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Asus Dropping See Through Drivers

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the would-you-like-cheese-with-your-whine dept.

Technology 174

Stijn Wuyts writes "Asus Taiwan marketing manager Kent Chien e-mailed today the company will delete the See-Through cheating code in their future drivers, as a result of the protests from the gaming community. But maybe this move comes too late, because the company already released the drivers for their GeForce 3 video card. As long as this driver works with current DirectX versions, it can be used to cheat. Removing the code in future versions will not stop current Asus buyers from cheating. Even the cheating detection by checking the Windows registry (as Asus proposes) can be disabled by a skilled programmer. I think Asus realised too late what were the consequences of their newest driver "features"..." Personally I think this is lame. If you want to see through walls, fine: It makes playing games lame, but thats your choice. But wow have a lot of people cried over this. As if crying is going to make any of this stop. Oh well, Asus will remove the driver, and anyone who wants it will just keep using it.

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174 comments

See Through Walls?!?!?!??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#212912)

Dammit. I bought one of these cards because I thought it would let me see through clothing.

Acid dropping (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#212913)

God.

I read it first as "Acid dropping see through Drivers"...

Re:Whining over this is lame... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#212914)

Well, there is a flip side. It would be nice if cheating was impossible so people wouldn't routinely accuse good players of cheating.

It's annoying to be kicked from a server after 48 unanswered kills because people think you're a bot.

Map Making (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#212915)

As a map/level designer, being able to see my maps in-game WITHOUT textures is a HUGE trouble-shooting tool, since it helps me find inconsistencies and errors in my models. What I dont get though is the people whining and complaining about the see-through drivers. Its already out there, and future versions of the drivers may not have the See-Through feature, but the current ones do, so cheaters (and map developers like myself who need this) simply wont upgrade (I just wont upgrade my dev machine, but I use BETA dets from nvidia for my gaming rig).

Just because you don't see a viable reason, it doesn't mean there isnt one.

Restraint of trade? (1)

jkovach (1036) | more than 12 years ago | (#212921)

On PunkBuster's website, it said that they eventually hoped that all game servers would be using PunkBuster. Then they go and make their software so that it won't let anybody using Asus graphics drivers on their server. Their suggestion is to download the latest version of Nvidia's reference drivers. However, this disables some of the utilities Asus gives you to monitor the card fan speed, temperature, set the clock rate without having to hack your registry, etc. Sounds to me like Asus could get a good lawyer to spin this as illegal restraint of trade or something.

I don't cheat. I haven't even played a game of Quake in months. However, this sort of holier than thou attitude among people (in this case, the PunkBuster developers) really pisses me off.

it's about cheating for the masses (4)

Sludge (1234) | more than 12 years ago | (#212923)

Sure, a skilled programmer could cheat. It's been possible to look through walls in games since there was access to hack up openGL drivers to add 50% opacity to all surfaces.

This is about cheating for the masses. When users have to click a checkbox to enable a cheat, there is bound to be more cheaters because it is more accessible. In that respect, Asus opened the door to something new and bad.

Re:Lame? I think not. (3)

Alan Shutko (5101) | more than 12 years ago | (#212925)

Munchkins are going to find ways to ruin any game, even if they don't have see-through video drivers, or source to the game. The solution is not to play with them.

This is not lame, this is ridiculous (1)

m2 (5408) | more than 12 years ago | (#212927)

What's all the whining about? It's a two hour hack to recover the "functionality" with the new drivers. Move your OpenGL library out of the way, create a fake one with all the necessary entry points, patch glEnable() to do glPolygonMode(GL_FRONT_AND_BACK, GL_LINE) and you are set. It will probably screw menus and lots of other stuff, but once you have it up and running it's just a matter of fine tuning. Why glEnable? Because it's probably the function that's called earliest in any OpenGL program. The careful reader will note there are some details left out, but that's an exercise for, uhm, him. This works with any program, free or non-free software and with any driver. There's some minor performance hit involved, but hey, you are not filling polygons anymore! This is actually faster! For extra credits, use alpha blending instead of disabling polygon filling altogether. And for some more extra credit, make it look good. Adjust as necessary to the Windows World. It's possible to do it, ergo someone already did it.

Single player...have fun (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 12 years ago | (#212928)

In a multiplayer game people using this RUIN the game for others. I run a UT/Tribes2 server that is NOW passworded because of a rash of cheaters. Was a good public server on a T3, but I don't have the time or the desire to babysit a bunch of 13 year old hackers. So I just Pword'd the servers and limit the players to people I know. Sorry for everyone else that was enjoying it.

you are correct about the cheating (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 12 years ago | (#212929)

but do we have to make it easy for any script kiddie to do it. Writing a good hack takes skills, installing a cracked driver any idiot (err most idiots) can do. Half the fun of the online games is the openness, but if everyone is worried about cheaters it detracts from the game for all players.

27000 votes for NO (4)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#212931)

Every game site out there had links to the ASUS voting site, urging people to Vote NO, dont release the drivers.

How many sites urged people to Vote yes?

Bunch of freaking lemmings!

GNU/Llama! (3)

Admiral Burrito (11807) | more than 12 years ago | (#212933)

I wonder how difficult it would be to add the feature to Mesa?

I'm sure that would result in a large increase in Linux usage. There are a lot of llamas out there.

Re:Not sure i can agree (2)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 12 years ago | (#212934)

I've made this point before, but would you play poker with a bunch of random people you don't know? Probably only if there was some sort of authority (like a casino) warrenting a fair game.

