Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dungeons & Dragons Online Goes Free-To-Play

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the level-up-for-3d20-cents dept.

Role Playing (Games) 178

Dungeons & Dragons Online developer Turbine has announced that they'll be launching a new version of the game, called Eberron Unlimited, which makes it free to play, with the option of using micro-transactions to buy certain items and customize characters. Players will also be able to earn points through normal play that they can spend in the DDO Store. There's an additional option to pay a normal subscription fee for priority access to servers, a monthly allotment of points for the store, and extra character slots. Further details and a sign-up for the beta are available at the game's website.

cancel ×

178 comments

First play! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277513)

+5 Insightful ... ?

They let anyone on these days... (2, Insightful)

Blue23 (197186) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277533)

When people can play for free, there's little incentive not to be a griefer or otherwise annoying if that's what you like. Create a new anonymous account and spam Chuck Norris jokes, steal kills, etc.

Having just pay-for-play sets a threshold. You'll still have annoying players, but not as many. I'd want a "Play at +1, ignore Anonymous Cowards" option for the "VIP" (for-pay) accounts.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (4, Interesting)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277607)

Having just pay-for-play sets a threshold. You'll still have annoying players, but not as many. I'd want a "Play at +1, ignore Anonymous Cowards" option for the "VIP" (for-pay) accounts.

I'm a dick to people in WoW only because it's the last fun thing to do. Raiding? PVP? I'd rather just grief. Even with pay-to-play, you spend your $15 a month to play how you want, I spend mine to camp people, troll the realm forums, and do old content with friends.

I, of course, do not ninja loot like some people or interfere with a guilds progression. That's where I draw the line.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277785)

I think you're being honest, which means this isn't a troll *comment*. /Dot really needs a lateral 0-point Scary mod.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278123)

Why? There's absolutely nothing wrong with what he does. Death in wow has zero penalties, and it's absolutely within the game mechanics to grief people like he does. Maybe you need a -1 reality check (aka overrated) mod?

Eve allows tons of griefing, as does darkfall, as does any game with PVP, especially if you're on a PVP server. The victims that are bad players always cry out like no other, which feeds and entertains those who choose to grief. If you choose to carebear all day then do so, that's your $15.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278273)

Why? There's absolutely nothing wrong with what he does. Death in wow has zero penalties, and it's absolutely within the game mechanics to grief people like he does.

Wedgies in high school had zero penalties. Why don't you pay me $15 a month and I'll come over and give you one for old times sake.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278327)

Wedgies in high school had zero penalties. Why don't you pay me $15 a month and I'll come over and give you one for old times sake.

It actually did. The person doing it would get in trouble with the school. You're comparing apples to oranges, sir.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279743)

Wedgies in high school had zero penalties. Why don't you pay me $15 a month and I'll come over and give you one for old times sake. It actually did. The person doing it would get in trouble with the school. You're comparing apples to oranges, sir.

Way to miss the bloody point... Deliverer of Wedgie is to WoW Killer as Recipient of Wedgie is to WoW Victim.

You didn't do very well on the standardized tests, did you?

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279769)

Way to miss the bloody point... Deliverer of Wedgie is to WoW Killer as Recipient of Wedgie is to WoW Victim.

You didn't do very well on the standardized tests, did you?

I think you're missing my point. You can't escape a wedgie, but you can turn off the game and do something productive if someone is ganking on in WoW.

How were your reading comprehension scores?

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280377)

Yes, because having someone inflict physical pain and/or discomfort on you is exactly the same thing as not being able to do what you want in a video game this very second.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (3, Insightful)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278529)

Death in wow has zero penalties...

There's no penalty only if your time is worthless. Say you were on your way somewhere and then BAM you're a ghost 10 minutes from your corpse. Run back to your corpse and BAM you're a ghost for 10 more minutes. You get the idea.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278619)

If a another player can attack you in the wild then you have either engaged yourself in PvP recently, or willingly rolled on a PvP server. In either event it was a choice on gameplay style that you made. Personally, I LOATHE corpse runs like you mention because I have limited time and don't want to spend time in the ghost world due to griefers. And that's why I rolled on a *PvE* server and don't throw pot shots and flagged players. Problem solved.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278927)

Personally, I LOATHE corpse runs like you mention

If the one being camped (for more than a few kills), this is the time that you contact your fellow guild mates and reverse the camping situation.

If the one camping, this is the time you think "have they called in reinforcements yet?" or "can I kill them one more time?"

As you said further on in your comment, a PvE server offers a place to play where you don't have to participate in PvP activities. Blizzard offers an environment for different play styles. Now if I could only get some of my guild mates to stop whining about how is so over powered compared to .

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279421)

Personally, I LOATHE corpse runs like you mention

If the one being camped (for more than a few kills), this is the time that you contact your fellow guild mates and reverse the camping situation.

