Something I came across while researching Hacks and Cheats

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Pirates_Smile
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Something I came across while researching Hacks and Cheats

Unread post by Pirates_Smile » 06 Jun 2010 01:47

Found this in a forum and I really like that last part of it...

Wow, where to start

1 - 2 to 15 hours per week (depends on lab stuff and any courses the department assigns me to teach per quarter)

2 - Never used any mods, but have heard nothing but good stuff about 6DOF, the AI mod and UI 1.1. Up first, will probably be the AI mod to try out soon, which really interests me more as a programmer and AI specialist than anything having to do with IL2.

3 - Several times (for details keep reading)

When I had been playing the game about a month and sucked badly (not alot has changed from then to now Wink ), I ran into a guy who could turn his plane invisible in an on/off manner at the flick of a switch, and even demonstrated it for me (and then shot me down while he was invisible). He said it was a FM mod and that he could do this on any crt=2 server. Well, at the time, I had no idea what in the hell he was talking about. This was on a well known open pit server on Hyperlobby and I quickly mentioned this the next day at the SimHQ forums. Well, within 20 minutes I got 30 replies and was quickly booed down. No one believed me and many said I made it up. I did not record it on NTRK (didnt even know there was a record function back then) and dropped it since I had no proof.

About 4 or 5 months later, I got tired of getting crappy advice on who might be a good high-level flier to learn from and decided to start the Masters List so that others could benefit from my troubles as a noob. By that time, I was getting better but it was still very hard for me to try to judge whether I was just fighting a really experienced 5 year veteran of IL2, or a very experienced veteran of IL2 who had illicit help. Within a few months I felt I could not trust my own judgement in the matter and asked several long term vets and Master fliers of IL2 to help me with the List. We then organized the names that we were getting in and started the evaluation process. At first, many of these vets, some seven and eight year guys, looked at me askance and a few even told me kindly to shove it. But, one of the things we started back then and still do, is NTRK appraisals, which is recording the nominee fighting a member of the Advisory Board and then rotate that NTRK around for other members to review as well (but only after they have completed their eval of the nominee as well). Because we have been intimately involved with evaluating so many different people in their native environments (we just passed 520 HL fliers last week), and often with their mods enabled, we have seen all manner of cheating, both small and large.

At the same time that I started the Masters List, I also began my own project to start an open source Punkbuster style program for IL2 both to authenticate versions and to catch all mods. I am a experienced programmer and had some partial success but I did not have access to the source code of IL2 4.08m and I had trouble trying to secure some proprietary technologies and getting certain third parties to open source their code (only the USA patents software code, ... how lame). I did have some small success with my alpha programs but not enough to warrant releasing an initial beta to HL testers. Working on the project was also time consuming and I had to put it on hold for real world research grants.

Within HL, I first ran across the more common invisible plane syndrome back in November of 2008 against a high level guy that I was just fighting for fun. Actually, it turns out he really was not cheating intentionally but what was so unusual was that this was taking place on a crt=2 server ( a C++ programming technique to ensure that server and client match exactly in file versions). I knew crt=2 had a problem right off the bat. Once the Advisory Board was up and running at full steam by Dec of 2008, we started to run into many interesting cases, where it actually took awhile for several vets to closely look at the Ntrks, since it was so hard to tell if they were really that good, or just getting some modded help. On several occassions we ran into speed hacks. The most notorious case was an open pit guy who had an La7 that did 910 kph in level flight ! He claimed 'no one could touch him'. Well, NS, I am sure they couldnt, LOL. One of our Board members stealthly got the He162 up to speed and snuck up on him anyway to much comedy and cussing. In another case we had a guy who modded the Spit 25lbs to do about 595 kph in level flight, just enough so that he could always catch any La7 he happened to fight. We also had several versions of the invisible plane stuff, some so funny I sent copies to several moderators at the Ubi Forums for their review. They all agreed it was cheating but a few said, 'so what, the game has been hacked, just live with it'. We have run across two or three cases of DM (damage model) tampering. The most creative of which was a guy who had a plane that allowed any round or shell to pass through unharmed and appear on the other side. The only problem was, he made a mistake in making the hack, and the bullets that went thru his frame and came out the other side were pink in color upon exiting. Another creative guy of higher intelligence, had a very hard to detect hack, where his plane functioned perfectly normally until he kicked in 60% prop pitch, where he then got a 10 kph boost in speed for exactly the next 180 seconds, irregardless of whether prop pitch was adjusted again. At 50% prop pitch he got a 20 kph boost for 180 seconds and at 40% PP, he got a 40 kph boost, LOL. It was like he had a five stage boost. If there was an award for Master of Hacking, that dude would have won it.

