View Full Version : Beware Tribes: Ascend

30-11-2011, 01:39 AM
I've typed this thing out so much today that I just can't be bothered to adjust it anymore for where it's being posted. The topic on the Hi-Rez forums was just deleted, just as some of us were beginning to post our process lists to see if we had anything in common. It doesn't seem like Steam is the issue after all, so, well, I don't know anymore.

Just this: If you're playing Tribes: Ascend, shut off anything unneeded. The ban system is evidently running rampant (The manager of the Tribes subreddit was also flagged for no clear reason) and the customer support at Hi-Rez is anything but its namesake.

Below is the text from the Hi-Rez forum topic. Again, at this point it seems like Steam probably wasn't the problem, as some other users reported launching through it without receiving bans later.

A week or so ago, I got into the Tribes: Ascend beta and began playing and enjoying it. I liked it enough that after a day or two of playing I bought the $30 preorder bargain pack and recommend the game to several friends in my community, at least one of which bought a 30-day boost within a day.

I played the game using my Logitech G510 keyboard and Logitech G9x mouse, and the software they come with. I played with Fraps running for the occasional screenshot and to possibly upload gameplay footage to my Youtube account to spread the game among my subscribers, once I was sure I wouldn't be violating anything by doing this. On November 21, 2011, I added the game to my Steam library and launched it through that so that I could chat with friends and they'd see me playing Tribes, as I still had a key to give away to one of them if they were interested.

Three days ago, I logged into the Tribes: Ascend service to learn that I was banned. No explanation was given, no warning.

Two days ago I lodged a customer service complaint to try to find out what happened. I was replied to with a seemingly automated response that I had violated a section of the EULA regarding the use of unsanctioned third-party tools to modify the game, presumably to cheat.

I replied that I used no such software to cheat or gain an unfair advantage. To help Hi-Rez spot the program that was clearly being falsely detected as a cheating tool, I submitted a list of my processes and services running, as the things I use are used by many gamers and so I believe that many other Hi-Rez customers are at risk of being subjected to unwarranted bans.

The ticket was closed without further reply by the customer support representative. At this point, as much as I want to keep playing and supporting Tribes: Ascend and future Hi-Rez games, I cannot do so in good faith because I cannot trust the company with my money. I had hoped this was a misunderstanding, but the lack of support to two civil complaints has precluded any hope of getting help. I hope that I can get my money back with a complaint through the bank, but knowing EULAs, I doubt it.

At this point I am fairly certain the ban was automatically applied after I launched the game through Steam and the overlay service it provides was perceived as a hack. Any other players should not make this mistake, as you won't get any help from Hi-Rez.

30-11-2011, 02:02 AM
I've worked with this person for several years as a volunteer game moderator, played numerous FPS and RTS games with them (far fewer of those, due to the fact that he's much better at them than me), and watched plenty of his Crysis 2 mod gameplay on his Youtube channel. I accepted his Tribes Ascend beta invitation (I didn't get one, boo!), and intended to give it a fair old boot with him (I'm EU, he's US)...

After hearing of his issues with getting banned I have uninstalled Hi-Command (it's toss anyway) and Tribes Ascend along with it. I don't understand how a company can build an anti-cheat engine that refuses to work properly, and further refuses to acknowledge the blatant issues with it. Not only that, but they refuse to answer support tickets in a meaningful manner, and simply copy & paste EULA spiel, without trying to further understand and help. Sard even went so far as to generate a list of all services and executable's running, yet no contact from any support official was extended in order to rectify the issue. Their official forums seem to display a few 'I'm banned?' posts that get swiftly deleted.

In the past I've taken slight pleasure from reading the VAC sub-section of the SteamPowered forums, but I know that anti-cheat engine works correctly, and that if they do find any issues, they swiftly repair the issue and unban those that got affected. Hi-Rez on the other hand have displayed no attempt to rectify the issue, nor want to.

I have never even remotely thought of this person as a cheater, and (I hope you don't mind me saying this), his skill level is definitely not of the 100-0 scoreboard variety. To hear that he was banned for cheating is an absolute joke.