Or you just turn off the game and go do something else. That usually is what I do.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280465)

I prefer to not turn the game on in the first place.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280093)

If the one being camped (for more than a few kills), this is the time that you contact your fellow guild mates and reverse the camping situation.

Not all WoW players join guilds.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280583)

Not all WoW players join guilds

True. Hadn't thought about that option. I have seen plenty of "general" chat though from people requesting help with some <faction> players camping them. As long as I'm not too busy, I tend to lend a hand

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279977)

Being on a PVP server does not excuse camping. Sure he is fair game, but campier should be banned because the remove others from being able to play at all.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278653)

Say you were on your way somewhere and then BAM you're a ghost 10 minutes from your corpse. Run back to your corpse and BAM you're a ghost for 10 more minutes. You get the idea.

All PVP in WoW is consensual. If this sort of thing bothers you, keep your flag turned off and don't roll a toon on a PVP server.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (4, Insightful)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279003)

Not picking on your post specifically, but it's interesting that within 10 minutes of my original post I got two responses telling me that if I don't enjoy WoW PvP I shouldn't roll on a PvP server. What's interesting is that I wasn't expressing an opinion on PvP, I was just stating that there is a penalty to it.

It's also an interesting response because it's the same knee-jerk defense of WoW PvP I've read in many other forums. If you don't like it, go away. If that's become such a quick response to anything that seems even remotely to be an attack on PvP, maybe that says something about how PvP is broken in WoW. Can you play on a PvP server without griefing or being griefed? What if all your friends are griefers and refuse to roll on anything but a PvP server? Is there any point to playing on a PvP server besides being able to one day grief others? Do people even distinguish between griefing and PvP anymore or is it basically, "You're on a PvP server. Expect PvP all day, every day. Oh and by the way PvP means that as you're out questing you'll encounter random groups of PvP equipped max level players who will kill you and camp your corpse."

And no, I don't play WoW so I don't need advice on what server to roll on. I'm just a bit disappointed in what PvP has come to be defined as. I tell my WoW playing friends that when I want to PvP I'll load up DoD:S or TF2. That's consensual PvP.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279187)

"You're on a PvP server. Expect PvP all day, every day. Oh and by the way PvP means that as you're out questing you'll encounter random groups of PvP equipped max level players who will kill you and camp your corpse."

Yes that is exactly how it is. If you didn't want to play where you were always in constant danger of being killed you shouldn't play on the server that is set up with exactly those dynamics.

PvPer's are quick to defend (4, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279783)

being an asshole to other players. Something about playing PvP seems to bring out the desire to be an anonymous fuckwad towards other people. Probably because there are no consequences, and partially because it grants the illusion of power to the PvPer, even if it is only the power to annoy.

Its a shame too, because I have enjoyed PvP in the past in games where at least some people had a sense of sportsmanship (early DAOC for instance), but that sort of player seems to have disappeared, buried in the mass of total asshats that the hobby throws up like so much putrid trash.

I no longer PvP in any game because I just don't want to be bothered spending my time associating with people whom if I met them in real life and they talked and acted the way they do to me in game, I most likely would kick them in the nuts repeatedly.

It is possible to PvP and not grief, it is possible to PvP and if you win, not Tbag or asshat your enemy, it is possible to lose without whining. If you join a PvP server you know you are facing the worst of online humanity, you can expect conduct that wouldn't be tolerated in grade school by people who don't seem to have passed grade school. At best they are a loathesome pile of shit, obscuring the few decent players I have met and in a lot of cases they aren't even very good.

I think the answer is to stop PvPing. Fuck those guys, if they can't play nice, don't play. Its a waste of time. I enjoy other aspects of games quite happily and always have. I just gave up on PvPing because the quality of people I had to associate with wasn't worth the bother. Plus the gameplay gets kind of stagnant eventually as well.

Queue the PvPers responding to diss me and call me a carebear etc.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279989)

"What if all your friends are griefers "

get new friends.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280247)

maybe that says something about how PvP is broken in WoW.

Umm, maybe you shouldn't form an opinion on WoW's PvP based on a couple of posts on an online forum. If you don't like non-consensual PvP, then there are servers designed just for you in WoW.

Yeah, you will get killed leveling on a PvP server. Is it a big deal? Never has been for me. I can see how it bothers some, but like I said, there are other options.

If all your friends are griefers, then I suggest you get better friends.

And it is kind of stupid for you to criticize a game you don't play. Also, it generally takes less than a minute to run back to your corpse so you are exaggerating in your example. It really isn't that big of a deal.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280327)

Also, it generally takes less than a minute to run back to your corpse so you are exaggerating in your example. It really isn't that big of a deal.

Blizzard added new graveyards recently. It's under a minute in most cases.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279961)

"You get the idea."

