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Measures against SAM!!

AuthorMessage
FearItself
20,173
FearItself
20,173 TrueSteamAchievement Points3 posts
Last post: 03 Nov 15 at 13:27
Posted on 02 November 15 at 20:50
Everybody knows Steam achievements are easy to cheat, that's why they have so little value. Tools that existed for YEARS (like SAM - Steam Achievement Manager) do still work!

My qestion is, do the devs of this site plan any countermeasures against programs and cheats like that? Like not counting achievements that were all unlocked simultaneously, for example?

And in general, what does everybody think about Steam achievements value?
JMJimmy
16,478
JMJimmy
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.6797Achievement Completion Percentage: 38.56% (Includes owned DLC) - 12 more achievements required to reach 39%277 posts
Last post: 25 Nov at 18:27
Posted on 02 November 15 at 23:49
TGN has a set of tools for their investigations team which will help identify cheaters. They get removed and put on a 'base score' tracking only so they're not part of the TSA calculations. It'll be a bit harder on TSA than it is on TA/TT but still doable. It won't happen overnight and it won't be perfect but they've done an amazing job of identifying cheaters in the past.
Life, it's funny that way.
FearItself
20,173
FearItself
20,173 TrueSteamAchievement Points3 posts
Last post: 03 Nov 15 at 13:27
Posted on 03 November 15 at 13:23
OK, thanks. We'll have to wait and see then.
L4DANathan
74,243
L4DANathan
TrueSteamAchievements Game Info Editor34 posts
Last post: 21 Aug at 01:32
Posted on 04 November 15 at 18:13
I hope there will be a bit of leniency, as I used SAM years ago to unlock stuff, decided I wanted to earn it legit, re-locked the achievements, accidently also re-locked achievements I got legit, then used SAM to restore just those. Then just a few hours ago, I decided that for this site I would be willing to re-earn those achievements, so I re-locked them with SAM. (And then there's the secondary problem of games like Dark Souls/Resident Evil 5, where you get the steam achievements all at once if you migrated from GFWL)
Spilner
2,214
Spilner
Registered on 20 October 2015 (Year 0 - TrueSteamAchievements Beta Tester)8 completed games(Includes owned DLC)295 posts
Last post: 11 May at 00:22
Posted on 04 November 15 at 19:00
Curious what these tools you speak of are, Jimmy. Steam behaves differently from xbox and PS so TA and TT tools wouldn't work 'out the box'
Its that guy from the thing in the place.
JMJimmy
16,478
JMJimmy
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.6797Achievement Completion Percentage: 38.56% (Includes owned DLC) - 12 more achievements required to reach 39%277 posts
Last post: 25 Nov at 18:27
Posted on 04 November 15 at 19:12
L4DANathan said:I hope there will be a bit of leniency, as I used SAM years ago to unlock stuff, decided I wanted to earn it legit, re-locked the achievements, accidently also re-locked achievements I got legit, then used SAM to restore just those. Then just a few hours ago, I decided that for this site I would be willing to re-earn those achievements, so I re-locked them with SAM. (And then there's the secondary problem of games like Dark Souls/Resident Evil 5, where you get the steam achievements all at once if you migrated from GFWL)The policy will be geared to Steam's unique situation I'm sure, it's a pretty fair system on the TA/TT side of things (TrueAchievements). I think the rule there is you're allowed 1 cheated game per 100 played up to a maximum of 3. Those 1-3 games get removed from scanning but other than that everything is normal. 4th cheated game gets you put on base score tracking only which means no leaderboards/TSA score but you still have the basics.

I'm not sure how closely it will follow that guideline here and games with glitches/importing achievements from GFWL/etc are not things to worry about - the teams develop lists of known issues/how they present so people aren't caught up when they shouldn't be. The more common ways people cheat and get caught is unlocking unobtainable achievements, unlocking achievements in one day that would take weeks to accomplish, or unlocking out of order (ie: X achievement can never be unlocked before Y achievement). Best policy though, is work with the team honestly (once they're chosen) and they'll treat you fairly.

