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How to deal with the Duping of items in UO for good ?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by popps, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. popps

    popps Stratics Legend Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    I have been reading posts about rumors of yet another dupe of items in UO.

    Those who have played Ultima Online for quite a few years, may remember that over the years the duping incidents have been quite several. And each time, IMHO, a lot of harm is done to legittimate players as the flooding of duped items lowers the value of all those items, even those that were obtained legittimately through great expenditure of one's own time playing the game.

    Basically, as I see it, duping makes it not worth to spend time playing the game to get those items, much more efficient to do else and buy those items dead cheap.........

    Worse, I think, if what is duped are gold checks, the sudden flood of gold in the game boosts inflation thus making the game much harder for new players or returning players.

    What I am trying to say, is that from each angle I see the problem of duping, I end up thinking that this is a very bad thing for Ultima Online as a game as it either may deter current players from playing the game as the items they get are not worth their time, or it may deter perspective returning players or brand new players to actually want to come back to Ultima Online because competitive items' prices may have sky rocketed...

    Now, if duping is quite a bad problem for UO, shouldn't a "good for all" solution be found to deal with it once and for all ?

    Since I keep hearing about this problem, even years after it first showed up in UO, I seem to guess that it cannot be made impossible to come back, eventually, sooner or later, be it for a bug or whatever.

    Now, if it ain't possible to make duping impossible to show up, then why not deal with it in a different way ?

    I seem to remember that since a while back all items in UO have a unique identification number.
    Now, how about when an item is duped (thus the game gets 2+ items with the same identification number) then all of the items with the same identification number gets deleted automatically but 1. Problem solved.

    Besides, the game could have a sort of an alarm bell built in that rings up in the Developers' room whenever the game detects multile items holding the same unique identification number being created. That is, the Developers could get to know of a new duping issue the same exact time it shows up in the game............


    Well, if 2 items are not allowed to hold the same unique identification number more than for a split second since only 1 would remain in the game and not get deleted, checks holding the same identification number would be automatically deleted.

    But in order to deal with the problem also in cases this did not happen (items not getting automatically deleted), how about adding an "items' database" to the game that basically, at least for sometime like a few months to give enough time to Developers to deal with duping situations ?
    This items' database would basically register for the time set all changes to that item's unique identification number and accounts' transfers thus allowing the developers to track down duped items even though they changed unique identification numbers and account holding them.

    For example, say that a check is numbered 00123. It gets duped and somehow the duped check also numbered oo123 has not been deleted. The duped check is then turned into gold having the item number 00124 and then back into another check with number 00125 or perhaps in 2 checks of half the amount each numbered 00125 and 00126. Well, all of these changes would be added to the history of the original check numbered 00123 thus making it possible, once the supe has been discovered, to find out what items have been actually duped and what happened to them in the game. Of course, the faster a duping would be dealt with (and actions taken), the sh0rter the time this database should be needed to be memorized for. If the duping could be discovered in a couple of weeks and be dealt with in such a time frame, then the database could be cleared every 2 weeks to minimize the amount of memory needed for storage.

    I think that it could make it possible to take care of the problem even after the duping occurred, and deal with it thus fixing whatever harm was done to the game by the flooding of duped items.

    Would this slow down the game a bit ? I am not sure, perhaps (maybe most of the work can be done daily when servers are down from maintainance ?), but I do not think we can have the cake and eat it too, if duping is a problem and it hurts the game, well, then I think that some compromise must be found with solutions which may not be perfect, but at least try to deal also with the harm that duping does to the game after the duping has already occurred.....
  2. Vyal

    Vyal Guest

    There is 3 ways to dupe items it's actually a very easy thing to do and for the developers to not know who is doing it is beyond me. Clearly people are doing the duping right before server down or on a shard that seems to mysteriously go down all the time. Next to insure that dupes can't take place remove the freaking server lines in the game, there is no need for them any how.
    Those sites that charge people to train skills and sell gold. Guess where they got all that crap from? You think they actually went out and farmed it? Do you think those search sites don't use scripts?
    It's a business and they make a lot of money doing it & who is doing all the farming for them? no one they are duping the items and selling them for a profit, duping pinks to just hand you 120 points in a skill when you pay for it. Welcome to UO where the best cheater wins and nothing is EVER done.
  3. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie Stratics Veteran

    They get confused rubbing that left and right brain cell together. Their thinking is adding something new will fix the game / dead horse. It has gone on so long we are just kicking bones about. I feel for new players that see the light and realize what vet players know. There is no winning UO and unless you cheat yout not keeping up with the Jones's. UO has become a distraction at the end of the day when I don't feel like playing Freecell or BeJeweled III. Freecell will win in the end for brain numbing grinding for a few hours, it is free.

