Q&A #7 – How should cheaters be dealt with? Should they be permanently banned?

For our 7th Q&A, we decided to ask some select members of the community, How should cheaters be dealt with? Should they be permanently banned? Here’s what they had to say!

<degrave> It is not efficient to ban a cheaters by single IP or mask, a cheater can have dynamic IP or you can ban innocent people. You can kick him with 4 hours ban and after he connect again show some warning to a server admins that this guy cheated before and be prepared to kick him if he do it again.

<jawer> Yes and additionally all their names should be spread. Maybe you could also ruin their families and stuff.

<Sativa> Yes I think cheaters should be permanently banned because they obviously gain an unfair advantage with their aim/triggerbot or wh, or whatever it is.

<bandandit> It’s rather unfortunate that this question doesn’t have an easy answer. In my humble opinion there are two types of cheaters:

The first type are those who are either just beginners or are too young / immature and don’t understand the extent to which they are harming the game. Maybe they don’t realize there’s a community of people who devote themselves to becoming legitimate pros. Or maybe they are just naïve and don’t understand what they are doing wrong. I think these “cheaters” deserve some leniency and with a little guidance could become one of the next great members of the community. But it’ll take some time and effort from server admins, but might be worth it in the long run.

The second type are those who should know better but have absolutely no regard to the game or community. These are people who are writing and sharing scripts for malicious purposes. These “cheaters” which are also easy to spot, have no place in the game or community and should be permanently banned.

<Buck> I believe the first time a player is caught cheating, they shall be kicked for the standard 4 hours, after being given a warning to stop cheating. If this player has been caught a second time, he should be kicked again, for the standard 4 hours, without warning. The second kick will mark the second and final warning. If a player reaches a third time cheating, this means that the player will show no signs of stopping. The consequences given after the 2nd time cheating should be this. 3rd time – 1 month ban. 4th time – 6 month ban. 5th time – pban (as far as it can go (at least 1 year)). Some exceptions however: If this player has access to vpn, no matter how many ip’s he can access, he should be pbanned after his 5th offense, even if it occurs within one hour. 5 chances/warnings are plenty enough to get the message across. But I don’t agree with kicking on sight should occur until this player reaches his 5th offense.

<pix> IMO, they should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. People like Markku and pisto have been a huge benefit for the community in the long run, while others like for example Bounty are just major shitkids only interested in fucking up other’s experience for their own entertainment. So the way we do it at the moment is a good way to do it, I think. A perma-ban for people like Bounty and other cheaters which were around earlier shouldn’t be out of the question, though.

<greenadiss> As an ogros administrator I treat cheaters pretty seriously and responsibly and try to be 100% sure that the person was cheating. Permanent bans aren’t really permanent if you can disable them and remove.

All cheaters have their own reasons to cheat. Some like to discover stuff and try every possible way to play better, doesn’t matter if it’s cheating. Some just try to do some experiments with their knowledges of coding. But, I believe, some of them can grow up of this silly and cognitive age, like all kids do. But Not All. There are always some who can’t or don’t want to realize it. Who try to convince everyone in their cleanness and innocence when there is a proof of their cheating.
Still, there are people who deserve to have a chance (from time to time) like once a year or 6 months. That’s my own experience. If someone comes to ask for a second chance, why not? You can always re-activate the ban but what if the person has really changed and wants to be clean? That’s why I believe you can’t ban cheaters permanently, it’s too radical way. You need to give them chances from time to time.

<jay_red> “Cheaters Losers” – Dark*Star #2014.

P.S. Of course, there are exceptions – people who keep cheating without showing any improvement. They don’t deserve a chance to get unbanned.

Seems to be a lot of different point of views on this question.

What’s your opinion? Tell us in the comments below!


    1. hades

      speedhackers should be banned ofc. They shouldn’t be perma-banned for something like this unless they do it continuously.

  1. Vanquish

    I think we need to start off by defining what cheating is.
    Firstly, cheating = cheating, no matter if it’s on a public venice server or psl1 or in a tournament – no matter if it’s a speedhack, laghack, triggerbot, a macro, etc – no matter if you do it to test out, or for fun, or to win maliciously – there’s no grey area and if you try and create one then you shouldn’t even be participating in the following discussion. we had enough “it was my brother” shit in AC and excuses and sitting on the fence won’t help jack shit, after a while indecision becomes decision.

    I digress.
    First time cheating = 3 month ban from the masterserver, and the player should be officially known as “blacklisted for until lalala”, for example. Any attempts by the player to interact with the community during this three month period should be ignored. After the 3 month duration is served, the player should be allowed to play again and re-integrate with the community if he/she so chooses.