No, I dont think he does. I don't even think he is capable of understanding that idea.

I would add: (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279663)

you cannot be really griefed on most WOW server, as you have to MAKE yourself pvp enabled to be griefed. The rest of the idiot you can just add to your ignore list. You cannot be ganked as a player if you have not made yourself pvp in wow and the server setting are normal.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279945)

"Death in wow has zero penalties, "

False. It cost time and money and frustrates the user.

Camping people is rude and bad form in every game.
Trolling forums is also bad form.

That person is a rude SOB and should be kick in the nuts.
Twice.

There is a difference between PVP and camping, and saying 'the game allows is' it very disingenuous. Especially when the creators of the game would like it stopped.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280365)

"Death in wow has zero penalties, "

False. It cost time and money and frustrates the user.

False. No repairs are required from being ganked by another player.

And you're costing yourself time playing a game in the first place. Maybe you'd be better off playing Oblivion where nobody can hurt you.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280037)

There's no penalty to the character inside the game. There's a penalty to the person controlling that character in the real world (You've made them waste time waiting to respawn if nothing else, haven't you? You've made them devote time to a fight they consider pointless, rather than getting on with a mission that they don't feel is a waste of time. You've made them play your game, instead of the one they came to play. Often they lose any progress developing their character for the session, which I for one would find frustrating, especially if someone I didn't know seemed to have just singled me out personally for repeat treatments). So you're the one talking like the little pixel guy in the box is more important than the real person, and saying somebody else needs a reality check. That's a trifle scary all right. Some people take that attitude really far, and it's called being a sociopath. I'm NOT saying you're clinical just because you seem to be having a little trouble seeing beyond the WoW character to the person controlling it. You may really feel the game is a special situation. But, it looks to me like you are having some trouble imagining what the persons on the other ends of those characters may be feeling.
      Look, it's absolutely within the 'game mechanics' of Slashdot for me to really give you a hard time. I could have played amateur shrink and simply claimed you were seriously mental, and if I put that claim somewhere after the first few sentences I wrote, some people would have bought the logic. I could probably blow your remarks up into a huge deal, imply that you are one of those 'terrible' people Dr. Phil goes after for low empathy and maybe end up getting modded up by enough people to call it a win. But, the truth would suffer. You sound like a bit of a jerk, but that doesn't make you mentally ill, and the fact that local 'game mechanics' might let me get away with picking on you doesn't justify me doing it. Sometimes the right thing to do is to live up to a personal standard, whether the external rules enforce that standard or not.
      The language you use is part of the problem - you can call it 'griefing', and claim that it's the 'bad players' who complain about it, and use a term such as 'carebear' to describe the people who don't do it your way, but having a bunch of special slang to justify your position is common when putting it into normal English makes you look bad. It looks to me like you are deliberately trying to avoid thinking about your behavior in ways that might make you maybe regret it and maybe change.
 

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280147)

In Eve griefing is actually encouraged.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277791)

I'm a dick to people in WoW only because it's the last fun thing to do. ... I'd rather just grief. ... camp people, troll the realm forums

Your mom must be very proud.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278061)

Who do you think posts all those goatse links?

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278277)

Who do you think posts all those goatse links?

No, you see, that's how you get banned. The trick is to just troll and to slowly get close to the line of being suspended from the game or forums without crossing it.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28278589)

You think being a dick is fun? Wow, good luck with life son.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1, Flamebait)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279233)

I dunno, as an admitted griefer, you're still someone I'd hope that Blizzard bans from the game entirely.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279439)

I dunno, as an admitted griefer, you're still someone I'd hope that Blizzard bans from the game entirely.

And you're an example of why I keep doing it. Thanks for fueling my ambition.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (2)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280443)

I guess I don't understand why this would be fun for you. You are like a stalker. You follow around some poor girl who doesn't want you around her all for what? All you are doing is wasting your own time and making other people unhappy. It is fun for you. But what does that say about you? Were you abused as a child? Do you not have social skills and lack friends? I both think you are pathetic and feel sorry for you. You must have some real mental problems.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280595)

I guess I don't understand why this would be fun for you. You are like a stalker. You follow around some poor girl who doesn't want you around her all for what? All you are doing is wasting your own time and making other people unhappy. It is fun for you. But what does that say about you? Were you abused as a child? Do you not have social skills and lack friends? I both think you are pathetic and feel sorry for you. You must have some real mental problems.

I do it for fun because I'm a generally miserable person.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280035)

Come play EVE Online.

Griefing is a game feature!

