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Age of Mythology Heaven » Forums » Strategy and General Discussion » AoM Multiplayer: Cheating, Trainers and Bugs
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Topic Subject:AoM Multiplayer: Cheating, Trainers and Bugs
Stone_Giant
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 11:58 AM EDT (US)         
~~~~~~
Cheating
~~~~~~

Cheating, We've all done it at least once in our lives, in all types of situations. Its human nature to want to win, and some of us will go against the rules to do so. It can be harmless, but in many cases it is annoying, or even hurtful.

So, why was cheating and certain zone hacks become such a large problem in the Age games? Anonymity plays a big part in this. Behind the buffer zone of a computer screen and several hundred miles of telephone wire, people don't have to worry about upsetting someone else by playing unfairly, cheating, or exploiting bugs.

Its also easy: it's far easier to download a hack, and get an advantage in a game than to actually practice and become good. For example, way back when I was playing a lot of AoE over the Zone. I faced up against a player with a name such as CrackDevilz or something similar. Two minutes after the game started he had sent an attack with an obscene amounts of units, all the while taunting and even boasting about his ability to cheat.

Another factor that adds to this problem is the lack of maturity or even common courtesy in many of the players in the Age community. They simply don't care about wasting other people's time, upsetting others, or unbalancing a ladder or league system that someone has put a lot of time into creating. When these people do cheat, they often do not refrain from crude insults or taunts. This isn't a problem for experienced players; most people I know would just simply laugh at the idiocy of their opponent, but for new players, it can be pretty disheartening. In many ways these cheaters can have a very bad effect on the Age games. Some new players can actually be scared off or even turned away from a game simply from a single bad experience. They may assume all players they will meet are immature and rude, and just not put any time into trying to play the game again.

This line of thought leads into another problem found in the zone. The rating system! To be honest, I don’t like it; players become too obsessed with there ratings. Have you ever lost a game and went “DAMN IT!” not necessarily because you lost, but because when you look at your nick again it will be down 8 points. It was designed with a nice idea in mind, everyone could play people there own rating, and we wouldn’t have all these problems with new players joining expert games, and vice-versa. But some players are just so obsessed with there rating its not even funny. (Tonight, I even observed 2 of the top10 rated players trading points with each other)

Another problem with the rating system: Although not strictly cheating, it is quite common to see average or even seasoned players basically hustling new players. The more experienced player will enter a newbie game, or attract the attention of low rated players, pretend they also are new to the game, and practically con the new player into playing a rated game. Once in game, they will proceed to annihilate their weaker opponent, and take the points. Although measures can be taken against this (like you have to play someone of equal/near rating to you to gain sufficent points) it is still a problem, even when ladder status isn't involved. Some people simply find it fun to take advantage of and humiliate others.

You might ask why don't the zone simply ban cheaters or implement measures against exploitation? Well, I looked into this, (as usual ) and after a few chats with sysops and looking at the Zone terms and conditions, I'm sad to say this is much easier said than done. The hardcore cheaters, those intent on being top of the ratings by any means, are resourceful without a doubt. This group consists of those people who program trainers and update them regularly to avoid them being rendered ineffective by patches to the game. Remember when ES released the patch for AoE that claimed to make all trainers useless? A week later I found myself being cheated once again. Who says the same hasn’t been done for recent map hacks? Not only that, they sign up with multiple nicknames, so if they lose one account, they have numerous backups. For any organizer of a ladder system or any other type of tournament, this is a major problem, but it is also one that is extremely difficult to rectify, simply due to the effort and dedication people put into cheating and ruining the game for others.

This makes the issue of stopping cheaters a tough one for ES, but there are things that can be done.

For one, the availability of multiple accounts to individual players could be limited. I mean, after someone was caught cheating and their zone nick was posted on every age site in the known universe, how hard was it for them to simply just sign up again? However, This also has a negative effect on those who share a computer between multiple people, but some kind of limit should be put in place.

