Anyone ever cheat on an online game?

In City of Heroes, the Mission Architect allows you to design your own content. This is great for people who want to tell a story through the game, but it’s also great for people who want to farm XP or other rewards. The worst exploits have been found and stopped, but it was possible to go from level 1 to max level over a single weekend for a while.

I never took part in those shenanigans, but the Mission Architect can still be considered exploitable relative to the rest of the game, because you can tell the game exactly which enemies and how many you want in the mission, and you can make them be as easy as possible, providing high XP gains with low risk. I have taken part in that, because you do still have to work for the rewards, just not as hard as in the rest of the game. As for why: when you’re on your 12th character, the journey up gets a little tiresome.

I used maphack for Diablo 2 until they got zealous about banning accounts that used it.

Other than that, nope.


I got a new way to enjoy the game. It was almost ten years ago, and that was the last time I cheated in an online FPS, but I remember experiencing a rush because of how “good” and “important” I suddenly was. Another cool aspect of wall hacking was quietly acknowledging other hackers and going after one another. I was a mediocre player before the wall hack and I quit the game after a week of cheating. No one called me out.

I botted in WoW because I enjoyed raiding but hated the additional grind of everything else. To do what I wanted to, at the level I wanted to (which was often a 6+ hour affair), I’d have to find a means of getting a lot of gold. Min-maxing is a giant money and time sink. I was a good raider and generous with my resources so, of the handful of players who knew what I was doing, none of them cared. Many of them bought gold from websites. I don’t play video games like that anymore; I graduated. :smack:

So that’s cheating. If you want to know what griefers get out of it, read these:


They only get better. The video on page 3 of the second link is very worth watching. At home.

Thanks for answering, I appreciate the honesty.

It might be a gray area (of which I’d argue the other side, but can understand your stance) but not when it comes to interaction with other players.

Glitching on its own can interfere with the game play experience of others, which is just a selfish abuse, but using it to circumvent checks and balances installed into things like PvP and negatively affecting other players is cheating of the worst kind.

Of course it’s cheating. It’s not “hacking” because it doesn’t involve an external aid, but it runs contrary to the spirit of the game and contrary to fair play. It’s exploiting some that wasn’t intended and would be fixed with infinite developer resources. It’s like saying that stealing money if you’re the banker in monopoly isn’t cheating because hey, the money is sitting right here at my fingertips and no one was looking! I didn’t print money from outside the game and bring it in, I used the money that was already here. Part of the game!

In my experience, there are basically two kinds of cheaters and I’m not sure which is more pathetic. There are griefer cheaters - people who make it pretty obvious that they’re cheating and their only goal is to ruin everyone else’s fun. The other kind is the kind that tries to hide their cheating and pretend they’re really just that good.

I’m not sure which is more pathetic. On one hand, taking pleasure in doing nothing but ruining everyone else’s fun makes you an absolute dickbag. On the other hand, I can imagine the secret cheaters being delusional and patting themselves on the back. “Oh, you won another round, you’re really good at this, awesome. yay me” - I mean, why else would they do it? Either way it’s fucking pathetic.

I remember reading an argument here about whether all Hummer drivers were assholes. There were arguments that you can’t generalize and maybe in some cases cool people could blah blah. And then someone hit the nail on the head and asked “could you imagine a non-asshole driving a Hummer?” - nope. Similarly, can you imagine someone who cheats in video games and isn’t a total douchebag?

(That might exclude time-saving cheats in MMOs and stuff - I’m talking about the ruining everyone’s fun on purpose cheaters and the YAY I’M GOOD AT VIDEO GAMES cheaters)

I’ll add that glitching/exploiting in online games very seldom goes without penalty. If you, for example, just happen to access an area of the game map that isn’t officially available yet (this happened recently with people finding their way into some of the new zones in WoW: Cataclysm prior to release), your punishment might be as mild as having your character teleported out of the area and a warning from GMs. If you make use of a glitch/exploit that gives you a distinct advantage over other players, you run the risk of suspension or being banned. In the Xbox 360 game Phantasy Star Universe, a slew of players were banned a few years ago for using a glitch that allowed for an absurdly high fire rate in a particular weapon type, for example.

With online games it matters little whether or not you think that taking advantage of a glitch is cheating or not. More often than not, doing so would be against the game’s ToS and you may run afoul of the admins.