The fact that you can play games with anyone, anywhere, anytime is cool, that I won't deny. But, you'll have to suffer the riff-raff. Probably the only longterm solution is identity checks (credit cards, X.509 certs, etc) and a much more regulated and monitored environment.
--

Re:I disagree (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#212935)

1) I keep hearing people talk about "neat" or "useful" ways to use this see through technology. But I never hear anyone provide an example. I'm curious to hear a couple of real, possibly interesting, examples.

2) Someone else has already said this, but I'll underscore it. If I was restricted to playing half-life with people I knew, until about 2 months ago I'd never have played multi-player half-life, and even now I'd only have one opponent (who is significantly less experienced, though he's catching up fast :-).

Most of the people I know who play fps games have had trouble setting up half-life and abandoned it in favor of the games that work without a lot of hassle on their machines (quake, unreal, etc). I don't know why this is the case, as I never had real trouble, but I tried helping several of them set up half-life at a lan party and didn't have any more success than they did.

So because I can't find people with equipment that works easily with the game I prefer, I can either take my chances with cheaters or with only one other person? That hardly seems reasonable. The whole point of having internet games is so you *don't* have to be isolated into some small clique and you *can* find numerous and skilled opponents to play with/against.

Re:Lame? I think not. (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#212936)

Bah, no one told me if I changed my sig, it would change in already posted comments. That's stupid.

Lame? I think not. (5)

elmegil (12001) | more than 12 years ago | (#212938)

I suppose it matters how whiney the tone is, but I think everyone who *likes* playing games for *fun* can agree that the munchkins who have to have the best score no matter what (typically exploiting every possible loophole in the rules) ruin any game they have anything to do with. This goes for "real life" games as well as those affected by "see through" drivers.

Re:See Through Walls?!?!?!??? (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 12 years ago | (#212940)

You and me both, pal. Another heads up, those X-Ray glasses sold in comic books don't work either.

--

Cheating will slowly go away (2)

Wee (17189) | more than 12 years ago | (#212941)

I don't really think any real "damage" was done by releasing the see-through drivers and then these newer ones. As performance improvements and tweaks get added to newer drivers, people will gradually move on. Anyone who would keep older drivers just to cheat is the kind that would stoop to other kinds of cheating anyway. And I guess they deserve the performance hit they're going to take. It's hard enough just keeping honest people honest. Asus is fine.

What would be kinda nice is to have newer patches for games detect players with the see-through drivers. I run a Tribes2 server, and would love to be able to find out who likes to cheat. I'm not saying I'd boot them automatically or anything (the maps in T2 are big enough that I'm not sure a player would get any benefit out of seeing through stuff), but if I saw a player with an absurdly high score who was also using the drivers, I'd be very tempted to ban them. A guy using those drivers (especially after they've been phased out for a while) is probably the sort who would cheat in other ways as well. And it would be nice to look at the players on a server and see if they are using the drivers. I wouldn't like to play on a server where everyone but me could see through walls. Then again, I play for the fun of it, so...

-B

Re:Y'all want us to ban Human cloning too ... ? (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 12 years ago | (#212942)

John Carmack himself said that one of the things that made the DOOM community to strong was the hacking that other people did after they shipped it. But if someone wants to learn how 3D works, or just wants a new perspective on the game that's not ok?

Wow, ac's are dumb. Did you stop to think that maybe there's a difference between hacking an engine to learn/and/or make cool mods and hacking just so you can win?

If you want to reduce cheating, then don't play with cheaters -- how hard is that?

Basically impossible, does that answer your question? Where it is really hard is telling if a player is cheating or just very very good.

bad example (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 12 years ago | (#212943)

In the Great Scheme of Things (tm), cheats don't matter, but closed-source software, is a Bad Thing.

Um, no, when it comes to cheating in multiplayer games, having closed source is a GOOD THING. Not having the source makes it a great deal more difficult to add a "gimme 10,000 gold" to a game like Age of Empires or an aimbot for Half Life.

Denizens of slashdot, why, oh WHY are you worrying about what features are in closed source software?If the source were open, the source would be open.

Which does what, exactly, to cut down on cheating?

The issue is, always has been, and always will be FREEDOM.

No, the issue is about a company releasing lame drivers for their products that can interfer with other people's enjoyment of a game. And insisting that everybody does it your way (open source software) is no freedom at all.

Ummm...open source? (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 12 years ago | (#212944)

So why do we care what Asus does to their drivers? As long as we can hack the code, we...

WHAT?!?

You mean their drivers aren't Free? They're not even Open Source?

Denizens of slashdot, why, oh WHY are you worrying about what features are in closed source software? Why do you complain to the vendor that their features suck? Do you also complain because your congressional representatives take too much bribe money, instead of rioting over their acceptance of ANY bribes? Do you petition the police to shoot unarmed black men only ten times? Do you ask the RIAA and the MPAA to charge you only $14.99 per CD instead of $15?

GET REAL!

The issue is, always has been, and always will be FREEDOM.

In the Great Scheme of Things (tm), cheats don't matter, but closed-source software, is a Bad Thing. Instead of wasting rhetoric to change a companies policy WRT the functions of their code, why not change their policy regarding the OPENNESS of their code?

/me stomps away in disgust

Re:Ummm...open source? (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 12 years ago | (#212945)

Am thinkink that you are wery funny...

But here's a point-by-point analysis of How Wrong You Are.

Open Source is the ONLY way to write software
Agreed.

everything must be free
Yes.

What we need is a balanced approach
Exactly. I don't have all the rights, you don't have all the rights, we SHARE the rights.

On second thought, you're not wrong at all!

