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There Going to Do What to Cheaters 2

Discussion in 'UHall' started by shadowgate, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. shadowgate

    shadowgate Guest

    So let me see if I get this one! If a moderator doesn't like or agree with the post he or she can essentially close the post. When I posted my thoughts on cheating and the comments expressed by someone else who referenced Punkbuster. Clearly my thoughts were ignored and overlooked. The reference to Punkbuster wasn't relevant it was the concept behind the post from the writer.

    Perhaps the removal of the word Punkbuster will help to see I was not speciically referring to something that was FROM YEARS AGO.

    This is my official statement concerning EA's recent announcements about including Third Party Detection to fight scripting.

    To summarize it, I think they're using PB as a scare tactic, to annouce that they'll not tolerate scriptin program any further without needing a ban wave in which they'd lose customers.

    Obviously, they've been able to detect scriptin program before and it's not hard to smuggle something into the client that detects scriptin program. I can't check every single patch for such things and even if I could I would miss something sooner or later.

    So it's quite certain that they know exactly how many scriptin program users are out there, not just from the number of registered users on our boards but because they used some sort of detection in the past and logged everything. When they saw how many people were using scripts they knew they couldn't just ban everyone because of the financial repercussions. But they couldn't admit to being able to find scriptin program users either, because the other part of the community would demand that all "cheaters" get banned. And because they were understaffed anyway they probably ignored the problem for a while and let the GMs deal with it as best as they could.

    Nowadays, with heaps of items and gold being sold on Ebay and the economy going downwards, they see that they have to do something. Not against the casual scripters, but against the few who abuse the system to farm billions of gold and items. We've seen all this happen before on scripting-friendly freeshards that had to ban scriptin program for that reason.

    So EA had to find a way of telling people that they will be able to detect "cheaters" without admitting that they were able to do just that all along. And they're using the name of a renown company, a 3rd party, to achieve this.

    It's quite a smart move, actually. First, you announce that you'll use Third Party Detection to get the rumors started. Then you'll make a beta phase where you show the scripters that they can be detected without having to ban them (it's only testing after all). When the system goes active, even if the scriptin program developers manage to keep scriptin program hidden from Third Party Detection for a while, most users will be too scared to use it anymore. And some of the few that still do could be banned as a deterrent.

    Using PB also eliminates the problem of telling people they'll be spied upon. Some users already know Third Party Detection and probably have it already on their system. So EA won't have to deal with privacy concerns either because they can refer to Even Balance.

    Actually, Third Party Detection can only find cheating tools that are known. It's designed to fight those tools used by "kiddies" to cheat in FPS games. So it does not actually attack the creation of cheating tools but their distribution process. If I were to make my own, completely different version of scriptin program, there would be no way how they could detect that because the PB system just doesn't work that way. But if a tool is distributed on the internet, they can grab it and create detection fingerprints.

    Even if I were to devise some countermeasures, they could simply grab scriptin program again and try to find a way around that. Because PB is a client/server system, they can update their software anytime. We've seen all that happen with World of Warcraft and WoWSharp (www.wowsharp.net), a macroing system similar to scriptin program. The difference between UO and WoW is that Blizzard was a lot better prepared for all that because they came 8 years later than UO and had time to learn from the mistakes of others. They had a zero-tolerance ban policy from the start and were willing to fight in court for their right to scan users harddrives for 3rd party tools (and won).

    WoWSharp went down not because they couldn't devise cloaking measurements, but because each time the detection system got around that, Blizzard silently logged all users and banned them a week later. Which is exactly what EA couldn't do because there were already too many people using scriptin program.

    The whole PB thing is only a scare tactic and it's also about shooting with cannons at sparrows. They don't need Third Party Detection for detecting scriptin program which they can do themselves easily enough. In fact, I could come up with really simple code to detect scriptin program in say... 5 seconds. I mean it's ridiculous to assume EA wouldn't be able to detect something like scriptin program client-side.

    PB is designed to react to small cheater tools. Those tools get released and used by a few hundred people and after about a week, when the PB guys get their hands on it, everyone who still uses it after that gets banned from those FPS games. The cheat tool creators release a new tool and the whole thing starts again.

    With scriptin program, we have a whole scripting platform and over 1500 scripts which are used by over 50,000 people. Besides a few other tools, there isn't even anything else out there because there's just no point to create something that already exists and obviously performs so well because it's free, because there's a public script library (PSL) and forums for help. Even without anything like PB, if EA *REALLY* wanted to do something against a project on such a large scale as scriptin program then they easily could.