    It is just way to late to police the game and hunt down those junk accounts with backpack/beetle/bankbox full of checks. Or the billions GP vendor with a few overpriced items that can be found on the ground at the bank. Years later still see the same few names railing at the brit library. Just fill a few BODs and have a Coke and Smile. Tell warstories of days gone by. No matter the effort or promises made, those that matter have moved on and there is no trust to be earned. Long live we the hard headed.
  4. We could just not buy them ?? we dont HAVE to keep up with the jones i can (insert what you like to do in UO here) with out them just fine. IF everyone stoped say PVPing with cheaters the cheaters would stop/go away. NO you dont have to go where they are you choose to. form a guild with like minded poeple only fight them. you can be in FEL and see no one ever if you stay outside small areas. there is that arena thing too....
  5. Tina Small

    Tina Small Grand Poobah Stratics Veteran


    Popps, the February 29th interview that Watchertoo did with Jeff Skalski included this Q&A:

    Watchertoo [23:26]: Well, along those lines, with the new publish coming out, is there the ongoing discussion of third-party programs and cheats, is there anything going on with that in this publish?

    Jeff [23:38]: We are taking a more active approach to the hacking stuff that’s going on. Some of our players may have noticed GMs pulling them aside. I don’t want to get too much into the details of it. We don’t condone hackers. We feel that they devalue the game experience. And those players who are not, are on unfair grounds because they’re not hacking the system like the [hackers] are. So it unbalances things greatly. The bottom line is, we know when people are hacking, and we’re going to be taking a more aggressive approach against [them]: warning them and then, if need be, getting them out of the game and off those shards.​

    Now, speaking of hackers, though, there’s definitely…there’s some stuff that the team and I are in discussion about. We understand that some players just want to play that way, and [we're] trying to figure out a way where we can give them a place to play like that. So, we’ll see. Maybe we’ll talk more about that towards the summer.​

    Jeff and Mesanna did an interview with PC Gamer in mid-March. According to what Jeff has said on Twitter, that interview will be made available in May. So, perhaps we just need to hang on a bit (as it seems we have been for the last 2-3 years, right?) and wait to see if he has more to say on the topic of cheating/hacking at that point. I'm especially curious about that last paragraph, because I just don't see how it can be done without completely wrecking the game as a whole.
  6. popps

    popps Stratics Legend Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    I disagree with the opinion that it is too late to get things done. If what is wrong in Ultima Online (the cheating) gets fixed for good I think that it would be good for the game.

    The current billions of gold in the game ? Well, how about there is a new currency introduced in the game that cannot be duped or scripted and can only be hard earned by playing the game ?

    This new currency would be worth significantly more than the "old" currency (gold) meaning, that players earning it will see their time playing the game worth again.
    Eventually, the old currency will be substitued by the new one and gold will only be a deco item.
    It could even be declared that given a year or 2 the old currency (gold) will cease to be usable for any transaction be it with NPCs or player to player (trade window would not accept gold coins or gold checks). Only the new currency would be accepted.

    History tells how this "change of currency" over the centuries has happened for some Nations in real life, why couldn't it also happen in a virtual world if this could help get the game better ?
  7. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor

    Lord Frodo likes this.
  8. popps

    popps Stratics Legend Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Well, that is very good news but aside from stopping che cheating, the ill effect of it to the game should also be dealt with.

    For example, if duping gets a flood of checks or powerscrolls or SoTs or whatever other item into the game, they should be deleted otherwise, even if the cheater is found, the whatever effect that such a flood of duped items has to the game, and so to other players who do not use cheats, will stay in the game for a long while.

    I still think that it would be good to have a way to track down items (the database hypothesis), not just for duping cases but also in other cases of lost items for bugs.
    I mean, think a lot of good could come from being able to track down items, at least for a limited time.
  9. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    If you make it a pain in the ass, or "hard earned by playing the game", guess what? Scripters will figure out a way to do it.