Re:They let anyone on these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277651)

There's also no reason for the admins not to ban your ass for griefing. In WOW, Blizzard could really care less if people are griefing as long as they pay that $15 (or more, for multi accounts) every month.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277775)

What are you talking about? I've been playing Runes of Magic, which seems to me the same free-to-play but pay-for-extras model, for a month and none of the things you say happens, happens. All of my interactions with other players have been civil and mature. I've never played WoW so griefing may be common there but since it doesn't happen in Runes of Magic, a free game, your theory goes out the window.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Blue23 (197186) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278011)

How big is Runes of Magic? Sure, it's completely possible to have a civil player-base, but it's easier (and more likely) when it's a small devoted base as opposed to a large sprawling population of players.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278353)

Ha, I met way more griefers on WoW than I ever did on Guild Wars. And if you ever want to visit griefer central, try out EVE sometime (also with a monthly charge).

It all comes down to the maturity of the crowd, and immature teenagers and assholes don't have any problem affording $15 a month.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (4, Insightful)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278645)

And if you ever want to visit griefer central, try out EVE sometime (also with a monthly charge).

EVE is a game that revolves around griefing. Griefers camp strategic points in space. Anti-griefers hunt the griefers. Industrialists supply both sides with new ships and supplies. Occasionally there are large scale lagfests where groups of people destroy lots and lots of each other's ships to compete for griefing rights in a certain area of space.

The reason why this is so successful is because, as a post a few up from here notes, what is there left to do? It's just not worthwhile for a company to write that much content for people paying only $15 a month. And in a virtual world like that of EVE, PvP tends to evolve into griefing instead of even matchups or other formal PvP.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279235)

or other formal PvP.

You mean instanced, carebear PvP like the WoW battlegrounds?

Re:They let anyone on these days... (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279393)

It's sad that we live in a MMO gaming world where everyone who isn't a rude, ruthless prick of a griefer is derided as a "carebear." Some of us play games to actually have fun, you know. Not all of us are anti-social outcasts looking to take our anger out on the world.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279453)

It's sad that we live in a MMO gaming world where everyone who isn't a rude, ruthless prick of a griefer is derided as a "carebear."

No, a carebear is someone who willingly goes on a server where everyone is free to kill you at any time and then complains about it.

Some of us play games to actually have fun, you know. Not all of us are anti-social outcasts looking to take our anger out on the world.

Then play on the PvE server. That's what they are there for.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

Xsydon (1099321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279757)

Most of the WoW population plays on PVE servers and enjoys instanced PVP on a regular basis. I fail to see the problem with someone enjoying the game the way they see fit.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280323)

So your definition of carebear are people who PvP against people with a similar level that has specific objectives? Ahh, you fit the stereotype Eve player. A jerk that thinks that they are intellectually and skillfully superior to other because they are able to put up with the worst user interface to an MMO ever. The game is simple except for the layers of menus that have been created by people banned from working at Apple. It's sad, there are certainly nice people in Eve. But the vocal majority of Eve players are like this. Anti-social little pricks that will ask for your stuff if you criticize anything about the game.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28279627)

Thats a pretty one sided statement. EVE isnt a game that is friendly to people who dont like risk. In fact it is downright hostile.

You can play the game in empire, not worry about the massive wars going on outside of the bubble of secure space and play the game. Yea there is some people who will try to mess with you but overall you can play, and do what you want with relative safety.

You can choose empire or you can join a Corperation in 0.0 space and see how the other half plays. Of course if you choose 0.0 you will die, alot. You will lose ships in "unfair" situations. You could just be going one jump and then you are stuck in a interdictor bubble and killed. A pack of ships will warp scramble you and blow you up. Enemy ships will harrass your mining/ratting operations. The key is you have to be aware of it, fly what you can afford to lose, be smart about what you do, use the intel you get from your corp to avoid being a target.

The ones that are in 0.0 that bitch about fights being unfair have no reason to be there in the first place, get back to empire and have your little space bushido 1 vs 1 fights, cause there is a war going and we dont need your cryin.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279943)

It's just not worthwhile for a company to write that much content for people paying only $15 a month.

While $15 doesn't sound like a lot per person, when you multiply that by the 100,000+ people that play, it quickly becomes a valid reason why these companies SHOULD be concentrating on content.

Re:They let anyone on these days... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279883)

Too bad history proves you wrong.

Last-ditch effort (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277547)

DDO has never had the subscriber base to really support the game. This is a last-ditch effort to make the game profitable. Expect the whole thing go down the crapper if it doesn't fly.

If Turbine would only understand that people reject their otherwise fairly competent MMOs because both DDO and LOTRO suffer from terrible animation quality, clunky animation system and poor client-side prediction (leading to stutering and warping of characters). Their current MMO engine just doesn't cut it. Doesn't matter how good content you have on top of the unsound foundation.

Re:Last-ditch effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28279343)

I was immediately reminded of this [penny-arcade.com] .

Re:Last-ditch effort (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280031)

Three Rings did this with Puzzle Pirates, and maintained a pay service.

