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SOCOM Online Cheats Ruin Experience 68

Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing to a GamePro report discussing GameShark cheat provider Fire International's touting of itself as "the first source of cheats for PS2 online title SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, effectively encouraging gamers to ruin online gameplay for fair SOCOM players." According to Fire's European press release, the cheat "..enables unlimited ammunition and now boasts cheat codes for no recoil, rapid fire, unlimited grenades and a code which allows the player to steal their opponent's ammunition!" This brings to Europe a problem that is already rampant in the States, but which Sony claim they will fix for November's SOCOM 2, which should "..solve these issues and also feature the ability to ban cheaters from online play."
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SOCOM Online Cheats Ruin Experience

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  • by Mike Mentalist ( 544984 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @07:58PM (#6354597) Homepage
    Why do these people even bother cheating online? They pay for the PS2, pay for the network adapter, pay for the game... and then ruin it all by going and spending more money on a cheat device.

    It's just so self defeating as well - when everyone cheats, people stop playing. This means no more games for the cheaters to join. They destroyed PSO on the Dreamcast, and they STILL haven't learned their lesson yet...?
    • They destroyed PSO on the Dreamcast, and they STILL haven't learned their lesson yet...?

      You're funny.

      SEGA's in trouble. They had a non-viable financial model for PSO (buy the game, get unlimited free online play). Every hour a player is online is expense without profit.

      The solution?

      Let's just say exploits played right into SEGA's hand (hey, buy version 2 and pay for online access! we mean, buy the gamecube version and pay for online access!).

      Does SOCOM require a monthly fee? If not, you've got your k
      • "SEGA's in trouble. They had a non-viable financial model for PSO (buy the game, get unlimited free online play). Every hour a player is online is expense without profit." Yeah, cuz that worked so horribly for Blizzard. The free War3 I play online is just killing them I am sure. Free online play can make a company a ton of money. The concept is not hard, make a good game, and people will play, and pay good money for it. Hed.
      • You're funny.

        SEGA's in trouble. They had a non-viable financial model for PSO (buy the game, get unlimited free online play). Every hour a player is online is expense without profit.
        Can you say

        I think Blizzard is pretty happy with how their "non-viable financial model" is working.
    • I think it stems from the fact that people like to fee l like they're being sucessful without putting in the time to actually be good at the game. This is why cheats exist in the first place, as a shortcut to victory.

      In this world there will always be people who seek to take the easy way out, and those people are the ones that make online game playing such a crappy experience right now...

      They even ruined yahoo chess for me!
    • They get a kick out of it. It's difficult for a non-cheater to understand; I know I don't. I'm an admin for a major online gaming league, in particular the Counter-Strike part, and we have people who have been banned five or more times for cheating. They just go out, buy a new copy of Half-Life, and join up again the next season. These people are paying $20 a month for the privilege of getting banned. It makes no sense to us, but for whatever reason it's what makes the game fun for them.
    • Why do people cheat? Thats a slightly naive question - apologies if that sounds like trolling, but seriously... Why do people avoid paying taxes if they can? Why do people park in disabled spaces? Why do professional athletes use performance enhancing drugs? Its human nature. It doesn't make it right, or any less distasteful, but there are people out there who just get off on cheating. Whatever their reasons, it isn't going away soon.
  • Punkbuster? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Estaga ( 906 )
    Not being a gamer myself but playing around with Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, I noticed a think called punkbuster, a countermeasure against online cheating? Maybe more games should support this (yeahyeah its PC only now). hp
    • Re:Punkbuster? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by revmoo ( 652952 ) <slashdot@m[ ].ws ['eep' in gap]> on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @08:19PM (#6354691) Homepage Journal
      The problem is, that cheats come out daily that aren't detected by PB and it's ilk.

      I admin a rather busy Counterstrike server, and rather than use anti-cheat technologies, the admins simply watch people play. It's not foolproof, but it is certainly more effective than anti-cheat mechanisms.

