Friday, 16 April 2010

When Gamers Cheat!!!

The last article I wrote related to A.I. and how a game can make you feel cheated (When A.I. Cheats!!!). Continuing on with the theme I have decided to cover the issue of when gamers cheat!!!

In single player games I never really quite got the deal with using cheats or walkthroughs. After all, why spend that much money on a new game if you’re not even going to play through it properly. (Same reason I like my games to be challenging. If I complete it too quickly it doesn’t feel like its been worth what I paid for it and I’ll end up sitting agitatedly before the end credits regretting that I ever became so hooked in the first place.) Admittedly, when I have had walkthroughs placed before me I’ve had a little itch inside my skull daring me to have a look. More often than not I will cave, especially if I’m not sure where to go next. (I hate it when a game is unclear as to where you should be at a certain point. It’s the worst kind of stuck; wasting hours running backwards and forwards for the right location.) Sometimes people will use guides and cheats in a game on second play-through, either for fun (exploding/naked characters... etc...) or to find anything that they happened to miss the first time through (Final Fantasy I’ve found is terrible for having a lot of hidden quests and items you just couldn’t locate without either luck or instruction.) I guess in this case, it’s more understandable, either way however, why should it bother me? Each player to their own and all that...

... but then there’s online games, in which I find cheating to be unforgivable. It seems to me that there’s always one player who wants to ruin it for the rest, and it’s very unfair after having paid for the game for someone else to then dictate and affect how it should be played. Besides, what’s the point in taking part in a competitive match if you’re just going to cheat to win; it’s undeserved and dishonourable; yet if you beat everyone by your own skill it gives you a much greater boost because you ‘actually’ earned it. Of course you shouldn’t really go to these kinds of extremes (, but it’s still enough to make decent players boil with anger inside. In such cases, I will exit the game and not enter another match with that player ever again, (tried complaining once to get people banned, but didn’t make an ounce of difference without proof.)

I use to be really into the multiplayer side of “Resistance: Fall of Man.” I had a clan and we were pretty good at it. I worked really hard on my profile in this game, getting my kill count greater than my death one, attempting to get more wins than losses. Yet the moment somebody cheats in this game is messes up some of your well earned stats, (as you tend to get randomly put into matches in this game, it’s not really possible to avoid cheats. It’s just a case of if you get suspicious, leave!) At the start there was mostly talk of how certain people were using lag switches, which cause them to look Skippy on your screen making them hard to hit. (unfortunately if your connections acting up a bit you can also be mistakenly accused of this.) I never really noticed that much of an issue here but later on in the games release, a bug was found that allowed people at certain points in the map to walk outside of the walls. They could still shoot you through the walls, but you could not see or hit them back. Soon after this announcement I found myself in this very situation. My friends and I kept dying really rapidly on the spot after re-spawn and for a while we just thought that maybe the other team were really good. As time went on however, it became more and more obvious that they were abusing the glitch as we never saw the other team members. Now I’m the kind of gamer who hates quitting even when losing so I attempted to continue for as long as I could; needless to say, it was a complete slaughter. My clan felt pretty down and angry afterwards; we’d spent time practicing and getting good at the game, all of which meant nothing the moment we entered that match. What was worse was the fact that there was also nothing we could do about it. They’d gotten away with it and would probably continue to ruin other people’s enjoyment of the game.

Tibia is an MMORPG in which I have also come to notice people cheating. They like to use algorithms on their characters, which controls them and gets them to attack monsters. This allows them to leave the game and to come back to a high-level character. It’s a risk as most people who spot these bots will kill them on sight (although the botters high-level friend may end up being sent out to hunt them down), but some are really advanced and will try really hard to create the illusion that there is a player involved (such as getting them to post ‘hello’ when another player passes by.) For starters, this really irritates me because what’s the point of playing a game and yet not being present at the keyboard; coming back to a powerful character, it’s like getting a reward without all the work that other players like John and I put into it. Secondly, these people then often use these cheaply created high-levels to power abuse other players. Botting has also caused suspicion amongst the community and several times I have been mistaken for it and been attacked; giving me no choice but to set their beards alight to teach them a lesson. Once again, like in Resistance, it’s hard to do anything about it. You can’t report them because you have no proof. (Silkroad Online also had problems with bots, to the point where a lot of fans including myself, turned their backs on it.)

In summary, I hate cheating in games! There’s just no point to playing a game if you’re not going to do it properly. In single player games it’s not so frowned upon, as some people deem it necessary to improve their experience, other times they can be useful or fun. In multiplayer games, unless agreed upon by all players present, it should be a definite NO! It’s selfish to go and ruin the experience for another person just to benefit yourself (not that I can see any fun in cheating; it’s not like you’ll get any bragging rights for doing so.) There should definitely be more ways in games to deal with these little pests and the developers themselves should put more care into maintaining good solid communities; having too many unruly players and cheats usually results in a game being abandoned by the very people who actually care about it.

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