I'm actually wondering if SAM re-locking could be a potential solution for this site.
Life, it's funny that way.
Nomstuff
37,148
Nomstuff
113 completed games(Includes owned DLC)1,502 posts
Last post: 20 Nov at 17:16
Posted on 04 November 15 at 19:15
JMJimmy said: gamer=L4DANathan]II'm actually wondering if SAM re-locking could be a potential solution for this site.It does for Astats, although, for certain games it presents its own issues.
Jack
7,657
Jack
TrueSteamAchievements Administrator2 site referrals383 posts
Last post: 02 Dec at 20:42
Posted on 05 November 15 at 11:52
This doesn't really fit into the site bug category of posts. I've moved it to a more appropriate board.
L4DANathan
74,243
L4DANathan
TrueSteamAchievements Game Info Editor34 posts
Last post: 21 Aug at 01:32
Posted on 09 November 15 at 02:50
JMJimmy said:I'm actually wondering if SAM re-locking could be a potential solution for this site.I can confirm it does NOT work (at least for Valve games). For one, the achievements I locked were unlocked again as soon as I booted the respective game. This happened for HL2, Ep 1, Ep 2, L4D, L4D2, Portal, and a few GMod achievements. In addition, after scanning myself at multiple stages of this, I noticed that the achievements never got re-locked on the site, despite multiple scans and once I booted the games and were given them again, the timestamps didn't update. So...I'm just hoping that the Investigations team will believe me and let me keep 'em. cry
Nomstuff
37,148
Nomstuff
113 completed games(Includes owned DLC)1,502 posts
Last post: 20 Nov at 17:16
Posted on 09 November 15 at 02:52
L4DANathan said:JMJimmy said:I'm actually wondering if SAM re-locking could be a potential solution for this site.I can confirm it does NOT work (at least for Valve games). For one, the achievements I locked were unlocked again as soon as I booted the respective game. This happened for HL2, Ep 1, Ep 2, L4D, L4D2, Portal, and a few GMod achievements. In addition, after scanning myself at multiple stages of this, I noticed that the achievements never got re-locked on the site, despite multiple scans and once I booted the games and were given them again, the timestamps didn't update. So...I'm just hoping that the Investigations team will believe me and let me keep 'em. cryYou need to delete all save states, and wipe all associated statistics with SAM to stop them re-unlocking.
Posted on 10 November 15 at 03:12
FearItself said:Everybody knows Steam achievements are easy to cheat, that's why they have so little value. Tools that existed for YEARS (like SAM - Steam Achievement Manager) do still work!

My qestion is, do the devs of this site plan any countermeasures against programs and cheats like that? Like not counting achievements that were all unlocked simultaneously, for example?

And in general, what does everybody think about Steam achievements value?
While I am unable to offer any details at this point in time, preventing the site being heavily affected by the use of SAM is something which is on our radar.
WraithTDK
15,576
WraithTDK
2 completed games(Includes owned DLC)59 posts
Last post: 10 Jul at 00:05
Posted on 12 November 15 at 21:38
It should also be mentioned that even when achievements ARE successfully locked, having TSA scan your profile does not cause it to reflect your Steam stats. As I discussed in this thread: Can I get my achievements "scrubbed?", I used quite a few hacks back in the day simply because no one was putting any real value into Steam achievements, since Valve does not ban based on cheating, and at the time no one really cared much about them.