Re:Ummm...open source? (3)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 12 years ago | (#212947)

If the source were open, it would be impossible to get rid of every version with the see thru code in it.

If the source were open, the source would be open. Sort of like, if you have freedom of speech, you have freedom of speech. The issue is not "But if you have freedom of speech, some people will say bad things!"

With it closed at least ASUS knows can inform people exactly how it works and how to prevent it from being used.
Yes. Sort of like how Microsoft can tell you exactly how Windows works and can prevent criminals and terrorists from launching DOS's from Windows boxen.

Re:Skilled programmer to re-enable it? (1)

cruelworld (21187) | more than 12 years ago | (#212950)

It takes a skilled programmer to write it once, then anyone can run a batch file.

Or do you think script kiddies are highly skilled too?

Re:Ummm...open source? (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 12 years ago | (#212952)

<music>

Trollin', trollin', trollin'
Keep that AC trollin', rawhide
Write 'em up, post 'em out, send 'em in
Keep 'em coming, Rawhiiiiiiiide

</music>

Yet another day at the funny farm.

What happened to doing it the ol'fashion way? (3)

redsmoke (37560) | more than 12 years ago | (#212953)

What happened to x-ray vision? If people are going to look through walls in games if worse comes to worst they can always order those cool glasses out of the back of their favorite comic book! Then poof - m3 b 0wnZ y0u w1t aWp thru w@LLz 'n c0uNt3r-$tr1k3 G!

Re:we can see thru walls??? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 12 years ago | (#212956)

Thermal imaging, microwave imaging, I believe there was even a recent story on slashdot about ultra wide band imaging. Counterstrike is a hella cool mod mind you.

Re:Seems silly (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 12 years ago | (#212957)

or play games that actually require things from the player that a computer cant (yet) do, like, say, intelligence.

Make it part of the game! (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 12 years ago | (#212958)

Even in real life soldiers and counterterrorists have equipment that can see through walls and do you think the predator didn't have an aimbot? Make it part of the game. If everyone is doing it, is it still cheating?

Re:You know what (2)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 12 years ago | (#212959)

You'd take a pretty big performance hit, doing something in software that can be done by the accelerator board.
------

Re:games lame (2)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 12 years ago | (#212960)

Depends what mod you're playing, and how many players/spawnpoints there are. I'd say in most situations, it's fun, especially when everyone on the server teams up and targets "that damn camper!"

Camping is only really evil on single-player maps, where there are few resources and only a few spawnpoints.
------

Re:Whining over this is lame... (1)

mojotooth (53330) | more than 12 years ago | (#212962)

If a person cheats you don't play with that person and then they either cheat all by themselves or they start to not cheat.

This statement demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of online gaming.

Whole communities can arise around one gaming server. It's kind of like your local basketball court at the park. You get to know the people that play there, and the experience is enhanced.

If someone came along to your court and started cheating, sure you could always drive to another park. On the Internet that's even easier than in real life.

But the effect may be the same. The people you know aren't gonna be there. Suddenly you're playing with nothing but strangers. Which goes against your next statement:

"Games should be for fun and excitement..."

YOU do not get to decide what constitutes fun and enjoyment, my friend. To me, fun and enjoyment is competition on equal grounds.

Re:Anti-Cheat Tools (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#212963)

Thanks for the vote. Vote several times with diff mail addresses. Don't think they check them...never did mine.

Anyway... The most popular cheat tool is punkbuster. http://www.punkbuster.com/

I know it lets server operators decide if they want to make the client mandatory or an option. It supports several games, and I know it was updated for these new drivers.

Anti-Cheat Tools (2)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#212964)

There are several anti-cheat tools now that have been updated to disable these drivers or warn other players if someone uses them. If you play on a server that requires these tools you won't have to worry.

Re:Ummm...open source? (1)

fizban (58094) | more than 12 years ago | (#212966)

Sorry bud, but not everyone on this site believe that Open Source is the ONLY way to write software. We don't need to focus on one way being better than the other, or saying the "everything must be free" because there are merits to both ways. What we need is a balanced approach, much like the Bush energy plan...

--

Sorry Taco Hell (2)

fizban (58094) | more than 12 years ago | (#212967)

Personally I think this is lame. If you want to see through walls, fine: It makes playing games lame, but thats your choice. But wow have a lot of people cried over this. As if crying is going to make any of this stop. Oh well, Asus will remove the driver, and anyone who wants it will just keep using it.

Sorry, Mr. Cmdr in Chief, but it is NOT lame. In fact it's extremely cool that a big, mean old company actually listened to its users and changed the future of its product because of the input. Everyone here whines about closed source companies not providing outlets for their users to voice concerns about issues with regards to their software and then suddenly we get the opposite and there's MORE whining. What's going on?

The fact of the matter, is that it's not about whether the game player decides whether to be able to see through walls or not. No! It's about whether the game designer wants you to see through walls. If they wanted you to do that, they would have designed it that way.

They created their games for everyone to play against each other on a fairly even playing field (barring obvious performance differences between different hardware). But what they didn't want, is for people to completely go around the basic assumptions of the game world, the major one being that you can't see through walls if the walls are solid. Having hardware drivers circumvent the creative visions of the game designers is a stab in the back and should rightly be shunned.

--

What if.... (5)

cansecofan22 (62618) | more than 12 years ago | (#212968)

What if the drivers could allow you to see through Laura Craft's clothes in Tomb Rader?? Man I bet thaey could sell those drivers.

