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Admin Console screen grab Question


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Are there any know issues with this feature that would cause a situation where screen grabs can be made from all players on the server except 3 that wore the lead initial in their names of '[' (open square bracket) ?

I ask grin cos we got our first 3 dudes of disrepute tonight, and banned them, I never believed in hacking or cheating but when you cannot take a screen shot of 3 members of the same clan (group) all sporting diffrent I.P's, what else can you conclude.

Thank you GRIN for a long overdue feature which will make all honest & clean server's a pleasure. :grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2:

p.s. If there is a flaw in the feature that can restrict the screen grab, We would all like to know.

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That's unfortunate since I use a bracket in my name for GRAW MP. "[:FI:]FlimFlam". If the engine is preventing the SS from being taken, then that is one thing versus them running a blocker of somekind. Also, I would expect then all to have different IP's so I fail to see what is so significant in that. If multiple members of my team were in a server, then we would all have different IP's as that virtually all of us live in different cities in different states.

Once I get my copy of the game, I'll be happy to help you test this condition and see if it's a limitation of the game engine based on player name, or if it's likely they were using a blocker.

I do agree with you that it's suspicious. Infact when we have players who are darn good, but consistently never return screen shots, we let them know that they need to resolve their issue with not returning SS's and will be able to play on our servers then. We don't accuse them of cheating, but let them know we won't let them play until they fix their game client/system.

Edited by FI_FlimFlam
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Flim_flam, you know the answers you get from some members, when they suggest that maybe it was because they were at the same location etc etc... I just wanted all to know, they all had diffrent IP's (as you would expect). The only thing I need clearing up is that the common feature as I saw was the names were initialled with the square bracket '[' this needs to be eliminated as a possibility, thats the main reason to ask GRIN.

I personally think the name has nothing to do with it, as every player is addressed by a number and I.P. So to conclude that there is something wrong is a fair comment.

As per your last comment, in which you let them know there is an issue with taking screenshots from there pc, the strange thing was and this is why I gave details, is I took every players screen except there's and they all were on diffrent IP's and in the same clan. That is what we don't like and we do not want players that firewall an anticheat system. The benefit of the doubt is not with them on the BDA server.

viii

P.S. FI Flim_flan you are always welcome ;)

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Hmmm Viper could it have been me and my guys from Zen Archery?

Our tags are [ZA], we were playing on the BDA server earlier and all got kicked one after another. When we tried to rejoin, we were all greeted by the message that we had been banned. To our dismay...

My squad does not cheat, we were one of the [Ghost Recon] squads playing on The Combat Zone, and actually spent a lot of time investigating, and catching squads, and getting them kicked off our ladder when we compiled enough evidence that proved they were cheating. We actually refused to play GRAW I becuase there was no anti-cheat among other things. I know the old school GR players can vouch for us.

Anyways it would be great to know if our squared brackets are messing something up, the BDA server was the first one we joined since installing the game, and we certainly didn't install anything to "block" a screenshot, as we have nothing to hide.

I would like to add that it was good of you not to name the clan until you got confirmation about the square brackets, but it really seems like it must be us.

The only other thing we all did the same was buy the game and DL it from direct to drive, but i'm pretty sure many did.

Might be a good idea to have somebody from your clan to make a name with [ZA]Test, (we have no space after the bracket) and see if the same thing happens...obviously if it does or doesn't, please post here, so we can clear this mess up.

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Ok we went and did some testing of our own by putting up servers, and taking the screenshots.

Something must be messed up with it because we got different results.

Wasn't able to get a screenshot on one guy with the [ZA]Tag. (Not one of the 3 from the BDA server)

Got that guy to take the tag off, and was able to get the screen when they re-joined without it.

Got him to put the tag back on, and then was able to get the screen with the tag on when he re-joined.

Then another member put a server up, and didn't have problem getting everybodies screenshots with the tags on.

So we are at a loss, something is screwy but we couldn't figure it out, or replicate it in any way.

Maybe the map and/or settings of TDM/RVSA/Hamburger hill come into play as well, not sure.

My question is did the admin (Viiiper) on that server try multiple times to get the screen, or was it once? Also did you get the remote screen by typing /screenshot [ZA]Zenjant, or was it /screenshot ID#?

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Unfortunately till the problem is resolved with or without the help of GRIN, the situation will stand at the BeerDrinkingAssassins servers. If any player is found to be in a position where there system refuses remote screenshot, then they will receive a temporary ban till that time the issue is resolved. We do not accuse or point the finger with reference to cheating, but do restrict users that do not comply with all the features setup by the game towards fair play.

