Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So where to begin?

As with any research topic you need to identify what needs to be researched and where you can research. My first stop was over at good ol' wikipedia. I was pleasently surprised to find this article covering the majority of topics already: I'm primarily interested in topic 1: Bots and software assistance as I find that to be the most engrossing and difficult of the topics. However there are a few parts of "Unsporting play" that I definitely find interesting. In particular, environmental exploits and skin cheats.

While a lot of these cheats are well known and common sense, there are some good bits of information from this article. I found the look-ahead cheating problem to be particularly interesting. It basically works by a cheater purposely holding back their moves but reading in everyone else's, in that way it makes it easy to determine what the next best course of action would be. Think of it like mind reading where you know what everyone is going to do but you don't have to show them what you're going to do until you are ready. This is Definitely Cheating.
In regards to the look-ahead problem I found I was unfamiliar with the lockstep protocol. I did always wonder why people with 'high pings' are kicked from gaming servers. Now it makes sense, you have to wait for that 600ms pinging client to respond to your actions, which in turn can slow down your interaction with them. However it seems these days with the async version that it really shouldn't be a problem when you are interacting with players who are pinging decently (0~250ms). I say this as someone who plays FPSs from japan and has a ping of around 120ms on west coast US servers and 200ms on east coast US servers... So yeah, stop @#%!ing kicking me.

Since I am primarily interested in botting, I need to find some good bot/hacking forums that have good technical information and not stupid kid leachers just looking to cheat. There is a HUGE difference between those who create and those who use and it is very easily identifiable when reading these forums. (To the point you want to cut yourself).
Anyways, here's my list so far:

My next post will start to get more technical as I've already found a number of great resources and tools to aid in modifying game binaries at runtime.