Tera Nexus Times

The current nexus times are:

Saturday, Sunday—2 a.m., noon, 7 p.m. pst
Monday, Friday—noon, 7 p.m. pst
Tuesday, Thursday—6 p.m. pst

Friday, March 21, 2014

Major Design Flaw in Tera Online's Game Engine

So the reason I think this should be at least be posted about is because for some reason even though bug reports to En-masse have been made they really have not commented on it at all other then the generic responses based on bugs. So today I'm gonna let everyone in on a major flaw in the design of Tera Online which will also allow players to understand why people are hard to hit in PvP. And hopefully it will come down to Bluehole actually doing something about it.

Before I start explaining all of the information about the problem let me go ahead and say that the reason bugs like these go unnoticed by Korean developers is because most of your Korean players focus time and effort on actually playing the game and not exploiting it. Especially since they value not getting banned since they put a lot of work into characters and time and money. As for North American servers I hate to say it but most of your hackers are lazy Americans and players from Brazil and the try hard players who will do anything to win. Not trying to be racist here but if you check websites that have hacks like elitepvpers and such most of the people who are like pls master hacks or people who ask are usually from these two area's. As well as many of the farmers and botters are always American people who are trying to farm the system and not "Chinese gold farmers" as people would love to accuse them of.

So I've made some posts based on some of the bugs like the macroing of skills for lancers and warriors to go around cool downs for stun and slows. Which is annoying and all but this actually has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm actually going to talk about. Cause while this is still a very annoying game breaking problem. There is actually a major flaw which breaks the game much more hardcore when it comes to PvP.

And for the sake of not being all like here's how to hack Tera Online I won't be teaching you how to to abuse this flaw with the game but many of your hacking community already knows the bug exists and just to make this even easier to explain a point. I was going to show the video which I saw originally which shows someone doing a 2 minute run of LoT but apparently it was removed by the EU server of Tera Online. But what I can show is the effect that the bug has on the game..

And of course people assumed this was some kind of private server prank for Tera Online. But private server wise Tera Online doesn't have really good ones which even contain actual working servers with monsters and all. Also I figured out how the bug could be reproduced since I worked on private servers for Ragnarok Online for 10 years. It was easy to figure out and copy. Of course secretly last patch they changed LoT to only spawn the last boss after all the other bosses are killed. The reason being is because people could skip to the last boss and do a 2 minute run of LoT and the last two triple drop weekends people where doing that non stop which was why mes became so worthless.

So the issue with these bugs is they are done clientside and part of the issue is collision related. What that means is collision for a map is controlled by files which every player has access too. Now you might be wondering what does this really matter. So I'll explain a little how collision works and then explain why this is a problem from a pvp point of view.

A perfect example of what collision is would be if you ever played the game Ragnarok online since its one of your older mmorpg's and collision was controlled by GAT files these told a player where they could or couldn't move. So for example if the walkable was made so you could walk though a hidden wall you could walk though that spot even if it looked like it was impossible. Same goes for when a wall was in your way and it was solid and told you that you couldn't walk though that wall. In Ragnarok GAT was cached into the servers memory. Which means that if a player was able to modify walls and floor or walkable space it didn't matter cause the server would tell you that the walkable for said map didn't change and keep the old settings this prevented people from changing things client side and effecting things which the server was telling you isn't possible.

So lets put the mystery together in Tera Online collision isn't controlled by the server. Map files do not cache into the servers memory and server doesn't save a players current location. Which means that all the server knows is said player is connected in "map location". Of course most of your player base wouldn't know enough about computers to understand the issues caused by this. But if you've ever tried to hack a game before or played the white knight anti-hacker role looking for bugs you would know there's major issues.

These issues are:

  • Lag switching
  • Removal of Collision of maps
  • Teleport hacking  
Okay so let me explain what Lag switching is since it's not really a term that Tera Online is known for since most people associate lag with a bad connection. For lag switching we can take two different types of games which are usually associated with lag switch problems. The first is first person shooters (FPS). The second is a familiar game World of Warcraft. So lets talk about how it effects FPS's since these are most played. Lag switching in FPS's is when someone knows they are about to get hit by gun fire so they use a program to shut the connection off for a second before contact making them avoid taking damage. In World of Warcraft lag switching could be used in the similar aspect during pvp but it was also used for exploring locations which cannot be accessed. Players would lag switch though a closed of portal so they could view a map they would not normally be able to access. So in Tera Online lag switching is used for avoiding damage hackers will bind a key thats easy to use to turn there connection off to avoid the incoming damage which also allows them to seemingly teleport to a different location when the server picks up the reconnect.

