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A Tale of a Game, a Mod and a Hacker...
April 22nd 2000, 23:22 CEST by Darkseid-D

Cheating has existed in every game since time immortal. The Half Life engine has several notable abuses, (like wall surfing) most of which Valve have been quick to fix. On April 20th, Xen0cide (no relation to the Flag academy) proudly proclaimed a new hack that could be installed that would be unfixable by Valve, short of recoding the Half Life rendering engine.

Today, the site is offline pending legal action by the Counter Strike team. Is this action justifiable, especially as the CS team of Gooseman and Cliffe are now backed by Valve? An interesting addition is the tidbit that several nasty virii were attached to the downloadable 'hacks'. Are Valve and the CS team overreacting, or are they justified in stamping this way?

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#1 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-04-22 23:30:32
Cheating is a particularly unpleasant part of online gaming - but unfortunately, wherever you go, whatever game you play, there will be someone cheating.
The problem is this: people don't yet see online games as any different to conventional games; I know for certain that almost everyone reading this post has cheated in a single-player game in some way, whether it be infinite lives in Magic Land Dizzy, or using IDDQD to get past the final boss in Doom 2. And unfortunately, people who can't get any further in an online game will resort to cheating, because (once again) of the isolation from their opponents caused by the fact that they are not in direct contact with them - or at least, not in contact with them in a way that society yet considers 'direct'. It's the same mentality as those who spam messageboards, or troll for flames on Usenet.
Until online gaming becomes a more widely-accepted part of gaming as a whole, we simply have to sigh deeply and move to another server if someone's cheating.
#2 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-04-22 23:56:05
BUT there is a difference between cheating in a single player experience and cheating to garner yourself an advantage in a multiplayer situation.

In counter strike, the hacked models etc give players a huge advantage over those not using them. Instead of relying on stealth and skill, the 'cheat' can see through walls, see them in even in pitch black areas and always know when someone is aiming a gun at them.

thats bad enough, but when you also consider that Counter Strike has numerous weapons that will penetrate walls......... Well, it gets ugly from time to time.

What the topic is really about, is not whether or not cheating is bad, more about CS and Valve being justified in threating a the packs creator with legal action.  Heavy handed or just protecting their mod.

The fact it has a virus attached to the installer is either delicious irony or a screw up of monumental proportions.

#3 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-04-23 00:11:23
Delicious irony.

I think they're absolutely justified in taking the guy to court. For starters, I don't doubt for a second that the EULA for HL precludes creation of this sort of thing, so they are probably legally entitled to it.
Secondly, they worked hard (VERY hard) on that game, as did the Counterstrike team on that, in order to give the world an incredibly involving game, and some fun multiplayer - so, if someone comes along and destroys their work on the MP side of things, it's a big 'fuck you' to Valve, and they have every right, as I see it, to hit him back.
And finally, I think it shows some community spirit from the developers, finally. I'm not surprised that Valve were the first to show it, but I'm a touch surprised that Epic weren't, given their unending involvement in the mod scene for Unreal and Unreal Tournament - although I'm unsure as to whether there are any hacks of this sort for those two games. Anyway, Valve gave the world the game, and the world loved it - Valve have nurtured the community that grew up around it, and gathered various mod authors to their bosom. To not react to a cheat like this would be like bringing up an orphaned lamb on gold-top milk and bowls of honey, with its own little soft bed to sleep in, and then disguising it as a dog and selling it in to an Eastern European bear-baiting ring.
Um. Or something, anyway :)
#4 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 01:42:09 http://errrlll?
I'm pretty sure the HL EULA makes it pretty clear that modifying the engine in this sort of way is illegal.

Case closed.
#5 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-04-23 01:44:14
Tom ... I think you need to go back on the antibiotics mate ;)

thing is .. Valve is jumping on the 'hack' even though the only thing it affects is counter-strike.

admittedly CS is due to be rolled out with HL (much like TFC is now) in the near future (smart marketing)... but its hostile to the mod not the engine....

a polite cease and desist may have been sufficient ...

course I dont have all the details, it could be valve have gone after Xen0cide for the virus distribution rather than the pack.

