Vice City: Multiplayer

VC:MP Discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: NC on August 4th, 2015, 10:07 PM

Title: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: NC on August 4th, 2015, 10:07 PM
Hello, it’s me. I hope some players still remember me. I was inactive for almost a year and the same will happen after summer, but until that I will be around.

As already said, I was inactive for a year. Recently I wanted to see how VCMP works nowadays. I updated the client and suddenly ASI mods refused to work. Thanks to some people I know that this was caused by one of the updates
http://forum.vc-mp.org/?topic=758

“As part of an ongoing anticheat effort, ASIs may no longer be loaded.”... I have to say that I was (and still am) mad (or even frustrated) because of this.

Because SCM scripting and CLEO were not possible in 0.4, but ASI mods were supported, I decided to learn some basics to make new mods for VC/VCMP by coding them into ASI and port already created mods to ASI. For those who don’t know, I released two stable ASI mods so far – Chat Resizer ( http://www.gtagarage.com/mods/show.php?id=26551 ) which brings back the F7 key from R2 to 0.4 and Volumer ( http://www.gtagarage.com/mods/show.php?id=24825 ) for changing the game volume with keypresses. It was not easy to make them, they took definitely more time than they are worth, but I was happy that I can have such useful mods in VCMP and share them with the community.

Now, after disabling ASI files, both of my mods turned into dust. Was this the point of disabling ASI? To prevent regular players from using mods which made them playing VCMP more enjoyable?

As we read in the update post, it was disabled because it was a way to use cheats. Apparently grass is green. Sure, but even after disabling ASI, hacks will exist. Hey, Cheat Engine still works right? Why do not write an letter to the developer of Cheat Engine and force him to discontinue the work because it may be used inappropriate as a hack?

Okay, I’ll calm down, too much sarcasm. I’m almost sure every author of a cheat for VCMP will just have to make some small changes to have the hacks working again. Then he will upload it somewhere on the web and cheating people will download it and run... Just like now.

Conclusion, after this update
-   regular players can’t use non-hack mods
-   hackers will hack

And so the only victims of this update are in general noncheating players. Was this the goal?

Speaking now for the whole VCMP community, bring back ASI support!

If after reading the post there will be still a “no” vote, please at least consider creating either a whitelist or blacklist of mods which can/can’t be used in VCMP or give server admins the right to decide about entering a server with mods. We can talk about it later, but let’s focus on the main topic.

Thank you for reading,
NC
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: . on August 4th, 2015, 10:42 PM
Quote from NC on August 4th, 2015, 10:07 PM
...
-   hackers will hack
...
That's what I said.
Quote from NC on August 4th, 2015, 10:07 PM
...
And so the only victims of this update are in general noncheating players. Was this the goal?
...
That's why you get shitty slow games nowadays.



Anyway, that's how this world works. Why even bother ;D btw, make this a pool if you want voting.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Sebastian on August 4th, 2015, 10:47 PM
Totally agree.
Developers are not seeing the difference in-game because they are not using such mods.
I'm aware that you are using vanila vc because this mod is created for vanila vc, but any improvment to it's graphics is welcome, because it's an old game that can look better.

I use ASIes to make the game better looking, with mods like Project2DFX(http://gtaforums.com/topic/573478-project2dfx/) (a basic version actually), mod that increases the visiblity range of water(http://www.gtagarage.com/mods/show.php?id=25707), GFX(http://gtaforums.com/topic/281790-wiptest-vc-gfx/) which add reflection on vehicles, water, etc.

Also, today I have noticed 2 chinese hackers. (health-hack)
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: NC on August 4th, 2015, 10:56 PM
@S.L.C I think there is no need for a poll, but we will see where the topic will go. Let people speak what they think now.

Seby touched another important thing I forgot - there are so many graphic mods that people want to use. I'm not a fan of such mods, but just take a look at Project2DFX. It looks gorgeous, it was even nominated for GTAF Awards if I remember. After you get used to it in single player it might be really difficult to play without it. And then you turn VCMP and it is all gone... Is this a hack? Of course not.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Stormeus on August 4th, 2015, 11:27 PM
I'd offer my thoughts on the subject but I don't think I have the patience to engage in this debate again.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Brian on August 5th, 2015, 01:02 AM
I am still able to use ASI mods through the vcmp_config file, it never got disabled for me when updated. ASI should be supported due to the things that can be created as NC has already said.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Milko on August 5th, 2015, 01:37 AM
Well, I think those mods should be imported to VCMP. Like, enabling/disabling a feature in vcmp_config and setting hotkeys.
 They're cool enough for  VCMP, and I doubt NC would have something against that.