Now that all that's changing with sites starting to track achievements, I wiped everything and started over, going 100% legit moving forward. If you check my Steam profile now, you'll find that I have 20 achievements, yet my TSA profile still has me as owning 632. It would be nice if there was a way to do a FULL sync - including having TSA checked for achievements that have been locked. Maybe this could be done only once a month? Once a year?
lltagged
28,872
lltagged
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.9967TrueSteamAchievement Site Rank: 2,279 out of 10,1135 posts
Last post: 29 Nov 15 at 14:37
Posted on 29 November 15 at 14:37, Edited on 29 November 15 at 14:53 by lltagged
Should be possible to do this by comparing 'played time'? If you got 100 people completing Skyrim after 200 hours then 20 hours can't be right to get it all done. Just one example.
Veilor
31,045
Veilor
TrueSteamAchievements Game Info Manager83 comments640 posts
Last post: 27 Nov at 16:19
Posted on 29 November 15 at 17:55
lltagged said:Should be possible to do this by comparing 'played time'? If you got 100 people completing Skyrim after 200 hours then 20 hours can't be right to get it all done. Just one example.Could be possible since skyrim has console commands which isn't against the rules.
JMJimmy
16,478
JMJimmy
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.6797Achievement Completion Percentage: 38.56% (Includes owned DLC) - 12 more achievements required to reach 39%277 posts
Last post: 25 Nov at 18:27
Posted on 29 November 15 at 17:57
lltagged said:Should be possible to do this by comparing 'played time'? If you got 100 people completing Skyrim after 200 hours then 20 hours can't be right to get it all done. Just one example.There's going to be a bunch of different ways, at the same time you can't make assumptions about games. Like Elderscrolls, it's a target for speed running: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60E7DuAWLeI
Life, it's funny that way.
Xeinok
354,364
Xeinok
354,364 TrueSteamAchievement Points15 posts
Last post: 23 Feb at 00:17
Posted on 30 November 15 at 18:45
There are many ways to both automatically catch cheaters and to police more subtle cheating. We should look to AStats and Metagamerscore's histories to learn the proper way to do so here.
WraithTDK
15,576
WraithTDK
2 completed games(Includes owned DLC)59 posts
Last post: 10 Jul at 00:05
Posted on 02 December 15 at 21:03
We should definitely ban anyone with a VAC ban for starts. But we have to be careful. Policing steam cheaters is going to be entirely different than it was for XBox and PS3. There are a million ways to cheat on PC, and a hell of a lot of grey space for just what is cheating. Mods, for example, are going to be a big debate. If you get a modded sword that will 1-hit kill anything in the game, you've taken 99.99% of the challenge out of it, but otherwise, you're doing everything else. You can't ban mods all together; that's one of the biggest arguments for PLAYING games on PC: the adaptability and community contributions. So really, it has to almost be a case by case basis.

Whatever's decided, there needs to be a documented rules section. For things that are explicitly forbidden or allowed. Idealy, if there's a decision on a specific game, we'd have a directory for that, as well.
JMJimmy
16,478
JMJimmy
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.6797Achievement Completion Percentage: 38.56% (Includes owned DLC) - 12 more achievements required to reach 39%277 posts
Last post: 25 Nov at 18:27
Posted on 02 December 15 at 21:31
I don't think it'll be that different. The rule on TA that 'If the developers intended the game to be used in that manner then it's legitimate' should be the same rule of thumb here. If the game allows for mods and the mod framework provided is used then it's completely legit. If a game is moded that was never intended to allow mods then that's a hack and not legit.

Examples
- modifying Halo video files to map names = not something intended by devs = banned
- editing config file variables to cause enemies to float into space in Section 8 = intentionally editable variable = acceptable
- Creating easy to use maps in Far Cry 2 = intended option by devs = acceptable
- down patching Universe at War = intended patch by devs = legit
- Fallout 3 console commands = intended option added by devs = legit

The biggest grey area I would think would be fan made patches that don't mod the game but merely make it compatible with modern systems and fix bugs that may have prevented specific achievements from unlocking. Are these patches the 'new devs' because the game was abandoned or is it a mod not intended by the original devs? Those I think would need to be evaluated on a case by case basis as some just do the bare minimum of fixing bugs/compatibility where others add content/modify abilities.
Life, it's funny that way.
Saintrussianboy
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.8929Registered on 06 November 2015 (Year 0 - TrueSteamAchievements Beta Tester)9 posts
Last post: 12 Mar at 00:21
Posted on 03 December 15 at 16:06
Would a mod that doubled XP in a single-player RPG be banned?
JMJimmy
16,478
JMJimmy
TrueSteamAchievement Ratio: 1.6797Achievement Completion Percentage: 38.56% (Includes owned DLC) - 12 more achievements required to reach 39%277 posts
Last post: 25 Nov at 18:27
Posted on 03 December 15 at 16:31
Saintrussianboy said:Would a mod that doubled XP in a single-player RPG be banned?Depends if that mod was something intended by the developers. By example, Skyrim's official modding system is the Creation Kit - anything that uses that would be legit. Something like SXP which requires the Skyrim Script Extender (not created by the developers) would not be usable. The SKSE adds methods which are not normally available to modders and effectively change the game to something entirely different.
Life, it's funny that way.
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