Another thing that could be improved would be for ES to take a tougher stance when dealing with proven or suspected cheaters, and make more of an effort to ensure these players remain banned or cannot cheat. This of course requires more resources being put it, and if multiple, high profile bans take place; the popularity of the service can also be affected. This is an especially valid point when cheating occurs in ladder or ranking systems. All too often in these situations, I've seen cheaters let off lightly when caught, when they deserved either a suspension or permanent banning from the service.

Whatever kind of prevention ES is going to put into place, it needs to take note that when one player ruins the fun for another, or even several others, action should be taken. Although by no means do I believe this should be taken as far as it is with online RPGs such as EverQuest, (where you have to accept a licensing agreement basically saying "I will not Cheat" every time you login.) But, I do think that firmer action needs to be taken against cheaters.

That's what it all comes down to. Cheating in the Age games is easy (AoK made it impossible to use a trainer, but it still has "other" methods). There are few consequences for doing so, and installing a cheat program or something similar is a simple task. For this reason, those who don't have the will power or morality to play fair won't, as the alternative is so easy a task.

I hope cheating in AoM will be impossible, or tangible penalties are put into place for doing so, its human nature to take the easy way out, and as long the dishonest path remains easy, it will be a well-trodden one.

Thanks to Greg Dashwood for letting me borrow some of this from his original article

~~~~~~
Trainers
~~~~~~

It seems to me that there is some paranoia about people using trainers against you. As far as I am concerned, trainers are impossible to use in multiplayer. Out of all my games over a full 2 years of AoK I am yet to see a trainer be successfully used in multiplayer. All I know of trainers is to be used in single player.

What a trainer does is take a variable like food, wood, gold and stone, changes them, usually by increments very high such as 1000. Thus giving you an unfair advantage.

AoK has checks to prevent the use of trainers. If we were having a 1v1 over the zone, that is a peer-to-peer connection (correct me if I am wrong). Our two computers are constantly pinging each other with information like units on the map, changing variables (such as a depleted gold pile, and most importantly player resources). So lets say I alt-tab my playing screen, open up that "awesome" trainer of mine with the name of like "ReDeYe" or something on it. Then I was like "oh I’ll just give myself 10,000 stone and circle his base with castles." So I click the 1000 stone button 10 times and I get my stone. Then, next time my computer talks with yours, yours says, "Uh oh, we have separate counts for your stone, something has gone terrible wrong." Next it flips out, screams like a little child, and the games goes out of sync (Oos).

Having said that though, if you are in a rated game and are losing badly and don’t want to lose those points from your game, why not purposely Oos using a trainer and get no points taken off? This way you don’t lose the game, and don’t lose points. I think this should be labelled as a form of cheat, and the players who use it be punished severely. The only problem is, trainers are not the cause of every game that goes Oos, so it’s impossible to distinguish between the two. I've had plenty of games where just when the tide turns my way and I am about to take down someone’s last castle, or 20 of my elephants are ripping his town apart, that’s when the game "mysteriously" goes Oos. This is the problem and as of now, And ES should try and do something about it in AoM . Maybe a brief description of why the game Oos when is does.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bugs and Balancing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, what the heck is this “bug” thing people are always on about? No, its not some form on insect , its something that doesn't go right in the game. It is something that happens because of a slight slip in the programming code, the whole game is programmed for what everything can and can’t do, and a bug goes outside these lines. The Farm Bug, the Monk Bug, the DRUSH Bug...while they are part of the game. They were events, which are unintended to occur. They were never calculated within the designer’s intentions.

Game companies seem to have the idea that "only a few people know, so it's not a problem". Wrong, instead, the fact that only a few people know, and are thereby gaining a competitive advantage over people who don't, is precisely the problem.

Even the guys at ES seems to be doing it:

This is from Mike Kidd’s KLEW article which you can find in the studios journal right here

Quote:

In multiplayer, you can take advantage of command lag to save a few seconds on the opening. Because Mayans start with 4+1 pop, you're immediately housed, and must loom first. However, if you press HCCC (select TC, queue 3 villagers), then immediately hit loom, your loom research will start first, but the villagers will be queued automatically after the loom, without the multiplayer command lag. This saves a few seconds on your age times, so it's worth doing.