With the above being said, some pieces of software may create a situation as mentioned in this thread where remote screen grabs are denied, such software may be a firewall like 'Zone alarm' or other, it is the users responsibility to sort out the issue, all we (I) can say is GRIN's clarification on the ports used to make remote admin data calls on the client may help. The current data supplied by GRIN is:

2.3. Playing on Gamespy

The login is only accepted if you are the only owner of package CD-Key logged at this time.

Once you are logged in, you can update the list of servers available on the Internet and pick one of your choosing.

You may experience difficulty connecting to Gamespy if a firewall or anti-virus blocks the following ports:

Local Ports

UDP 13139

UDP 16250

Remote Ports

UDP 16250

TCP 80

TCP 443

TCP 6667

UDP 13139

UDP 27900

UDP 27901

TCP 28910

TCP 29900

TCP 29901

UDP 29910

TCP 29920

If these ports are part of the admin process then the client needs to open them, if clients refuse to open these ports or can not, then the ball is in their court. It would be good to have some input from the developer.

My question is did the admin (Viiiper) on that server try multiple times to get the screen, or was it once? Also did you get the remote screen by typing /screenshot [ZA]Zenjant, or was it /screenshot ID#?

To answer this question:

I tried several (4-5) times to grab screens from all players, each one in turn was grabbed on the first attempt except for 3 players as mentioned, the screen shot was done with the standard command

/screenshot #X (where X is the player number)

Important:

I tried a dummy account and it failed with [XX] I tried a standard name and it failed, It looks like there is a port issue and we need to find which port is blocked or protocol, by default the game plays but the screen grab can be restricted. Be sure I will work on the problem and with or without grins help. Our process is for 'clean play' of all and we do not give the benefit of the doubt on protective system issues, that being said, we would like to find the root of this problem with the developer or/and the community.

@GRIN can you please clarify which ports/ protocol is required to make the screenshot if the game plays ok. but remote refuses the screen grab with the error "command failed'

viiiper*BDA*

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I've been testing the remote screenshot feature on the TuG server over the last week or so and have found a few issues with corrupted screens - only half saved, etc.

I doubt its anyone 'hacking' but I'd wager that there are still several bugs in the screenshot code & possibly with certain configs of gfx card/drivers.

A blank or corrupted screenshot does not a cheater make! :D

oh & I forgot to say that its not a port issue on the server as we dont run a firewall at all on our box, there's just no need.

Edited by Beaver
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had a similar issue last night where we couldnt take screenshots of a few people just white screens.

but then tried one fo me and mik and they didnt come out either then 20 minutes later it didnt miss a beat tokk a screenshot everytime of anyone.

dunno mate ive always been wary of ppl with some sort of bracket round there clan name. dont seem right to me :hehe:

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Are there any know issues with this feature that would cause a situation where screen grabs can be made from all players on the server except 3 that wore the lead initial in their names of '[' (open square bracket) ?

I ask grin cos we got our first 3 dudes of disrepute tonight, and banned them, I never believed in hacking or cheating but when you cannot take a screen shot of 3 members of the same clan (group) all sporting diffrent I.P's, what else can you conclude.

Thank you GRIN for a long overdue feature which will make all honest & clean server's a pleasure. :grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2:

p.s. If there is a flaw in the feature that can restrict the screen grab, We would all like to know.

Are you saying they where cheating somehow, or did you just ban them because you couldn't get a screen shot?

I don't see how you could consider banning them.

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Are there any know issues with this feature that would cause a situation where screen grabs can be made from all players on the server except 3 that wore the lead initial in their names of '[' (open square bracket) ?

I ask grin cos we got our first 3 dudes of disrepute tonight, and banned them, I never believed in hacking or cheating but when you cannot take a screen shot of 3 members of the same clan (group) all sporting diffrent I.P's, what else can you conclude.

Thank you GRIN for a long overdue feature which will make all honest & clean server's a pleasure. :grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2:

p.s. If there is a flaw in the feature that can restrict the screen grab, We would all like to know.

Are you saying they where cheating somehow, or did you just ban them because you couldn't get a screen shot?

I don't see how you could consider banning them.

We have not accused anyone is cheating. The point of the matter is that until this issue resolved, the abillity to take a reliable screen shot, be it a port issue, a operating system issue, a problem with the admin function, or a blocker, there will be ethical questions surrounding individuals when a screen shot can not be taken. We are attempting to provide a server that everyone can enjoy and BDA will allow those individuals back once this is resolved. If you do not care the rules on our server, don't play on it.

Edited by RedneckBob
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Given, that it is unclear either way at this point then what Viiper has done is precautionary nothing more or less.