    It reminds me of the people who want to tax houses and make it difficult/expensive to own a house in-game. These measures do not impact the people who are cheating - they will find ways around it. That's what they do, that's what they've been doing since 1997.

    If you make things more difficult for honest players on the other hand, they will leave or reduce the number of accounts they own. That's not healthy for the game.

    A major factor in the duping and scripting is real-life money. Scripting or duping items and gold and selling them for real-life money, or selling/trading them for other things in-game that can then be sold for real-life money, it's incredibly easy real-life money that's not even taxed. As long as you have an easy way for people to make real-life money, they are going to exploit the hell out of the system.

    The only way you can truly stop a lot of those people from exploiting the system is to dry up the real-life market and remove the reason they are scripting/duping in the first place. Those who are making a business out of selling in-game items for real-life money will then move on to other games. Drying up the real-life market involves measures that nobody wants to take. So if UO is here 5 years from now, scripting/duping will still be a problem.
    Lord Frodo and Martyna Zmuir like this.
  10. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    If the Star Wars team or Warcraft team came out and said they were looking at accomodating the people who are scripting/cheating, the gaming media would have crucified them.
  11. popps

    popps Stratics Legend Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Perhaps making a new server where cheating will be allowed, of course not transferable to any and all other servers, and then have all other servers where cheating will be forbidden and severely enforced ?
  12. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Tina Small
    Let's look at the two groups of exploiters.

    Group A was described by Petra Fyde (and I'm paraphrasing) as people who want an advantage over non-cheaters, and who have no desire to play only with other cheaters. Petra nailed this group.

    Group B consists of the scripters who are scripting to sell items for real-life money. If they are shunted off to a shard where everybody can script and where they can't transfer stuff elsewhere, they lose their ability to make money, and they'll just quit and go to a game where they can make money. UO is a business for them.

    That's why it made no sense whatsoever for Jeff Skalski to have brought that up, because the people we are talkiong about have absolutely no reason to play on a shard where everybody scripts or where they can't sell their virtual pixel crack for real-life money. No reason whatsoever.

    If this were any other game, the media would have jumped all over his comment. The headlines would not read "Star Wars: The Old Republic or World of Warcraft to have special areas for cheaters, is keeping them away from non-cheaters", the headlines would read "Star Wars: The Old Republic or World of Warcraft officially approve of cheating". If this were to happen, UO's reputation would be irreparably harmed.

    Look, if you can identify and force the cheaters to their own shard, you can identify and ban them.

    The hell with the cheaters and the scripters, ban them. If somebody wants to script because they have to have an advantage over other players, ban them and let them go play on a free shard or go play Counterstrike or something. If they want to script to sell pixel crack for real-life dollars, or to buy in-game items, ban them because they have been screwing up our economy for years.
    eve, Lord Frodo, Tjalle and 2 others like this.
  13. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    This is how Jeff described these people: "We feel that they devalue the game experience."

    I don't even know why we would consider accommodating such people.
    eve likes this.
  14. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

    I can think of one reason why... Jeff is playing the same idiotic game that Cal did with the "Classic Shard" crowd. Pay them lip service just to keep their $$ rolling in. String them along until community angst overwhelms the rose-colored glasses crowd and a decision must be made.

    Expect this to get worse.
  15. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    /What Tina said is what I'm thinking. There's now "2" names attached to the WE KNOW, plus the Dev Team. There's various degrees of hacking, some warranting greater concern than others, while all are wrong, they will not all be resolved by the same measure. The "we can give them a place to play like that" was a concept view of a 'possible' outcome, as in retaining a cheater's money. Will they say it's OK to use any scripting application/hack you like, just not on these particular shards? That's not gonna happen.
    Anyone that's ever lived in the corporate world knows that the directions in which to move forward take time and planning, to predict the desired impact those decisions will have, not just immediate, but possibly for years to come. Immediate solutions are not always easy and often impulsive with negative consequences.

