Badda-BAN

A little while ago, one of my colleagues was telling me how he has been keeping a DAoC account open since the game opened; all excited about the upcoming War beta, he decided to spend a little time in-game playing, so he patched up and logged in. Finding himself stoney cold broke he asks around other players what’s a good way to make some money these days. Almost immediately a player pops up and offers to advise him.

This guy walks my colleague thru a process which he then begins to repeat. At this point, my buddy realizes he’s being shown an exploit, thanks the guy and stops. He asks various players about this, all of whom assure him it’s what everyone does – its a well known bug that has gone unfixed for a long time. Even so, he feels uncomfortable having used an exploit and so doesn’t abuse it again.

A couple of days later he gets an email telling him his account(s) have been terminated. There-after a patch finally gets released with a fix.

Now the exploit here is the repetition of a particular sale, and this colleague of mine only did that once.  Selling it once was bonafide, selling it twice was naughty. According to Sanya – once is an accident, twice is confirming – my buddy didn’t proceed past “accident”. I guess they’ve already turned their backs on her wisdom.

Personally, I think I’d have sent in a bug report, noted the amount of money I’d gained and left it in my bank or something, untouched. My colleague had asked me if I thought he should, but he got the ban email before he had chance.

After that, when he replied asking why he’d been banned, he got a simple email saying that no further discussion of the accounts would be read.

This last I find a little peculiar and zealous. You most definitely do not want your DAoC account borrowed! However, I also think that after the ban email I would have been forthcoming – if I hadn’t already.

Perhaps its the fact that he let someone else walk him thru it that got him terminated; if he’d found the explot himself, I’d probably have flagged him for someone we wanted in our beta program ;)

It is kinda odd observing another company’s cheater-handling, but knowing that he’s not exactly innocent and not exactly guilty to the extreme of termination.

In my colleagues case, he merely used an exploit once, and it was an exploit of a function of the game. I find it very perplexing when I hear about the arbitrary rules that have recently accumulated in our game over what is “allowed”. But we issue perma-bans for people determinedly hacking – either repeating an exploit ad nauseum or using external/3rd party applications to modify the client behavior or tamper with the datastream.

Pretty short shrift for someone who’s spend well over $2k in account fees over the 6 years he’s had his accounts.

I see a lot of players who trip all of our detectors and then get banned by a GM and assert “but I wasn’t doing anything” and frequently “let me log in and you can watch me”.

– Guy was warping like nuts whenever enemy units were around,
– Guy was travelling (over-time) at the same speed as a tank,
– Guy had very convenient network lag,
– All five speedhack detection systems put up alerts on him,
– Every other trip that can be tripped has been tripped by him

But even then you still don’t feel 100% certain. We’ve certainly made mistakes – there was a group of accounts that were manifesting unusual behavior that the GMs were almost continually monitoring.

They all seemed to orbit around a player who was under perpetual GM observation – zulualfa. When Killer finally decided to allow us to permaban cheaters, these were amongst the first accounts to go. We got pleading emails from them informing us that they were trying to play but apparently their accounts had been banned while they were being loaned to their neighbor – zulualfa.

Erh, our Terms Of Service don’t allow you to do this. Think on those three words for a few minutes: Terms of Service. Those are the conditions under which we will continue to take your money in exchange for access to our game. You break those terms, we stop providing access – at our discretion. Many of the rules are there for your own protection, such as the one about not sharing your account.

One of them even noted that he had loaned his account to zulu because he’d said something about a speedhack problem.

Unfortunately, in our exuberance, we failed to notice that zulu had been on a temporary, automatically-issued ban which lapsed a couple of weeks later … And so the original offender got back into the game for a time before we finally realized our mistake and perma-banned him.

21 Comments

the day zulualfa got his ban was a day of celebration.

This post isn’t complete without a link to a thread that now makes this the most epic and complete self-pwn in the history in the internet.

http://discussions.playnet.com/showthread.php?t=158088

It really takes a special kind of stupid to keep speedhacking after you get caught on another account, or get an automatic temporary vacation.

