this post has an incomplete way of dealing with the subject, in my opinion. Cheating has always been around in mmorpgs. I think that whenever you think about competition in computer games, the big C word comes around. A mmorpg is by definition a BASIC type of entertainment, where personal skills and intelligence won’t make you improve your "status" or "score" in that type of game. Instead and unfortunately, your "score" and "status" is measured by the TIME your spend in game. That notion of TIME, leads to the creation of the term GRIND. That’s when Cheats can save you from suffering. Isn't it great to wake up after a good night sleep, turn on your monitor and discover that your BOT leveled your char 5 levels, got you a full bag of craft materials and a pile of gold? Yes it is.

    Let’s be honest, most of the players who play a subscription mmorpg, have a real life job. Its allways hard for children to convince their parents to pay for a subscription mmorpg that will most surely degrade their real life performance specicaly in school, fammily, etc. 

    I was hoping to find problematic  issues like BOTs, CSH (client side hacking), PE's (Packet Emulators), CE's (Cheat Engines), HS (hack shields) and  AHB (anti-hack bypassing) presented in the context of the actual& modern MMOs.  It might be interesting also to reflect on the impact of the increasing use of hacking&cheating by players and its relation to the exponential increase of  MMO game products.

    Currently its observable that unlike a few years ago, some MMO's see their subscriptions increase when new bots and tools appear and decrease when those tools are disabled. 

    What will the future reserve? Will future game be more oriented to automation like Granado Espada, where you can leave your party of characters leveling in your hunting spot while you go eat your dinner or see an episode of your favourite TV show?

    Only time will tell...

  • MrPunxMrPunx Moorpark, CAPosts: 70Member
    stop the cheats you haxors
  • CrysalisCrysalis Calgary, ABPosts: 43Member
    Oh my goodnes...

    Well I suppose cheating is in the eye of the beholder but...I think plain and simple...using any "in game mechanic" is NOT by any means cheating to me. If I were to yell "camper!!" I'm just complaining cause I'm loosing. And buffing lowbies?...come on! If the damn game itself allows it...why not?!?! Cheating to me is putting in my own or someone elses third party program and sitting at work while my bot character is running a loop in some high drop rate area grinding money. Or...a third party speed hack...THATS cheating!! Not some in game mechanic cause those are how the game was designed...thats what the programmers put in there (maybe not knowing it). If they don't want it in there any longer...they add a patch. As for the issue with the real cheaters, I'm split myself and I don't think I could offer any real sound suggestion as to how to go about it. I don't want some punkbuster crap scanning personal stuff but at the same time I want to know that I'm not jammin' a game with cheaters. If anyone does have a better way to go about that I'd love to hear it.

    As for the cheaters...beat me with skill you $*^$#!!!

    Thank you for your time.

    image

  • KraetusKraetus Wenatchee, WAPosts: 54Member
    I don't understand how there can be complaints with PunkBuster-type programs.  My mother has always been fond of the saying, "Those with nothing to hide hide nothing."  I have a difficult time even playing the Devil's Advocate with that one.  If certain persons have a problem with a PunkBuster service for MMOs, then, well, I'm inclined to think that I don't want to be playing with them anyway.  I'm for strict controls and stricter punishments.  What's the point of indulging in a game if a noticeable percentage of the player base can't deal with their own inadequacies as human beings for long enough to play a game fairly?
  • LiddokunLiddokun San Francisco, CAPosts: 1,665Member Uncommon
    If people cheat freely in a game then what's the point of even playing ? In an mmorpg environment a single cheap/dupe/hax can potentially destroy a game if everyone is doing it. Personally I abhor cheaters.
  • TARDISjunkieTARDISjunkie Jacksonville, FLPosts: 60Member

     

    Originally posted by Kraetus

    I don't understand how there can be complaints with PunkBuster-type programs.  My mother has always been fond of the saying, "Those with nothing to hide hide nothing."  I have a difficult time even playing the Devil's Advocate with that one.  If certain persons have a problem with a PunkBuster service for MMOs, then, well, I'm inclined to think that I don't want to be playing with them anyway.  I'm for strict controls and stricter punishments.  What's the point of indulging in a game if a noticeable percentage of the player base can't deal with their own inadequacies as human beings for long enough to play a game fairly?



    Okay, I have to admit to a certain cluelessness here...what is a Punkbuster program?  Something that runs in the background while you're playing and sniffs packets to make sure you're not screwing around IG?  Assuming that's correct (again, I've no idea, just guessing), then I'd have no problem with it.  As far as I'm concerned, the only way to play a game is by the rules.  Those who say "Hey, if I can get away with it, then it must be okay!" are in my opinion just this side of sociopathy.  I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the strictest law-abider IRL--I speed, I jaywalk...and I thoroughly expect to get busted on a regular basis.  When I see those flashing lights in my rearview (it's been awhile, come to think of it...I must be due :( ), I just sigh and pull over...I had my fun, now I pay my dues.