    As for Item ID's. I don't think checking is an option - a mere 100K accounts w/ only 6 chars could have 75 Million items in their Bank alone, then add Xshard.
    If they say they know, ya know, this is their day job, it's what they do. Things like Sting operation take downs or action on organized activities take time, watch the news.
  16. Tina Small

    Tina Small Grand Poobah Stratics Veteran


    I don't know what to think anymore. I look at the North American, European, Korean, and Taiwanese shards and they are almost all pathetically empty. Even Atlantic seems to be emptying out. I have had a house on Atlantic for quite a few years now and the small plot next to it has been empty now for almost a year, even though I've showed it to several players who were spamming in general chat that they were trying to place a house. Then I go play for a while on the Japanese shards and they seem to be in pretty darn good shape. I can happily spend hours wandering all over the shard with my low-skilled and gold-poor characters finding fully-stocked shops in out of the way places, where I can cheaply buy full spell books, LRC suits, jewelry, power and stat scrolls, Ilshenar artifacts, Shame and Wrong loot, clothing in a rainbow of colors, etc. The shops are beautiful, regardless of their size or location, and I don't think I've seen one yet that was nothing but a museum. (I'm sure they exist, possibly in Luna, but I rarely go to Luna on the Japanese shards because it's more fun to shop elsewhere.) The whole experience very much reminds me of what UO looked like on Great Lakes and Baja when I first started playing UO seven and a half years ago.

    I wish I could put my finger on the reason why the Japanese shards look so much more vibrant and alive than the other shards. I know their website actually looks like someone gives a damn about it and whoever coordinates their marketing efforts actually publicizes sales of UO-related items. Also, during the migration to the new account management service, the Japanese website ALWAYS contained helpful information for players to read on how to navigate through the system and updates on what was working, what was causing a problem, who to contact for help, etc. I don't know much about UO-related forums for players who speak Japanese and whether or not any of them have official EA community coordinators. Maybe Athos knows. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they still have someone performing that role.

    I've also noticed that on the Japanese shards, the General chat channel seems very under-utilized. Maybe it's heavily policed by the GMs? If so, I wonder if those GMs are also more responsive to pages about cheating?

    It's a mystery. Why are so many shards literally dying by the day and the Japanese shards look like they might actually be thriving to a degree? What's driving the difference and is it possible that those shards' p[l]ayers are what has allowed UO to actually survive the last couple of years so it can get to its 15th anniversary without shutting down? If so, then why would Jeff even have to consider the notion of setting up a shard for cheaters/scripters to keep UO afloat? Just study the Japanese shards and copy elsewhere the unique stuff that's happening there and see what happens, right? It surely can't make things any worse elsewhere, can it?
    LordDrago likes this.
  17. popps

    popps Stratics Legend Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Well, personally as a player of Ultima Online I think I have waited enough years to be able to play a cheat-free Ultima Online.

    I am fine that cheaters would be given a non-transferable Shard of their own on which they can cheat as much as they want, as long as I no longer will see them playing the same Shards that I do....

    I want to finally, that is, FINALLY, be able to play Ultima Online without having to worry about fellow players I fight against or compete against for resources or whatever, who cheat.

    I think I have waited enough years.
    sirrojen and Tjalle like this.
  18. sirrojen

    sirrojen Guest

    Jeff's post just makes me wanna quit uo, forever this time. You identified people hacking your game, and you gave them a WARNING??? So if i hacked mythic's bank account, would i be let off with a warning too? Lucky for me May 15th is right around the corner..
    eve likes this.
  19. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    A little part of me died when I saw the video interview and Jeff sounded like he wanted to give the scripters a place to play, while basically canceling the updated New Player Experience. He's talking about devoting resources to a group of people who f*** over their fellow UO players on a daily basis rather than trying to bring in or retain new players.
    eve, garillo, LordDrago and 1 other person like this.
  20. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    popps, Petry Fyde had it right: These people script and exploit because they want an advantage over their fellow players. They aren't going to stay on a shard where everybody can cheat, because they are then on equal ground with everybody, and that goes against what they want.
    Lord Frodo and LordDrago like this.
  21. sirrojen

    sirrojen Guest

    Anyone who thinks hackers would be willing to play on a hacker server is completely out of touch. If you moved them forceably they would just quit, I think permaban sends a much clearer message.
    eve likes this.
  22. Elden of Baja

    Elden of Baja Journeyman Stratics Veteran

    I hate to Inform you all of this, but EA would never Perma Ban every hacker and I doubt that they would even consider shifting them all to their own server. There is a reason why they never released the figures for #Accounts using Scripts/3rd party programs. Its because the % is much higher than you would think.