On an upnote, the CS team have discovered a way to defeat the cheat quite easily...

/me looks around for more posters

#6 by "Morn"
2000-04-23 02:11:36
I'll have to agree with Seth regarding the EULA.

Speaking of Counter Strike... I've been wondering: wouldn't including CS in a future patch put Valve into kind of a difficult position regarding Team Fortress 2, which, even if way more "complex", is, at the core, similar to Counter Strike?

Or in other words -- how much do you think are Valve interested in pushing a free mod that is a potential competitor to one of their own retail games?

Questions over questions...

- Morn
#7 by "Tony"
2000-04-23 02:17:22
If you take a step back and look at the big picture, they can't go wrong with pushing both. CS will help sell even more copies of Half Life and let's face it, those same fans will buy TF2. They'll market the game right and there will be plenty of additions to warrant an extra purchase.

I don't really see a situation where this would actually hurt them.
#8 by "Morn"
2000-04-23 02:20:52
Yeah, you're probably right. Or they realized that even CS is way better than TF2. I am kidding of course. :)

- Morn
#9 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 02:25:16 http://errrlll?
From what I've heard, Valve is paying Cliffe and the other guys something like $40 an hour to support HL exclusively. This is a crapload of money; and they're doing what they think is right to protect their investment. More people are playing CS than UT and Q3 combined, everyone at Valve could take the next couple years off because of how popular CS has been over the last few months.

CS just made more money for Valve in the time it took me to post this than John Romero will make all next year.
#10 by "Morn"
2000-04-23 02:27:28
Holy moly, that <i>is</i> a crapload of money. Where did you hear that?

I need to brush up my game development skills... :)

- Morn
#11 by "Tony"
2000-04-23 02:29:24
I'm pretty sure those numbers are close as well. They really can't go wrong with it. CS will be there whether Valve supports it or not. They thought they might as well get their hands in on it. Wouldn't you do the same? :)
#12 by "Dark`Bishop"
2000-04-23 02:36:41
How (not exact, but as close as you can guess/be) did this hack work, did it modify the actual exe? I don't think theres anything that they can do legally about the hack unless it modifies the exe, but they might be going after him for the viri. In Starcraft/Diablo most of the cheats are offset modifications, which is why Blizzard couldn't really do anything, it was client side and didn't modify the coding of the actual gameplay itself. Dunno if It's the same with Valve cause I don't have HL and therefore can't read the Big Print Warnings (in the back of the manual or the readme) that say what you can and can't do in the way of modification.
#13 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 02:39:37 http://errrlll?
It was a header for an interview I saw at 3dAction Planet (OMG, I just admitted I visit a real Planet site - curses!) I'll see if I can find it.

And you're right, it is a lot of money, that's a lot of money for any professional developer, let alone some kids who started up a mod in their spare time.

Heh, I guess this brings up an interesting point - how're they getting around the US labor laws? Here in the US, it's illegal for someone to employ a minor for more than a specified amount of hours. The number eludes me, but I think I remember it being no more than 20 hours a week for someone under 16, and if my memory serves me, there are members of the team who're well under that age.
#14 by "Morn"
2000-04-23 02:47:56
Regarding "CS selling additional copies of Half-Life"... so far this is only a myth everyone refers to, or does anyone have any real figures? I'd really like to know if the majority of people who are playing CS right now

a) bought Half-Life to play CS


b) learned about CS after buying (and playing) Half-Life?

If Valve are really paying $40/hour to both of the CS developers, they'd have to sell at least one, if not two copies of Half-Life because of CS per manhour to make it financially feasible. I know it's a nice thought, but I claim that not even one thousand people will ever buy or have so far bought Half-Life simply to be able to play Counter-Strike -- but maybe I'm wrong.

On the other hand, the CS guys will be loyal to Valve, and who knows, maybe they're future staff members and will make Half-Life 2 or whatever.

