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Cheating at Multiplayer Online Games An-Cheng Huang Bruce Maggs.

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1 Cheating at Multiplayer Online Games An-Cheng Huang Bruce Maggs

2 A small confession… Your professor is a notorious cheater

3 Types of MOG: Categorization by Genre First-Person Shooter (FPS) Role-Playing Game (RPG) Real-Time Strategy (RTS)

4 First-Person Shooter (FPS) Game world Player character Weapons Aim + shoot Call of Duty, Activision / Infinity Ward

5 FPS (cont.) Game world    

6 Role-Playing Game (RPG) Game world Player character “Weapons” Accomplish task, improve (virtual) ability, accomplish harder task, etc. Diablo II, Blizzard Entertainment / Blizzard North (?)

7 RPG (cont.) Game world     

8 Real-Time Strategy (RTS) Game world “Units” Explore, build, combat Rise of Nations, Microsoft

9 RTS (cont.) Game world             

10 Categorization by Persistency No persistency Persistent player information Persistent game world Persistency –Local: e.g., run a persistent server for a few friends –Global: e.g., game company hosts servers for all

11 No Persistency    Before gaming session During After

12 Persistent Player Information       Before gaming session During After   

13 Persistent Game World        Before gaming session During After  

14 Interesting Combinations n<=64 (16-32 mostly), no persistency, FPS: e.g., CoD n<=8 (2-4 mostly), no persistency, RTS: RoN n<=8, persistent player information, RPG: Diablo II n>1000, persistent game world, RPG: EverQuest n>1000, persistent game world, FPS: PlanetSide n: Number of players in a game world

15 PLATO Computer System PLATO IV Developed by the University of Illinois and the Control Data Corporation 1961 timesharing PLATO II begins 1964 invention of plasma panel 1968 PLATO IV begins Spun off as “NovaNET” late 1980’s Revived at

16 Innovations first LARGE on-line community invention of the plasma panel multimedia (built-in slide projector!) “personal notes” – email “group notes” – newsgroups “consulting mode” – desktop sharing widely used “term talk” (like Unix talk) Shared memory enabled multiplayer games IBM correctly attributes Lotus Notes to PLATO

17 Hardware Control Data mainframes designed by Seymour Cray Cyber 70, 176, CDC 6600, 7600 Magnetic core memory 60-bit words, 6-bit characters One’s-complement arithmetic Up to 1000 simultaneous users (NovaNET runs on Alpha today?)

18 PLATO IV Terminal 512x512 plasma panel 1200 baud connection to mainframe Stream of commands for displaying text and symbols, and for drawing lines

19 Multiplayer Games Dungeons and Dragons –e.g., oubliette, avatar Space –e.g., spasim, empire Warfare –e.g., airfight, panther

20 Empire

21 Empire Basics I am  shrike , a proud Klingon / Kazari Becoming a member of the Federation, a Vulcan/Orion, or a Romulan is equivalent to rooting for UNC The goal is to conquer the universe Ship fires phasers, photon torpedos Firing at correct angle inflicts more damage. To fire phasers at angle 233, type “f 233 NEXT” Ship makes a hyperjump when you replot the screen, based on time since last replot

22 Empire

23 The Clone Brothers I built a device that you plugged a keyboard into, and then it plugged into two separate PLATO IV terminals Small circuit waited for both terminals to acknowledge keystroke before telling keyboard Why? Fly two ships to same location in empire, then have double the firepower! Nicknamed the “Clone Brothers” device migrated to different clusters of PLATO terminals around campus at U of I

24 PLATO V Terminal Plasma panel and CRT versions Same 512 x 512 display 8080 processor implemented all graphics

25 PLATO V Terminal From

26 First-Person Shooter Bot 8080 had access to stream of commands sent to terminal from mainframe I wrote assembly code to determine angles to enemies on the screen (using an arctan look-up table) Program displayed exact angle above each enemy, with keyboard shortcuts to fire phasers or torpedos at that angle Also displayed a growing ellipse around ship to indicate distance of hyperjump Possibly the first first-person shooter bot? 1979?

