The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Valaggar on February 19, 2007, 04:12:47 pm



Title: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 19, 2007, 04:12:47 pm
I've changed the color of the Druuge cannon to mint green to make it easier to see and to help your reflexes. This can help you in netplay, because you WON'T get desynced. I have changed only the non-transparent pixels.

Download the addon from here: (IT IS A SELF-EXTRACTOR ARCHIVE, NOT AN ADDON, SORRY, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT OUT OF GAME OR MAKE YOUR OWN ADDON)
http://rapidshare.com/files/17225230/VLdruuge.zip.html (http://rapidshare.com/files/17225230/VLdruuge.zip.html)

Installing the addon: In your content/packages folder, make an "addons" folder. In the "addons" folder create an "uqmremix" folder. The Target field of your UQM shortcut should be modified like this:
"C:\Program Files\The Ur-Quan Masters\uqm.exe" --addon uqmremix
(or wherever you put UQM)

You can also get my older New Voicepacks preview from here:
http://rapidshare.com/files/14398936/Win32Preview.exe.html (http://rapidshare.com/files/14398936/Win32Preview.exe.html)

(rerecorded some Slylandro and Utwig voices and altered some Ur-Quan Kzer-Za voices)


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 19, 2007, 04:23:18 pm
Allright, I made an addon. Simply put it in the uqmremix folder as described above.

Download the addon from here:
http://rapidshare.com/files/17227698/ValaVox.zip.html (http://rapidshare.com/files/17227698/ValaVox.zip.html)


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Koowluh on February 19, 2007, 06:08:47 pm
Sorry, your druuge change constitutes cheating for me when playing online. I'm sure you did a wonderful job, but you won't see me using it. As for your voicepack, a different topic name might be in order?


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Cedric6014 on February 19, 2007, 07:53:02 pm
Call me a grumpy-bum but i have a real problem with mods being used in netplay, even an innocuous change such as that. Having saud that I presume it would require both parites to download and operate the same mod file...

Anyway, if a druuge shot is red and hard to see then it is red and is hard to see, to the druuge's advantage. This trait is no doubt reflected in the price of the ship. It would be like me reducing the firepoweer of the korh-ah's blades 'cos im alwasy running in to the blasted things


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 19, 2007, 08:02:56 pm
Ah, excuse me. That's the point. There's no need for both players to download the mod. Even if only one of them has the mod, they won't get desynced, because UQM doesn't check colors. Maybe in the next patch, they'll fix it for competitive netplay, or add an option for it.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Draxas on February 20, 2007, 04:33:31 pm
Why would they? It's a cheat, pure and simple; it's no different than a map hack for your favorite RTS game. It won't desync the game because it has no direct effect on the gameplay, but gives the user an unfair advantageover their opponent that, incidentally, they don't even need to mention they're using.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: AngusThermopyle on February 20, 2007, 05:12:06 pm
I'm in agreement with Cedric and Draxas here. It might be a nice tool to help you imrpove your aim, but it should not be used for netplay unless both players agree to it.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 20, 2007, 05:18:07 pm
BTW, AngusThermopyle, that's what I'm saying too! The interdiction of such cheats in netplay must be hardcoded into the game's engine!


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Koowluh on February 20, 2007, 06:01:13 pm
No it should not. It should be hardcoded in someone's head not to cheat.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 20, 2007, 06:14:55 pm
Yes, but imagine the unbalance cheating would cause in a tournament. It wouldn't be fair.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Novus on February 20, 2007, 07:36:31 pm
BTW, AngusThermopyle, that's what I'm saying too! The interdiction of such cheats in netplay must be hardcoded into the game's engine!
Given the open-source nature of UQM, any such restriction is pretty much doomed to fail. Any cheat detection built into UQM could easily be replaced with dummy code that sends exactly the same information to the outside world. However, the nature of the netplay implementation (simple control data transfer) makes it almost impossible to cheat in any other way than improving the display of the game state (e.g. this cheat here) or aiding the player in controlling his ship (e.g. aimbots). Any attempt to directly modify the game state illegally (e.g. invulnerability, hitting instead of missing) will merely cause to peers to lose game state synchronisation and abort. However, as I've previously mentioned, the threat of "cyborg" (computer-assisted human) netplay opponents is bad enough and hard to avert.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 22, 2007, 05:51:13 pm
Any cheat detection built into UQM could easily be replaced with dummy code that sends exactly the same information to the outside world.
I've got an idea. In competitive netplay, there should be used a special non-open-source version of UQM. Perhaps it will be produced after vanilla UQM hits version 22/0.25*16 (math-haters, this means: 1.0 - copy-paste the little blue dots to see).
This version be much harder to modify that way.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on February 22, 2007, 06:28:54 pm
I've got an idea. In competitive netplay, there should be used a special non-open-source version of UQM. Perhaps it will be produced after vanilla UQM hits version 1.0.  This version be much harder to modify that way.

