GTA Player Says He Hired Cheater To Rescue Him From... Another Cheater

GTA Player Says He Hired Cheater To Rescue Him From...Another Cheater

Sometimes, you have no choice but to fight fire with fire. That is essentially what a man called Rev Drucifer has been telling me over the last couple of days. Drucifer only plays one game: Grand Theft Auto. Specifically, GTA Online, the multiplayer version of the extremely popular GTA V.

He really loves the game; he estimates that he's spent nearly 80 days playing it across various accounts on the PS3. Recently, though, Drucifer says he got into a complicated situation involving GTA, cheaters and the game's developer, Rockstar. Here's what he says happened.

"I wanted to start a new character/account that specifically focused on killing and keeping a high [kill/death ratio]," Drucifer explained to me over email. He did this about four weeks ago. One day, however, this character had the bad luck of entering a GTA Online lobby where a modder -- someone who has hacked their game in order to gain access to various cheats in GTA Online -- was playing.

"I'm in a car with this guy and money bags start raining down," Drucifer said. "I realise my account is filling up FAST, so I jump out of the car... money is shooting out of my character's arse. I'm yelling on the mic for him to stop, [but] he's not stopping then all of a sudden [he] starts killing everyone in the lobby over and over."

For those of you that don't play GTA Online, this story might sound unbelievable. How could someone force someone else to take money in a game? Why would that be a bad thing, even? Oh, and why would money be ejecting from a game character's butt?

Curiously, forcing money on other players is a very specific form of griefing in GTA Online. Cheaters can do things like spawn money on other players, and they can shoot money from guns, too. The reason anyone would do something like this is simple: making money rain causes pandemonium. Some players will want to pick up the money -- because hey, it's free money! But Rockstar's system also flags anyone that gains too much money as a cheater, making "free money" scenarios into a sort of trap that some players might fall into without realising it.

Here's a video by HDCommentary showing a cheater who is shooting bags of money straight at players who are running away from him. Eventually, the player in the video decides to leave the lobby, as he doesn't want to risk being flagged by Rockstar's system, despite not actually cheating:

That's no isolated incident. At this point, savvy players don't stick around when a money-spewing cheater appears. Drucifer, however, says he may have been spewing money but wasn't the actual cheater causing it. It wasn't long, though, before he straight-up got kicked out of the game's lobby.

"Normally, you'll get a warning when other players start voting to kick you, but there was no warning, I was just OUT," Drucifer said. "When I hit X to continue, it brought me to a Bad Sport lobby and I had $102,000,000 in my account. I had maybe a couple hundred thousand previously."

GTA Online has two special lobbies, both of which are reserved for problem players. There's the Cheater's Pool, where people who exploit the game go. There you'll find people who use cheats and hacks, like "God Mode." Then there's the Bad Sport lobby, which is where players who are jerks tend to go to. The Bad Sport lobby seems like a silly concept, for sure -- isn't GTA made for people who like to cause chaos?

But if a player happens to, say, blow up too many vehicles, then they might find themselves in the Bad Sports lobby nonetheless. Bad sportsmanship encompass other things too, like leaving too many matches.

GTA Online's cheat detectors might flagged Drucifer for receiving an impossible amount of money, despite his assertion that it wasn't his doing. Accused of a crime that he says he didn't commit, Drucifer says he contacted Rockstar Support over the phone. "A guy on the line listens to my story and really just kind of asks softball questions as he fumbles around a keyboard, then tells me he sent an email and we should be all set," Drucifer says. "I open the email and it states that Rockstar cannot adjust Bad Sport settings."

Here's that email:

You are receiving this automatic reply because you recently submitted a ticket to Rockstar Games Support with the term "Bad Sport" found in the text. If your tickets is not related to Bad Sports or you believe you are receiving this message in error, please feel free to respond and we will address your question.

We are sorry to hear that you are having a problem related to the Bad Sport pool in Grand Theft Auto Online. The Bad Sport pool is triggered by things like quitting games early, blowing up other people's vehicles, and being reported manually or voted out by other players from the in-game pause menu.

The Bad Sport pool is temporary and ends after a certain period of time that is displayed when entering GTA Online. Please note that the duration of the Bad Sport period may increase if further violations occur while in the Bad Sport pool, including being reported by other players.

