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Left 4 Dead Bug Patched Quickly, EVE Exploit Takes 4 Years

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the fast-and-not-so-fast dept.

Bug 157

Earlier this week, news surfaced that some savvy modders of Valve's Left 4 Dead were able to find a way to enable console commands (meant for the PC version) in the Xbox 360 version of the game. This allowed players to increase the size of their character models to ridiculous proportions, spawn unlimited weapons for themselves (or unlimited enemies for other, unsuspecting players), and go around the map deleting objects as they saw fit. A video posted on YouTube showed how to enable the commands. Valve reacted swiftly to the issues, releasing a patch to disable access to the commands a few days later. Several readers have pointed out another exploit-related story which broke recently; in EVE Online, a bug that was reported and went un-patched for four years has recently come to light, apparently responsible for the fraudulent creation of trillions of ISK, the game's currency. An anonymous reader says that (illegitimate) sales of ISK between players and farmers run on the order of $35 per 450 million ISK.

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157 comments

Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26087887)

Goatse

Bugs in eve (0, Flamebait)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26087895)

are more like "features".

Re:Bugs in eve (1)

Davidis (1390527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26087983)

ah the Microsoft approach to bugs.

Re:Bugs in eve (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088025)

While L4D applied the Starship Troopers approach to bugs.

"You like that?! You like that?!" -

Re:Bugs in eve (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088329)

Isn't that line actually from Aliens?

Re:Bugs in eve (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088339)

The 'cat' approach as well actually.

Eve-online exploit: more information (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26087915)

Eve-online bug was reported but the GM that handeled the report mistook it for an other bug 4 years ago.

Some players kept exploiting the bug without reporting it again and its effect on eve-online has been "profound" according to CCP.

It is ofcourse impossible to get all the exploit-isk out of the game, we'll just have to live with it. Tech 2 prices are on the rise and the last 2 days have been heaven for market speculators, making billions on market manipulation (a condoned action by CCP)

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088021)

It is ofcourse impossible to get all the exploit-isk out of the game, we'll just have to live with it. Tech 2 prices are on the rise and the last 2 days have been heaven for market speculators, making billions on market manipulation (a condoned action by CCP)

This doesn't strike you as being... "insane"?

I mean, fuck, if CCP can build an economy around a game then I suppose it's good for them. Market speculators in a game. It's a fucking game for c'sake, not a damn country/government. I am not sure what to be more amazed at: that a game has market speculators; or that there are people stupid enough to contribute to this "economy".

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (2, Insightful)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088121)

when you spend 40 hours a week in a high stress job, and you want to play a game, sometimes spending $20 to get what you want, instead of spending 1/2 of your weekend "earning" it, can seem very tempting....

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089197)

If you spend 40 hours a week in a high stress job, maybe you shouldn't play a game that is another job.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26092105)

Maybe we like role playing that we have a fun job.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (2, Insightful)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088129)

There is an in-game market. Why wouldn't there be speculators?

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088365)

Market speculators in a game. It's a fucking game for c'sake, not a damn country/government.

      To each their own. Some people like shooting creatures from hell when playing a game called Doom, some people like moving medieval armies around a chessboard, and some people like speculating in make believe markets. All of them are GAMES. If you don't like it, don't play it. I'm amazed at your delusions of grandeur that let you think you are God's One and Only Game Censor, and can decide which games are Worthy and which games are Not.

      Short version: no one cares if you don't like EVE. Go play your shooter and leave us alone.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088413)

I'm amazed at your delusions of grandeur

I am sorry if I gave that impression. It's not true, and I am truly puzzled.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (4, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089103)

As the other poster said, Eve's market is huge. Ships, ammo, as well as lots of modules for ships (and lots of other stuff including *all* tech2 items) are made by players. The market is quite large so it's easy to do speculation, provided you have in-game money. The prices of the raw materials for tech2 item production are getting rarer? Well... that's going to mean the prices of tech2 items are likely to increase. So, buy a bunch off the market right now in the hopes that prices will go up and you'll get a nice profit, just for waiting a few weeks.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088559)

I can't believe you cited Doom as an example. This is 2008, almost 2009. You're worse than a TV sitcom.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089161)

I can't believe you cited Doom as an example. This is 2008, almost 2009.

      I cited chess too, which is a far older game than Doom. Grow up.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088851)

CCP does have an honest to god real life professional economist on staff. ~z

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1, Troll)

Scutter (18425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088955)

CCP does have an honest to god real life professional economist on staff. ~z

Yeah, but these days we call him an "economist" (with quotes) since he's clearly too incompetent to notice the creation of trillions of ISK worth of materials without the requisite manufacturing/mining process to support it.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (2, Interesting)

fitten (521191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089155)

You have to have the methods in the game to tack this stuff... records have to be kept about the creation of minerals, etc. and then all of that has to be tied together. Sure, you may have records that moon minerals were being created... there's lots of that going on and it's something probably logged. But you have to correlate that with certain stations not using fuel to create these minerals, if such a think is recorded... "station X used Y amount of fuel and created Z amount of minerals" is something that probably isn't logged (but may be soon). Plus, if there's a bug in the code, those messages may be in the log anyway... just wrong. You can notice large amounts of isk moving around from player to player in-game, but how do you correlate *that* 0.12 isk (out of literally many trillions of ISK in the game) entered the game through an exploit? I don't know of any game that's able to tag every unit of in-game money that way.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090497)

What you say is true, except that CCP has an economist on staff specifically to analyze this stuff. In the year or so since they've hired him, he should have been able to accumulate enough data to make a judgment regarding the total value of all ISK and items in the game and then develop methods for tracking spikes in that value. If you see a sudden large spike, you need to be able to account for it. That's what an economist does.

