Hello, I just found this project on Freshmeat, and it seems interesting. I've been thinking about hacking, and preventing it in open source online games. Mostly how to prevent people from playing with altered clients. If an open source MMO ever got off the ground and got a decent normal gamer playerbase, it just seems that the ease of hacking the client would turn the game into a hack-fest. Is there a way to keep a game open source while keeping players honest? I'm just a gamer/student programmer who was thinking about the subject, anyone else put any thought into it?
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Miguel Angel Blanch Lardin
Sure, we have been thinking for about 5 years about it.
Usually you cheat for an advantage, the point is that game is open source so that advantage because of a cheat soon will happen on the rest of clients and if the advantage is not ethical it will be limited by server. ( That's the idea ).
How to avoid cheats? ( I won't say hacking ) Well, in Arianne, like most open source games, very litle is placed on client. In fact client on Arianne is just a rendering application.
When you say move on Arianne you say to server "Please move me up" and server then does "Move player up at a speed of 1".
When you attack someone EVERYTHING is calculated server side, so cheating on client is not "possible".
How can you cheat so? For example by adding AI to your character and let it play alone to level up faster ( for example ). Or by doing an application that scans the area and search for dead players to steal them :)
That is not a bug, that is a feature.
Personally, I think we can't do anything to avoid client modification. In fact I think it is a good thing to see client modification. Server rules will do the rest.
Well, I disagree with you on the point that client modification is good. Or at least always good. In, perhaps, a real time strategy game, any client modification would probably be seen as a feature, and go into the main tree, like improved AI for your own forces when you're not watching them, for example. I never played this game, but I think that it was Myth that had the AI done in Java, and you could rewrite the AI for your forces. Never played the game, but still loved that idea.
MMOs are different, though, in my opinion. I think that suspension of disbelief is very important (at least to me), and if the world becomes overrun with bots, it wouldn't ruin in entirely, but it would definitely detract from the experience.
Although, a couple of things did occur to me, just now. If the code for AI to have your character level for you was made open, it would probably develop a little more suspension of disbelief friendly, and that if the game was full PvP, and the AI never gets very advanced, they'd be very easy to kill >:)
Thanks for your response, and your time.
Well... I do explain.
We are playing on the above scenario, so what? Players do "cheat" because they get a reward, so to make them "not to cheat" simply change or remove the reward. :)
Players get experience by killing monsters? Make players get most of the experience by quest completion.
Players get levels by training ( this happen on Tibia ), well, simply change the rules so that it is harder to train.
Clients can be modify as desired, but as long as you run the server you can change the rules. In fact the biggest task on a MMORPG management is to balance the game.
BTW open/closed source is not a difference, having the source is just a bit simpler, but I have seen bots for Tibia, UO, Everquest, etc... There is no way of fighting it on the client side... so simply make the reward not attractive and they will have to change the bot AI again.
I've heard that on stendhal, Quisar is cheating.. is this true? b0uld3r says quisar owns the server and can modify his stats at will. b0uld3r also said that he say Quisar's XP go up by 130,000 in 5 minutes!
oh well, if he is kind enough to donate all his bandwidth to the project and have his PC running 247 i think he should be the god of the game!
heh, maybe you're right..(i was above post)
a game designer who does not want bots araound could use captchas, couldn`t he? one captcha per hour ...