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A Letter to Bioware - Regarding Cheating in PvP and Ways to Discourage it.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
A Letter to Bioware - Regarding Cheating in PvP and Ways to Discourage it.

silvershadows's Avatar


silvershadows
08.23.2012 , 07:22 PM | #1
(For those who don't want to read the whole thing, I have highlighted my ideas in a different color so you can find them quickly.)

Dear BioWare,

Before I start, I would just like to thank you for the efforts you have made to bring us an enjoyable game set in the Star Wars universe. Though it has it's problems like any other MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic has thoroughly entertained me with it's storylines and gameplay.

However, as a person who cut her teeth in MMO's on the pvp-centric Dark Age of Camelot, playing for many hardcore eight versus eight RvR guilds, the main enjoyment I get out of any MMO is from player versus player combat. Though I find the pvp in SW:ToR to be more balanced than the pvp in World of Warcraft, there is a problem which is plaguing level 50 warzones, and to an extent their lower-level counterparts.

That problem is cheating and hacking. While I have always disliked MMO players who "cry hacks" every time they lose, the issue has become so rampant that most anyone other than those who willingly turn a blind eye can see it. Speedhacking, teleport hacking/map hacks, invisibility, and short-term invulnerability are all things that I have personally witnessed on multiple occasions. This may not even cover the whole gamut of hacks available.

I know that some players have been banned, but this has not served to discourage other players from following in their footsteps. I therefore propose the following actions which may help to lower the overall instances of cheating while at the same time causing would-be cheaters to think twice before they do.

1) Once a week or once a month, depending on the amount of cheaters banned, publicly post a "Cheater/Hacker Report." This would be a forum post which tells us the number of cheaters who have been ejected from the game in the past week or month. Understandably, privacy concerns and game policies prevent you from telling us who they are, but you could still tell us how many have been banned. This would let us know that you are actively policing the game - something many MMO's fail to do, which then causes people to wonder if Game Masters are policing it at all, or if all their tickets are just ignored.

2) Have a GM or two enter random warzones and actively monitor for cheating. If they choose warzones entirely at random, at random times and intervals, players will never know when the warzone they are in also contains a Game Master. These warzone monitors, however, should make their presence known once every great while so that players are aware that the possibility exists. This will help to "nip it in the bud" - players will be far less likely to cheat when they know that there could be somebody watching who could take all of their characters away.

3) When banning a player for cheating in pvp, ban them permanently. Show no mercy, give no quarter. These people are making your game less enjoyable for your legitimate players who are looking to have a good time. Even players on the same side as the cheaters feel a little miffed - their wins mean nothing because they were gotten via cheating. Don't just ban an account name, either. Ban their credit card, too. Ban anyone with that address or phone number. Show no mercy.

In closing, I would just like to reiterate once more that I am grateful that SW:ToR exists, as it has let me explore my favorite fantasy universe and walk in the heavy boots of a Mandalorian warrior. I have been able to explore the dry wastes of Tatooine and tread upon the soil of Alderaan. I love this game, and as a player who will be eternally grateful to have been able to experience it, I plead with you - please do something about all the cheating in warzones.

Thank you,
An MMO Veteran since 2003


PS - Trolls will not be fed.
Sage - Sentinel - Commando - ScoundrelPowertech - Operative - Marauder - Sorcerer
Highjinks - Flashfire Ace - Saberwing
Cadera Legacy The Ebon Hawk

Check out my series of Mandalorian novels HERE.

Mutley-Gin's Avatar


Mutley-Gin
08.23.2012 , 08:48 PM | #2
i seen alot of hacking on my old server...new server not alot...if any.
The problem...youtube....if you research the hacks...they are on youtube and they even show you how to do it...
I myself strive the top gear and play with pretty good players...and would`nt lower myself to hacking...but man it`s so easy to do...i`m actullay surprised that i`m not seeing alot of hacking...

and if you think this is bad...you tube hacks for popular shooters...zillions of them.
hopefully BIO keeps on top of this problem and finds solutions fast...don`t let hackers ruin this game...

most popular shooters i play for only a few months....til the online play turns to craps because of hackers.