I'm not buying the "4 year" claim, but I'm also not buying CCP's 4 DAY claim, either. They've already shown that they're willing to lie to the player base or otherwise sweep things under the rug.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Shardis (198372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089949)

You're assuming that it is trillions of ISK without any actual proof except lots of anonymous coward posts though.

The whole four year thing is speculation by anonymous posters, while there are quite a few players that have posted checkable facts regarding market activity that makes it seem like only matter of a week or whenever alchemy went in.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090187)

That's a bit harsh. Those Icelandic economists are really sharp.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090903)

CCP does have an honest to god real life professional economist on staff. ~z

Yeah, but these days we call him an "economist" (with quotes) since he's clearly too incompetent to notice the creation of trillions of ISK worth of materials without the requisite manufacturing/mining process to support it.

What's more likely, that a guy who got banned falsely claims he reported this bug 4 years ago in an anonymous forum posting, or that a man whose sole job is to look out for things like this missed it for four straight years? My money is on the guy who got banned being a liar.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088999)

EVE is an acquired taste. Market speculation? Heck, even the most popular MMORPGS have market speculation and manipulation. I remember in WoW buying my competitors items and reselling them at my price to create more business for me. I know people who never left the auction house in WoW or EQ. EVE just has the grand daddy of all market systems. I think it would be a great place for an economist to do research, and I know they have.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089759)

This doesn't strike you as being... "insane"?

Why should it?

I mean, fuck, if CCP can build an economy around a game then I suppose it's good for them. Market speculators in a game. It's a fucking game for c'sake, not a damn country/government. I am not sure what to be more amazed at: that a game has market speculators; or that there are people stupid enough to contribute to this "economy".

I am a market speculator in Eve. I do it because it is fun.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090823)

People play fantasy football, and THIS surprises you? At least in EVE you can blow stuff up, too.

Re:Eve-online exploit: more information (1)

Absimiliard (59853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090989)

Don't underestimate the effects of the recent industrial patch on those wild market swings. The prices for base minerals are going crazy, look at the price of Trit if you don't believe it.

As for market manipulation . . . Yay! I'm glad some folks are taking other folks ISK over this. Markets have always been PvP and folks who don't realize this DESERVE to lose their money.

-abs

Not a bug, a design feature! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088023)

It's a shame that game companies don't realize how much fun this is, and implement a game where the object is to hack the system to inflict grievous nuisances on other players.

Re:Not a bug, a design feature! (1)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088061)

The lack of mods are the main reason I did not buy this for the XBox, There are already lots of mods out for the PC version even without the official SDK been release yet.

Re:Not a bug, a design feature! (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088275)

I have been actually (for years) contemplating creating a MUD where the objective is to bot as efficiently as possible. In addition to exp/money you get better information sources for your bot to use while you progress. For example, at first you only get shape of a monster in rough estimation (good/bad/almost dead), then with progress percentage of health, and finally absolute numbers.

Re:Not a bug, a design feature! (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090957)

You don't need to hack anything to be a nuisance to other players in EVE. You just have to not care about your security status.

Bad console players! (4, Funny)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088083)

Bad console players! You're not allowed access to the console! Bad, BAD players!

Re:Bad console players! (1, Funny)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088489)

Bad console players! You're not allowed access to the console! Bad, BAD players!

Now you deserve a spanking! And then the oral sex! (Oblig. Python)

Re:Bad console players! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089457)

Yah, seriously... what the hell's the big deal about getting the same console commands on Xbox that PC players already have? It doesn't strike me as anything particularly harmful.

Re:Bad console players! (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090803)

Maybe you should try reading the entire summary. Ok, now you know.

Re:Bad console players! (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091371)

I read the summary, and I still don't get what you're saying. Sure those exploits are a problem, but I think that it's more an issue that such exploits were available from the console (the interface) in the first place, and not that console (the platform) players had access to the console the same way PC players did.

Basically, the summary almost made it sound like the PC players would still be able to cheat since the problem was simply that console players had access to PC-only cheat methods.

Re:Bad console players! (1)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091671)

Microsoft does not allow cheating on the Xbox, and they go to great lengths to prevent it. Player cheating falsely inflates their gamerscore and online statistics, which impacts the ability of the match finding scheme to appropriately match players of similar skill levels for online multiplayer.

Re:Bad console players! (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26092013)

Um, yeah. All well and good. Nixing cheating seems fine to me.

What I (and I presume the earlier poster) had a problem with was that rather than stating that the ability to cheat using the console was the problem (and hence fixing that), it seems that they found that access to the console in the first place was the problem.

Almost like having a room with a leaking roof and proclaiming the problem fixed once you put a big lock on the door. Well, sure, nobody's getting wet, but it just seems like it'd have been smarter to just fix the roof instead . . .