- Morn
#15 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 03:01:17 http://errrlll?
I haven't found the URL I'm looking for yet. But I have found this.
"Gabe Newell - The user community is going to be more and more important going forward. Companies that don't rethink how they do business as a result of the opportunities represented by the Internet will go away. When I worked on Windows, the user community was incredibly far away. [Newell spent 13 years at Microsoft in the Systems, Applications, and Advanced Technology divisions -ed.] We had no idea what they thought, we had no way to talk to them, and we didn't have any way of enlisting them in making Windows better. I'd say it wasn't until pretty late in the 80's that even 1% of our consumer customers had email."

I think Newell, more than Romero ever was, is a visionary. And while CS probably hasn't generated direct sales to make up for its development cost, I think Valve would gladly accept that it's a loss leader, if it means every single person who fires up a generic nameless game browser and see HL at the top of that list. This type of thing is where "Word of mouth" comes in, and then it easily makes up its development cost.

Then again, I might be talking out of my ass and making all this up. :)
#16 by "Valeyard"
2000-04-23 04:15:35
The fact is that CS is the MOST played FPS on the internet (according to CLQ stats).  Valve snapped it up (rightfully so) and now they're trying to help out.

As the leader of one of the best CS clans on the planet, I'm THRILLED to see Valve taking an active role in eliminating the cheats from this game.  The EULA is no their side.

A great many people have invested a LOT of time in this game, both as developers and see it ruined by some pathetic individuals is an utter shame.  Every major CS league is constantly dealing with cheaters and the CS community is so volatile and "cheat happy" right now that it's nothing but witch hunts and fighting.  We spent almost 5 hours in IRC settling a dispute between a clan and an individual who accused them of cheating.

As for the topic - a few guys decided to reverse engineer the game (illegal).  I have no idea what their intent was, but the result is a game that is played by thousands is being destroyed.  It's nearly impossible to have a legitimate CS match over the internet unless you know and trust the other team, and the cheats are drifting into the main stream as well.  At the latest CPL event, a LARGE portion of the CS players where exploiting cheats.

For those reasons...I hope Valve's legal department nails them to the wall.

#17 by "shaithis"
2000-04-23 04:33:08
I would almost guarantee that CS's existence has not been a primary cause for sales of Half-Life. Face it... the hardcore play online, and the hardcore already had HL long before CS was out, let alone good (personally, I don't care for it, but it's a good mod).

That being said, others in the discussion are right. It's the smart thing for Valve to do. It's guaranteeing that the VAST CS user community will stay right on through to TF2, which will undoubtedly have a counterstrike mod, as the actual gameplay isn't really like counterstrike (It's faster and less "realistic" than CS is, according to Newell and Walker).

As far as legal action against the hacker goes... it probably doesn't matter whether they really could or not. The threat alone is enough to do the job in 99% of cases.

#18 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 05:14:55
"Where the hardcore goes, the mainstream will follow"

Counterstrike has already paid for itself exponentially.
Whether directly, or indirectly is what is in debate here, I guess.

5 years ago, did anyone really think a game like EQ could've sold 200,000 copies? 5 years ago, we didn't have the horsepower to push 1,000 polygons around the screen (at least the mainstream market didn't) let alone over a network connected to thousands of other players. The first big step was Ultima Online in '97, which Origin deserves huge kudos for, but even then - technology just wasn't ready for it. And to a very large extent, still wouldn't be (I'm still on Dial up until my backwater county "approves" allowing Broadband access for a reasonable price).

Valve, out of everyone in the market today, has the most secure place in the future. They've got the talent, they haven't had a single team departure (that I know of), they've got players up the yang, they have the drive and philosophy to make good games down to a science, and where they lead, everyone is following.
#19 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 05:29:22
Oh, one more thing.

Realistically, there is somewhere between 8,000 - 15,000 people playing Half-Life every single day. Anyone remember HL's release date? It was close to two years ago, I think. How many of those 8,000 - 15,000 are playing vanilla DM today?

