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Rockstar Creates 'Cheaters Pool' For Game Hackers

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the we-call-this-area-d-block dept.

Games 228

itwbennett writes "Rockstar Games announced yesterday in a newswire post that the company has created a 'cheater's pool' (sort of like the populating of Australia with criminals) where players who have hacked the game to give themselves advantages will only be able to play against other cheaters. Although, Ars Technica points out that players may actually prefer the 'special' world."

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Interesting (5, Interesting)

Lithdren (605362) | about 2 years ago | (#40327355)

I find this idea rather interesting, but I worry what might happen to someone who was placed in this pool by mistake?

I can imagine that the aim-bot writers would find this rather interesting, you'd have a natural-selection pressure going on where the best and fastest aim-bots would survive. I have to wonder what might come of something like that.

Wouldn't make the actual game very fun though.

Re:Interesting (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40327413)

It seems like it would be a lot of fun if you enjoy trying to make the best aimbot.

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#40327451)

You're gonna need a hell of a lot more than an aimbot in this pool, I think. We're talking about full blown A/I, I think, to be competitive.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328479)

That makes me want a competition to see who can build the best AI - the contest could be kind of like the pwn 2 own contest. Lessons learned could go into making better AI for future games, and the winners could get some prize money.

Re:Interesting (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40327697)

What's an aimbot? It that anything like the Grandia(?) RPGs that have self-plaiyng characters? I have to say that saved me a LOT of time wasted leveling-up. I could read a book instead.

Re:Interesting (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40327887)

Aimbots are actually FPS cheats, not RPG. They intercept data from the game in order to track the position of all players and obsticles, and the very instant that a valid shot can be made by the user's character they will supply the appropriate movement data to turn and fire with perfect mathematical precision. They were for a time the bane of Counterstrike - an aimbot-using player with was effectively invincible, as anyone who had a potential shot at him would be instantly killed by the aimbot. Many different anti-cheating measures were incorporated into CS in order to defeat the use of these aimbots.

Other helpful cheater programs included modifying the client to make all walls translucent, thus allowing the cheater to see enemies lurking in wait behind cover, and changing the field of view and control response so that any weapon could be used for sniping, even a pistol.

Re:Interesting (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40328087)

In CS they really sucked since all weapons could shoot through some amount of walls and the AWP could shoot through the whole level. So you would spawn and suddenly get sniped all the way from the enemy spawn, even though there were many walls in between.

Re:Interesting (1)

toastar (573882) | about 2 years ago | (#40328181)

Well Most cheat packages in CS also let you see through walls, which when combined with aimbot made for some real... well....


Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328777)

Long before CS it was already a plague on Quake 2.

Re:Interesting (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#40328783)

I've also heard of "aimbots" that only fire when you have a perfect headshot... so all you have to do is just point and wiggle around a player and it will auto-fire when you have the shot. You could even fire off a few rounds to make it look like you are actually playing.

Re:Interesting (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40328807)

Aimbots are actually FPS cheats, not RPG.

Yeah, but who can tell the difference anymore?

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#40327423)

I find this idea rather interesting, but I worry what might happen to someone who was placed in this pool by mistake?

It still seems better than an outright ban. The guys sent to Australia probably thought it better than the gallows.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | about 2 years ago | (#40327537)

The details of this system are scary.

First, this is designed for:

Anyone found to have used hacked saves, modded games, or other exploits to gain an unfair advantage in Max Payne 3 Multiplayer, or to circumvent the leaderboards will be quarantined from all other players into a "Cheaters Pool", where they'll only be able to compete in multiplayer matches with other confirmed miscreants

Which smells to me like they had poorly implemented server side checks, and people who modified their save games or other client in memory vars, were able to rocket to the top or run around invincible. That's just plain bad server-side programming on their end. I don't doubt with the right queries into their server storage they could identify accounts that bypassed something they were supposed to spend time on or accrue. If they had the right amount of auditing sprinkled in.

If you see anyone in Max Payne 3 multiplayer using invincibility hacks, infinite adrenaline, score cheating or doing anything else suspicious, just send us an email at maxpayne3.banhammer@rockstargames.com and include the following:
-Platform (PC, PS3 or Xbox 360)
-Cheater’s Gamertag / ID
-Description of the violation
-If possible, please include concrete evidence, such as a video or a screenshot

Wow, again, very scary. So the server trust the client for things like invincibility, adrenaline, _actual score_..etc. Is this a FPS from 1993?