      In time, spotting cheaters becomes second nature. Does the person track through walls, seeming to know where an enemy will come out? Do they normally shoot automatically after every corner, or did they just happen to do it on the one with a terrorist hiding behind the crate? Are their movements smooth, or erratic?

      I think one of the problems that consoles have, is that there aren't many admins. People can't set up their own server, it is all dependant on the company that released the game to police, and that is a patently Bad Idea(tm).

      Humans are the most effective anti-cheat mechanism.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @08:11PM (#6354656)
    So maybe Microsoft is right. Controling and centralizing the online infrastrucutre can limit abuses like this.
    • Really, MS haven't got all that much control over the games - as they don't host any servers to play on. All the 'servers' you see are in actual fact people hosting games on their consoles.

      Although each person has a unique Gamertag that identifies their account, there isn't a foolproof way for MS to boot people who act like dicks. I certainly haven't heard of any cases of people being banned from Xbox Live.

      I don't think that there has been a cheat device released for the Xbox yet, and that is the only r
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Apparently you haven't been following the mod chip saga. Microsoft has been banning modded xboxs from playing online. If you get caught they change your settings/system so that the xbox that got caught can not play on xbox live(others please ignore the technicalities, I just want to make the following point).

        So Microsoft has one way to combat the cheater problem, they can ban their xbox system. They can transfer their account to a new xbox, and it will cost them to do so each time. This could be a good
      • They can and do already ban people. My nephew had a gamertag that someone considered offensive (PeterLove) and microsoft banned him for it. One time when he tried to access live with that gamertag, he was forced to exit the game and enter a new gamertag through the dashboard interface. His friend list remained the same, and his new gamertag (Krazzy88) appeared on my friend list.

        Regardless of who is hosting the games (MS or P2P), you still have to log in through an Xbox Live server. As long as you are l
    • I agree, I use xbox live and it FORCES me to download patches if I want to continue playing Ghost Recon. Ghost recon has serious glitch issues, but it hasn't taken over gaming. We just eject people that use glitches, and they are really easy to spot. Most peopla are cool about using glitches. You say in the begining of the game that no one should use glitches. I also understand the banning of people using mod chips on xbox live because who knows that they can create, in terms of cheats, bots and so forth.
  • I don't know which I find more unappealing - FPS on a gamepad/console or online games with no mechanism for patches and anti-cheats..

    So when you add them together I get- WTF!!!

  • by sn0 ( 638732 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @08:33PM (#6354772)
    I have been playing Socom online since day 1. I love the game, but it has become nearly unplayable because of the excessive cheating. The only wayto get a fair game is to play in locked rooms with people that you know. Sony claims that this problem ahs been fixed for Socom 2, but I'll believe it when I see it. I suppose it's tough to complain when Sony doesnt charge for it's online games (yet), but I would be more than willing to pay a monthly fee as long as the game was cheater free.
    • I'm right there with you. My friends and I have a weekly game that's password protected so we can still enjoy the SOCOM experience with out the little kiddies who can't grasp the concept that some people actually want to play the game straight. I paid for the game, I don't want some twit ruining my enjoyment of what I paid for. I pay something like $10/month for Everquest Online Adventures (which I spend the majority of my time playing now, since I can't join a regular SOCOM game without having some dolt
  • "Smoking is bad for your heath"
    "Killing and stealing are deamed illegal"

    SOCOM Online Cheats Ruin Experience []


    However, my question for Sony (or the game creator) is why the fuck did you leave this in there? In the past online PC games had alot of cheats in them, but things have gotten better (note: this has nothing to do with hacking online PC games).
    • Developer: Zipper Interactive

      However the cheats were not left in there by the developers, rather it was done with a 3rd party cheating/hacking device (Xploder). So it was no direct fault of Zipper.

      That being said, I still stand by my Ren & Stimpy gasp!

