My Disappointing Experience with Support's Handling of Cheaters

There are more people that you think using the maphack. Also there are the people you can spot and the people you can’t. The only maphackers you can spot are the not smart ones.

I’ve done a bit of research of this and I found how the cheat is done, how to make it undetectable by the game, and I’ve read so many posts of people who use it but they don’t look over the map to make it clear they are maphacking.

Think that when you reveal the map you also have the minimap available with all the info, and you can check just looking at it where are the villagers, without expose yourself to being caught.

The developers have developed a few countermeasures to stop this, but they are easily avoidable. The pro thing is based on my code research they are in fact working on solving it.

I wish I could say more but I think it would break some of the rules of this forum, so, I encourage everyone to research by themselves if they want to know more.

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Yes, there must be many that we don’t even know about. I’m tired of facing people who always have perfect reactions, and I find it incredible. There’s no problem with having good reactions, but some become questionable, especially when we know there are cheaters. The ones I suspect the most are those whose skill level doesn’t match their rank. We know that a person can be good in a certain aspect, but some cases become extremely doubtful, and we have no way to prove it because some act intelligently to hide it.

This player, whom I observed at various moments, tries to hide it, and I find it hilarious how he tries, haha. Like, you watch five replays of the guy, and the same thing always happens in all of them, so we can easily determine that it can’t be a coincidence. But at certain moments, after he has achieved his objective, he tries to disguise it, but in such a naive way that I don’t know how he believes he can fool anyone watching his games.

I know it’s a difficult task for them to resolve, so I don’t blame them. I just hope that measures are taken to implement punitive practices to discourage these bad-faith players. I hope they can deal with this situation and make the game better for all of us.

Lil updates, so the story till this point was: blatant maphacker, received 1 day ban + 2x 1 week ban.

So a week ago they switched to their alt account, np, I’ll report that, video evidence, told support it was an alt, so ban evading… you guessed it: 1 week ban for the alt acct.

Main account 1wk ban expired recently, cheater goes right back to cheating. while his alt is still banned for a few more days.
So lemme report one of those new cheated games… a few hours later get a reply, you get where this is going: 1 week ban.

So we have a cheater that maphacks every game, evades bans with alt account and received so far: 1 day ban + 4x 1 week ban.

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I checked many of the cheaters that were confirmed by AoE Support, none of them were perma-ban, all are short term ban. The lack of punishment encourge cheaters to continue cheating, and discourage players to fire reports.

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Microsoft/Relic keep letting the community down, not surprised at all.
Time to run away from this game and never come back.

I’m sure they are working on an anti-cheat solution.

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I was looking forward to a summer of fun team games… but all this hacking is severely making me reconsider.

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Maphack won’t stop, it’s intrinsic to their engine, since the same maphack can be used in CoH or any other game developed by Relic.

I’ve investigated so far and the conclusion is they must change their whole engine if they want to address this, or implement a VAC like in other steam games. This won’t happen because they have been suffering from it since CoH and they haven’t addressed it.

I digged a lot into forums about hacking and reversal engineering, and I’ve found a lot of shit right there. I will just say that more people than you think uses it (just being cautious, not blatantly detectable).

Before my investigation I thought that in team games near 20-30% of my games there was someone hacking, after investigating, I think in 80% of them there’s someone doing it. I’ve also analyzed the way people using hacks being cautious and I’ve discovered somethig pretty interesant. They NEVER explore properly the map. If you see a replay and there’s someone that, despite don’t being looking at the fog of war, or bases, just don’t follow a normal pattern to explore the map, then ding ding, he’s maphacking.

Why? Obvious. They got the map full revelead (despite they can deactive it and return to normal map), so they just go around and when they see sheep, they in a disguised way go for them.

