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List of quasi-exploits


MDF
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I'd like to hear others' beliefs about things that constitute quasi-exploits available in the game (in addition to the stuff identified here: MP "house rules" and here: Multiplayer community rule violations). By "quasi-exploit," I mean things short of hacking; things you can do through ordinary operation/modding of the game but which amount to unrealistic battlefield behavior. There likely is a difference of opinion on some of these things, so let's keep it civil.

For my part, one thing which I believe to be a QE but which is not mentioned in the linked threads is the "turret fairy." Either jump into a gunner/driver slot or STFU.:)

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I think most of the known exploits are mentioned in the above posts (as are the potential penalties for using them).

I think most will agree that using any weakness of the simulation to gain an advantage in SP or multi-player is cheating. Not only that but it makes it kinda pointless to play in my opinion.

Your views on the 'Turret Fairies' is an interesting one and it is something we use quite a lot in UKA. Although I have never thought of it as any more of an exploit than the F8 view in general. How do you feel this is worse than one crewman using the F8 view?

I also wholeheartedly agreed with the removal of the zoom from the F8 view in the last major update. This I feel did make the F8 view too powerful a tool, In gaming terms this removal nerfed the turret fairies quite a bit.

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Your views on the 'Turret Fairies' is an interesting one and it is something we use quite a lot in UKA. Although I have never thought of it as any more of an exploit than the F8 view in general. How do you feel this is worse than one crewman using the F8 view?

It permits one human to employ the vehicle's optics or weapons and observe in one direction, while a second human uses the F8 view to observe elsewhere. IMO, that just further aggravates the general F8 issue (which, actually, I had originally included in my post. :) It has been discussed frequently elsewhere and it seemed superfluous to re-hash.[*])

I understand that (as with all 1st-person 3D games) the player's viewpoint doesn't afford the full extent of human peripheral vision. Some have argued that the F8 view compensates for this. It also has been argued that it compensates for the inability to dismount a crewman to take a peek around a corner or over a rise, or to stand on the turret. In my view, these arguments are erroneous because:

(1) it's far too expedient to switch back and forth from F8 view; dismounting a crewman or even getting out of the turret to stand on it is a significantly more deliberate process.

(2) you can't drive around with a crewman standing on the turret, and I would imagine that even rotating the turret would be a no-no. If you dismount a crewman, the tank can only range so far without risk of getting separated. Likewise, dismounting a crewman diminishes crew efficiency (e.g., no loader). F8 view has none of these constraints.

(3) In the F8 view, you are immune to enemy fire, and to blast effects from your own main gun. Not so for crewmen outside the vehicle, or even unbuttoned TCs.

So, IMO, on balance the F8 view does more harm than good.

I also wholeheartedly agreed with the removal of the zoom from the F8 view in the last major update. This I feel did make the F8 view too powerful a tool, In gaming terms this removal nerfed the turret fairies quite a bit.

Undoubtedly it helped. I still wish they would at least offer an option to remove the F8 view in multiplayer.

[*] I started the thread for a practical reason, rather than merely to stimulate conversation. I'm trying to organize a weekly SB game at another gaming group, and I wanted to pick the community's collective mind to assist me in creating a code of conduct. I was already aware of the F8 view issue, so I wanted to focus the inquiry elsewhere.

Edited by MDF
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Flying at maximum altitude with the Apache of Doom , dropping Hellfires like rocks from a highway overpass. This is of course rectified by scenario designer giving MORE ADA, but I generally feel dirty flying at maximum altitude, so I avoid it because I intentionally try NOT to piss people off.

Using transport helicopters for distractions to the AI while you attack with ground forces.

Using transport helicopters as an orbital satellite around friendlies, to spot enemy on the map while making high speed NOE buzzing passes over the front line (note that this can be avoided by the scenario designer by making transport helicopters BLIND, which is something I try to do from now on if I can remember - or by using own-party map updates).

Altering the textures to make things more visible.

Placing battle positions on/across (perpendicular to) roads to screw up the AI.

Placing vehicle battle positions at bridges (perpendicular to road) to screw up crossings.

--------------

Yes, most of these are already mentioned at the rules/guidelines thread, I just mentioned what popped in my head. ;)

Also, above I mentioned that I intentionally try NOT to piss people off when I am making decisions on what to do during the game. This is the key, because most of the old hands around here know all the tricks and exploits but they INTENTIONALLY avoid doing them. That is the example of how everyone should be; we all know ourselves the moment we, ourselves, are doing something shady and you know that you will piss someone off doing it. The true test of character is when you show self restraint for the sake of being an honorable opponent, even if it means giving up victory.