WoW is an interesting case though, there are actually NPCs specifically meant to keep players out of under construction zones, as well as little “under construction” doodads. In addition, if you hit the edge of the map there are mysterious little sandbars you can walk on. Yeah, you get booted out of these areas by a GM eventually, but it seems that at some level Blizzard gets a kick out of particularly clever players discovering ways to get where they shouldn’t. If they didn’t, why even bother putting silly little things like that in those locations?

As for whether glitches/bugs/exploits count as cheating? It’s a gradient. Super Smash Bros Melee wouldn’t be nearly the same game competitively if not for the discovery and abuse of wavedashing. It’s a definite bug, it gives you a massive advantage, and yet it’s a complete staple of the game. However, in the same game certain infinite combos are banned because they’re inescapable and relatively easy to pull off. . Hell, even in Starcraft raping the physics engine to stack flying units became standard, so standard in fact that Blizzard INTENTIONALLY BROKE THEIR OWN PHYSICS ENGINE CODING in Starcraft II to allow people to still do it. So I don’t think you can really blanket statement whether or not glitches are cheating

The tricky thing about glitches is that it isn’t always easy to tell what’s a glitch, and what’s intended behavior. I mean, sure, occupying the same space as a rock, that’s obviously a glitch, but what if you stumble onto the fact that skill X increases the damage of spell Y, even though that’s not documented anywhere? Is it cheating to use that combination, or just good play?

Case in point:

Unless this means something completely different from what I think, it never even occurred to me that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be to begin with.

The specific problem with Cataclysm was that people were glitching their way into the new high-level zones before these areas were officially available.

Sorry, I hit “submit” by accident in my previous post.

The specific problem with Cataclysm was that people were glitching their way into the new high-level zones prior to the official launch date. In these zones were new high-level enemies that dropped gear items that were superior to anything legitimately available in the game at that time. So I guess the issue in that case was that certain “creative” players were using exploits to give themselves a distinct advantage over other players. This wasn’t the case with many other “easter egg” areas not intended for players to find, which may have been off-limits but didn’t contain anything game-breaking, either.

It may, in Starcraft there was a famous bug that allowed you to make several dozen flying units occupy literally the exact same spot, so it was impossible to target what you wanted to. The corsair unit in Brood War was specifically created to counter-balance the power of this glitch.

I don’t know about exact same spot, but they tended to cluster to within a few pixels. And even before Corsairs, there was Psi Storm, which in my experience led players to try (usually futilely) to prevent their fliers from clumping.

As far as I can tell from the internet Muta stacking in particular was a coveted tactic.

Literally the exact same spot, it involves grouping the fliers with a unit outside of their magic box, aka exploiting a quirk of the group movement mechanics. The precise clumping meant that they would all respond simultaneously, allowing the precision of control that a single unit has, with the firepower of a group. A similar related quirk-exploit is the hold lurker that also forces a unit to do something it wasn’t intended to do.

The developers would probably have called these things cheating, once upon a time, but the player base does not. Over time, it became adopted, and as stated, was intentionally implemented in the sequel, except this time also specifically including area-effect anti-air to deal with it and make it more of a cost/benefit juggle. The line between gameplay quirk and exploitation cheat is just a matter of opinion, sometimes.

two cents from a non-gamer.

First, I read this thread to see if I could actually understand what was being discussed, and for the most part, I was/am clueless. I have officially jumped the shark vis-a-vis video games. I understand that a big part of this is age, priorities in my life that have shifted my free time away from video games, and perhaps technology in gaming has surpassed my interest level. None of these games sounds remotely interesting to me, especially after reading things like the following:

If I understand this, the glitch has been put in there accidently by the manufacturer, correct? Then, how can that be my problem or my fault if I decide to exploit it? After all, everyone has the same ability to stumble on the “glitch” that I did, so I shouldn’t be penalized for it. Being BANNED from a game because I found a glitch that allowed for a weapon to increase its fire rate? Seriously? If the manufacturer doesn’t want to fix the glitch, I’m using it.