Will this find aimbots, wallhacks or radar? No. It never will and never can. If you have to trust the client to run your 'aimbot detection code' then you already lost that battle. ( sure, statistically you can find weak cheats, or push down new detection code to try and catch them off guard, but the good ones have checks in place for that ).

All and all, this is part PR ( "Hey we're really mad at those darn cheaters and we'll try and make a difference!" ) and part cover up ( "Oh, we fucked up and let you do crappy memory hacks to rule our leader boards, we were in a rush and couldn't get all the server state checks done in time, plus it was so laggy, so we just decided to trust the client. Now we know better, have more time on our heads, so we'll retroactively try and determine people that cheated and remove them from the leader board")

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | about 2 years ago | (#40327907)

Well the way these things usually work are that they don't have to be perfect at catching you cheat, but they only have to catch you once.

Its not even that novel of a concept...look at Valve and VAC, if you get caught cheating on a VAC secured server, your entire account gets blacklisted and can't play on other anti cheat servers (and this applies to every game linked to your steam account which is actually kind of scary). There are still other servers that don't enforce anti-cheat but my guess is they are filled mostly with hackers and pirates (so basically...a cheaters pool).

What happens is someone comes up with a nice hack, people start using it, Valve figures it out and bans everyone it can catch, and then the hack author notices it has been found and they modify it in such a way that it avoids detection again. Every time Valve does this, they ban a bunch of accounts who are gone forever unless they come in and buy a new game. It doesn't stop cheating or make it impossible...but it puts a financial burden on the cheater.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328059)

I'm hoping this "pool" becomes the bread and butter for known hacker data. If they cheat, know they are cheating, don't care - actually gives them a place to hone their skills. Hell yeah, - I'd buy all their gathered client data for a $1. Especially if they continue to play for months and months, that generates some habit data they might not get otherwise.

So sure, I agree with you about their design but I also hope they make a lot of money selling off this data to someone.

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#40328127)

This is why I never purchased Crysis 2 and likely won't purchase Crysis 3.

The single player game was gorgeous, and the graphics were stunning.

The game had enormous multiplayer potential, but - For all their expertise in making a graphics engine, they didn't know jack shit about networked multiplayer.

If a player shot a pistol at another player, take a guess where the decision on amount of damage done was made? You'd think that after years of online gaming, it would be the correct answer: The server.

You'd be wrong - The damage calculations were done BY THE CLIENT. Both offensive (weapon damage) and defensive (armor effectiveness) calculations were done on the client. Weapon damage calculations were done by the client of the player firing the weapon, armor calcs (esp. for vehicles) were done by the client of the player being shot at.

The XML files in which weapon and armor attributes were stored weren't integrity checked at all.

As a result, it was dead easy to change an XML file, eliminate all bullet spread/variation from a pistol, and declare each bullet as doing 99999 damage. The client would say to the server, "I hit player Y for 99999 damage" and the server would believe it, no questions asked!

Similarly, the server would notify the client of a player operating a vehicle, "You were hit by this weapon class for X damage. How much of that was actually absorbed" - For example, most armored vehicles had 80-90% damage reduction from small arms fire. Well, just like the 99999 damage pistol hack, it was easy to declare a 99% (or even 100% I think) damage reduction to any weapons type. So you could easily create an attack helicopter that was immune to everything but controlled flight into terrain... In nearly every game I ever played, a cheater would eventually get access to an attack helicopter, and even if you decided "fuck it, if you can't beat em', join em'" and gave yourself super-rockets - they could fly around the map with impunity.

I actually eventually decided that the most interesting challenge for the game would be to see how far I could modify things without anyone calling me out - and thanks to the blatant cheaters, it was amazing what you could get away with (think 600 horsepower pickup truck, mobile antiaircraft cannon that could depress its turret by 10 degrees below horizontal, etc...) without anyone accusing you at all.

I think I played legitimately for a week, experimented with cheating for a week as an experiment, then deleted the game. It was so insecure as to be utterly pointless - blatant cheaters in every match, and my own experiments showed that there had to be a whole pile of more subtle cheaters lurking.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40328625)

Who played Crysis for multiplayer? Cheaters apparently. I never even tried, I just enjoyed the single-player game.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328341)

While the underlying architecture to overly trust clients is totally crap, I think in and of itself, bunching cheaters together rather than just banning them is a brilliant idea, especially as opposed to simply banning people. I really hope this catches on.

