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    A cheat protection idea

    As we all know, one of the problems in the FPS community are the multitudes of lame people with 0 skill in playing but lots of skill in cheating.

    These people cost the game company customers as word gets around that the game is "full of cheaters." People dont buy their software and the game company looses money. Therefore, game companies go to great pains to block cheaters with various code tricks but the fact that no open system is hack proof is undeniable. In the end, the cheaters usually have to be found by customer service. However, even when they are, they can only be banned from the server, allowing them to cheat elsewhere. I propose a soluttion to help this and combat piracy at the same time.

    Now the solution takes a bit of reading but I ask you to read the whole thing before replying.

    First of all, change the EULA to say that if they are caught cheating, their rights to the software are forfeitted and they can no longer use the software.

    Second of all, make sure each game purchase has to be activated in a manner similar to windows XP activation. Once activated, the game is given an encrypted public key to use when connecting to the server. When the user joins a game, the code is sent to the server and it authenticates the user and allows the game to record their stats and so on. Furthermore, make a service that allows any private user hosting a server to authenticate against the server by forwarding the credentials of the user to Epic.

    Now if someone is caught cheating, epic bans them from its servers by blocking the CD code. Authentication always fails and they cant get in. What is more, private server asmins can request blocks of certain CD codes in their authentication request. For example a server admin is convinced joe is cheating so he open up an interface and requests blocking Joe from the server. The Epic server records this preference and whenever an authentication code comes from Joe, it rejects the login with a message saying "Locally banned." The CD code is the user name and the authentication is encrypted and thus unhackable.

    What would this accomplish ? It would provide a much more effective banning structure. IPs can be spoofed so banning based on IP is not an effective strategy. With this strategy, a user can be banned and if he is banned by Epic then his copy of the game is basically a pretty coaster to set his drink upon. Yes, he can go out and get another copy but at 50 bucks per game (and per ban), this could be expensive and he is likely to stop cheating eventually. Furthermore the EULA gives them legal grounds to do this.

    Some might say that they could just play on private servers that dont authenticate. That is fine and most of us wouldnt care. We only care about blocking the cheaters from interacting with us. If they want to interract with each other, they can aimbot each other to death until hell freezes over.

    #2
    That was a very long post to describe roughly what UT2003 already does

    The only thing Epic don't do - and quite right too - is accept unconfirmed reports from server admins. The only keys that I know have been banned are ones that DrSin has identified as belinging to [ELF] (although I believe any key which gets used several times simultaneously from different IPs is auto-banned as well).

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      #3
      Originally posted by Doctor7
      That was a very long post to describe roughly what UT2003 already does

      The only thing Epic don't do - and quite right too - is accept unconfirmed reports from server admins. The only keys that I know have been banned are ones that DrSin has identified as belinging to [ELF] (although I believe any key which gets used several times simultaneously from different IPs is auto-banned as well).
      Ahh well so much the better than. Except server admins should be able to make local bans and I think they should police the servers more.

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        #4
        Re: A cheat protection idea

        Originally posted by Derisor
        [B]These people cost the game company customers as word gets around that the game is "full of cheaters." People dont buy their software and the game company looses money.
        Look at CounterStrike, the biggest cheat fest and it still quite popular(up until the anti-cheat measures got kicked up a bit)
        First of all, change the EULA to say that if they are caught cheating, their rights to the software are forfeitted and they can no longer use the software.
        In order for this to be effective, you'd have to make a exact definition of cheating that everyone can agree on.
        Second of all, make sure each game purchase has to be activated in a manner similar to windows XP activation.
        WinXP online activation has been hacked since its release(and yes, they can still recieve windows updates)
        Yes, it may be more effective, but will eventually get hacked

        A quality post, but still contains a multitude of holes in the theories/ideas presented

        I'm not condoneing cheating, but it can occasionally make things a bit more fun.
        Take MTA:VC(Multi Theft Auto: Vice City) There are cheaters all over the place with map mods, car mods, etc, but it can be a lot of fun driving/riding in a car that is capable of speeds in excess of Mach 7.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Doctor7
          although I believe any key which gets used several times simultaneously from different IPs is auto-banned as well
          I know plenty of cheapskates who share their keys with trusted friends, never heard of that heppening though? Can anyone confirm...?

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            #6
            Re: A cheat protection idea

            Originally posted by Derisor
            Yes, he can go out and get another copy but at 50 bucks per game (and per ban), this could be expensive and he is likely to stop cheating eventually.
            lol. I would be very surprised if the online cheaters were using a legit CD-key and actually purchased the game. Maybe some casual cheaters who came across an aimbot. But not the serious ones.
            And If they got a permanent CD-Key ban, they probably wouldn't buy the game but used another hacked key.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Derisor
              Except server admins should be able to make local bans and I think they should police the servers more.
              If I was to police the MulitplayUK servers effectivly so that no cheating would occur, i would have to have at least one person who knows the webadmin password on there at all times. Server Admins can only do so much, when a cheater comes into a server, don't just sit there sigh and then leave. Alt+Tab, load up Quakenet and join #mpukunreal and TELL US its happening, and we'll deal with it. You cant expect server admins to do it all, we do as much as we can, and believe me, we do a lot behind the scenes to try and remove cheaters such as ELF.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Orbital
                I know plenty of cheapskates who share their keys with trusted friends, never heard of that heppening though? Can anyone confirm...?
                Not too sure about that one. It won't happen from just a couple of people using the same copy (although if both try to authenticate with the master server, the second one should get kicked). The only keys that would get banned permanently are any which have been included with a widely-distributed copy and are used all the time from different machines. This might be automatic (with a very high threshold), but I suppose it's more likely to be done manually.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Another idea which is brilliant in theory, but like the others will not work and heres why.
                  What happens when a so-called "professional" player decides he wants to jump in a public server? Obviously he will quickly annihilate every player in it and therefore the cheating accusations will start to fly almost immediately. Now, suppose the server is run by one of those "immature" people, (i'm sure we've all come across one of those admins who like to abuse their server power) and that admin decides, "hey, he's cheating, I don't need proof because I'm a UT GOD and I know everything" and he decides to just ban him. Now, that "professional" players cd-key registration info gets sent out to a master server labeled as cheater, and every server has him permanently banned.
                  Does that sound fair? Again, idea is good in theory, but will not work

