Ladder Hacking?

General Discussion about Trackmania Nations ESWC.

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Post by Markus » 28 Jun 2007 15:10

Domi wrote:Damn you NADEO 'cause you did nothing again!! :shock: This was great oportunity to fix the ladder and solve boost problem and you dissapointed your comunity again!! :!: Shame on you ! :evil:
sorry if i reply here since i diont play TMN know this is a free game?
You know they work on this game now and in future?
you know points dont show your real skills?

guys...take the time to think about some facts, because if you piss off NADEO it wont change anything and for ever thought about that: NADEO could close the free game!!!???

man man man...if you would create such a game and would get such replys, what would you do???
If you take care of the ladder and the points...sorry then you`re lost!
i know that game nearly from the beginning and there were always boosting!

lol they dont take care for the community? wahahahahahah...sorry, but the game and the NADEO servers are still running for free
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Post by tma » 28 Jun 2007 15:19

And you blatantly ignore the fact that you have absolutely no concept of how games or applications in general are made. Changes like this can require pretty deep delving into the source code - how deep is impossible to know without actually knowing it, but the house-analogy generally works well.. Ie: if you want to reposition a wall, you also have to dig space for the new foundation :P It's not just a matter of waving teh wand of ladder fixin'... The whole discussion rather reminds me of War3 and maphack flamewars.. So far as I know, blizzard where never able to make a proper fix for it because technically, it's almost impossible. Your client needs to know the position of enemy units, and since it does, someone clever can get that info - overriding the fog-of-war.. But of course, the clueless noobs would be like "OMG LOL BLIZZRAD NO HOW 2FIX DEY JUST DONT WANNA BCUZ DEY WANT ARE MONEYS SCREW U BLIZZAAR!" or something similarly intelligent..

I hate to sound like a fanboy here, and I'd rather they'd left the ladder in the "broken" state where boosting was pointless because it would've taken centuries to catch up, but sadly, I'm not in charge ;)

All that aside NOBODY has been able to come up even a halfway decent concept for a ladder-system yet in any case. If Nadeo's gonna spend the effort of completely redesigning how the ladder works, you can be sure they'll try very hard to get it right rather than change the ladder completely only to discover it was just another bandaid; temporary fix, because that - ladies and gentlemen, would be tonnes of effort all and for nothing.

- Someone in this thread suggested your rank should be decided through pure win-count, which I say wouldn't work. You could create one million fake accounts and win easily. Basically, people would be farming wins the way they're now farming points. Just a different currency that's all.
- Also as [POL]jakub pointed out, using win-to-lose ratio is fairly worthless as well. It would make people scared of playing with their real/good account for fear of **** up their ratio. Aside from that it would also encourage people to only race the tracks they already know, and preferably against complete newbies..

In general, the only systems I can think of that have worked reasonably well (though still far from perfectly) have been systems that subtract points from your score and therefore lowers your rank when you lose. The trouble with this for TMN is that, once again, it's so easy to make other accounts, and then people would be afraid to use their "good" accounts for ranked matches.. I think I saw someone on the forums mention this had been a problem in TMS as well. However, it's pretty much the only way I can see of preventing "point-farming" in any form: Have a reasonably finite pool of "points" that people can take from each other by winning, rather than continuously adding points which causes inflation, just like printing money.. Also throw in points-decay for unused accounts so points from unused accounts return to the pool. Of course, this has a thousand weaknesses as well.. Say I'm at the top of the ladder, with a fairly fierce competitor.. So I create a fake account, and play him - and manage to beat him a couple of times, thereby taking away points from my competitor without hurting my main account any of the times I lose.. No solution is perfect, but some are less sucky :P

I personally don't know how (nor how well) the ladder in TMU works since I never really play it, but TMU at least is insulated from multi-account exploits through costing money,. preventing people from using fake accts to a large extent (unless they're stupid enough to shell out for multiple copies for boostin'...).

That's it for my mammoth-sized post :P I shall now go back to ignoring the ladder completely like before..

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Post by =THC=Flash » 28 Jun 2007 16:06

Finnaly is all as it was before the Big Bug, thx Alinoa and Nadeo for all the efforts. Boost or restarting Ladder is other subject that dont belong to this Forum Topic!! THX NADEO, continue the good work!!

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Post by Mac Matrix » 28 Jun 2007 16:47

In response to tma's post.

What about the TMS ladder concept? i.e. if a low rank loses to a high rank they lose points? instead of gaining '0' points and being none the worse off? I don't know how that system works but would that make boosting completely impossible?
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Post by m&o » 28 Jun 2007 17:12

agree whit tma but I think when they ask some good ranked(or old good ranked that want to be good ranked again) to just report al boosters one by one and that that geys give information and stuf of there home and telfone to make more trust and that they do it for free if they can just keep clearing top10 from boosting or somthing and maby ladder restart becase the pther people can't getthat much points as boosters now have and Markus not from the begin becase there whas a time when I whas a noob I did go from 18000 to 3000 in an hour and people on the top I sawthen where I now play whit sayd they not not the begin

and I would be also happy deleting the ladder or that they set the bug back so boosters not can be at top 200 places:P

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Post by tma » 28 Jun 2007 17:27

Mac Matrix wrote:In response to tma's post.

