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Edited by patrickklepek
Posted by OtterChaos

I do love to read read! Sorry Patrick.

Posted by VoshiNova

Sick! Thanks Patrick, I've always been curious about the hacker/cheater scene - especially in CS.

Edited by Evilsbane

I do love to read read! Sorry Patrick.

Lol went over my head for a moment.

Posted by obcdexter
Posted by snetErz

organner.pl is probably one of the most natural looking hacks you could ever possibly see in counter-strike. Youtube some videos, the thing is nuts. The person that made it, put some serious work into it.

Online
Edited by Luck702

His story was actually the most fascinating I've seen on PCG. Some actual journalism!

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I play CSGO everyday and can only imagine how many of my deaths weren't deserved.

Posted by Asiwassaying

Cheating is easy to understand, it's that cat toying around with the mouse it just caught, even the disabled or the old man are using it to enjoy the thrill of being on top, what it is to be the winner.

Posted by Jabr

MMO hacking/botting is even worse. Knew some that spent hundreds of dollars for botting.

Posted by Mister_V

Oh this sounds super interesting. Looking forward to giving it a listen.

Edited by White

It's very satisfying when people call you out for cheating/hacking when you clearly aren't - you're just superior to them. It feeds my ego and makes me feel good.

Even more satisfying is when you crush someone who is subtly cheating so hard they end up raging and turning on all their auto assist and give themselves away.

Also, never use cheats and hacks kids. You'll never know what sort of rootkit or sniffers the cheats install without you knowing. An hour or so thrill may result in weeks or months of headache when you suddenly lose more than what you bargain for.

Posted by HammondofTexas

As someone who plays CS:GO competitive games on a weekly basis, and has witnessed blatant cheating, this is a great podcast/read! Thanks Patrick!

Posted by MeAuntieNora

Way back in the day I downloaded some shit for Gunbound off what looked like a pretty unscrupulous site. I was shocked to find that most of it worked, including a hack that completely removed normal chat filters on my messages and an insane aimbot. After getting a few chuckles from peoples' reactions to impossible shots and uncensored chat, I uninstalled it all. It was a moment of curious investigation that opened my eyes to the accessibility and reality of cheating in online games.

Posted by smcn

@white said:

Also, never use cheats and hacks kids. You'll never know what sort of rootkit or sniffers the cheats install without you knowing. An hour or so thrill may result in weeks or months of headache when you suddenly lose more than what you bargain for.

Ah yes. I was introduced to Sub7 back in 1998/99 when I downloaded a god mode hack for Graal Online. Luckily, the creator of the hack turned out to be an IRC buddy of mine so nothing too terrible happened, he just rung up my house a couple times. I then started using it myself, not actually infecting anyone, just sniffing for infected PCs among EarthLink IP addresses so I could get their account info and not have to use AOL.

Heady days.

Posted by BaconGames

The article is fascinating in its own right but what I particularly liked in the interview is the idea of connecting cheat services to a larger player skill/design issue in multiplayer games in which players who feel excluded are using semi-illicit means to buy back in so to speak.

Controlling for the contingent of griefers who refuse for a variety of reasons to take the good spirit and sportsmanship of a multiplayer game seriously, I think Emanuel's right that ultimately making it irrelevant in the first place is arguably the best "anti-cheat" strategy outside of a robust technical solution.

Posted by Nasar7

@luck702 said:

His story was actually the most fascinating I've seen on PCG. Some actual journalism!

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I play CSGO everyday and can only imagine how many of my deaths weren't deserved.

Maybe that's the whole thing, though. If everyone else is doing it, you gotta do it too just to stay competitive. Like steroids in just about every sport nowadays.

Posted by Eaxis

I've never understood the desire to cheat in multiplayer games, maybe I'll get to know why people do it now. It'll be interesting see what he discovered.

Posted by Adderall_Admiral

I loved when PC DaS 2 launched and people with VAC bans could not play. Sweet sweet justice. I think they fixed it since but still.

Posted by Jackist

People need to understand how addiction applies to these things. Drug addiction, sex, gambling, the desperate attempts to feel normal by any means, that is what is driving these cheats.