I hate consoles, and the article is wrong. (0, Troll)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088099)

Earlier this week, news surfaced that some savvy modders of Valve's Left 4 Dead were able to find a way to enable console commands (meant for the PC version) in the Xbox 360 version of the game.{{yea, why no? console commands are fun. Are console commands disabled on the consoles? aaaarghh...}} This allowed players to increase the size of their character models to ridiculous proportions{{WRONG, the player is on a unreal-style "roomsky". is like a skybox made of a real room somewhere on the map}} , spawn unlimited weapons for themselves (or unlimited enemies for other, unsuspecting players), and go around the map deleting objects as they saw fit {{cool!}}. A video posted on YouTube showed how to enable the commands. Valve reacted swiftly to the issues, releasing a patch to disable access to the commands a few days later.{{WHY?.. its like the "forge" that Halo have. Or whatever other tool to change the gameplay of YOUR server. More locked down, hum??.. no nice to play on consoles!!}}

Re:I hate consoles, and the article is wrong. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088135)

English motherfucker, do you speak it?

Re:I hate consoles, and the article is wrong. (1, Informative)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088913)

Post to cancel mod.

Re:I hate consoles, and the article is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088341)

-Woof woof woof!

Sadly, that's the only part of your post I could read. The preview button is quite handy, don't you agree?

well..... (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088115)

if the xbox players where "accessing" the console, does this mean they all voided their's warrenties and got banned from live! ? =)

What about Castle Crashers? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088127)

Valve patched this problem within a few days? How did they do that?

Players have been waiting for a patch for Castle Crashers for ages now. (The game is plagued by bugs that result in connection loss and even savegame deletion.) According to the developers, the patch has been done for a while, but the slow Microsoft approval process hasn't allowed it to get released yet.

What's going on here?

Re:What about Castle Crashers? (1)

FlyveHest (105693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088469)

Yes, makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Kotaku have run a story on how long Sony and MS respetively took approving an update, and average was about a week. (Which was probably rushed with this, as I think they consider L4D quite a premium title at this time)

So, my guess is that The Behemoth simply can't fix the bugs, and are using MS as an excuse.

And yes, I an not very pleased with the very long time this has taken.

As soon as I read that, I put Castle Crashers on the shelf, because I didn't want to risk savegame corruption and the like, and I must admit that I have more or less lost interest in the game by now :(

Re:What about Castle Crashers? (1)

azuredrake (1069906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089753)

If Castle Crashers is trying to patch anything else besides these bugs, they may be trying to roll those all into one. Also, the approval process for XBLA games might be slower - since they're lower demand/lower userbase.

The way xbox patches work in general is that the developer only gets one patch for free. After the first patch, you have to pay MS a fee if you want to patch the game again, as a disincentive to release sloppily coded games on consoles. Thus, Castle Crashers' producers may have decided to wait and use their one free patch when they have substantive content to update as well as the bug fix, whereas valve probably figured this issue was glaring enough that it needed to be fixed right away.

The article is WRONG, no gigant, but a 3D skybox. (5, Interesting)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088189)

Half-Life engine uses a tecnique to have "3D skybox" using a special room where stuff displayed here show in the sky, so anything there looks gigantic.

Tutorial here:
http://www.moddb.com/games/half-life-2/tutorials/3d-skybox-tutorial [moddb.com]

Re:The article is WRONG, no gigant, but a 3D skybo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088271)

Console players are dumb. You should know this.

Re:The article is WRONG, no gigant, but a 3D skybo (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091289)

FYI - We're running on the Source Engine. The 3D skybox isn't really a room... it's just a hollow box covered in Skybox texture that's anywhere in the map outside of the bounds of the regular map area accessible by the players. Everything in the skybox is 1/16th scale to make it cheaper to render. The source engine scales everything up 16 times when it renders it as the Skybox. This is all from memory so I may be off on something slightly... I was going to link to the Wiki but it's down for some reason.

Valve are NOT quick at releasing patches for bugs (2, Insightful)

PincusJr (1310977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088255)

G'day, I'd like to point out that Valve isn't usually this quick. Take for example Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, the multiplayer component for the famous single player game. http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=248425 [steampowered.com] http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=76660 [halflife2.net] These two links list quite a few bugs. There hasn't be a decent update for HL2: DM in about 2 fucking years.

Re:Valve are NOT quick at releasing patches for bu (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088617)

Maybe because hardly anybody plays HL2:DM?

Re:Valve are NOT quick at releasing patches for bu (1)

PincusJr (1310977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089587)

Just because it doesn't have 10 billion players, like Counter-Strike doesn't mean nobody plays it. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ [steampowered.com] then click "View Steam players per game". As you can see, it is 9th on the list. It's definitely not unpopular! There was only a bug-fixing update a few weeks before the Verizon US$100 000 duel tourney. Valve have basically Left HL2: DM 4 Dead.

Does CCP hate their players? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088319)

Anyone know? Sometimes, especially reading stuff like this, it seems that EVE developers are specifically out to abuse their playerbase. I can't think of any other company that would match CCP's behavior. Sure, there are occasionally other clueless, incompetent, out of touch, marketing-droid driven game developers. But CCP sometimes seems to be actively hostile to their own players, standing head and shoulders above everyone else.