In other applications that take screen shots, it's not an uncommon "safety" precaution by server admins to disallow/ban/prevent from playing in their server people who do not return SS's until they can resolve their problem. This is NOT an accusation of cheating. However it COULD be an INDICATION of cheating. The admin can't know which since while it could be a legitimate problem (firewall, or software conflict for example) it is a widely used methodology by cheaters. The concept is, if you block the SS then they can't tell 100% you are cheating. The only recourse for the server admin to protect the players in their server it to NOT allow players who do not return screen shots. It's unfortunate that the side affect of this decision is that some players will not be allowed to join servers where admins have this proactive policy. The positive is that cheaters running screen shot blockers will not be able to either.

What remains to be seen is that with testing if this is 100% verifiable and reproducable because of use of a "[" starting a name. If it is, the next question is that given a 4 week support policy, and 1 week of it lost due to the late US release, will there be time to fix it properly. I'm also worried that this will be of less and less importance, as that the AC will soon be 100% circumvented by cheaters and will no be updated by GRIN because of UBI dropping support for the game. Even if UBI gives more than 4 weeks support to GRIN, it WILL happen eventually because the community has no way of writing its own checks and updates for the AC. It will be interesting to see how things shape up with matching and all down the road.

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Are there any know issues with this feature that would cause a situation where screen grabs can be made from all players on the server except 3 that wore the lead initial in their names of '[' (open square bracket) ?

I ask grin cos we got our first 3 dudes of disrepute tonight, and banned them, I never believed in hacking or cheating but when you cannot take a screen shot of 3 members of the same clan (group) all sporting diffrent I.P's, what else can you conclude.

Thank you GRIN for a long overdue feature which will make all honest & clean server's a pleasure. :grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2:

p.s. If there is a flaw in the feature that can restrict the screen grab, We would all like to know.

Are you saying they where cheating somehow, or did you just ban them because you couldn't get a screen shot?

I don't see how you could consider banning them.

We have not accused anyone is cheating. The point of the matter is that until this issue resolved, the abillity to take a reliable screen shot, be it a port issue, a operating system issue, a problem with the admin function, or a blocker, there will be ethical questions surrounding individuals when a screen shot can not be taken. We are attempting to provide a server that everyone can enjoy and BDA will allow those individuals back once this is resolved. If you do not care the rules on our server, don't play on it.

See the problem is we DO care about the rules. The thing is, we had nothing to do with breaking them.

It is pretty obvious that the remote screenshot is not functioning 100% properly.

I understand you have no idea who we are, but let me assure you none of us joined your server with any kind of blocking system in play. I actually DL'd it, installed, patched, and joined your server for my first game of GRAW 2. There was no "install the screenshot blocker" step anywhere in the process.

We are also committed to helping find out what is causing this to happen, we have a temporary dedicated server up now, and our real dedicated should be up within the week. We would also be willing to help BDA in anyway throughout this process, believe me whatever it takes, as we would like to remove any "ethical" questions surrounding [ZA], square brackets and all.

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Given, that it is unclear either way at this point then what Viiper has done is precautionary nothing more or less.

This is NOT an accusation of cheating. However it COULD be an INDICATION of cheating.

:thumbsup: In the U.S. judicial system, a "not guilty" verdict does not mean "innocent."
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Let me add the following that I didn't in my above post.

I do not think Viiper is in the wrong anyway. I think he did the right thing as a server admin. He also did not mention a name of anyone. Kudos to him.

Also I do not hold Zenjant or any of the ZA guys in any ill regard and will not until I see proof of anything. I see this as most everyone else does I think.

I was on the receiving end of a similar situation when I purchased an Asus 6800 GE card (yes GE - hybrid between the normal 6800 and GT version). The Asus drivers for the card for some reason didn't allow PB screen shots to go through. I'm not sure if it was a PunkBuster update or a Nvidia update that eventually fixed it (PB I think as I tried several nvidia updates as they were released). I was banned off a couple of servers because I didn't return SS's. I held no hard feelings for that decision because I completely understood the reasoning.

That said, I hope this can be sorted out very quickly for everyone concerned and for the future of the feature that can help keep games that much cleaner for players.

Cangaroo - while I understand that, I also know "innocent until proven guilty" and circumstantial evidence not being enough to convict has saved more than one innocent person in our court system.

Edited by FI_FlimFlam
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Let me add that we do not have any hard feelings toward BDA, or any of their members.

As I stated before, I do respect that Viiiper didn't come out and point the finger at my squad.