Re:Interesting (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40328613)

I wonder how well it will cope with non-software cheating. You can get autofire mods for XBOX and PS3 pads, for example. In fact you used to be able to buy programmable pads for older consoles where a single button could execute a complex combo in a fighting game, for example.

I remember back in the 90s there was software you could run on a PC used as a network bridge between the game machine and the router. A simple interface allowed you to adjust lag, drop packets or just stop forwarding packets for a few moments. Aside from being an alternative to rage-quitting it allowed you to take advantage of poor lag handling in some games, or if your PC was hosting the game make everyone else lag at strategic moments.

I suppose they could throw everyone with persistent network problems into this pool, but that would hardly be fair on people unable to get quality broadband.

Re:Interesting (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40327679)

The big advantage of doing this instead of banning them is that if there's a problem with the detection algorithm then the players placed there by mistake will play against other players placed there by mistake, no damage done.

Re:Interesting (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#40327923)

And those mistakenly flagged will be forced to endure cheaters blatantly cheating, ruining the experience for them when they've done nothing wrong. If there's no way to get back to the general population, they might as well ban themselves by not playing anymore. Either way, they find themselves unable to fully play the game for which they paid.

It's like enjoying Tetris for the multiplayer aspects until the server decides I'm doing too well so it's going to send me a non stop flow of S shapes.

I guess it can be argued that once you embrace server-based multiplayer, you defer the ability to deny you enjoyment from your game to someone else, but it's pretty scummy anyway.

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40328789)

I agree, if only because you simply cannot play a multiplayer game on the internet these days without someone accusing someone else of cheating, hacking, 'glitching', whatever you want to call it. Very few people lose because they're just not as good as the other people in that particular match, no, it's because everyone else is cheating. I mean, people bitch and complain about campers for Christ's sake, and they're not even cheating, they're just not running around like the rest of the retards and are actually employing some strategy beyond "Mash all the buttons!! Fire all the weapons! Jump jump jump jumpity jump jump!!!!!"

If some chickenshit 12 year old accused me of cheating because I had the audacity to kill him more than he killed me, and I ended up lumped in with a bunch of fucking wall-hackers and aim-botters for all eternity because of his butthurt, I would be furious and demand my money back. If they refused, I would never purchase another game from them ever again. There'd better be some sort of concrete proof required other than community feedback, even if they're depending on repeated infractions, because obviously people that are very good play a lot and hence will probably have a lot of bullshit reports of hacking/cheating just by virtue of that fact alone.

Ask Microsoft how many bogus "system tampering" reports they get from butthurt players. I bet less than 5% of those reported are actually guilty of anything other than being better than the person that reported them.

Outside of all that, though, I like the idea of a dedicated place to hack and such. I just disagree with the whole "email suspicious behavior" thing because I feel that is just going to be totally abused.

Re:Interesting (5, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40327819)

I remember back in the early 2000s when I was playing Medal of Honor: Allied Assault that I was using various exploits to wall hack and have no recoil. I also found a server that was permissive of cheating. Some of the most fun I had was on that server, since the best players there figured out how to exploit the cheats against the cheaters.

For instance, one person could draw attention through a wall while someone else came up from behind, effectively allowing you to use bait without ever endangering yourself. Or you could leverage the fact that everyone with wall hacks "pre-fires" at corners when they see enemies about to round them. Just run headlong at all corners and suddenly stop before turning them. The enemy will generally waste some ammo or will even need to reload, giving you a chance to engage them on your terms. You might even exploit the fact that the other player doesn't know how many walls are between the two of you to get them to leave themselves vulnerable. For instance, if you know they're aiming a rocket in your direction, put a wall between yourself and a window that they can see, pretend that you're crouched under the window, then stand up suddenly. As often as not, they'll launch the rocket prematurely, leaving you safe and them open for easy retaliation.

There's still a lot of room for fun, experimentation, and even skill when you have everyone on a level playing field, even if that field is different than the one most people are playing on.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328137)

I believe hacks and cheats evolved a little bit. I am pretty sure most people don't actually have to press the fire button themselves when they cheat.