I understand... (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088371)

...patching the L4D issues on the online servers, but why must they do the same for user hosted servers or with system link?

Re:I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088575)

I never understood why people expect console access in first person shooters. No other genre (except maybe RTS) offers this by default, but somehow shooter games are expected to provide you with access to a console so you can use cheats (or modify the game, if you prefer that term). This seems like an extraordinarily bad idea for online multiplayer games, since it provides players with tools to cheat and thus ruin the game for everyone else.

The console's original intent was always debugging. Players of the final product shouldn't need, or even want, it.

Re:I understand... (2, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088707)

It's actually quite useful to see certain things that you normally can't see. A lot of times you can't see your choke, ping, FPS, movement speed, etc... Just the diagnostic information alone is nice. If I'm lagging really bad, I'd like to try and figure out why, not blame just outright blame it on the server.

Re:I understand... (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090929)

Not only that but it allows other third-party developers (modders, mappers, etc) to actually test and debug their work. You can make a map without the console... but it's going to suck. No cubemaps and no way to tell where you need to optimize your map.

I don't think I've ever bothered to use the console for "cheats" but I've used it countless times while mapping. Of course, I also use it in CS and other games to see my damage stats. Hitting "~" as soon as I die is habit.

Re:I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089319)

In L4D I have to disagree. You can setup a modified server where the zombies shamble toward you (instead of running), then set the director to send endless amounts of zombies at you, and finally make it where head shots are the only practical way to kill them. I run a server for friends and we love the feel of slow but never ending zombies. It is quite hard all the same, even without running zombies.

Or, in other words, allowing access to the console gives a good game some variation which adds to its overall longevity.

Re:I understand... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091853)

The game is designed to flow a certain way, and with certain things being changed, game balance is broken. The console is already a locked down environment, and one of the advantages of that is that every can play the game as it should be played as far as this is concerned.

Trust me, it sucks to be playing Versus mode when some asshat decides to force the infected to spawn far away from the survivors. It's easy mode for the survivors (they already have the advantage with the health) and hell for the infected. The game just isn't meant to be played that way and it isn't any fun.

ISK value and the creation of ISK (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088505)

As you can buy in game time for $35 and resell it for ISK at around the 450 million mark, I believe this is what the poster was referring to; this is actually a legitimate transaction and is supported by CCP (this is nice because it sets a cap on the price that gold/isk sellers can charge out of game and allowing indirect regulation). This exploit didn't allow the creation of ISK, just the creation of high end materials for module and ship production. While those sell for a lot of ISK, it is only other players that buy it so the net player isk production wasn't effected.

Bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088523)

Why is this a bug? This is possible on the PC version but the server has to have sv_cheats enabled explicity... do XBox servers all have sv_cheats enabled or is this deemed a bug becasue all servers on the xbox are hosted by players which could potentially enable/disable the cheats to their advantage? (again the PC players could do this but sv_cheats change notifications are replicated to all clients via a text alert so you could just leave a cheat server).

Re:Bug? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088677)

Why is this a bug?
Because it's not intended behaviour

do XBox servers all have sv_cheats enabled

No, see above.

or is this deemed a bug becasue all servers on the xbox are hosted by players which could potentially enable/disable the cheats to their advantage?

No, they're dedicated servers, as the article stated.

Pathetic (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088585)

As someone who played Half-Life and particularly Team Fortress Classic for numerous years and clans at a fairly advanced level (not to mention all the Quakes, Unreal Tourney, etc. etc.) this whole story is a gigantic WTF for me.

The ranting and frothing of the various console owners who, quite simply don't have a clue - or appreciate - what the in-game console is or does is stunning. I suppose it's kinda to be expected from not really having a keyboard to access this stuff but the responses from the vast majority are shocking (see the kotaku article on this:
http://kotaku.com/5106048/left-4-dead-xbox-360-hacks-to-ruin-everything [kotaku.com] ).

First off these aren't hacks or exploits in the traditional sense and generally can't be run unless the server owner has set their server to cheat mode on (console command: sv_cheats 1). The reporting of this isn't crystal clear in the Half-Life engine and can catch people unawares, but only the server host/admin can adjust it. I suppose this wasn't such a big deal back in the day when a 'server' was usually dedicated as opposed to the way it runs on todays consoles (the host player runs the server and plays in it at the same time). At any rate, I imagine that even on the Xbox only the host player can run these commands (or anyone with remote server admin logon). It's not like JoeySmacktard can join your game and use these commands without you going out your way to allow him to do so.

Secondly, this kind of tweaking is absolutely HILARIOUS (at least amongst consenting adults ;) ). I've some fond memories of many games and mods run on my LAN with friends running around maps in low gravity, movement speed set to several hundred miles per hour or friction set to be negative, throwing everyone all over the place. If valve truly has nuked these commands for good on xbox then I can only say it is a sad day for console owners of the game. It's a co-op game for god's sake, you're probably playing with good friends and once you've worked your way through the standard game such 'tweaks' really give it a new lease of life.

If these commands were left in without sv_cheats being the toggle and usable by anyone on the server - I will humbly stand corrected. But frankly I doubt it. Glad I'll be getting the PC version so that this sort of stuff is left optional to me - as it should be.