To the best of my knowledge they're still moving along.

Stop asking for the other kind of free (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277563)

If you open source an online game with a client you're going to get aimbots, programs that triple the onscreen size of all your enemies, speedhacks, and a whole host of other forms of cheating. That's just what happens when you let people modify whatever they want in the client.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277649)

So closed source games are free of said hacks? No? Well, I be damned!

There's this thing - the "server". It can do things like "hack prevention" and "sanity checks". Who's to say that the only contribution to open source would be client-side hacks and not server-side anti-hack improvements?

I'm not argueing for open source games, but saying there will be hacks because of open source is just as dumb as saying an open source encryption tool is less secure than closed source security-by-obscurity implementation.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

jfim (1167051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277969)

So closed source games are free of said hacks? No? Well, I be damned!

There's this thing - the "server". It can do things like "hack prevention" and "sanity checks". Who's to say that the only contribution to open source would be client-side hacks and not server-side anti-hack improvements?

I'm not argueing for open source games, but saying there will be hacks because of open source is just as dumb as saying an open source encryption tool is less secure than closed source security-by-obscurity implementation.

There are limits to what server-side checking can do. When your MMO starts getting overrun by people with autoclickers, bots and other annoyances that can be done client-side, no amount of server-side checking can help you.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28278077)

But those sorts of problems can't be solved by closed-sourcing the program, either. Every MMO out there has custom auto-click macros built to make AFK-leveling/looting/training/ possible.

Even besides that, something simple like a keyboard with programmable keys shifts the balance in favor of those with more software on that side. It's inherent to the medium.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (2, Insightful)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279113)

"The client is in the hands of the enemy" -- any MMO developer who's working on security.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277661)

Not if you do it right, require a signed stack and other DRM-like tricks and your at least as safe as a closed source game. Open source means you can't hide your server side deficiencies (trusting the client) behind client side code, but at the end of the day between decompiers are reverse engineers the bulk of your code will be out there anyway. TBH whatever you do your going to get cheats and hackers (although speed hacks are down to poor server-side code), I'm an FPS guy and whether your paying HL(w/ VAC and a) or assaultcube the only thing that protects you from cheats are good server admins and id wager a large amount that the same can be said of MMOs

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277673)

require a signed stack and other DRM-like tricks

Which is simply impossible to do with open source.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277773)

It's tricky but i fail to see how getting major distros to sign their openGL/audio stacks, then requiring the clients to verify they are using a valid stack, is impossible? And you can also verify the client is valid by using a small 3rd party executable, like closed source games do. yeah its not perfect as you either need to close some of the source (the verifying software) or just accept that no protection is perfect and hopefully raise the bar above that of HL/whatever game cheats love playing at the moment.

.
Additionally many cheats can be caught out, and subsequently banned by using secure servers, with dumb clients (speedhack,aimbot,etc are easy to see server side) and a lot of other stuff is virtually undetectable (ESP,wallhacks,etc) by anything other than a human admin, with a feel for the game and experience in catching cheats.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278245)

It's tricky but i fail to see how getting major distros to sign their openGL/audio stacks, then requiring the clients to verify they are using a valid stack, is impossible?

Because if the client is open source, you just dyke out those checks.

Signed stack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28278203)

"Not if you do it right, require a signed stack and other DRM-like tricks"

How does that work? A long time ago, I thought about this idea, but then I couldn't figure out a way around a fundamental problem - how do you verify the signature that the other end of the connection reports is *really* the signature of the executable in use?

That is, in order to 'verify' the signature of the client, don't you have to trust the client to report its signature? What's to keep a hacked version of the client from reporting itself identically to the 'official' client, spitting back the same signature that you expect, instead of the real signature of the hacked executable? The first, immediate solution that comes to my mind to that problem would seem to be having the client do some sort of encryption every time it connects to the server, of a randomly generated value that the server sends to the client, but the problem with that, is that you then have to embed the encryption key into the client executable (or one of its libraries), which a hacker could then extract?

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279143)

Don't bother with trying to secure the client - it won't work. Just verify everything server side that you actually care about and let them do whatever they want with the client.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277825)

Everything but aimbots/radar/wall hacks can be easily stopped via server side sanity checks. The client is in the hands of the enemy, therefore you nothing but the bare minimum to run the game into it. That's like MMO 101 from 1996.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277847)

Only if you are an idiot. The first rule of client-server programming is don't trust the client. Don't give the client any more data than it needs, validate all messages from the client. Things like wall hacks only work because the server is providing the client with too much information. Speed hacks only work because the server is allowing the client to move more than the correct amount (i.e. not validating the input). As for tripling the size of on-screen enemies and aimbots; if your game depends so much on your ability to click accurately on small things to be fun, the odds are that it isn't.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (2, Informative)

jfim (1167051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278035)

Only if you are an idiot. The first rule of client-server programming is don't trust the client. Don't give the client any more data than it needs, validate all messages from the client. Things like wall hacks only work because the server is providing the client with too much information. Speed hacks only work because the server is allowing the client to move more than the correct amount (i.e. not validating the input). As for tripling the size of on-screen enemies and aimbots; if your game depends so much on your ability to click accurately on small things to be fun, the odds are that it isn't.

