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Are Gamers Really That Miffed About Plus Being A Requirement?
#11
Also correct me if I'm wrong here, but playing online through the PSN (or even XBL) is more secure than playing online on PC? Or maybe I'm completely off the mark?
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#12
frostface Wrote:Also correct me if I'm wrong here, but playing online through the PSN (or even XBL) is more secure than playing online on PC? Or maybe I'm completely off the mark?

You're off the mark. Valve Anti Cheat (VAC) servers are THE most secure servers you're ever going to play on. They are also the most stable.

That said, in many games that use Steamworks you CAN choose to play on third party, player hosted servers, but it's a choice, never a requirement.

That should change in regards to PSN and XBL this upcoming gen, as both are promising secured servers for all games, no longer requiring p2p connections. That said, right now, Steam is way more secure, both in security and stability, than either PSN or Live.
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#13
That was a good question frostface. Aw yes more security the better.
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#14
What do you guys mean by "secure" multiplayer? Isn't that completely up to the individual games, how they are designed and their servers?

I would assume that multiplayer gaming on consoles just by nature are a bit safer from cheaters from the fact that it's not that easy to patch/fiddle with the install files on those systems. "Security through obscurity" sort of.
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#15
Beamboom Wrote:What do you guys mean by "secure" multiplayer? Isn't that completely up to the individual games, how they are designed and their servers?

I would assume that multiplayer gaming on consoles just by nature are a bit safer from cheaters from the fact that it's not that easy to patch/fiddle with the install files on those systems. "Security through obscurity" sort of.

Uh, no. Right now most console games use one player's machine to host games, and there are all sorts of exploits available to the person hosting the game and anyone else with some simple understanding of basic netcode.

Cheating is way more prevalent on consoles because of this. I've never once seen cheating on Steamworks, because VAC secure games aren't exploitable. In the new generation, Live (and almost certainly PSN) are going to have a similar setup.
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#16
Spartan119 Wrote:Uh, no. Right now most console games use one player's machine to host games, and there are all sorts of exploits available to the person hosting the game and anyone else with some simple understanding of basic netcode.

Do you have some examples of those exploits? How it is done? Cause you need to *run* that netcode too - how is that done on a console?

Back when I did multiplayer on PC I mostly connected to private servers - and cheating were up to the guys who hosted those servers back then.
And how well protected the official servers were back then were most definitely something that varied between the different games - and it varied a LOT. Some were good, others riddled with exploits, some didn't care while others spent a LOT of efforts to fix these issues.

But maybe it's different on multiplayer servers today, if they've agreed on some standards in how to detect cheats and pretty much use the same server technology. But... It sounds almost too good to be true! Big Grin
PSN & Steam & Wordfeud & UniWar: Beamboom
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#17
Beamboom Wrote:Do you have some examples of exploits done on consoles? How it is done? Cause you need to *run* that netcode too - how is that done on a console?

The simplest exploit just requires the host player to put his modem on standby, allowing him to move about the game freely while everyone else's game is frozen. He hits standby, runs around and shoots everyone while everyone else just sees a frozen or loading screen, hits standby again and everyone but him is dead. This happened all the time in games like Halo 2.

Some games were vulnerable to either lag switching (forcing others or even yourself to lag to gain an advantage), which is just splicing a switch into your ethernet cable and/or soft modding using stuff as basic as Action Replay, allowing players to mod variables in the game such as player health or ammo count, giving them huge advantages.

Nerdier cheaters will sometimes use network traffic shaping, essentially editing outband packets to modify the game in real time. Some douchebags actually solder chips right on the motherboard of their consoles, usually so they can pirate games but often to modify actual game data. I remember Bungie had to remove a bunch of multiplayer maps from Halo 3 because it was the only way to stop hard modders from cheating.