Rockstar Games

I contacted Rockstar to ask about Drucifer's support ticket, as well as the general cheating situation in GTA Online and didn't hear back in time for publication. As such, we can't confirm the veracity of this letter, but there are many like it floating around online.

Rockstar does know about a lot of these free-money tricks, too. Way back in January of 2014, the studio said that anyone who found themselves in Drucifer's situation -- gifted hacked bags of money -- would not be punished. But that's what Drucifer says happened to him, and he got sent to the Bad Sport lobby as a result.

Bad Sport lobbies are supposed to be a temporary penalty. Every player gets a timer for their 'sentence,' and once that time is up, they're free to start playing normally again. Drucifer says that instead of having his timer go down, however, it started going up. While he couldn't offer me any evidence of this, I can at least confirm that many players have encountered issues with the Bad Sport timer before (usually the timer gets stuck or increases), so that part of the story doesn't seem unusual to me.

Once again, Drucifer says he contacted Rockstar. Once again, he says they sent him an email that was no help. "We are sorry to hear that you are having a problem related to the Bad Sport pool in GTA Online," the email says. "We are not able to adjust Bad Sport stats." Drucifer says his timer kept going up, eventually reaching eight days after having started at just three.

Exasperated, Drucifer decided to take matters into his own hands. He knew that there were modders who offered services that could help him...for a price. So he sought out the most trustworthy-seeming GTA Online modder he could find, gave him his account information, paid a fee, and voila.

"I shot him a message telling him the situation," Drucifer says. "He said he'd give it a try but didn't promise anything. Fifteen minutes later, I was out of Bad Sport."

Curious about this apparent GTA Online underworld, I sought out the modder myself. I was surprised to find someone who not only advertised his services openly, but who also seemed to care a great deal about appearing professional. On the modder's Facebook page, I found a flier that advertised different "packages" that players could purchase. Each package represented a different "tier" of services for GTA Online, including new-gen consoles and PC.

For $US20, you can get money, rank, gun camos, tattoos, max stats, mods and DLC weapons. For $US45, you can get all of that, plus a Liberator vehicle, infinite ammo, and full garage editing. Those are just two packages out of many, each one with its own price tag and catalogue. Each one promises a "Lifetime Warranty". The modder's flier itself looks like something a start-up might make; it's very clean, with an eye for graphic design and typography. I would include a picture but the modder requested that I keep them anonymous.

The flier boasts that the modder is very experienced, has the "lowest ban rate" and it even includes customer testimonials -- all to try to assure a prospective buyer that you could trust a cheater with your account information. According to this modder's Facebook page, thousands of people have done exactly that, and the modder estimates that others are making up to hundreds of dollars a day from services like these.

I reached out to the modder on Skype, and a day later, he responded to me. I told him I wanted to chat with him for a story, to see if Drucifer's tale was true. Shortly afterward he told me my IP address in what I assume was an attempt to scare me, or at least to convince me of his bona fides. "I had to do some research on my end :)", he said.

The modder confirmed to me that he got Drucifer out of the Bad Sport lobby. Typically, he claims that he provides this service a couple of times a week, and it's usually the same players who continually need to be taken out of Bad Sport lobbies. That is to say: it doesn't seem like he usually does this sort of thing for innocent players.

"Modding itself is pretty easy if you have the right tools and the understanding on how it works... creating the modding tools is the hard part," the modder claims. "Bad Sport is just a stat in the game, just like everything else pretty much. You send functions to change the stats in the game memory.

"Bad Sports stats can pretty much only have 2 values tied to it -Yes the account is in bad sports, -or No the account is not in bad sports."

The modder then shared this screenshot with me, which he claims is some of the code that makes up GTA Online (click to expand/read comfortably)

GTA Player Says He Hired Cheater To Rescue Him From...Another Cheater

"The way the game is written, you pretty much have access to all those stats that are in the game (they are all nicely organised on a couple documents)," the modder claims. "So it's just a matter of doing lots of research and testing to figure out what works and what doesn't."

The modder made cheating in GTA sound easy -- which is probably not surprising, given all the horror stories floating around about GTA Online.


Comments

    It's sad that those cheats exist, and that people actually pay for them to unlock stuff like weapon camos. It's almost like they're paying to NOT play the damn game. And I wonder if the people making cheats realise they're ruining the game for everyone else, or if they even care.

      For some that's exactly why they do it.

        I love how Freeze's avatar is Scruffy from Futurama, but the guy he replied to is named scruffy. Haha

      Yeah, i'm sick of Rockstar selling cheats as well. I mean why would you pay 130 AUD to get a few million to skip playing their game.

      They have basically ruined the level playing field in their own game.

      Last edited 24/05/15 2:15 pm

        Huh? In-game money isn't about skipping playing the game, it's about choosing how you want to play the game. Some people enjoy the journey, some people enjoy the "end game". Besides, weapons and ammo are cheap compared to job rewards, and DLC weapons are always available to everyone. There's no challenge in getting the same equipment, it's just a grind. Once you unlock super heavy armour, what mostly differentiates people is skill and luck, as it should be.

          My point was people were complaining about hackers giving themselves money, its no different than people paying Rockstar for money. Cheating is cheating.

            No, they are completely different. One is a service provided by rockstar to get more money, the other is an exploit to get more money. The latter will get you in trouble, while the other one won't.

            Paying rockstar for ingame cash is NOT cheating. You are not breaking any of the ToS so therefore its not cheating

              Sure technically its not cheating but throughout gaming history up until this point infinite cash is considered a cheat.

              I also have a lot more respect for people who exploit to get a million dollars vs buying a million dollars because at least one of them isn't supporting micro transactions in a full price game.

                So cheating is more respectable than buying in-game cash which actually gives you little advantage.... Hmm....

                  I specifically said cheating for MONEY. Perhaps rather than adding a few extra ... to your hmm you could have read what I said.

        But the money does comparatively little when compared with cheats and trainers....

        A very low level player can spend over $100 to get a lot of in-game cash, however, that doesn't unlock all weapons and car parts. Doesn't even unlock heists! So I hardly think it gives you a very big edge....

        If I was to be able to teleport, be invincible, kill you and everyone else at will etc. THAT kind of pisses me off!

          I agree, unfortunately in my experience the guys that are invulnerable running around murdering everyone don't get banned nearly as fast as people who cheat to get more cash.

          I guess its because rockstar don't sell invulnerability so they aren't losing any money on it?

            I'd say it's because it looks much more obvious to R* if my account suddenly gets a ~billion or couple hundred million. It saves to the to my character. If I spawn a few cars and screw around, it doesn't really do much. Plus I've noticed that most of the cheaters killing everyone on the server, do it in another players name, for obvious reasons.

      Why would they care? They're making money. That's the saddest part about the whole thing. I'll get GTA for $100, then spend a couple hundred more on cheats.... What a joke that kind of attitude is.

    Please sir, It was not me, it was my brother.

    Welcome to the internet.

      I want public naming and shaming of players who do this. From all developers and publishers. It's clear that condoning it won't make it go away. It's also clear that most of the time, these devs can't keep up with the cheaters, and why should they? They could be spending time making more content or a new game entirely! These cheaters simply waste everyone's time!

      Sometimes it really was your brother. They dont care. Even if youre in a coma it was your responsibility

    I'm a little suspicious of all this.

    If he made a new character just to get a high K/D, then I assume like many that he is using the Jet grief strategy.
    If true, he will be gathering a ton of strikes toward bad sport on his own.

    Second, if R* does look im to his claim and find he was already freed from the bad sport lobby, he will be looking at a ban. (Coverage like this isn't going to help)

    Smells a little like a promotion to me.

      Passive toggle and a heavy sniper is all you need to avoid jet griefing. People always seem to forget they can get out of camp situations with passive.

    That's not code, it is not executable. It is information - data. It is formatted as XML. This looks like some kind of configuration file setting.

    Now the explanation given doesn't answer all the questions. There are 2 sides to the system here - the client (like your PC, PS4, Xbone) and the server (rockstar's computers, located somewhere on the internet). With a lot of online games you have a "world" kind of existing on a server and multiple clients connect to it.

    With the traditional client/server model the way to deal with hacking involves not relying on the client. The client is treated as untrustworthy (because it can be modified) and the server must double check things that happen. Anti-hacking can thus add serious overhead to processing and communications.

    With GTA Online It gets a little more complicated because I think they run the games using their own peer-to-peer system. Which means there is not a game world server as such, the clients all act partly as a server and client and work together to maintain the game world. Something like that, someone else might know in more detail. So if it boils down to a client config (as shown above) needing to be modified, that is virtually no security.

