Fallout 76 hackers found a way to loot players from up to 200 meters away

Because of course they did

    
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Fallout 76 hackers found a way to loot players from up to 200 meters away

Yep, it’s another Fallout 76 bellyflop story, which I should mention is not something we here at the MOP offices take delight in reporting — we’d prefer that this game just work correctly. That said, there’s a new hack that was shown off by the same folks who summoned Fallout 4 items and NPCs into Fallout 76, this being one that lets players loot another player’s inventory.

The hack was shared by TKs Mantis, who was contacted by several people involved with the Fallout 4 hack job to warn of another incoming hack that lets players loot other player inventories without engaging in a trade request, effectively turning all other players into lootable containers. This hack can reportedly be performed from as far away as 200 meters, and doesn’t even require one to have their victim in visual range. The person who wrote the hack, a player by the name of ERECTban, went so far as to warn members of TKs Mantis’ Discord to “stay away from Adventure Mode.” This hack, for the record, is specific to the PC version of the game.

While you might assume that since Bethesda is on a holiday break, this hack could take weeks to fix, but an update from TKs Mantis has stated that Bethesda has been made aware of the situation, and he assures that at least prominent members of the community management team are on the case. That said, there’s no real details on when a hotfix will deploy to patch this rather gaping hole in the game. You can take a look at some video footage of the hack in action below.

source: Reddit, thanks to Danny and Pepperzine for the tip!

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NeoWolf

Biggest kicker of this hack which in itself is MINDBLOWINGLY incompetent on Bethesda’s behalf is that they can’t only steal your entire inventory but that INCLUDES any Atomic shop items you have in your inventory that you spent real money on.
This just screams lawsuit! lol what a sh** show of incompetence.. yikes.

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Greaterdivinity

he assures that at least prominent members of the community management team are on the case.

I don’t want to be rude towards the CM’s and the good work they do but…this is an engineering problem, and unless the CM’s are splitting duties and working on the code, there’s nothing they can do directly. They can flag it up the chain in the hopes a boss orders some poor engineers in to try to whip up a quick fix…

But let’s be real here. Even if they do push out a fix, what else will it break, and will it be even worse than this?

Seriously, I thought SWTOR suffered from a poor engine and engineers and that nothing could take the cake from that but…damn if Bethesda and FO76 aren’t looking like they’re trying to take the crown from BioWare.

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Sorenthaz

The problem is that Fallout 76 uses the same engine Fallout 4 does so they’re trying to make an online multiplayer game out of an engine that was designed for singleplayer. Heck I’m pretty sure files for the Scorchbeasts in the game shared the same label with Skyrim’s dragons.

So Fallout 76 is basically like this Frankenstein’s monster of hacking things together and trying to make it work. If they can iron out the many issues/etc. then it’ll be worth it for them long-term, but it doesn’t look good for them when a year later folks are still finding game-breaking exploits/hacks.

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Greaterdivinity

I mean…wasn’t the Gamebryo engine originally designed for single player games? Same with the Unreal Engine (at least up through UE3)? I wouldn’t fault that alone by any means, as we’re seeing a lot of the same/similar bugs that plague their offline games pop up here. While I’m sure adding in the online component didn’t HELP, and made things more complex and prone to breaking, but I’d hardly point to that as the primary problem.

As for Scorchbeasts sharing the same info as Skyrim dragons, from everything I’ve read that’s actually a smart move. They had functional code already tested and mostly proven for the dragons, why not re-use it for another similar mob with some alterations rather than start from scratch all over again? That kind of shit that gets panned as “lazy” is widespread throughout games and is actually a smart use of existing resources to reduce overall costs (see: when you fall underneath maps and the shubbery is actually the tops of underground trees!)

Yes, the engine is old, but I can’t even blame it all on the engine. Look at what’s happened with CoD over the years, which was originally built on a modified id Tech 3, which they started from and built on over the years to the point where it’s become a completely different, highly capable engine (from the user end) in modern installments.

But seeing as so many problems keep popping up, I’m inclined to think that Bethesda, as some other studios, just tries to handle engineering on the cheap. It’s not a “sexy” position that gets tons of credit or has a bunch of big names to draw from (we’ve got tons of rockstar producers or artists or leads, but vanishingly few engineers and most of the time they split duties as the head of the company a la John Carmack or Tim Sweeney), and it’s something players never really “see” even if it underpins everything they do in a game.

