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mouseboyx

Gray Area Cheating?

18 posts in this topic

There are things that might be viewed as cheating, probably playing on public servers it's not that big of a deal, but if you were playing in a tournament it would be viewed as client modding or cheating.  But these are in a gray area to me of whether or not they are cheating.  These are from the point of view of a map that doesn't have these features by default, but if the map were made to have these features then it's all fine.

 

  • Removing Camera Shake  --  If a map uses camera shake on weapons (most prominent  when firing a rocket launcher) is it cheating to remove all camera shake?  With a weapon like the pistol I've done this before in my early days when I was 16-17 before I realized that it's somewhat dishonest to remove it.  I did feel like I could get better aim and accuracy when removing it, and soon reverted the changes because I felt like I was cheating.  Is it even possible to detect whether a client does this from server side?
  • Changing the FOV  --  Could be changed to give yourself either narrowed or widened peripheral vision.  Once again I think this is fine on public servers, but it could be changed to something ridiculous to give 180 degree vision.
  • Changing Textures/Light/Shaders --  Something like giving a hog a paint job or rims on a map that doesn't have that by default is a benign example, but making frag grenades more visible by turning them green or pink falls in a questionable area.  Of course making walls transparent would give relatively the same cheat as a wall hack.
  • Turning off Particles --  Since this is an option in the video settings and it has pros and cons I don't think this could be considered cheating unless it was established beforehand that it was against the rules.   If particles were changed to be still visible yet lessened or semi-transparent through mods or map tools I think that would fall under something sinister because it wouldn't be readily available to everyone.

 

These are obvious cheats where there is no question that it is cheating:

  • Wall Hack  --  Various methods probably exist, the basic idea is that it brings the z index of all players to be in front of everything else and highlights them with a color.
  • Aim Bot  --  Using a tool to gain perfect aim for head shots without ever needing to aim much yourself.
  • Auto Shot --  I'm less familiar with this but I believe it is used in combination with an aim bot or wall hack to fire a weapon automatically if someone is within range and is in line of sight within the reticle.
  • Lag or Speed Hack  --  Using a speed hack program to simulate a client/server mismatch causing a warp, or purposely installing a lag switch, or introducing drops in a connection through software to warp.  But this could be easily mistaken for a bad connection to the server.  If someone lags every time when they take cover from fire and never lags at any other point it could be relatively save to assume they are using a lag switch of some kind.
  • HAC2  --  Using Halo Anti Cheat for the purpose of screen watching instead of sight jacking.  For example sight jacking someone to find their location rather than using it to spectate looking for aimbot, wallhack, or other cheats of a player.  (I don't know if this is gray area, but it sure does seem dishonest to me)

 

I'm interested to know what the opinions are on the "gray area" or other things that could be added to the list.  Sorry if this post is not allowed, but the problem of cheaters on CE and Retail is a persistent one and it's good to have information out there.

 

Edit:

Sorry this probably doesn't belong here it might be more suitable to be put in off-topic or somewhere else.

 

Edited by mouseboyx
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Tiddy-bits:

Glitches are a gray area as well. Some of the glitches are: double melee, backpack reloading, phantom shooting. While some of them are seen as part of the game's sandbox, a few could be seen as cheating.

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4 minutes ago, aLTis said:

Glitches are a gray area as well. Some of the glitches are: double melee, backpack reloading, phantom shooting. While some of them are seen as part of the game's sandbox, a few could be seen as cheating.

I saw the backpack reload fix, I'm guilty of doing backpack reloading as a habit it would probably confuse me if I wasn't able to do it.  Are phantom shots when you are firing beyond the shown capacity of the clip, because reloading or some other thing didn't work properly?  I guess there's also ghost nades that invisibly drop out of your dead body if it's timed just right.  Or using a vehicle or other means to position yourself inside a rock.  Something that is definitely part of the game is tele-blocking, it's cheap to do it though, or using a ghost to hover above the port and insta-kill anyone that comes through.

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5 hours ago, mouseboyx said:

Removing Camera Shake  --  If a map uses camera shake on weapons (most prominent  when firing a rocket launcher) is it cheating to remove all camera shake?  With a weapon like the pistol I've done this before in my early days when I was 16-17 before I realized that it's somewhat dishonest to remove it.  I did feel like I could get better aim and accuracy when removing it, and soon reverted the changes because I felt like I was cheating.  Is it even possible to detect whether a client does this from server side?

I see this as a cheat, but it's really not that significant..

 

5 hours ago, mouseboyx said:

Changing the FOV  --  Could be changed to give yourself either narrowed or widened peripheral vision.  Once again I think this is fine on public servers, but it could be changed to something ridiculous to give 180 degree vision.

This has its own tradeoff, if you're using a FOV much higher than your aspect ratio demands, you start impacting how well you can see where you're aiming.