27 Avatar

28 Avatar Basics Players join different guilds, e.g., fighter, magician, cleric, and gain different capabilities Players form groups and enter the dungeon together to fight monsters and gather treasures At one time possibly most popular multi- player on-line game in the world Co-authored with David Sides and Andrew Shapira, with help from many others My current character is dead on level one

29 Avatar

30 Duplicating Magical Items Strategy: give all of your magical items and gold to a friend, the crash the game before the changes to your character are recorded to disk! Negative: “unfair” and throws the game economy out of whack Positive: we quickly find out about serious bugs

31 Best Consulting Gig Ever I am hired by Jagex, maker of Runescape to document that third-party bots really work My character is exempted from being banned for using bots My kids complain that I am a cheater

32 Runescape

33 How do the bots work? Runescape is a Java applet Bot maker provides Java applet container Bot does not scrape the screen, but instead examines the byte code Bot determines position on screen of character, objects, etc.

34 Anti-Bot Measures Code is rearranged in different instances of bot Ultimately, all data stored in one master array, permuted in random order, killing bots! Many players quit when bots were defeated

35 Latency Compensation in Half-Life [Bernier GDC01] Naïve approach: dumb client    Player1 render player1 at (x1,y1) forward render player1 at (x1,y1) Response time for player: round-trip to server + server processing

36 Predicting Where I Am    Player1 render player1 at (x1,y1) forward render player1 at (x1,y1) render player1 at (x1,y1) render player1 at (x1,y1) render player1 at (x4,y4) forward

37 Predicting Where You Are Updates about other players’ locations not continuous Extrapolation (dead reckoning) –At last update, player2 is at (x1,y1) facing N with speed S  It should be at (x2,y2) now –Not good: in FPS, player movement very non-deterministic Interpolation –Impose an “interpolation delay” for rendering Update1 (x1,y1) Update2 (x2,y2) Update3 (x3,y3) Now Int. delay Now time

38 Lag Compensation Interpolation introduces a fixed lag (int. delay) –E.g., always see where you were 100 ms ago –Need to lead the target when aiming –Require players to extrapolate! Server-side lag compensation –Server uses the old location to compute hit/miss –Allows natural aiming/shooting –Possible weird experiences for players being fired upon  tradeoff for better game play

39    P1 P2 P3 Fair Message Exchange [Guo et al. NG03] Look at “fairness” in client-server games room    P1 P2 P3 (1 ms) P2 (3 ms) P1 (4 ms)

40 Fair Message Exchange (2) Different latencies can make the game “unfair” P1 P2 P3 Server time t=0 (RTT 5) (RTT 10) (RTT 15) 3 t=8 P2 1 t=11 P3 t=19 4 P1

41 Fair Message Exchange (3) Fair-ordering delivery without synchronized clocks (a simple case) P1 P2 P3 Server t=0 (RTT 5) (RTT 10) (RTT 15) 3 t=8 P2 1 t=11 P3 t=19 4 P1 P2,3,18 P3,1,16 P2,3,18 t=16 P2,3,18 P3 t=18 P2 Server waits (here 15) before performing action. Ordering based on response time.

42 Cheating Strategy Introduce artificial delay between client and server Lie about how long it took to respond (or take advantage of server thinking update was received last) Server will think client was first to shoot, even though it receives message last

43 Cheat-Proof Playout [Baughman & Levine INFOCOM01] Two types of cheats –“Suppress-correct cheat” under dead reckoning (extrapolation) –“Lookahead cheat”  P1  P2  ? predict  ? here  P2 here, actually

44 Cheat-Proof Playout [Baughman & Levine INFOCOM01] Two types of cheats –“Suppress-correct cheat” under dead reckoning (extrapolation) –“Lookahead cheat” game advances in frames  P1  P2 fire do nothing  P1  P2 fire duck

45 Security How are cheaters actually cheating in reality? AA BB Exit & save Crash server (s.t. not saved) AA BB AA BB “Duping” in D2 (persistent player) Maphack for RTS (should only see occupied area)  modify game client to display everything

46 Security (2) Video card driver / texture, auto-aim / auto-shoot bots transparent

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