This seems kind of lame . Good strategy is learned. It is available to anyone who plays the game long enough and who thinks about the strategy long enough. It is fair.

Bugs are stumbled upon. It is not available to everyone, only the lucky people who find it in the quest of a good strategy. It is not fair.

Also, I think the way bugs and balancing issues are handled once discovered is worth discussing:

ES deserves the lion's share of the blame in this. They knew about most of these bugs and exploits, and they knew for a long time, but made almost no effort to fix them. It seems to me that if they were interested in the integrity of their game, they could only one thing. Fix them! That they don’t doesn't speak very highly of them.

Remember how long it to patch problems like this?

IMO one of the best Age toons in existence

Perhaps a simple patching system could become a feature of the in-built multiplayer system. i.e. I load up, and I’m hit with a simple “New update available, please wait, downloading, updating reallyimportantfile.cfg, done, that bug where all your army is killed instantly for no reason is fixed, v-server side code is now optimised” and then a restart and your ready to go . I’d much have “small” fixes (if necessary) every week/month rather than one big huge patch every year.

However, I do understand that this could be very hard to program (Stone_Giant would like to apologise to the ES programmers currently throwing things at the screen and screaming “IS THAT GUY KIDDING ME”)

-----------------------------------------------------------

**If any of the information here is incorrect (which it probably all is lol) then please tell me and I will change it/modify it. Any more information on this topic?? Post it and I can add that also (with due credit of course )**

Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Stone_Giant

AuthorReplies:
Psychic Ostrich
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 01:05 PM EDT (US)     1 / 24       
I agree with that. In one game I had(it was my first team game(2v2)) I was getting ready to really go for it and do my best. But my ally just sent lots of messages at the start every split second 2 our enemies. they just lost there connection and I won. I listended 2 him bragging 4 two minutes before leaving. I felt really cheated cos it had taken me AGES 2 get that game.

I would just like 2 say that u guys r so nice, in the Battle Realms forum there are lots of *****************'s all over the place and arguing. you guy are so nice


SNIPPETS OF A CAFE CHAT:
Hey hi, damn, where is my... ...fridge, y'now, its been playing... ...with his nailclippers! I didnt know what to... ...weed, cos' i'm not a gardner, unlike Old... ...cushion, now it was... ...a bit soggy, with all his diarrhoea... ...experience with the theoretical side of... ...cats, oh they are doing... ...dancing with his best friend! now I would like to... ...grasp by the hilt you see? Anyway better be... ...going to lose his socks, silly... ...frog. Cya'...
bismark27511
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 01:12 PM EDT (US)     2 / 24       
whoa i knew u wrote alot, but this is amazing lol...

first of all, i for one have never cheated, at least on a rated game... i admit i have had to resort to cheating in a nonrated game when my opponent craftily allows cheating without telling me and storms my base with furious teh monkey boy... lightning fast a flee with my wills build a tc, and ctrl+v like mad... if he lets me escape i always win... but those are the only times i "cheat", and since i only play nonrated games %.01 of the time, it isnt an issue...

now as for trainers... i never really have had any trouble with them... i really didnt kno what u were talking about until u explained it.. yes i kno about all those modifying things, but they never help u cheat on the zone... u say yourself,

"Out of all my games over a full 2 years of AoK I am yet to see a trainer be successfully used in multiplayer. All I know of trainers is to be used in single player."

or maybe u copied it outta an article but the point is the same, i really dont give at all whether a cheating hacker has his simpleminded fun by whupping up on the already pathetic WIMPY AI (see my harder ai thread) and delighting in his utter lack of AOK ABILITY (on a side note, i cannot describe how weak a player u are if u cheat to win on single player... i mean maybe on hardest, or hard it might be ok, and its fine fore a relatively new player, but its really sad if u think its fun... its not whats aoks about) anyways its fine to me if he uses his extreme adeptitude in teh fine art of cheating while hes at home. i will just make fun of him for the rest of his life... but if someone ventures to cheat against me in a rated game, its gonna get ugly, i will inc. him so fast, i dotn care how much it hurts me. whoops, i kicked the switch

so what im saying is i dont really care if ppl cheat at home cuz thats their decision to make the game lame and pointless... so trainers i dont really care about...

really the only cheating i ahve found is drop tricking, and inc. if u count that... now to both my embarrassment, and when u think about it pride, i have no clue how to drop trick. i mean i kno what it does but i just dont know how to do it... so i say they eliminate the drop trick, and all will be fine... and when someone pulls the plug on u, it should give u the pooints not penalize u...

as for the rest, iagree with u. cheatings a big issue they need to fix to make the game more enjoyable. cheaters are sry rooks who ahve no skill..(no offense anybody)

uh, hey taht age toon is the best!!