Csal234 uses the same speed hack i .reported zulualpha many months ago

glad he was finally banned

Csal234 engaged me in a 109E over vireaux we merged head to head at around 2klm he broke hard into me and i did the same, as we started the classic turning fight we were low so we were flat turning i noticed something wasnt right i was watching him thru the top of my canopy using the # 5 key mapped to my hat

his 109e was jittering mini lagging and he was really fast he managed to flat turn his 109e around on my 6 in less than 2 rotations which is impossible i rolled out right and reversed the circle he rolled onto my 6 and started firing so i rolled right agian and he blew past me

i rolled left back onto his 6 oclock and fired a burst which brought white smoke from his 109 he then pointed his nose away from me to extend and was able to extend out a good 800 to 1000 meters in mere seconds away from me where he then flat turned his 109e back into me and rammed me head on

i have had thousands of dogfights in the dewo what he did was impossible

just thought you might wanna know the details of why i did a .report on him

glad you guys stay on top of these things KFS because if it were allowed to continue unchecked i wouldnt pay to play

:)

Finally! GJ! Now, bring the new engine in with real dual core etc support and I resub on that very day! :-)

Heh, I had forgotten that this happened while ago, but after reading that saved thread – hell yeah top1 selfpwnage in teh whole world.

S!

FWIW – bleem319 has no alt-f4-while-spawned recorded Mar 16th – May 8th (the period we have records for).

Zulualfa had 15.

I have 7.

Very nice. Happy to see that CRS is serious about cheating, and ww2ol is not the place for this kind of action. Keep it up! :)

Heh – can we put the Alt-F4 count into CS&R ?

hey jakubw how come it says you are banned in that thread?

Probably the usual hamhanded mis-application of one of the stupidest parts of the TOS. The unbelievable literalness that “no discussion of exploits” is applied with is one of the constant bullets to the foot that CRS has armed the moderators with.

People KNOW that exploits exist.
They even know what they probably are.
They don’t know the exact details, and exact details should certainly be forbidden from discussion.
Simply pointing out that you can get caught exploiting and that will result in a ban? Stupidest thing ever to TOS on. Posts like that need to be sticky to underline the fact to those who would cheat that they shouldn’t try; not buried under the rug leaving cheaters to think they may get away with it.

I was a mod a while ago. At least through the period of my involvement, the input from all of the CRS personnel with whom I interacted was consistent, clear and direct: because it was impossible to define *which* “exact details” were to be forbidden from discussion without disclosing dangerous information, and because any such discussions often elicit more of the very behavior you’re trying to avoid and therefore cause more security workload and cost the company otherwise-valuable customers, *all* discussion of hacks/cheats/exploits was forbidden.

It seemed a perfectly sensible policy to me, based on real world experience.

Sure, if you want to take the laziest and least productive way out.

For somebody who actually works in IT, and somebody who has successfully managed many 1000+ user mailing lists with extremely difficult personalities for years, I can tell it’s damaging in the long run.

Train the mods properly, or get rid of them. Stop being ridiculously black and white and using rules instead of thought and judgment.

Or, perhaps you should…not blame the mods for doing exactly what they are very clearly told to do Krenn.

They don’t make policy, and they often in my tenure as a mod asked about such things and were told verly clearly that is what to do.

Dont like it?

Dont blame them.

Krenn: Frankly, I’m surprised that of all people you don’t get that running mailing lists for employees is far removed from hosting discussions of your product by customers and specifically gamers.

We have rather a lot of moderators – precisely so that the rules can be applied with flex. But the rules need to be clear cut in order to be delineated for our customers.

How often have you lost members of staff because of something that was said in an email, even though it was later moderated?

The standard MMO prohibition on forum-discussion of cheats is not a case of someone thinking “hey, wouldn’t life be nice and easy if we banned discussion of cheats”. And in our case, we provide the caveat that you can discuss them with members of staff instead.