Skilled programmer to re-enable it? (5)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 12 years ago | (#212969)

I think that having it exist in a form where it takes a bit of skill to enable it is fine. It takes just as much skill to download a cheat program, assuming the person already wants to cheat. And there will always be people who want to cheat.

This driver could have had some cool uses besides cheating, though.
--

Re:I do believe that a skilled programmer... (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 12 years ago | (#212970)

> It is upto the developers to stop the cheating.

Not a flame, but obviously you're not a game/graphics programmer, else you would know this is "pratically" IMPOSSIBLE. (You will see why I say pratically below.)

> Having transparent walls does you no good if the game doesn't draw things that you can not see.

In the *ideal* client/server game, yes, the server would tell the client what it can and can't see. This style of client is commonly called a "dumb terminal." It takes input, sends it to the server, and renders what the server says.

Let's see how this would work:

Client is standing still, looking straight ahead. Server sends updates to what the client can see. e.g. players move around.

Now the client does a quick 180 turn. Server needs to send the client all the new objects the client can now see. Unfortunately you TOTALLY forgot about network latency. Objects "pop" into view, and you kill bandwidth since you are constantly telling the server where you are looking, along with the server constantly sending what you can see.

This one reason it is pratically why it is impossible to write a cheat-proof client/sever game. The network connection just doesn't make it feasible.

If you need more examples, I'm sure John Carmack could point out a few more examples, since he's been implementing First Person Shooter's for a while.

> This is one reason to prefer BSP trees for HLHSR (Hidden Line & Hidden Surface Removal) instead of Z buffers.
Nonsense. BSP's only really work for static objects. You still need a z-buffer for dynamic objects. BSP's aren't free.

Are you going to generate a BSP for each "frame" of animation, when the frame is generated dynamically?? (i.e. blended animation)

Hacked maps are old news (3)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 12 years ago | (#212971)

> Why can't someone just go into a map editor and replace all the surface textures to ones that have alpha-channels?

Hacked maps have been around since Quake 1.

The client does a crc checksum on the map and sends it to the server. If the client has a different checksum, the server sends the map. Of course this doesnt' stop the client from lying to the server about the checksum.

it's not the driver (1)

dwoolridge (69316) | more than 12 years ago | (#212972)

Why is there an assumption this is a driver problem? The issue is the trust model between client and server. The game engine needn't send position information to clients when not necessary? Oh sure, it's _easier_ to let the client do the work, but the game (server) engines already do much of the same work (you can't walk through walls). Why not include this funtionality and make it server-side optional? Let the big boxes do more of the work to quash the would-be cheaters.

Re:Gaming == bloodlust (1)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 12 years ago | (#212974)

Well Their are other 3d games out their that do not promote bloodlust. Like Jedi Knight ,and you can turn off all the gore in most of the bad ones.

Re:Not really that important (1)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 12 years ago | (#212975)

Actually one of the reasons they did this is to cut down on the amount of traffic the client and server needed to exchange with each other. Allowing users with small pipes two have better latency. Client Side Prediction is one example of this, that greatly decreased the amount of data that need to be sent to the server. Allow smoother game play on the client side.

But alas too much on the client side has drawbacks allowing cheating to take place, their needs to be a balance.

Taco's Comment (4)

duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 12 years ago | (#212979)

"Personally I think this is lame. If you want to see through walls, fine: It makes playing games lame, but thats your choice"

This my be true for single-player games, but for networked, multi-player it makes the game "lame" for everyone. That doesn't provide a great incentive for people to spend $45 on the next version of Quake or Unreal....

ÕÕ

Seems silly (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 12 years ago | (#212985)

You can't enforce honesty on a network.

This lesson was only first learned what? 30 years ago? Do people really expect that little band-aids here and there will be able to fix inherently broken crap?

On my computer, you can't rely on naything. You can't ever be sure that the code you want to be running is, or that code you don't want to be running isn't.

If you don't want people cheating, then don't send the client extra information (like the positions of other players) that can be used to cheat.

Its the network protocol thats broken, the game thats broken, not the video hardware or drivers here.

Is i tharder to write "more secure" protcols? Hell yea it is. Can it take more server end resources and more bandwidth? hell yea it can.

However, if you want to compromise security for speed, ease or server side resources, then don't bitch abou tthe consequenses.

Even after you fix all that, you still can't stop "line of sight" cheating. You still can't stop a bot from being written to play for a person. Some things are just not fixable problems.

Any program designed to stop cheaters is flawed. Flawed because they can "break" it. Once its broken, the new cheats will proliferate. Its whack-a-mole!

Having perfectly reasonable features removed from hardware by the manafacturer to "protect" inhgerently broken software from cheaters is absolutly silly.

If people want to cheat, then they will cheat. So what? Its just a game, get over it. Setup private servers and play there. Otherwise, put up with it.

I hate to be abrasive about this but, its fucking silly. This is a moronic issue. The idiots have won! That pisses me off. A completely useless victory! Yeah!

--Steve

Whiny bitches... (1)

Wiggin (97119) | more than 12 years ago | (#212987)

From reading the majority of comments here we all sound like damn whining bitches.

Oh wait, this is slashdot. carry on.

Doesn't matter to most cheaters... (1)

skrowl (100307) | more than 12 years ago | (#212993)

Aimbots such as nopbot127 for Quake 3 don't take advantage of what's actually DRAWN on the screen. They effectively see through walls anyway. That + the railgun and they could probably play w/o the monitor on and still beat people using these "cheat" drivers.
____________________
Remember, not all /. users hate Windows or think Microsoft is out to get them!