Though, about cheats, there already are HP, noclip and flying hacks on the scene.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Banaqs on August 5th, 2015, 02:20 AM
Some players have asi loader for vcmp...
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Gudio on August 5th, 2015, 05:13 AM
Since it is possible to ban players' hardware IDs,  server owners do not have to worry of evading like on 0.3zR2. The combination of hardware IDs and IP address is enough and better solution. There are no games where cheaters are not encountered.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: DizzasTeR on August 5th, 2015, 05:23 AM
What @Gudio said plus, if we are going to have an Anti Cheat which is fully perfect ( that ain't possible ) and all that, why do we have ban function? Its there to ban hackers, let them come and get themselves banned... Its how things work..
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Gudio on August 5th, 2015, 05:40 AM
@Doom_Killer
The ban function is not just for taking an action against cheaters but destructive behaviour etc.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: DizzasTeR on August 5th, 2015, 06:15 AM
@Gudio, We can do alot other things for destructive behavior as well ( mute, kick, slap, warns etc ), and if those doesn't help then we come for ban.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: DeViL_JiN on August 5th, 2015, 06:26 AM
Hackers will keep on hacking.
Speed hack is still possible without asi :P
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: NC on August 5th, 2015, 07:18 AM
@Storm I'd love to see what you've got to say. "This debate again"? So there were voices to bring back ASI, good, at least you know then that people want them back.

You've got 4 links to various mods in the topic already. Tell me, which one of there is a hack? And as you see, people report that players are using cheats on servers. That's what I said, disabling ASI made more harm to non-cheating players.

@Milko sure, but it's more about allowing to use hundreds of mods which are ready to download on the web - you can't port them all into VCMP :).
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Stormeus on August 5th, 2015, 08:29 AM
Quote from NC on August 5th, 2015, 07:18 AM
You've got 4 links to various mods in the topic already. Tell me, which one of there is a hack?
That's confirmation bias if anything. You won't see anyone link to hacks, though it does seem that everyone is very quick to forget the whole debacle that surrounded the F1 hack ASI and the damage that it caused to the community with the rampant allegations of F1 hacking.
Quote
And as you see, people report that players are using cheats on servers. That's what I said, disabling ASI made more harm to non-cheating players.
What you're basically is saying is that there are still some hackers, therefore we might as well just completely toss this mechanism as well, which makes no sense.

And I'm not in any rush to get ASIs added back in. MTA:SA compounds their own anticheat mechanisms with ASI blocking, and I'd like to work toward something like their system. LU disables ASIs and no one complained about that. The notion that players in a multiplayer game should be able to load their own arbitrary code whenever they want is absurd, as the risk of doing so outweighs the benefits it may provide.

For us to allow "whitelisting" ASIs would also be a technical challenge in and of itself. Lists would have to be updated any time a single ASI on the whitelist is updated. The list's source could be spoofed. If we allow servers to determine whether they want ASIs or not, a player could connect to a server which allows ASIs, disconnect, and try manually /connecting to a server that disallows them.

And of course no one is going to mention that there is a native cheat ASI that allows you to spawn weapons and reset your health to 1000 here:
http://www.gtagarage.com/mods/show.php?id=25929

Or how the widely used, native widescreen ASI breaks FOV and made people more unhittable while remaining uneasily detectable:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wdvutNK-nQ

Or how there is an entire thread(http://gtaforums.com/topic/117195-documenting-gta3vc-memory-addresses/page-1) on the GTAForums dedicated to finding memory addresses in VC that would be useful for any purpose, nefarious or otherwise, that also includes a publicly released IDB(http://gtaforums.com/topic/117195-documenting-gta3vc-memory-addresses/?p=1061051886) labeling assorted functions in the game code.

Or how s0beit became a universally hated name in the SA:MP community because of his ASI hack(https://github.com/BlastHackNet/mod_s0beit_sa), as SA:MP doesn't disable ASIs. This considering how the VC:MP 0.1c source code and the Vice Players fork of it(https://code.google.com/p/vice-players/) expose game internals that can be abused to develop hacks themselves, like my own aimbot proof-of-concept:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP8REP0DELQ

Meanwhile, after blocking ASIs and adding other internal anticheat mechanisms, hacking reports on Littlewhitey's have plummeted to near-zero levels between 0.3 and 0.4, with death evading and spamming being the more common reports now as opposed to the days of yore where you could easily find someone airbreaking or running the 2012 Trainer.