In order to close the source, you would need to first get permission from everyone who contributed code, or rewrite whatever they've contributed.

And I don't give my permission for such an endeavour, mostly because it's based on the extremely flawed premise that closed-source games are harder to hack.  And no, I won't tell you where my code is.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Cedric6014 on February 22, 2007, 08:31:45 pm
Anyway, at this point at just want to say that of course mods are all fine, interesting and fun sometimes. And of course you are free to use whatever mods you like in netplay, providing you let you opponent know. Its a free world. Come to the uqm-arena and play!


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on February 22, 2007, 08:44:26 pm
I admit to having a problem seeing the benefit of a green Druuge. Maybe because I can see how I'm lined up well enough already. I mean, a laser-sight on the Druuge would be interesting, but a green cannon? That doesn't strike me as different
enough to warrent cheating.
Now, if you changed your copy of the game to make the Ilwrath visable
all the time, that would be cheating. Or, if you could somehow make
your Ur-Quan fighters invisable....


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: countchocula86 on February 22, 2007, 08:59:23 pm
Oooh a Druuge laser site, now that would be interesting, haha!


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Shiver on February 22, 2007, 09:20:03 pm
Speaking of hacks, where's the little green arrow that points out the direction of the planet that I've been asking for? Just kidding, of course. Such a thing would have no place in online melee.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 22, 2007, 09:20:48 pm
Zeep-Eeep, now you've really hit the spot. Visible Ilwraths and laser-sight, that's usually reserved for the AI to make up for its incompetence. A little coding and you get really big advantages! Plus, no desync since they're just display changes for you only.
But I've come with a new idea. In competitive netplay, a third-party "referee" server could host and run the game, the two players being only clients. This way, the copy of UQM being on the server, no compromising info is send to the players, so your PC doesn't know where the Ilwrath is. However, it would be difficult to implement and it wouldn't prevent laser-sight.
That shows that UQM really isn't made for tournaments.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 22, 2007, 09:23:59 pm
And Zeep-Eeep, since only you see the cannon shells green, and you see BOTH sides' shells green, the hack is really meant for playing AGAINST Druuge, especially with fast or shielding ships. Mint green is much easier to see and this speeds up your reflexes, giving you a LITTLE advantage.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Death 999 on February 22, 2007, 10:09:41 pm
Geez, just change your monitor settings a bit. Druuge shots are clear as day to me, with a generic version.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Novus on February 23, 2007, 09:32:04 am
But I've come with a new idea. In competitive netplay, a third-party "referee" server could host and run the game, the two players being only clients.
One way of doing this is to, like early versions of XPilot (http://www.acm.org/crossroads/xrds3-2/xpilot.html), run UQM over a display-forwarding mechanism (e.g. X11 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X11), VNC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VNC) or NX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NX_technology)). All game code is then on the server, and only video (and, with some additional work, sound) is transferred to the client. Any computer assistance (visual or control) is then much harder to implement, as you have to reconstruct everything from the video stream (image recognition experts only!).

The major problem with this approach is that network performance is going to be absolutely horrible in terms of bandwidth, compared to the current solution. I strongly doubt this will work for anything else than a LAN game, in which case netplay is almost unnecessary. Transmitting object positions instead of fully rendered graphics, on the other hand, gives the cheater most of the information he needs (keeping track of the planet as it goes off-screen isn't too hard, as you know where the camera is pointing from the background starfield). Some sort of compromise may be possible, but I think it sounds unpractical.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Valaggar on February 23, 2007, 09:47:11 am
Got it, Novus. No way of solving this.

Death 999, no, I see the shots very well, but my brain reacts faster to something that comes more in contrast with the background.


Title: Re: A little melee aider thingy
Post by: Death 999 on February 23, 2007, 07:08:25 pm
One possible solution here would be to roll a custom version with a special verification code, and do so open source; but only allow download so close to the event that no one would have time to reverse-engineer the verification stream and fit it into a hacked version. Like, two minutes before play time.

Obviously, this is somewhat limited in terms of repeatability.