What about the TMS ladder concept? i.e. if a low rank loses to a high rank they lose points? instead of gaining '0' points and being none the worse off? I don't know how that system works but would that make boosting completely impossible?
I've never played TMS, but I think, as you say, it's not a cumulative system like TMN. Your points decrease when losing. Also, the bigger the rank difference between you and another player, the more points you lose (I think?). This type of system has the side-effect I mentioned in my first post, of making people not play anymore with their main account once they reach a high rank etc. Say you gain 8pts by winning against a lower ranked player when you're rank 1 yourself - and lose 50... The only way to go is down, so people would stop playing, or not go official.. As I understand, this is/was exactly the issue with TMS system.

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Post by PF Buster » 28 Jun 2007 18:49

Mac Matrix wrote:
WTF? You say you're not a booster in the pf sense of the word and I accept that, but if you're serious about this then clearly you care about this way too much. I didn't even know about this ladder ****, but now I do... I don't give a damn. Doesn't affect the records does it? Just play the game, or have some serious thoughts about whether its the game or the points tha tmakes it fun.

I was very angry when I typed that. If I meant it, I wouldn't have posted the screenie =D

Of course I'm not quitting, **** the ladder in its entirety and I'm proud of the fact I got my rank through pure skills (besides that million-ish points that put me into w#1 for the night). I got my share of recs on servers and **** and I'm happy to be able to beat people's times.

All I ask is my rank isn't qiped compleely. I earned 62,000 points through pure work... so yeah. O_o;


I will make a very honest and serious point - from what Dr.Grip and someone else said on the earlier pages.

I am NOT a booster. In my fullest and honest opinion, boosting is pointless; not only is it a waste of time, but it requires no skill and no input (usually) and all it does is create a false sense of skill when in fact you have no bite to back up the bark, if you get what I mean.

Of course, because of that, I have a certain amount of 'pride', shall I put it, in my rank. Because all these 'boost 1000!!1111111toeen' servers with 50-ish people PFing make it difficult to get a low rank in the game - it requires skill to out-score a booster, and time too, and I have pride in knowing I am capable of, basically, kicking so much race-ass that I can get the points. I fully understand the ladder is corrupt; It's been that way since I started playing the game, but it's just the fact I have never really cheated the system in any way and that I am one of few who are able to earn the ranks they have and are able to back it up with the relevant driving skill.

So I can be fully understood to be angry when a bug occurs which sees millions of points per race given to people that can't even drive? Of course I am. Only in the reason that my hard-earned rank is suddenly demolished by utter race-noobs who probably don't know what an accelerator pedal is. I was so angry that , as beforesaid, I threatened myself to leave the game.

I'm not going to do that - one day later, and I've remembered again what the ladder is. Nothing. And I am just ignoring it.

Maybe I was wrong in the threat and my view, and my intent of action but I can't take away the fun of seeing 'Mac[z] has taken the 1 server record' in maps and laughing because I beat someone who put up a very good fight to get the rec I beat. That is what kept me racing and that's what always will do. The ladder means nothing; it's your name in records that are the real thing; only the best of drivers can do such things.

If I did offend anyone in the threat I also apologise; I also apologise to Grip for being someone 'boostish' in my original posts (or vague, shall I put it)

Oh yeah... Grip.. what was your server name and where is it again? I forgot.
You've got more balls than honesty Mac.....

I took this screeny a couple of weeks ago...... care to explain?

I have plenty of screen shots of you and other members of [z] cars if nadeo want them.


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Post by Mixy » 28 Jun 2007 19:43

Dude, we've all heard of photoshop, and seeing as that picture has lowsy quality, that is no proof. Still, i dont care if you have a 1000 pictures of same username and server, it doesn't really matter whether or not he is a booster. What matters is that Nadeo understands that they have to do something about this problem. Lately i've played alot of TMN, and was planning to buy TMU for valification until this happend. Anyway, seems something has been done now. As for Norway at least, the scores seems to be fixed. The extra scores has been removed.

BUT there is another problem, I just had one of my friends on MSN asking me if i wanted a rank under 1000 (i am like 24k now), i said no. Ofcourse, i am not gonna say his name, but i trust him. He has a really low rank, and he had it before (~600 before and >100 now). Anyway, he does not have the points required to get this rank. I dont know how he pulled it off, I am just saying that somethign needs to be done. The ladder as it is now, is broken.

He has less than 50 000 points, and he is amongst the top 25. Do something Nadeo, please.