Re:Pathetic (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091067)

I'm sure the problem is that 90% of the people on consoles aren't computer savvy enough to get that. In my opinion if you have a PC and a console, you're going to get the PC version just because the mouse is so much better for gaming. So the sorts of people on the console or that prefer it won't necessarily be the sorts that "get" what's going on. Particularly if the person "cheating" is just using it to send endless hoards in versus while they're infected and then they turn it off when they're survivor. In my example if someone doesn't know the people he's playing with it just looks like the other team is hacking to send endless zombies at you.

If the console works the same as the PC there's no way to choose between dedicated games and locally hosted games... so you have no way (aside from joining friends) of controlling whether you join a game that allows "cheats" or not. I think this is something valve needs to fix on both platforms. It's pretty easy to host a game locally and then jack around with the people that join your game without them realizing it.

Re:Pathetic (4, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091665)

The problem with server-side variables in L4D is that with matchmaking you have no way of knowing if you're connecting to a vanilla server or some 4chan hellhole. Of course allowing the user to filter out servers that allow cheats should be trivial, but as it is the matchmaking system doesn't let you do that.

Culture of Complacency (2, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088685)

I've said it once [slashdot.org] and I'll say it again. PC game developers are complacent about quality. Too complacent. There is in fact a culture of complacency among PC developers. Console developers by contrast, owing to many years of zero patch capability after release, have much, much higher standards and bugs, major and minor are not tolerated to anywhere near the same extent as they are in PC titles.

This problem has not gone away and is only becoming more evident as PC developers attempt to port or move into console development. Almost universally, they run into serious quality issues, allowing bugs, glitches and crashes to occur far, far more frequently that any console player is used to dealing with.

In 1995, I spent over four hours trying to get Discworld to run with sound on my PC. Last month, my brother spent over six hours trying to get Fallout 3 to even play on his PC. In 1995, every single game on the SNES, Mega Drive, and nascent Playstation ran flawlessly from the moment it was turned on. Today, that is still the case with consoles.

PC gamers can say what they like about games on consoles and the people who play them. But one thing they cannot deny is just how solid and reliable console games have been, and continue to be. You put in the cartridge/disc, and the game "Just Works(TM)" from day one. No patches, no bugs, no crashes. This is a standard which PC developers should obviously be reaching from, yet in over a decade, by objective measures, they have not made one lick of progress in this direction.

This complacency is what will spell the end of PC gaming if developers do not get their acts together. People are not going to spend four hours downloading and installing patches for games that refuse to work out of the box when consoles begin to offer those same titles, with the same specs and control schemes. People are not going to keep buying $200 upgrades just to turn something on anymore, when custom hardware consoles offer long term(5+ years) powerful capabilities in just one purchase. People are not going to put up with imbalanced, glitchy or hacked PC games for months in online play, when console developers aggressively pounce on issues and issue automatic mandatory patches within days (Many developers already do this in Xbox360(see article) and PS3 titles).

In short, the culture of quality in console gaming that the PC gaming industry needs to swiftly adopt.

Re:Culture of Complacency (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088771)

Poor comparison.

There is 1 hardware configuration for a Nintendo. The developer develops to it and it is done.

There are probably a billion hardware configurations for a PC. Impossible to test everything.

Re:Culture of Complacency (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088911)

But there's one software developer for the platform.

There are a dozen or so MSX configurations and, granted compatible, on all of them, I can slap metal gear or gradius into it and play

There were half a dozen or so CD-i consoles. They "Just Worked" all the same.

This isn't the only case. The FM Towns platform back in the late 80s and early 90s were another example. They even ran on the x86 platform!

Why are gamers putting up with this bullshit? Windows SUCKS for this reason. There's no reason to accept broken, buggy, and incompetent drivers running on a broken driver model running on a buggy, broken and idiot built kernel.

Re:Culture of Complacency (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088957)

Ah, I had the same Discworld sound problem. I'm glad I wasn't the only person who was screwed over by that. As far as console games go, I think you will see more and more bugs going out as consoles are afforded the luxuries of PCs (Hard Disks and Internet connections). How many PS3 games have you put into your system that didn't require an immediate update from the web? Heck, half the time I have to update the PS3 itself to a newer firmware to even play the game. I've seen a lot of bugs in console games. KoTOR 1 and 2 were horrid, horrid, horrid for bugs. KoTOR 2 crashed on me 5 times in the first hour of gameplay. Of course after I copied the game to my XBox HD, the bugs disappeared. It really makes me think the developers were testing on modded XBoxs. :-)

Re:Culture of Complacency (2, Insightful)

zysus (123604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089141)

You are missing a key point here, something that embedded developers understand. It is much easier to support software on 1 platform, where you have complete control. (Such as a console)
On a PC you have thousands of hardware and driver configurations, other conflicting pieces of software that you may or may not know about, library versions. All kinds of unknowns. It is a whole different beast.

Not entirely true... (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089145)

In terms of complaints about getting a game to run 'at all' or 'with sound at all', that comes down to hardware complexity. No development company will have this sort of glaring omission on any sane console platform, due to the consistency of hardware in the field. You'll note also that PC developers have tweak-able settings for resolution, geometric complexity, etc etc, because they don't know what hardware they are going to run into. It's just that simple. Richer APIs have helped abstract the differences better, but they are still there.

