Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Was Never A Hacker To Begin With.

When it comes to playing games online, I never hack. Everything I win or buy is earned. I never was into hacking or using trainers that allowed me to have an unfair advantage. I never got into that stuff. On Pangya, I'm just an Pangya Researcher Level II. I don't play Pangya to compete in tournaments or anything like that...I only do it to do pang farming and spinning cube farming in places like Wiz City Hole 6 or Pink Wind Hole 6 to gain experience points and pang. But if I have to take part in a contest, I do my best to just finish it off, even though I will get killed doing it. It is against my belief to quit a match that I have to play in. I am that much of a purist. Heck, I don't do a lot of special shots or use the power-ups. I just play golf the way it's meant to be played: without calculations or trainers or hacks.

Just hours ago I had sold a Kyouko Sakura wig for 1,000,000 Pang. I spent 700,000 and change on clothes, accessories and power-ups, then put 300,000 away in Dolfini's Locker, never to be touched for the long haul. Now I only have a thousand pang. So I look poor, but I'm well off; I just happen to be a big saver too.

So now I wanted to go ahead and share some suggestions this one Pangyateer made back in 2009. It's worth a read. I think his suggestions were put to good use in later editions of the game.

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, players and admins as well as NtreevUSA and whoever are the Snorlaxes doing the programming for this game on both client and server sides.
I am General Starr, and I really have one thing to say - that I am sick and tired of seeing the hacker cancer killing Pangya not to mention FAILGuard letting them through, the scammers scamming the crap out of noobs (srsly they still get scammed up to this day? And i'm like HOW DO THEY DO IT when the Gifting system is down?) and hearing them BAWWWWWWWing in the lobby about it (I aint even sure anymore if they really got scammed or just trying to give someone bad reputation), the foreigners who keep speaking Klingon or whatever language they are using and need to download and use Rosetta Stone [EN] from The Pirate Bay (after all, they pirate pretty much ANYTHING, even their Pangya hacks... curse them script babies), and the problematic noobs who can't find their gift items in the mailbox or whatever theyre looking for and cant even bother to go to the site FAQ cause they need2learn2Alt+Tab Pangya/IE:Memory Leaker, FurryFox, Chromium, whatever. We need to get rid of this cancer before I lose it, call for /b/lackup and end this shipment of FAIL. PRIMARILY THE BLARSTED HACKERS.

Suggestion #1 : Server-side antihack by Maximum Value Allowance Limit (This should be somewhat easy to implement lol; call your tech-savvy staff to get the gist of it)
What I mean by this is taking whatever data the player's client sends to the server, compare the data to a preset value table and verify it hasnt gone over the 'limit'. For instance, it is a known fact that it is IMPOSSIBLE to earn 2K worth of Pang on one single hole with the exception of a very select few holes on certain courses, although this would require verification and the right conditions (i.e., Clash, Recovery or whatever multiplier could possibly allow the player to obtain more Pang from that hole.) Here is an example (if you are not technicaly oriented or dont understand this, dont even bother trying - and BTW, I dont really know if the client-server data exchange is really like this, this is just an example)

Course#6 HoleData: HoleNum=10; HoleAvgTurn=3 Hdist=236y; HHeight=5.24; WindDir=35deg; WindStr=4m; /*This says that this is Blue Moon Back hole 10*/
PlayerStat: Pwr=31; Ctl=21; Acc=15; Spn=7; Crv=9; PlayerRange: 200+(2*31)=262y /* Here the player's power can be verified if correct */
Caddie=1; CaddieNum=5; CaddieSkin=1; PowerGagePercAdd=30% /*33% needed for a powershot amirite*/
SpecCond: PwrShotUse=0; PwrPot=0; PwMilk=0; Add15yPot=0; BallSpinUsed=7; CurveUsed=0; PwrPerc=99=260y; Effect_BackSpin=1; SuperPangya=0; SpecialShot=0; ClashBonus=0; RecovBonus=0; /*This section takes care of all possible alterations to things such as potions used, making sure only one is used, Player's FINAL club distance, and any other variable that may increase the Pang earned by the player*/
ShotTurn=1 ShotFinalDistToHole=0.00y /* if u dont get it, means HIO lol */
EarnedScoreThisHole=-2 TotalScore=-2 EarnedRegPang=1127; EarnedTotalRegPang=1127 /*Some lower range people may get a little more*/
EarnedBonusPang=55; EarnedTotalBonusPang=55 /*No way you can earn more than 200 Bonus Pang in one shot, is there? (Except for Clear Bonuses)*/
EnvData:Course#6; HoleNum[10]&HoleAvgTurn[3]:Y /*This is to kill any 'hole number switcher' hax*/ PlayerStat_Pwr=31[200*(2*31)=262y]=Player1WClubDist[262y]:Y /*to kill any distance/power stat hax*/
ShotData: ShotTurn[1]&FinalDistToHole[0.00y]:[HoleInOne] = HoleHIOAllowed=1:Y /* and/or */ ShotData: (ShotTurn[1]) - (HoleAvgTurn[3]) = HoleScore[-2]: Y /*Just maybe... a combo to kill HIOing Impossible to HIO Hole scores (as determined by legitimate player scoring) and Earned Score Manipulation (You can only earn -2 if you HIO a par 3, etc.)*/
EarnedPangTable: EarnedRegPang[1127] < MaxAllowedHoleRegPang(Course#6,Hole#10)[2120]: Y /*This kills any Pang hacks by limiting the Pang earned per hole with a preset value - the maximum earned pang without 'not-so-common mulitpliers' such as Recovery Bonus. BTW, these maximum values are just examples.*/
EarnedPangTable: (RecovBonus=1;)EarnedRegPang[2245] < EMaxAllowedHoleRegPang(Course#6,Hole#10) [3090]: Y /*An adjustment if Recovery Bonus and any other multiplier IS PRESENT. As for ClashBonus...*/
ClashBonusMaxLimitX=16 (?) /*We might need to limit this. I am not sure but I have received intel that some methods of pang hacking use this multiplier to increase earned pang. Although, the Pang Limit Per Hole (just above) pretty much defeats that. However this is indeed a gray area, even if the odds of some exceedingly lucky player getting a ton of ClashBonus and HIOing that same shot is almost impossible and nearly negligible, it may be taken into account.*/
In essence,this is a server-side limiter that NO HACKER can possibly hack, killing them and their hacks in droves. I suggest an IP/+Account tempban/suspension that goes into effect when game ends, pending investigation as to how the player made the values false (e.g. hacked, maybe got lucky shot, etc.) and contacting player telling him his acc is tempblocked cause he went past a maximum allowed value for Pang, HIO-to-hole relationship, whatever. Optionable for this is enable Ghost Data(Recent) for all players and any number of holes - essentially creating 2 Ghostdata files; one for LastGamePlayed and one for the actual PlayerGhostData for that course (if 18 holes); because it is likely that most players cannot provide proof that they did not hack, exploit or do anything. A GM or Moderator/Janitor can review these GhostDatas by playing them and seeing if there is any inconsistencies with in-game gameplay limitations. Although it may either reveal that the player hacked or got really lucky, it should NOT be made primary evidence if player can submit proof that it was not a hacked play.
By the way, for the people who will post that some players can pull off really awesome shots involving massive amounts of pang earned and difficult if not impossible HIO/chipin shots: We are not dealing with uber-professional Pangya players; we are dealing with pathetic noobs who use hacks to make up for their lack of skills.