With all that said, I will say that if I knew what I was doing with these games and knew how to hack into a game (I don’t) or do whatever to be able to gather or create things that I could put on eBay and people would actually buy them, I’d spend all day cheating. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe when I read that some people put things that are difficult to get on eBay and people bid on that stuff, I didn’t believe it. Until I did some quick research. I have no idea how popular this is today, but hell yes, I’d be selling people all over the world this “video game” crap. How much more crazy can life get? I, the eBay seller, am selling something that you, the not-so-good-at-this-point game player wants so badly you are willing to pay me REAL money to have this fake THING in your arsenal, I can’t think of a better way to make a living and at the same time make people happy! It’s not like I’m selling a drug or something illegal. It’s made out of 1’s and 0’s ultimately. This is a very strange world in which today’s gamer lives in.

I wish I lived there. I’d be the gaming Candy Man, making people as happy as I could by cheating my way to things in demand as quickly as I possibly could. And I couldn’t possibly imagine feeling one iota of guilt (other than perhaps making money off of some very interesting people.) But to each his/her own, I suppose. If it makes you happy, I’m not going to stand in the way of your happiness! I just hope you are the high bidder! If not, wait and I’ll have another item up for sale as soon as possible! Woo hoo!

Oh, and if it would make you happier, rest assured that I’d put a disclaimer out there telling the buyers that I have absolutely no interest in winning this game, so do not consider me an enemy. Consider me your illegal arsenal friend. I’m here for you. Paypal only, of course.

That’s one of the main reasons people get banned. It upsets the game economy, and can easily ruin a game because the in game currency/trade good become worthless far faster than they should. It’s a lot better in the long run to just ban someone who is paying 15/month, than for the game to close a year earlier (from the snowball effect of people doing this) and lose all that money. Also, it’s more profitable for them to ban your key so you buy another one and eventually get that one banned too. And they don’t have to pay someone for the hours needed to fix the bug.

On the other side, I would map hack when playing DotA in WC3. I always suspected people of doing it, but was amazed when I turned it on how many people are obviously map hacking. One of the cool things about the map hack was people could ping locations on the mini map, and you would see either sides pings. So you could be in the middle of an area, knowing nobody is around (because you are hacking) and see an enemy ping right on top of your location on the mini map. I didn’t feel bad about map hacking after I realized at least a third of other wc3 players were too.

Blizzard makes a pretty decent effort at stopping hackers though, and will ban your account if they catch you.

If the video in the link is any indication, I can’t imagine why it would be coveted: Losing four mutalisks (cost: 400 minerals and 400 gas) to kill six marines and a medic (cost: 350 minerals and 25 gas) is a terrible trade. And I never even knew about the mechanics of that, and was always ending up with mutas stacking anyway, without even trying.

I wasn’t commenting on whether people SHOULD get banned for using certain exploits, just that they DO get banned. It’s part of the Terms of Service agreement that all players agree to when they decide to play the game. There’s a certain way that the game is intended to be played and if you don’t adhere to this, you may face punishment.

TBH, most of the glitches I’ve heard of people getting banned/suspended for have a couple of things in common: 1) they impart a distinct advantage to the player using them that does not involve intended gameplay mechanics; and 2) they are usually not just exploits that you can “stumble” upon. The weapon glitch I referred to involved about five or six specific steps to activate, so presumably the people who used it KNEW they were taking advantage of a glitch.

But one might argue that a glitch like that only benefits the player who does it and “anyone can do it” and therefore shouldn’t be punished for using it. But how about a glitch like this?

In this case, players are using a glitch specifically to take advantage of other players. As Picard Kills Kirk mentioned, there are also numerous exploits that players in games like WoW use to gain large amounts of in-game currency without having to do much if any actual gameplay. In the long run exploits like these can and do wreck the in-game player economy, leading to currency inflation and affecting all players who choose to use the in-game player auction system (which is nearly everyone). Gameplay balance is also an issue: people complain enough as it is in games like WoW that the various classes aren’t fairly balanced to give everyone a fair chance. Players using exploits don’t help matters.

Note that this all pertains to ONLINE games. Offline games like Oblivion and Fallout 3 actually have large communities of players who create various files used to “tweak” the respective games and in some cases “cheat” the gameplay systems. And no one really cares because all of these modifications only affect the individual users. Online games are a different story: people more often than not are paying money to play them, so game companies take glitching and exploiting very seriously. Their bottom line is at stake if enough people become the victims of others using exploits, because those people might just take their money elsewhere.