If u arent one of those scenario playin, black forest loving, drop-tricking, red ping, econ booming, WALLING, 0 gamer, WONDER BUILDING, incompleters, come to rated and we can have an AOE game like it is supposed to be played...
Cuautemoc
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 01:42 PM EDT (US)     3 / 24       
ok ill tell u my story............this was my first match online. i go to custom scenarios..... i decide to enter the game........i ask the host 'r there any triggers or gaia units in the map' all the other seven say no.. the game starts...............10 seconds later there are 100 Genghis khans and about 200 EWE'S of the same guy..

second match-----i got together in a game which was supposed to be 1v1v1 we decided that it would be interesting if we all took Persians.. just before the game starts they both go in the same team and as soon as the game starts they start sending taunts..... they destroyed my base in about 30 min.. i eventually won the game but felt cheated.......

i guess this gave me a really bad impression i havent really played much over the net since then..

oh wel im definitely gonna play aom


Id challenge you to a battle of wits; but u appear to be unarmed
bismark27511
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 02:42 PM EDT (US)     4 / 24       
ok let me tell u, i have only been cheated out of 100s and 100s of games, surprisigly few times... yes it is hard to prevent drop tricks, but if u carefully inspect the opponents profile, u can manage pretty well...


this reminds me of one of my, no, the ABSOLUTE WORST THING ABOUT AOK AND THE ZONE!!!! THE MOST ANNOYING, WORST ROOKIE THING POSSIBLE TO DO!!! WORSE THEN CHEATING!! WORSE THEN EXPLOITING!! we have all dealt with it, and sadly, most of us have stooped to its level...

the most evil thing on teh zone is hands down... RATED SCENARIOS!!! *gasps in horror* *incvoluntarily shivers*

now dont get me wrong, scenarios are all good and fun, WHEN DONE IN THEIR PROPER LOCATION... thats why i have nothing against ppl who have their little pleasure, inside CUSTOM SCENARIO ROOM 1, or 2 for taht matter!! oh, but in the aok rooms, and im not sure whether in teh aoc rooms, (they didnt used to be allowed, but things change), so many rooking newbs boost their pathetic ranks on scenarios!!


it makes me so mad, getting a hard earned win off an 1910 in a grueling 3 hour rm... then i see a 2200 zoning me to play in game 48... i check it out, kings tower!! after shouting at him, i check his profile... 2200!! but his avg feudal time? not there!! average castle? not there! all his stats fit that of a scenario playin rook!!

even wirse then that exploition are those few who dare to do THE most horrid thing in teh history of all gaming...


... cheated scenarios...

i wont even go into that...


If u arent one of those scenario playin, black forest loving, drop-tricking, red ping, econ booming, WALLING, 0 gamer, WONDER BUILDING, incompleters, come to rated and we can have an AOE game like it is supposed to be played...
SoR_Anarchy
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 04:15 PM EDT (US)     5 / 24       
Without a doubt SG, this is the most Solid post of 2002.

I think everyone would agree that trainers and things like that are wrong and hurt online play. However what i take issue with is bugs. The taking advantage of bugs is doing something the game was not designed to do. IMO that is wrong and is something that needs to be taken more seriously by ES.


God Bless America.

I am the state.

[This message has been edited by SoR_Anarchy (edited 01-01-2002 @ 07:12 PM).]

Ashur
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 06:23 PM EDT (US)     6 / 24       
Nice post.

