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MS banning Modded XBoxes???

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by Azrikam, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Azrikam

    Azrikam
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  2. lechacal

    lechacal
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    They said this ages ago.
    As someone who enjoys playing games online a lot (I'm an Xbox Live beta tester) I'm actually in favour of this. Provided that it helps stop people cheating online then it's a good thing (even though that probably isn't MSs primary concern).
    I've given up on far too many ruined UT and CS games in disgust.
     
  3. Azrikam

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    I can see why they are doing it, I just wish there was a better way to go about it.

    Surely, if they scanned for modded X-Boxes and "temporarily" banned them, this would allow those with mod-switches to play online unmodded (within the rules), and also play Japanese games in the privacy of their own home. Course, I'm not all that familiar with using mod chips to allow you to cheat, so maybe I'm way off on that.

    The article does make a good point about people selling off "banned" machines, much to the chagrin of their new owners.
     
  4. Jpfahy

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    PAH!
    I'll be buying another Xbox then, cheap enough these days :D
     
  5. Azrikam

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    And MS loses a ton of money on each machine. Even more reason to buy one. :)
     
  6. NeoBlade

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    All of that info has been around for some time (unless I've missed something?) but if you do have a modified Xbox then all you would need to do, is to flash the BIOS... I can't remember if this only accounts for the 2nd and 3rd generation of Xbox mod chips or not.. But basically here is the deal.

    Microsoft can identify every single Xbox out there via a serial code. The clever codies have managed to do a dump of the chip that contains the code... De-crypt it, and modify it ^_^ So really if you find yourself banned... Simply upload the new BIOS and voila, you're back in the game. You can even surf anonymously and Microsoft will never know.

    I'm just waiting for the X-Ecuter II mod chip (27th Nov) that has a multi BIOS (up to 4) so I can switch between them at any time depending on my needs.

    I am in favour of lechacal's point though. No-one like a cheater and really they should be banned... But if you know software well enough, as well as internet security then you'll know that its pretty hard to ban anyone from anything unless you physically take away the device.

    I've always disliked cheats, guides etcsince I feel that it takes away an aspect of what makes videogames great - The challange. Hopefully the XBL network won't be full of them.
     
  7. Azrikam

    Azrikam
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    We all knew MS had the ability to scan for modded X-Boxes, but I (foolishly) didn't think they would actually do it.

    But surely if you alter your serial number, then get banned, some poor guy out there that legitimately has that serial number can't play anymore. The bans are lifetime, which seems pretty drastic.

    I agree, there will always be cheaters. Unfortunately, consoles have a younger market than PCs, so I would expect even more cheating on a console online service.

    Course, I have an unmodded X-Box, so I'm really not worried. And buying a second box (imported or modded) to play foreign games is actually an alternative, given the price.

    In the end, if someone wants to cheat bad enough, you really can't stop them. It's fine to try, but not to the point where you start messing up the legitimate players.
     
  8. NeoBlade

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    Exactly and the blame is down to Microsoft on that one. Remember how they shunted nVidia millions of legitimate microchips just so Microsoft could introduce the weak "Security v1.1" to the Xbox? Naturally nVidia were not happy about it and Microsoft could have done a lot more to prevent mod chips and cheaters working at all.

    At the end of the day though Microsoft should restrict online games to be loaded from the CD itself and not from the HDD. That way there isn't really a chance to cheat as everyone will have the same set of code. Microsoft should also carry on developing its internet software for the Xbox to become a standard that all of its games should use. Anything outside of its regulations and it'll be rendered useless (Microsoft has had plenty of practise already <g>).

    You could for example have every online game registered to you online and it would check it Vs your serial code on the Xbox... If the serial code or the game's code was modified then you would be banned but its a lengthy process overall. Another method would be to include a ROM chip with the serial code on it that cannot be flashed which then has to be verified by multiple chips on the motherboard. Sure enough you could make a mod chip for it but then it would complicate matters as more than one chip is responsible for the unique serial code.

    Naturally even if you introduce those measures above it won't fend off cheaters but there are other ways still. I agree that a lifetime ban is very harsh and since the BIOS/EEPROM flash is out there it will hurt the true gamers out there.
     
  9. Sinzer

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    Playing from the CD everytime would be extremely limiting, they certainly couldn't offer online games such as Counterstrike or Star Wars Galaxies as the need to patch is always there.

    You would end up with games like PSO, where the content is limited and any balancing issues can never be addressed. Also, there were some glaring bugs in the game, which would never be fixed, that is bad from an online perspective.

    Online gamesplaying has far more lasting appeal, to keep gamers interested you to continually evolve your product. At least from my 5 years of online gaming now, I would say that an online game without patches is doomed to fail. There is no way a developer can account for how 1 million people are going to react to a game.
     
