Cheater Zoo, the Worst Idea in Ages (maybe, maybe not)

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The Purple Panzer
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Cheater Zoo, the Worst Idea in Ages (maybe, maybe not)

Post by The Purple Panzer » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:02 pm

Years ago I thought of a hack for the real world, mainly tongue in cheek: nasty leaders of various countries would be drugged, kidnapped, and moved to identical surrounding somewhere in the U.S. (with their assistants and staff paid to be part of this), so that they could continue to do whatever it is they did, never realizing that it was now all make-believe. To top it off, there would be hidden points for public viewing (e.g. one-way mirrors), so that this could become a new sort of tourist attraction: a totalitarian zoo.

Now this idea could be applied to someone cheating - rather than banning them (which would presumably be done too), on their next respawn they would be on a server on their own machine, configured to look like the one they were kicked off of. Robots would replace the other players, with the same names and scores, and perhaps even the ongoing message traffic from the real server might be presented (though no comm going the other way). After all, everything is pretty much in place to do this: the cheater's client has the map, the cheater's machine has a server, it becomes a problem of passing the torch to the local machine and tossing the cheater off of the real server.

Why do this? Think of it as a kind of deterrent: cheaters' enjoyment presumably comes from artificially being able to outplay others - I think it would be a big let down to be doing this and then (inevitably) discover that you've only been beating robots on your own machine. Let these people waste their own time by themselves.

Of course there are some (possibly insurmountable) technical issues, for example the cheater could rewrite the local server to never go in for this sort of thing, etc.; but especially if the basic protocols used to do this were the same as those used in starting up a game, this might not be doable without disabling the game in the first place. In any event it might be simple enough to implement to try, and even if it could be circumvented it would raise the cheating bar a little.

Perhaps it's fun to think about and nothing else.

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Post by optic delusion » Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:21 am

Field Marshall Panzer!
Cadet Delusion Reports!
If the intention of your subject line was to tease me,
You have succeeded.
Over.

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Post by trepan » Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:43 am

the Matrix has you...

When I weigh the amount of effort involved
to code this feature, has easily it can be
defeated, and its coolness factor, I end up
thinking that it will probably not be developed,
and certainly not by me =)

Patches welcome.

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Post by The Purple Panzer » Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:56 am

That's understandable, so just take it as something for your amusement.

However, there might be a small seed of something useful lurking in there - the ability to take a running server and migrate it from one piece of hardware to another, with minimal game disruption.

This is something I'd love to do with general PC programs (assuming the best-case platform compatibilities). While interesting to think about, I can't really see much application for it for BZFlag, other than that it might be a neat hack; it's too easy to just stop a server on one platform and restart it on another.

Again, it sounds more academically interesting than practical, but it's amusing to think about.

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Post by trepan » Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:09 pm

Along those lines, it's also interesting to consider
the mechanisms required for inter-server portals that
transfer players smoothly. Obviously, the first step
would be to implement a disjoint portal system, but
it's a good idea to plan a little further ahead.

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Post by rr » Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:13 pm

If they are running some sort of god-mode the presumably would never die and wouldn't reach that "next spawn" point. Sounds like too much work when they could be just banned in the first place.

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Post by JeffM » Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:34 pm

any reasonable cheater, would just remove the local code that sends them to the local server. It's not like you can hide it, they have the code.

Just fix the damned server, no amount of clever tricks and tom-follery is going to help with cheating untill the server can know what a cheat is.
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Post by toaster » Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:59 pm

yeah, you're right, but the idea of a "honeypot" is still kind of intriguing. oh, well.
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Post by Workaphobia » Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:38 pm

This wouldn't be practical, as you've already pointed out, but if someone ever attempted to implement it, let me point out that the game world would be another mirror set up on the internet by the real server, and not a local application. Technically, there'd probably be no way to tell that you've been duped into being placed on a dummy server (unless it requires a different port). In actuality, it'd become pretty easy to gauge people's reactions and interactions. It's kind of like playing against a bot, sooner or later you'll figure it out if it isn't obvious at first.
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Post by JeffM » Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:19 am

Other then the fact that the client would have to disconnect and reconnect to a new IP or port. If your talking about on the same server, same connection, then why not just bump em to observer and silence em.

and if you can detect that on the server, why not just boot em?

unless you just really like humiliating people.
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Post by oblomov » Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:27 pm

Humilaiting cheaters is something I would do. They have no respect, deserve no respect. IMHO.

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Post by JeffM » Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:01 am

it could be argued that they enjoy going out of there way to humilate users, would it make you any better then them in that respect to go out of your way to humiliate them?
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Post by oblomov » Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:22 am

Not as a goal, but if it's a side-effect of other enhancements, why not?

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Post by The Purple Panzer » Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:44 am

[quote="Patlabor221"]Other then the fact that the client would have to disconnect and reconnect to a new IP or port. If your talking about on the same server, same connection, then why not just bump em to observer and silence em.

and if you can detect that on the server, why not just boot em?
[quote]

Well, one useful result would be that they're not on somebody else's server for a while - they're off by themselves. I admit this might be of relatively small utility, but it is something.

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Post by JeffM » Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:44 pm

I again state, that 1) they would just change the reconnect code because any reconnects would have to be client side, and 2) if you can detect it, just boot/ban em.

If they fell for it, it would only work on them once, and just prevent them from reloging in for a bit.
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