I also understand why they took the actions they did, it is unfortunate for us that the screenshot capture didn't work the way it is intended, but I am more than confident that this will all get worked out in time.

Funny thing is, when I read about the rumoured screenshot capture months ago I was really excited...another tool we could use to catch the cheater population that will pop up in GRAW2. Sure didn't expect to be defending my squad over it.

I still think it is a great tool, just needs to be fixed so it works properly.

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If anyone actually reads all of the thread, the only points I raised were that there are players connecting to servers where the available security feature(s) fail to work. In those situations, the BDA (as only one of many GRAWI & II) servers implement their policies, which is to remove players where the problem occurs. No accusation of fowl play or cheating was made only the point that the protective feature had failed with certain players.

Clarification was made in my third post in this thread where I said:

Important:

I tried a dummy account and it failed with [XX] I tried a standard name and it failed, It looks like there is a port issue and we need to find which port is blocked or protocol, by default the game plays but the screen grab can be restricted. Be sure I will work on the problem and with or without grins help. Our process is for 'clean play' of all and we do not give the benefit of the doubt on protective system issues, that being said, we would like to find the root of this problem with the developer or/and the community.

@GRIN can you please clarify which ports/ protocol is required to make the screenshot if the game plays ok. but remote refuses the screen grab with the error "command failed'

viiiper*BDA*

There is no issue with [] brackets this issue is with ports or restricting ports. GRIN needs to interject here and provide info. Other servers run there policies and rules to suit there community, like AFZ and others.

Like I said later in this thread I apply an open mind to the situation but not an open door policy and although this does not suit all communities it fits the 100+ GRAW players of the BDA. We look forward to GRIN'S answer or a community input in a positive and constructive way.

On a personal note, I avoid finger pointing as it can lead to miss information and accusations.

p.s. There is no argument or discussion re: partial or corrupted image grabs. This happens sometimes, this was not the case at hand here.

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OK I did a bit more testing with other admins:

The results

If an admin is logged into the console, he/she can not screengrab them selves while logged in as admin. A second admin can while logged in at the same time, can make the screen grab of any other person (admin or not) that is on the server. That was the reason why my screen grabs failed in an earlier test, where I logged in as [XX]xxxx and tried to grab.

With names consisting of [XX] all grabs were successful on the test players, this is not a problem.

Since I started this thread, we have grabbed over 90+ player screens with no failures. There have been partial screens and slightly corrupted screens (where the grab was made on the frame change) but not one refusal or failure.

Like I said earlier, you have to trust the tools of the system and if a bug was in the tool then others should be effected. If you dis trust the tools then don't use them but we rely on the efforts of GRIN and I for one believe they have done a good job. Only time will tell if the tools they supplied have a problem, but in our tests we did not find one.

Server admins:

It is your own policies that will decide who plays on your servers and till GRIN makes some sort of input on this feature with regards to restrictive gabs, we stand on one rule, no screen grab, no play.

From network.xml


<!-- Remote Screenshots -->

<message name="from_client_start_remote_screenshot" delivery="reliable" receiver="connection_server" check="client_to_server">
<param name="size" type="int" />
</message>

<message name="from_client_remote_screenshot" delivery="reliable" receiver="connection_server" check="client_to_server">
<param name="screenshot" type="string"/>
<param name="size" type="int" />
</message>

<message name="from_server_make_screenshot" delivery="reliable" receiver="connection_client" check="server_to_client">
<param name="unused" type="int"/>
</message>

<!-- -------------------------------- -->
[/code] [b]From Multiplayer.xml[/b]
[code]
<string id="mp_server_hint_enable_anti_cheat" value="Enables a series of anti-cheat measures (file checker; speed-hacking, remote screenshots)

viii

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I'd like to thank Viiiper for his tact in not dragging my squadmates names through the mud. We have always played this game with the utmost integrity and this situation is not being considered by us with any amount of nonchalance.

Hopefully we can determine what is causing this and get it rectified. That being said, I'd like to offer the suggestion of having the ban lifted on the three players, inviting them back in and attempting further tests to see if the outcome is any different given the day or two that has passed. We in fact, as has been previously explained, have done our own testing and have found inconsistencies with the system as it stands. This system is new to us all and who knows if the same results would be reached if the attempted screenshots were retaken. If it is determined that the same issues are still present, and I typically try to avoid speaking for my squadmates when possible, but I wouldn't doubt that they would voluntarily remove themselves from your server until such time as this issue can be resolved.

Our reputation as honest skilled players is of great importance to us and we would certainly do what is necessary to protect it.

Once again we appreciate your handling of this situation. Stigmas are difficult, at best, to overcome once they have settled on folks...

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