    The main reason for scriptin program's success is because it was able to satisfy the need to automate some really boring tasks in UO while the developers did little to help you there. Even the zero-tolerance WoW has a built-in addon system which allows 3rd party code to run within WoW to simplify things for the users (and the whole thing is a great success. People love addons!). EA now finally recognizes the need for some changes to make some tasks in the game less boring but doesn't want to give you the whole thing because it would change the game and would probably be too expensive. They certainly don't want to invest too much money in a game that has seen its best days anyway.

    So, where does that leave us after I've said all those things? Do we just give up? Hell no!

    You've got a right to play the game in a way where you don't have to fear you'll get the carpal tunnel syndrome. If the developers can't come up with a satisfying solution then they'll have to accept that you'll use a 3rd party tool if that does the job.

    Does the introduction of Third Party Detection change anything? No, your account ID is probably already stored in some log or another for using scriptin program in the past. Guess what, so are 49,999 other account IDs and they didn't do anything about it... it's a third of the user base after all. This PB thing is only a marketing trick. It changes nothing. The question is how everyone is going to react. Will you say "Oh my, they can detect me now so I'll better stop". Or will you say "They have already detected me and many others. Why not just keep on using what I've used for the last 5 years?"

    We could make the whole thing even more blatant. Why not use a special scriptin program version that is _designed_ to be detectable? Of cource, you wouldn't feel comfortable using something like that but in fact, it probably wouldn't make any difference. But it would force EA to admit that they didn't satisfy their customers' need to change the game towards less boring tasks and that they kept looking away for the past couple of years. Something like that would kill off the whole PB marketing trick right at the beginning.

    Maybe you're asking yourself, if Cheffe knew scriptin program was detectable client-side in one way or another, why didn't he say anything? Because that would have created an unnecessary panic. We didn't see any ban waves for using scriptin program in the past so it was unlikely they'd do anything like that in the future. The only time you're at risk is if you do something stupid and a GM pays you a visit, in which case you're hosed anyway. After all, you knew the risks and lived with them. And you knew that many others were using scriptin program too and didn't get banned either.

    In all those years, we've been trying to protect our users by not allowing any cheats/exploits to appear or be discussed on our website. We've kept scriptin program itself cheat-free and didn't include stuff that would be too dangerous. This was all done because we didn't want to "anger the dragon".

    scriptin program itself isn't good or bad. It can be used for either. And that's the problem with it. EA is trying to get rid of it because the bad people are hiding in the mass of legitimate scriptin program users.

    So, no matter how we react on EAs apparent new stance towards scriptin program, if they're really willing to go through with this against a third of their customers, then you'll probably see a few changes here.

    Of course, I'd much more like the idea to work with EA in order to fight the problem of farm bots or even to integrate scriptin program into UO or make it UO Pro or something. But I haven't been approached in the past. And since they kept looking away, I just did the same. So EA, if you're up to it, get back to me and we'll see if we can find a better solution.

    Otherwise, if worst comes to worst, I might decide to make scriptin program open source to give EA users a chance to cook up their own scriptin program versions. Of course, I would continue to manage and support scriptin program and maybe play a little hide and seek with this oh so powerful Third Party Detection. In the end, it really only matters if EA is willing to ban thousands of people and lose a lot of money in the process.

    As in the past, we encourage all EA users to take a look at our freeshard server Alexandria or at any of the other high quality servers out there. In case you want to completely turn your back on Ultima Online, I can really recommend World of Warcraft, which is already played by about 50 times as many users as UO has. It looks really nice graphics-wise and comes with an integrated addon system (not really full macro support like scriptin program has but hey, you can't have everything). Most tasks in WoW aren't nearly as boring as some in UO are, the economy is healthy and casual gaming is possible up to some point. They're even offering free 10-day trial accounts here
    Other than that there isn't much to say This is my opinion and how I see things. You're free to post your comments below. Also don't hesitate to let the Stratics guys know about this, too.

    I also said

    LOL I KNOW SHOULDN'T ,but god lovem I can't I help myself on this. These nuts and the anti scripting if that bugs them this will make em nuts.