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: A cheat protection idea

                    Originally posted by Derisor

                    ...
                    First of all, change the EULA to say that if they are caught cheating, their rights to the software are forfeitted and they can no longer use the software.
                    Unless you live in a country without consumer-protection :
                    - a EULA can't be used to enforce additional laws or restrictions since it's a contract that can only be read after the sale ...
                    (why do you think Microsoft tends to have those things on the boxes ?)

                    - AFAIK the EULA already covers 'harassment of other players' ...
                    Or else your ISP has it covered ...

                    Second of all, make sure each game purchase has to be activated in a manner similar to windows XP activation. ....
                    The activation-'procedure' for XP was one of my decisions not to buy that OS.
                    I don't want to ask anyone else for permission to use software I've bought already.

                    Or do you really want to see this in the future :

                    (source : http://www.myextralife.com )

                    btw :
                    there is no such thing as 'unhackable' ... all claims like that do is make it an even more inviting target for the lamers out there.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      tbh I dont think cheating was such a huge issue with ut2003. Now and again I see guys using bots n hacks but only on servers without AntiTCC. If EPIC maintain support for ut2004 unlike ut2003 I really dont think cheaters will have that big an impact on the community. As for ELF, never seen em online, and if I ever do then I will just leave =}

                      Comment


                        #12
                        [Second of all, make sure each game purchase has to be activated in a manner similar to windows XP activation.]

                        Well how will that work??I mean some peeps i know dont have internet access,so if say they bought ut2004,how will they be able to play it with bots???If they dont have the internet,how will they be able to activate it??

                        Bad idea me thinks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          GAMES ARE BLIND

                          I don't understand why game manufacturers make their games so blind to cheating. When someone is running your game on their computer, you've got eyeballs. Open your eyes and look at what they are doing.

                          I'm not talking about spyware, I'm talking about obvious cheating. If someone is playing at a level greater than humanly possible, the game should see it. In UT1 I saw aimbotters get dozens of headshots in just minutes. I know that's not humanly possible, you know that's not humanly possible, the game should know that's not humanly possible.

                          Look at aimbots for a second... they glue the user's crosshair to the head of opponents. There are two very obvious factors with aimbots that humans can easily detect when viewing a game of an aimbotter. Target aquisition speed, and target tracking. Some people can pop on to a target pretty quickly, but not instantly. It's pretty obvious when the crosshair moves 45 degrees or more in a hundreth of a second and stops directly on a target that a human isn't controlling the movement. Even more obvious though is when the crosshair locks on said target and tracks their movement perfectly.

                          It wouldn't be hard to watch a few demos of the top UT players around and record data on the fastest target aquisition times and tracking perfection humanly possible.

                          Then have several increasing layers of observation built into the game. If a player has suspiciously high stats during a game, randomly sample some of their frags. When they frag someone, look at how quickly and and perfectly they aquired the target, if they consistently achieve frags inhuman in nature, start sampling every single frag. Look for a definative frag where there is no question they are cheating. Then just turn their gun off for the rest of the game.

                          This isn't a tutorial on how to write cheat security code, it's just a different perspective on an alternate cheat detection scheme. To have the game look for obvious cheaters and turn their guns off. There are a myriad of ways to approach such a scheme, I merely used a very obvious one as an example. The key of course would be to have conclusive and definative evidence the player is cheating before taking any action.

                          An entirely different and yet painfully obvious way to detect cheating is to allow humans to referee. Setup a server staffed by dozens of volunteers 24/7. If the game suspects cheating, or even players in the game suspect cheating, have that players game send a screenshot to the referee server. Obviously if they are using any kind of visible cheat they are busted. If the screenshot looks legit, the ref could click spectate and watch the player for awhile.

                          If the ref observed cheating in either the screenshot or by spectating, let him have a little fun. Let him shut off the player's weapon, freeze the player in place, suicide the player, or perhaps even have total control over the player, a puppet master. There are plenty of ways to have fun with a cheater. I'd donate a few hours a week to mess with cheaters, wouldn't you?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Flynn Flak

                            That's pretty much how PunkBuster works, and I'm all for that being implemented in more games.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Flynn Flak
                              With all this you will probably eliminate obvious cheaters playing for fun and being not a major problem. AND force aimbot makers make better aimbots btw Clan cheaters are the problem and they are already well hidden and difficult to detect. A simple trigger bot get past of all those checks with ease anyway.
                              Really whats your problem with "obvious cheating" especially now when the botter could be banned.

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