    I have played a game using cheats before.  Not a MMO, but an offline game--Oblivion, to be precise.  I used the console and just raped that poor game.  While it was fun for the first few minutes ("Attack me, will you?  [open console] K-I-L-L.  There--hah!"), the fun quickly wore off as the challenge evaporated.  I felt obligated to delete that character and start fresh; now I'm the Arena Grand Champion, Swordsman in the Fighter's Guild, Hero of Kvatch and bearer of the Escutcheon of Chorral--all earned "honestly"--and I've had a hell of a ride getting there. 

    As a final jab--and no, I can't pass this up, sorry--people who embrace this style of play are the whole reason I refuse to PvP.  Beat me with skill, or feel free to f*** off.

  • RazperilRazperil Lewiston, MEPosts: 289Member

    This post really isn't somethig new to the mmo scene. I applaud you trying to make more people aware. However, There isn't a, as you call it, "Lax on HaXzors". The major conpanies are working hard on counters to the bots, exploiters and simply, low-lifes. I honestly would love to see a thread were some dumb a** kid or worse, a follow along adult isn't saying haxor! Do you even know how god damn stupid that sounds? Yes, it might be old school, but even in those days it was one of the most stupiest things ever put together. A lack of common english in the schools, and lack of being a regular person.. not a follower of the very things that are wrong in the english language. Now. back to the topic. All in all, bots are going to be in games. Quite a few will be taken care of and the program used made useless by the company itself. At least until some dimwitted, average joe, gets or becomes bored and decides to further that program. This isn't like cutting down a tree. If you don't plant any seeds after, no new trees will grow. A hacker, botter, exploiter are a ton by the bag. And the people making the programs they use are quite plentiful too. It's not the companies that are at fault; it's the morons that ruin or break a game. Too all you people that think this type of thing is cool with mmo's, well, you know what you can do. I don't need to degrade you more then you degrade yourselves. Try to have a nice day now.

  • ZAGANZAGAN welland, ONPosts: 236Member

    Do you remember when we did not know how to Play .

      LOL we would stand at an entry of a Cave for 10 min wondering what to do.. Im not going in .... you go. STFU i am NoT GoIn, Juuu just wanna see me get killed Cause we have no idea whats in there. do you remember days like that, well i do.

    NOWWWW, it's STFU i am going first.... MAKE ME LEADER, PARTY ME , NO, STFU. 35 seconds later, swack Party wiped clean.

    Leader.... (WHO CARES). >>>>>> LFG.

    we have all grown up.

  • cerebrixcerebrix Orange, CAPosts: 566Member

    cliff notes version of this article as follows....

     

     

    this is a list of excuses that this writer  uses when another person beats me.

    Games i'm playing right now...
    image

    "In short, I thought NGE was a very bad idea" - Raph Koster talking about NGE on his blog at raphkoster.com

  • DeathWolf2uDeathWolf2u Maryville, ILPosts: 291Member

    HAHA....now this was a great article but some of the hacks that are used in masse have not been mentioned.

    I'm really surprised everyone passed these up without mentioning them.

    Here is the major list:

    1. Scripting, this is the biggest and most popular form of playing mmorpg's and has been around when UO and Everquest were the only 2 mmorpg's in existence. Started off as macroing and evolved into complex script programs,"Easy UO" anyone? Only a few know what I'm talking about there. Unfortunately most people who PvP use some form of scripting program whether they admit it or not.

    2. Exploiting, this is not an actual hack but finding bugs in the game code to take advantage of whether against the game mechanics in your favor or against other players.

    3. Speed Hacks, something similiar to your lag explanation but these are actual hacks to increase the players speed in the game and lagging every other player in the area around you.

    4. Invulnerability Hacks, well you find these more in FPS online games than mmorpg's but nonetheless people use them in mmorpg's just as well.

    NON-HACKS - These are completely legitimate as they are a part of the natural game playing code

    1. Monster Luring, this is simply just getting creatures aggravated into chasing you and you leading them into another player then logging off or going invis to have them target the other person. More of a form of griefing

    2. Camping, the name says it all but one thing everyone needs to understand is that it's the devs responsibility to create an mmorpg that doesn't allow this type of gameplay. It can be done do not fool yourself

    3. Bank Sitting, another form of griefing where many players just stand at a popular place all day creating lag and aggravation. I personnaly always wondered about these TARD type of players. They pay a monthly fee to just stand all day at the bank and no they are not selling anything they are just on a retarded level of standing in one spot all day can anyone say dee dee-dee.

    Well I got to run and get back to work feel free to add more to the list.

