My Disappointing Experience with Support's Handling of Cheaters

Replay files: Fyi, this ain’t aoe2, if you want people to send replay files, you need to add to the FAQ on how to actually get them. I reckon atm like under 1 % of the people know how to get aoe4 replay files.

Match ids: The only place where players can easily get match ids is via aoe4world, there’s no ingame mechanic to do so. (and probably in warnings.log file, but ye, who knows how to use that)

That leads me to a question: Does reporting a player via the postmatch screen or replay summary screen lead to the match id being attached to the report?
If so, then perhaps visualize that match id in the summary page UI and in the report UI, if not then it’d be a good idea to add it to the report system. Coz in absence of a match id, I’m not surprised that customer support isn’t able to process ingame reports efficiently.

Also make sure that the support/fairplay team has the tooling to retrieve the replays associated with specific reports (both ingame and zendesk), most of the blatant cheating is obvious in the first 30 seconds of the match. They’re all available on the aoe4 servers, so the operations team should be able to make this process seamless.
The support staff should NEVER have to ask for a replay file, you have em, all of em.

I don’t think it should be necessary for players to record youtube videos of blatant cheats, such as the fairly obvious maphacks and zoomhacks that many encounter. Of course it’s useful for the more intricate cheating situations, so it’s a good thing to have as additional information, but it shouldn’t be necessary in most cases.

The FAQ could also use a bit of guidance to improve the quality of support tickets:

  • It’d be useful for players to be specific about the observed behavior, like “player zooms out beyond allowed levels at 0:10 game time” etc.
  • Explain panoramic zoom to avoid false positives, where unaware players mistake panoramic mode for a zoomhack.
  • And perhaps include guidance about reporting suspicious behavior vs evident cheating. Someone correctly predicting your eco proxy is suspicious at worst and probably just skill, someone picking up relic in fog, sheep in fog, or killing deer in fog is obvious.

If substantiated reports are rejected for technical reasons, or the offender gets way too low a penalty, the cheaters will remain emboldened.
The only way forward is if the playerbase has a meaningful and easy to use way to not only report cheaters but get them appropriately penalized, and that customer support has the tools to efficiently validate reports.

5 Likes

Permaban all the cheaters/hackers please. They ruin the game experience for the rest of us.

Thank you

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could you just add the above fields to the support form web page?

Almost every time I got yoru request for supplementary information a few days after the original reports. By that time i have no memory of the cheater and it is very hard to find the required information. I believe a few cheaters got away because of this, and my time to make the initial reports were waste. (incl lengthy time to prepare video)

I have no idea how to get the replay file. Instruction should be provided in the report form as well.

In the past, I upload “unlisted” video to YouTube for reporting. The unlisted video has view count, and I noticed your support team never check my video at all. So, you are expecting us to upload video? I don’t even know if your online submission form allow that.

Besides, I few your support team never use information on Aoe4world.com. As when I have provided the url of a specific match, your support team still ask for information like date and time of the match in my time zone. Could you just provide a clear instruction at the online form about what is the best way for your support team to identify a reported match? The in game screen does not have a time, does your support team look at game screen like a player to locate a match? when I have to reply your email, I don’t really know what is the time of game as it is after a few days already.

1 Like

Since my last post, some time has passed, and I’d like to share my current feedback on the situation:

Update on My Experiences

Positive Aspects:

  1. The FAQ has been overhauled and now includes detailed information on how to report players.
  2. When submitting cheater reports to support, you now receive a ticket ID, making follow-ups easier.
  3. The reported player coco沪上阿姨蜜雪 – AoE4 World has not been online since the report.

Negative Aspects:

  1. The support team still requires video material for every report, despite providing detailed game numbers and timestamps. The support team is unable to investigate the games themselves even with the provided information.
  2. There is ineffective monitoring of players who have already been punished. For example, player 37xxxgIII was banned for three weeks but did not change his behavior afterward. The support team failed to re-evaluate this player even after additional in-game reports.
  3. In-game reporting functions poorly or not at all, even for known offenders.