Your missing the point... (3)

catseye_95051 (102231) | more than 12 years ago | (#212994)

The poster wrote:
"Personally I think this is lame. If you want to see through walls, fine: It makes playing games lame, but thats your choice"

Three little words:
online multiplayer games

Re:Whining over this is lame... (1)

Tarindel (107177) | more than 12 years ago | (#212997)

The community didn't MAKE the company restrict it's drivers. The company decided to restrict it's drivers because it made business sense -- in other words, they were worried enough about people boycotting them that it might affect their bottom line. Subtle but important difference. Bravo to the community for making it's preferences heard! You're right -- games should be for fun. Most of us don't find it fun when our opponents cheat. Companies who encourage cheating to fatten their accounts... well, that just defeats the whole spirit of competitive gaming.

I disagree (2)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 12 years ago | (#212998)

There will always be people who want to cheat. If they can't use the Asus drivers then they'll find some other method. It was a neat feature of the drivers that has been removed because people complaint that it would be used to cheat.

I agree with CmdrTaco's [cmdrtaco.net] comments on the original article [slashdot.org]. People are going to cheat anyway. I tend to play online games against people I know. I used to spend up to eight hours a day (hey, I work for a university!) playing Rise of Rome [microsoft.com] online. It seemed that for every "good" game, you'd have to put up with about four "bad" games (people whining about options, then dropping, immature kids, etc). It just wasn't worth it. I'd rather play against people I know and I don't have to worry about them cheating.

Re:Not sure i can agree (2)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 12 years ago | (#212999)

Fair enough. I guess I wasn't trying to imply that people should only play with friends. I was just trying to point out that there are a lot of hassles with playing online, cheating included.

As far a tournaments and leagues, cheating (in any form) is a major issue. Having Asus remove a driver feature doesn't solve it. I think the real effort should be to devise ways to ensure people are not cheating while playing online. While the drivers may had made it easy for script kiddies, the serious cheater already has tools.

It was brilliant! (1)

yorgasor (109984) | more than 12 years ago | (#213000)

Actually, what they've done is create a shortage of hardware with this feature. L4me cheaters will start shelling out lots of $$$ for the chance to be a l33t gamer. And then Asus looks like the good guy for removing the driver after asking for user feedback, thereby gaining lots of free advertising. MS couldn't have planned it better.

crying... (1)

Satai (111172) | more than 12 years ago | (#213001)

"Well, crying isn't gonna bring him back, unless your tears smell like dog food. So you can either sit there crying and eating can after can of dog food until your tears smell enough like dog food to make your dog come back -- or you can go out there and find your dog."

"You're right! I'll do it."

"Rats. I almost had him eating dog food!"

What about other means of cheating? (1)

KPU (118762) | more than 12 years ago | (#213002)

If people cannot use special video drivers, what about using memory modifiers and proxies to help you win a multiplayer game? I haven't seen any large outcry about a proxy for Quake that helps you aim. General purpose memory modifiers also work well for cheating, but those can be compensated for by checking on the other end. I have yet to see a game that has this checking, however.

Whining over this is lame... (4)

malfunct (120790) | more than 12 years ago | (#213005)

Cheating is best dealt with socially in games. If a person cheats you don't play with that person and then they either cheat all by themselves or they start to not cheat. The only time cheating should be an issue is if there is money to be gained.

Games should be for fun and excitement and it seems too many gamers take them FAR to seriously. I think its abominable for the community to make a company restrict drivers for this reason. Blah.

Cheating is lame but... (2)

stilwebm (129567) | more than 12 years ago | (#213008)

I think cheating is lame, but people will always try to do it. The good thing about making it a little harder with the drivers is that it will eliminate the ease with which everyone can try. It's the AOL/Napster factor. Many MP3's were around and actively traded before Napster came out, but Napster made it so easy that even my grandfather could pirate entire albums. If it is easy for anyone to cheat, then game servers will have such a high noise to signal ratio that it will be no fun for the noncheaters to play anymore.

You know what (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 12 years ago | (#213012)

It's the video game manufacturer's own problem. If games were made to only render the visible portion of the game, the Asus card wouldn't be possible. In fact, I know of someone who uses the natural clipping effects in quake to see enemies that can't see him... As always, let's attack the symptoms and not the actual problem.

---=-=-=-=-=-=---

Re:Very bad PR move (1)

cqnn (137172) | more than 12 years ago | (#213013)

"Why was it even developed?"

Becuase it could be.

Look at it this way... You're a programmer writing code for a particular
piece of hardware. One day you notice something about the interface or
nature of the hardware that might let you create an exploit that no-one
else had forseen the system being capable of. Do you:

A. Ignore this discovery, and go back to writing the code you were supposed
to be working on.

B. Explore this discovery, in the interest that figuring out how that
exploit works might lead to other valuable discoveries about the
potential of the hardware/software you are working with.

The mistake the programmer made was not in writing the code, it was in
letting someone from the marketing department know it existed.

Those crying people (3)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 12 years ago | (#213014)

But wow have a lot of people cried over this. As if crying is going to make any of this stop.

But, it did just make it stop.

any one remember the tnt drivers? (1)

nothng (147342) | more than 12 years ago | (#213016)

For a while Asus had a poll about their TNT asking if the "see through walls feature" should be added to their drivers. Of course the poll was overwhelmingly if favor of excluding the see through walls feature, and was not included with the TNT's then. It's a shame that after that they decide to slip it into the Gforce drivers (which presumably will work for the TNT's as well).