     

  • hogscraperhogscraper Cov, KYPosts: 322Member
    Some of what you had in there are definately moral decisions, most are people taking advantage of a system to get the most out of it. I now, and always will run multiple accounts. Buffbots, blockbots, 2 complimentary toons, etc are my right imo. I either worked harder in real life, or smarter and can afford the equipment to do so and choose to make that my play style. So what if you can only afford one account? If you want to play in a communist game, live in a communist country. I really hate all the socialist attitudes people bring into games. If they decide to be lazy, they still think they have a right to be my equal in a game? Not even close. And because I know how the world works, I know that more is almost always better and have the will and the money to make it happen. It's a level of commitment to me. Many are more dedicated than I am  to the games I play and deserve the rewards they get from it.  Some things, though, fall under giving people what they pay for. In games like DAoC where classic servers keep buffbots inside the group and lessen their practical use for leveling, I just run 2 complimentary characters, sometimes 3. How can anyone that doesn't want to look like a crybaby noob try to say that me running 3 toons or 1 and a buffbot, is any different than 2 people grouped together running 1 account each?

    There was, might still be, a guy that ran 8 accounts under the name Team Wizzy. People cried so hard about that guy and why? Because he was capable of doing the work of 8 people? Sounds like jealousy to me. Of course it burns a group of people to learn that 1 guy has the same skill level as all 8 of them. But is that his fault that combined they can't compare to him? Laughable in every sense.
  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TARDISjunkie


     
    Originally posted by Kraetus

    I don't understand how there can be complaints with PunkBuster-type programs.  My mother has always been fond of the saying, "Those with nothing to hide hide nothing."  I have a difficult time even playing the Devil's Advocate with that one.  If certain persons have a problem with a PunkBuster service for MMOs, then, well, I'm inclined to think that I don't want to be playing with them anyway.  I'm for strict controls and stricter punishments.  What's the point of indulging in a game if a noticeable percentage of the player base can't deal with their own inadequacies as human beings for long enough to play a game fairly?



    Okay, I have to admit to a certain cluelessness here...what is a Punkbuster program?  Something that runs in the background while you're playing and sniffs packets to make sure you're not screwing around IG?  Assuming that's correct (again, I've no idea, just guessing), then I'd have no problem with it.  As far as I'm concerned, the only way to play a game is by the rules.  Those who say "Hey, if I can get away with it, then it must be okay!" are in my opinion just this side of sociopathy.  I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the strictest law-abider IRL--I speed, I jaywalk...and I thoroughly expect to get busted on a regular basis.  When I see those flashing lights in my rearview (it's been awhile, come to think of it...I must be due :( ), I just sigh and pull over...I had my fun, now I pay my dues.

    I have played a game using cheats before.  Not a MMO, but an offline game--Oblivion, to be precise.  I used the console and just raped that poor game.  While it was fun for the first few minutes ("Attack me, will you?  [open console] K-I-L-L.  There--hah!"), the fun quickly wore off as the challenge evaporated.  I felt obligated to delete that character and start fresh; now I'm the Arena Grand Champion, Swordsman in the Fighter's Guild, Hero of Kvatch and bearer of the Escutcheon of Chorral--all earned "honestly"--and I've had a hell of a ride getting there. 

    As a final jab--and no, I can't pass this up, sorry--people who embrace this style of play are the whole reason I refuse to PvP.  Beat me with skill, or feel free to f*** off.

      The highlighted text is my reason to, used to love pvp, in all it forms from regular FPS online games, mmo, mmorpg's but when you build up skills over the course of time surely a person develops skills and can really become a good skilled player, but then when someone is genuine a very good player other people already assume that it must be some sort of cheat/hack or whatever people use that can not play games. Those dumb excuses to use cheats of them having a life is so ridicules to read, i have a life a extremely full life 50/60h job a week, girlfriend(relationship of 16years and counting:), friends, hanging out not like we used to when teen-agers and still to have about 1/3hours a day left for my favorite hobby( well not 7day's of the week but plenty to enjoy myself), but then again i don't have to make max lvl within a specific time table, if a game provides me with enough content i will never be in a hurry to rush thru a game.

    Having multiple character ingame doesn't have to mean Twink in the sense it's used here, yes it is in the eye of the beholder i agree. Some people play multi character for allot more reasons then given here. Like in real life i love my job but it can become somewhat boring sometimes, The same thing i have with ingame character but the good thing is in some mmoprg's you have the choice to make another one therefore playing new things in a game already liked, i have no intention to create another char just so i can supply it with high-end gear from my main. It's pure for the re-playability of the game in which i can continue this way.
  • faefrostfaefrost Atlanta, GAPosts: 199Member

    OK I'm confused by the point of the article? Pretty much every one of these "cheats" has been addressed and minimized via game mechanics in all of the more current MMORPG's?