    Second time cheating = Permaban from all official services that Sauerbraten offers, including the masterserver and IRC channel. The community should also be strongly encouraged to ban repeat offenders from their own IRC channels and other services which are related to Sauerbraten (such as game servers, teamspeak/mumble servers, etc).

    I have no issues giving anybody a second chance, but a third is too many.
    A system like the one I described above is not comprehensive at all although I believe if refined a little, would tackle most of the problems games have with regards to cheating – the fact is that implementation of such a system is a delicate matter and would require significant community cooperation in order to have any chance of long-term success. And as we all know, Sauer’s community is not without its problems. Currently I believe that a lack of unity amongst players (particularly players from different clans although I could probably name other instances too) is more detrimental to the overall game’s development than a few rapscallion hackerschwein.

    1. greenadiss

      That’s what I called a radical way.

      When you give someone a second chance and you see the person is still cheating, you pban him for 6-12 months. After this time the person can grow up a bit, realize something in his life. That’s why there is always a place for a third chance if you see the person wants to be better and asks for a chance.

      1. Vanquish

        If someone doesn’t learn a second time, they won’t learn a third time.
        I can only really speak about AssaultCube since that’s my “gaming background”, so to speak – but there are a high amount of ex-cheaters floating about in that community that everybody is happy to play with, talk to and even recruit to their clan.
        AC’s policy is to ban someone for 3 months for the first time he cheats, 6 months for the second time, and then indefinitely for the third time. My views are a bit more radical yes, but I simply fail to see what someone would learn after two attempts that they wouldn’t after one.

        From what I’ve seen, you have two types of cheaters: the type who does it once and gets scared shitless of doing it again since the community came down so hard on them the first time, and the other type who simply does not give a shit and will never stop cheating because they have no respect for the game they play or those that enjoy it.

        I believe that both types exist, and the lack of respect some have for the game could be somewhat mitigated by a more friendly and to be quite honest, “open” community. Sauerworld is doing a great job at cultivating this, in my opinion, although this is only part of the problem. People shouldn’t have to be scared into not cheating (that’s only a temporary solution), people should have enough respect for the game they play and those who play it that they intrinsically do not feel the urge to cheat or do things which gain an unfair advantage. But I won’t go into all the “unfair advantage” crap that comes with an open source game, arguing about what fits the definition of cheating when you can modify things so readily is so subjective to each individual that it almost becomes pointless to discuss.

      2. Vanquish

        *it’s so subjective to each individual

        I was so tired that I could barely articulate my thoughts properly and now I’m so tired that I can’t even press laptop keys without fucking things up, god damn. Apologies.

  2. Fear

    “P.S. Of course, there are exceptions – people who keep cheating without showing any improvement.”

    Yes Jumper, please feel accosted!

  3. unnamed

    seems this thread is asking for an unnamed post, so here it is:

    this is exactly the kind of shit why you ppl are faggots. a friend of mine described it very good: “a bunch of cheaters who hunt cheaters. pathetic… ” even more pathetic to create a blog post about how to deal with cheaters and selling the self as the good guys.

    for me there are three kinds of cheaters

    a) the curious
    likes testing out the code, used obivous hacks on public servers for fun, but doesnt really harm the matches (flying away with the flag, aimbotting). those people should be kicked with a friendly smile, maybe someday they may use their skill to do good stuff for the community.

    b) the destroyer
    black hat troll, searches the joy in the tears of crying players on servers he killed by flaghacks, telekill loops and dos attacks.
    these guys should also simply kicked, because they usually use vpn services. if you think you could collect a list of vpns and ban all of them all this way after some time, you dont know how to internet, sorry.

    c) the trusted
    privileged fragger, enjoys the trust and fame in the community. usually converted from species a) to c) the bad way and part of the best players in the game. clever enough to use only hard to detect cheats like increased hitboxes. radarhack, etc. usual excuse for cheat acusements from noobs: “the server is lagging” . you usually catch them cheating on non-ogros servers, with insane low and stable pings, not caring for the flag, and collecting frags, mostly without even shooting near the enemy model.

    and here my conclusio:

    you want get rid of cheaters? get up your asses and code detections against cheats, and not only the poor man’s stuff like speedhacks or flaghacks. want to get rid of lying trusties? code shot position detections. but, … you know what i am thinking? there is a reason why no one is coding such detections: not that they are hard to code or lag would be a problem, but you fuckers are more interested in showing your auth-dicks by pbanning another b) cheaters vpn, just to continue with c) cheating after. you love it to do that, dont you? “player X claimt auth as ‘X'”. this looks so good, this feels so good, it’s your drug, and think of all the envy noobs who will respect you for kicking the hacker: batman just saved the server!. authkick? never heard that command.