It doesn't matter how life fucks you over, you will find a way to make yourself feel 'good' again. People are desperate creatures that will do anything to feel 'normal' or 'happy', it's a motivation people don't acknowledge or understand day to day. You get angry or depressed while playing, you find a solution if you can. And once you try something that doesn't really hurt anyone around you, why not? I'll just cheat on weekends to get happy at least once a week. Then I'll only cheat late at night, then life takes hold like it does for the MAJORITY of people. Most people are fucking addicted to something, but only a few people understand how they are addicted. But that will never fucking change, you understand, fucking never. I would be cheating right now if it made me happy, but it doesn't so I don't. It's that fucking simple.

Life is shit for most people, and it's a world they probably created but who fucking cares? If it's shit, you do what you fucking do and if it makes you have that high for a bit you keep doing it until it doesn't. Rinse and repeat, that's fucking life. It will never fucking change.

Posted by HerbieBug

That’s how I found Zero. After we finished talking, he reminded me to send him the $25 I promised him. I did not at any point say anything that could possibly even suggest that I would pay him for any reason. I asked him if he meant that was something I promised him or something that I should just do. “Both,” he said. “I also advise you not to use this information against me. That wouldn't be wise.”

Big badass motherfucker right here. Better hand over that 25 bucks or else. ha! :D

Edited by Spoonman671

I recently bought a CronusMax so I could aim/shoot with L1/R1 in my PS4 shooters. I'll be really pissed if Sony ever puts out a firmware update that disables it.

Posted by Luck702

@nasar7 said:

@luck702 said:

His story was actually the most fascinating I've seen on PCG. Some actual journalism!

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I play CSGO everyday and can only imagine how many of my deaths weren't deserved.

Maybe that's the whole thing, though. If everyone else is doing it, you gotta do it too just to stay competitive. Like steroids in just about every sport nowadays.

You see, I have something called 'self control'

Posted by Mr_Creeper
@luck702 said:

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me.

Right? I never thought it was as wide-spread as some people make it out to be, but perhaps I just haven't been paying close enough attention...

Edited by noizy

Interesting, but I don't buy the apologetic arguments about not having time or a disability (although the disability issue is more complicated).

There was this situation recently in MMA around the use of TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy); basically steroids. Some fighters were applying for "therapeutic use exemptions" (TUE) saying that they had "low testosterone" and that they were simply "getting back to normal levels". This created a massive loop hole where fighters were cheating the tests to gain these TUEs. The bottom line is that if you are playing a competitive game (or sports) you play with the body/skills that you have, not the one you want. Some people were saying they should have a "steroid" class. It's rather preposterous.

"But it's only a game"? I get that it's not fun to lose, but that's the nature of competitive games. Saying that you should get an advantage because you don't have the time to remain competitive is a terrible justification. The idea of competing is that some people lose. The structure of a competition is not to ensure everyone arrives at the finish line at the same time. The assumption by those engaging in the activity is that people are playing on a level playing field, and may the best win. I don't play most competitive games because I don't want to put the investment in it. I don't deserve extra gold in DOTA or more health in Titanfall.

"Matchmaking doesn't work"? That's not a reason to cheat either. The problem with tiering is that you will get smurfing and sandbagging. That's the nature of the problem with competition. Explicit tiers like Starcraft leagues is at least an attempt in that direction. Unless the game is build around these rules, then it's one tier (or some blackbox matchmaking). Cheating isn't a valid justification either. Who says what you are doing is fair and "putting you back to level".

"But it's not fun and it's excluding people"? I get the idea of being inclusive. If only I could hop on a "casual" server. Tagging a server as casual is just asking for experienced player to come shoot fishes in a barrel. It would have to be controlled in a way that's viable, and that goes back to match making really. Wouldn't it more fun to be able to have your own server with friends who are all playing to have a good time? It would. Private matches is one way to go. It's not always available, and getting a game together is difficult, but at least everyone involved comes in with the same expectations. Cheating is not. I get the idea of the "handicap system". It's an execution problem to properly balance things and give the right handicap. If we could properly add handicap, then perhaps it would be fair, but that's effectively creating a new rule set, new conditions to the game, and you have to wonder if that's what most people are coming in to play. We aren't playing to get to a draw. Someone has to win the match. Close games are more fun than stomps, but it's not because you lost the match that you it means you should have cheated, is it?

It's tough. If everyone would be in "just for fun", then remove the death counter, remove all the metrics. Make it old school like those hop-in-hop-out Quake servers where you'd join an endless game of free-for-all deathmatch. All you are doing is collecting kills for the sake of the game. Or as I suggested earlier, remove all the metrics full stop. No one wins, no one loses. Is that more fun in the end?