silvershadows's Avatar


silvershadows
08.23.2012 , 10:42 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Mutley-Gin View Post
i seen alot of hacking on my old server...new server not alot...if any.
The problem...youtube....if you research the hacks...they are on youtube and they even show you how to do it...
I myself strive the top gear and play with pretty good players...and would`nt lower myself to hacking...but man it`s so easy to do...i`m actullay surprised that i`m not seeing alot of hacking...

and if you think this is bad...you tube hacks for popular shooters...zillions of them.
hopefully BIO keeps on top of this problem and finds solutions fast...don`t let hackers ruin this game...

most popular shooters i play for only a few months....til the online play turns to craps because of hackers.
Cheating is actually quite rampant on my server. A lot of people have either stopped playing or have started playing lower-level pvp because cheating is less frequent in the lowbie warzones. It can be rather frustrating to see someone pick up the ball in Huttball, for example, then disappear and reappear by the goal line.

Earlier I was playing my sentinel, solo guarding the western bunker in Novare coast. A powertech came up to me and we proceeded to fight. When it became clear he wasn't going to kill me one-on-one, he started to run away. So I snared him. Next thing I knew, he was speeding off faster than normal movement speed while snared - in fact, faster than I could run - and I'm combat spec'd and have 15 percent movement speed bonus at all times. I even hit transcendence for the extra speed burst and he still got away. There was nobody else near to give him a speedboost, and we were fighting at the western bunker, nowhere near the run speed power-up.

It was definitely not legit. That was the first time I had seen such blatant cheating in a lower level warzone. I rolled my eyes and logged on my mercenary for some 50 pvp.
Sage - Sentinel - Commando - ScoundrelPowertech - Operative - Marauder - Sorcerer
Highjinks - Flashfire Ace - Saberwing
Cadera Legacy The Ebon Hawk

Check out my series of Mandalorian novels HERE.

JattaGin's Avatar


JattaGin
08.24.2012 , 03:46 PM | #4
Good letter, I really hope they will read it!

Just played a Voidstar. We won, but 2 min. before the end, one of the opponents came at least to the first door (we held them away from the doors until then). Before he could start capping, I threw a grenade that tossed him to the ground for some sec. I stood right next to him and waited for him to stand up and interrupt him again. He stood up, clicked the door and it immediately became red and said, "bomb planted". No capping time. I wished I would have filmed it. Then few moments later, the same guy ran to the bridge, clicked the console and the bridge opened. Again, no capping time.

I reported the warzone and the player with as many details I could provide. But I will never know if they do something about it. I would love a list with info about cheats.

Jenzali's Avatar


Jenzali
08.24.2012 , 03:53 PM | #5
I play with Fraps on at all times now and have caught a few instances of it.

However sometimes it is hard to tell if it's intentional cheating or just a horrible bug.
Dashto Vant - Arsenal Mercenary - The most dashing bounty hunter in the galaxy.

silvershadows's Avatar


silvershadows
08.24.2012 , 06:35 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Jenzali View Post
I play with Fraps on at all times now and have caught a few instances of it.

However sometimes it is hard to tell if it's intentional cheating or just a horrible bug.
You and I both play on Ebon Hawk, and unfortunately, I seem to see at least one instance of cheating from the Republic side in every warzone I'm in. Of course, there are warzones with no cheaters, but it seems far more likely that there will be at least one. It doesn't always win the game for them, but it certainly makes for some extremely lame moments.

I haven't spoken to many republic players to see what they feel the instance of cheating on Empire side is, though it seems to be a rather popular topic of conversation in Imperial Fleet pvp chat.
Sage - Sentinel - Commando - ScoundrelPowertech - Operative - Marauder - Sorcerer
Highjinks - Flashfire Ace - Saberwing
Cadera Legacy The Ebon Hawk

Check out my series of Mandalorian novels HERE.

Zintiel's Avatar


Zintiel
08.24.2012 , 07:01 PM | #7
I've never seen someone cheat. Ever. I've been accused of cheating plenty of times because I normally play with a good team, we normally win, and we know how to optimally use speed buffs on each other. Anything else is lag or packet loss between you and the server.

However if you accuse someone of cheating to win when they clearly are not, they will only assume you are bad, and may laugh at you. If you really think someone is cheating report it and move on.