Not many. I freely admit that the Single Player aspect is what made HL such a huge financial success, but its fresh content plays at least, a small to medium part of that. We haven't even SEEN Counterstrike in a package yet, and as soon as sales slow down for the GOTY/TFC edition, maybe we will. And when HL comes back to the top ten this fall, you'll have to figure mod content will have generated at least 50,000 - 100,000 copies sold(rough equation going on how many people are playing it today).

Still searching for that damn URL...
#20 by "RAD Kade 1"
2000-04-23 06:15:28
I highly doubt that CS has actually made Valve any money.

CS has just given the people who bought Half Life 2 years ago a reason to not toss HL into the recycle bin alongside of Quake 1/2, Unreal, etc.

And I'd just like to take this moment to say screw FPSes, the genre is getting stagnant. Bring back the side scrollers. ;)

-the linux gimp
#21 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-04-23 06:18:25
Rad, you must be reading my mind :)
I just typed up a brief essay on FPSs and their lack of a place in the future of gaming... then I saw your post.
I'll probably post it tomorrow afternoon (GMT), so as to give this thread a chance to flourish in splendid isolation :)
#22 by "loonyboi"
2000-04-23 07:00:48
Personally, I'm a bit troubled by the fact that Valve is funding Counterstrike. I think it's cool that they help out the mod community and all, but there's a point where they shouldn't get involved.

Does the world really need full-time mod authors?

And besides...when I first heard about CS becoming "official" I didn't believe it, because that means they have to actually SUPPORT the thing now.

That's a dangerous prescedent if they don't actually own the mod (I don't know who owns Counterstrike, but I'm assuming it's not Valve/Sierra).

...and then there's the issue that's already been brought up about its simularity to TF2 (which, as long as i'm on the subject - does anyone really see a game there? I must be the only one not looking forward to it. Give me Half-Life 2).

It's all strange, strange business.

#23 by "Charlie Wiederhold"
2000-04-23 07:01:33
As a Counterstrike player, I pray and beg for Valve and the CS team to do anything within their power to stop the cheating in the game. In a normal DM it is frustrating enough to die over and over, but at least you get to come right back. If you have to sit out an entire round because somebody can see through the wall or has models that allow them to see you anywhere, it becomes an exercise in frustration.

The CS team can get rid of the later by not allowing custom made models in the game, and I believe they are doing that in the next version.

I look forward to a discussion on the future of the FPS genre.

Unfortunately I won't be able to impart any personal experience based on what I see happening around me every day. :( But I'll do what I can.

Charlie Wiederhold
#24 by "loonyboi"
2000-04-23 07:04:44
Oh, and for the record, yes, I know people that bought a copy of Half-Life just to play CS. I have a friend whose entire office got addicted to it and then ran out and bought about five copies.

#25 by "Apache"
2000-04-23 07:11:11
I'm no JeffK, but isn't hacking games a violation of your user-end license agreement?
#26 by "G-Man"
2000-04-23 07:58:15
Wow planetcrap is back up... how did I miss this...

I'm no JeffK, but isn't hacking games a violation of your user-end license agreement?

Nah that is crap. Technically it might be a violation of the license.. but I'm pretty sure that just means you revoke ownership of that license. Can anyone realistically see jail time or fines as a result of hacking a game?
Regardless the issue at hand is cheating. Trying to curb cheating is pretty futile, and it does not benefit anyone in the long run. The situation is analagous to the endless virus/anti-virus arms race. Each extreme is a disaster, the best you can hope for is a happy medium. Anyone remember the WickedGL drivers that let you see through walls in Quake 2? And they weren't even trying to do that one. A really talented programmer can give himself an advantage in any game without even touching the game code. As for model hacks... those are really bargain basement cheats.. basically harmless stuff. Besides the solution (crc checking all models) is worse than the problem. Most CS players I know enjoy their custom models and the CS modelling scene is a booming one. I personally derive a great deal of joy from my custom weapon models.