I agree that things will never change. That's the nature of competitive games/sports. None of the challenges excuse cheating. If you don't like the rules, don't compete. It's a valid option.

Posted by pondwhale

This is very interesting, but as someone who is bad at multiplayer FPS for the most part, I don't really agree that people who are tired of losing aren't just as bad as the rest. Being a jerk because you're lazy is just as bad as being a jerk because you're a jerk. Videogames are about fun, not winning, and if you can't find fun in losing you should probably take up a non-competitive hobby.

Edited by Nasar7

@luck702 said:

@nasar7 said:

@luck702 said:

His story was actually the most fascinating I've seen on PCG. Some actual journalism!

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I play CSGO everyday and can only imagine how many of my deaths weren't deserved.

Maybe that's the whole thing, though. If everyone else is doing it, you gotta do it too just to stay competitive. Like steroids in just about every sport nowadays.

You see, I have something called 'self control'

Didn't mean you specifically.

Posted by Luck702

@nasar7 said:

@luck702 said:

@nasar7 said:

@luck702 said:

His story was actually the most fascinating I've seen on PCG. Some actual journalism!

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I play CSGO everyday and can only imagine how many of my deaths weren't deserved.

Maybe that's the whole thing, though. If everyone else is doing it, you gotta do it too just to stay competitive. Like steroids in just about every sport nowadays.

You see, I have something called 'self control'

Didn't mean you specifically.

Oh, internet misunderstandings. I didn't mean the self-control thing to read as dickish it does. Hackers just really grind my gears.

Posted by 3asyshot

I played 3 matches in CS:GO throughout the week on the competitive mode and all of them had hackers in it. The last game I played I noticed that someone on my team was wall hacking (allows you to see players through walls) and i let everyone know. I was then kicked by MY TEAM from the match because they wanted to get carried. Why even play?

Posted by ZironZ

I can't believe that people pay for hacks.

I mean I can understand the fun of reverse engineering a game and writing hacks. It is the same kind of enjoyment you would get out of creating an emulator or fixing something that broke around the house without a how-to guide.

But I can't understand why someone would pay money to unfairly win at a game. Maybe it if was free I could get it, but paying money just seems crazy.

Edited by virgyvirgil

I used to cheat years ago in shooters because I was in younger mindset where being good at games was important and I was jealous of the people who were good at the game and thought to myself ill never reach that skill so I decided to cheat to stay competitive had fun, got caught and eventually shunned by others I knew playing online. Ive since given up cheating and decided to get good on my own. I'm still not that good, but I've now realized that this attitude of doing anything to win is extremely selfish and also ruins the fun of many other people by doing so. If you are gonna cheat just cheat in single player games don't spoil the fun out of others.

Edited by noizy

@3asyshot: How can you tell someone is wall hacking?

Posted by ChalkCharmer

Yes, you can hack and get away with it. A lot of modern "hacks" are undetectable except for recorded evidence of the hackery.

That being said, it makes games incredibly boring and kills the competitive aspect unless you get off on winning by any means necessary. If you are the latter, you will eventually be the former.

Posted by grapesoda

Wow these cheaters are really earning my sympathy by extorting money from journalists and comparing themselves to rapists/murderers then claiming to be rebels who help disabled people get on a level playing field.

Most of my gaming time right now is spent in multiplayer first person shooters, mainly Team Fortress 2 and Titanfall, and I really don't understand the lasting appeal of cheating/hacking. It can be fun to steamroll your opponents once in a while but doing it consistently gets boring quick.

Also there is no way that the rush people get from cheating is anywhere near as strong as the rush you get from winning a hard fought match. When I've got some good competition in TF2 my heart begins to pound and my hands start to tremble and I find it really hard to believe that cheating could provide that same feeling.

Posted by ajroo

No wonder i suck at Call of Duty and Battlefield.....everyone else is cheating. I knew it.

What a bunch of gutless turds.

Part of me whats to invent the greatest anti hack game software in the universe. The second the server knows you are cheating, it gives you herpes, lice, and a raw anal fissure. I wonder how the guys at "Ultra Cheats" would enjoy that....

I dont know. I guess i was just born with a soul.....cheating at video games never even occurred to me....let alone paying to do so.

Sad.

Posted by DS23

I thought the headline said 'You won't believe these hats!'.