    my solutions:
    – disabling the global auth system to avoid abuse of its power and create equality for all players. the single servers have their admins and masters already
    – creating a sane (!) anticheat server modification and sharing it for all to use on github
    – letting sauer die the pretty sad death of “we dont care, on our servers are no cheaters, we banned all vpns, 130 frags and 75% acc is totally legit against noobs on Demophobia, should be banned for opening too many slots anyways, we just need to get Birk at our side, cheaters usually get a second chance, no, we dont call their mothers whores and that they should die in the oven” please stop lying to yourselfs.

    guys, take a break and think. a flying player once a week isnt the problem. i personally would not even kick him, but force spec him and start to talk, show him some projects where he can learn and maybe add his code to do good stuff. those are the wrong players to ban. what do you think why people download an open source game… you have other problems you should solve, but i dont believe you can solve them. i dont think that one of the cheating trusties will stand up and tell the truth about his cheating, I dont think someone would stand up and say “i also have seen very suspect gameplay of this trustie” because he would lose his own trusted/friend status by saying so, also i dont think that most of you will learn to act mature and peaceful after beeing so blind and stupid at the other thread. so what to do? any solutions? how should we deal with cheaters? dont tell the same old shit we already know. dont tell me the holy psl doesnt have problems with cheaters but others servers like Demophobia have. dont tell me everything is working good and we need no change. ive seen you tried to get psl full the last days by sitting there and waiting. sometimes it worked, people joined. that is nice, but does a full psl server solve anything? the server hate machine is still running, auth still gets abused, the effic servers are still locked, new players get still insulted/kicked. check your own server logs and you will find stuff like “lets join demophobia and vote secondevermap. – doesnt work, voting is disabled – i could claim auth and give you master – ok – lets do this)”. i am lying? then why should i make myself so much work and rage here about those happenings? now let’s get it rolling, have fun posting senseless arguments like funny pictures, tell yourself “its just skilll”, call me “noob” or other stupidness and ignore the problems, just like you always do, you very mature, very trustfull, wow much skilled, authorities.

    1. UNNAMED

      Sorry guys, I didn’t realize how much of a retard I am. Pls disregard my stupidity. Thanks! xD

    2. starch

      [ now let’s get it rolling, have fun posting senseless arguments like funny pictures, tell yourself “its just skilll”, call me “noob” or other stupidness and ignore the problems ]

      I’m going to post a ‘senseless argument’ here.

      I believe you made a lot of good points, basically everything you said is reasonable
      EXCEPT: (1) the trusted cheaters
      (2) disabling the global auth system
      (3) 130 frags and 75% acc is totally legit against noobs on Demophobia

      (1) Believe it or not, whatever ‘trusted cheaters’ you believe are in this game, is not true. You have to realize that this game isn’t that hard. Having 75% accuracy is uncommon, but definitely possible, that would be considered a great game to anyone! The human brain can become very good at certain tasks, such as a game. If you use the same settings for months and even years, you will develop an extreme amount of muscle memory, there is no limit. So this crazy accuracy and quick reflexes is definitely possible, and you can see it all over our community.
      Secondly, over years and months of practice, or straight up natural ability, HOW someone plays the game can develop as well. People have tons of tricks or tactics that they use to their advantage in game without even noticing them (it is just natural), I have looked back at demos of myself playing, and have watched myself do things that I never would have otherwise noticed that I do.

      (2) Disabling the global auth system is just a bad idea. We have it for a reason, to keep the game as clean as possible by giving special privileges to certain ‘trusted’ players in the game. But I will have to say that an authkey is given out way too easy. Nowadays everybody who is somebody has an authkey. The fact that I was able to get one a couple years ago amazed me, it took barely anything. Just a quick suggestion from Fatum to eihrul and it was done.

      I am not saying that the people who have authkeys now are not worthy of having one, I am saying that I think it WOULD have been better if eihrul was more conservative when it came to handing out authkeys. But what’s done is done.

      (3) This has a lot to do with (1). It’s very possible that somebody can be that good at a game! Just look at sports. The level at which professionals play is amazing, but they don’t get to that point by watching T.V. and eating chips all day. It takes a TON of hard work, they completely devote their lives to the sport to become the best they can be. Not everybody is just a mediocre player, there are your average athletes, your good athletes, and your great athletes. What you’re saying is anybody that is considered ‘great’ or a ‘professional’ at Sauerbraten is a cheater, and you have nothing to support that claim.