Other way to detect them is in the transition from feudal to castle age. Depending of the game, the gold or other resources in their bases may have been exhausted, so they go to other gold vein or deers or whatever but… Have they explored this zone? Then you changed to not revealed map, and you can see a lot of villagers go directly to unexplored zone(where will they go?), then taaa taaaaan! A gold vein! wow, he must be so good if he can know where are resources without even expore, sure? Well, no, he’s just maphacking.

There are tons of ways to detect it. I’ve also thought about developing a simple computer vision algorithm that can be inserted into game code to check each players map. It seems like it’s easy to inject some custom code into the game, because much of the variables are stored into client side.

They can also implement this algorithm (I don’t know if this is legal to execute a thing that constantly checks, but I think in other games it’s just called VAC), but as all the other things they can execute client side, it will be spotted by hackers and took down from the game code just modifying some memory addresses. You know EVERYTHING that is in client side, can be manipulated.

Some anti cheats are so aggressive and they analyze portions of game code changing the encryption randomly so it is harder to get bypassed.

Since they must implement a third party anti cheat or change the way their engine works related with some client side operations it performs right now, I don’t think they can solve this, at least not in short-term. They have done a few attempts to make it more difficult to bypass, but with the last “big update” where they added a few layers of security, I’ve found that hackers just took 3 days to bypass the maphack.

Also, what I can’t understand is the silence among these additions to the game. No patch and no communication has been related to these additions to the game, so community still thinks that developers are doing nothing about maphacking, but that’s not true, in every big update they added or changed their way to detect hackers.

Sadly, is not enough…

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Four things I’ve suggested OVER AND OVER again.

  1. PERMA ban people RIGHT AWAY who violate the rules by manipulating the game’s system (hacking)
    If there is a few single people between the permabanned
  2. disable steam libary sharing for ranked play
  3. have an employee look into reports and check replays, they got ALL DATA they need, they even got the freaking damn replays on their servers.
    You don’t need to upload images, video or ANY descriptions as the freaking matches have a freaking button for reports and the employee who’s processing the report will RIGHT AWAY see WHICH SINGLE MATCH that player got reported for.

Cheating would go down to 1% of the current extend within less than a week
No system changes or difficult coding or use of external software needed, like Vanguard in league of legends.
It would be nice to have something like Vanguard, but not needed to reduce the amount of cheating to an absolute minimum within a week.

  1. why the F*** are the 3 steps not done?
    Sheer ignorance and that’s why I hate Microsoft, because they abandon their games after taking the cash.
    This is making me so freaking mad.
    Screw this.
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Why not? Why do you think these games have these systems? Why does Steam have VAC?

Is it possible that the reality is more complicated? Communication being sorely lacking is a separate problem that can makes things worse, but “it’s easy just use your eyes” is how people get banned on hearsay.

Because these games are highly competitive, have a HUGE playerbase and the publisher/devs actually CARE.

In the case of aoe4, the decisionmakers are not giving a single F***.
Otherwise people whouldn’t be banned for 3 days but permabanned, steam library sharing would have been disabled for ranked and the devs would communicate regularly and we’d have a monthly BIG patch including balance and spontanous hotfixes for severe bugs and balancing.

Sorry, but this is not subjective.
The support is objectively absolute trash and the hacking situation is being completely pushed under the carpet.
All that matters is that enough people buy the upcoming dlc and then Microsoft will run the F*** away with the money.

You said there was no need for system changes or difficult coding.

I asked: so why do other games do these things? Your answer doesn’t explain it. How do any of the points you raised have anything to do with the need for an advanced technical solution?

Surely the need exists whether it’s able to be actioned or not?

The reason of no permaban is due to the reason the spot is done by a human, and humans can commit errors.

A good automatic system is needed.

seems the perosn OP reported is perma banned

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right, but unfortunately there is still no clear communication how the support deals with cheaters, punished cheaters who have “served their penalty” can continue cheating as usual without any consequences, the support is not in the position to verify the reports with a detailed description or to check games themselves based on timestamps… a cathastrope

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other games is the same, they never tell u how they ban or if the cheater is banned, this is pretty normal

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