Posts Tagged 'EQ2'

Sony EverQuest Next Landmark Hacks, The No Hacker Help Version

Sony EverQuest Next Landmark Hacks, The No Hacker Help Version
EventHorizon1984
1 March 2014

The fledgling EverQuest Next Landmark  MMORPG began it’s paid Alpha access on 31 January 2014.  Initially buggy and wipe prone the Alpha version has mostly stabilized.  ‘Mostly’ stable as there will be a constant stream of updates.

With the ‘mostly’ stable server and client software, hi-jinks from a few players became noticeable.

Enter EverQuest Director of Development Dave “Smokejumper” Georgeson.

EQNL Hacking Data Mining

Hi, folks,

Some innocent, and not-so-innocent, poking around in our build files has been happening recently.

Let us be perfectly clear here. This is NOT okay.

We are in Alpha right now. That means that things are not as secure as they will be later. When you go into the build and change things, you are creating bug situations that can cause serious problems with the game and/or consternation amongst its players.

That is not cool, and it’s not acceptable. We will ban folks that do that. Really. There’s no appeal process. You’re just gone.

You’ll know exactly when you’re doing something wrong. You’re opening up a menu via LUA that can’t be opened up from within the game, or you’re using a third-party tool to comb through compressed files, or you’re crafting things that aren’t available to other players yet. Stuff like that. There’s no question that you’re aware of what you’re doing when you’re doing these things because you can’t do them accidentally.

So be a good person instead, please. Let us know that the vulnerability exists, we’ll take care of things, and you will have made Landmark a better, stronger game for your efforts.

Later we will be creating a “white hats” list for people that love doing stuff like this and want to officially work with us. Details for signing up for that list will be made available at a later date, and we welcome any of you that are inclined to do those sorts of things to work with us in that regard.

But any sort of destructive or exploitative behavior during this Alpha phase will simply not be tolerated.

Sorry for being stern when I’m usually Mr. Excitement. But this is a serious matter. I hope you all understand.

Followed by:

  22Feb2014

“I’ve heard this argument countless times. Sorry, folks. It doesn’t hold water. Work with us and play by the rules, or don’t play.

Yes, you can datamine that stuff all that you want to, that’s your right because the files are on your computer, but if we find out, we are not required to let you continue to disrupt the game. And we won’t.”

Followed by a caveat:

22Feb201438

Although we don’t recommend altering these files, the *.ini files and the *.xml files in the game directory are benign files if you want to adjust your key settings (as an example) before we get the user key settings into the game.

HOWEVER, I strongly recommend that you back up those files before altering them, and if you do alter them, and you experience ANY bugs, you should revert them back to original and test again before reporting those bugs, please.

That’s pretty much why we don’t want folks to poke around in the files. These games are so complicated that you rarely have an idea what value touches what features.

We understand that key config is a big issue. That’s why we have it as a high priority in the roadmap. Soon! :)

In it’s current state, EverQuest Next Landmark Alpha is little more than Minecraft with gorgeous graphics, and stripped down mining and crafting, no combat, no chat, etc.  Very slim pickens, so to speak.

EQNL12

(“How can I take screenshots of the game?!?!“)

Why some “players” have the need to cheat at something so simple is pathetic.

But not unexpected.

If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!
Attributed to Mark Grace

Cheating in MMORPGs is not confined to Sony products.

Which can be seen here.

But as this article began with a Sony game, we’ll finish with another Sony MMORPG, EverQuest 2, and a small issue of die roll cheating.

“Wait for all players to make a choice or until the timer, shown underneath the “Loot” window, runs out.”
Laughable advice on “How to Beat the Need Before Greed Loot in EQ2

A common feature in MMORPGs is the random die roll for loot.  The “loot” being something of value.  In EverQuest II, the basic die roll command is “/ran”.

‘Aplayer’, types “/ran” and the game server returns a numeric value from 1 to 100.

/ran
(Loot) [12:12 PM] Random: Aplayer rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 76!

‘Aplayer’ types “/ran 10000” and:

/ran 10000
(Loot) [12:13 PM] Random: Aplayer rolls from 1 to 10000 on the magic dice…and scores a 5332!

Unless one is actively hacking the game server, there no way to change the outcome of the roll.

Of course, the computer generated random number is not random.

Can A Computer Generate A Truly Random Number? “If you go to an online poker site, for example, and you know the algorithm and seed, you can write a program that will predict the cards that are going to be dealt.”

But that’s another topic, for another day.

Getting back on subject.  If you’re a player, have you ever noticed the same people “accidentally” making multiple loot rolls?

(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Dieroller rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 33!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Dieroller rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 2!
(Loot) [06:48 AM] Random: Dieroller rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 97!

Or the same people winning loot by rolling last?

You may have been punked by a chat hack.

Apparently there’s a so-called hack that involves suppressing chat lines.  We’re saying “so-called” as that ability is near impossible.  Perhaps as near impossible as hacking the Sony mainframeTwice.

Nevertheless there were at least three sites (morte) that at one time claimed to have a hack that would buffer one chat line.  Rendering it invisible to other players.

Simply.  Take the previous rolls.  To an outside observer:

(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player2 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 7!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player3 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 31!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 33!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player4 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 45!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player5 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 91!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 2!
(Loot) [06:48 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 97!

Oh dear ‘Scumbag’ wasn’t watching the display and forgot to turn on the hack before making the “/ran” roll.  Zip back a minute.  This is Scumbag’s chat window:

hackon
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player2 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 7!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player3 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 31!
/ran
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 33!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player4 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 45!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player5 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 91!
/ran
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 2!
/ran
(Loot) [06:48 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 97!
hackoff

An outside observer views:

(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player2 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 7!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player3 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 31!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player4 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 45!
(Loot) [06:47 AM] Random: Player5 rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 91!
(Loot) [06:48 AM] Random: Scumbag rolls from 1 to 100 on the magic dice…and scores a 97!

Possible workarounds.

  • Turn on the Need or Greed option for a specific loot item.  Cumbersome but not hackable.
  • Everyone rolls, then the raid/group leader or designated randomizer rolls.  Player with a number closest to the second roll wins.  Beatable.  A cheater playing the odds will roll a number between say 33 and 66; long explanation not provided.  A cheater will still win more often than other players, but will no longer be guaranteed an instant win.
  • Use a large changing randomly selected seed.  Like raid/group leader types “/ran 10000 32000” and everyone must roll “/ran TheResultsOfLeaderRoll”.  And rolls must be completed in two ticks of the system clock.  That is 06:47 to 06:48; a duration of 61 seconds to 119 seconds.  Cumbersome, beatable.  Manual typing a large number takes time.  Because the number changes, changing a “ran” macro takes time.  A fast typist can beat this, but this does cut down on the number of rolls the cheater can make.  This does penalize slow honest typists.
  • Everyone who wants the item, types in chat their name or moniker.  Like drawing a name from a hat, the Raid Leader rolls /ran NumberOfNamesInChat.  Winner is the name with the matching number.  Quick, easy, painless.

<shrug>  You can believe it or not.

On the plus side, the sites got taken down.  On the minus side, if this hack or exploit is real, and this is not confined to EQ2, honest players should keep their guard up.

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Updated 1 April 2014.

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The only way to win is cheat
Suicide Is Painless, Johnny Mandel
The theme from M*A*S*H (1970)

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