 

5 hours ago, mouseboyx said:

Changing Textures/Light/Shaders --  Something like giving a hog a paint job or rims on a map that doesn't have that by default is a benign example, but making frag grenades more visible by turning them green or pink falls in a questionable area.  Of course making walls transparent would give relatively the same cheat as a wall hack.

Definitely cheating if you're making something more visible or transparent.

 

5 hours ago, mouseboyx said:

Turning off Particles --  Since this is an option in the video settings and it has pros and cons I don't think this could be considered cheating unless it was established beforehand that it was against the rules.   If particles were changed to be still visible yet lessened or semi-transparent through mods or map tools I think that would fall under something sinister because it wouldn't be readily available to everyone.

Definitely an abuse, but if it's something built into the game to be easily changed, you really can't call it a cheat.


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8 hours ago, mouseboyx said:

Removing Camera Shake  --  If a map uses camera shake on weapons (most prominent  when firing a rocket launcher) is it cheating to remove all camera shake?  With a weapon like the pistol I've done this before in my early days when I was 16-17 before I realized that it's somewhat dishonest to remove it.  I did feel like I could get better aim and accuracy when removing it, and soon reverted the changes because I felt like I was cheating.  Is it even possible to detect whether a client does this from server side?

I did add this feature to Chimera a while back to workaround the broken camera shake. I then removed the feature as I actually did fix the camera shake, but readded it due to a high amount of demand, plus people were staying on old versions of Chimera that had the option to turn off the camera shake. Needless to say, I regret making this feature.

 

Quote

Changing the FOV  --  Could be changed to give yourself either narrowed or widened peripheral vision.  Once again I think this is fine on public servers, but it could be changed to something ridiculous to give 180 degree vision.

Given that this is standard in modern games and that most client mods let you do this now, I cannot consider this a cheat.

 

You can turn this into a cheat using hotkeys, however. Basically bind one hotkey to setting your FoV to something like 30 degrees, and then another hotkey to set it back. Chimera even lets you do this. And yes, THIS would be considered a cheat.

 

Quote

Changing Textures/Light/Shaders --  Something like giving a hog a paint job or rims on a map that doesn't have that by default is a benign example, but making frag grenades more visible by turning them green or pink falls in a questionable area.  Of course making walls transparent would give relatively the same cheat as a wall hack.

Changing textures has a legitimate use. Refined lets you change the HUD to a more Xbox-like HUD. You may also want higher quality, uncompressed textures. This wouldn't give you any advantage whatsoever, but it would make for a more authentic experience.

 

Making walls transparent by way of changing the tag data is a cheat, but it's not a very good cheat since it'd be hard for you to navigate the map even if you've thoroughly memorized it. Also the game culls geometry that it thinks you cannot set, thus anything behind an object would no longer be visible.

 

Quote

Turning off Particles --  Since this is an option in the video settings and it has pros and cons I don't think this could be considered cheating unless it was established beforehand that it was against the rules.   If particles were changed to be still visible yet lessened or semi-transparent through mods or map tools I think that would fall under something sinister because it wouldn't be readily available to everyone.

There is no pro to turning off particles besides gaining an advantage, thus while I can't consider this a cheat since it's built into the game, it's as bad as one.

 

Gearbox should not have added this as a setting. No proper gaming PC, even from the 2003-2004 era, is too slow to run the game with particles on.

 

Quote
  • Wall Hack  --  Various methods probably exist, the basic idea is that it brings the z index of all players to be in front of everything else and highlights them with a color.
  • Aim Bot  --  Using a tool to gain perfect aim for head shots without ever needing to aim much yourself.
  • Auto Shot --  I'm less familiar with this but I believe it is used in combination with an aim bot or wall hack to fire a weapon automatically if someone is within range and is in line of sight within the reticle.

Ah, yes, the classics.

 

Quote

Lag or Speed Hack  --  Using a speed hack program to simulate a client/server mismatch causing a warp, or purposely installing a lag switch, or introducing drops in a connection through software to warp.  But this could be easily mistaken for a bad connection to the server.  If someone lags every time when they take cover from fire and never lags at any other point it could be relatively save to assume they are using a lag switch of some kind.

HAC2 even lets you change the game speed. If you set the game speed to 34-36 ticks per second (I don't remember), it's just below the server's threshold for detecting speed hacking.

 

Quote

HAC2  --  Using Halo Anti Cheat for the purpose of screen watching instead of sight jacking.  For example sight jacking someone to find their location rather than using it to spectate looking for aimbot, wallhack, or other cheats of a player.  (I don't know if this is gray area, but it sure does seem dishonest to me)

Chimera actually has a much better spectating mode, which, in addition to letting you see the other player's PoV, also lets you see their HUD, arms, and current weapon, thus you can see the ammo, grenades, motion sensor, weapon, health, shield, etc. of a player.

