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Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:05 am
by Mehrunes Unsworth
There are less obvious cheats.

It is a simple matter to rig up a script that uses distance measuring to automate the swapping of weapons and stance toggling to enable a combatant to always have the best possible DPS for his current range. Making a macro that automatically attacks and block as soon as your enemy is within range is simple as well. To the casual observer it might look like the guy simply has amazing reflexes, but truthfully he is using an enhancement that is nearly undetectable. You can practice for days and become that talented naturally, but the scripts can put you into the top tier of melee duelers quicker.

As far as I know there aren't any client side aiming tools available in SL but it is an open source viewer and such a tool is feasible to make. There are open source aimbots out there that wouldn't take a rocket scientist to adapt to arrows in SL, again with little chance of detection.

While the cheat huds are pretty obvious to detect (especially when people use those copybot viewers to detect the hud objects people wear), I wouldnt go so far as to assume it is very hard to cheat with the client side options out there. Scripting a tracker arrow or fucking with GM's comm channels are obvious easily detectable things but automatically pointing your mouse in the right spot is a different animal. I could probably out-sword most raiders with autohotkey one handed and looking at my scripts wouldn't reveal what I'm doing. With a little more work a hitscanner could be rigged that would give one a massively unfair advantage in aiming projectiles as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were more people cheating than we think.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:59 pm
by Architeuthis
Something I recently encountered in GE Gor (where I play sometimes to keep my meter skills up) was people who copybot melee weapons, animations, even sounds, and drop in their own scripts. They even have a way to spoof as if the weapons maker was the creator. They then set the weapon script to just slightly faster than normal and just over max range to avoid suspicion. Combined with a decent internet connection and macros as Meh outlined they are nigh invincible in melee combat.

I call these people fringe cheaters because they are just slightly overpowered compared to others, and very hard to detect, but its enough where they are impossibly hard to beat, even with higher skill levels, better connections and PC's.

I have a notecard of a certain top GE fighter admitting this in IM's and claiming that in fact lots of people do this. It's possible he was pulling my leg but I really didn't get that impression.

To me this is reason enough for the sim owners out there to insist that the folks who make the GM either come up with a more accountable server side combat meter where it's much harder to cheat or they start looking for a replacement. Client side scripting and meters cause way too much lag and are too easy to cheat anyways. Until the owners stand up and demand something better nothing will change and Gor combat will continue its slow circling around the toilet bowl.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:26 pm
by Mehrunes Unsworth
I'm not that hard on the Gorean meter folks. There really isn't much that they can do that they aren't already doing (especially when you consider that they are doing all of this for free). There are a couple ways to detect and prevent copybotted weapons and creator spoofing. The big bow makers have systems in place to authenticate their arrow shots already (AC was an early pioneer of this feature). GM and pretty much any SL combat meter largely relies on in-sim comms because SL throttles http messages, you can't talk back and fourth to a web server fast enough to have a real time battle between multiple combatants, not unless you slowed down weapon speeds to the point of boredom. Lots of systems do include database features as a supplement to in-sim combat messages but you'll find that these are usually "special moves" with long cooldown timers. Most systems use prim collision, control combat comms entirely within the meter, or use closed source scripts in their weapons (like the way GM shields work). Gor is fairly unique in allowing a third party to script their own weapon functionality. To have secure communication between objects in a sim you have to use encryption which is crackable and laggy, it isn't practical to have many parties sending encrypted messages at a very fast rate, that is why we're forced to deal with trolls fucking with meter comms, we don't have enough script time to secure our messages.

Systems are possible in which a copied weapon wouldn't be able to respond properly to an authentication query. If I were in the weapons market I'd give sim moderators devices that can be used to prove if my weapons were the real thing or a copy. You could use an md5 message that is salted with the current time and a password that is only known to the weapon maker, crackable with some effort but doubtful that anyone would bother. If any of you vendors out there create such a thing, I'll be fair about my royalties ;). I guess we could mandate that all the weapon vendors include authenticators with their weapons, then your main cheating risk would be secret features made by the vendors themselves (which have been known to exist in the past).

If you couldn't trust the weapon vendors, then the other way is to build the weapon scripts within the meter itself and handle all the combat internally, leaving the weapons that vendors sell to be nothing more than glorified animation overrides. It would be drastic and effective, but it would kill the market and the vendors would refuse to support it. Being that many sims are owned or heavily sponsored by weapon vendors, I highly doubt that such a combat meter could ever catch on. I already made a meter like this, well just the melee part so far.

Even then, people would still be able to use macros to enhance their reflexes and the more determined among them could modify the viewer themselves. Proper FPS games use demo recording and computer invasive anti-cheat software to combat this problem and there is no way Gorean sims could install those kinds of precautions on their visitors. At the end of the day you just have to trust that people will act like adults and play nice and not to take things so seriously if you lose. Sure, they could be cheating but there is only so much that can be done before it just isn't worth the effort. Eventually one realizes he could make accomplish lot more for himself by exerting this kind of effort on anything else but video games.