      The same thing happens in Sauerbraten that happens in sports. There are average players, good players, and great players. Everybody gets to where they are by the amount of work that they put in, and I have no doubt in my mind that if somebody were to devote their entire life to this game, as professional athletes do, they could become unstoppable and bring even the best of Sauerbraten to shame. But of course, nobody is going to spend every waking moment of their life playing this little game.

    3. pix

      Apart from most of what you are saying being bullshit, you make one big mistake: you are generalizing way too much when talking about auth key holders.

      I have an authkey for quite some time now. If you have seen me play I think you would agree when I say I don’t cheat. I suck so hard at this game most of the time, I’m probably one of the worst players that have an auth key. If I knew about someone cheating who has an auth key, I would definitely go and ask eihrul to revoke that key. We conclude: having auth doesn’t mean you are a member of some secret society of “trusted cheaters” or something.

      When you see players that get good stats and know that they have an authkey, there is not necessarily a correlation between those, but instead they share a common cause: that player has probably been playing a) for a long time or b) a lot lately, and has proven himself to be a good member of the general Sauer community (not sauercom, not crowd, but all of these sub-communities combined: no matter where he’s liked, he’ll get recommended for an auth key if he is acting mature and responsibly). Playing for a long time or at least playing a lot recently most of the time goes along with that player becoming good.
      Mind you, not in every case: I stick around mostly for the people I know in the community, the code base I can build stuff around and the fragmovies I make. Playing every now and then is fun of course, and I’m very happy I get to play with such good players even though I’m sometimes more of a handicap for my team :P.

      I know from years of experience that there definitely are players that seem to be superhuman when you watch them! I remember spectating tenshi during a PSL (read: anti-cheat client) insta 1on1 and it was mind-boggling what kind of shots they hit and how well they can predict the opponents steps. The same is true about team modes by the way: I remember a match of JG on forge when they were on their high point and I don’t think I’ve seen such a level of teamplay ever since, except maybe vaQ. Software like Mumble and a good amount of training are necessary to reach that level, but I have no doubt JG (and now vaQ) had/has exactly that. TC on their high point were even better than JG I was told, and from what I heard and saw as a newcomer back then I can’t say the opposite.

      My point is: since PSL days, where using their good anti-cheat client was mandatory to take part, the overall level of skill in Sauer hasn’t increased I think. It’s pretty much stayed the same I would say. There are outliers that get a lot of shit and cheating accusations today (Potato/starch, Joran, …), but the same thing was happening back in PSL: Jokerstar from w00p got 70% accuracy on PSL1 public games years ago.

      Some other points I just feel like pointing out, in no particular order:
      – coding cheat detection server-side is definitely harder than you seem to think, and a high ping is definitely one of the problems… PSL1 has basic things like speed hack detection and others, btw.
      – removing the auth system is a bad idea for several reasons, one of them: very few servers are actually monitored 24/7; cheaters would be free to do whatever they want on those

      Lastly: “we” (I assume you talk about the Sauerworld team?) are not trying to be an authority or something like that. We just want to create a place for people to find information, entertainment, and a place to participate and interact with the community, which we do by several means: interviews, map presentations, MoG videos, Q&A series, the forum, ComEd, eventually a league, and more things that are targeted to improve the overall Sauerbraten experience. You are free to visit this site, consume our “products”, and be a part of the community, but we are in no way going to force you to. If you choose to keep playing the devil’s advocate in comment sections, we actually welcome that, but please don’t call us an authority.

  4. hueman

    A cheater should be forever banned. If you have any respect for this game or its community, you simply don’t cheat. Anyone who thinks they deserve a second chance is probably a cheater or an idiot.
    It’s a matter of principle, and serves as a determent on top.
    If cheaters thought they wouldn’t get away with it, many of them probably wouldn’t bother.
    Anyone who does it anyway shows a mindset with which they just need to get the fuck out of here. Forever.

    Also, stop playing insta you faggots

  5. Giuku

    I hate cheaters. they are everywhere! in my opinion they should be banned pemanently ! I can’t see any satisfaction in winning by any means. i like to be among the best on my own work! then i am satisfied of myself and my work. ;) No cheating !!

  6. another_unnamed

    First of all.. there are no publicly viewable repositories or rosters showing who was/is actually using an anti-cheat and for how long with timestamps. And on which server.
    It is stupid to attack the people who are doing their level best in ensuring the game remains idiot free.

    This should be made public but the detections (if any) of course are kept hidden. And it should not allow stalking by ip, id and clan tags. A delay of between 30 mins to 24hrs is recommended before updates are made.

    Please work on that and make it work. And make modified clients unwelcome

    I want to know if that unnamed above is worth his salt.


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