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PunkBuster?

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I kinda don't understand how people can create applications to cheat on a game and how PunkBuster comes in and stops them. I see it used in shooters, but nothing like a mmo, or rpgs. Is PunkBuster just for games you can create a server on and can't the developers check there own cheats or anything when the server suspects someone trying to cheat on it or hack it? In short, I don't understand how it works for developers.

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Quote:
Original post by ajm113
I kinda don't understand how people can create applications to cheat on a game and how PunkBuster comes in and stops them. I see it used in shooters, but nothing like a mmo, or rpgs. Is PunkBuster just for games you can create a server on and can't the developers check there own cheats or anything when the server suspects someone trying to cheat on it or hack it?

In short, I don't understand how it works for developers.



People cheat by altering the game program in memory such as changing game state variables or injecting their own code to change it's behavior.

My understanding is PunkBuster looks for running programs that are on it's list of cheat software. Depending on how it's configured it can try to kill those processes and/or report presence back to the server for moderators to review. Punkbuster, I believe looks for attempts to access the games memory space which can be an indication some one is attempt to cheat. It also takes in game screen shots to look for aim and map hacks. This is just an extra layer on top of checks done server side to make sure what happening is consistent (eg. player can't walk through walls).

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FPS games generally leave authority for much of the player character with the client, to support low-latency gameplay. This means that you can cheat by letting the computer drive parts of gameplay, such as aim bots, for example. PunkBuster looks for various kinds of cheating client-side, and reports back to the game operator.

Meanwhile, MMO games generally put all the rules on the server, and only the GUI on the client, so the only "cheating" you can do is macro the GUI, which usually isn't all that big a deal. RTS games require all the games to be in perfect sync, so the only thing you can "cheat" is map-reveal and resource-reveal hacks -- this is why many ranked RTS games are played with maps already revealed, for example. Turn based games, online poker, et al, generally put all the game mechanics on the server as well.

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I see now, thats pretty interesting! I can see how it can be very helpful!

Thanks guys! Pretty much everything makes sense now, I don't think I have anymore questions for a while. :)

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