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Undoubtedly it helped. I still wish they would at least offer an option to remove the F8 view in multiplayer.

Hmm, there is an option in the mission editor to limit access to the various crew positions but the option to limit access to the external view is a bit hit-and-miss in MP for some reason, I'm sure it is on the list though.

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Hmm, there is an option in the mission editor to limit access to the various crew positions but the option to limit access to the external view is a bit hit-and-miss in MP for some reason, I'm sure it is on the list though.

You can disable the observer view, but it only works in offline sessions. I have never seen it work in a network session (and I think eSim has explained that this is either by design or a "known limitation").

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Edge Running.

Unfortunately, the "edge of the world" syndrome has plagued wargaming since the days of Avalon Hill. I think we can partially avoid this by having low-probability penalty zones partially extend into your authorized AO, to represent enemy forces in adjacent sectors. So, edge-running will require a risk-reward analysis instead of being all-or-nothing as it is now.

Maybe even multiple layers of penalty zones, with probability of damage/kill increasing for the zones closer to the boundary.

High speed weaving to create lag armour.

Have people been doing this lately? I can't say I've noticed it.

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Flying at maximum altitude with the Apache of Doom , dropping Hellfires like rocks from a highway overpass. This is of course rectified by scenario designer giving MORE ADA, but I generally feel dirty flying at maximum altitude, so I avoid it because I intentionally try NOT to piss people off.

Wait a minute... that's MY pet peeve. Give it back!

Disabling enemy map updates helps somewhat with this issue, because the helo no longer acts like a net-centric JSTARS.

Using transport helicopters for distractions to the AI while you attack with ground forces.

I'm not really familiar with this. If a ground unit sees a helo, will the AI make that a priority and disregard enemy ground units?

Placing battle positions on/across (perpendicular to) roads to screw up the AI.

Placing vehicle battle positions at bridges (perpendicular to road) to screw up crossings.

By "battle position" you mean vehicle emplacement, right?

Also, above I mentioned that I intentionally try NOT to piss people off when I am making decisions on what to do during the game. This is the key, because most of the old hands around here know all the tricks and exploits but they INTENTIONALLY avoid doing them. That is the example of how everyone should be; we all know ourselves the moment we, ourselves, are doing something shady and you know that you will piss someone off doing it. The true test of character is when you show self restraint for the sake of being an honorable opponent, even if it means giving up victory.

True. It might also help to explicitly identify the undesirable behavior for new people, especially since some are coming from other gaming environments where tactical fidelity is very low on the totem pole and the thought process you outlined is not necessarily instinctive. So, the list you created in the above links are useful -- if some other things come to, light in this thread, maybe you can add them?

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...I'm not really familiar with this. ...

This is why I don't like to list any of the known exploits. It arms people with the knowledge and then someone who may have never thought about it may try it themselves. There are people who will use exploits or let a third party do it for them. If an exploit is listed that such a person has not found yet, it will end up being used, typically ruining the game for someone.

Then someone has to figure out what happened and how it happened and then find a "fix" for it, be it fixing the scenario or having programmers waist precious development time fixing an exploit.

Imagine being fairly new to SB, playing in TGIF and getting slaughtered, not because of anything you have done wrong but because someone has used an exploit that allows them to see every vehicle in the game without being obstructed by the terrain, or plotted on the map so that an arty exploit can be used to nearly instantly drop arty on the spotted vehicles etc. Sound like fun? If you found out you were killed by this kind of nonsense would you be impressed with your opponents decisive victory or individual kills? I doubt it.

In my book, exploits are cheats. Don't cheat. Simple.

Mog

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This is why I don't like to list any of the known exploits. Don't cheat. Simple.

Mog

Point well taken.:) I, for one however, appreciate the revelations here because it has given me insight to better scenario creation (when ever I can get around to submitting some). This thread also raises awareness on what is considered cheating or gamey.

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=GC= aka Greevil clan? Remember anyone? Not cheating but rather an un-ortodox way of doing things... the stuff he was doing with his Humwees and Aslavs... He used to tag along on our side in the SB-Generals vs 911 head to heads, and managed to shock and literally upset the opponets more than a few times.

Humwees - GPS killers...

Aslav-25 He came up with a way of using the HE rounds as mobile Artillery. The funny thing is that he got really good at it and was able to deliver targeted shot long distance...

The Other Aslav invention of his was to hide in the water near the bridges usually unseen, and whack passing 911 tanks from below.

KYpkwzv2fIA

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=GC= aka Greevil clan? Remember anyone? Not cheating but rather an un-ortodox way of doing things... the stuff he was doing with his Humwees and Aslavs... He used to tag along on our side in the SB-Generals vs 911 head to heads, and managed to shock and literally upset the opponets more than a few times.

