Recommendation for creating a tab to allow information exchange of cheat indicators to permit the community to learn and assist in reporting suspect gameplay.

Hello War Thunder Community, Moderators and potentially the Developers,

I would like to start this off by quoting 2 of Gaijin’s Guidelines (FAQ - War Thunder — official forum) for this conversation. Due to these specific rules, it is highly likely this post will be locked or simply deleted because of the related topic but is also the main point of this post.

Section 3.9. “Users shall not discuss the ways to crack the protection of the Games, illegal ways to circumvent the security software of Gaijin (including forbidden modifications, hacks, exploits), or other ways to break the limitations set out in Gaijin EULA. The publication of threads and messages that promote piracy and counterfeit products, or placing links to online resources that offer pirated content, is forbidden. In addition, discussing counterfeit or otherwise infringing software is restricted in any form.”

and

Section 3.11. “Users are not allowed to discuss the possibilities and methods of causing damage or losses to the Games, Administration, Website Managers, and other Users, including cheat programs, “bot” automation programs, ways to modify the client of the Games, vulnerabilities in the client and server parts of the Games, offering advantages in gameplay, and any other circumventing methods prohibited, directly or indirectly, by Gaijin EULA. Furthermore, the User may not encourage other Users to stop playing the Games or to avoid purchasing any content from the Gaijin.Net Store in any form, including by making threats or enforcing them.”

For those who haven’t heard of recent War Thunder events (as of December 2023), there was a massive ban wave (some reporting around 6k and others up to 40k players) due to a wonderful member of the community gaining access to multiple cheating communities and then e-mailing the numerous software codes to the development team. To that, a BZ and a pat on the back is the least that member deserves. With word of their action spreading, the following question does come into existence; with the existence of the in-game reporting capability and the replay capability (not only player side but server side) available to every player, how has it gotten to the point that a community member had to infiltrate these groups to have the cheaters banned?

It may come down to a handful of reasons, some not listed, as to why so many got away with cheating, even though the community knew that cheaters existed prior to this tip-off. 1) Countering hacks/cheats is a constant development. With any game that has competition, people will be designing ways to “get the advantage” over their competitors. Unfortunately, this will be a battle that never ends for game developers. 2) It’s very likely that, due to the large volume banned, there was a large number of times that cheaters killed cheaters. Simply put, they wouldn’t report others due to the chance of them being recognized as a cheater themselves and it would put their software at risk of being identified and countered. 3) Given the range of technology and era of vehicles in game and the range of graphical quality in-game, it may not even come across the mind of the player or unsure of what is possible. 4) Due to the popularity of War Thunder on multiple platforms and the ability to purchase vehicles through a range of BRs, new/less experienced players simply do not have the gameplay experience to recognize what is and is not suspect behavior.

The last two points mentioned in the previous paragraph are things that we, as a community, can actively improve upon if or when permitted to. For example, on the technological and graphical point, we have the War Thunder Wiki and a strong community that helps inform other players of strategies, counters, equipment, etc. We have also known cheats have existed for years now and obviously have mentioned and posted evidence it on other media platforms. Even I personally have come across CLEAR cheaters and I did report them, as any other player should have done, but was informed that I cannot talk about it in general chat/forums, even as a “hey, watch out for this.” Which in that, lays an issue. Why are we, as active community members and experienced players, barred from informing other players of suspect/confirmed cheating indicators to other members? From the War Thunder Forum posts to the in-game chat to Steam discussions to Reddit boards to YouTube videos to TikTok shorts, we have the ability to spread this information to different regions of the community efficiently and be readily available to reference for the player base. However, the first 3 websites, which are directly related to Gaijin, have the capability of information exchange barred. Now, instead of a monitored and regulated list of indications of cheats, we have a snippet of information here and there. These less experienced players simply don’t or won’t get all the possible information required to help the MODs and DEVs counter these cheaters via satisfactory and detailed reports (or even help minimize bad reports) and still permits players to be harassed due to their information being on other websites. If it’s monitored here on Gaijin’s Websites, the information can go out and minimize potential community harassment (which is argument I’ve seen being used in previous closed discussions, which would still be against Gaijin’s TOS/Community Guidelines. This permits moderation of the chat via deletion/alteration of posts including in-game names). As for the argument of it minimizing arguments between the community, we as a community do that already on most subjects. It’s just going to occur unfortunately and would require the same active moderation that would occur with the anti-harassment.