    I'd bet a minimal of 50% and a maximum of 80%. Take a look at the Classes of People who use 3rd party programs.

    1. People who make a living off it.
    2. People who do it for an advantage, whether it be resources or Pvp.

    1st Group.
    Chances are that if they are making a living off it, that they have multiple accounts open. Not Just multiple, but 10+ for storage of items/goods duped or otherwise gathered.

    2nd Group.
    If they are doing it for a pvp advantage. They probably have alt accounts so if they go down in factions, they get right back into the fight. If its for Resources, they sure as hell have multiple accounts because they want to keep it going 24 hours a day.

    What you would ask for is self assisted suicide. If you're body is 50-80% Cancer chances of them trying to prevent it are slim. Now, Lets carry on with that analogy. The most used of these programs has been around since practically the birth of UO. So, If it were a cancer that you have had for 15 Years, and its taken over 50%+ of your body....... I shouldn't even have to finish this., I don't think I can make it any more clear than that.

    Honestly, their shard solution is BackWards. It would be far smarter to make 1 Shard where no unapproved 3rd party programs were allowed, and allow 1 Free Limited Transfer. (No Resources, Limited Gold) , than to push all the cheaters to 1 shard. At the end of the day though, both actions would just be silly. The game already has a low enough population as it is.

    Dissatisfied with the Boosters, Updates, Events, and population? Then the last thing you would want is for EA to lose half its client base in UO.
  23. sirrojen

    sirrojen Guest

    As much as i love UO, and would hate to see it dealt a death blow, i personally would be ok with all of the hackers being banned. For all those who are banned, how many old players may come back from the news of the hackers being banned? It may be more then those who are banned! And if it is a death blow and suddenly is no longer profitable, let it go down with dignity, instead of living on it its current hacked state. What's the old saying, something like, if I die at least let me leave a pretty corpse?
    eve and Tjalle like this.
  24. Thimotty

    Thimotty Adventurer Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    @sirrojen, do you realise they are not doing it for you to have fun but for them to earn money? The dignity only goes so far :)
  25. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus Stratics Legend

    I think we need to realise there are different types of scripters.

    The only group that could be appeased by giving them a special shard is those who choose to afk train their characters. This is something that is allowed, and even facilitated in other games. So those people who do not enjoy, or learn, from training their characters, could feasibly be accommodated. Whether they should or not is not a question I feel qualified to answer. (I learn something new every time I train a skill tbh, but then I train it by using it, not standing in a corner doing something mind-numbingly boring).

    The others, the resources scripters, the client hackers, the duppers, the users of certain programs that make the client do things it was never meant to. Those need to be stopped. If it's possible to stop them while still allowing them to play legitimately that's good.

    To wish for cheating to be eliminated completely is nice, but unrealistic. There is no game out there, RL or virtual, where someone isn't cheating somehow. We can only hope to reduce it to a level where it has less impact on honest players.

    Vyal, if you know how the dupping is being done, please pass it on to the team.
  26. Vyal

    Vyal Guest

    I know how it's done and so do many others. Even if I pass on every cheat & exploit & hack I know of nothing will EVER be done. In all the years I have been playing Ultima Online the one thing I know for certain is that cheaters will never be punished so it is not worth the time in my day to type out a explanation to a development team who could care less if I spend a minute or an hour detailing how it's done.

    As far as the main hacking programs go guys it would be as simple as just closing the client at the very first hint a program is opened. Hey we don't need to perma ban these people using the programs let's just force them to play legit. That is all I ever asked. Some type of punkbuster type program is clearly what UO needs and has needed for years now. I am all for it, if there is one thing I could ever really wish for in UO is for everyone to at least be playing on a level playing field as far as hacks,packet injections, scripts, speeders go. Keep the programs at bay with punkbuster & people would stop quiting UO because it has rampant cheaters.

    I also want to add Petra that if you let me actually make these things public here on Stratics sure we may have huge reverts all over the place but at the very least it would FORCE these developers to actually get something done, that's the way I feel about it.
    Yes EA would hate Stratics for it, but just think of all the things that could be fixed if we just made all these hacks and cheats public for everyone to use. The game would get fixed and people would actually stop leaving because of all the cheats.
    sirrojen likes this.
  27. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus Stratics Legend

    I think you're overly negative. Things HAVE been done in the past. Action has been taken to block known exploits - the way character transfer works was changed. I know of at least two occasions where whole guilds were banned en masse.
    Punkbuster was looked at, and found to not quite fit the bill. I don't know entirely why the idea of using it was dropped, EA doesn't share information like that, but I do remember several people expressed concerns about it on the boards.