Any time you're running an online game through one player's machine, which is not a secure sever, you're opening yourself up to a TON of possible exploits. Requiring everyone to communicate through an official, dedicated server using something like Punkbuster (which I think EA uses for Battlefied) or VAC pretty much eliminates the possibility that you'll run into cheaters, and gives companies the ability to detect cheating in real time and ban offenders, which generally is not possible with most of the methods mentioned above.
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#18
I have no problem with the payment requirement as I've been subscribed to PS+ since day one and have never paid close to MSRP because of so many sales on the cards. There are loads of ways to get the cards for much cheaper than face value and one can always stock up and buy multiple cards to use at a later date. I think the max. time one can have activated, on their account, is three years so those of us that bought multiple cards just have to wait before we add more to SEN.
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#19
Spartan119 Wrote:The simplest exploit just requires the host player to put his modem on standby, allowing him to move about the game freely while everyone else's game is frozen. He hits standby, runs around and shoots everyone while everyone else just sees a frozen or loading screen, hits standby again and everyone but him is dead. This happened all the time in games like Halo 2.

It's a severe design flaw on the individual game, to allow disconnection to happen for that long. This is exactly what I meant with how exploitable a game is depends on the individual designs of the games. Not all games allows for so long disconnection periods.
I play coop a lot as you know, and I know first hand that for most games it doesn't take long interruptions at all before the clients are messaged and game is halted.

As for the rest of your suggestions, do you seriously mean that it is common amongst console users to sit there with a high end router (regular consumer routers don't feature traffic shaping) and tweak their modems whilst playing, or cut cables and solder chips on their motherboards to create lag spikes? That is it widespread? While I don't doubt that it happens, I seriously doubt it is common.

But on a PC this is much easier to do than on a console. You can choke the bandwidth of a PC or halt the network adapter without ever having to go to such drastic measures as cutting cables or purchase advanced routers.

Then there is the factor that not only lag spikes is what makes cheating. A very common way to cheat is the "wall hacks", in that the players append a patch on their game files who alters the shader files and makes the walls transparent so he can see the opponents before they see him. This is (or at least, WAS) an extremely widespread cheating technique and requires modifications on the local game files.
And as a PC gamer you don't need the skills to actually do these alterations, you only need someone ELSE to know how to do it and use the script he wrote.

And now we've not even started listing the other techniques that can be done on a PC that requires either other software running in parallel or hacks on the local install files.

So sorry young man, but I am not convinced. It is my firm belief that PC - by the nature of these machines - are easier to cheat on than consoles.

Spartan119 Wrote:Any time you're running an online game through one player's machine, which is not a secure sever, you're opening yourself up to a TON of possible exploits. Requiring everyone to communicate through an official, dedicated server using something like Punkbuster (which I think EA uses for Battlefied) or VAC pretty much eliminates the possibility that you'll run into cheaters, and gives companies the ability to detect cheating in real time and ban offenders, which generally is not possible with most of the methods mentioned above.

Now this is something that is absolutely without reservations true of course. But in regards to peer-to-peer online gaming ("create a multiplayer game" option in a game menu is essentially always this) this is still there also on PC games, and I just have a very hard time believing that in these games cheating is more common on consoles than PC. It just sound so illogical, given how much easier, and with much more optional ways of cheating, that is possible on PC.
I'd rather think it is the other way around - that simply because it's that much harder on console it makes the peer-to-peer multiplayer gaming a more viable option.

Now I personally think that this openness on the PC platform is a COOL thing about PC, but it does kind of force through dedicated, official servers and much stricter cheat detection, and principles like your quote above.
PSN & Steam & Wordfeud & UniWar: Beamboom
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#20
Beamboom Wrote:Now I personally think that this openness on the PC platform is a COOL thing about PC, but it does kind of force through dedicated, official servers and much stricter cheat detection, and principles like your quote above.

Which is why PC gaming is and has been more secure for years now. An overwhelming majority of PC gaming is done through Steam, and almost every game on Steam uses Steamworks with VAC. Big name franchises that don't use VAC use Punkbuster.

PSN and Live have no such security in place, and soft modding/standby/lag switching is incredibly easy/free/cheap, so yeah it happens a lot.

It seems like you just want to think something is true when it's not because it makes more sense to you, but to be honest if you didn't even know these exploits existed, it's not like this is an area with which you have much experience Wink
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