"Hello there, good people of XWIS! I have just played a few online games and believe one of the other players had an unfair advantage. How can I tell that what they're doing isn't legit?"
Answer: Some forms of cheating are painstakingly obvious, others can be rather subtle, and then the rest are simply myths.
§ For example, you can see an all-unit hack in action as a Soviet player begins to pump out Prism Tanks from their single, Soviet-style War Factory on Red Alert 2 & Yuri's Revenge. Similarly, on Tiberian Sun, you'll also notice when a player starts illegally building up a devastating army of Tiberium Fiends.
§ Maphackers are much harder to catch red-handed because you cannot clearly see its effects on screen. Fortunately, XCC GameSpy (for Red Alert 2 only) was developed with this in mind to record the actions of both players in game for review retrospectively. Also the Automatic Screenshot Taker can be used to prove a Maphack.
§ Infinite money hacks and fast-build cheats do not work online, though there are some who will insist on the contrary purely in jest!"Okay, in that case, I have definitely encountered someone using a cheat during one of my games. Can we have them reprimanded?"
Answer: YES, but you can only report offenses that you have witnessed in ranked games and you must provide FULL proof.
Right, so what evidence do I need to collect in order to post a GOOD cheat report?"
§ Names of offending player(s) and clan(s) involved where applicable, along with their method of cheating, as the topic title
§ Your nickname
§ Brief description of key events in the game
§ At least one valid screenshot
§ Game stats
§ XGS replay (only available for Red Alert 2)
§ SYNC file if the game ended with a "Reconnection Error"
Automatic Screenshot taker.
§ The automatic screenshot taker will take screenshots throughout your games this will not only prove that you are playing fair, it can also be used to catch out cheaters. After every game screenshot’s are uploaded to the game stats page. (Read the section on game stats in order to find the game stats page).
For any game that you intend to report, you must upload a valid screenshot. For a screenshot to be valid, it must contain either the /r/dpl response line (described below) or the offending player's name, or have been taken through the automatic screenshot taker. Having the cheat visibly in action also highly beneficial.
§ Type [ENTER] /r/dpl [ENTER] (or /a/dpl for German game versions) whilst a game is in progress.
§ You should instantly receive a page with the details verifying the game's identification, as follows
§ With this still on screen, push CTRL+C to upload this Screenshot to your Automatic screenshot taker. After the game, you can find the screenshots you have taken saved in a folder named after the game e.g. (C/Document’s/Red Alert 2) alternatively they can be found once beside the game stats if you have the automatic screenshot taker.
Your next port of call is to find your game's stats on the ladder.
§ Type your name or clan's name into the search.
§ Find your record and click on the game number of the game you wish to report.
§ Use your mouse to highlight all the text from the game stats then right-click and copy it. This should be pasted into your new report so we know exactly which game you are reporting, looking something like this:
GID Player A Player B Duration Scenario Date FPS C S T
16639 Iraq xtf W +43 America larsen36 L -12 03:24 Malibu Cliffs 19:36 05-05-2010 57 P
larsen36 killed bought left captured
units 0 4 0
buildings 0 11 0 0
infantry 0 18 0
planes 0 1 0
xtf killed bought left captured
units 1 19 16
buildings 0 11 8 0
infantry 0 3 3
planes 0 0 0
When reporting an unranked (for fun) game it can be more difficult to reach your game stats, visit http://www.xwis.net and click the ladder for your preferred game and then click the “games” link.
If you do this straight after the game you should be able to find the game stats, if you do not you will need to have a valid screenshot with r/dpl or an XGS replay in order for staff to be able to recover the information.
XCC GameSpy [XGS] is a program that you can run while you play Red Alert 2 to accurately record the actions of players involved in your games. It aids in catching almost any kind of cheater, but is most commonly used to detect maphackers as the 'scout history' toggle allows you to see what either player should and should not have been able to view as legitimate targets in the game.
When using XGS please remember to turn on XGS before each game in order to avoid ending up with partial replay’s of the game. Incomplete replay’s may not be accepted in your Cheat Report.
Remember to state which XGS frame number the offense begins to occur at.
Most reports can be judged on the replay and stats alone but players are urged to include one regardless, much like Analysers are urged to request one regardless, especially if there is any doubt.
If the game ended with a "Reconnection Error" screen, a *.TXT file named SYNC0, SYNC1, etc. usually referred to as a "SYNC file" is created in your RA2 directory. You may have to open each one individually until you indentify the correct one containing the details of all of the other players involved in your game.
Bear in mind that 99% of these cases will require a valid screenshot to accompany your SYNC file in a report and we do NOT need a screenshot of the "Reconnection Error" itself.
Cheat reports service level
Whilst we will always do our best to offer the best possible turn around, please remember that the work done here is mainly voluntary and we may not always be able to do things as fast as you wish.
Don't forget to follow up your reports, checking back within a day or two, incase a member of staff has requested further evidence.
Our aim is to have all reports processed within 24 hours, given that FULL proof has been provided, but there is no obligation to complete reports at this speed and indeed there will be times when it may take even longer.
Do not pester members of staff to do reports faster. No reports get missed and all are done as and when it is possible.
Thank you for reading.