Re:Interesting (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40328649)

Yeah, aimbots and the like change things a bit, but there's still room for turning things around. In fact, of the things I described, the first two still have the potential to offer some help. You can still bait people and get them from behind, and you could expose less valuable parts around a corner in order to waste their shots, then pop out and get a headshot once they go to reload.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327835)

non-secured hacking servers were popular back when i used to play counterstrike. i created a hack for my own personal use and it was fun to go into hacking servers and pit my hack against other peoples work. i usually got dominated though, because tweaking a hack to beat other hackers is something different than creating one to gain an advantage over legit players.

Wouldn't make the actual game very fun though.

playing the game itself is still quite fun, but there the additional meta game of improving your hack. and for me personally, i was at the point where playing the game legit wasn't fun anymore (i had competed at the top levels of online league and LAN tournament play and grown bored)

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40327941)

I find this idea rather interesting, but I worry what might happen to someone who was placed in this pool by mistake?

If you read the terms of the EULA, you'll find out: You can beg for mercy, and perhaps Caesar will grant you a reprieve. Maybe. If he doesn't have gas that day from eating at Taco Bell. You have no rights to the aforementioned virtual world... you can be removed for any reason or no reason, and if you paid money, well tough nuts. You were informed by psychic eminations of the terms when you handed them your credit card, which was a binding and unappealable legal arrangement, and you can't return the product for a refund once you've opened it, you know, in order to read the terms. -_-

This is why I don't pay for software for personal use anymore; If a company can take away what's mine on a whim, then it wasn't really mine to begin with, and I don't spend money on things I don't get to keep.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328063)

Welcome to Counter Strike of 10 years ago.

Re:Interesting (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 2 years ago | (#40328639)

I find this idea rather interesting, but I worry what might happen to someone who was placed in this pool by mistake?

They can automatically load this cheaters section just by looking at the players last name. Clinton, Kennedy, ...

Re:Interesting (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40328829)

Wouldn't make the actual game very fun though.

I disagree...hacking is tons of fun when everyone is involved in hacking and it's not being used to beat people unfairly. Hell, even going back to the Game Genie/Gameshark days on the consoles, there was tons of fun to be had just playing with the codes and seeing what you could do and what kind of bizarre behavior you could coax out of the game...

I like this approach (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | about 2 years ago | (#40327371)

Seems like a big improvement over the typical banhammer approach. Let cheaters play with other cheaters while legit players can continue to enjoy the game normally. Contrast this to Blizzard's apparent approach where everyone thought to cheat (even in single-player, apparently, since they've blurred the single vs multiplayer line on D3 with this always-on crap) suddenly have their $60 purchase made worthless.

Re:I like this approach (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40327435)

Blizzard is on a money grab where they expect people to pay up for digital crap

its funny how slashdotters think that buying crap in farmville and similar games is a waste of money. but when blizzard does it people will spend ridiculous amounts of money for digital crap

hrumph, what what? (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#40327793)

I'll have you know I look quite dashing wearing my monocle while giving some dirty privateer a through spreadsheet-lashing.

Re:I like this approach (1)

imagined.by (2589739) | about 2 years ago | (#40327565)

Not only do they make their $60 purchase worthless but lock down the complete battle.net account, offline games and all.

Re:I like this approach (2, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40327611)

If I was a Blizzard or Rockstar player, and they suddenly banned me because of "cheating", even though I never did cheat (or even know how to do it) I'd be pissed. I'd probably start stealing their games. (Since there is no legal recourse against corporations.)

Re:I like this approach (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40327903)

Hard to steal a blizzard game that matters. WoW and Diablo 3 both have your data (character) on their servers, and SC still requires battle.net. No battle.net and you can't really play those games.

I only have the steam version of max payne 3 so I'm not sure if it uses steamworks out of the box or not, but you could get your whole steam account banned for pirating a steamworks game.

Re:I like this approach (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40328283)

"I'd probably start stealing their games."

Why would you take out your anger on software stores by stealing the property they already paid the publisher for? It only means they have to buy another copy.

Unless you meant piracy, which is not stealing, and you should use proper, non-weasel-worded terminology to describe it.

Re:I like this approach (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#40328505)

You are welcome to go "pirate" the Diablo 3 DVD as much as you want, since it's useless without a battle.net account and activation code.

So, really, the only way to play without paying *is* in fact to steal a legal copy of the game...

Re:I like this approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327839)

Valve does this too. VAC bans (which are not reversible, and can be triggered by things totally irrelevant to cheating.) It is an easy way to force a gamer to re-buy their collection.

