Cheating and abusing systems
In our on-going efforts to make the game better and more fun for all, we’ll be dealing with the issue of cheating.
Every online game has cheaters and players looking for ways to cheat the system to gain an advantage this is nothing new, it even happens in single player games.
Continue reading this article to find out what problems we’re facing and how we plan on dealing with them.
What is cheating and why do people do it?
Cheating in games is a widespread phenomenon, and it has been for years and years, probably since the beginning of gaming itself.
Almost every game has ways to either cheat directly or cheat the systems and gain advantages over other players or against AI. (Computer controlled)
Cheating generally tends to be a form of playing a game in a certain way to gain major advantages compared to other players.
Games like Age of Empires I for example, even build in cheat codes into their games to allow players to cheat, this was disabled for online play but players still managed to find ways to force it to work.
Cheating can happen in all kinds of ways and form and every game and cheat is different from one another, in Age of Empires you entered a cheat-code and you’d either get resources or very strong units which gave a major advantage compared to those who didn’t.
Cheating and gaining an advantage isn’t any different in Unleashed Fear, there are numerous ways of cheating such as; Scripting, Sharing accounts, Creating multiple accounts (duping) and more.
Players tend to cheat, in order to either save time/effort, increase their chances/odds of being better than others or to simply annoy other players.
Gaining an advantage is the number one reason players tend to cheat in Unleashed Fear.
How do players cheat in Unleashed Fear?
In today’s day and age, there’s plenty of tools or tutorials out there to learn how to accomplish this, in just a few simple steps you can write your own script.
Some scripts are more advanced then others, you could write a simple script that goes to the crime page every 30 seconds and commits the first crime.
Other scripts are more advanced and they can actually switch things up to keep it from being way too obvious that there’s a script at play.
You could easily write a script that does a random crime as long as it has above 90%+ strength and plays it at random intervals between 20 to 40 seconds for example.
Other players tend to share their accounts, they might not have enough time to play the game by themselves and they play together with a friend on the same account, or they simply have someone log in their account every once in a while to make sure it’s safe. (In case of a war, or timezone differences, etc)
There’s also those who create multiple accounts also known as duping.
Duping right now gives a major, major advantage as you’ll gain much more money, loot more items, and during wars you can use the dupe accounts to protect your main account by killing those who might shoot at your main account.
On top of these benefits, you gain even more benefits as you could use the referral system to gain even more money, use said dupes to check crimes/drug prices in other cities or use them to city search.
Since the launch of V3 cheating has never been easier.
We’ve completely removed all the ‘ASC’ inside the game, which means you don’t have to fill in the little 2 digit code everytime you want to commit a crime or trade a stock.
That in combination with hotkeys and other quality of life features makes it easy to manage multiple accounts and or script. (Press C, Press Enter, is all it takes to commit a crime)
Technology nowadays makes it almost impossible for Administrators to get rid of cheaters, or to even find them.
Private browsing functions such as incognito mode, free tools, and tutorials on writing scripts, VPN’s to hide identity and even proxy extensions for browsers all make it easier to hide who you are and what you’re doing.
However, we’ve also added several new background systems with the launch of V3 so we can keep track of cheaters in general, all actions are now being logged, every page that’s being accessed and every form that gets submitted.
We’ve been collecting this data since the launch of V3, and we’ve been busy analyzing this data to come up with features inside the game that will allow us the bring cheating to a minimum, as we’ll never be able to eradicate it completely.
What is our stance when it comes to cheating?
This is a sensitive and complicated matter, normally you’d think/say that all cheating is bad and we’d want to get rid of all cheating.
However, as mentioned above, we’ll never be able to get rid of all cheating that happens.
I used to be a player of these types of games myself and I used to have my fair share in cheating for all kinds of reasons whether it was lack of time or lack of motivation to play or determination to kill a certain person.
As an Administrator and creator of the game I started to view things a little bit different compared to when I was a player, as a player I didn’t see the harm in cheating and as a player, I didn’t really care about the consequences of cheating either.
As an Administrator, I see the consequences and I see the harm, but I also see the side of the cheaters when it comes to certain issues such as; lack of time; time-zone differences and such.