No, wallhacks work because it is very expensive to perform thorough visibility checks on every single frame of the game(See Potentially visible set [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia). The idea is that a precalculated set of areas have information as to which other areas are potentially visible from that particular area. This means that an area spanning a corridor would have visibility into adjacent corridors, and thus, you could 'see' around corners with translucent walls.

Pushing more information towards the client is an optimization, in the same way that database denormalization is. In an ideal world, you wouldn't need either of those, but we're still bound by performance constraints.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28278221)

Informative.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278317)

As the other poster had touched upon, there is a limit to the amount of input validation that can be accomplished because of simple economic/performance constraints.

MMO's are in-general spartan as far as information passed back-and-forth because if it was any different, the servers would need a lot more bandwidth. This is also true for multi-player FPS's.

Because of this, it is imperative that they DO hide the weaknesses behind a veil of secracy. A good example of this is Diablo II, where the entire level instance is transmitted once to the client. The server cannot afford the bandwidth to be constantly updating the map as the player explores, nor can it afford the memory required to keep a sanity copy in order to detect when the client is displaying things it shouldn't.

At its height in popularity, there were easily times with a hundreds of thousands of Diablo II players playing simultaneously worldwide. Each server had to handle thousands of players, so the servers were responsible for very little that wasn't absolutely essential as a result.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278437)

Things like wall hacks only work because the server is providing the client with too much information

Games might suck a little without sound - and it would be a bit much having to render all the sound on the server.

if your game depends so much on your ability to click accurately on small things to be fun, the odds are that it isn't.

I don't know, I've had a lot of fun playing games like Counter-Strike where if you're good you can take someone out with one shot to the head (you can also do spray and pray and it's still fun and feasible with the right tactics, but you're more likely to die than if you take people out with razor-like precision). Games where you repeatedly have to pummel hundreds of shots into anywhere on a player's body are generally quite tedious in comparison IMO.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277887)

Isn't the whole point of open source to make software better and more effective? And isn't the point to kill as many enemies as possible?

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278183)

Yup, Open Source in insecure. Because people can see the code, you can't validate who is on the other side or secure a connection. Looks like someone is going to have to break the news to md5 and ssh.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278631)

You can validate who is on the other end just fine (accounts, encryption keys, etc), what you can't check is what they are doing (cheating, displaying information sent to then in unintended ways or using scripts to generate input faster than a human could).

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278805)

Okay, so you do enough server side checking to make sure users aren't doing anything stupid, you might have an issue worst case where people are using some sort of bot to automate their processes, like Glider. (I think that was the name of it...)

Why are you letting non trusted clients dictate their own behavior anyway? You don't let someone who is VNC'ed into a remote box get root because they compiled their own client, right? Same thing. Assume cheating is going to be the norm and treat every client as hostile. Implement something like punkbuster that periodically will send updates to the server. What you could do is open source the client/server engines, but in the server application specific to the MMO running, have some sort of module they compile and release. The person running the client then takes this module and compiles it into their client. It can send back its checksum and sit running as a watchdog against the client application. This can handle all of the client side anti-cheating stuff since its unmodified and can be trusted. There are probably holes in this, but that's what I come up with after about four minutes of thinking about it.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (2, Interesting)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279295)

Apologies for replying to myself, but something else I thought of that would be awesome is a network game where some hacks are allowed. It could have a relatively complex goal that is hard to obtain doing it by hand, but the "real" purpose of the game is to write a hacked client that tries to fool the server into thinking its legit that performs this task. Sort of a honeypot MMO.

Obviously, this idea is incompatible with the goals of the above idea. Just something that popped into my head.

Re:Stop asking for the other kind of free (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278675)

aimbots, programs that triple the onscreen size of all your enemies, speedhacks, and a whole host of other forms of cheating

Y'all ever play a MMORPG? They're Heroism By Spreadsheet; "aimbot" is a non sequitur.

Speedhacks, gosh, since WOW is plagued by them [google.com] , I guess it must be because the client is open source, rather than because some spazz dev decided that it was a good idea to have the server trust the client, right?

Any popular game is going to have its client, or client protocol, compromised. There's no defence that doesn't turn into an asymmetrical arms race. Make it as tight as you like, I still own the operating system, and I'm the Man in the Middle.