I run several game servers for NETDOOR ranging from quake 1 to tribes 2. Cheating has always been a problem especially on our heavily populated servers like quake 2, but until now it has always just been software which was the cheat, now cheaters can go in a whole new direction and use hardware to do this. It's really sad when you think of all the work that newer games have put into preventing cheating will now be null and void because of a video card. I will never buy an asus product again. I realize it's just a game, but I think the fact that they are knowingly contributing to ruining games for everyone for the sake of "marketing" is justification enough to look into other manufacturers. Looks like I'll be using ABIT motherboards from now on...

Re:Is it just me... (2)

Fat Lenny (150637) | more than 12 years ago | (#213017)

The last time such a fuss was made in the 3D card industry was about a year ago, when Asus was talking about releasing "see through" drivers. History has a tendency to repeat itself, doesn't it?

--

i agree (1)

TotallyUseless (157895) | more than 12 years ago | (#213018)

removing the drivers doesnt stop cheating...the dedicated cheaters can still do it. However, Most cheaters seem to stop cheating if it becomes a chore to get the new cheat/driver/etc. Most of the people that keep cheating at that point seem to have some sort of vendetta against the game/community they are cheating in.
Yes, the serious cheater has his tools, but most cheaters just seem to be script kiddies anyway, not anyone with a real idea of what is happening behind the scenes to let them cheat.
I think Asus just thought they could corner the market on 'lamers' if they introduced drivers which negated the need to hunt down he latest cheat, and now they are paying the PR price for it.

well (1)

TotallyUseless (157895) | more than 12 years ago | (#213019)

you are right in that you do have to expect a certain amount of wankerism in online play. As you mentioned, there is no real authority, and no easy way to police it. That's understood. And im not asking for any kind of verification thru credit ard system o anything like that. Thats just silly imho. I just don't really think hardware manufacturers should be building the cheats in. Even an honest gamer might be tempted once he finds out what the drivers for his new card can do, even if he never considered cheating before.
And the fact still remains, if you want to play with more than a handful of people, your going to have to play with strangers. Like I said, the whole idea of internet gaming is playing with people from all over the world.

Not sure i can agree (3)

TotallyUseless (157895) | more than 12 years ago | (#213020)

I dont think playing Rise of Rome and having people whining or dropping games is exactly a fair comparison to people being able to see thru walls in q1-q3. Ok, maybe you and taco only play games like this with people you know. What about the other 95% of the community that doesn't play with just friends? What about tournaments, and leagues? Most of these are played remotely from all over the country, or even all over the world.
I just think the whole philosophy of 'I only play online games with people I know' is detrimental to the whole idea of the internet gaming community. Playing with friends at a lan party is one thing, but most people dont do this, as the net provides much easier access to gaming oppurtunities.
Anyway, the whole point of this ramble was that just because some people only play with friends they know, that doesn't mean the majority of the internet gaming community does, and these drivers are detrimental to the internet gaming community as a whole, neat technology or not.

Can't someone just hack the maps? (1)

Paolomania (160098) | more than 12 years ago | (#213024)

Why can't someone just go into a map editor and replace all the surface textures to ones that have alpha-channels? I'm sure a Geforce3 could handle all that alpha-blending.

It's not all bad (2)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 12 years ago | (#213025)

At least now it will be more difficult for the cheaters to cheat. I'm sure the drivers will live for years on warez sites, but the cheaters will have to suffer through endless pages of porn banners to get them. Some of them might even not bother and play fair. At the very least there will be less cheaters using the drivers so when we go to play games online there will be less chance we end up with a cheater against us.

Again, Taco proves he is a fucking moron (2)

piku (161975) | more than 12 years ago | (#213027)

When you use these drivers, you don't just ruin YOUR gaming experience, you ruin the experience of the OTHER 30 people you are playing with.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

EvilDonut (164879) | more than 12 years ago | (#213028)

Did they have some big customer survey that said this was an important issue for them?

They had a survey during this past week that told them the see throug drivers were not a good idea.

When I checked the poll this wednesday, some 12.000 people had voted about the issue, with 89% thinking the see-through drivers were a bad idea...

Would the real slashdot please stand up (3)

tagishsimon (175038) | more than 12 years ago | (#213031)

In another place [slashdot.org], Timothy whinges "It's a sad state of things when you've got to prove that something is good in order that it not be presumed harmful".

Meanwhile, the Asus see-through driver is BAD.

Go figure.

Why Cheat? (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 12 years ago | (#213033)

What is the purpose of cheating? Their is no money involved.....This is like me saying that I have found a way to get fat without eating? I would like to here a good argument from a cheater as to what they get out of it???

The drivers should have remained. (1)

WuTangClanner (181082) | more than 12 years ago | (#213034)

The drivers should have remained the same. Developers and API writers should take these things into account during the production of their software. Its just bad form to hide features and disable potentially cool stuff because it *could* be used inappropriately. Many people have made good analogies, so I wont bother to come up with one.

I just want to say that I disagree with this. I play Q3 and HL, I use a Leadtek GeForce2 so these were not availible for me to use. I am also a developer of games. I would have preferred that Asus had not removed the features.

:)
Just my opinion...

Re:Those crying people (2)

YKnot (181580) | more than 12 years ago | (#213035)

The cat's out of the bag. It has not stopped. ASUS now pleases everyone. The cheater has up-to-date drivers with cheating ability. The rest kisses ASUS' butt for removing the see-through part from the drivers. ASUS should be treated just as if they had not removed the cheat, because effectively they haven't.

Re:Skilled programmer to re-enable it? (3)

YKnot (181580) | more than 12 years ago | (#213037)

This driver could have had some cool uses besides cheating, though.

Name one.