With Valve, it is worse -- you can lose access to thousands of dollars in games instead of hundreds.

Re:I like this approach (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40327863)

Except that in D3 you can't be purely single player. They overtly made the choice that the game is a multiplayer game. Any solo experience is really just not directly playing with other people, but you're still connected to the same economy. If you give yourself 100 million gold to buy stuff from vendors in your own space that's one thing. But when that 100 million gold goes out into the broader game economy where everyone is tied together you have a problem.

With max payne all you really get are achievements and that sort of thing. Pushing cheaters into their own space isn't really hurting anyone else, since there's no apparent economy.

Blizzard explicitly makes mention of how item dupes in D2 wrecked a lot of that game, as it trivialized content and so on. If you just hand everyone best in slot gear there's not really much to keep playing for. Which then hurts the community for everyone else. Even if you didn't dupe in D2 there was so much gold and so many super awesome items floating around that it affected you.

Re:I like this approach (1)

MORB (793798) | about 2 years ago | (#40327869)

Blizzard's approach is to make games that are single player or cooperative only and to make them so easy that there's no reason to cheat.

Re:I like this approach (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 2 years ago | (#40328115)

Exactly. I've already thought about this kind of possible solution before. I think I would much prefer it over current solutions. Being unfairly categorized is much less bad than being unfairly banned.

Just like Australia (5, Funny)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#40327385)

the company has created a 'cheater's pool' (sort of like the populating of Australia with criminals)

And just like Australia, the cheater's pool will become a lawless hellhole, where might makes right, as biker gangsters fight for supremacy in the irradiated wastelands.

Re:Just like Australia (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#40327419)

the company has created a 'cheater's pool' (sort of like the populating of Australia with criminals)

And just like Australia, the cheater's pool will become a lawless hellhole, where might makes right, as biker gangsters fight for supremacy in the irradiated wastelands.

" Although, Ars Technica points out that players may actually prefer the 'special' world.""

And why not... some people like Australia.

Re:Just like Australia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327449)

Actually, that will describe both the cheaters' pool and the regular pool. The difference will be that the biker gangsters in the cheaters' pool have really good aim and can walk through walls.

Re:Just like Australia (5, Funny)

Oxdeadface (1968100) | about 2 years ago | (#40327493)

Two bots enter! One bot leaves!

Re:Just like Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327815)

Damn it. I was going to say "Two cheaters enter! One cheater leaves!" but it seems you basically beat me to it. Cheater.

Re:Just like Australia (4, Funny)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | about 2 years ago | (#40327519)

Stay tuned for "Crocodile Leeeerooooooooooooy Jennnnkiiiins"

Re:Just like Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327945)

I drive a Chevrolet movie theater.

Re:Just like Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327583)

We don't need another aimbot!
We just need to know the cheat codes!
All we want is what's behind
  the cheater's code....

Sorry Tina....

Re:Just like Australia (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#40327759)

And now a Political Correctness moment, brought to you by your local public radio:

At no point in its history was the majority of Australia's population comprised of convicts. [wikipedia.org]

I do believe we owe the editors some reheated "ignorant Americans!" comments.

Re:Just like Australia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328045)

No one said there was a majority of criminals in Austrailila, just that a large number of them had been transported there. Which, as wikipedia states, is correct.

Re:Just like Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328067)

...and you're citing "Wikipedia" as your source? Didn't they recently publish an article celebrating the 700th anniversary of America's founding?

Re:Just like Australia (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 2 years ago | (#40328321)

Or, they'll just get half American, half British accents and start selling jam and olive oil while living with an incompetent government. The horror!

That's fine (5, Insightful)

rgmoore (133276) | about 2 years ago | (#40327399)

Although, Ars Technica points out that players may actually prefer the 'special' world."

Sounds like a win all around, then. The cheaters get their "special" world, and the non-cheaters don't have to deal with them. What's not to like?

Re:That's fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327705)

Wasted server and internet resources.

Re:That's fine (3, Interesting)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 2 years ago | (#40328219)

No more so than any other server and internet resources used for games. Cheaters aren't any less likely to spend money on future content than other players.

Re:That's fine (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 2 years ago | (#40327741)

Although, Ars Technica points out that players may actually prefer the 'special' world."

Sounds like a win all around, then. The cheaters get their "special" world, and the non-cheaters don't have to deal with them. What's not to like?