Nothing good has ever come out of gamers talking publicly about cheats. Plus the mere discussion creates an illusion of expontentially more cheating than actually occurs, reducing players’ threshold for tolerance. I’ve seen 3 guys create 10 sightings of different cheaters out of Martini accidentally running with supertroop for a few seconds during an event.

I would posit that, even with the rule in place, there is still an order of magniture more discussion of cheating goes on than actual cheating.

Brasidus: Please point out where I’m blaming the mods, kthxbai. My criticisms up until now are pretty obviously to do with the policies that are set.

KFS1: who said they were employees? These are mailing lists for discussions based around the SCA, in the Kingdom of An Tir. The stakes are low, which means the political infighting becomes vicious and personal as is the way of such things. Without careful and judicious handling, it can go to hell in a handbasket so a balance must be struck between facist overmoderation and complete laissez-faire insanity.

What frustrates me the most is not even so much the hair trigger removal of any post that vaguely resembles a forbidden topic – it’s the complete and utter lunacy of never telling people why the posts were removed, and then banning them when they have the temerity to ask! (Whoops, you just questioned moderation, have a 24 hour break!)

The posts should be edited in place and possibly the thread locked, not made to disappear to some cyber-Siberian gulag.

The fact that I see posts in Bad Posts with moderator comments in them directed to the player just underlines that some moderators don’t get who can see what.

The existing rules just piss off players who can never understand why these capricious mods make their posts vanish with no explanation. Result: forum riots and unsubscriptions, rather than a player base that can learn from the mistakes of others.

Until recently, last week, I have purposefully stayed away from the PS forums. The forums can get wicked bad at times.

The only exploit that really made me seriously consider dropping the game was the pick ticket on resupply issue, 3 years ago. Since it did change game balance. Live and learn.

I understand the speedhack bans, and I gather that its fairly easy to detect with great certainty that they are not accidental.

However, there are some behaviours in this game that (IIRC) can get you banned even though there are many innocent reasons why sombody would engage in them.

Take clipping for instance. First of all, I probably played this game for 3 years before I even knew what the term meant. In the early days I accidentally clipped on a few occasions, and had no idea that I was basically invisible/ invulnerable. I’m sure I killed plenty of guys and just thought I was uberman.

If anyone other than a CLEARLY identified CRS employee had accused me of doing somthing wrong I just would have ignored them (these would have been the same people who accuse others of “wasting” equipment or otherwise not playing the game the way THEY think it should be done).

My point is – certain bad behaviours are not always what they appear to be, and there is a LOT of inncorrectly assumed knowledge that people expect the playerbase to have.

BTW I’ve never had any complaints about how CRS handles this.

Trout

Trout: I’ve no idea what the behavioral rules are, I probably break them all the time. As long as I’m not knowingly invulnerable I figure I’ll worry about it when someone tells me that’s not allowed. And by “worry about” I mean “ignore”. I’ve been yelled at for killing EI inside a depot they retook and for landing a paratrooper on top of a depot.

Krenn: I have nada to do with the forums or forum moderation, however, its been my experience that posts get moderated with comments and are left like that for a time to give the poster to see the comments.

I went thru 20 MMO forums last night, and with the exception of Vanguard, which doesn’t host its own discussion forums, all of them prohibited the discussion of cheats and/or exploits.

If you choose to interpret that as denial on the part of the developers, well that’s just tough cheese. IMHO the exact opposite is true.

“If you choose to interpret that as denial on the part of the developers, well that’s just tough cheese. IMHO the exact opposite is true.”

Well said. Discussion of hacking cheating shouldn’t be allowed by the players (and by that I mean the group ‘players’ and not the individual who was just banned). They don’t get a say in it. Developers are the ones who decide what is a bannable offense and they are the ones who hand out that ban (or lease the power to moderators).

gj . and now pls ban all 100times ALT + F4 user . thx

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