[MUD-Dev] MMORPG/MMOG P2P design

Ted L. Chen tedlchen at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 3 14:49:22 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

Felix A. Croes wrote:

> For someone who wants to cheat in a MUD, the most interesting
> object will be his player object.  The player object is modified
> all the time, while interacting with other objects.  A cheater who
> wishes to modify his player object could either do so directly, or
> through some object in the player's environment.  To prevent this
> from happening, a system would have to be in place to assess the
> validity of all interactions with the player object -- a very hard
> thing to do even in a non-P2P game.

> The cheater's goal is a maximum level character with topped-out
> stats and the best possible equipment.  Unfortunately, there is
> nothing implicitly invalid about the existance of such a
> character, since non-cheating players will be able to reach the
> same stage.  This is very different from the usual P2P subversion,
> where the the integrity of the system itself is attacked.

How about taking a cue from the real world again ala the IRS?  You
can get a little bit bureaucratic and have the P2P clients operating
in two modes.  One is in the trust mode described previously, and
the other is an auditing mode.

The triggering criteria would be any violation of expected states.
For instance, someone getting the maximum level character with
topped-out stats and the best possible equipment in less than a
month.  That would trigger an audit.  At which point interactions
with the player object would go through validation with a central
authority.  Is this a performance problem?  Sure.  So is a IRS
audit.  But for most people, the audit never comes into play.

A side benefit is that the rarely used audit code is also somewhat
harder to hack without drawing too much suspicion.


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