One thing that bothers me about the recent CS blitz into the mainstream is that I haven't seen anyone giving any respect to the real originators of the core gameplay concepts. Namely Red Storm. I mean what is CS really but Rainbow Six with dedicated server support and an option to turn off the between round waiting period.

...and then there's the issue that's already been brought up about its simularity to TF2
(which, as long as i'm on the subject - does anyone really see a game there? I must be the
only one not looking forward to it. Give me Half-Life 2).

I think you MUST be the only one. TF2 deserves a LOT of credit even if only for its real-time lip synched voice communications. It won't be the game I've drooled over in the years past, but it will still be an impressive competitor to Tribes 2 and HALO. In fact if the vehicles in TF2 were drivable, I'd say screw HALO. But then again I only enjoy killing Humanoids.

I'll bet this gets raped in the formatting... where's crapspy when you need it?
#27 by "Apache"
2000-04-23 08:11:32
G-Man: You make good point, perhaps a better was to look at is is if it's legal to post programs that are illegal in nature on a website.
#28 by "Thrrrpptt!"
2000-04-23 08:29:41
I don't get it. I haven't researched TF2 as thoroughly as I have some other games, but from what I understand it'll be NOTHING like CS.

Am I just out in left field?

#29 by "cliffe"
2000-04-23 08:42:14
Wow, great to see PC back up. I've missed it. I remember Morn back from the days...


"Are Valve and the CS team overreacting?"

I thought that question was odd, considering we never actually reacted. The only reaction made to this new hack was talking to Valve about getting it fixed. And Yahn Bernier has since fixed it (it will be in the next HL patch / CS 6.5).

Legal action was never an issue.

#30 by "shaithis"
2000-04-23 09:48:49
Okay, here's a topic in and of itself: What the hell's the deal with realistic weapons? Okay, I can get this gun, which shoots bullets and will kill people with one shot to the head... or I can get this other gun, which shoots bullets, and will kill people with one shot to the head. Or I can get this rifle, which zooms in, shoots bullets, and will kill people with one shot to the head...

boring. :)


No, you're quite correct. TF2's design spec (what's been made publicly available and what I've heard talking to Robin) is pretty dissimilar to Counterstrike. TF2 sounds a healthy mix between "realistic" gameplay and "fun" gameplay (I don't find Rainbow Six or CS "fun". No offense cliffe, it's a hell of a mod, just not my style). You don't have to wait till the end of a round to respawn, one shot does not equal one kill, etc.

Take TFC, merge in realistic weapons, lower the damage, add respawning, and throw in some very interesting mission objectives, and I think you have something close to what TF2 will be.

CS is a covert-ops, small team kind of thing. TF2 should, if done properly, feel like the final battle in Saving Private Ryan (or the first one, for that matter). Very different. :)


I trust Valve to remember that gameplay is the most important thing. They've already proven that they're aware of that fact with HL.

#31 by "Steve Gibson"
2000-04-23 10:26:07
Glad to see PC back around. I rarely post but do enjoy lingering around keeping an eye on things. :)

On the topic at hand, I dont think Sierra/Valve really has much to stand on. But being who they are and the lawyers they can afford I doubt the cheaters will put up much of a fight.

As for CS being snatched up by Valve, I'm with Jason.. its freaky.

Last I heard Valve even after all those huge sales numbers is still operating in the red. Gabe Newell and gang just defy logic sometimes. I guess you can do that though when you've got so many million dollars.
#32 by "cliffe"
2000-04-23 10:45:37
There are no lawyers involved. No legal action is being taken whatsoever.

The reason the site is "down" is because the isp that hosted it cancelled their account. Apparantly, some zealous anti-cheaters were hammering the site and the small isp had enough. However, the word is that the makers of the site have anohter host lined up with [and I quote] "more bandwidth."

They've had their fun and the exploit will be fixed. Not much more to it.

#33 by "Jafd"
2000-04-23 10:47:18
Cheating is, by and large, a bit of a gray area.

fov xx, gl_drawflat, blah yaddi bleh yadda some people are always looking for some advantage. Pretty futile to call out the lawyers and try to press charges or whatever.