Re:it's about cheating for the masses (1)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 12 years ago | (#213038)

Sure, a skilled programmer could cheat.

But only a skilled programmer. Because, after all, exploits are never widely distibuted as any sort of script or used by any sort of kiddy.

Re:Very bad PR move (2)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 12 years ago | (#213039)

No one is likely to boycot the product because of this but come on, it clearly took some programmer some time and concerted effort to develop this 'feature'.

Actually, I'm currently in the market for a 3D card (my current one's a Canopus Pure3D -- it's so old that the company apparently let the pure3d.com domain registration lapse) and will not by an Asus one exactly because of this situation.

I know exactly two things about Asus -- that I've heard of the GeForce 3 (but don't recall whether it was good or bad) and that they released this driver. The former would've been enough for me to at least look into them. The latter is enough that I will not bother.

Disabling Hardware Features (1)

PhotonSphere (193108) | more than 12 years ago | (#213041)

I realize that I may take some heat for this comment, but I can't help but draw a parallel between gamers complaining about this hardware/driver combo and the RIAA/MPAA complaining about their respective issues. I think that it is a mistake for Asus to limit functionality. People will cheat. People will also illegally distribute copied music. Both are wrong. Just don't limit me on what I can do with my hardware/software based on the chance that I *could* make a wrong decision...

Does anyone else see this parallel?

Re:Ummm...open source? (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 12 years ago | (#213042)

If the source were open, it would be impossible to get rid of every version with the see thru code in it.

With it closed at least ASUS knows can inform people exactly how it works and how to prevent it from being used.

Ben

Is it just me... (2)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#213047)

...or is this the weirdest public relations fiasco the 3d card industry has seen in some time?

Seriously. Hands up. How many of you were planning on boycotting the GeForce 3 based on how this issue played out? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Why is this such a fuss? Did they have some big customer survey that said this was an important issue for them?

Very bad PR move (3)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#213048)

How could the company not have foreseen this as a PR disaster? No one is likely to boycot the product because of this but come on, it clearly took some programmer some time and concerted effort to develop this 'feature'. Why was it even developed? It's rediculous. People who want to cheat will cheat. part of the fun for them is finding new and creative ways to do it. Let them have their kind of fun. Let the rest of us play our games in peace, and save dome R&D dollars by not wasting programmers' time with things like this.


--

We can stop further mistakes from being made (2)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 12 years ago | (#213049)

Simply boycott Asus products, there are mounds of competitors products who are just as good and produced by companies that listen to their consumers(the drivers were leaked before the poll was even started for those that didn't know). Hit 'em in the pocket book and they'll not soon forget that we don't want then screwing with our games, hit them hard enough, and they become a grim reminder to other companies not to try something so horrible. If you don't think its necessary to strike back, I ask you, what's to stop other companies from doing the same thing? Asus now has a marketing point to exploit: their products really do make you better at games than others, if this point is not made undesirable, other companies will adopt it. Personally, I will never buy another Asus product regardless of what they say now; they've already proven themselves an unscrupulous company in my mind. It was obvious from the beginning what these drivers would be used for.

"// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

I do believe that a skilled programmer... (2)

stonewolf (234392) | more than 12 years ago | (#213051)

Can build a shim into the D3D driver stack and enable transparency without any help from the driver vendors.

And, on any open source OS a skilled programmer can hack the X server, the DRI, the tcp/ip stack and anything else that might make it possible to cheat.

Cheaters will cheat. It is upto the developers to stop the cheating. Having transparent walls does you no good if the game doesn't draw things that you can not see. This is one reason to prefer BSP trees for HLHSR (Hidden Line & Hidden Surface Removal) instead of Z buffers.

StoneWolf

games lame (1)

room101 (236520) | more than 12 years ago | (#213053)

>If you want to see through walls, fine:
>It makes playing games lame, but thats your choice.

Same with spawn camping. It's a stupid tactic, and it isn't very fun to do, but it really makes the game suck for everyone else. Some people have too much time on their hands, why should the game suck for me?

The answer... (2)

iomud (241310) | more than 12 years ago | (#213054)

Is for game companies to get serious about cheat protection especially of the fps variety although I don't think drivers like these could be stopped other cheats, aimbots, skin hacks etc should be eliminated. Non standard clients should give notification that something is not right with the person who just connected at least.

Hmmm, where are the "freedom" zealots now? (1)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 12 years ago | (#213055)

I think most everybody here agrees that cheating in online games does indeed suck.

However, where are the people who scream bloody murder everytime a corporation forces an individual to end a project it doesn't "like"?

Napster was a cheat (quit kidding yourselves), but everybody balks at the notion of shutting them down. The same goes for Gnutella (and clones), iMesh, et al.

I say if Asus wants to be known as a bunch of assholes and release a driver that helps cheaters than so be it, but I certainly don't advocate "forcing" them to stop.

Make up your mind.

Life, the Universe and Everything? Or just a game? (1)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#213059)

It is a game. It is not reality. Get over it or get better. The people I know that cheat still suck. Plus, not everyone will go buy these things. Don't get mad at the company, they are just filling a niche of people dying to be good and be able to say "w00t! I killed you!" Or just change servers!

The ratio of people using this card versus the number of servers is very tiny. I don't like cheaters, but I'll just practice more because when you 0wn a cheater and they whine, you get that warm fuzzy in your tummy. :)

=-=-=-=-=

Re:Anti-Cheat Tools (1)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#213060)

But Anti-cheat tools will just lead to a total lockdown of servers. The more tools you put up trying to catch cheaters, the more of a challenge it is to cheat.

