Ninety percent of the rounds I play are clean and fun.  Most of the time, I am playing against fair honest players who want to have fun.  Still, it would be remiss not to take a moment to mention a real problem confronting the community.

Hackers, cheaters, and glitchers ruin round after round.  In addition to that, we find ourselves dealing with all sorts of new challenges in the gaming community.  From glider to PB, lots of problems, few solutions and a persistent loss of quality time.  

Given the recent admission by PB that its memory scanning subroutine had to be checked for false text insertions into innocent players, it is clear that the technical solutions to these problems have real limitations.  It would be foolish to think that PB can by profiling solve this problem.  The question, moreover, is not one of rules and regulations, but of ethics.  

When will people finally grow up enough to play games?

Of serious concern is the fact that resources continue to get misplaced into these efforts, when little progress is in fact being made.  The level of cheating/hacking/glitching seems to remain fairly steady despite the fact that time, energy, and money is being invested on so-called anti-cheat applications.

Allegations of cheating are serious and can have serious consequences to the players that are accused of cheating.  Most people do not give a second thought to the damage the allegation alone can make.  Elhackdorado, a random name which was created out of whim, was eventually retired because the name alone was enough for some people to simply accuse without reason.  False accusations and careless accusations can be damaging.  

I have attempted to collect some evidence of one episode of alleged wall-glitching.  Here's a little video I shot while I was playing on Fall of Berlin.  The time is noted as CST, but my server history shows it was 4/01/08 owing to differences in time zones.  MaskedMakrel had to enter upon the enemy uncap to shoot the video and was killed twice, but I figured I had a better chance of shooting the film than the enemies because they were getting killed whenever they got near the wall.  I did not shoot the enemies while in the uncap, I shot the film.  

Anyway, I think at least 3 people were wall glitching, but I only named two.  This video also shows how hard it is to capture solid cheating videos.  The people named in it are called "suspects" because the evidence I gathered is as firm as I could collect.  One thing which the video does not adequately capture were the accusations made by the other team.  Even a representative from the featured server was saying that the cheaters would be reported and wiped.  Several players quit the round vowing to report the wall hackers.  The round was terribly imbalanced.

People standing nearby might get confused as being in the wall.  So, this video also highlights the problems of false positives if you are not careful.  

The other team was complaining about wall hackers.  The mini-map shots seem to confirm this.  In addition, the player names appear at the ground level rather than at the level of the roof.  All of this indicates that cheating has occurred.

One thing, which I want to make clear.  The problem of cheating is overstated.  Very few players cheat.  Unfortunately, the few who do, make it very bad for the people who do not.  Good players get accused of cheating when in fact they are not.  New players get frustrated and quit when they get owned by a cheater and stop playing the game.  

The rules for reporting cheaters can be found here.

Nevertheless, great care should be taken when reporting cheaters.  As much as we hate cheaters, reporting them seems to be paying too much attention to them.  A good case can be made that reporting the cheaters is counterproductive.  After all, if someone has to use a program to play a game because they do not have the patience to develop real skill, then enabling them to play is a punishment worse than banning.  What could be more empty than babysitting an avatar you do not really control?  The cheaters life is their own worst punishment.

At least when I have a good round, it is because I have a good round.  When I have a bad round, I have a bad round.

At the same time, there are stories of people who have been falsely accused and had their stats wiped for no good reason.  Few people think carefully before initiating vote kicks against good players.  I have seen people try to initiate vote kicks only for the purpose of getting rid of good opponents.  Often times, players forget that people can have stellar rounds.  Not every great performance is a cheat.  It takes hundreds of hours of play time to earn a brigadier general.  EA currently does not have the ability to restore stats.  Therefore, any suspicion should be treated with great care.  

People can spoof pids and name hack.   Only EA and its employees can make a determination as to who was glitching/hacking and how.  Therefore, even though something may appear to be an open and shut case, appearances can be deceiving.  For these reasons, we prefer to call the people in our videos suspects.  Even in the second video, which appears more clear, EA must exercise caution in investigating the allegations and no one can assume the players named are in fact the players identified.  Cases of innocent accounts being hacked and attempts at spoof framing abound.  An investigation must be made.

The second video appears more clear in what it reveals.  There it seems very clear the players are wall glitching.  The wall glitchers did not make particularly good defenders.  Because they were in the box, I was able to run past them ghosted and blow consoles 1 and 2 after modifying my play style.  This is another reason people should try to play in a manner fairly consistent with the game's intent.

Some of the problems could be solved by design.  In the case of the second video, I have opted to report the violators to EA to see what will happen.  Nevertheless, it is not productive to let EA/DICE off for their role in this matter.  For example, the crate hacking has been a well known design flaw for a while.  The design flaw does not necessarily excuse players who choose to exploit it.  Nevertheless, there are problems within the game that create poor opportunities and the programmers should be held accountable for poor implementation.  Hopefully, the forthcoming patch will correct some of these problems.  At the same time, there is the question of whether or not the appropriate remedy is to completely wipe someone's stats.  In many cases, it might be better to wipe their gains for that round and perhaps demote a rank, than perform a complete stat wipe.  Real progress will not be made until changes prevent the players from accessing well known glitches for years after a title's release.  Combined with mature players and a supportive community, progress could be made.  It might all be too much to hope for.  

Finally, there are still some ambiguities in the TOS and ROC that lead to conflicting interpretations.  For example, I was recently kicked for moving a Titan "passed the first silo".  The question I asked was simple, do you measure this by the "nose" or the "tail" of the titan.  My point was that if you were to measure by the nose, then the rule should have been "up to" the first silo.  I moved it closer to the tail, but not beyond.  Owing to inaccuracies between the commander's map, it is impossible to be perfect in one's measurements.  In any event, no clarification was provided, simply a swift quick for asking for clarification of the rule.  Notwithstanding that, the real problem stems from the fact that the rule is only necessary because Titan movement causes lag.  The programmers should fix the titan lag issue.  Again, we should not forget the role of design failures in these problems.

(As a personal note, the people in my video were flagrant about their violations and, at least in the case of the second video, chose poorly when they opted for a battlerecorded server.  I even warned them I would FRAP their play. ) 

Again, the only real solution is for people to grow up enough to play the game with some maturity.

It would be more useful for people to email Dice and ask for an expansion pack and more customer support and fixes to the underlying problems.

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