Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Combat Arms Hacks

When I first played Combat Arms I was having a lot of fun in spite of how poorly I play. One of the things that drew me in was how balanced the game was and also how quick it seemed to play. This is (was) a game that forced you to actually learn to play. You really had to have some skill or learn it quickly. Since your weapons are on a clock (you "buy" them for a day, week, or month or month with in-game gold (or microtransactions)) you can't just sit idly by and watch the experience and gold accumulate, you actually have to improve. The higher your rank, the longer it takes to make the next rank. There is a gold bonus given with each rank earned and at the lower ranks it feels as though you are swimming in gold. But soon enough the gold comes less often...unless you have been improving your game.

I routinely get between 10-15 kills per match. That actually places me about halfway in line of skill order for each match. I only get between 100-150 gold each match. The weapons and gear I choose runs about 2000 gold or so and currently I am paying daily. That's a lot of matches each day with my mediocre skill.

But it's doable and I don't have to chain myself to the computer. After all, it's a well-balanced game and everyone else has to improve their game as well.

Or, that's how it was in the beginning at least.

It didn't take long for players to begin using cheats to get that extra edge. After a while, enough people were using the cheats that it began to seriously impact the balance of several matches in a day. But now, it seems that things have gotten out of hand. I suspect that fair players became weary of the imbalance and began using cheats themselves just to get back on an equal footing with the original cheaters. I am tempted to do so myself. I've even gone so far as to look up these hacks to see what is really going on.

The first thing to greet me on my research was a brand new hack made available withing 45 minutes of Combat Arms' latest patch. This new hack is called a Ghost Hack. It allows the player to play in an invisible state and move through walls, over and under the game maps, and fly through the air. Coupled with other hacks that aim headshots for you and highlight all the players on the map (kind of like a heat sensor) even behind obstacles and you are now an invincible killing machine.

Other, lesser hacks allow you to jump through walls and run without losing stamina or even allow you to fire without reloading or experiencing recoil.

All of the features that these hacks implement only serve to disrupt the balance of Combat Arms.

Then there are the glitches, whereby players "squeeze" between walls or into corners. They can see around themselves and fire weapons, but unless they make a mistake, they can't be fired upon. The only sure way to combat the glitchers is to take advantage of the glitch yourself, get "inside" the wall and kill the other glitcher. It is very unnerving to watch from a distance as the glitchers' bullet trails come out of the wall and suddenly the combat scroll lights up with a half dozen kills from one person.

Combat Arms is a great game and it is not too late to fix the hacking issues. Though it is daunting when one hack site claims to have over 48,000 active hackers using just one of their hacks.

But something has to be done. Right now there is a policy of banning accounts found to be using hacks, but this does not keep the hackers out of the game and only suggests to fair players that they can't use the hacks, thus keeping them on the imbalanced side of the equation.

If nothing is done soon, the the Combat Arms hacks will certainly make the game unplayable by fair and balanced players.

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