But please tell me more about how we're only hurting nonhackers. Or don't, because like I said before, I don't have the patience to hear how blocking ASIs is literally destroying VC:MP.

And why the lack of patience? Because there's no way for me, as a developer, to satisfy people in this community with this issue or win people over in this debate.

If ASIs are disabled, people who enjoy their visual enhancements or VC:MP modifications are discontent with the inconvenience. If ASIs are enabled, we get to deal with more rampant hacking allegations, broken FOVs, and a possible resurgence in game-breaking issues like the F1 hack that would be easier to counter without ASIs present. I just consider the second option the better alternative.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: rww on August 5th, 2015, 09:28 AM
(http://i57.tinypic.com/1zbbdlf.jpg)

Widescreen,  silentpatch, VC gfx hack... in newest vcmp version...

LU also have Asi loader...

But SOme people think that VCmp can't Use asi hacks...
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Stormeus on August 5th, 2015, 10:37 AM
Quote from rwwpl on August 5th, 2015, 09:28 AM
But SOme people think that VCmp can't Use asi hacks...
Because it wasn't intended to, nor was LU, though it was stuff like this and the client-side exploits that led the LU devs to develop it less because of the rampant hacking and abuse there. This is just circumventing protections that were in place. I'll bet people will just use this as another argument as to why we should just re-enable ASIs, because why bother anyway?
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: NC on August 5th, 2015, 12:24 PM
@Storm
I've never said that there are only "good" asi mods. There are "good" and "bad", but blocking both just because of the "bad" ones is ridiculous.
Quote
The notion that players in a multiplayer game should be able to load their own arbitrary code whenever they want is absurd, as the risk of doing so outweighs the benefits it may provide.
Then again, tell me what's wrong with mods here posted?
Quote
For us to allow "whitelisting" ASIs would also be a technical challenge in and of itself. Lists would have to be updated any time a single ASI on the whitelist is updated. The list's source could be spoofed. If we allow servers to determine whether they want ASIs or not, a player could connect to a server which allows ASIs, disconnect, and try manually /connecting to a server that disallows them.
"Everything is possible if you really want it". Let's leave technical details for later, but I'm sure there is a way to handle this.
Quote
Or how the widely used, native widescreen ASI breaks FOV and made people more unhittable while remaining uneasily detectable:
The most popular widescreen mod is developed by ThirteenAG. He is still around, why do not ask him to work together on a solution for this problem? Oh no, wait, better to disable it...
Quote
Or how there is an entire thread on the GTAForums dedicated to finding memory addresses in VC that would be useful for any purpose, nefarious or otherwise, that also includes a publicly released IDB labeling assorted functions in the game code.
As said in the first post - write a letter to Cheat Engine developer.
Quote
But please tell me more about how we're only hurting nonhackers. Or don't, because like I said before, I don't have the patience to hear how blocking ASIs is literally destroying VC:MP.
Yes, you are hurting. You see, cheat creators will still find new ways to enable their hacks in online multiplayers. But someone like me won't bother spending hours on creating mods à la trainer to have the F7 key back in VCMP for example.

As you see from rwwpl's screenie, people already found a way to enable back ASIs. Tell me more that this asi-block mechanism present in VCMP is working.
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: kokia on August 5th, 2015, 03:13 PM
i vote for asi support to bring it back!
Title: Re: Bring back ASI support!
Post by: Stormeus on August 5th, 2015, 08:41 PM
Quote
Tell me more that this asi-block mechanism present in VCMP is working.
It's a bit difficult to prove a negative. And the answer to people circumventing anti-cheat measures isn't to abandon it but to evolve them.

If you want a feature in VC:MP, request it. The F7 hotkey was already added to the development version (in 10 minutes, nonetheless). Widescreen fixes and draw distance modifications could be added in trivially as well.

The answer to this ASI nonsense is no. Regardless of how many good ASIs you may link, I have zero faith in the community as a whole to responsibly use something so powerful, especially considering how absolutely no one seems to remember the confusion caused by widescreen fixes, trainers and F1 in 0.3, and that's what it comes down to.

This is not up for debate. If you don't like it, make your own mod.