But... if some gimp puts a hack on the web and says "hahha look what I did you can cheat and kill anyone hahah isn't that great? hahaa I r0x-x0r j00" that's pretty much over the line. Pretty much over the line, around the corner, across the ocean, and into, out of, and past the goddamned ionosphere.

I have one word for these types of bastards; caning.
#34 by "Mugwum"
2000-04-23 10:48:32
Surely the point here is that the download infected the client computer with virii. If I were a self-respecting game developer and someone was providing a mod for my game with the deliberate intention of virally infecting client computers, I would send them a "cease and desist" regardless of whether their mod was detrimental to my game or not... It's a good thing about the virii though; while the case would be more clear cut without them, as it is Valve can always cry virii in court if their EULA arguments fall through and get these bastards to stop ruining the fun for everyone else.
#35 by "Mugwum"
2000-04-23 10:50:50

"They've had their fun and the exploit will be fixed. Not much more to it."

You're probably best qualified to do it, so could you describe what this exploit actually did?
#36 by "Tony"
2000-04-23 10:52:08
What kinda virus is it? Trojan Horse?
#37 by "Morgan"
2000-04-23 10:58:40
Sorry, could someone just clarify something for me? Are we still talking about the model hack here? It's just that the intro blurb says this was released on April 20th whereas the voodoo doll thing has been going on a lot longer than that.

By the way, have you enabled any HTML or other formatting, Morn? Just a thought... [<i>Quick</i> <b>test</b>.]
#38 by "cliffe"
2000-04-23 11:02:09
I don't think they actually did have virii. That originated on the CS Forums, people made that up in order to attempt to stop people from downloading and using the cheat.

As for how it worked, they would rename all the custom CS wad files (which would checker them) and then use a few old HL console commands to make the checkered textures transparent.

The commands will be gone next release.

All the "new" cheats cropping up happen mostly because of the bullet penetration in CS. Seeing thru a wallin HL DM isn't as big of a deal since you can't line them up with an AWP. .

#39 by "PSX"
2000-04-23 11:09:55
I say, keep the cheating sites up.

If you think about it...  Normally Cheats will get spread around by word of mouth till eventually somebody will e-mail the dev's about it and then it'll get fixed.

If you have a site like then you then now have a centralized point where cheats can be discovered faster, nuked easier, and patched quicker.

The downside to that is that you have a bunch of lamers running around using them till the next patch.  That sucks but you gotta have a equalibriem with:

A) The amount of lamers running around using the cheat
B) The Time it takes for the dev's to know about the cheat

The less number of A = the Longer B takes effect.

But If you ask me, the only reason why Game Developers don't like cheat sites is because it publicizes their products short comings... and NO company, profit or non-profit, likes to look stupid.

I know this because I have been working tech support for an ISP for a few months now...  When we have problems, YOU DONT TELL THE CUSTOMER THAT!

Ben Hamilton
html p1mp
p.s. It's 5am, pardon my spelling / gramer
#40 by "Darkseid-[D!]"
2000-04-23 12:05:01
Actually cliffe, I downloaded the before the site went bybye

virus scanner in work went mad, it had a CIH (chernobyl) variant attached to the installer.

Ill detail for you what the pack does (and I stress, there are no _engine_ mods going on, just uses and alterations of wads/textures)

1) player models have 'gunsights' and bars floating off them, making them very visible and trackable through walls

2) Head snap when shot is off

3) Fullbright is on (bye bye lurking in the dark)

4) Gun climb when rock n rolling is limited

5) Head bob on motion is off

6) 'Blackout' round sniper scope is gone

7) flashbangs have a blue flash around them when pulled out then used

8) HE grenades have a 'thunderball' mesh growing around them when used

9) Artic sniper rifle has a laser beam on it making it easier to see snipers.

