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Vicarious Existence

To blog about what is going on in the MMO genre from a casual MMO player's viewpoint.

Author: UnSub

Warhammer Online Client is Hackable - WAR Is Everywhere, Even Against the Client

Posted by UnSub Monday January 19 2009 at 8:46PM
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Information is coming out that the Warhammer Online (WAR) client is hackable in a multitude of different ways - stealthers can be detected on a radar; WAR characters can super leap, fly or superspeed their way around; characters can auto-rez, etc.

Here's a video on YouTube of some of the hacks.

It's not surprising that in a PvP game (well, a game that promised really hard that it would be about PvP) that players would attempt to use use hacks. What is surprising is the amount of information that WAR apparently lets the player-side client handle. It is not like client side hacking is new, or that it is easy to stamp out (even World of Warcraft has been impacted from time to time by them) but it is a pretty basic issue that MMOs face and should aim to minimise in terms of in-game impact. It's a programming law that "the client is in the hands of the enemy", because players will use the client in a myriad of ways to get an advantage. MMO developers should have as many protections as is feasible to stop them, including limiting the amount of information sent to the client to the bare essentials.

Perhaps I should be surprised that Mythic didn't put more design time into avoiding these issues, or more countermeasures to stop them. Especially when Mythic had to deal with very similar issues with Dark Age of Camelot. The DAOC radar hack is probably the most well known, but speed hacks and teleport exploits certainly weren't unknown. But then WAR has been underwhelming across a wide range of areas: why not also exploit protections?

(Side notes: firstly, don't ask where to find WAR hacks - I'm sure you can find them on your own and take the risks in installing a third party application from a source that has already shown no respect for a multi-million dollar application, so has a chance of not respecting your PC and its contents either. Secondly, these hacks are bad because it's cheating. It's as simple as that.)