Cheating is obviously a major problem in online game. Have anyone ever played Counter-Strike? That game has so many cheaters that it's unplayable. Aom, of course, is a different siutaion since it's a rts and not a fps game, but cheaters and exploiters are still a problem to an extent. I"m a little short on ideas here, but to sum it up, I hope aom should be programmed as cheat-proof as possible.

Despite the fallability of the ratings system, I am still for it, or something similar. I think ratings add a competetive side to a game, which improves it's value (unless the system becomes curropt).

alLan Mandragoran
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 08:17 PM EDT (US)     7 / 24       
*stares at screen and says "damn"*
Jotun
Mortal
posted 01 January 2002 08:51 PM EDT (US)     8 / 24       
I have not had anyone ever cheat against me in a multiplayer game. But then, I haven't played much multiplayer on my wimpy 56K.
I'm also wondering why, instead of cheating in game to get their ratings up, they don't just hack the zone and change their ratings there.
(I've never tried that before by the way. )

They sended us away to theez big buldeengs all dey And fur wut They sez that it is so we can get taughted I says Iv lernd enuf
jduderocks
Mortal
posted 02 January 2002 03:16 AM EDT (US)     9 / 24       
I did get pushed round a couple of times when I was still a rookie but then I toughened up and started doing the same thing to other rooks but mostly my ggames cut out bfore I got to finish thanks to my good ol 56k
ES_DeathShrimp
Immortal
posted 02 January 2002 11:10 AM EDT (US)     10 / 24       
Interesting post. A few points:

1) Creating code that cannot be compromised is like all other aspects of game (or even software) development: how many resouces do you want to allocate to it? If we hired a dozen programmers whose entire job was to stay on top of security breaches, then hacks, cheats and trainers would be a lot harder to make...and our development budget would be so high that no one could afford to purchase the game anyway. Is security an issue? Sure. Can more be done? Sure. Just remember that (sadly) everything in this business costs money. Lots of it. Even patching bugs. The moment our products stop being profitable is the moment the plug gets pulled.

2) Anonymity is a big problem for all aspects of internet security. Someone typically can't just walk into a Vegas casino and break the slots, or walk onto a football field and trip the quarterback. Think about it. People will see them do it and someone will be able to catch them. Those two things are much harder to do online. It is an aspect of the Internet that affects not just games and as an industry (and a society) we are just going to have to get more clever at handling it. A quick glance at the forums will show how many claims there are of trainers with varying degrees of evidence--the signal to noise ratio is not good. We will continue to try and improve our end of the situation, but if cheating really bug you, the best thing you can do is play with folks you know and trust.

3) In the past, we were published by another company, so we did not have much control of even input over issues like online stability, patching process or software updates. Now that we and the publisher are one and the same we will actually have much more control over these issues.

4) Mike wrote that article before he worked here. Since he signed on, though, he has been great at reminding us of features or units that might be unduly affected by lag. Like cheating, lag is just one of those nasty realities of online play we all wish would just go away. Perhaps as technology improves, it eventually will.

bismark27511
Mortal
posted 02 January 2002 11:21 AM EDT (US)     11 / 24       
stone giant u were right, how do u do it

If u arent one of those scenario playin, black forest loving, drop-tricking, red ping, econ booming, WALLING, 0 gamer, WONDER BUILDING, incompleters, come to rated and we can have an AOE game like it is supposed to be played...
Kaziglu Bey
Mortal
posted 02 January 2002 12:49 PM EDT (US)     12 / 24       
Concerning bugs we shouldn't forget that what hurts a game the most is the big bugs that make game crash oftenly or otherwise hamper the users ability to run the game. Such bugs are not uncommon at all these days and some games really need a bit of patching before they can be considered fully playable. Ensemble Studios has been relatively speaking very successful in taking care of such major issues before releasing their games, and credit should be given to that.

Then the smaller bugs mentioned that could give a player a minor advantage are probably amongst the ones that takes the longest time to track down. Time is money and wether to spend it on something that most players will never notice is a good question. Don't fool yourselves to think that anyone can fix all bugs in a modern game. So it's only reasonable to fix the somewhat bigger ones as the AoK farm bug first and then see if there are resources left to fix some of the others along the way.