Part of the reason it's hard to report people for lag switching is the same effect happens if someone loads up a torrent program then starts downloading something in the background or players who have Internet connections that royally suck and have 800ms or more during game play that can have the same effect as someone who's lag switching.

Removal of collision of maps is a real problem not just for dungeon exploiting but also during pvp this works like being in a town pvping everyone knows not to accept duels inside of a town because you cannot properly hit people with no collision in a town right? Well removing collision from a map has the same effect only it will only effect the player who has removed collision. So for example Timmy removes his collision from 3v3's this makes it so Bob cannot land a single heart thrust and goes though him with most of his attacks. If Timmy is lag switching or has 800ms it will make it almost impossible for anyone to kill him while lag switching can make it so he misses some of his heals too people who are actually lag switching will make sure not to lag iframe heals and only do it for incoming damage as well as area effect heals like healing circle and such will still hit anyways.

Teleport hacking this I haven't seen too much of at least not more recently since its pretty easy for GMs to catch and ban people who actually abuse this since its easy to see something is wrong when someone is teleport hacking this video is a good example:

You'll see the priest teleport similar to using teleport jaunt like a sorcerer of course this video is older and I haven't seen anyone update a multi-hack with the Teleport unlocker but I would imagine that this is most likely something that people could either learn how to do again or the premium websites which charge for hacks are another location which might have updated versions of these hacks. These websites are selling the information for collision hacking although so I do know most of the lazy community and elitist players know all about all of these and most likely are the ones abusing them.

Now the problem with fixing these is first Bluehole would need to decide it's worth rewriting the way the engine works. Since the server doesn't save map data a simple mod wouldn't be possible to fix the issue not for pvp wise. They would need to do the following:

  • Make the server cache the collision server side
  • Record the limit of max travel distance
  • Kick a player who disconnects even temporarily from the game forcing them out of the map server.
So caching the map's server side would make it so that collision would check server and not the client meaning no modifications could be done client side to break it and would prevent people from client modifying hack wise.

Record the limit of max travel distance prevents people from teleport hacking in other words making sure that even if someone's using a lag switch to teleport from point A to Point B the server would say hey your last location was 130x,183y in the map and when you attempt to teleport to 140x,190y the server either kicks you out of the game as an illegal movement or it forces you back in to point A.

Kicking players who disconnect temporarily go along with the recording of the distance but more importantly right now the character server keeps a player in a map even when they have disconnected for a split second meaning the map server doesn't force a player out when they disconnect. Of course I would imagine they do this because of the possibility to dupe in mmorpg's but if the coding for the character saves are properly done it's not really a fear since the server should always do posts of items though the trade broker by handling items as if they would be a loss to the player if exploited. Like for example if you disconnect at the same second of posting items are first deleted from character data before going up on the trade broker and the character server should be made to save the deletion before a player disconnects from the game. Many ways can be done to prevent that.

In the end while Tera Online has flaw's all mmorpg's will have some kind of flaw like all of the duping which was possible in world of warcraft though the auction house exploiting or in other games that botting and speed hacking are bad. Tera Online is a lot of fun but I believe if they addressed this major flaw as well as the UI lag problem they will continue to have one of the better mmorpg's out on the market especially PvP wise. Tera Online is one of the best pvp games I've played out of my 15 years of mmorpg gaming.

The reason I even took the time to post this up on here is I really haven't gotten anything from the GM's and unfortunately usually people won't listen to that one person who comes to them like hey this is broken unless it becomes a huge problem and people start complaining on a regular basis. So instead I'm telling the community since we seem to have a pretty popular website at this point and we have a lot of people that come here to look at information. But I won't teach you how to hack cause I really don't want to see everyone abuse it. I want it to be fixed so I can pvp in peace ^_^!

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