Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DiRT 2 - Cheaters Paradise

So the guys at work scored a few copies of DiRT 2 and we've been having fun setting times and breaking each others records. Well those of us that have the "Time" (IE Skill) to be competitive.

The online leader board allows us to keep track of each other and download each others ghosts to race against. It's always a laugh to download the Bosses 2.08 minute time then beat it in 1.42 minutes... Don't know why that is, perhaps I'm just really petty.

But I digress the issue with the leader boards is the bloody cheaters! When you've got world record holders 20 - 40 seconds faster than everyone else you know something is amiss.

I've managed to get a hold of a ghost lap for one such record holder and about 100m from the start line he just veers of the road and cuts an enormous section off the track! CHEATING BASTARD! Well I of course tried to follow his clearly more optimal racing line but my car just reset on the road leaving me feeling frustrated and guilty for trying to cheat.

Well those feelings of frustration were short lived. For it is a well know fact when something annoys a geek he'll move heaven and earth to address the annoyance.

Fortunately for me I didn't have to move Heaven or Earth just some files.
Dig around in the games install folder and you'll never know what you'll find! Well in my case I found each track has a file called "resetlines.cqtc" if this file were to "go missing" so will the reset lines for that track. Then the user is free to drive where ever they want! So that's how they're doing it!

CHEATING BASTARDS! But at least I can see how it's done. Also I'll admit it is fun to be able to explore the tracks a little more and invent little challenges for myself.

Clearly CodeMasters don't really mind if the user twiddles with their racing sim then posts to results on the public leader boards. This is a trivially easy "mod" (IE exploit) that is just plain dumb. I take this as a sign of the games multiplatform development. But having said that how difficult is it to perform the same Exploit on a hacked XBox 360? I can't comment on that having never made the attempt but I IMAGINE it wouldn't be much harder.

For crying out loud I moved a file and was able bypass huge sections of track... It seems to me that this would be a very easy exploit to monitor and prevent. Given that it extensively diminishes the enjoyment of the online leader boards for many users, it's really just not good enough.

For shame CodeMasters FOR SHAME!

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