Another maphacker spotted [Devs, get ACTIVE!]

Going double scout and picking up ALL the sheep perfectly.
He just played vs me (Malians).

In the top of the map there were absolutely no sheep and oh wonder - he didn’t even scout that part!

Make sure to please all report this player…
He should lose his account ASAP.
I checked multiple of his recent replays and he surprisingly always has his waypoints set in a way, that they are either right next to sheep or the line of movement goes through the sheep to pick them up.

Honestly… I feel less and less happy/motivated to play this game.
It’s full of cheaters and Relic/World’s Edge does seemingly nothing about it.
No communication, no action.
People, who get reported, keep playing forever and use their stupid hacks and destroy matches.
They don’t receive any penalty.
This is a pity…

We are living in times of AI.
Data-collection and analysis is easier than ever before.
Just have a small selfmade analysis-tool check for certain variables (of replays) like sheep found within the first 2 minutes or waypoints set to enemy units/buildings in the moment something is placed there.
Another variable could be % surface of map scouted compared to sheep gathered.
There are more possible variables.
Every match that has been played, should run through such quick analysis (takes one second for a modern computer) and analyze variables like the ones mentioned above.
This takes absolutely no hardware-performance and is VERY VERY VERY easy to code for.
A highschool-student could do that, if he was familiar with the aoe4 structure and got the admin rights.
Should be very easy…

If the software detects a suspicious value, make a human double-check that player’s match.
If a violation is found- > permaban.

I have done coding with the software called Delphi, which is basically pascal/C in highschool, years back, so I have a basic understanding how coding works.
And I am sure, someone between the DEVS could make such scanning tool within less than a week of his work-time and within that time implement it so well, that it consistently detects suspicious players, which then could be manually checked and all of them permabanned.

There is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for the Devs pushing the hacker’s topic under the carpet and straight ignoring it.

Also, stop steam library sharing for aoe4.
Make people purchase the game for every ranked account.
You’ll see the hackers disappear more qucikly than you can say “lol”.

Do something!

To the fans:
Please, whenever things (sheeps gathered/enemy movements) seem suspicious, watch your replays.
More often than not, people are actually maphacking.
Keep reporting these pathetic losers…


I started with Delphi (after some basic web and IT schooling) close to 20 years ago. 20 years on, I can safely say you shouldn’t be as sure as you are.

The backstory to cheating is both complex and neverending. There are very talented people who devote their time and effort into enabling cheats for games in the first place. People who use cheats aren’t the same as those developing them (as a rule). So developers have to keep on keeping ahead of whatever new crack or exploit is being leveraged. All the time.

Which is why the best thing anyone can do is report the cheaters using the support portal, supplying all the information that is required. Maybe the cheater gets banned. Maybe they don’t.

But posting about it on the forum based on something you learned years ago isn’t going to get the relevant info to the AoE IV support team at all. It basically guarantees that the cheater won’t get handled at all.


Best way to contribute as a player is to continue reporting using the support system. Hacking really sucks the energy out of a community, it’s something I hope the developer is a bit more proactive about… it’s a struggle I’ve never seen fully addressed in any competitive game, the armsrace never really stops. My personal hope is that they are collecting information to create a longterm solution rather than assume they are simply overwhelmed or complacent. So keep the reports going!

I also don’t know much about the PR side of a gaming company, but public recognition of the issue feels relevant? Idk if the effect is negative for an earnings call, or even if there is a complex social response that they are avoiding, but it feels like the community is becoming restless over this issue. In general, I think this game could benefit from more communication from the devs to the community. It’s been some time since the last community blog post!


The problem here is HOW the map behaviour and camera settings are designed, not if it is easy or not to solve.

I would say that if it were that easy, it would have been solved long time ago.

The problem is, map things (like fog of war or camera height) is probably coded in client side. What does this mean? EVERYTHING, and I say again EVERYTHING coded in client side is susceptible of be manipulated by the user.

I don’t have programming experience in videogames, but I have programming experience in C++, C and other languages, and I investigated myself how cheating in videogames works.

There are certain tools that modify the value of a memory position. Imagine the memory pos of fog of war is 0xFA, then you chan change the value of this memory pos from 1 to 0, then your fog of war would be deactivated.

The famous “Out of sync error” comes when you try to modify a memory pos that makes the lobby to crash and the synchronization of the clients is lost.

I know certain things like amount of food, gold, etc… Is checked in some way by the server, because hackers used this to crash the lobby and get the sync error when they were losing.

What I’m trying to say is, “small changes” if they imply a refactoring of actual code, involving changing of responsabilities (move tasks from client to server, for example) are not that small and not that easy.


All you are saying makes perfect sense and I personally completely agree with everything of it.

However, the fix would be, as I suggested earlier, to lock playing ranked on accounts which are family shared etc, meaning, which have not been paid for, which are not uniquely linked to a game-copy.
This fact would already reduce the amount of smurfs in ranked drastically, as you’d have an individual game-copy for every account you wanna play on.
Which again would mean that, if someone got banned on an account, it would REALLY hurt, as he’d lose not only the progress on the account, but that person would have to purchase another game-copy to play ranked again.
They made this change to aoe3DE, while making it free to play.
The free-to-play part wouldn’t even be neccessary for aoe4, honestly.
Just lock ranked-mode exclusively to personally owned game-copies.
You’ll see the hackers disappear very quickly…
At the same time, this would be a very (!) simple, cheap but super effective fix and not require tons of changes in the code, client and so on.
Once people can only play ranked on their purchased account, the support could one by one go through cheat-reports and manually judge and eventually ban cheaters.
And every ban would really damn hurt the cheaters.
This would not 100% stop all the hacking/cheating, but it would drastically (!) reduce the popularity and ease of it, with minimal effort from the DEVs.

An analysis-tool, which I described earlier, would just be an optional addition to this step.
Even though I am convinced, it should not be much work to create that either.
It would just make the life of people who go through reports manully much easier and reduce the amounts of efforts required to judge the reports and detect and eliminate cheaters and hackers.

However, the responsible decisionmaker which is leading the Dev-team obviously does not consider hacking and cheating a problem meaningful enough to tackle it timely.
Which is more than disappointing.
Not having any of such measures being taken, is a conscious decision of the dev-team or the person who’s leading them.
And it’s a big punch in the face of all the players who face cheaters daily.
You couldn’t say more directly that you don’t care about cheaters as long as the game generates enough money.

That’s all I have to say about this topic.

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