  10. Azrikam

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    Yeah, online PC gaming will always be better for RPGs or complex games of that nature.

    But for racing/fighting/shooting/sports games, I can see the console market being pretty viable. Personally, I'm looking forward to MotoGP and NFL2K3 online... and maybe a little Halo2.

    Although with X-Box Live and the hard drive, the X-Box now has the capability for game patches, but that would be a terrible addition to the console market that I hope isn't used. People buy console games because they work out of the box.
     
  11. Guest

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    Blimey. That'll be one way to bring XBOX live to a halt then. Blinkin hacker writes a prog to logon using a sequentially incrementing serial number...banning everyone for life!

    Jus.
     
  12. NeoBlade

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    It would indeed be very limiting to just have games loaded from the DVD and not to make use of the HDD but what else can you do against cheaters? The only other way I can think of to prevent mod chips from becoming mass market is to have parts of the serial code on multiple ROM chips that are integral in the booting/running of the Xbox. Sure someone could make up an algorithm or a mod chip to bypass the multiple chips but it'll be harder to do.

    I'm not really involved in the PC online gaming scene so I don't know what steps they have done to prevent cheating and how high the success rates are.

    I agree with patches though since IMO it could ruin the whole idea of consoles... Plus it could make developers lazy and release games earlier knowing that a patch would solve problems.

    I guess we'll have to see how Microsoft reacts to all of this since I'm sure they are keeping a close eye on the development scene.
     
  13. Azrikam

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    My only real online PC gaming experience is from Day of Defeat. (Half-life mod) Although cheaters can ruin a game, I don't find them that intrusive. Most players don't cheat, and the ones who do can be banned.

    I think the problem lies in the fact that MS feels that all modded X-Boxers are cheating. I would much rather if the servers were well patrolled by admins, who could impose lifetime bans on players who were actually caught cheating instead of banning them all up front. But, given MS's stance on mod chips, this move is probably just as much about cracking down on piracy as it is about stopping cheaters. They are just using X-Box Live as a medium to make mod chips less attractive to consumers.
     
  14. Sinzer

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    TBH... I think the modding issue has little to do with cheating and more to do with piracy.

    Most PC games require you to sign up with a serial key and run checks on the installed software to ensure it is not a pirated version. With X-Box live you have the one key for online play, all games work over the network and also I can imagine publishers will not be happy to have to install their own checks. So if you have a key you will be able to use copied games, especially if they run off the DVD.

    MS's strategy is heavily based on live, therefore to sell the products they need to stop people just using pirated software.

    Neoblade - The only way to prevent cheating/hacking is to run all the code on the server ala Everquest style. This is obviously not appropriate for arcade games.

    Cheating is secondary to piracy, like Azrikam says most players do not cheat and those who do can be kicked off/banned by their identifiers.
     
  15. Azrikam

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    This is on-topic, I swear!

    Did anyone notice the crack on the Sopranos last night? Janice showed up at one of the houses with a handful of X-Box games her nephew had burned off for her. :D
     
  16. NeoBlade

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    Piracy is indeed the main concern but it'll always be around. Even if one does not sign up to Xbox live you can still run copies regardless without a care in the world. Piracy can even help sales as the PSX illustrated especially in asia. I can't forsee every single Xbox owner signing up to Xbox Live with a broadband connection, so really Microsoft needs to up the ante against piracy via other means. Ever read what the WindowsXP Service Pack 1 can do to an illegal copy? ^_^

    I'm hardly saying that piracry is the way forward... I posted my stance on the whole thing on another thread but theres only so much you can do to prevent it until a solution is found. Nintendo in this respect have done well because while its possible to copy Gamecube games it it not viable in terms of profit to do so.

    I would love to see piracy fade away but its just not going to happen. If there is a demand then there is always someone ready to deliver.
     
  17. Dom H

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    I'm confused why people are saying Xbox games should run from the disc only...they do (unless you have a modded box with games ripped to the HD) The hard disk is for data cacheing only.


    As for patches they aren't really possible as the code has to have 'hooks' i.e a point where it jumps from its main sequence of execution into different code on the HD, like the DOA3 addon.

    Basically if the devs don't code in the ability for the software to leave its normal route of execution and run external 'add on' code then it's not posibble. For example Halo cannot be modified atall.


    I could be wrong though :p


    SP1 will not install on illegal copies.
     
  18. NeoBlade

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    Dom H, ah its probably doesn't now but in the early release it screwed up the PC bigtime ^_^ Basically it went into the BIOS and flashed it causing the PC to loose track of your HDD as well as the CD drive and floppy drive. Quite nice actually. Also it corrupted data just to add the finishing touches ^_^
     
  19. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    Not for the current X-Box games, but to support future releases such as Star Wars Galaxies, they will have to have patch facilities, which will most likely mean that games like this will be copied to the HD.
     

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