30-11-2011, 06:16 AM
It's not an issue. Running via Steam modifies the executable, which should be pretty obvious. Anti-cheat can't tell what those modifications do, just that it's being modified. Of course they could probably design something to spot things like Steam and greenlight it, but since that would require scanning the user's system you'd likely get a lot more people complaining about that, assuming of course it doesn't trip whatever security software they happen to be running.

Malawi Frontier Guard
30-11-2011, 09:18 AM
It's not an issue. Running via Steam modifies the executable, which should be pretty obvious.

Adding a non-Steam game to Steam only places a shortcut in your games list. The executable is completely untouched by this simple, everyday process.

Edit: Wait, I don't know about the overlay. Need to research this. It certainly won't modify the executable though, but it could be detected.

30-11-2011, 01:20 PM
Isn't the overlay basically an injection?

30-11-2011, 05:03 PM
I was operating on the modest assumption that because their flagship game uses Steam, they'd be able to detect it as just being Steam, but it seems I was wrong. I am pretty uneducated in things like this, I suppose.

Then again, other posters on the HR forums say they launched via Steam without issue, so unless there's been some very coincidental timing in when Steam was used and when they began using the cheat detection, there must be another culprit.

30-11-2011, 05:10 PM
Isn't the overlay basically an injection?

Didn't Punkbuster used to go wild when it noticed Steam's overlay?

30-11-2011, 08:54 PM
Steam overlay is a separate .exe file, if you look at your processes with it open you'll see it there.

01-12-2011, 02:55 AM
Tribes subreddit mod here. I did add the game to my Steam list quite a while ago, but it wasn't actually the game but rather the Hi-Command program. As far as I know it isn't possible to play the game outside of Hi-Command. Realizing this I never launched it from Steam again, and rarely ever run Steam in general. Another person has been falsely banned, and both realized we ended the Awesomium process at least once. I did it to see if would improve performance/ping at all(which it didn't afaik). This is really the only similarity between us.

I'm using a Logitech headset though, which another person was using that got falsely banned. Really don't know what is causing these, but I'm expecting to see more and more.


01-12-2011, 07:52 AM
How's the game?

01-12-2011, 08:34 AM
The game itself is real neat!

I have not run into any similar issues, but I don't think I have any processes running that can be mistaken for cheats. I hope Hi-Rez gets up off their ass and help you out!

01-12-2011, 10:11 AM
How's the game?

TotalBiscuit did a fairly favorable "WTF is...?" of the beta here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TotalHalibut#p/u/17/a1HCnrU3FT8

In short, if you like fast paced shooters, this game might be for you.

01-12-2011, 02:30 PM
Tribes subreddit mod here.

Hey, I read your thread on official forums. Sounds ugly. But I'll wait until the game is in open beta or even oficially released and then try it. Maybe I won't have these issues. I don't have much to lose as long as I play for fun.

Anyway, I don't have an account on official forums. But I do have a few suggestions you could post.
- Generator being largely useless can be fixed by linking it to health regeneration or something similar (max health -20%...). Since health regen is some kind of technomagicbabble process, it could be considered generator dependent.

I haven't played any Tribes games, just Legends which is a free Tribes knockoff. From my youtube impressions it seems that mortar is indeed incredibly weak in this incarnation. Not being able to attach turrets to any surface limits creativity, variety and fun. Technician sounds like a Light class in a Medium package - worst of both worlds. But the Ranger class may be the showstopper. I'll wait.

I heard they had "problems" when they tried to increase inheritance past 20%. Any specific quote on this ? Maybe it's a "slight misstatement" and they think it will increase learning curve too much ?

01-12-2011, 02:45 PM
Let us hope they get this ironed out during the Beta phase.

02-12-2011, 01:43 AM
Just got a beta key e-mailed to me. Didn't even request one, probably got it because I've played so much Global Agenda. Not sure when I'm going to find the time to try it, but this thread doesn't make it sound great.

02-12-2011, 02:49 AM
That's a bad situation man :( I think at least they should try to communicate more

02-12-2011, 09:09 PM
I sent another ticket asking if I may copy my question and their response to other places, like emails or forums. This ticket was also closed without reply.

Go go customer service department.

03-12-2011, 10:03 AM
Did you 'sign' an NDA to get in the beta?

Did you use FRAPS.

Is publishing videos in contravention of the NDA?

If so: Bingo?

03-12-2011, 05:22 PM
Did you 'sign' an NDA to get in the beta?

Did you use FRAPS.

Is publishing videos in contravention of the NDA?

If so: Bingo?

I don't recall an NDA in the registration.

If there is one, publishing videos is not in violation, as there are plenty of videos linked daily in the beta forum, so I doubt that's a violation.

Even if it is, I didn't record any videos.

03-12-2011, 05:26 PM
NDA was lifted once CBT started. It's in the FAQ.

Also, I've been unbanned. Talked with them a bit, sent them my logs and apparently they 'discovered something'. Hopefully this'll improve their anit-cheat and prevent false bans a bit more.

03-12-2011, 10:29 PM
Didn't Punkbuster used to go wild when it noticed Steam's overlay?

It still does. The Steam version of BF2 requires that you turn it off or else PB supporting servers will boot you within about the first 15 seconds or so.

04-12-2011, 03:13 AM
NDA was lifted once CBT started. It's in the FAQ.

Also, I've been unbanned. Talked with them a bit, sent them my logs and apparently they 'discovered something'. Hopefully this'll improve their anit-cheat and prevent false bans a bit more.

Huh, how did you get them to actually converse? I sent as much to no avail.

05-12-2011, 04:30 PM
A few questions for people with access to beta:

- which vehicle is the best for killing Rangers ? Rangers are supposedly bad at destroying vehicles, so it makes sense to try to counter their hitscan weapons with a tin can.

- which classes are most effective on defense ? Cyberjocks salivate over pathfinder, pathfinder, pathfinder and jumper. I see no equivalent threads for people who like defensive play.

06-12-2011, 05:26 AM
This is why you should just LAUNCH THE DAMN THING FROM THE DESKTOP. Seriously do you put everything on Steam? God forbid you have to go and open your game via the use of the client.

06-12-2011, 05:50 AM
Some people find the Steam overlay quite useful - even I do, and I don't use the community features, just the web browser (aaaah, my aching load times and need for constant stimulation).

It seems very odd that people that design anti-cheating solutions can't cope with the particular (very popular, and highly publicised) overlay hooking into their clients' apps. I'd would've assumed that dealing with stuff like that was the hard part of designing such a system.

06-12-2011, 09:15 PM
This is why you should just LAUNCH THE DAMN THING FROM THE DESKTOP. Seriously do you put everything on Steam? God forbid you have to go and open your game via the use of the client.

As with Zetetic, I find the overlay extremely useful. I have a disorder where I enjoy conversing with friends, and being able to just open the overlay and chat between spawns, turns, rounds etc is handy.

08-02-2012, 12:25 PM
Lol this game is such BS; I got banned after one match wherein i literally said nothing and had a positive K/D.

08-02-2012, 12:26 PM
Oh and i didnt use steam either.

08-02-2012, 01:10 PM
This is disgraceful! Something must be done about this, or all good, right thinking video gamers shouldn't be able to sleep at night. Write to your MP, or John Walker.

08-02-2012, 01:22 PM
I couldn't even play the damn game, it just keeps BSODing my pc every time I run it.

10-02-2012, 03:15 AM
Well, I'm enjoying it. No blue screens, no bans, just some good old-fashioned fast-paced fun. I'd say that this is the best skill-based shooter since UT04. I wouldn't give the game a pass because their customer service is awful. It is in beta, and unfortunately, this sort of thing happens. Unprovoked bans are inexcusable, but if you bring enough attention to them they tend to work out. Just remember that the customer service reps aren't the people designing the game.