Humwees - GPS killers...

Aslav-25 He came up with a way of using the HE rounds as mobile Artillery. The funny thing is that he got really good at it and was able to deliver targeted shot long distance...

The Other Aslav invention of his was to hide in the water near the bridges usually unseen, and whack passing 911 tanks from below.

Yeah, I agree that those are not really quasi-exploits. The closest thing to a QE is the dubious degree of traction the ASLAV has on the edge of that water hole.

The real "culprits" in the behavior you describe (and some of the other videos if you follow that link) are:

1) mission designers who fail to reward force preservation. (Sure, why wouldn't you put your humvees in the front line? It costs nothing if they get slaughtered, and they might take out a few optics);

2) the F8 view; and

3) mission designers who leave enemy/friendly map updates on. Wanna put a stop to that lonewolfing guerrilla tank shit right quick? Turn all map updates off.

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Speaking of him he disappeared unexpectedly a few months back. Is he still alive? Can any of the 3rd Armored guys give an update?

He participated in one of the OPV4 missions, I believe. (Think "infantry in water").

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This is why I don't like to list any of the known exploits. It arms people with the knowledge and then someone who may have never thought about it may try it themselves. There are people who will use exploits or let a third party do it for them. If an exploit is listed that such a person has not found yet, it will end up being used, typically ruining the game for someone.

Then someone has to figure out what happened and how it happened and then find a "fix" for it, be it fixing the scenario or having programmers waist precious development time fixing an exploit.

On the other hand, most of what has been mentioned is "grey area" stuff that isn't necessarily obvious to newbies. By publicizing the code of conduct and punishing violators, you hopefully create the proper simming "culture." Most of the bad behavior people have noted can't be concealed from other players, especially in a heterogenous player pool (e.g., typical TGIF team consists of random players, many of which will note improper conduct and report it -- as opposed to a single group from a VU, who might all be complicit). For example, you can't really hide vehicle emplacements strewn on roads; deliberate obstruction of bridges with friendly vehicles; Aqua Men; orbital Apaches; or RAH-47s.

But yes, some of it can be done surreptitiously and the could create an atmosphere of mistrust. This is true of all online games, unfortunately. I think the examples that have been noted (e.g., hiding inside boulders, seeing through terrain) constitute exploits, though, not quasi-exploits, and it is certainly not a misuse of developer time to fix these. Anyone could stumble across them and use them without other players knowing, so they should be a developer priority in a commercial game. Because SB is primarily a military training sim, though, where users operate in a structured system and subject to military discipline, I would imagine it's not a priority.

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On the other hand, most of what has been mentioned is "grey area" stuff that isn't necessarily obvious to newbies. By publicizing the code of conduct and punishing violators, you hopefully create the proper simming "culture." Most of the bad behavior people have noted can't be concealed from other players, especially in a heterogenous player pool (e.g., typical TGIF team consists of random players, many of which will note improper conduct and report it -- as opposed to a single group from a VU, who might all be complicit). For example, you can't really hide vehicle emplacements strewn on roads; deliberate obstruction of bridges with friendly vehicles; Aqua Men; orbital Apaches; or RAH-47s.

Military discipline, I would imagine it's not a priority.

Realistically how do you punish the offenders when caught.

Ban a offender from future MP mission. (Hard to police though)Name and shame/ deny them Posting rights on the SB forum. I think naming and shaming is the most effective

Nobody will want to work along side a known cheat.

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Realistically how do you punish the offenders when caught.

Ban a offender from future MP mission. (Hard to police though)Name and shame/ deny them Posting rights on the SB forum. I think naming and shaming is the most effective

Nobody will want to work along side a known cheat.

Well, I'd say (1) a warning, (2) then, a temporary ban, and (3) then a permanent ban.

The question is how to enforce a ban on the steelbeasts.com TS. I assume it's possible for the admins to track down the IP of the bannee (in the event he merely changes names), but not sure how easy it is to spoof this with proxy addresses or the like.

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I'll say this. I don't think anyone wants to ban anyone. After all I know of only a few who have been here, and it took them a while to get to that point. And I'm sure that no one wants a ban for obvious reasons. That such a conversation exists quite frankly sucks. That said considering that human nature is as it is, we do need some sort of order, or a coercive apparatus so as to have things as we would like them to be, and not waste limited and valuable development time to obtain it. Or waste time in developing missions to "trap out" such behavior as much as possible.