Conclusion:

  • It’s good that we managed to get a player permanently banned thanks to this post.
  • However, the support team still cannot independently handle detailed reports and continues to rely on players to record videos.
  • Monitoring of already punished players is ineffective, and the in-game reporting function does not work properly.

I hope these points will be addressed to enhance the overall gaming experience.

i regularly report players, and the successful rate is very high. just quickly checked the last 5 reported players I reported, all were successfully confirmed as cheating. some may have been banned for a short while, but none of them were perma banned. Two of them were teaming in FFA, and they continue to play and continue to team in FFA.

Given that the chance I will meet those players again are very low, I feel my efforts to report them are a waste. I don’t know if I will report again. Probably when i reach my own milestone (get to conq1 maybe) then I won’t play anymore.

3 Likes

I do not know why the devs are not taking any action properly even after repeated ask from the community. Cheating violates the code of conduct and ruins the game experience completely! Is it a budget thing like Microsoft does not have the budget (!) to stop cheating in their published game or what? Or, the leadership of the game devs does not care about the mass players? AOE4 is a great game but please do not destroy the game experience.

1 Like

If it was just a budget thing, they won’t be giving out temporary bans. By now, the devs have a giant list of cheaters that they’ve given 2-4 days ban. Someone in the company has made the decision that giving temporary bans instead of permabans is good for the game. First ban should be 3 months or longer, and second ban should be perma.

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it’s just absurd and a cheek from the support to say take me a video that I can do something (since they themselves are not able to watch the game with the necessary information (game number, timestamps) and perform actions.
I mean why should I “waste” 20 minutes of my time only that the cheater is allowed to play again after 3 days and I theoretically have to do the same thing again…

So reported a cheater months ago, with video evidence, guy maphacks every fucking game… hundreds of games, took like 3 mails back and forth but eventually he gets a week ban.
He stayed away from gaming for a while, recently started playing again, and ofc maphacking again. I file a new report with video evidence, 24h later gets another week ban.

Guy cheats hundreds of games, we spend a ton of time reporting em and yall think that a repeated 1 week ban is okay?

This is an atrocity.

4 Likes

if they perma ban cheaters, the cheaters will have to pay to buy a new account to continue their cheating. It is benefitial to Microsoft. So I don’t understand why they don’t perma/lengthy-ban cheaters.

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Day 0 of playing against full premade of chineese maphackers.

This game is everyday closer to a free shooter game, it’s full of cheaters.

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I also think cheater = perma ban.

But If they dont want to permaban, they should at least ban until they have the anti cheat solution.

Lazyness and ignorance.

That!
Disable steam family sharing and temporary “perma” ban the accounts that have been cheating until (which they won’t) bring up an anti-cheat solution that auto-tracks cheating and insta bans live.

Day 0 of playing against full premade of chineese maphackers. (Didn’t even passed a day since I’ve played against chinese maphackers lol)


I watched 3 matches of this player, faced him, and there was nothing unusual even though the match lasted only 10 minutes. He tries to rush to the castle as quickly as possible, and I took advantage of that. But out of curiosity, I watched other games of his because I enjoy analyzing strategies.

That’s when I noticed his camera movements were very strange, and he does the same thing in all his games. So I took one match and am sharing a small clip with you because the forum has a size limit on the videos I can upload.

In the three matches I watched, it seems like he might be using a maphack to collect only sheep, using this to gather enough food for a quick castle upgrade rather than to scout the other player, which is already cheating.

I posted two clips for those interested in analyzing them.

In my view, he uses some assistance that moves the camera to specific locations like points of interest. I’m not sure how it works, but he manages to find the sheep locations this way. For example, in another match I watched, his camera always locked onto a relic even without vision, as well as on sacred sites or deer.

It seems very strange to me, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you.

PS: One detail is that in AoE4, his APM shows more than 300 in a match that lasted exactly 10 minutes, where there wasn’t even enough time for this guy to perform so many actions. I don’t know if this could be something too, but upon checking, he has a very high APM in all the matches, and he is not a skilled player from what I’ve watched.
Another detail is that there are moments when he is moving the camera to look for sheep, and the camera rotates a bit, indicating that he is pressing the ALT key. I saw this happen in more than one match.