The following is a recommendation for how to alter Gaijin’s TOS and Guidelines would permit this (underlined sections are additions, removed sections are not marked):

Section 3.9. “Users shall not discuss the ways to crack the protection of the Games, the process or instructions to illegally circumvent the security software of Gaijin (including forbidden modifications, hacks, exploits), or other ways to break the limitations set out in Gaijin EULA. The publication of threads and messages that promote piracy and counterfeit products, or placing links to online resources that offer pirated content, is forbidden. In addition, discussing counterfeit or otherwise infringing software is restricted in any form.”

and

Section 3.11. "Users are not allowed to discuss the process or instructions on how to cause damage or losses to the Games, Administration, Website Managers, and other Users, including cheat programs, “bot” automation programs, ways to modify the client of the Games (include legal modification link), vulnerabilities in the client and server parts of the Games, offering advantages in gameplay (e.g. hacks), and any other circumventing methods prohibited, directly or indirectly, by Gaijin EULA. Furthermore, the User may not encourage other Users to stop playing the Games or to avoid purchasing any content from the Gaijin.Net Store in any form, including by making threats or enforcing them.

To make this clear, the discussion of HOW to go about altering game files to gain “advantages in gameplay” SHOULD be banned from occurring on Gaijin websites and in-game. The same applies for calling out the player due that we don’t want said player abused due to them hacking (IE boosting player) or harassed. However, by preventing experienced players from informing others, especially newer players who don’t have the gameplay experience of what is and is not capable of being accomplished legitimately, it is and will continue to negatively impact player enjoyment of the game and therefore player retention. Barring the community from talking about the cheat indications doesn’t stop the cheating, it just allows cheaters to get away with it with less chance of being reported. As stated before, these rules don’t prevent information being presented online via other social media or streaming websites. So why not have players bring it up here so it’s easier to access for players wanting to learn what to watch out for, to help create an accurate list of potential indicators and minimize the potential of harassment?

To reiterate from the start, yes, I know there’s an extremely high chance that this post is either going to be locked or deleted from existence. However, as a long-time player (since 2013), I believe creating ways to safely improve the community’s awareness and knowledge to cheat indicators will promote the game’s health for the next decade to come.

V/R,
ww2planes

[From a community member’s perspective, should we be permitted of being able to informing others of suspect/proven altered gameplay, without harassing the suspected player, so others can watch out for it in their gameplay?]
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

1 Like

Just sounds like it would turn into a witch hunt telephone game, ones perspective of “suspect/proven altered gameplay” will differ from another’s perspective and will probably be abused to try and get some people banned for no reason.

You do have a good point and that used to be an issue back in the early years of the game, which is why the MODs got a bit aggressive with the callouts of hacking. However, we’ve seen how bad it’s gotten with the lack of information on said hacks.

I’ve personally been threatened to be chat banned by [enter a MOD we know for being a bit liberal in their interpretation for the rules] for bringing up clear cases of hacking (like EVERYONE in the match was reporting this dude for cheating, it was that obvious. What gave it away at first was they were hitting people through entire forests 30 seconds into the match. We actually got a few people from the match work together to watch his POV in the server replay (even with ULQ graphics to make sure it wasn’t a graphical difference) and dude was tracking people through hills and buildings from their initial spawn. This was in RB mind you and dude wasn’t even running his thermals). However, reporting doesn’t help the newer players/players that are getting back into the game. I do agree that the names shouldn’t be mentioned in cheating/suspect cheating situations but the description and replay to show evidence is something that would be useful for educating and help players identify of what to watch out for. I did see that this suggestion actually got picked up by the forum moderators/Gaijin so hopefully we can keep it clean of abuse/name calling so we can get the right information out. As with anything, we gotta have our check and balances but hopefully we can make headway as a community on making cheating harder to get away with.

Gaijin is focusing on outrageous p2w premium item. forget about community “overwatch” sort of stuff. Not long ago, Gaijin bans people for speaking of “the existence of ingame hackers”. Cheaters fully control the narrative: in my one million years spent in this game, I’ve never seen a hacker.
Cheaters are still running wild in game. In worst scenario, more than half “players” of my American br10-11 air team, ARE BOTS. I encountered multiple 10k0d rage hackers in a week. Besides, one cheater told me, in every game, there are at least 5 hackers, they just stare at each other through terrains. The ESP would notify who’s locking on him.
Feels like Escape From Tarkov. Believe it or not, randomly ban 50% playerbase, there are still lots of cheaters left in game. This game isn’t very enjoyable for legit players.
Those cheaters spend big bucks buying premium and ESP, gaijin loves them, til their RMT practice cost Gaijin more money than they spent.
PS: met an old “pal” when I complain about bot problem in air game, he was using “farming” ESP too, recognize him by his clan and id. Earlier this year, he teamkilled my teammate and brag about “i have 2 billions silver lions”. Gee. Cheater defends cheater, so dumb dumb newbies will blindly fell into their trap.
Until cheating is under control, I’m going back to my own Arma and IL2 server.

1 Like

Me 2. I’m about to leave. Some low hour players are totally dominating out of the blue. Game is cheaterinfested like there’s no tomorrow. Gameplay is absolutely ruined.