False positives

Re:That's fine (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 2 years ago | (#40328241)

So if you got hit with a false positive, you would rather be banned than simply relegated to the cheater server? At least with this solution you still get to play.

Nice (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#40327447)

That actually sounds like a lot of fun.

The detailed article didn't specify.. but I hope they provide a way for regular players to visit. Maybe even allow regular players to cheat in the cheating environment without losing their right to play in the regular (assuming they don't cheat there).

I can however see that used as an excuse. "Oops, was playing in the cheater realm and forgot to disable cheat mode..".

Re:Nice (0)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40327589)

That's sort of how Valve games work. Their anti-cheat system is called VAC, pretty sure it stands for Valve Anti-Cheat or something dull like that, but I can't be assed to check.

If you are detected as a cheater and banned, you can no longer play on VAC-enabled servers. But, server admins are able to disable VAC. It's not common, probably because they get overrun with cheaters (wouldn't know myself - I've never played on one). And any cheating performed on a non-VAC server "doesn't count" - since the anti-cheat isn't running, you can't be banned.

Valve also has a no-excuse policy on ban appeals. The only times, to my knowledge, that they overturn a ban is when for false positives, which are generally pretty rare.

And yeah, now that I think about it, it could be fun for a bit. Some of the best fun I had in TF2 was when the players ignored the rules of the game. Doing something where, for instance, *everyone* has wallhacks, might be fun.

Honeypot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327477)

Sounds like a honeypot to me.
Rockstar will be able to observe a plethora of hacks in action to better prevent them on normal servers.

I played in cheat servers before (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327509)

Playing in cheat servers in CS: Source was fun but something interesting happened if you played in the server for a while.... most, if not all of the hackers ended up playing hte game properly.

Fastest aimbot wouldn't win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327511)

The fastest aimbot wouldn't win.

The aimbot closest to the server would, however.

Re:Fastest aimbot wouldn't win (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#40328835)

It depends - some systems add artificial lag to all players to bring everyone down to the level of the laggiest player (within reason, I'd imagine).

stop and RTFA first (5, Informative)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40327517)

there's no idyllic haven for cheaters like the headline and summary imply. they put all the cheaters together and then see if they cheat again, and when they do they get the ban hammer. the only way to stay in the cheaters pool, and the game itself, is to stop cheating. even ars technica missed this important bit of info.

Re:stop and RTFA first (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327603)

Looks like you misread the article.
Cheaters can be forgiven and reenter normal play after the first offence. After the second offence, they're permanently 'banished' - to the cheaters pool, not banned from the game.

Re:stop and RTFA first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327899)

It appears poorly phrased, and therefore open to (mis)interpretation, but I believe that the ban hammer comes out only if Rockstar permits them to jump back into the non-cheater pool, and are found cheating in the non-cheater pool a second time.

FTFA: [rockstargames.com]

In the event we decide to absolve any of these cheaters for their past transgressions they may re-enter play with the general public, however a second offense will result in their indefinite banishment.

WoW (1, Informative)

Triv (181010) | about 2 years ago | (#40327551)

Blizzard tried this in WoW, sort of, in a super-clever way.

Battlegrounds used to provide no XP when in them, so it was possible to hit the top level of a bracket through quests and such, outfit yourself with the best gear for that level you could find, and just sit at that level decimating all the normal players you'd end up fighting against. "Twinking."

But Blizzard turned on XP gains in battlegrounds, so if you did that, you would eventually level out of that bracket and into the next one. BUT. They also put in the ability to turn off your XP gain, effectively a "twinking switch." BUT, if you did that, you would only be matched up against other twinked out players in battlegrounds.

The result? Twinking pretty much died off. Why? Because it isn't as much fun when you can't just ROFLSTOMP the competition, and fighting fair isn't fun.

Working pretty much as intended, in my opinion.


Re:WoW (4, Informative)

cfalcon (779563) | about 2 years ago | (#40327753)

Twinking was never cheating, is the difference. The correct comparisons would be teleport hacks, which normally result in perma-bans.

Throwing all the twinks in the same BGs hasn't stopped it- it just forced them to organize so they can have their twink time. A twinked character is far more powerful than a regular one, but it is all within the confines of game stats- a cheating FPS player has any number of bizarre advantages that create essentially an entirely different game.

That being said, you still can't cheat in the cheater pool, or you get kicked out, so it is nothing like twinking in the twink pool (which was the whole point of the twink pool).

