"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 ingame for review retrospectively. More on this later.
- Infinite money hacks and fast-build cheats do not work online, though there are some who will insist on the contrary purely in jest!
Answer: YES, but you can only report offenses that you have witnessed in ranked games and you must provide FULL proof.
We cannot process reports of non-laddered games and there's not a great deal we can do if you're missing some vital pieces of evidence. However, in any case, you're welcome to give the community a heads-up by dropping their name in the Fair Play Forum.
"That's fine. But what about me? If I'm playing towards the top end of the ladder, I would feel pretty aggrieved to have lost out on some valuable points."
Answer: We have the ability to reimburse your points. The following conditions apply,
- You can only claim back points that you have LOST to a player who is found to have cheated, i.e. we cannot add on what you could have won if the game was 'washed' (where no points were exchanged at all)
- We can only restore the points from your most recent game. You surrender this option should you continue to play on after losing to a cheater.
- Make it clear in your topic title that you are requesting a return of points. These reports are given highest priority so we can garantee the fastest opportunity for you to return to the action.
- There are some cheats that are very hard to prove, such as disconnect-wins, so we would not be able to promise a speedy points return cases like these as they require further investigation.
- If a game was washed accidentally by the other player then you are free to continue playing as your points can be returned in principle by an arranged win with them at a later date.
- 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"
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, along with the cheat visibly in action if possible.
- 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 for Red Alert 2, or SHIFT+S for Yuri's Revenge.
- After the game, you can find the screenshots you have taken saved as *.PCX files named SCRN0001, SCRN0002, etc. in your Red Alert 2 directory (C:\Westwood\RA2\ by default) which can be converted into *.JPG files using image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Your next port of call is to find your game's stats on the ladder.
- Visit XWIS.net for Red Alert 2, Yuri's Revenge or Tiberian Sun
- 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
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.
Remember to state which 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.