      • you are still right. Zipper should have forseen this and put some mechanism in place to prevent this. Cheating in online games is not a new/undocumented thing. There are compnies that make their living trying to prevent this. You can't be a player in the online FPS genre without encountering cheaters. People have been doing it since the mid 90's

        And doesn't Sony get some kind of final QC/QA approval on the game? Are they not to blame a little for letting their online flagship title be ruined in the fi
  • by lastpub ( 214519 )
    My understanding is that these "cheats", especially on a console, are testing codes... why would these be left accessible or even in the game on release? I can understand leaving them in for single player games, it really doesn't matter that much, but does this not seem like a horrible oversight for the developer of a competitive online multiplayer game to leave these in?
  • On cheating... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Suicide ( 45320 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @08:53PM (#6354905) Homepage
    I don't really understand why it is still allowed to happen.

    Modified models let you see someone through a wall. Ok, why was a player behind a wall's position even transfered to said client? Hack removes gun recoil, why is the client software what determines if the bullets suffer from recoil? Unlimited ammo, why does the server trust the client to keep track of ammo? And so on...

    Yeah, yeah. I know. It takes processing power to keep that sort of stuff on the server. So what. I paid for a game, with the expectation of fair play with other people. If they can't deliver that to the players, then perhaps they shouldn't be pushing the game out. Why aren't these companies held accountable for the mistakes they release?
    • Re:On cheating... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRoachMan ( 677330 )

      The amount of processor power needed to do all these things server-side is nothing. The amount of bandwith consumed by it is what matters.

      Netcode (the code that is a compromise between some stuff client-side, some stuff server-side, and blending it together in a seemless and smooth play experience) is tricky stuff. If you let clients decide if their bullet was a hit or not, you can let people cheat by just sending out packets with the right data that tells the server "I hit that guy in the head! Really!"


    • Bandwidth and latency (basically the fact that the game is running over a network).

      The server can't wait until the character comes around the corner to start sending data; if it did there would be a noticable lag between the character coming around the corner and the client being made aware of that fact (and it would be all too common to be killed by a player on whose screen you appeared before he did on yours). So the client is told about the character a bit early. Wallhacks could be solved by using bet
    • It's slightly more complicated that you make out. The war on cheating is not going to be "won" anytime soon - look at it this way:

      People still hack websites! Despite all the patches and updates and upgrades etc, new vunerabilities are discovered every week. As soon as it is possible to win the war on hacking websites, it'll be possible to win the war on hacking games. I don't see this happening very soon.

      What makes you think the developer should be held accountable? Do you hold Hasbro accountable if your
  • integrity check (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dh003i ( 203189 ) < minus physicist> on Wednesday July 02, 2003 @09:43PM (#6355154) Homepage Journal
    The solution is to do an md5sum ofthe binary for the game. Players should be allowed to ban non-standard md5-sums from joining.
    • The solution is to do an md5sum ofthe binary for the game. Players should be allowed to ban non-standard md5-sums from joining.

      You're a genious! Next thing you know, people will start faking the md5sums!
      • Which is why you include a protocol that allows one person to remotely check another's md5sum.`
        • You're forgetting the basic rule of network gaming though: never trust the client. If you rely on the client for anything, you're vulnerable.
          • If I am allowed to run an md5sum check on another multi-player's binary from my computer -- using my run-times -- then how is that exploitable? Hacker's can't alter my run-times.
            • If they can't alter your runtimes, why are you using an md5sum to check the integrity of the runtime?
              • *xpenguin*: They can't alter YOUR runtime, so YOU check HIS runtime with an md5sum to see if HE altered HIS OWN runtime, which could mean he cheats.

                Very nice and all, but for 1 thing: if he altered his runtime, he could well alter his runtime in such a way that it will return a correct but fake md5sum upon ANY request from ANY other user (admin,bot,whatever). He'd just send out a checksum number that will register as correct, regarless from his real md5sum result. For all he cares, the md5sum isn't even c

              • Your checking the integrity of *their* m35sum. So you can refuse to play w/ them if they have a hacked version.
                • Sure, I'd be willing to wait while my 1GB (or so) Battlefield directory is uploaded in its entirety to the game server, so it can check its MD5 sum. No problem. I realize that it would only take a few hours on my capped upload cable modem, but what's a few hours when it comes to online playing?!

