In the latest of the great land debates in the free-to-play title ArcheAge, hacking steps up to take its turn at the front of the line. Some players are claiming that certain third party programs are making it physically impossible for actual players to grab up much sought after plots of land when the current land holder fails to pay their taxes. To explain it clearly, if I fail to pay the in-game taxes on my previously claimed land, then you can come by and claim my land…provided you’re the first one to do so once the land is made available.




And there’s the issue. Since this essentially boils down to “he or she who clicks first, wins,” outside hacks are making it difficult for players to actually grab the land. By way of basic explanation, the accusation claims that some people are using 3rd party software to scan in game claims all day, everyday, and are then injecting packets into the game to make it seem like they were there and clicked when in reality they never even logged into the game.

In response, Trion Worlds’ CEO, Scott Hartsman took to reddit to update players.

I do appreciate that people are pointing this out. Seriously. The amount of effort going into finding a way to deduce when/if/what outside of the game is being used is rather extreme. What’s legit vs what isn’t is frequently extremely challenging to tell, even when you have total control of the code.
Unlike in the case where its our own game, where we can (and do) add new instrumentation/logging/detection daily until problems get stomped with prejudice, we’re limited here in only being able to act on what the game throws off as outputs to us. We can’t add new ones.
That said, this one is the next biggest priority. New theory being worked on right now, will holler if it pans out and we can act on it with confidence.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the “we just publish the game, we don’t develop it” mantra and while it is certainly true (and no doubt frustrating to Trion Worlds, I’m sure) using it too many times is sure to leave your player base feeling like nothing will ever be done.

ArcheAge players, have you noticed this happening in game? Let us know below!

the author

Mike "Magicman" Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site's current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.

19 Readers Commented

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  1. Patrick on October 10, 2015

    why not just make it rng or put a 2 h auction to bid for an expiering ground… solution is so easy…

  2. HereticZero on October 22, 2014

    If your player base can figure out who is using hacks it shouldn’t be this difficult for dev team to do the same. Even a simple logging program to keep track of repeat land grab “winners” across multiple zones will let you know who is a prime suspect.

  3. Seanny Chwan on October 9, 2014

    Active GM is what we need.I’ve been playing for months owning a huge land with 4 big farm around it and not sure if they actually have GM in game or not but i’ve never seen them on chat or GM running around.They need to make players to be well aware of GM ..seeing them here and there will be enough to scare of hackers.As for the bot is it so obvious to tell which is them or which is not. If they can’t even do these things then i guess they should not publish the game at first place.I’m sure Tron has lot of people working under them.But still makes me think “what the hell are they doing?”

  4. DC on October 8, 2014

    Here is a guy selling one of the hack programs and he is sooo proud of his cheating self. When you read the thread you’ll see that it’s full of little punks that cheat or are trying to.

    It’s disgusting to say the least.

    http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/mmo/archeage/archeage-bots-programs/493567-land-grabbing-hack-3.html#post3158594

  5. Anon Cow on October 8, 2014

    Ha, most of the mmo’s I see with anti-hack programs like hackshield are full of hackers and bots, it’s like they have the opposite effect of what they’re meant to do.

    • Byteme on October 11, 2014

      thats because CrapShield is know for keeping out legit players a 1000 times more than it ever has just 1 hacker, hell when CrapShield comes out with a new build if they don’t release the code a week before they get swamped with complaints, go figure who’s complaining

  6. Kystria on October 8, 2014

    I have talked with players in-game that were at the land sites at demolition only to find it taken by someone not even present. This morning I read a post on the Archeage forum that had 3 videos showing the hacks with other posts commenting on how they worked. A couple hours later the post was gone. The posts with Video and Screenshot proof of the hacks have been appearing and disappearing from the AA forums for a couple of weeks now.

    • Golgo28 on October 18, 2014

      That’s Trion for you.They try and supress any proof of their failures.Legit complaints either get removed or ignored.

    • Golgo28 on October 18, 2014

      That’s how Trion handles complaints.They suppress them instead pf fixing the problems.

  7. Jellopy on October 7, 2014

    I’m sorry but I feel no sorrow over the complete failure of this game. It had so much potential and they let greed ruin it fro everyone involved. If they could charge us a dime for mentioning the name of it they would. I despise what this company has become since Rift went free to play.

  8. Seraphyx on October 7, 2014

    The thing is, several of these “hacks” have been present since the alpha and beta test phases. What’s worse is that the game has been released overseas for at least a year if I recall so whoever is actively developing the game is very slow with the fixes or just doesn’t care enough.

    Most of the hacks are likely some sort of macro. However, if people are actually using a packet editor that’s a completely different problem that I’m surprised hasn’t been addressed by now. They should be able to add some sort of packet validation when claiming land plots at the very least.

  9. unholykrusher on October 7, 2014

    Sorry but the last time I checked when I first installed this game full of RUDE A**Hats it also installed 1 of them there ANTI-HACK Programs. which is supposed to actually detect these types of hacks including the ones that allows you to level your skills like in 9Dragons. so if someone is Hacking and doing this they are bypassing the Anti-Hack OR Cheating program and are most likely getting there information from someone who is either a Dev of the Anti Hack Program or someone who works closely with these devs.

  10. Apoth on October 7, 2014

    “What’s legit vs what isn’t is frequently extremely challenging to tell, even when you have total control of the code.”

    Really you can’t tell when someone is actually logged in vs someone who is not and using a 3rd party program?

    • Annonymouse on October 7, 2014

      Pretty sure that he was implying more so that differentiating on a network level as to which packets are legit and which aren’t is pretty challenging. this game probably gets hundreds of thousands of packets every second (if not millions). Differentiating between whether those packets are coming from someone who is logged in is probably not the issue, but identifying the illegitimate packets themselves is probably not easy at all especially when you can’t alter the netcode to do it at a software level.

      • sniperman248 on October 8, 2014

        typically when someone is using a third party system there personal ping goes up, the amount of server memory they uses or are limited to spikes and goes up at a high interval, along with common pattern movements, in which with todays bot detection tech is possible to implement and rid from the game.

        • Annonymouse on October 9, 2014

          Your ping isn’t going to go up if you are using a third party program unless you are tunneling through a VPN or using an entirely separate machine and different ISP for the bot really.

    • anip on October 9, 2014

      which is true

      because you can’t see through the computer screen to see if the person is actually there

      what the 3rd program do is… send out the same things as a normal players would do when they’re logged into the game.

      thus… you can’t tell who’s logging into the game, the player or the computer unless somehow you can hack through players computer cameras and see them, but than that would be illegal to do so.

  11. sniperman248 on October 7, 2014

    Sadly though Trion says they can fix this in reality nothing will ever be done or can be done do to every game has binary coding in which can be accessed and or hacked by outside sources to there advantage.

    • lolz on October 9, 2014

      You know nothing John Snow.

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