    They can't fix what they don't know about. Wouldn't it be worth passing on how it's done so that the method can be blocked? Even if, as you claim, the cheaters aren't punished?

    We at Stratics are currently passing on anything posted in the bug tracking forum that we judge to be a possible exploit, doing everything we can to help.
  28. Vyal

    Vyal Guest

    Now just think about that. People complain that punkbuster is bad, why would anyone do that? Of course these boards would get flooded with those posts, because nothing has ever been done to ever stop the real cheaters in the game everyone now needs to use these programs to be able to compete and at least try to have the upper hand could you imagine how they would feel if you told them UO is going to start using punkbuster and all your cheats won't work?

    Here is what I know of punkbuster, if you use the speeder programs you get disconnected, if you use packet injection programs you get disconnected, if you use any 3rd party program you get disconnected, if your client data does not compute you get disconnected, if your packets are in anyway messed up you get disconnected. In todays age any game that does not have ANY form of hacker/cheater protection in it & does nothing to the people using the programs is way way behind the times.

    You can call me overly negative but I have been pvping and playing long enough to watch friend after friend leave the game because they just get so fed up with the hacks. & I have also been in guilds on the other end of the spectrum where basically all 10 - 20 people in the vent are all using 4 different programs to give them the upper hand in pvp. & I have always been the voice in the background saying no to all of it and because of that I have my times where I go on death streaks, where I lock up, where I crash out, where my client just closes with no error (thank you packet injection idiots) & from being in so many guilds and watching the cheaters just cheat and cheat and get away with it day after day and then trash talk and do it all over again, meanwhile EA does nothing at all. So all the other people use it also and now we have entire shards filled with people running cheat programs, I dare anyone of you in one of the more zergalishis hardcore pvp guilds to just take a count and see how many of them are using the speeder program and the scripting programs and ask them about the packet hack programs they use when there are a lot of people on screen.
    Overly negative? That must be a joke..

    And that's just the pvp side of hacks, the other side are the people who exploit bugs to get gold or dupe items. The game is literally filled with hackers in both fel and tram. The dang dupe bug has literally been around for like 9 years at least thats like when people figured it out and according the the recent posts its still around. I dare not test it to find out though but what would the harm be even it I did and started duping mass items?
    NuSair and sirrojen like this.
  29. Herman

    Herman Seasoned Veteran

    I think the Jeff Msg was a bit confusing for many (it was for me)

    Petra did nail it with this post this is probably what Jeff was saying
  30. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox Stratics Veteran Staff Alumnus Stratics Legend

    :( I'm sorry. I don't move in those circles so I guess I don't know.

    All I remember of the punkbuster argument was that their EULA allowed them access to absolutely everything on your pc, which put people in fear of stuff like bank details and confidential work information.

    Obviously the biggest complainers were the cheaters, but there were also some people genuinely worried about their personal security.
    Just about every honest player would have no objections to some program checking what other programs are interacting with the game. I certainly have nothing to hide and would have no problem with EA obtaining a list of programs installed on my pc as part of the metrics.txt they already run.
  31. Herman

    Herman Seasoned Veteran

    I remember when blizzard tryed to do something like that on Starcraft Broodwar they had a program called Warden that was suppose to check what u was running in background I think it took less than a week for the cheat creators to have a new set of cheats out there that warden could not detect
    I am no programmer but i think these early online games have so many holes it will be impossible to get rid of cheating for good
  32. Shadefox

    Shadefox Certifiable Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    somone needs to be replaced for that comment alone - Why not give them the source code and anti cheat mechanics (they say they have, but I doubt they even work) to go with their free to test/practice/create hacks server/area....

    I met a guy once going off shard to pickup some items I bid on, trying to push some very interesting piece of armour with unbelivable stats (god mode stats) - I dunno if the items where a name bug or the stats actually would apply, but he said this:

    "They know we cheat, we just try not to do it so often we get permanently banned - after the first few warnings we realized it was best to do it only so often and try not interupt gameplay too much"

    And he didnt mind speaking openly about it at all, or having the items locked down in his house in plain wiev.
    eve likes this.
  33. Vyal

    Vyal Guest

    I hear it constantly "We hack UO won't do anything it doesn't matter if we say it in general chat or not" and guess what UO doesn't do anything at all.
    eve and sirrojen like this.
  34. sirrojen

    sirrojen Guest

    Vyal, i personally think your statements are accurate and helpful, to say you are being overly negative is to understate how huge the issue is.
    Martyna Zmuir likes this.
  35. Tina Small

    Tina Small Grand Poobah Stratics Veteran


    Yeah, it's pretty sad when you hear weekly, if not more frequent, general chat discussions between the PvPers regarding someone who is multi-boxing, etc. Or you run around Luna on one of the Korean shards and most of the few stocked vendors you find are ones with multiples of various ToT and Ilshenar arties, mace and shield glasses, or EM event items. Can't find a power scroll vendor anywhere, but you can definitely buy items of questionable origin.
  36. garillo

    garillo Journeyman

    Duping has been around for years. No matter what method is used, it all still works off the same mechanics. Until UO takes the time to create a universal UI and clean up the textures on the ground that allowed for controlled rubberbanding (such as in t2a, private home stairs hint hint) in combination with other actions, it's doubtful it will come to an end without the intervention of a policing program. It's too easy to exploit and find glitches in a game that is spread so thin between 2 different clients.
  37. Vyal

    Vyal Guest

    You understand there is 4 ways to dupe an item all are the exact same ways they have been for years. If the developers can't figure it out or don't care enough to figure this one simple problem out, they are either being paid off by the people that run those gold selling sites or just to stupid to know how to fix something that simple. Either way that leaves us players totally screwed, thats real talk. I just hope you people who are older or play in tram are not so entranced in the great and all powerful EA overlords that you understand how they are screwing up UO.
  38. garillo

    garillo Journeyman

    I have often wondered if the UO devs are somehow tied in with the operators of popular pay sites, seeing as so much has been gotten away with for so long. Could EA/Mythic be a silent investor? Do popular pay sites have an agent among UO staff? Is the UO title itself hemorrhaging money and used as a front to launder funds because it is so loosely regulated? Will this post even remain on the thread, or will it be removed for probing at such topics? Can it be conspiracy theory thread time?
    Vyal likes this.
  39. Shadefox

    Shadefox Certifiable Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    last few years , server birth silver ware has been hard to spot on market, last few months they been sold or announced regulary, at the same time said item appears on ground (cant pickup) on some shards in strange locations (luna gate/middle of forest/outside peoples houses) I paged a gm about this and response was first canned roulette answering machine, untill chat opened and I was told it was random deco feature (!?!) Just makes me wonder what mechanics they use that suddenly add those "features".
    eve likes this.
  40. NBG

    NBG Lore Master Stratics Veteran

    switch gold from item based to character backpack based similar to how fame and loyalty is tracked?
    Other item dupes can be detected because you can not reset the item id.

    One main issue with tracking gold on character is that scripters can just farm to no end but lets be honest scripters can farm just as well right now.
  41. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    They don't even do anything about the people who are openly scripting for the search sites. That to me speaks volumes.

    Those people were reported to the UO team many times, their scripting characters, which for a long time all looked the same and had the same names or same types of names, were publicly mentioned here on Stratics.

    Those scripters are joked about as they walk past people in Luna.

    This stuff goes back a couple of years.

    And yet they are still there. My guess: lack of resources to do anything meaningful. They don't even have the resources to focus on bringing new players in.
  42. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot Stratics Veteran

    I will say you do try hard to think up ways to change the game as you see it should be done.....

    Only 1 tiny problem to one of your solutions..... every item has the same id #, such as tinker kits as an example. So your thing of running a auto erase of all duplocate #s would really peve off alot of players.... I can hear it now... "OK WHO HAS THE TOOL KIT NOW ... I need it "

    Duping happens in multi universal ways.. some are by accident. Others are by design. We all know of the site "a*k C*****r" (i did that as I am not sure if saying it is allowed or not so i covered my tail just incase)
    I have seen everything from the axe to the zipper in UO duped. People will find a way.... As for the great deal of gold floating around.... If you havent noticed alot of players have left the game, so what ever the # of players we have left from the over 250k we had thats alot of gold that has reentered the banking system. I can tell you frm first hand alot of old players have been dumping their holding and selling off to others their vast stored gold from vendors. We are way beyond duping of gold causing trouble....