                  Of course, the cheaters would just upload pristine directory. So much for that!
            • You still have to obtain the binary from the player's computer to run an md5 on it.

              So he'll hack the md5 client to send the authentic binary but execute his haX0red one.

              So you'll make the md5 part of the server login process.

              So he'll intercept the fopen()s performed by the hacked binary to read itself, and return the authentic instead.

              Face it, when push comes to shove you have no control over the other clients short of a hardware-level Palladium-style lockout.
              • Face it, when push comes to shove you have no control over the other clients short of a hardware-level Palladium-style lockout.

                This is not entirely true. A hardware-level Palladium-style lockout seems like such a great people who don't understand hardware.

                There's an interesting tautology I learned a while back: If it can be done in hardware, then it can be done in software. By the same token, if it can't be done in software, then it can't be done in hardware either.

                There are cryptographi

    • I think Unreal Tournament handles it this way on CHSP enabled servers (whatever that acronym menas).
      • You mean, CSHP (Client Side Hack Protection) and CSHP didn't do that in the early versions AFAIK. I would know since I coded the first UT aimbot ;) -NoClanNeeded
    • These are console cheats anyway... no one is hacking a binary. They're manipulating the memory space of the console.
  • Of course the real trouble with cheats, is that after the game has been "violated" the game in general is less fun to play online even without an actual cheater present.


    Because as soon as many people are certain it is possible to cheat, they will begin accusing every single person that can beat them of cheating. It's like the camping thing. I used to play Unreal Champ on X-box live, I liked doing base defense, and I got accused of "camping" all the time. What the hell do you expect? I am defending
  • I know companies put cheats in to test out the game. But why do they leave em in?

    What's the point of cheating in a game with no plot only other players?

    • Most of these cheats are not "real" cheats inserted by the developers. Gameshark-type devices patch the game in RAM (the data coming off the cartridge/CD) to alter its behavior. Find the correct address/value combination to change the instruction that commits a decrease in the player's ammo to the game world data and change it to a nop, and your ammo will never decrease. Find the place where the authoritative value of the other player's ammo is kept on your local listen server, and you can fuck with that to
      • Find the place where the authoritative value of the other player's ammo is kept on your local listen server, and you can fuck with that too.

        That wouldn't matter, because the other (non-cheating)player still has the correct value and sends such info to the server. The server believes the (non-cheating)client and allows the gunfire to register as hits/misses, as opposed to invalid gunfire(if ammo really is depleted). In the cheating player's "world" the (non-cheating)opponent's ammo would be depleted, but

        • Also, some (un)fortunate lag could let you get an extra shot off before you died.

          When you shoot it must be instant, so the shots must be handled client side, so you cannot have health server side because when you die that must be instant too.

          Of course the server should be able to compare numbers and detect cheating.

          For example if my clent registers hit hit hit hit, and your client registers miss miss miss miss, and that becomes a patern, someone is cheating.

  • I just thought I sucked.

    What a relief.

  • 1. Purposely allow cheats to remain in SOCOM
    2. Hundreds of thousands of people play SOCOM
    3. Gameshark makers discover cheats
    4. Rampant cheating destroys gaming experience
    5. Sony announces cheats will be fixed in SOCOM 2
    6. Profit!
  • ... does it come across as incredibly stupid that:

    - They plan to fix the bugs in SOCOM 2, but not address those in the original SOCOM at all? Down with consumer loyalty - who needs it! They'll all update like good little drones to the new version!

    - That the ability to ban players was never a consideration in SOCOM? What, you think people will hack our system? No way! We are 1337. They don't stand a chance, banning is for sissy programmers!

    • Ummm, and how exactly are they going to fix bugs in SOCOM? Since you don't have a HD to save changes to. They could send out CDs I suppose, but that seems prohibitively expensive.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger