I am a good computer program user and I know my way around my computers (Mac and PC). But I do not get into their occult mechanisms, hidden deep in their core. I am not a geek and certainly not a hacker. I was flattered when, a few weeks ago, good players such as TDHFernando (TDH) and ELRicco9000 (Ricco) called me hacker. Maybe they taught they were insulting me or revealing to other players that my skills were backed by some system tampering. That was not the case and it will never be. By the way, I am not in bad terms with these guys. I respect them, as I respect most players. But I intend to comment on both of them eventually on this blog.
I do not hack and I do not cheat. In fact, I do not even understand well how it can work in games like BF3. I know there is an access to more stuff with the tilde key (~), stupidely placed just between the ESC key and the Q key of my PC keyboard. I have hit it so many times without realising it, and got killed often because nothing else works while activated. But I never entered any command there.
Usually, when someone cheats or hacks, the system kick them out I guess, but as I said, I don’t know all the tricks (not even one, in fact). Is the filtering system (is it Punkbuster?) works well all the time? Some people are so good that they are always treated like hackers. One of the favorite target of many players is Rifleman71 (Riffle). I will try to post a article about him another time, because, in some way, he is important in my current gaming activities (not just because he kills me all the time!) Lets just say here that I do sincerely respect the man and am impressed with his skills, even if he is sometimes tough and demanding with other players.
This is exactly that, impressions, that lead some guys to think Rifle is hacking. I don’t think he does, but this is my personnal opinion and the result of websites check with tools such as Cheatevaluator or Cheat-O-Meter. When a player is extremely good, kills a lot a ennemies and is himself rarely killed in a match, it is sufficient for others to believe he’s doing something «illegal» or «hidden». This is common thinking even among other good players. The noobies never complaint because it is normal to be killed often when you begin playing. But most of the times, those who complain about Rifle are experienced players too!
When I got a little better, TDH accused me of hacking, probably because I killed him a few times in ways he did not expected. Same thing for Ricco. It is easy to have the impression that you have been killed with too much efficiency by the ennemy. But I suspect there are so many factors in play when these situations happen that they are difficult to explain with accuracy. When all these players get together in a match, we can sometimes witness great votekick sessions! One player try to votekick another one for hacking. Sometimes it works because yes voters are not aware of all the facts or because they are tired of being sent back to base by the same killing machine all the time. And then the player that was the object of the votekick issue a vote to get ride of the previous one. Fascinating! A lot of time is lost in the process, not only for those involved, but for those who keep their eyes on the chat section of the screen. I remember one match where TDH was often kicked out (not for suspected hacking), but always managed to reappear with a ta-dam comment! Very funny! Sometimes he’s so annoying! But I somehow like him anyway.
In a way, I am inclined to think that the monitoring system and the admin of the server are not able to formally determine that a player is cheating or not. By default, a player that was not kicked by the filters of the system should not be the object of a votekick for hacking. But I guess that the votekick system is automated and anyone can try to kick anyone else, just for existing! All this without the surveillance of the admin. There are a lot of things I don’t know about how BF3 servers are managed.
The point here is that I give the benefit of the doubt to any player that swiftly kick my ass and kill me, even if their move looks like magic to me. And most magicians don’t really use magic. They just do what they are good at doing, with stealth and efficiency that make you believe this is magic. When I first been blown into pieces by TV missiles shot by a helicopter pilot – probably xxlliquid or Vv-sh4rk-vV, I don’t remember exactly which one it was – I thought he was cheating. I was not even aware that such weapons existed. As there was no warning alarm and my helicopter was destroyed in one strike, that was my first impression. Ignorance blinded me, but not for long. I had the same impression when I encountered Rifle in battle. My doubts lasted for a longer time. I was asking myself that one question: how the fuck does he do that? Until I realised how experienced he was. Take a look at the BF3 Leaderboards or check the figure below (I captured it because it will change in the future I guess). You will understand why your life expectancy is in jeopardy if you meet him in a one on one tank fight. Note that young charming Russian mihmei is not far behind him!
I am more experienced today (though still not a very good player – it took me more than 1000 hours to get the Colonel 50 grade – and I still make a lot of mistakes and stupid moves!). I recognise how many good players can give that impression of being over the limits of the system, because they have high quality skills. But since a long time, I never suspected any player of hacking. And without any sound proof of cheating, I will never votekick him because, from my point of view, it is the responsibility of the server provider to make sure every player is clean.
Fig. 1 – Screen capture from the BF3 Leaderboards on 7 nov. 2014