It's nice to see it stated once more that the process of patching will be more in the hands of ES this time, as neither players or developers were quite happy with the situation of old concerning how long it took to get some patches cleared through the system.

[This message has been edited by Kaziglu Bey (edited 01-02-2002 @ 12:52 PM).]

Chris
Munchkin Hero
(id: Angel Chris)
posted 03 January 2002 04:41 PM EDT (US)     13 / 24       
Good post Stone Giant

I'm not too sure how the zone functions, but I'm sure there are a fair amount of you who play Counter Strike - remember Punk Buster? (it's starting to die now).. I'm not quite sure how that worked either, but wouldn't something AoK-like be possible?

Booya, fear me.

- Chris


Love you will find beneath the apple tree peanuts.
shelper
HG Alumnus
(id: Smileyshelper)
posted 03 January 2002 06:29 PM EDT (US)     14 / 24       
good post stoney, i have never played much mp and the few times that i did i was never struck by a cheater, but im sure i will play more aom in the future

im glad to hear that es is working on it


It's like watching a flock of clown-like apes trying to navigate a ship, even though the ship has in fact been stranded on some kind of reef for about 7 years and none of the apes have noticed it yet. -Drahnier on OD moderation.
Stone_Giant
Mortal
posted 04 January 2002 04:55 PM EDT (US)     15 / 24       

Quote:

the most evil thing on teh zone is hands down... RATED SCENARIOS!!!

so many rooking newbs boost their pathetic ranks on scenarios!!

Hmmmm, I think your being a little harsh here. I like scenarios, if there rated, who cares? As long as each side is gets a fair opportunity. (Get the popular ones off the net, I wouldn’t recommend playing one you’ve never tried before)

Quote:

Just remember that (sadly) everything in this business costs money.

Of course, but I'm sure if you go back and ask the guys who made Diablo and Counter-Strike, they'd gladly have spent it. Remember, it only takes only one person to take down an entire community.

Its good to know you see the problems Greg, and even better that you’re working it. Keep it up!

Stone_Giant

Toetanchamon9
Mortal
posted 05 January 2002 07:49 AM EDT (US)     16 / 24       
I you don't want people cheat, play singleplayer.
But in singleplayer you ally is the computer and you can't plan attacks, give information, ( i'am building a castle or something),...
I'am not playing much multiplayer and if i play, i play with my friends on scool and they don't know cheats (hehehe).

Toet
Stone_Giant
Mortal
posted 06 January 2002 01:41 PM EDT (US)     17 / 24       
Found this in the inbox this morning, thought some of ye might be interested

Quoted from Matt Pritchard:

People should be happy (though they won't be somehow Im sure) because ES has 2 man months of programmer time scheduled to work on anti-cheat stuff. There is a lot of anti-cheat stuff in AoE and AoK and much of that is useful in AoM so we already have a lot of experience in that area.

For people that know me, they should know I'll do everything in my power to keep the cheaters at bay.

Stone_Giant

AzN
Forumer
(id: AznKnightmare)
posted 06 January 2002 04:11 PM EDT (US)     18 / 24       
Whoa.. big post.
To simplify it:
"Dont cheat, dont be stupid"

There !



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGamesEmpires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW
Stone_Giant
Mortal
posted 06 January 2002 05:44 PM EDT (US)     19 / 24       
Damn, I wish I'd thought of that

Stone_Giant

AzN
Forumer
(id: AznKnightmare)
posted 06 January 2002 06:05 PM EDT (US)     20 / 24       
I know, but I'm just that good .
Yamato
Mortal
posted 07 January 2002 05:17 PM EDT (US)     21 / 24       
First of let me say that to me multiplayer is everything. I can hardly fathom why anyone would spend much time playing single player on a game which has done mulitplayer solidly like Age of Empires. I haven't played rated games on Age so I'm a little unfamiliar with the system and what they might be doing to prevent cheating but I have played other RTS with a ladder and am well aware of the problems and the pain that cheaters present.