Generally speaking, speed hacks are the biggest category of true cheat. Most guys are at least cautious enough to only enable a 20 to 50 kph boost to the frame in question, making it very hard to catch them. It got so difficult when evaluating some high-level guys that were also known mod users, that we first asked then begged, ... then got down on our hands and knees and begged the BOB staff for either the source code to IL2 or some SDK to catch these speed hacks. Finally after many requests, a nice guy on Oleg's staff gave us the critical code to finally catch any hack, big or small. Since we have had this tool, we have evaluated 47 fliers with the following results:

23 guys 4.08m stock and clean - no mods
19 guys with 'legit' mods (often 4.09 + UI 1.1, sound, 6DOF or some combination of these)
3 speed hacks
1 DM hacks
1 complex hack involving several changes

Now, we dont even pay attention to new guys or those we know are still developing so many of these 47 have over a year of IL2 experience, but still. This would put the rate at roughly ten percent. But it is too early to tell if this is really indicative of all HL. ... Time will tell.

Now, as much as I have come to like IL2, I must say I think mods have ruined the game IMHO. I know, I know, many will slam the boot in my face now, but no one can be sure of anything any more and it is all due to mods. I realize most mods are done for love of the game and many of these guys really pour some sweat and blood into these mods, but it also divides the community into the 'mod users' and the 'mod non-users'. The mod users rave over the new airframes, features, 6DOF, enhanced AI, etc... while the mod non-users claim anything other than stock 4.08m is non canton and look askance at the mod users as all possible cheaters.

My take on it is simple, if you run out of stuff in 4.08m to fly or do, what does that say about your personal life ? (and I am not picking on anyone in particular). Seriously, 4.08m has like what ?, 100 flyable planes and enough material to last for many months or years. Even being 8 years old and lacking 6 DOF, it is still arguably the best consumer combat flight sim ever made.

Lets say you notice some flaw in the exact cockpit instruments used in a certain Spitfire in-game. You then spend the next month or so carefully researching the correct pit instruments from actual WWII documents, and then make the mod to enable the correct changes in-game. That is all well and good, but .....

What about your frigging grades, your friends, your job, your girlfriend, your child or your ginormous flopping belly ?

I like IL2 and I love fighting Masters but in my opinion only, when I get so into WWII aviation that I research cockpit instruments for the I-185 that was never even produced, its gone from a hobby to an addiction. Hobbies are fun, but addictions can seriously damage you life. Without denigrating anyone, I see some serious addiction problems on HL, just as damaging as cocaine or heroin to others.

In the end Salmo, I dont know what to tell you. I would say about 3 to 10 percent of the more veteran players are using something illicit. And about 45% of guys use mods in general. I think its great the mods add to the game, but the payoffs may not be worth the division.
Up there the world is divided into bastards and suckers. Make your choice.

— Derek Robinson.
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Storm
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by Storm » 06 Jun 2010 09:20

Brilliant stuff, Pirates!

I am a veteran of this game dating back to 2001 and I felt the same way when the game was hacked. I have since come to rely on the small community of other veterans I fly with as a way to avoid the cheating BS you described. A punkbuster type of program is exactly what we need for this game. Currently, I only fly the HSFX set of mods because they are produced by veterans I have come to know and trust over the past decade. If you are unfamiliar with HSFX, I will be happy to introduce you to it. This is the mod set we use when flying our Scorched Earth Online War campaigns.

Thank you for you hard work on this! S!

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[URU]AkeR
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by [URU]AkeR » 06 Jun 2010 11:10

S! Pirates.
Its great that someone has put much effort in putting some light in this shady subject, will be even better if someday we get a punkbuster for IL2.
Its a shame when a few individuals make you quit flying im some server you used to like.

But dont blame the MODs blame the cheaters. I´m no veteran. I´ve been flying IL2 for about 1,5 years, but i am amazed of how MODs have added to the game, especially for coops, campaings, and even F on F campaigns like SEOW. All of that beign kind of game me and my squad enjoy the most.

In the other hand the cheating that I see more often does not involve MODs, i´m talking the typical small warp when you have the perfect shot and makes you miss (prntscrn?), or the guy who crash lands and waits for you to be killed before he hits refly, i´m talking the shoulder shooter, the over all unfair player. Of course thats more difficult to avoid.

Once again it will be great if some day we get to, at least, get rid of the hacking cheaters.
PS: sorry if my english is not good

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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by Hamlet » 06 Jun 2010 12:25

~S! I do not have the experience and the expertise to talk in this forum,but what you are said sound very unpleasant.This people who use their knowledge to take unfair advantage of us mortals, should be ban of the community. First step is what you are doing , making us conscience of the problems and specially wen you remind us that this is a game it can become additive.There are lots of issues that are opened for our Sqd. I am glad that you are here making us to think,and look other perspectives of the game. S! Hamlet
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Pirates_Smile
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by Pirates_Smile » 06 Jun 2010 13:46

Thanks guys...