    The Great Logofski - Most modern mmorpg's have a logoff timer of some sort. Typically 20 seconds. If you simply disconnect it will be several seconds before the server realizes it, you taking hits the entire time. While you may occasionally pull this off, it is mostly rare and pointless. Not even a cheap move. Just stupid. Now maybe if we were talking about an FPS game? But this is MMORPG.com, we discuss MMORPG's here.

    Training Mobs - I don't think mob training has really worked in any game post AC1 or EQ1. Most newer games have incorporated more complex agro code that tends to minimize training. There are exceptions. But they are exceedingly rare. Typically the mob sticks with the initial agro'd party and if dragged too far from its spawn point resets and goes back, without agro'ing anyone else.

    The Zerg Rush - how can organized team play be considered an exploit, hack cheat or even an issue. In an open PvP game the whole point is to assemble a supperior force. certainly it is the point in Shadowbane or DAoC's contested areas. Not a bug, not an exploit, just the nature of some games.

    Buff Bots - I think what you describe is pretty much limited to DAoC. Yes some folks will dual box in games like WoW. But the functionality or benefit of it is extremely limited. Yes you can drag your new level 16 alt through the Deadmines using your level 70 uber god. But all he will get out of the deal is quest completion and some loot drops. Powerleveling is pointless because experience is nerfed, buffs are level based and scale down, so there really isn't much benefit or reason for this one. Except in DAoC. Why they still tolerate the towed buffbots is anybodies guess.

    Twinking - As even you admit, all the newer games have gameplay mechanisms that rather strongly limit this. About the only really effective way of twinking these days is funding your lower level alt so they can buy better gear. And I dont think anyone serriously considers that in any way out of bounds.

    You only mention real hacks and cheats such as duping, speed hacks, map hacks, teleport hacks etc, in one brief paragraph. And fail to note that these are agressively policed and banned by the modern game runners and are universally decried as true cheats by the entirety of the gaming populace. No moral or ethical debate there.

    I have to ask do you even still play these games? Because this article seems to reflect MMORPG culture and issues circa 5 years ago?

  • Nimr0d23Nimr0d23 N/APosts: 58Member
    In MMO's the only thing what I hate is the money "cheat". If you are rich in RL you can buy the best weapons, items, even avatars, but where is the fun then? Nowhere.
  • gpettgpett San Jose, CAPosts: 1,105Member

    IMHO, it is up to the game developers to design a game where cheating, exploiting, macroing, or two-boxing is not easy or cannot be done.

    If, a game developer makes macroing or any of the commonly complained about things easy to do... players will do it.  I do not blame a player for using a macro program to level up a skill that is click based to advance.  That is the developers lack of immagination or short-sightedness to make a game that way.  Too often people blame players for hacking, macroing, or exploiting.  It is not the players fault if the game allows them to behave in this way.  Any possible way of someone cheating, there is a way to prevent it.

    We need to hold the game developers accountable for thier software and not blame the people who use the software for the softwares shortcomings.

  • NatoBNatoB JohannesburgPosts: 114Member

    As in with reference to Twinking, i do not believe this is in any form a way of cheating, hey you played the game with one toon maxed levelled him and scored a ton of gold, you do not need all this gold for this one toon, so why not give it to the next toon you create (either by giving him straight gold or items bought specifically for him). In all respects it is a fair way of playing, if you have honestly levelled you other toona dn made that gold legit, why not. Isnt the point of all RPG's, MMO or Not, to make the strongest character possible, to be the best. And this is one form of doing that, you've gone through all the trouble to level this other toon up why not make it easier for your next one?

    And on the point of real hacks and cheats, to all you gold farming bot runners and gold sellers, you can kiss my ass for making all the prices on my server so damn high, assholes

    image
    Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?
    Final Fantasy


    I found it hard
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  • ZideneZidene carlsbad, CAPosts: 14Member
    Originally posted by NatoB


    As in with reference to Twinking, i do not believe this is in any form a way of cheating, hey you played the game with one toon maxed levelled him and scored a ton of gold, you do not need all this gold for this one toon, so why not give it to the next toon you create (either by giving him straight gold or items bought specifically for him). In all respects it is a fair way of playing, if you have honestly levelled you other toona dn made that gold legit, why not. Isnt the point of all RPG's, MMO or Not, to make the strongest character possible, to be the best. And this is one form of doing that, you've gone through all the trouble to level this other toon up why not make it easier for your next one?
    And on the point of real hacks and cheats, to all you gold farming bot runners and gold sellers, you can kiss my ass for making all the prices on my server so damn high, assholes
    I'm glad you didn't come up with a insanely biased opinion.
  • ZenoLocZenoLoc Oklahoma, OKPosts: 71Member Common
    Does all this mean I'm wrong for writing a macro for my buffbot to buy the uber-version of this article from ebay while having it pull a train of other articles with it to my second multibox to be read later by my second twinked bot which will be camped waiting for it to arrive? 
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