Cheating
~~~~~~~~
The biggest problem I think is the ability of cheaters to easily get multiple nicknames. I wonder if ES or any other game developers have thought of having a CD key for signing up an account. Sure you need a CD key to install the game but why not take it one step further? That way you could still create multiple accounts but ES would know which accounts were created under the same CD key, and if you cheat on one account, all of your accounts receive the punishment (i.e. banned from ladder). That way if you want to cheat and then play again you have to get someone else's CD key (which you might not get your friend's permission to use) or buy another (perhaps account keys could be sold separately). In addition to banning a player for ladder abuse it could be put on their profile for viewing of potential non-ladder opponents who would rather not take the risk.
Thoughts on this? It may sound extreme to risk people having to pay more to continue to play ladder games but as a player of many many ladder games of Starcraft (never bothered with ladder on Age after having such a disillusioning experience with ladder cheaters on Starcraft), I feel that if someone wants to waste my time cheating and screwing up the ladder they SHOULD have to shell out to keep doing it... and something tells me paying more money is one effort the resourceful cheaters might balk at making.

Trainers and Out of sync
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Disconnects were a huge problem in Starcraft too, fortunately in ladder games it kept a record of the game statistics so long as one player exited the game properly. Maybe Age does this already for out of sync, but if they don't they should, and then the game can tell you exactly why: "Oh hey what do you know comp 1 says the guy has 230 stone and comp 2 says he has 10,230 stone!"

Cuautemoc
~~~~~~~~~
I find that if you don't play ladder you don't see a whole lot of cheating. Which is why I gave up on ladder on Starcraft and never tried it on Age. (That and I found I played too much when I was playing ladder in order to increase my rating... playing too much = bad!) My point being I guess I really don't know if you played a rated game or not but IMHO multiplayer is the only way to go, and if you're worried about cheaters, non-rated games are pretty free of them from what I have seen.

bismark
~~~~~~~
Scenarios in rated games? WTF? Wow. On Battle.NET they only allowed Blizzard-approved rated maps. Why does Age not follow that wisdom? Actually I am not sure I understand what you mean by rated scenarios, care to explain?


H, C, C, H, C, C, H, C, C, H, C, C
Stone_Giant
Mortal
posted 10 January 2002 01:20 PM EDT (US)     22 / 24       
Working the account system of CD Keys sounds like a good idea . I wouldn't agree with the purchasing of additional CD Keys though...the warez market would probably have a field day.

Stone_Giant

Yamato
Mortal
posted 15 January 2002 10:29 PM EDT (US)     23 / 24       

Quoted from Stone_Giant:

Working the account system of CD Keys sounds like a good idea . I wouldn't agree with the purchasing of additional CD Keys though...the warez market would probably have a field day.

True


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WhoAskedU
Mortal
posted 16 January 2002 12:39 PM EDT (US)     24 / 24       

Quoted from Angel Chris:

sure there are a fair amount of you who play Counter Strike - remember Punk Buster? (it's starting to die now).. I'm not quite sure how that worked either, but wouldn't something AoK-like be possible?

This is basicly how PB worked in CS...

You would have to select a server that was "PB Only" the server would be running the server version of PB (dont know the name of the program) and every player playing on the server would have to have the player version of PB...

After the Player version connects to the server version (through IP) the Player version would relay information to the Server Version...

On some servers after the player version connects with the server version, a notice will appear in the CS game saying something like this:

WhoAskedU has been PunkBuster Authinticated (sp?).

Some of the information that is sent (if they had an AoK version) could be the AoK code, then the server version could check to see if there were any alterations to the player's code using the code that the server version is using on there computer as a guide.

Another thing the information could be sent is programs the computer is running while playing AoK. Then the server could check a list of known hacks, trainers, ect. To see if any of those hacks/trainers/ect. are running in the background. If they are, the server would immediatly boot the player.

Now of course there is one "Loop hole"... what if the cheater "renames" the hack program? instead of being called 'SuperMegaDeathHack' he renamed it to 'Napster' or 'Microsoft Word'? would the server version catch it as a hack or disregard it as a regular program running in the background? I dont know what the server version could do to safe guard this loop hole...any suggestions?


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[This message has been edited by WhoAskedU (edited 01-16-2002 @ 12:46 PM).]

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