The fact is that people will always want to cheat. Don't let a small number of punk cheaters make everyone paranoid and put all kinds of stupid filters and anti-cheat hacks on them.

There will always be servers where people don't cheat. Find those and frag away and stop getting pissed and yelling, "Oh bullhell gazongers!"

=-=-=-=-=

Re:What if.... (1)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#213061)

Or a naked Gordon Freeman! :P Of course I would rather have Laura, but let's be fair to everyone!

=-=-=-=-=

Re:Acid dropping (1)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#213062)

I must be corrupted as well, I saw "In that respect, Anus opened the door to something new and bad." in this comment [slashdot.org]

=-=-=-=-=

Re:it's about cheating for the masses (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 12 years ago | (#213065)

I'm not even sure why this is a story. Asus originally proposed this back in July of 2000 [planetcrap.com]. I emailed that in on the last story, but I guess it didn't get read. Asus had plenty of time to think on this, and in fact, they met with just as much criticism in 2000. If this is anything, it's a publicity stunt, or possibly one last effort at getting these drivers out in hopes of monopolizing the market for 3D cards.

Not really an option in many games© (1)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 12 years ago | (#213071)

When it takes a long time to find a server that meets one's requirements ¥for example, wanting Friendly Fire on Counter-Strike, wanting to play on clan servers with decent players, etc not playing with cheaters/unwanteds is difficult© It can take upwards of several minutes to connect to some servers, good servers are often full, and it's a real pain to give up your record and move to another site just because of one person©

On another note, it's difficult to tell sometimes who is actually cheating© There are situations where one "bad" player can demonstrate a rash of good luck / good decisions and appear to be cheating, and there are instances where someone who seems to be "too good" just happens to be "too good"© It's hard to know if the person turned the corner and fragged you because he's good, or because he saw you there thru the wall©

Reducing the availability of such technologies is a good thing for the gaming community, if only in that it lowers the number of cheaters©

---
BLAM!

we can see thru walls??? (1)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 12 years ago | (#213072)

If you can prove to me counterterrorists can see thru walls today, by all means, submit the story to /. - I'm sure we'd all like to see it.

Meanwhile, those of us playing Counter-Strike are looking for a more realistic game, as far as such is legal. We're not looking to duke it out with the predator, either! (Thank god!)

I've seen this before... (4)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 12 years ago | (#213079)

  • And it ain't pretty..

    Code Master of the Gameshark Code Creators' Club used that exact same arguement when he posted cheat codes for Phantasy Star Online, and those codes ultimately wrecked the distribution of special weapons and allowed script kiddies to kill their own teammates. People stopped playing the game over this and it thrashed the servers that Sega had so thoughfully provided the players of the game free of charge.

    Thankfully, the cheats have gone on to other things since the fun has gone out of the game for them. Alas, we lost a lot of good players in the PSO community thanks to those codes corrupting 100s of hours worth of save data per character among other problems.

    Online gaming can be construed as a community, and when the understood rules of that community are violated it isn't just the cheater who is deprived of a good gaming expereince, but the entire community as well. These drivers are not an isolated incident, not just one person has them.


Berk Watkins

See-Through Is Good (1)

8934tioegkldxf (442242) | more than 12 years ago | (#213080)

As if people haven't hacked their own drivers or made proxies to do this already. If Asus had stuck it out so that everyone could have this then developers would have been forced to write decent code that doesn't send redundant information to the clients and stopped all cheating. As it is, it just means that the people that want to cheat will be able to and the developers get to sit on their hands and do nothing. Good for developers, bad for players.

Not really that important (1)

bartle (447377) | more than 12 years ago | (#213081)

In the long line of cheats that have ruined games, this Asus see-through is pretty much a drop in the bucket. Online gaming is inately unfair to begin with, differences in computer speed or connection latency can easily overwhelm the skills of a player. It irritates me only slightly less that the reason I just got sniped in the head was not due to any cheating, but rather that my opponent had a much lower ping time. Sucks either way.

What also makes many of these cheats so ridiculous is that a proper client/server implementation would have prevented them in the first place. Game designers shove way too much of the game onto the client side, a proper architecture shouldn't allow the client to do anything the user can't do himself. Granted, this isn't perfect; the client side bots ruined Quake despite a near ideal architecture. But in the online world companies have it in their power to arbitrarly alter the program binaries and the communication protocols periodically, this would go far in defeating client side cheats.

Put simply, there is really nothing to prevent a vigilant game company from producing an online game that is pretty close to cheat free. It seems like this would be a good way to get an edge over the competition, it might be worth the energy to implement

Of course, if you really don't want to deal with cheaters, just play an unpopular game. It's the popular ones that get cracked the fastest.

Cheating (1)

BastardOpFromHell (452398) | more than 12 years ago | (#213083)

Well, looks like Asus buckled under the pressure. It IS too late; I'm sure the drivers are available all over the internet now.

I think, if someone wants to cheat at a video game, that's their choice. It's not that big of a deal. If they can't play the game the right way, let 'em cheat. Who cares?

As far as online play, if you don't want to play with cheaters, then don't! Play with people you know and trust.

It's inevitable that people are going to cheat, whether it's games or otherwise. Asus taking down the drivers isn't going to change that.

Re:Those crying people (1)

ColdForged (453024) | more than 12 years ago | (#213084)

But, it did just make it stop.

SURE it did. Until the next time they release drivers with this "feature" enabled. They've done this before... exactly. They had their little "poll" up to find out what public opinion was and everything. They backtracked and apologized and said "we swear we'll never do it again."

Until next time.

-

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