0) altered some textures show they show up red/pink and can be see through in some ways, but this removes Vis so you can see in effect the whole length of a map in some instances. Ok if you have a beast pc...

installed it, played with it, hated it, deleted all but the flashbang blue pulse.  The reason I kept the flashbang warning is idiot team mates tend to throw them badly and blind me, its just a little touch of early warning.

I also have some NSI models instead of the default CT models as I prefer their look (theyre no brighter or darker or spiky, I just like their look)

I play CS all the time (as Mr_Clarke) and do reasonably well without cheating. It _Really_ annoys me when someone pulls an otherwise impossible move (like how the fsk did he know I was up HERE)

Personally Id be happy for the CS team to put the 'blue lightning' around the flashbangs ;)

now ... Ill give you an idea why Valve picked up CS ... TF2 is squad based combat with real weaponry... shock horror .. so is CS

now, it makes an interesting merge of technologies doesnt it

now think 6-12months down the line

can you Say Counter Strike 2 ... or perhaps a stand alone retail version

in _exactly_ the same way TF(mod) - TF2 (retail)

makes you wonder doesnt it ......


#41 by "Diseased"
2000-04-23 12:07:02
That is an interesting point you bring up PSX, but think about it this way.  Yes, having a cheat site up will allow a centralized point for cheats but it is what allows most of these lamers to get their hands on these cheats.    There seem to be two ways for people to learn about them, through word of mouth, and through web sites.  In most cases, the originators of the word of mouth chain get their info of the cheat from the web sites themselves.  Thus if sites like went down then most of the people who grab these cheats would lose access to them.  

If a cheat originated and was passed around through word-of-mouth only then sooner or later it will find its way to developers anyway, either through the word of mouth grapevine or by astute gamers victimized by the cheat repeatedly (this happens--most cheats are obvious to alert victims).  If only passed around through word of mouth it will get to potential lamers a lot slower than if a site was publicizing it.  

Now you say that it will also be slower to get to developers as a result but honestly I think this way would be more likely to prevent cheats from being made.  Why?  I would think about what the motivations are of the cheat authors, those primarily being fame and recognition by fellow cheaters.  I doubt many would do it to screw over game developers or ruin a game for others.  Aside from these the only other motivation I could think of would be for personal gain in the game.  If this is the motivation then they are going to make cheats for themselves either way, whether cheat web sites are around or not.  The difference is that a cheat web site would give them a reason to distribute this cheat and hack more like it.  I wouldn't doubt Xenocide, since he seemed to proud to proclaim it, is happily basking in all the attention he recieves for his hack.
#42 by "Morn"
2000-04-23 12:13:31
Cliffe: 'However, the word is that the makers of the site have anohter host lined up with [and I quote] "more bandwidth."' ;)

shai: 'Okay, here's a topic in and of itself: What the hell's the deal with realistic weapons?'

Amen to that... I like CS, I like Rainbow Six, I like all the other games with realistic weapons; I just can't understand the obsession some people have with them. Every second mod that gets announced these days seems to try being a "Counter-Strike killer" (...rrrright). Why don't people make totally over-the-top gung-ho space marine mods with incredibly insane and wacky weapons? The last game that gave me any satisfaction in that respect was <b>Turok</b>. Stop laughing. :)

- Morn
#43 by "Chango"
2000-04-23 13:15:23
Morn: Why don't people make totally over-the-top gung-ho space marine mods with incredibly insane and wacky weapons? The last game that gave me any satisfaction in that respect was Turok. Stop laughing. :)

- I have to agree with you on that one, Morn.  I never appreciated the 'realism' of Action Quake 2, and some folks could call me names for just not diggin the over-realism.  Games are just that - games.  They're their to have fun, and of course we all have fun in different ways.  It's just a shame that I haven't blown someone to smithereens with an oversized grenade launcher since Turok...


[I really have to dl counterstrike and see what the fuss is about]
#44 by "jonnii"
2000-04-23 14:02:25
cheating sucks... and cheaters suck too.. they make a game un-fun to play and create hostility between players.  Thats what it comes down to.
#45 by "Ellusion"
2000-04-23 15:53:51
I would say Valve certainly makes direct HL sales on counterstrike, quite a lot too. Before we saw any mods for HL, I believe a good portion of the fans had their pirated copies.