Personally, I find scripting to be the worst kind of cheating, as you could completely automate your entire game-play, this is what I and some others used to do on Dark-Future all the time, I had a script running which would buy/sell stocks 24/7, and I would obtain about 5.000 to 10.000 tokens each version from this script as it was optimized in such a way to sell stocks at above 20% profit to gain as many tokens as possible, allowing me to endless advantages as you could use tokens to get more stamina and more in-game money.
Duping is also a big problem as long as it gives major advantages towards your main account, if duping wouldn’t give any advantages towards your main account I wouldn’t have much of a problem against duping, as it makes the game more active and there’ll be more players/targets to shoot at.
And last of all sharing, some players share accounts due to wars taking place at a certain time when they cannot be online and some share accounts because they simply lack the time altogether, sharing does not really give that much of a benefit/advantage as you’re not directly gaining anything from it, besides saving yourself some time to play, obviously this still constitutes as cheating as that’s why we have a stamina & super burner in the gem store, so you can save time playing if you don’t have enough time.
The consequences of cheating are severe for legit players, they get eliminated and get all their efforts destroyed by someone(something) that didn’t play fair, this is morale damaging for a legit player.
This is why we’ll be enabling all kinds of systems again to put consequences on those that decide to cheat, more about this later on in the article.
Why don’t you just Admin kill the cheaters?
Because sadly this isn’t a good solution and it’s very, very hard to find cheaters especially if they don’t want to be found.
With today’s technology, you can easily go into Chrome Incognito mode or any other private browsing modes to change your IP and make you look like someone else.
There’s also plenty of free VPN add-on’s you can install to chrome/firefox to make sure your IP is different and untraceable when it comes to duping.
Not to mention the computer software such as TeamViewer which has been around for ages now which easily allows someone to take over your computer and play your account for you etc.
Admin Kill isn’t the best solution as killing them simply doesn’t solve the problem, what about the money they pickpocketed from other players? or money they send to other accounts? or the shots they made a week ago before it was discovered that they were involved in cheating? do we revive those players? and what if they already created a parent account?
Sometimes a player starts off playing regularly but after a few weeks/days he starts to use a script or share his account with a friend for whichever reason, how do we address these situations?
Admin kill is a mess, that becomes even messier the more admin kills have to be made and the longer these accounts have lived.
Admin kills are a quick fix to a complicated problem, it stops them from cheating on that specific account the moment they get admin killed but they can easily register a new username, on a new email with a new IP address and they would look like a completely new/different person.
I would estimate that if I were to check for cheaters 24/7 I would spend roughly 14 hours every day going through players logs / login’s / IP addresses and more just to see who’s possibly involved in cheating or not, and even then it’s just a possibility, not to mention that I cannot spend 14 hours every single day checking everybody’s actions, so sometimes certain cheaters manage to find a way to escape the system/checks we have, they wreak havoc and kill a couple of legit players leaving us with a big mess to clean up which an Admin kill sadly doesn’t solve or fix.
So what will happen now? How will we reduce cheating and make the game more fair and fun for everyone?
We will be making several changes to several systems to make cheating less beneficial, you can find the list of changes at the bottom of this article.
We’ll also be re-enabling our anti-script check system, don’t worry you won’t have to fill in a code every crime or anything, this is a hidden system we’ve been working on in the background and have been testing every so often to make sure it’s 100% accurate when it comes to detecting scripts.
We’ll also pay close attention to players behavior and create more background systems to analyze logs and other player related actions to further improve our anti-cheat systems.
The isolation system will be reinstated and we’ll commit to admin killing where necessary as long as it doesn’t create a total mess.
As mentioned before we’ll never be able to eradicate cheating altogether but we can make it less appealing, make it harder to cheat the system and give a clear message when it comes to cheating.
Changes and reasonings behind them
- We’re adding severe restrictions to the market section, there will now be a flat fee compared to a percentage fee if the price of an item you want to sell on the market does not exceed $1.000.000 you’ll now be taxed for $100.000, anything above $1.000.000 will still receive the usual percentage fee.
– This will help prevent items being spammed on the market for $1 to transfer to other accounts, as it’ll simply cost some/more money to ‘transfer’ over items, regular players won’t notice much of the fees that are being added.
- You’ll also only be able to add 1 item to the market per hour, making a total of 24 per day if you add 1 item every hour of the day.
– Another marketplace restriction in order to prevent players to transfer items from one character onto the next, a regular player won’t notice much of this change however those using multiple accounts to transfer items will be limited when it comes to instantly transfer items.