    But while there is a peer-to-peer system, there is still going to be some kind of rockstar servers to handle logging in and stats. matchmaking and other things like that before hooking you up to a peer to peer network for the game. One would think that rockstars servers also cover whether you get matched to the good group or the punishment group. So it wouldn't make sense that one could just change a local config and get around it. Unless it is just genuinely zero double checking of the security around it and they are totally relying on client settings.

    Last edited 24/05/15 4:26 pm

      The story and the information don't match. The bad sport system isn't binary, there's both a numeric rating and a duration, neither of which are shown in his XML excerpt. He also talks about manipulating game memory, which is completely unrelated to the XML excerpt he provided. It sounds to me like he may have a way to shed the bad sport flag, but certainly isn't sharing any real information on it, because the explanation he gave is bogus.

      I have to agree with you there. I mean, I don't understand how editing a Clientside file would affect a variable that is controlled Serverside. Either R* are really lazy or P2P lobbies are worse than I thought.

        The free roam lobbies are getting really bad. If they keep going this way, there will be more Hardline players than GTA Online players on PC....

          My biggest problem was the fact that it matches you with people all over the earth. Surely there is a way for them to matchmake you with people from your own country?

            I agree. Sick of being on servers with teleporting Russians or Americans etc. I wish you could host your own lobby!

    Rockstar say they ignore people who have had money forced upon them.

    This guy doesn't look like he was held accountable for the money hacks because he wasn't sent to the Cheaters Pool, it sounds like he was being a dick online and got sent to the Bad Sports Pool.

    Rockstar Support is borderline useless. They have nowhere near enough people to support the amount of problems with Online, which imo is a slap in the face, considering how much money this game has made THREE TIMES.

    I've had a ticket open for Online desync issues for over a month now and I've had 2 real people responses about it, one of them even asking for diagnostic files that were already attached to the support ticket. USELESS.

      aaand they've closed my ticket. This support is worse than EA. Maybe R* will beat EA as worst online support company this year...

        Wait, You're say EA and R* are bad. Sir, Have you tried Steam Support? I don't have any experience with R* Customer Service, but EA (Live Chat atleast) was a breeze for me. No hassle, Polite and Fast. Even gave me discount codes.

        You're right.

        I had a ticket just closed about not being able to save video recordings. So I can't use the editor/director modes at all. I just get a "failed" message every time I try to record. I was very detailed in my ticket to R* too.

        The response I got?

        Carol K. Saturday at 20:40
        Hello Cardinal7477,

        We apologize for the delayed response and to hear that you are currently experiencing issue launching the game on your PC. However, we have received a small amount of reports regarding unknown error which is currently occurring on your PC while launching the game. Most of the players were able to fix this issue by just rolling back the drivers and re-updating them back once again using their control panel settings.

        Also, we request you to update the bios driver to the latest version.

        If issues persist, please feel free to get back in contact with us.

        We appreciate your time and patience in this regard!

        Best regards,

        Carol K.
        Rockstar Support

        Had no issue with launching the game at all....

    Actually kind of expected all this anarchy to exist on GTA Online. I mean, its a game where, in single player, you play a criminal with no moral compass, causing mass mayhem and fear to everyone else in the city (granted they're NPCs). Now you're in multiplayer, and lo and behold, you're no longer the lead character in your power fantasy, and now its a nightmare...

    Still kind of shitty though.

    Just have to love that PC master race huh? PC gaming is so much better right? i guess it is for those who know how to hack into the coding and change stuff into there favor. Alot harder to hack console coding. Its possible i know. PS4 users have done there fair share, and as an Xbox user ive seen my fair share in COD throughout the years. But have not seen NEARLY the extent as i have coming from PC games. H1Z1 or whatever just banned what 33million+ players? WoW just banned a couple million Botters? Who knows when Rockstar will be slamming down the ban hammer? (probly once they get off the arse with this lawsuit againt the GTA film. They more worried about people knowing the making of GTA then GTA its self it seems)

      You do realise the person in the story was playing on PS3 right? Or are you incapable of reading and instead go off of wild inane tangents?

      Taking sides and arguing one platforms superiority is stupid. And if someone decides to go down that path, ignore them, because this comment ^^^^^ is also pretty stupid.

Join the discussion!