The solution is a robust and paranoid server design, not to try to secure the client. Make it a requirement that your server assume and act as though the thing connecting to it is a robot, not a player, and design your game so that said robot can't do anything that a player couldn't do better. If you can't meet that requirement, and your game is successful, then it will be compromised, and you need to accept that. Fortunately, with an MMORPG, you can design around this problem, if you put the work in up front.

Trusting the security of the client seems quicker, easier, much like the Dark Side, but it will destroy you just as thoroughly in the end.

Microtransactions suck (3, Funny)

KneelBeforeZod (1527235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277613)

I don't pay items and gear. I win and earn them. .... Or I use a stolen credit card number

Re:Microtransactions suck (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28277653)

You sound like a real winner in life. Do you have a manifesto?

Whos going to play it? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277669)

I thought they just burned all their fans using copyright law, aren't we supposed to hate these guys ATM?

Will give it a try (1)

Luc1fel (1469805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277807)

I haven't played an MMO since Guild Wars went stale. I'll hold my opinion until I try and see it for myself, but I'm craving for a good fantasy RPG, so anything decent will keep me satisfied for awhile at least.

I'd love to see the IP free up.... (2, Insightful)

Durrok (912509) | more than 5 years ago | (#28277989)

... and to see someone make a niche game that actually caters DnD players VS whatever the heck Turbine tried to do with it. The screwed up on a lot of things. No randomized dungeons. No turn based combat (yes, it has it's issues but DnD is turn based - figure out how to do it right or GTFO). Absolutely terrible grinding with almost no content at launch. How do you take a niche market like MMOs, pick a setting that drills down your niche market even further, and then try to make it for anyone but these people?

Re:I'd love to see the IP free up.... (1)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278367)

I'll have to agree, but they were shooting for a larger audience. I'll have to say the first month was fun. I'm sorta casual when I play an MMO, but after the first month I'd done damn near everything in the game at that point. They also kept changing spell effects and effects of other abilities, never knew what you were going to be able to do when you logged on. A couple things that I did like though; tactical use of the environment. If I was on the 2nd floor and I could see enemies on the first, I could kill them and the game encouraged that, unlike so many that call it an exploit. I enjoyed how charm monster worked. Other than that it lacked anything significant to hold me.

They Made D&D Online? (4, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278115)

Wow, it must have really sucked to fly under my radar...

Anyway, I should contribute something to the discussion.

The whole point why successful dating services (yeah who would have throught MMOs and Dating Services had something in common) charge is to create a cost-of-entry that separates serious participants from the rest of the population.

By making a game free-to-play you are inviting disaster as many /.'ers have pointed out.

In fact game studios would do far better to charge MORE for certain options.

I know at least 400 VN board members that pleaded with Mythic for a 21+ and over server for DAOC. We were so damn sick of the 10 year olds playing...

Same with the hard core role players. They were willing to shell out $20 a month for a hard core, RPG server.

I'd wager you would also get some people to kick in $5 extra a month for say 40 and older servers also for people that still remember how to spell OKAY.

Seriously free-to-play means every idiot and their cousin can get on. Remember how pissed the techie crowd was with AOL and COMPUSERV for bring ever no-nothing to the Internet?

Seriously look what happened to WoW when they started their free trial program. First week alone on Tichndrius there where 200+ people spamming Gold ads in Ironforge forever renaming it LAGFORGE and SPAMFORGE.

Even after the tweaks to shut up folks on trial accounts you still had to contend with starting an alt and have 100 level 1 bots camping every spawn with some level 40 (at the time) telling you that if you want to kill stuff you had to play him 10 gold. (We had a big problem with Cross Realm extortionists back then...)

Seriously D&D Online must have sucked pretty bad for flying this low under the radar and making a free-to-play version sounds like a really really bad idea...

But hey I love being proven wrong. It happens once in a while and I find it refreshing.

Re:They Made D&D Online? (5, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278199)

I know at least 400 VN board members that pleaded with Mythic for a 21+ and over server for DAOC. We were so damn sick of the 10 year olds playing...

The problem is that half the "10 year olds" are actually 30 and just act 10. Age restricted servers don't block stupid.

Re:They Made D&D Online? (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278605)

True but as a barrier of entry a 10 year old will have a hard time justifying the extra cost to mom and dad.

Re:They Made D&D Online? (2, Interesting)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278723)

Yeah...Age of Conan supposedly had an older player base, but people still seemed to think "mature" meant "Be a dick all the time. Also, and nipples and blood."

The most disconcerting reality checks came in groups where based on the player's chat and performance I'm -positive- they're a kid...Then they say they need to go afk "cuz my kid's crying."

Re:They Made D&D Online? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278253)

I'd wager you would also get some people to kick in $5 extra a month for, say, 40-and-older servers, and for people who still remember how to spell O.K..