Suggestion #2: Enable a Non-Playable Character to handle ingame trades. This reminds me of a trading system that was used in Ragnarok Online, where the players can see what they're getting for whatever they are trading with. Essentially, the NPC can be in every Lounge room near a spawn point (where players initially appear) and have both trading characters near the NPC. Both talk to the NPC, and are given a selection list to choose which player to trade with. Once this is done, a window that has a tab for choosing which item in their inventory to trade, a value box for Pang trading, and a visual of what they are getting from the other player. Buttons: OK, Trade, Cancel.
Any change on the items or Pang value will reset the OK button, and they will not be able to trade until both players approve. Equipment stat upgrades and cards used on them should be viewable. There should be no limit on item value in relation to Pang allowed, because some people may trust their friend enough to let him borrow his equipment for a while. Optionally, If a 'borrowed' flag is inserted on the item, essentially it is 'bound' to return the the player who owns it in a preset amount of time, and any stat changes on it are reset back to the value they initially were when traded. Pang is pretty much given, but if you enable a 'borrow' option for it, the lender can set up to 5% interest... wait, never mind that. Given/bought=stat changes are kept, specially clubs; borrowed=stat changes applied by borrower are reset.
This might get you beggars sitting in lounge rooms and acting like hobos but it's somewhat better than people getting scammed or some other similar crap.
Suggestion #3: Alien language Prevention
- 3a: Ingame wordfilter commonly used non-English words used in speech. (WILL potentially make non -English players rage)
- 3b: Include an English Proficiency test (dont make it too simple) for new account registrations (will weed out Non-English proficient players
- 3c: Notice/TOS on website posted for all languages (require them to scroll down to read before allowing registration. Main Languages are probably going to be English (of course) and every other language that is used incessantly on lobby. So when you suspend/ban a persistent non-English speaking player, refer him to the miltilanguage TOS, emphasize the lobby language rules part.
Suggestion #4: Create an in-game accessible FAQ. I know you guys have an FAQ on the website, but the number of people asking where Cadie's Cauldron is, are cookie items tradeable, etc. seems to suggest that some players are either too lazy or too underage to read the website FAQ for the game or are not English speakers and cannot understand the regular FAQ on the site. Guess where they end up cluttering questions on: the lobby. It gets several times more annoying when the questions are not even in English, and it gets over 9000 times more annoying when a GM / Moderator is present - they end up getting ambushed and bombarded with questions, requests, etc. to the extent that they can'y do their job very well. I has seen them in acton and they do great work, but they dont stand a chance against the multitude of noobs that ask questions that can be answered by RTFM. (reading the friggin' manual [in this case, FAQ])
I might have more but it can get rather long so this is all i can suggest for now. I hope you can consider these.
General Starr

Update on #2:
Never mind the NPC, char-to-char trading in Lounge should have been the suggestion. Once again, both parties can see what they are getting in return, and can either approve or reject the trade at the last moment. Any changes in the items (add/subtract) resets the trade approval status.
There should be NO limitations whatsoever on tradeable items, but a passcode system similar to Dolfini's Locker should also be in place for trades as an added anti-account item theft feature. (Either same passcode or different). Essentially, you have to input a passcode before you can trade; this may be an inconvenience to some players but I think it is a great way to go.

In any case, if Ntreev can't do anything to get rid of the hacker cancer,  I just MIGHT cross over to the dark side and take over some silos. God have mercy on the hackers' souls then. Either that or call for some srs bsns /b/lackup.

Once again, as I like to say on GameRage and on Pangya, "I'm just a Pangya Researcher. See you around."