    When the first player discoverd they could make money off the game's UO and all the games that came after were subject to money hungry people. I know. It's sad but we all have heard of friends selling off their stuff to the companys that deal in uo items to get money in this bad ecconomic times. I cant blame them.

    The time to have stoped this was years ago......
    Idk if UO can stop it all without harming the exisiting player base.
  43. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    There are two problems with that, but just a reminder: UO had a serious problem with some GMs early in its history. GMs that were handing out favors, GMs that were using their GM powers to obtain certain things and then sell them on eBay or to others directly for real-life money.

    Those GMs were fired. Some even tried to post a defense of their actions, and the players and the UO fansites tore them new orifices.

    Going back to your premise and the two problems with it. First, those sites would need a lot more paying players than what we see in game to have the kind of money to be bribing anybody.

    Second, and most important of all, as much as you clearly don't like the devs, they aren't stupid. If they were taking money, they would be fired if it was found out. Because they are publicly known, it would be incredibly hard for them to find jobs within the industry after such a scandal since a Google search would turn up some really bad things.

    For them to be bribed, it would also require them to not care about UO to begin with, and the evidence does not show that at all. On the contrary, most of them have been with UO for a long time, especially people like Mesanna and GrimmOmen. They have had numerous chances to move on to other games, and they've stayed with UO. That means they love UO on some level.

    As much as UO may feel isolated, it is a part of BioWare, and if there was such a scandal involving UO, it would not only be the end of UO (since EA would go into full meltdown/crisis/damage control), but the effects would be felt elsewhere. There maybe only a few tens of thousands of players in UO, but if a BioWare MMORPG was found to have developers being paid off by exploiters, the gaming media would be crawling over Star Wars: The Old Republic, and every single little beef that SWTOR players or ex-players have would be brought out in the open and examined with a view of "are SWTOR devs being paid off by certain sites to ignore this or that?". It's the kind of thing EA and BioWare executives would lose their jobs over. Look at the sh**storm over Mass Effect 3's ending. Now imagine a bribery scandal involving a BioWare MMORPG. the ME3 sh**storm would pale in comparison to that.

    Here's what really happening: It's not a priority for them.

    Who has made that decision, I don't know. It's probably due to a lack of resources.

    Some believe that the subs that would be lost would push UO into being unprofitable. If UO was in that much trouble, it would probably just be closed down. Like somebody else said, the people who have the power to shut UO down don't sit about dreaming up ways to increase player retention or breaking down players into specific groups, especially now that SWTOR is out.
  44. popps

    popps Stratics Legend Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    I beg your pardon, does it perhaps mean, under this logic, that since some players want an advantage over other players, an advantage that is NOT allowed by the TOS, they should left be and enjoy their not allowed advantage ?? What logic is this if I may ask ??
  45. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I said they should be banned popps, and I believe I said it multiple times.

    I also said in this thread, that if they have the ability to detect and force these people to their own shard, they have the ability to detect and ban these people.

    Ban people who want to break the TOS and screw over their other players. I can't simplify the logic much more than that.
  46. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah Stratics Veteran

    A mass banning may be something they are wanting to avoid. If that is the case then they should just settle for banning a few highly notable cheaters across all shards, every month or so. Say this because it would seem that they can't effectively stop or prevent cheating in this game. They can stop it for a few days but it always comes back.
  47. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Viper09 They used to be proud when they had mass bannings, publicizing them.
  48. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah Stratics Veteran

    Yeah, I remember the burning houses. Perhaps they lost their edge at banning cheaters
  49. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Sounds like a stealable, if not on that list, throw it in Ask a Dev
  50. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    You're not alone in thinking that, there's been others asking the same things. I myself passed some of the same. as for Devs, maybe it's some of the ones that hang around here on the boards - you know, the ones with steady jobs, 70K @yr or more - can't really blame any tho, get $1 for pawning off a couple CC's, it'll buy a drink at Jack in the Box, boy! Maybe one of the other developers - the ones that Create things, no scripts, they can just make whatever they want, in any quantity. But then someone at EA would have to sell it, get in on those big bucks too - especially with the current success they're enjoying on their US/Intl sites. really?
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