I just think it's so laughable when a certain guy I thought was "Cool" can go from a so-so average player BEFORE he joins a certain squad...then he suddenly becomes Luke Skywalker with incredible accuracy and incredible luck avoiding any shots fired in anger his way. It's a game that revolves around statistics...and numbers don't lie. Seems most of the ones in question are absolutely "Untouchable" in their own server...which is a shame because it only makes them look bad in the eyes of those of us who DO fly the game as/is, hack-free and generally accepted.

I mean honestly...if you're getting your self esteem polished by an online game - That you're cheating at...what does that say about the overall quality of YOUR life in General?
Up there the world is divided into bastards and suckers. Make your choice.

— Derek Robinson.
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S.L.N
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by S.L.N » 06 Jun 2010 16:37

sad thing its getting more and more blatant. its almost to the point where Im tempted to only fly with people that I know in a server hosted by one of us in that group.
ve must fight vor the comfy couch

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Pirates_Smile
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by Pirates_Smile » 06 Jun 2010 16:53

Why can't WE: AVG...run a server on Hyperlobby like the one that FS does with Skies of Valor with the map rotations? I mean we KNOW the problems that abound in that server and the "who's, why's and what's" that never seem to get handled there for whatever reasons? We all know the quality guys that abound in there and we know the guys who are 5/5 players too as well as the "trouble" guys that continue to skirt the edge of fair play...with little consequence.

"If you build it...he will come"

I mean we KNOW how to attract the right types of players. I would love to get involved with building fun, skill-testing maps.

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Up there the world is divided into bastards and suckers. Make your choice.

— Derek Robinson.
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by S.L.N » 06 Jun 2010 17:10

Pirates_Smile wrote:Why can't WE: AVG...run a server on Hyperlobby like the one that FS does with Skies of Valor with the map rotations? I mean we KNOW the problems that abound in that server and the "who's, why's and what's" that never seem to get handled there for whatever reasons? We all know the quality guys that abound in there and we know the guys who are 5/5 players too as well as the "trouble" guys that continue to skirt the edge of fair play...with little consequence.

"If you build it...he will come"

I mean we KNOW how to attract the right types of players. I would love to get involved with building fun, skill-testing maps.

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or maybe even just a set of co op's we fly with in hyperlobby
ve must fight vor the comfy couch

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[URU]AkeR
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Re: Something I came across while researching Hacks and Chea

Unread post by [URU]AkeR » 07 Jun 2010 10:03

Pirates_Smile wrote:Why can't WE: AVG...run a server on Hyperlobby like the one that FS does with Skies of Valor with the map rotations? I mean we KNOW the problems that abound in that server and the "who's, why's and what's" that never seem to get handled there for whatever reasons? We all know the quality guys that abound in there and we know the guys who are 5/5 players too as well as the "trouble" guys that continue to skirt the edge of fair play...with little consequence.

"If you build it...he will come"

I mean we KNOW how to attract the right types of players. I would love to get involved with building fun, skill-testing maps.
If such server is up I sure the [URU] will be there (if thats ok).
As an example when i´m looking for fast intense dogfight similar to SOF but more challenging I go to the GRij Dedicado Server. It´s 4.09 only without externals, nice planesets, no ground targets, and bases are close by, its take off and fight type of server, you dont see much cheating over there.

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Razgriz_37
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putting 2€ in about kill stealing

Unread post by Razgriz_37 » 07 Jun 2010 19:22

[URU]AkeR wrote:
Pirates_Smile wrote:Why can't WE: AVG...run a server on Hyperlobby like the one that FS does with Skies of Valor with the map rotations?
If such server is up I sure the [URU] will be there (if thats ok).
As an example when i´m looking for fast intense dogfight similar to SOF but more challenging I go to the GRij Dedicado Server. It´s 4.09 only without externals, nice planesets, no ground targets, and bases are close by, its take off and fight type of server, you dont see much cheating over there.
Glad this was brought up, now I've got to put in about kill stealing. Ok first off, we did in fact have a dedicated dogfighting server, oh yes we did, and despite not having much population we did have a considerable amout of participation coming in. All we needed was to get a few guys in the server and before we knew it we we're in bussiness. I do hope Tiger bring back some of the 'Aces over Burma' missions, I may not possess the skills of an excellent map maker but I have an exceptional knowledge of how to work with the FMB.

Also, yes GriJ is a good server for one I believe that's because I've never heard anyone complain about kill stealing.
Notice in a full Switch server kill stealing is hardly a factor, it may happen but you're to worried about who may be lurking on your six with you in their crosshairs. With external view and pad lock disabled your priority will be only about surviving and not about a kill. So with that said would No Externals Checked be a considerable way to eliminate kill stealing or at least the complaints?

Perhaps in the future there will be an =AVG= Server similar to SOV with no externals, and we'll see about cheating and kill stealing being issue.
=AVG=Lt. Colonel Razgriz_37
Group Adjutant, =AVG=
3rd Pursuit HELL'S ANGELS

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