I think the console development issues can be more attributed to the complexity of the platform. Frankly, I don't remember having to acquire many patches before the latter half of the 90s for PC games. Some of the fancier DOS games had issues, but a lot of the DOS games simply didn't have a lot to worry about.

Another complicating factor is the aspect of multi-player games. The mentioned bugs, for example, would not even be worth a patch if it were not a multi-player game. The multi-player aspect requires all bugs that must intentionally be triggered that can provide unfair advantage to be patched. You can find scores of bugs that were exploits in Console history. Final Fantasy 7 W-ITEM underflow bug and Wild Arms Item underflow bug come to mind off the top of my head, The vast majority of patches for modern games have fallen under this category, fixing exploits and fine-tuning balance. This goes for both PC and Console games. Take a look at a single player game and a multiplayer game in the current generation and you'll be hard pressed to find a multi-player game without patches, yet single-player games exist commonly without patches. Before the current generation, internet multi-player gaming on consoles hadn't gotten off the ground, so it wasn't as much a concern, while internet PC multi-player has been common over the last 6-8 years.

And finally, I have seen on occasion games lock up or just glitch in the console world too. Some games released multiple versions of ROM cartridges, and a publisher, if bothered, would exchange an older, buggy one for the new version. It was rarely worth anyone's time to do so, but they still had glitches that slipped past QA. Generally you could avoid them, but still.

Re:Not entirely true... (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091029)

Frankly, I don't remember having to acquire many patches before the latter half of the 90s for PC games.

There wasn't really a good way to distribute patches prior to the late 90s. When Microsoft was forced to change the disk compression program in MS-DOS 6 due to a lawsuit, it actually had to mail floppies to everyone. It wasn't until widespread adoption of the internet that people could reasonably be expected to play a version of the game different from what came in the box.

Re:Culture of Complacency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089299)

hahahaha

merc2
gtaIV
blacksite area 51

as a 360 owner since release, your "consoles are high quality game environments" thing is wrong on a lot of levels but as an AC no one's gonna read this anyway.

so fuck it.

Re:Culture of Complacency (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089503)

This is the dumbest thing I have ever read.

It just shows you have no idea about game development.

I Can Tell You're Not A Developer (2, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089513)

The decision to release buggy software often does not lie in the hands of the developer, but the business paying the developer. In many cases, bugs and vulnerabilities are well known, but a business decision is made to release anyway.

Re:Culture of Complacency (2, Insightful)

mrgreenfur (685860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090437)

Good points. But this won't last for long as games get more complex and consoles get internet enabled for post-release patching.

Not a bug. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090877)

This is not a bug. Is a feature that all quake engines, a console to adjust some gameplay and functioning settings for the server.

Valve is removing this to make these people that cry "hack hack hack" happy, but this is like removing cmd.exe from windows because some people are scared at black windows with white text.

Re:Culture of Complacency (2, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091953)

Today, that is still the case with consoles.

That is not true. Console games are having these issues now too. Fable II, Fallout 3, GTAIV, and the list goes on.

ISK? (3, Funny)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088839)

Eve Online's currency is Icelandic Kronur [wikipedia.org] ? No wonder they're in trouble!

Re:ISK? (1)

Quince alPillan (677281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089257)

Interstellar Kredit is what the original abreviation was for, but seeing as CCP, the company that makes EVE Online is from Iceland [ccpgames.com] I would say yes.

Re:ISK? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26092169)

One (in-game) isk is still worth more than a Zimbabwe dollar. Food for thought (Perhaps Zimbabweans should play EvE for a living instead...)

TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088855)

apparently responsible for the fraudulent creation of trillions of ISK

No, that's not it at all. I'm not sure how TFS ended up at that conclusion

The bug was a manufacturing bug, similar in some respects to an item duping bug. Certain types of production in EVE are multi-step processes where materials get made in to other materials before everything finally is made in to a finished good*. Players could build certain mid-process manufacturing materials (we'll call the fake materials [stuff]) without needing the materials/inputs normally required to build said [stuff]. This resulted in a lot of [stuff] being made out of nothing that was then used to build finished products. No ISK was ever created since this exploit created [stuff], not ISK. The exploiters could sell their fake [stuff] to other players for ISK, but there was never any more ISK in the game because of it.

Ironically this was better for the vast majority of players who were not in to manufacturing, since the deflation that results from the excess [stuff] meant they could get many finished goods for cheaper than what they should actually be at. The flip side is that correcting this means that prices on the deflated goods are about to shoot up like a rocket, in other words the game is about to hit a period of rapid inflation as the market corrects for the lack of further fake [stuff].

*Specifically, it was an exploit involving Tech 2 manufacturing. The production chain looks like this, and things that could be fraudulently made are tagged with [stuff]: Raw Materials -> Basic Materials [stuff] -> Advanced Materials [stuff] -> Components -> Finished Goods

Re:TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (1)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088993)

The 4 years bit is also speculation and hasn't been confirmed by any proof.

