Warning: Zoom Hacks

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  • Warning: Zoom Hacks

    There were quite a few threads about so called zoom hacks in our forums recently.

    While we made numerous statements in these threads, we also feel that a proper announcement is in order such that everybody is made aware of the topic.

    What is a zoom hack?
    For the game to work properly, the server has to "tell" your computer the location of other players and objects a little before they actually appear at the edge of the screen. The extra distance here consists of a few in-game meters from the diagonal going from your character to the top left and top right corner. The reason why these extra meters are needed is that otherwise,there would be weird effects happening at the edge of your screen, i.e.characters would seem to pop-up and disappear out of nowhere.
    A zoom hack allows you to zoom the client out further then intended, and disable sin-client protections against this. It allows you to see other characters a bit further than the current name tag range. It's somewhat comparable to a wallhack in a shooter game, or a map hack in an RTS - though it does not show you the entire map, but gives you a few extra meters.

    Can it be prevented on a server level?
    It cannotbe fully prevented at a server level, as the additional distance of a few extra meters is needed to avoid lagging / glitching at the edge of your screen when other characters start appearing. We have already implemented - and willimplement further - technical hurdles that makes it harder to hack makers to get their tools to work. However, keep in mind that in principle, your client does "know" the location of other players a little earlier than he appears on your screen. Even if we graphically hide the player below a fog of war, a hacker could still find ways to disable that eventually.
    Notethat the impact is already being minimized by the name tag display. We are working on narrowing the current gap between the nametag display and the zoomhack further.

    Can it be detected?
    Zoom hacks modify the game client, and can be detected. Even if they did not modify the game client, there are other ways to detect them. For us, it is always a some tech work to make sure that particular hack program are automatically caught without running the risk of false positives. This is why we issue bans in waves, instead of banning offenders piece by piece, as it makes it much harder for the hack makers to adapt.
    On top of the above, we are also following up on all individual reports of hacking that we receive.

    Shortly, we will carry out our first ban wave for zoom hacks.
    • Everybody caught will be permanently banned. We will not accept any justification or excuse for having used the hack.
    • Note that users are responsible for their own accounts - your little sibling allegedly hacking on your account is not a valid excuse.
    • Note that you can also get banned for knowingly playing as part of party where some members are hacking.