    I have 5 accounts on my main account is my GM Tamer, and Paladin.
    On my second account is my GM Bard.
    My computer can run two separate instances of UO or WOW without any third party programs.
    So often times I am logged in with my Tamer or Paladin and my Bard always is with them to calm what I fight or provoke other creatures. OH PERISH THE THOUGHT I even get a message running two instances of Ultima Online is not supported.
    At this point I say and quote Johhny from Fantastic 4 FLAME ON!!!!!
    Now consider this I have 3 pc's in my house if I ran my two accounts on two of my pc's none of you babies would care ,but the fact I am running two on 1 pc will upset you and some of you will even say I am a liar that I can't be running uo twice without a third party program but believe me I am and can.


    I started my posting with this

    I haven't posted on the boards in years. However I can say this post got my attention. I have been playing this game off and on and paid for well over 10 years of my account. When I first started playing Ultima I was a miner and I absolutely loved and enjoyed clicking my mouse and raising the skill .1 at a time. However now at age 36 with a 4 year old son and a wife. I do not have the time I had 12 years ago.
    I love Ultima Online. I love all of the newest changes. This argument is as old as the game itself. Perhaps 12 years ago we had the time available to indulge in Ultima skill gaining. Today there is World of Warcraft, Conan, Star Trek, Etc and all of the different Facebook apps aka Farmville.
    Today when I login to Ultima. If I have to start a skill for example imbuing. In order to get that skill to 120 doing the skill NONE STOP is 20 straight hours. I do not have that kind of time and thank god my characters are at the skill cap. If I had to do LOCKPICKING over or Animal Taming I can guarantee I would just cancel my account and walk away.
    You whine and cry as a player who does mining. If the player is not at the computer or off at work I get that. However if a player is sitting at the pc and wants to play Ultima ,but doesn't wanna sit there and click over and over and they have been doing this for 12 years. GIVE IT A REST!
    Its ok for a player to spend 6 buck and get an advanced character token. Yet if a player is intelligent enough to write a script that allows them to have the character perform the 20+ hours to gain in a skill he / she is cheating.
    Forget this entire argument altogether you are talking about a game thats graphics are based off of a game that was created in 1992 for those who don't know (Ultima 7 The Black Gate) Even using the Enhanced Client the game is not GREAT / AWESOME Eye Candy. If you aren't going to revamp the way in which players advance the characters then don't get mad because people don't wanna spend 12 a month for a game that is more work then the 8 hours they spend paying for it at REAL LIFE JOB!!!

    This was done by Petra Feyd which in my opinion demonstrates the bias of this mod
    Originally Posted by shadowgate
    If I have to start a skill for example imbuing. In order to get that skill to 120 doing the skill NONE STOP is 20 straight hours.

    No. It's not a race, no one has to train a skill that way. Have I trained imbuing? Yes, twice, once on Europa and once on Siege. Did I train it to the exclusion of all else? No. I trained till I was bored with it then went and did something else. Did I automate it? Yes, a little. I made UOA macros to imbue a set selection of properties.
    Training isn't a 'chore' unless you make it one. I have trained most skills in the game, my Europa crafters were trained before there was even a 'make last' button. None were scripted. I never train a repetative skill like crafting for more than an hour at a time, where I can I train through gameplay.

    As to what punishment is suitable for the cheaters EA identify. Suppose we wait and see what they've come up with? I loathe it when someone with half the facts tries to tell me how to do my job, how about you?