Re:TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089055)

proof HAS been shown by links to old forum posts that sometime in 2005 a petition was made by an evoke alliance member, so at the very least it has been 2 1/2 years since CCP knew about this.

the lower t2 prices aside, the implications are staggering. entire alliance cap fleets may have been built on this bug, changing the sociopolitical climate of eve for years.

cheaters suck, heads should roll

Re:TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (1)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089077)

That was about a different exploit. One does not "suffer" from free items and get "frustrated" when it continues.

Re:TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (1)

Tryle (1159503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089681)

Being able to control the amount of final product in an economy directly translates into money. The fact that you can create the final product faster, cheaper, and in more quantity allows you to directly affect the market value of the final product and any other items that require the final product to be manufactured. If you control the market on a certain item, you can set the price. Even people who were making the final product legitimately were probably being bought out immediately so that the main suppliers remained dominant in that aspect of the market. So yeah, it may not be directly printing money, but just as good.

Re:TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091131)

I don't play EVE, but it sounds like if one could make an infinite amount of item x then if I wanted fast cash it'll be faster to just sell the items to a NPC, which would create ISK.

Re:TFS Is Wrong About the EVE Exploit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26091395)

Not all NPC's buy all items - and NPC buys of the higher end items are pretty much non-existent.

By 'higher end', I mean Tech 2 items or better, or the equivalent in what components are used to create t2 items.

The name of the guilty was leaked on kugutsumen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088943)

I don't why they point to SHC.. which is just noise and no content. Kugutsumen is the place to go for EVE scandals. It's the only place CCP hasn't managed to censor.

EV0KE DIR: "Today I become freed from my chains in EVE"

http://www.kugutsumen.com/showthread.php?t=3428

On this Eve bash (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089437)

I play the game, Eve and there's a bunch of hate going on for the developers, CCP as a result of this bug. I think the bashing of CCP is excessive, but it's worth considering why it might have happened.

First, much has been made of the claim that CCP "knew" about the exploit. Why has this assertion been made? Because the exploit in question was "petitioned", that is, someone complained about the exploit to an ingame admin some time four years ago. I gather this was reported multiple times in the same way though it's hard to figure out who's telling the truth. But what is the petition proces for? Resolving an ingame problem with a user. If the user is ok with the outcome ("I have free stuff!") and isn't currently cheating, then I gather the petition is closed. So one possibility for the failure is simply that the exploit never got reported as a bug either by players or by the admins handling the problems. I wouldn't be surprised, if the admins never bothered either because it wasn't their job (since the bug wasn't resulting in actions that required immediate admin correction) or because that part of the game was notoriously buggy.

Now as I understand it, the bug is as follows. There is something called a "player owned station" or "POS". You start by anchoring something called a control tower which for our purposes can only be anchored in a fixed number of spots, one per "moon" in the game (my SWAG is hundred thousand locations). Near that tower, you can anchor other POS structures. Some are for defense. One is to extract a resource "moon minerals". You can attach factories, drug labs, asteroid ore refineries. The most important structures are (chemical) reactors. You store various moon mineral resources and reactor products in "silos". The reactors take input products from some silos and dump the output in other silos. Think of it like a flow chart made of industrial widgets. There are two layers of reactions known as "simple" and "complex". Every moon mineral (of which there are maybe 15-20 types) goes through a simple reaction (where it is combined with another moon mineral) and then a complex reaction (where the resulting simple reaction product is combined with 1-3 other simple reaction products).

Economically, most of the value coming out of reactions comes out of the second layer of reactions. The reactors for complex reactions are bigger and most POS can only handle one such reactor. That often means that a chain of reactions can spread over half a dozen reactors or more. The really efficient corporations (Eve equivalent of guilds) can run dozens of these things to generate all the reaction products that the Eve markets consume. That's if you do it the fair way.

Eve like many such games has a one hour downtime. Some enterprising players apparently discovered that one can manipulate a single reactor so that over downtime it fills the output silo with the desired reaction product even though no input material was used. Normally it takes a week or longer in real time to fill that silo and you need to fill the input silos with the appropriate materials. The complex reactions, being the more valuable ones and the final product of POS reactions (which would immediately be bought by manufacturers), were the ones that were exploited. Certain moon minerals were far more scarce than others. In fact, it was to the point that a lot of the game activity centered on controling sources of those moon minerals. This was all bypassed by creating the complex reaction products that had the valuable moon minerals in them.

For your edification, here's a screenshot [scrapheap-challenge.com] halfway down the page showing a control tower (the big vertical thing), a bunch of silos (9 of them present along with a "coupling silo" which looks identical, meant to buffer the flow of output product), and two reactors (on the far left), one complex and one simple. "Online" means it is active and able to do something. "Anchored" means it is fixed in place, but turned off. My guess is that the pile of silos was there so that one person could come by in a small ship, turn off the full silo and replace it with an empty silo. Later when all the silos present were full, someone could come by and empty them into a huge ship and haul it away. The righthand side is part of the flow chart system that you use to direct reactor processing.

What is astonishing is that for years, this was going on, but production of complex reactions through the exploit never grew enough that anyone (outside of the cheaters) noticed. Even now, nobody outside of CCP knows the real scale of the cheating. I might add that I consider the Slashdot story extremely disingenous because this Eve bug was not easy to spot. But it is compared to a bug that is easy to spot (come on, spawning unlimited weapons in a few person game? Obvious cheat!).