Or, you could be cynical and conclude that because others are cheating with little hope of being caught, you may as well cheat too. Personally, I've retired from combat in SL.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:47 am
by Manon Seid
Mehrunes Unsworth: "Personally, I've retired from combat in SL."


I still go roleplaying on occasion. If people wish to hack me down meter style they can - easily. I wont even likely bother to draw my weapon, melee or not. I have better things to do than spend hours training meter combat for a game where i will rarely, if ever use it.

The people i am likely facing in rp meter combat will be cheating one way or another or had twice as much time and determination to practise than me. Either way i have no chance so why bother.

I tend to go "siiigh" when in the middle of an interesting conflict rp someone decide to hack it all to pieces with a meter sword - whack whack whack - and out the door goes a gazillion interesting possibilities for rp and i am bubbled and supposedly unconscious for 3 minutes no matter what weapon i was hit in the head with. Stupid.

Mind you i still do it. It's in the rules that's how we do it right?...If they hack me down i will lay there silently for 3 mins as a good little victim. But seriously it kills storylines and it's far from always making sense in the rp that's happening.

I dont care if citizens "cheat" requiring my character to strip whatever meter weapon when i enter a city. I am not likely going to use a weapon for meter combat anyway. And if i do need a weapon later on i'll see to it i'll get one in rp.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:33 pm
by Architeuthis
Mehrunes Unsworth wrote:I'm not that hard on the Gorean meter folks. There really isn't much that they can do that they aren't already doing (especially when you consider that they are doing all of this for free).

I'm not knocking the meter creators either, but there are profitable businesses out there making money off of the weapons which use the meter and they mostly have a strangle hold on the market. This stifles creativity because only a small group of select developers are on the "Approved" list. Besides who but a handful of people really wants to make things for a meter which is basically 8 years old?

Remember the GCM? That was the last hurrah of creativity and competition in the market for the GM and it got squashed like a bug by the people who own the marketplace. The makers were coming up with some pretty amazing stuff before they abandoned the project.

The players and sim owners deserve something more modern and written by those who are more proactive about updating their product instead of tweaks once or twice a year. But when nobody is competing with you this is what happens. Pretty sweet deal for a handful of people but sucks for the players and the novice creators who can't get their weapons on the approved list.

Also the older tech is highly limited and causes performance issues and really only benefits those who spend hours and hours practicing with expensive machines and super fast connections. Most people aren't going to go out and drop $2500-$3000 USD on a gaming PC just to get an edge in SL Gor.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:58 pm
by Mehrunes Unsworth
I feel your pain brother, I too tried to make and sell weapons. They have a very tidy arrangement and a solid power base, I doubt many newcomers will be willing to break in. At this point in SL's life cycle it just isn't worth the investment.

You could probably make some money selling kurii avatars or breedable creatures or something though.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:28 pm
by Darius of Turia
All that is required to change things is the sim owners to change the meter. Use a differnt meter, like what you meh were going to put out, and then this monopoly falls. Issue is there is nothing out there that is better then this 8 year old meter.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:57 am
by Aphris
Darius of Turia wrote:All that is required to change things is the sim owners to change the meter. Use a differnt meter, like what you meh were going to put out, and then this monopoly falls. Issue is there is nothing out there that is better then this 8 year old meter.

Sounds the solution, but I know several sims which tried, and immediate traffic dropped dramatically. I have seen people leaving sims when they saw another meter was used then GM.

I have also seen that people simply ignored the other meter and still came in the sim with GM, resulting in huge Invalid discussions.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:26 am
by Glaucon
My thinking on this is this: At the moment, most people involved are people used to doing things a certain way, and the creative scripters that wanted something better either left or gave up long ago.

Any improvement will have to await the new second life, I guess, as that is likely to attract new creatives that will seek to implement something more up to the level of what many gamers are already used to in combat-games. That will force others (including existing weapon makers going over) to evolve as well.

Re: Visitors and Ranged Weapons

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:35 pm
by Lucius
If I am not entirely mistaken I can not recall a single instance in any book to support disarming visitors to any city/village/port/outhouse on Gor. While Norman based his city states on the Roman Empire it can be argued that since references can be found that Rome disarmed her subjects while in Rome, it can not be said that this ever happened as a course of state law on Gor.

It is an online invention particularly of SL that people have their ranged weapons removed. The FPS culture of SL combat has become so prevalent that rules such as this are established in order to give the home team an advantage over anyone that might have come with nefarious purposes. Upon closer inspection of this though one can wonder that individuals are required often by OOC regulation to remove their weapons yet raiders are allowed to come in force with these same weapons and attack.

I could speculate at a variety of reasons for this discrepancy but I think it boils down to raids lead to a larger traffic foot print that individual role-players off put by an online expectation of disarmament. Which is a backwards way of thinking given that raiders will come, do their thing and provide a temporary burst in traffic numbers and role-players have the potential to stay given their experience on a sim and provided a sustained traffic footprint.

TLDR Removing weapons at the gate is an onlineism spawned by the FPS combat culture.