Edited by DeadeyeMcCoy

I don't know. I've liked some "rage videos" hackers in competitive multiplayer shooters have made in the past, though that may just be because I don't play them. I remember being subscribed to someone on YouTube some time ago who would regularly post updates about the TF2 aimbot he was programming.

It's obviously not a good thing, but I guess I find it interesting in some twisted way, probably because I'm never on the receiving end.

Posted by Cuuniyevo

"Until then, “this cycle is unstoppable,” as Slayer said. “If we didn't do it, someone else would.”"

I've heard this philosophy before, many times. I find it despicable in every way, and I find it tragic that many people still entertain the thought. I don't even play any of the games listed in the article, (or any other modern multiplayer shooter, apart from the occasional TF2 with friends only), so nothing this person has done affects me personally, but I feel sorry for them if they actually meant that closing statement the way that I interpreted it. If they had said, "I do it because it's fun. I enjoy it.", I could accept that as being reasonable, but to try using the old canard about 'everyone else is doing it' as some sort of justification is just sad.

Please note that I said I despise the philosophy, not the person; I don't know them, and they might be a wonderful person in almost every way. Do what you believe is right or acceptable, not what you believe (or know) you can get away with.

*steps off soapbox*

Interesting read, and I'll be sure to listen to the interview tomorrow. Thanks for the link. =]

Posted by ThatOneDudeNick

I just read that article the other day. Fascinating stuff. I had no idea that people were paying for cheats these days. When I was a dumb teenager I would cheat at Counter-Strike, but that was just a just a free download back then. I only used it for a couple weeks before realizing it's more fun to actually learn to get better at the game. I think it was before VAC was a thing. I don't remember any fear of getting caught.

It blows my mind that it's actually a business, and the attitude of the people behind it is crazy.

Posted by Adaptor

Games are such a huge cultural phenomenon now that I can see peer pressure playing a part in feeling the need to cheat. Being that one kid at school who sucks at FPS's can't be fun. I can at least sympathize with kids being a little selfish. If you're anything but a kid then cheating really is a sign that something is wrong with your moral compass.

Games being more inclusive won't help solve that. The XxXNoScopez420XxX kids won't want to play in the 'kiddy pool' and the cheating adults will still cheat if they get the chance. It'll just accommodate the assholes more and 'dumb down' (hate that term) the games for the actual players. If you can't put in the time to get better, which includes learning from losing, than maybe you should be playing different games. Not everything has to be for everyone!

A game like Titanfall does everything to make players of all skill levels feel competent and like they're contributing. The fact that Titanfall has cheaters says to me that not being inclusive enough isn't the real issue. The real issue is that some people simply lack sportsmanship.

Edited by ultrapeanut

I really love how he ended up feeling empathy for the people doing it. People are complicated and have lots of reasons to do the things they do. I think @jackist nailed a lot of it.

Edited by TheLastGunslinger

I really disagree with the comparison to handicaps in golf. In golf even when playing against someone with a handicap you're also still playing against the course, trying to come in under par. In a game like Titanfall giving a player bonus health or more powerful weapons doesn't just improve that player's game, it degrades the experience their opponent is having.

Posted by Thiago123

How prominent is this type of cheating on consoles? I would imagine not very as it is a more closed system with a higher value proposition to get back in once banned. I know it happens, but just thinking that it is less widespread, since I can still keep up in Titanfall lol. Seems like a bonus point for the console crowd.

Edited by Schnoo

22:20 Of course there are players of all skill levels playing games online. The idea that it's binary, that you're either good or bad seems like something cheaters say as an excuse. You don't have to invest a lot of time in order to enjoy playing a multiplayer game.

Edited by R3DT1D3

While I understand the crux of the "make better matchmaking and less people hack" style of argument, I don't believe it holds any water. Every game I've played with a visible matchmaking rating has everyone but the top 1% complaining they're underrated. Even if the system itself is completely fair and balanced, people will inevitably think they're better than they are and the individuals who would cheat without matchmaking will justify cheating with it.

That doesn't even mention people paying for others to play for them. For example, in Dota 2 people will say "Oh my MMR is supposed to be higher but I keep getting bad teammates" and then go pay someone to win a ton of games for them so that they can never play a fair match again. Similar concept happens in SC2: "well I'm in gold but really I'm a diamond level player" better pay someone to power rank me up to diamond league.