 

Abusing this is undoubtedly cheating, but I left it in there because I felt the pros outweighed the cons. But if you're playing a gametype like CTF or Oddball and you're trying to locate the ball or flag, this would be a good way to do it unfairly.

 

6 hours ago, aLTis said:

Glitches are a gray area as well. Some of the glitches are: double melee, backpack reloading, phantom shooting. While some of them are seen as part of the game's sandbox, a few could be seen as cheating.

Many of these glitches have become standard in the main game, especially double meleeing and backpack reloading. They can provide an unfair advantage, but only if against people unaware of the glitch, and even then, it's not a significant advantage. Phantom shooting is annoying, though.

 

Anyway, here are a few things that might be considered "grey" area and are features in Chimera:

  • Interpolation. The game animates objects at 30 FPS, but if you have interpolation, it does it based on your frame rate. If you have this and other players don't have it, you have an advantage because you can track objects infinitely better than other players unless they also have interpolation.
     
  • Disabling vehicle camera centering. The game is supposed to gravitate the camera towards the center. If you outright disable it, you can now drive (and gun) much better than other players since your camera is no longer being messed with by the game. MCC has this as a feature, so it is not a grey area thing (albeit in MCC only), but Chimera did it before MCC had it, and the base Halo PC game does not have it. This is extremely useful on racing servers!
     
  • Disabling extra weapons. Chimera lets you disable weapons in the third/fourth slot on servers that give you these weapons. Generally these weapons go unused anyway (on a server with 999 ammo sniper rifles and pistols, are you REALLY going to use the less reliable shotgun with this cruddy netcode?), so I added this simply because it's annoying to play on these servers. Nevertheless, it can be considered an unfair advantage. By disabling these slots, you can switch to more useful weapons significantly faster than other players on the server. Obviously being able to hold a third/fourth weapon is, in itself, a mod and not part of the game, so no matter how big of an advantage such a thing is on those servers, it's a grey area.

They're things I've thought long and hard about before adding them, but here you go.

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Cheating in my eyes is:

Having any advantage that isn't available to the other player(s) 

 

I don't really see glitches as "cheating" so much as immoral if the other players dunno how to do them as well.

I used to have a lot of fun with glitches in Halo 2 with my friends.

 

However, I also play cs:go and I can 100% understand things like glitches being abused and ruining the fun. Though with cs, it's a bit more infuriating cause you get one life then watch, Halo you can usually just respawn

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13 hours ago, Zatarita said:

Cheating in my eyes is:

Having any advantage that isn't available to the other player(s) 

I suppose the issue we're trying to solve is: what constitutes an advantage?

 

If you mean something like being able to see players through walls, sure.

 

But there's also if something is broken to the point where it negatively impacts gameplay, and a player has this fixed on their client due to a mod, would that constitute as a cheat then?

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On 2/16/2021 at 4:37 PM, Kavawuvi said:

Gearbox should not have added this as a setting. No proper gaming PC, even from the 2003-2004 era, is too slow to run the game with particles on.


About that, I don't think Gbx had much of a choice in this case. Most players didn't have a proper gaming PC at the time, I mean this was right after dial up was finally phasing out. I know I didn't have one so particles did make a significant difference. About the only way I could play as smoothly as the game can was by using noff. Built in intel gpu chips were really bad at the time and this was probably what the overwhelming majority of players were stuck to.

I remember when I got a gpu update and was finally able to see team colors on the spartans lmfao. It was bad. This was your common Dell desktop with the intel gpu at the time.

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On 2/18/2021 at 0:08 AM, AntiMomentum said:

About that, I don't think Gbx had much of a choice in this case. Most players didn't have a proper gaming PC at the time, I mean this was right after dial up was finally phasing out. I know I didn't have one so particles did make a significant difference. About the only way I could play as smoothly as the game can was by using noff. Built in intel gpu chips were really bad at the time and this was probably what the overwhelming majority of players were stuck to.

I remember when I got a gpu update and was finally able to see team colors on the spartans lmfao. It was bad. This was your common Dell desktop with the intel gpu at the time.

 

This might seem a little elitist, but I really do think that trying to support really low end graphics holds games back.

 

My theory is that, as a result of them doing this, we ended up losing shader_transparent_generic, a shader that was responsible for a lot of really nice graphical effects. This hurt Halo back then, and it's also hurting it today, as the best we can come up is approximations of the original shaders. After all, those old GPUs that had no business running 3D games in the first place wouldn't have had any chance of rendering those effects, and it's not like you could disable them in a settings menu, either.

 

Also, it's not like that shader is impossible to run on PC, since Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse has no issue with these tags. They look fine. Since Halo's campaign lightmaps match the Xbox's campaign lightmaps (which were almost certainly lit by generic tags), it's probable that Gearbox, in fact, made the executive decision to disable/remove the shader class, likely to ensure that these lower end fixed function cards could run the game. Aspyr and Wideload Games, when porting Stubbs the Zombie, did not.

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