The word "Cheating" identifies, in computer games, a number of actions that a player can take to make the game easier for himself. Cheating is usually targeted at solving quests faster, gaining more money/resources/items faster, becoming invulnerable, etc... While cheating, the player uses workaround or tools that the game designer didn't create for him, basically spoiling the original creation of the designers.
In single player games surely it is. It happens many times to be in an adventure game stuck at a certain point and no way to get around it, or to be facing an incredibly powerful monster in a first person shooter game, and have no way to solve it just because it's too hard. In those games cheats allows you to remove the issue, and to go further, enjoying even much the game since you removed the frustration of not going further. Since those are single player games the effects of cheating are just on yourself, so you can decide to cheat without any other impact.
In games like PlaneShift things are extremely different. You are not playing alone and using a cheat is not solely an advantage for you. An online role playing game is mainly based on the community of players and on the realism and balance that the simulated world recreates.
Like in any good movie or book, if you don't believe in the story being told, it will simply look silly and pointless. The same is for role playing games. These are based on imagination.
There are two main ways to capture the imagination of players, giving a more immersive experience, having them believe in the story behind the game and in the game itself:
Realism is primarily felt thanks to detailed graphics and interaction with other players . If someone cheats, it's like breaking a mirror with a beautiful image reflected in it. His actions will seem fake, the world will seem fake, everything will look again like a simple game, the beauty of believing in a simulated medieval world fades away quite fast. In a game where imagination is of primary importance, breaking realism is a real crime.
Balance in achievements of the players' community is what gives a defined "space" to each player. Balance tells him how much effort he needs to reach a particular objective (ranks, money, crystals, items, quests...). Cheating completely destroys balance in game and consequently reduce the will of players to reach certain objectives and their affection to the game. It also reduces realism.
Given the two points above cheating in PlaneShift is absolutely not allowed.
A player that cheats, has not understood what a role playing game is. If you believe in the simulated world, you cannot cheat, because you cannot break world rules.
A player that cheats is considered to disrupt the experience of other good players since he breaks realism and balance. He will not be tolerated in our online community.
Even if common sense is the best judge on what's considered cheating, it's good to give you some guidelines on what we consider cheating in PlaneShift.
As a general rule we can say that we consider cheating any voluntary action that a player takes hacking the client, hacking the server, publishing/using quests solutions on the web or exploiting a game bug to:
Some common hacks are for example: move faster than all other players, highlight hidden items/monsters, walk through solid objects or fly, change lighting to see in darkness, etc...
The "voluntary" part is quite important. The game can have bugs, so it may happen, for example, that one simple dagger present in your inventory is transformed into a very powerful item due to a bug. This case is obviously not considered cheating, you just have to report the fact to us ([email protected]). Keeping the item without notifying the developers is considered cheating. The wrong item will be removed, and you will be rewarded for spotting the bug with another item or in-game money.
In Molecular Blue version we had just few tools to spot cheaters, but in next version we have a lot more tools. Basically the server logs all activities that are not considered legal, or are suspicious. The log is then manually read by developers and actions will be taken.
We do not tolerate cheating in any way, considering it a theft against all other players and a disruption of the work done by developers. For this reason cheaters have this destiny;
The duration of the ban depends on the gravity of the action. For evident and continuous cheating the ban is permanent, life-time.
It's important to note that we do not take actions immediately on a cheater. We collect info on him with the objective to stop all his actions at proper time. Cheaters tend to have more characters, party with other cheaters and so on. If a cheater is detected and flagged as a cheater, action can be taken against them even months later.
Absolutely not. As we said our actions are not taken immediately when a potential cheat is detected and the ban is done when massively evident proof is against a cheater.
Here is some advice for you:
You should never test hacks on an official server. Download the CVS version of the PlaneShift server and test your hacks or mods locally, on your private server. Then report to us your findings, you will be rewarded if you find any good hack and a solution to it.
Modifications to the client content (graphics, sounds, ...) are not allowed by PS License. In particular we will not tolerate players using mods to connect to an official server if those allow cheating, or modify the visual aspects of the game or its design. If you want to add levels or graphics to PlaneShift you are more then welcome to participate in our development.