Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The most ridiculous hacks in Dota 2

There are always rumours of secret, game-breaking hacks in Dota, and pretty much every competitive eSport out there. All it takes is for an Invoker to land a few well-judged Sun Strikes, and players will jokingly start writing 'map hack confirmed' in the all chat.

Of course, you'll never see such programs appearing in professional tournaments,  but the truth is that Valve is constantly searching to find those players hacking the game, and rare cases of insane third-party software have been seen in ranked play over the past few years. Various mechanisms to detect cheating have been developed in order to combat this sort of thing, but with millions of players worldwide, inevitably some of them talented hackers trying to break the game, banning all of them is a tough task. If you do come across any blatant hacks then be sure to report the players via the Steam support page.

Let's check out the sort of stuff to look out for.

Phantom Assassin critical hit hack

One of the most disgusting hacks we've seen, you can see in this game that a script is cancelling any attack animation the Phantom Assassin makes that isn't going to crit – it probably does this by listening to the audio cues and reacting far faster than is humanly possible to stop the attack.

Whilst Eternal Envy jokingly tweeted that this hack makes Phantom Assassin viable again, being able to crit every second or so is unbelievably powerful if you maximise your damage output, and gives your opponents little chance. We've seen this one in ranked play only this week, so you might well come across it. Fortunately though, this is possibly the most obvious hack people have been using so it shouldn't take long before those players are all banned.


Invoker map hack

The Invoker map hack is a classic cheat system that was supposed to have been fixed a while ago, but we've seen evidence recently that a new script is once again helping Invokers land impossible Sun Strikes.

In this clip you can see him constantly picking off a disconnected wisp despite the Radiant team hiding it in various different locations. No doubt the wisp player left as soon as he realised it was a completely uneven contest. This cheat is relatively difficult to detect since experienced Invoker players can regularly find amazing kills with the spell, and it's often hard to be completely sure you weren't scouted out by a ward or an invisible hero. If you're up against an Invoker you suspect might be cheating, it's usually best to wait until the game is over before checking the replay to make sure.

Techies mine hack

Nobody likes playing against Techies as it is – those pesky little goblins prolong matches and force opposing teams into an infuriatingly conservative playstyle. Whilst he's not quite the force he once was, we've seen several players climbing up the ladders by playing Techies and running scripts that automatically detonate his Remote Mines whenever an enemy hero within the kill threshold comes into range.

This is another hack that's pretty hard to detect, especially since Techies can ask his team-mates to help him out with detonating the mines. In this clip, however, you can see the mines being detonated with uncanny precision over and over again, so something dodgy is definitely going on. If you play sensibly you can still definitely beat a Techies running this hack, but you can't afford to make any mistakes.

Rubick Spell Steal script

One of the more situational hacks we've seen, the Rubick Spell Steal script is a classic, but sometimes unhelpful, cheat that crops up from time-to-time. Being able to instantaneously steal a Ravage or a Laguna Blade could be absolutely devastating, but there will be occasions when a non-ultimate ability like a Healing Ward or a Fissure would actually have more of an impact in a team fight.

Even so, if you're up against a Rubick who's stealing Ultimates for fun, and you're not convinced it's down to sheer skill, then check his mouse position during the fights – if he's not clicking on your heroes and manually stealing the spells then he's running a script and needs to be reported.

Server hack

OK, what just happened? Templar Assassin was having the game of her life, the Dire ancient was exposed, and it was only a matter of seconds before the Radiant team finished things off. This disconnect hack kicked everyone out of the game and awarded the victory to the Witch Doctor's side, who had a suspiciously high number of 19 successfully predicted wins.

This has got to be the most outrageous thing we've seen and utterly defeats the point of even playing. The hacker might as well go and play against bots if they're looking to play without any competition! It looks like some program was exploiting a server security weakness, but we're sure Valve patched that up right away, so we shouldn't be seeing any more server hacks any time soon.

Auto Disable

Another script that's harder to spot at higher levels of play – where there are plenty of players with lightning fast reflexes – this cheat automatically casts items on enemy heroes as soon as they come into range, resulting in an enormous number of 'next level' plays, which might grow suspicious after a while. This hack is amazing on heroes like Storm Spirit or Queen of Pain who like to play on the edge and rely on quickly disabling their opponents in order to survive. You can tell from the mouse position in the replay whether this is a skilful player using Quick Cast, or a game-winning hack that's just making someone average look like a pro.

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