This brings me to the second possible failure mode. Suppose this bug proved to be very difficult to fix. A stopgap measure would be to log POS activities and report cases of use of the exploit to the game admins for disciplinary action. In fact, if you did that, it'd be almost as good as actually fixing the bug. Almost. My suspicion is that this is the likely source of the failure. In my scenario, someone had done this and due to limited developer resources, it was considered more or less "case closed". Some time later, this auditing code was broken. So now, you would have developers who thought they had the exploit fully monitored and the reality where it wasn't. Yet because of the hidden nature of the cheat, no one would notice that things weren't working right until someone complained about the cheating itself rather than just the bug.

In any case, I think it's foolish to think that CCP merely thought, "Hey, it doesn't matter if a zillion people are cheating with this as long as nobody whines about it." Whoever on the CCP side knew about it probably thought it wasn't that big a deal and that no cheating was going on. But I get the feeling both from reading the Slashdot story and from Eve forums that some people expect CCP to automatically know exactly what goes on in a game with hundreds of thousands of players and immediately shut down exploits.

Re:On this Eve bash (1)

KagatoLNX (141673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089727)

I think the downtime aspect was the key.

When you petition in EVE, normally a GM shows up and they can use the game's audit trails to find the smoking gun. If it's a bug, it gets pretty obvious.

The auditing infrastructure is built around the realtime game. During "downtime" it's all batch processing, and I would be willing to bet that it either generates tons of useless audit logs with cryptic descriptions (which EVE is kind of famous for). Worse, it may be that it generates none at all!

Since there was really no way a GM could observe the bug, and the audit information that might have found it was nonexistent or buried in tons of useless information, CCP was really ill-prepared to deal with the problem. They just had no way to catch it at a low-level to get it escalated to the programmers--who presumably have to tear through the batch-processing code to find the actual bug.

I am an industrialist in EVE, and I can imagine that this would have been an limitless source of ISK for the cheater.

Re:On this Eve bash (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089879)

I just realized something. I gave enough info in my previous post to link me to my primary character in Eve. You just need to be an adequate data miner to find it. Hi data miner!

Moving on, you have a good take on it. It's remarkable that the exploit stayed hidden for so long. Honestly, I thought such things would crash the market hard. So I'd have to disagree on the "limitless source". Something kept t2 gear from becoming dirt cheap. I'm guessing that the knowledge wasn't that widespread. Maybe the cheaters had some sort of agreement or collective strategy as well.

Re:On this Eve bash (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091753)

"Something kept t2 gear from becoming dirt cheap."

The limiting factor on T2 gear prices quickly became the values of datacores required for invention. Even if the production materials were 100% free, T2 items would have been expensive due to the value of blueprints per production run.

Re:On this Eve bash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090201)

You do realize that in this screenshot has a number of flaws, such as mismatched "online/offline" tags and other items? Why keep the ingredients to keep the reaction running there once the process has started and you can turn it off and it keeps running due to the bug? It seems like 1/2 a second of though could've given a clear indication of cheating instead of the muddled mess that is displayed.

The whole four year thing is also speculation by anonymous posters, while there are quite a few players that have posted checkable facts regarding market activity that makes it seem like only matter of a week or whenever alchemy went in.

Re:On this Eve bash (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090751)

You do realize that in this screenshot has a number of flaws, such as mismatched "online/offline" tags and other items? Why keep the ingredients to keep the reaction running there once the process has started and you can turn it off and it keeps running due to the bug? It seems like 1/2 a second of though could've given a clear indication of cheating instead of the muddled mess that is displayed.

I don't know that this image has flaws or not. First, no clue what the date of the image is, but supposedly this guy was banned so he probably wouldn't have a chance to take a nicer image. Second, the tags don't look mismatched to me for what that's worth. Third, keep the ingredients in there to save time (more important at the time than taking a nice picture). I bet these guys cycled through a ton of POS. They probably needed some materials in the input silos just to get the reactor to start (instead of generating an error). Maybe they even needed to seed the reactor with one hour of material. Might as well leave it in the silo either way.

Re:On this Eve bash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26091599)

All POS componants show(ed? did imageshack get slashdotted?) "online" in the graphical overview and in the status indicators in the status view pane on the right. Some silos show "put online" and "put offline" buttons in that same status view pane.

Which is right? These details should be obvious if you're actually interested in determining if the screencap is genuine.

Sure, these aberrations could be part of the bug - but I'd guess photoshopping is a much more likely scenario.

Also sure, the guy got banned - but since he/she was there in a ship anyway when the pic was taken - why not take two seconds to dump the ingredients into the ship cargohold or even dump 'em into a jetcan just so it's obvious that they're not being actively used to fuel the reaction?

If you're trying to actively show an exploit - two seconds of thought using two brain cells would've resulted in a better screen cap.

Your numbers are broken - Legal RMT is cheaper (1)

harl (84412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090911)

Your illegitimate isk sales numbers are nonsensical. The legal means of buying isk is cheaper. Why would you pay $35 for 450m and risk getting banned when you can pay $35 for 600m [eve-online.com] and _zero_ risk of a ban?

models couldn't be resized (1)

amurenbeeld (993817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26091741)

models couldn't be resized. They were in the skyboxes, using noclip
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