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Post by PF Buster » 28 Jun 2007 20:45

Its lousy quality because this as this comps graphics card is a Geforce 4 and i have no need to photoshop it nor would i bother as i dont know mac personally or have a grudge against him. What i do have a problem with is boosters in general as it takes a lot of fun out of a game that i happen to enjoy. What galls me is the preaching of i dont boost blah blah and i hate boosters blah blah coming from someone who does it and lies to people about it being all high and mighty, i certainly wouldnt want to get anyones account reset if they didnt boost, that wouldnt be fair but i will do everything i can to get peoples accounts who purposely boost reset so they finally dont see the point in boosting. Rank used to mean something in this game and improving it was fun and getting points felt good. I dont have to convince you that this hasnt been photoshopped as mac happens to boost a great deal and all you have to do is look for boost servers in the evening and im sure youll find him yourself along with many others. Even as we speak 5 members of [z] are sitting in the lounge room, and although i know it isnt pf, its a locked boost server that only extremely low ranks can go in... nadeo need to stop this type of server and this type of boosting too.
Im not here to get angry at people but everyone who doesnt agree with pf boosting or locked server boosting need to get this across to nadeo and make it so it cant be ignored.

My only aim is to make nations fun again... and who doesnt want that?

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Post by Mattheus » 28 Jun 2007 20:48

Why don't only enable the ladder for people who have authenticated the game or who have bought a key to authenticate it. Then you have the right to complain when something is not ok with the ladder.

This has a few advantages:
- people who don't care about a ladder just play for the fun and don't authenticate.
- people who do care can complain when there's something wrong with it
- nadeo has to make a ladder whitout any problems and where boosting is not possible since we paid for it

The only problem then I can think of is that there will be servers where people get kicked because they don't have ladder activated, so that other players can't score points on them

It's just an idea... Hope it will be worth to discuss

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Post by [POL]jakub » 29 Jun 2007 00:12

so for 10 euros i can be important?
ill give it 100 euros to be 10 x as important, and again the boost starts...

when i said it would be a good idea, to base the ladder on wins, it was because i thnik it would be some kind of easy, because this number is already on everybodies account, and it cant be so difficult, to make a ranking out of it, as far as the programming is concerned.

of course there will be boost possibilities, and it will not show, who is the most skilled player, but at least it wouldnt be so easy to manipulate, because i cant imagine someone get like 50 own accounts on one server (and host this server).
this was only a desperate idea, which of course is not the best, but better then the exosting one.

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Post by Bad Ronald » 29 Jun 2007 01:18

As for proposals:

-Make a new type of authentication called gold accounts which would cost $10 USD, or $1 USD per month (or something else reasonable)
-Completely remove the old ladder
-Make a new ladder which only gold account members are able to use (to prevent multi-account problems)
-Base the ladder roughly around the ratio of wins to losses
-Further modify the points gained or lost based on the difference between the player who won and who he defeated
-so that a win against someone over 1000 spots above you is worth 3 points, +/- 1000 ranks is worth two points, anyone else 1 point
-a loss to someone over 1000 spots above you loses 1 point, +/- 1000 loses two points, 1000 or more places below loses 3 points
-the 1000 points is just an estimate

-Use the $10 per new authentication (or $1 USD per month, etc.) you've made to hire somebody/give some clerk a new job, where he will:
-randomly visit servers and check to see if they are blocking low ranked players or any other type of boost-like behavior
-suspend any server where this is encountered
-suspend any account who gets caught doing this multiple times

I love the game and will play it no matter what, but I hope some type of fix is being seriously considered at Nadeo. :)

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Post by [POL]jakub » 29 Jun 2007 01:36

they will never realise such a complicated system.
furthermore some of your ideas were already discussed here, and judged as bad ones.

i dont think it makes sense, we present the great ideas of all of us here, because 1. we dont have an idea how much programming, money and work it would cost, and 2. nadeo will never read our posts this carefully ( i conclude this out of alinoas post, who seemed not to pay very much attention to the posts here), which i completely understand, because they hopefully work on further tm developments.

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Post by TStarGermany » 29 Jun 2007 02:45

after all, it wouldnt be that hard to come up with a formula calculation which would provide a boostsafe,fair play.

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Post by Ferril » 29 Jun 2007 10:09

The problem with locked servers could easily be fixed with not alowing the ladder to be active on servers with passwords. That, however, won't stop server hosters from adding server scripts with rank limits combined with auto kicks. So we're basically back where we started.

The only sollution I can see to the problem would be to monitor the growth of points on accounts and "normalize" it compared to the growth in the majority of the TMN-community. Because I believe (hope) that there's only a small percentage that boost, I think this would work.

My idea would work something like this:
It requires a bit of computing, but if you take the ammount of points total gathered during a week, divide it by number of active accounts for, say, the last 6 months, and then multiplying it with each players win/lose ratio you would get a system that would be harder to fool since everyone would benefit from points earned by someone boosting. Since this update happens only once a week, it should be manageable for Nadeos servers.

[edit]I see the problem with boosting the win/lose ratio still exsists with this solution, but what if you only count the number of victories a player has over higher ranked players? This counter would be reset after every ladder update.[/edit]

Would it work?

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