In just our small group of players, I know of atleast 8 people that bougth HL to mainly play counterstrike, either since they had trouble getting their pirated copies to work online, or just 'pressure' from friends to join in on the community fun now in a new game. We all hate to chip out the 30-40$ for a game that sucks, or even offers limited value, but in the case of games like Q2 and HL, the shear amount of entertainment value in form of mods and additional content would surerly justify the buy for a lot of people, even years after the game first appeared.

Valve is looking after their interests, and although being one of the more fan supporting companies, I find it hard to believe that backing up the mod-makers and having more and more people play HL doesn't have a direct impact on copies sold.
#46 by "Glasnaus"
2000-04-23 17:16:58
I understand the idea of being able to take the command of a fictional elite antiterrorist strike team, but the competition is almost insane in that to be announcing that one company is going to develop the next CounterStrike killer must be an ego boost for the team! Seriously though, it must be interesting to work with Valve's public answer guy, sorry-really early and official title isn't coming to mind, to have to answer questions coming from people he knows pirated Half-Life.

Ellusion, look at the sales figures for HL, they are having an impact by supporting MOD makers. Local shops where I live are sold out of the newest released HL multiplay package!
#47 by "Cain"
2000-04-23 18:17:01
Restricting cheating is like legislation on morality: it just doesn't work.  You can never catch all the bugs, all the cheaters, all the hacks, etc...

I think that the best course of action is simply to set up the "server" code to detect any unauthorized mods and to disallow them on the server.

If people want to cheat on their own server, that's fine, but they should warn the players and not pass themselves off as "kosher."

And as for Valve officializing CS: I think it's a good thing, but Valve should also keep their hands off development. Valvle can increase use by saying it's ok, but they can only ruin a good thing by asimilating it.
#48 by "Chango"
2000-04-23 20:48:27
Following on from Glasnaus's post about HL sales:

I must admit that I went out and bought the HL Game of the year edition, purely based on the simple fact that TFC came with it.  Now although I appreciate that TFC was a definite 'in-house' affair, it made no difference to me who made it; I just wanted HL and TFC.  No doubt if they released HL with a long pair of ladders, I'd probably buy it so's I could clean my windows. ( I have no idea what my point was there.  sorry)

From what I can gather, the Game Of The Year edition certainly sold well, and considering it was on the game stores shelves side by side with the original, and by then much cheaper Half Life, would lend credibility to the argument that Valve know good business move when they see it.  Regardless of whether Valve should, in our eyes, be supporting outside developers or not, I think Valve are perfectly within their rights to support products that could potentially make their original product even stronger the older it becomes.  It's simply a case of protecting your assets i.e. it would be foolish not to.

As for the legal action by the CS team:

The CS team obviously don't want the mod compromised, and I would imagine the reason for this is because it could potentially detract from the non-cheating players' enjoyment overall.  But I believe a cease and desist should suffice in this matter, unless of course, Valve have been sticking their nose in and now want to seal-in the whole Half Life franchise (mods and all), and have spotted a weak link that must be sealed at all costs.  I dunno, legal action over a mod seems a little too gung-ho for my tastes...

#49 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-04-23 21:36:03
loony: Good point,(from personal experience) I don't like the idea of a company coming in and taking over mod projects, I was working on a very, VERY popular mod for a very popular team based FPS until the game's developer got involved, and kicked every single level designer(save 1) off the team, I was one of those designers. I know they meant well, but the project leader had very unrealistic expectations of amateur designers. Because it was an "official mod" they needed it to look official, but doing that kind of thing really stunts the growth of the mod community. After I was kicked off the team, I didn't even open a level editor for over a month, and am just now starting to get back into the swing of it.
#50 by ""
2000-04-23 21:45:37
Home » Topic: A Tale of a Game, a Mod and a Hacker...

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