Re:WoW (0)

Triv (181010) | about 2 years ago | (#40327805)

Twinking wasn't against the rules, no, but it wasn't especially fair, either. Zoom out a bit and it applies here, too.

Re:WoW (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#40327809)

Now only if WOW would open a bot's are allowed server. Some of my favorite times on Asheron's Call was watching AI that I wrote going around the map exploring and PKing anything it ran across.

Re:WoW (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40327993)

I like the EVE solution: If it's within the in-universe rules and doesn't involve hacking, it's actively encouraged. Stab those backs! Never fight fair! Bastardly tactics are not only encouraged, it's the only way to win.

Re:WoW (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328521)

I like the EVE solution: If it's within the in-universe rules and doesn't involve hacking, it's actively encouraged. Stab those backs! Never fight fair! Bastardly tactics are not only encouraged, it's the only way to win.

And then there's people who like playing video games as an escape from real life.

Re:WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328375)

The result? Twinking pretty much died off. Why? Because it isn't as much fun when you can't just ROFLSTOMP the competition, and fighting fair isn't fun.

Working pretty much as intended, in my opinion.


This may be true for some players but certainly not all. They implemented that change before they merged the PvP brackets. The result was if you turned off your XP you would *never* get to play a match since there wasn't enough "twinks" to start the match. Even if there was, they had been AFK'ing in the queue for possibly several hours waiting for enough players to join and missed the popup prompt to join.

I had a "twink" to play WoW PVP without having to invest the time to constantly regear my character (I only had an hour every other night for WoW, and wanted to spend it PVPing). Then this patch came in, after a week without a single match even starting I cancelled my account.

If I could reactivate my account and play battlegrounds (even excursively against other twinks) whenever I signed in like before, I'd reactivate today.

- 12 year /. accountless lurker

they need to do this on omegle.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327637)

they need to do this on omegle.com

put all the penises in one pool
all the fake web cams in another
and let the dozen or so of the rest of us actually meet someone worthwhile.

What lawless world? (2)

Alchist (2029318) | about 2 years ago | (#40327657)

Where in the release does it explicitly state cheaters will be able to continue to cheat in this secondary pool? It only states that the pool of available players would be confirmed cheaters.

Sort of like dealing with telemarketers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40327717)

Sort of like the approach of sending telemarketers to a ten minute recording rather than blocking their number outright.

Nobody has to be offended by being labeled a cheater, just use some heuristics to detect cheaters and silently queue them in the cheaters server pool.

They could do other things, like send duplicate player location data, not send any data at all, update every other player, reduce frequency of update frames, etc.

Really? (1)

Yosho-sama (800703) | about 2 years ago | (#40327761)

There's a desire to play in a game where nobody is actually playing but letting their cheats win for them? Some people have too much time.

flying to Australia soon? (3, Funny)

at10u8 (179705) | about 2 years ago | (#40327827)

Knowing of previous incidents, I suspect that itwbennett may have an interesting time when next dealing with Australian customs.

Not a bad start. (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#40327829)

Do you suppose they might be able to quarantine the 12-year-old rednecks in the same way? Not to dismiss the extent to which cheaters ruin gaming, but the fratcore are way worse.

Has anyone else noticed? (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40327953)

Has anyone else noticed that the water in the cheater's pool is always a bit warmer and greener?

Needs Just One More Feature... (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#40328105)

Players who are not cheating should be allowed to voluntarily play in the pool where cheating is allowed, for the extra challenge. Of course, if you're not cheating it would be voluntary, and you could go back out into the regular game world any time. But for really advanced players, the extra challenge of playing against stacked odds and unconstrained opponents could be compelling.

People who cheat need people who don't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328299)

Cheaters only cheat because they feel like the have an advantage over the group. Whether it makes the feel better as a player or they just enjoy enraging others, they will get none of that isolated in "cheater paradise".

I guess my point is, cheaters will not play together so making a cheater pool is effectively the same as banning the player.

Good day.

Re:People who cheat need people who don't (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40328469)

Cheaters only cheat because they lack skill and talent, and would fail miserably if they didn't (FYI, this goes for life as well as video games).

I guess my point is, fuck 'em.

I've seen another game do something similar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40328741)

I don't know if it was on purpose or not, but if you pirated "Phantasy Star 0" for the NDS, you could only play with other people who had done the same. A patch was released to get around this though, and I imagine the same thing will happen here.
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