Re:They Made D&D Online? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278351)

O.K., as far as I know, is the older form, dating for 1839; whereas "okay" dates from the 1890s. The initialism "O.K." seems to have been replaced by the "OK" form in the 1970s, even though it's still pronounced as an initialism, rather than an acronym.

Also, "know-nothing", "every" and "bringing".

Re:They Made D&D Online? (0, Redundant)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278665)

How crap kiddo it's not even 9 am where I am at. If I was writing a paper I'd at least get a cup of coffee first. You grammar nazis need to relax.

As far as Okay goes, that was the requried spelling in schools till about... 2004. At least in real schools rather then those public daycares they run now...

Me go now to the blew house and ates some nummies for break fast and den write j00 back k? ;)

Re:They Made D&D Online? (1)

psychicninja (1150351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280033)

Seriously D&D Online must have sucked pretty bad for flying this low under the radar and making a free-to-play version sounds like a really really bad idea...

Yes, your ignorance is clearly the standard by which all MMOs should be judged.

Re:They Made D&D Online? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280059)

"the 10 year olds playing..."
I am a father, my children are 8 and 11. trust me, those people are over 21.

No 10 year old would act that way. You either have to be doing it on purpose for a kick, or really not belong in socitety to behave that way.

If there was a 8-12 year old server, I would lie to play on it. There would be almost no griefing, and people would be relatively polite.

Hmmm. That sounded far creepier then it should.

The only approach I can think of that might work is to ahve a server that is heavily moderated and people are banned reasonably often.

Actually this is DND, just threaten to take a level a stat point and there best magic item.
That would shut them up right quick.

Free only makes it suck marginally less... (1)

theghost (156240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278549)

After the beta i said i wouldn't play that piece of crap if they paid me. This changes nothing.

Better than the beta? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278667)

Has the game improved since the beta tests? I didn't like it much during beta compared to WoW.

Turbine should use purchased content packs. (1)

stratman4300 (1573801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278847)

In my opinion if your going to go with Free-to-play, it's usually pretty smart to release frequent content packs that players have to pay for. I know, I know, It kind of defeats the whole Free-to-play idea but it does give the developer incentive to release more quality content than say a game like Runescape. I can see this game easily going the way of Runescape(but with better graphics and mechanics obviously) unless they're really careful with it. One major MMO that has followed that business model and it has worked beautifully for them: Guild Wars. Guild wars is still my favorite MMO and they run a free to play service. Just, when they release new content they do it in the form of an Expansion pack, that you can purchase from their online site or in stores. I think this still helps with the "Free-to-play-alot of 10 year olds" problem. I've played Guild wars for about 3 years and can only think of about 3 instances where i was seriously annoyed at someone being immature. Time will tell i suppose.

Pay2play (1)

Luc1fel (1469805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28278991)

I see a lot of people saying that free = bad, and paying = good because it raises the player quality. How so?

I'm 23 years old, with very little free time to spend on gaming. When I was younger, I had the time and the money to spend on games. Right now, I'm not ready to dish out any kind of monthly or similar subscription because I won't be getting my money's worth back. As I see it, most of the gaming population willing to pay subscriptions are the ones with the free time to spare and mostly pre-college/work pupils.

Also, as already pointed out, paying for the game does not prevent stupid players from accessing the game, but I agree that making a bad game free won't make it better.

Re:Pay2play (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28280349)

I'm sure they don't all mean it this way, but some people have this whole idea that poorer people are more often messed up, stupid, or crooked. Somehow, getting to the point where you have a little more disposable income makes you a better person. It's a really silly version of a Marxist class struggle argument - especially when we are not talking rich vs. poor but 'lower middle class' vs. 'upper lower class', or something like that. For games, we're talking abut the difference between people who can afford a high speed connection but little more and people who have just a bit more disposable income each month.
      Money is a modest barrier to entry. It's like an age limit, say having to be at least 16 to drive. Money is only a very indirect check of reliability, much less reliable than actually having proof of prior trustworthyness, knowledge or skill. The point seems to be that a person wouldn't invest monthly fees and then commit acts that would risk losing that investment.

1. If their income is low enough the monthly fees make a real difference to them, maybe, but what about people who see 19 more bucks a month as trivial?

2. If the prior investment argument is true, then persons wouldn't invest a lot of time leveling a character and then commit acts that would risk losing that investment in time either.

"Unlimited" eh? (1)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28279475)

Maybe it's just too early in the morning, but am I really reading this correctly off of that one hyperlink in the /. article summary?

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
Guts: use them or lose them in DDO Unlimited. Get unlimited combat, unlimited adventure, and unlimited fun without a credit card or a subscription when DDO Unlimited launches later this summer.
- Level cap raised to the natural limit of 20
- ...

Unlimited... with a HIGHER limit!!!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...