Edit: Both of the remakes of DF 1.0 have some sort of detection for this, although I think it’s just that DF 1.0 in general already had teleport detection, not that the new companies programmed in detection themselves. New Dawn is particularly adamant about this and has made some of their own anti-cheats built off of the work of myself and other white/gray hat members of the community.
About a month ago I decided that my love-hate relationship with Darkfall was over and it was time to give back to the community (what’s left of it) one last time. This particular game company decided to simply brush under the rug every complaint or known hack so I decided to see what I could do to maybe force them to update. Very gray hat but hey, maybe they’d finally do something, right? Nope. Because at the time of editing, their game has been shutdown for an unknown amount of time, probably never to come back up. They blame the financial situation in Greece catching up to them.
Hacks have always existed in this game in one form or another, ever since the first iteration of the game came out years ago. Radar, ESP, sticky hack (basically an aimbot), and teleporting to name a few things. Up until this point I had never tried any of them except setting my velocity to fly around back in Darkfall 1.
Darkfall trusts the client with basically every piece of data it sends. Obviously it’s going to be hard to detect or hinder client hacks like radar, esp, and aimbots. All games are like that. But Darkfall is very trusting of the client so stuff like player physics, positions, and even projectiles (their creation anyway) are all client-side. I’m not sure what sort of cheats were being used behind the scenes. I’ve only played with a few people who have either said they had or I suspected of having wallhacks or radar, nothing more than that. This game also uses the best anti-cheat detection available: absolutely nothing.
Back to projectiles. One odd thing about lag switching was that it allowed you to fire off about two dozen arrows in the same instant. Turn the switch on, fire your arrows, then undo the switch. Then watch as hilarity unfolds when whoever was in front of you instantly dies and flies back 100 feet or so. This is fine and all for those dime-a-dozen Nexon games that trust the client and install rootkits as an anti-cheat. Not so much for a pay-to-play MMO that hosts potentially thousands of players in one uninstanced world. I’ve always wondered just how much authority the server gives to the client. Teleporting is one thing, but is it trusting enough for the client to spawn projectiles at will? The short answer: yes and even from any location you want.
I whipped out my handy dandy Cheat Engine and after a bit of memory editing, scripting, and ASM code changing, Darkfall’s first public multi-hack was born. These videos highlight what you can do with low level characters. Obviously a leveled one would be far more annoying.
As of right now it features:
- Instant teleport to anywhere and any height on the map based on map coordinates
- Noclip to go through walls or zoom across the map
- Velocity altering to fly around
- Hovering to float under the terrain and loot graves
- Detaching the camera from your character. Create projectiles, pick up items and relics, gank people, revive people, offer duels and have the duel ring appear a mile away, etc. from your detached camera.
This is actually some of the least horrible things I’ve found you can do. Playing for absolutely free, duping items, unbanning yourself, and spawning projectiles extremely fast just to name a few. It’s like these developers never considered security at all.
I decided to give the game a serious try for its sequel. Needless to say as soon as people got outplayed the first thing they would scream is hacks. Most game communities have these people, but Darkfall has by far the most amount of them I’ve seen besides Counter-Strike. I’m not even talking about hackusations I’ve personally received. Almost every person in the top 10% was a hacker according to the other 90%. Even if you showed them a recording of you beating them, they would make it seem like they actually believe it was impossible that this person could win over them legitimately. I got kicks out this, I’ll admit. Being able to kill a guy, take all his stuff that he spent potentially hours farming, then having him foam at you. Its sadistic nature attracted some very uncouth players. It also had no instances and it had Quake-like combat. Darkfall was one of a kind in this regard and it’s a shame no competent company has picked up on the idea.
One hilarious part of all this was watching my puush file download count rising after posting the first iteration of this hack. When everyone already thinks you’re hacking, it’s like nothing ever changed when you actually start doing it. And when you see people who so adamantly believed and complained you were hacking are now using a public hack you just created, it brings a weird sort of smile to your face.