    This was my response
    I respect the various opinions. I do see both sides of this. A quick note this isn't my first post on stratics but probably appears that way ,because the last time I would have posted would have been around 2003. Check my join date.
    Now please justify your statement! "I loathe it when someone with half the facts tries to tell me how to do my job, how about you?" The problem with your statment is that you can't justify it because what I stated was my opinion not factual.
    Also stated 12 years ago I had free time in large amounts. Today I am lucky to have 2 hrs if that to spend on my computer. If I had to start over then I would no way play UO. The only way I would play is using macro's and scripts, because after 10 years of UO to go mining or animal taming or raising bard skills is tedious and highly time consuming.
    If you use your time and login and raise imbue to 120 manually then good for you glad you have that time to lose your life and never get it back. I again don't have that time nor if I did today would I waste it in this manor. We have sot's and alacrity all of which are given to us pretty much as a method to help us raise skill faster and make huge jumps in gains.
    Ultima does not have a TOS which provides them for the ability to do anything serious to players. As an established and certified IT Professional --------- IF EA / MYTHIC is to go after players who have "CHEATED" had better be certain their information was established server side without sending something thru their patches that installs onto the user-pc isn't covered in their TOS clearly will leave them wide open to a huge law-suit especially if the account that gets tagged is a 12 year vet.
    They know this and they have done the same crap for the last 12 years. We will send a warning to players. The next step will be TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN WITH. They have ideas who are cheating but without modifying the terms of service to where before you login you must read it and accept it then they can't know for certain UNLESS they have illegally installed an app on the user's pc. In which case they are screwed.
    The post when you read it is nothing more than a well written attempt to scare people into stopping the scripts being used. If they ban the scriptors who play then those few who play for an hour or whatever raising skill the original way will be very unhappy ,because they will find themselves without Ultima Online anymore. I guarantee it!
    The reason I can guarantee this is the scriptors who play the game and pay are a MAJORITY! The non scriptors who LOGIN and raise the skill until it gets OLD are without question a MINIORITY.
    Most who are reading the postings here simply read and stay quite ,because they are trying to avoid being tagged guilty by association. Meaning oh you are saying that scripting is ok which means you are a script user obvivously. Folks are smart enough to know after 12 years to know the truth we aren't sure who scripts but if you speak up and see it is ok then you need to go. In my case I could care less if I lose my account, because there are free shards and WAY MORE EYE CANDY GAMES OUT THERE. I keep UO because it for me is special as I remember Ultima 7 The Black Gate etc and when I login often times I remember things from the offline game etc.
    I think before we move forward we should determine / establish what is cheating and isn't cheating? To me if I run a script that allows me to sit back and watch my miner go to town mining that ain't cheating kinda like a vet reward I have played this game long enough to know what I am so I should be allowed to sit back and watch it happen. On the other side of this if someone is running a script and off at the local bar or at their job then to me that is BS and they should be kicked ,because that has essentially always been the policy. You are macroing and walk away and the gm pops up then BAMB you are kicked.
    Do we consider a cheater someone who spends real life cash to buy gold? If so then I am a pretty big cheater cause my wife goes thru about 20 million a week give or take!!!!
    If you are doing PVP and you are using scripts to win then plain and simple you are a cheater. You know you have an unfair advantage there! A person using a script to gather resources doesn't have an unfair advantage all of us can do the scripts and run them. A person running a script to avoid the extremely SLOW PAINFUL process of skill gain isn't a cheater with a few exceptions. Animal taming for example I have seen a person run a script in Ish. I went there to try and gain skill. My tamer has existed since 2004 and he is 110 to date. When I was there the dudes script was interfering to where he tamed he killed and instant respawn same story over and over. It was BS scripting in my mind is the same as placing a house. If you are not having an unfair advantage over other players then you aren't cheating. In that case the dude was making an unfair situation and he wasn't at his pc. I was actively playing and it made it impossible to play.
    The funny part of this post for me. My wife is sitting beside me. She said are you still talking about that scripting cheating thing on the board. I said yes and is paranoid saying stop it. Cause we are going to the town hall and she is afraid by talkin here I will cause our first town hall meeting to be terrible LOL. Which kinda goes on the same thought process of the devs throwing the threats out there.

    Go ahead and lock this Petra because then I am done posting here unless it is to get answers to game issues.
  2. Vertigo

    Vertigo Guest

    cliff notes?
  3. Picus at the office

    Picus at the office Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran Supporter

    Nov 24, 2009
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    Sigh, +1. Lets just wait and see what happens. I brought up some points I would have loved to see spoken about in the first thread but sadly the normal 5 posters took the thread as a chance to cut + quote and spam the whole deal till there was nothing left. IBTL :popcorn:
  4. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
    VIP Stratics Veteran Supporter Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor Alumni

    Oct 21, 2008
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    Petra is not a moderator - she's the UOSS managing editor. The buck stops with her on UOStratics forums, whether you agree with her or not. Take a deep breath and move past it.
  5. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Jan 5, 2001
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    I have no idea where you're getting 'punkbuster' from. They are NOT USING IT. They're not threatening us with it. They discussed it years ago and dismissed it as unworkable.
    Running 2 instances of UO is now possible, and permissable. It was in the publish notes. It is perfectly legal to do. That's why you get the 'not supported' message. Before that it simply didn't work.

    What EA do, or don't do, with cheaters is THEIR decision, not anyone's here.
    I locked the thread because it was nothing more than a flame fest. Now I am locking this one because re-opening locked threads is against the rules.
    And just as an additional fyi. 'a moderator' didn't lock it. The Managing Editor did.
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