As I said before, that such a thing is required so as to create such an environment of fair play frankly sucks. But such is the nature of humanity. Anyway, keeping such a thing from being needed is easy...

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...I know of only a few who have been [banned] here, and it took them a while to get to that point. And I'm sure that no one wants a ban for obvious reasons. That such a conversation exists quite frankly sucks. That said considering that human nature is as it is, we do need some sort of order, or a coercive apparatus so as to have things as we would like them to be, and not waste limited and valuable development time to obtain it.

Agreed. For whatever reason, this community has remained far more civilized than most. But it's a good idea to have a clear set of rules in place, just in case the worst does happen, as it inevitably does. That way, no one can claim unfair treatment.

"You break rule 'X', you get consequence 'Y'." Simples.

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Think "infantry in water".

Not sure if this is a QE or shortfall in Infantry fatigue modelling, but ...

The ability of Infantry to currently swim a limitless distance with all their kit and arrive at the destination "combat ready".

So in OPV4 we had a "courageous" dismounted amphib assault which consisted of a what a 1.5 - 2 Km swim by Infantry burdened down with their first line ammunition, crew served support weapons, etc. and at the end of it they were immediately "good to go".

Not saying this was in anyway intentional (suspect it was planned on the basis of "let's give this a go and see what happens") but I'd say its far from realistic.

Edited by Gibsonm
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... Most of the bad behavior people have noted can't be concealed from other players, especially in a heterogenous player pool (e.g., typical TGIF team consists of random players, many of which will note improper conduct and report it -- as opposed to a single group from a VU, who might all be complicit). ...

You may be surprised to know that that entire statement is mistaken, and has occurred with regularity in most TGIF (and other public games) games in the last few years. Some things are hard to notice unless you look for them, however once discovered stick out like a sore thumb. The AAR has been the undoing of many of these folks.

I dont want to split hairs about what is "sort of an exploit" and what is "really an exploit". People are probably right when they want to list general acts which will not be tolerated. I just want it to turn into a list where someone thinks "I didn't know that was possible" or, worse yet, "How do I do that?'

What to do to someone who continually uses exploits is tricky. There is no giant "ban" button. Most reasonable people will stop if just asked about it in private.

Others wont stop, or protest their innocence, or worse of all, flaunt their behavior with continued exploiting, along with snide comments, avatars depicting the behavior or other acts of childishness, in the belief their is no recourse. Most of those people have disappeared in the dustbin of SB history, remembered more for their shameful behavior than any "greatness" shown in some forgotten scenario.

I have always believed that the subject matter, combined with the price of the software has kept most of the undesirable elements from showing up in the first place.

Mog

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Not sure if this is a QE or shortfall in Infantry fatigue modelling, but ...

The ability of Infantry to currently swim a limitless distance with all their kit and arrive at the destination "combat ready".

So in OPV4 we had a "courageous" dismounted amphib assault which consisted of a what a 1.5 - 2 Km swim by Infantry burdened down with their first line ammunition, crew served support weapons, etc. and at the end of it they were immediately "good to go".

Not saying this was in anyway intentional (suspect it was planned on the basis of "let's give this a go and see what happens") but I'd say its far from realistic.

[deleted]

Edited by MDF
reading comprehension subpar
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Realistically how do you punish the offenders when caught.

Ban a offender from future MP mission. (Hard to police though)Name and shame/ deny them Posting rights on the SB forum. I think naming and shaming is the most effective

Nobody will want to work along side a known cheat.

Well, for the longest time Sean and I avoided getting down and dirty with this issue. We simply let people do whatever they wanted, because the hope was that everyone would behave like honorable opponents and we also just don't want to cause problems in the community. That said, that time is now over, and rules are being put in place and will be enforced. This is because it is has simply because more exhausting to ignore the behavior, and the fact that it ruins the experience for everyone else. No more will those people be tolerated who just get kicks out of pissing others off.

How do you punish people? Well, first is a warning, then a week long ban from SB.com teamspeak server for minor offenses, major ones would be a month. If it continues, the ban becomes a month, then 6 months, then a year, then permanent.

The thing about all of this is that we, as people, usually all operate as a group. Usually there is one bad apple and then everyone else just ignores that person, but often there will be a virtual unit who said problem child is a member of, then they facility him. If that can be proven then it will turn into a group punish, then VU channels nuked, etc. I am all about group punishment if required (thanks to the army).

So really, punishment is not difficult, and it will escalate as necessary. Not to mention, I am online nearly 24/7 and I will go out of my way to wage war if someone wants to, 7 days a week if I must. I look at it like taking out the garbage, or keeping the community pool clean, or some similar analogy.

Edited by Volcano
clarified
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