Masarko's Avatar


Masarko
08.24.2012 , 07:12 PM | #8

silvershadows's Avatar


silvershadows
08.24.2012 , 07:21 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Zintiel View Post
I've never seen someone cheat. Ever. I've been accused of cheating plenty of times because I normally play with a good team, we normally win, and we know how to optimally use speed buffs on each other. Anything else is lag or packet loss between you and the server.

However if you accuse someone of cheating to win when they clearly are not, they will only assume you are bad, and may laugh at you. If you really think someone is cheating report it and move on.
Unlike a lot of players, I actually do know the difference between cheating and legit play. There is an awful lot of cheating going on in random warzones at level 50. I don't want to hear any baloney about how random warzones don't count - for a great many players they do count, especially since the rated community on our server has been steadily going downhill (read: only a couple teams even do rated warzones).

I have never reported a player/team for cheating simply because they won. In fact, I have won plenty of games in which the opposition was cheating and still lost. That doesn't take away from their lack of sportsmanship nor from the fact that they are breaking many parts of the games EULA. I've also never once informed anyone that I thought they were cheating or that I was going to report them - that would defeat the purpose, as an intelligent person would then quit cheating/hacking for a few days until they were sure there wasn't a GM looking over their shoulder.

If you had bothered to read what I wrote in my original post, you would have seen where I pointed out that players tend to stop reporting cheats and hacks when they feel nothing is being done about it. I suggested ways for BioWare to let us know that they are, in fact, doing something about it. Whether or not you have personally seen someone cheating (chances are you have seen it but dismissed it as something else - for example, speedhacking itself can occasionally look like the speedhacking person is lagging - unless you are trying to chase them, then you'll quickly figure out the difference) is actually irrelevant.

Nothing bad could come out of a proactive approach toward getting cheaters out of a game - unless, of course, you're the cheater.

I'm sorry, but watching a powertech who is snared speed away from me at faster than ataru run speed AND transcendence (nowhere near a run speed power-up, thank you very much) is not lag or packet loss between me and the server. It is a speedhack. CCing someone only to watch them instantly plant a bomb as you are hitting them (and watching your commands go through to the server) is not lag or packet loss, it is a hack.

All you have to do is go to YouTube and search for swtor pvp cheats/hacks and you will find out just how easy it is to do these things. Denying that cheating exists doesn't elevate you to some awesome level of super cool, it just makes you look silly.
Sage - Sentinel - Commando - ScoundrelPowertech - Operative - Marauder - Sorcerer
Highjinks - Flashfire Ace - Saberwing
Cadera Legacy The Ebon Hawk

Check out my series of Mandalorian novels HERE.

Alericus's Avatar


Alericus
08.25.2012 , 12:21 AM | #10
Full support to OP. I couldnt agree more. Not that I need to argue with the trollsters but I can tell you this since this game has launched, 2 of my reports assisted Bioware in patching this game with exploits in pvp matches that they patched. These were exploits that players used to cheat in warzones. Bioware has confirmed they kick players for cheating and confirmed they have ejected players for cheating and actively work towards pacthing against cheats, hacks and exploits. And if you search for it on the web, its not hard to find videos and offers that allude and directly talk about hacks, exploits and cheats..so I always get a laugh when someone comes on these threads to claim they have never seen a cheat..my response..Bioware staff obviously have seen it so anyone claiming otherwise isnt making any sense.

My only complaint with Bioware is the silence in this matter. I know when they first announced they had made bans, a lot of my matches changed real fast as previously impervious players were suddenly dying real quick in warzones.
Essentially, criminals dont act when they see a cop car and its no different here. I know a lot of experienced pvpers who quit this game in disgust because of the cheating and I think Bioware really could reclaim their rep if they adopted the OP's suggestions.

When this game launched, I said this was what I had seen take down other games I played and Bioware fell into the same trap. If you allow the losers and exploiters to run the game, eventually thats all you have left and obviously new subs drop off until the game just dies.

Sadly, since the changes to this game seem to show Bioware plans to turn it into Star Wars: The Old Cash Shop...I dont expect these changes to be made. As long as they recoup their losses, they arent going to turn away anyone with a bank account. But I always hope against hope so your move Bioware prove me wrong.
Alaricus
"Through Strength I Gain Power!"