- You also won’t be able to purchase more then 2 items from 1 person in a single day, so if someones selling 3 items you can only purchase 2 and you’ll have to hope the other one is still available after 24 hours.
– Another restriction to prevent item transfers, normal transactions between legit players can and will still happen like normally, however transferring items from one character onto the next will be limited due to these restrictions.
- Taxes for sending money to someone will be increased dramatically, right now there’s a 10% tax on bank transfers and 0% tax on hand transfer, we’re going to change this to a 25% tax for hand transfers and a 50% tax on bank transfers.
– We’ve analyzed the bank transactions and come to the conclusion that a fee should be introduced to reduce the benefits up creating multiple accounts in order to spam in-game cash, regular players hardly make use of the transfer money features as they use money to purchase items from the marketplace or auction house mainly, they also use gem transactions in order to transfer money rather than banking cash from one character to another.
- 1% items bonus system will be changed currently, all items in your inventory are being used for the 1% this will be changed.
You will now have to store items you want to benefit from into your warehouse, adding items to your warehouse will now cost a small $ fee, you’ll only be able to store a limited amount of items in your warehouse dependable on your current rank.
– This will reduce the effectiveness of dupes being used to mass transfer items towards the “main character” it will also reduce those with a lot of cash from hoarding all the items in the game. And by adding a small fee it also reduces the odds of items constantly being added/removed and transferred from one character onto the next. Cheating the items system will now become an expensive hobby with all the fees being added.
- The stealthing system will also be updated to prevent easy city searching, it will now be much harder to spot gangsters in the same city that are higher ranked than you, it’ll become easier to spot those who are close-by as the same rank, and we’ll also make unlocking the beginning crimes a tad bit harder so it’ll be harder for crime searching dupes to find good crimes.
– By making these changes we want to reduce the number of characters being created to ‘find things’, every version has had it’s fair share of characters being created for the sole purpose of either storing money or finding other players/crimes, by making these changes it’ll be harder to use characters to gain these benefits.
- Non-tradeable items will become a feature. Certain items that have been obtained in a certain way will now be untradable, this means you won’t be able to sell them on the marketplace nor via any other means.
– Non-tradeable items will be beneficial to the game, for example, we want to give out more loot across the table to all players. However, if this loot is tradeable then it’ll give an advantage to dupes again, but if it’s non-tradeable it will mostly only benefit the legit players who actually could use the gear.
- Isolation system will be reintroduced when it comes to failing the anti-script check we run in the background on multiple occasions.
We will also update the isolation system to render all your items un-tradeable, Remember, being put into isolation removes all stamina, bonus stamina, you won’t receive any stamina during the period of isolation and you lose 50% of all your character stats, ouch!!
– By re-enabling this system we’ll be actively looking for those who want to script and cheat the system, these background checks won’t interfere with regular players whatsoever, cheaters/scripters, on the other hand, will get flagged and upon failing the checks multiple times they will eliminate themselves.
- Multiple new tracking systems have been added including more bank logs, item transactions, item history and more to keep taps and track of all in-game money and items.
– The reason for this is simple, it’ll give us more data and knowledge on how these cheaters operate, by analyzing these logs we can further improve all other systems to make them anti-cheat and potentially foresee possible future problems that might arise.
- We’ll also be adding a down shooting limit, the limit will be set at 5 ranks for now, this is optional for change and optional for removal if we see that it’s no longer needed, this is just a temporary solution for a relatively small problem.
You will still be able to give a backshot beyond the 5 ranks limit but you won’t be able to shoot first.
– Down shooting is ‘only’ being done by dupe accounts and by people who intend on quitting and want to cause problems for others. Almost no regular player will decide to shoot down 5 ranks or more considering it completely destroys your account.
We will continue to make changes in order to track and locate as many cheats/cheaters as possible and continue to improve our current systems to give more insights on how to combat and limit cheating by changing features inside the game itself.
Feel free to shoot us a message if you have any suggestions or feedback based on the changes listed above.
In the end, we all want the same thing whether a cheater, a legit player or as Administrator, we all want a fun, engaging and thrilling game to play.
We want to include everyone to experience the game in a fair/fun way, that’s why we want cheaters to rather change their ways rather then getting rid of them entirely, if we can all play fairly and have fun, wouldn’t that offer the best game for everyone involved including all parties?