As long as people blame factors outside of themselves for their results, their will be cheaters/hackers who want to circumvent the system.

[EDIT] The whole "I stepped away two weeks and everyone got better than me" is complete and utter nonsense. You're rusty because you haven't played for a short time and it takes a day at most to get back to your level for most types of games. The truth is that you were never good and you just thought you were because everyone was just learning the game.

Edited by RuthLoose

@nasar7 said:

@luck702 said:

His story was actually the most fascinating I've seen on PCG. Some actual journalism!

Anyway, the idea that 90% of the people who hack hide it well enough that you never know scares the ever-loving shit out of me. I play CSGO everyday and can only imagine how many of my deaths weren't deserved.

Maybe that's the whole thing, though. If everyone else is doing it, you gotta do it too just to stay competitive. Like steroids in just about every sport nowadays.

So the 2010s will be known as the asterisk years in the eSports chronology? I wonder how the businessmen will try to spin this one.

Posted by Nethlem

An quite interesting topic ending up being researched in an quite underwhelming way..

Let's start with the obvious stuff first:

I knew that cheats existed, but I was shocked that enough people paid for them to warrant DRM.

That logic is all kinds of messed up. It's not that "enough people pay so they have to use DRM", it's rather the other way around: Without the DRM nobody would pay for those cheats, because they would just end up being pirated.

This whole "journalistic piece" is full with mistakes like that. So he got banned after cheating in a very obvious way for 2 hours, yet he didn't even check if the hack he had been using got actually detected and that got him banned, or if his behavior simply triggered some kind of manual administrative reaction on VAC's side and the ban didn't even affect his ability to cheat (besides locking him out of the game).

The proper course to test the "service" of these paid hackers would have been to create another account with CS:GO and see if the "Ultra Cheat" stuff still worked (most likely yes).

Overall this whole thing an pretty half assed piece of "journalism", evident in this interview when the question arises "What did we learn from all this?". In response to that Emanuel Maiberg, who seems not so sure about the answer to that himself, can only babble something about "handicaps" and what not.

But basically at that point he is only arguing for developers to add "pay2win" options to all their games, so they can cater to all those handicapped people and people without time to get "good at a game".

As a former competitive CS player (started with beta 5.0) i could write pages upon pages on the topic of cheating and "balance" in multiplayer gaming, maybe i might get around writing a blog post in the next couple of days.

Posted by agmaster

I find the walled garden analogy very interesting. I play mostly 2d games, becaus my pc sucks and when my friends try to get me into 3d games, I'm cool for a couple of hours, but I get no real enjoyment or achievement out of it besides like one revenge kill after 30 minutes of dying. Specifically the highlighting enemy forces hack could go a long way in making me feel something different than "Get good, be fodder, or go home."

Posted by anzejk

Well, these lowlife cheating shits are everywhere. I play BF4 quite a lot and i see theres a lot of them there too. They hide it really well but still... You see it when something is not right, like headshots all the time even in impossible situations. But you just can't do much to fight it. Either get really mad or ignore it and try to have fun.

I try to not let it ruin all the fun i can have. :)

Online
Posted by Hitzel

When I was young, a friend and I downloaded some free cheating software for GunZ the Duel. You got a checklist of things you wanted to have going into a match. God mode, fly, move through walls, invisibility, instagib, etc. You just checked off what you wanted and the next time a map loaded up it gave you the hacks.

We didn't end up using it to "cheat" though, we ended up using it to mess with people. It was really funny to pop out from under the floor in the middle of a fight or something and watch how people would react. Flying around and watching the firefights was cool too.

To be honest, people's reactions is what made the whole experience fun. People usually got REALLY mad, even in games when we didn't get a single kill. As soon as they suspected cheating they just started cussing. We didn't feel like we were doing anything wrong since we weren't using the hacks to win, so when people freaked out we thought it was funny. The best was when people "defended" us for not getting kills and the lobby devolved into arguing and name-calling over the morality of our actions.

We ended up uninstalling it after a few days. Using it to win got boring after a few kills, and eventually trolling people lost its charm. To this day though, whenever I hear talk about cheating in online games I think back to messing with people in GunZ.

The point is, something that I think people overlook is that some people may cheat just because of the reactions it produces from other people. I thought it was hilarious, so I can understand how someone who is okay with using hacks to actually win might also like how upset people get over it.

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