I don’t want to say, “Their engineers are all garbage!” either, because for all we know they could have a tiny team of super skilled engineers that simply aren’t given the time or tools to do their jobs properly so everything is a bolted-together hackjob that’s designed to just be workable. OR they are just garbage/nowhere near experienced enough for the project they’re working on and don’t have good leadership to help account for that.

Who knows. But I’m kinda glad for it, because this dumpster fire is providing all the heat I’ll ever need for my supply of popcorn.

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Schmidt.Capela

Same with the Unreal Engine (at least up through UE3)?

Actually, the Unreal Engine was developed from the start to power multiplayer games as well as single-player ones. The very first game released using the Unreal Engine (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Klingon Honor Guard, released in 1998) already had multiplayer.

I wouldn’t fault that alone by any means, as we’re seeing a lot of the same/similar bugs that plague their offline games pop up here.

Actually, I fault whoever decided to use the same engine exactly because of what you said. Even if you disregard the single-player nature of the engine, the sheer number of bugs in every single game released using that engine in the last few decades was a well known nature; it’s no coincidence that Bethesda was already known as Bugthesda well before Fallout 76 was even conceived. To successfully use that engine for an always online game — where the traditional ways for the players themselves to avoid or fix the bugs aren’t available — it would require a complete revamp not just of the engine, but of their whole development process, which is something that clearly didn’t happen.

Heck, Bethesda even managed to literally undo previous bugfixes by accident, which points to them either not using a version control system or being too incompetent to even properly use it. Their development process seems to be pure chaos, which isn’t conductive to the kind of reliability and stability required of any successful online game.

Yes, the engine is old, but I can’t even blame it all on the engine.

The issue isn’t exactly the age of the engine, but the age of the bugs. There are bugs and exploits first reported in Morrowind that are still present in Fallout 4. This is kinda worrisome when you need a mostly bug- and exploit-free game.

Besides, it’s an engine designed to give players full control over everything that happens in the game. When it comes to always online games this kind of design is problematic, to say the least.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Their bumbling mediocrity and idiocy makes me wonder what they would have done if they tried to make Elder Scrolls Online themselves. There was a time all these people were raging mad that Zenimax was doing it. I actually cringe at the thought of what we would have got if Bethesda tried to do it themselves. We basically see the same sort of game we would have got in Fallout 76.

As people say all the time about Kickstarter single-player demos for future multiplayer games, online multiplayer code is terribly involved and difficult and is much different than single-player stuff. It’s easy to make a single-player game look good. It’s very complicated when you go to add the online multiplayer systems.

There was a time we were wishing Bethesda would take the game down and do serious work on it for a few years and re-release it as FFXIV did. Though I’ve been told that FFXIV’s issues were mostly surface issues and content related, Fallout 76 is pretty much rotten to the very core and would have taken a lot more work. Probably even from scratch with a different engine.

It would have been a complete do-over rather than having a solid base to work from, so I guess I see why they didn’t do it. It’s not really the same thing. That isn’t to say they shouldn’t do that, completely start over, I just don’t see them actually going through with something like that.

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Schmidt.Capela

online multiplayer code is terribly involved and difficult and is much different than single-player stuff.

Not quite. You mostly need to properly compartmentalize the client and server parts. I mean, there are challenges in other aspects of multiplayer too, but as long as the client and server parts of the game logic are properly separated it isn’t particularly hard to implement the rest of the needed multiplayer features.

The big issue is that if such segregation between the client and server parts of the code wasn’t done from the start, then doing it after the fact is particularly hard; it’s often easier to rewrite the whole game logic part of the code from scratch than to try to separate client and server in already written code.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Feature?

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Schmidt.Capela

This is what you get when you take an aging engine that not only was never intended for multiplayer, but was also designed to give as much control to the player as possible, and try to use it as the basis of an always-online game.

FO76 is just a Fallout 4 total conversion bundled with a multiplayer mod. All the bugs and exploits (and the Fallout 4 resources that will never be used in FO76 but are still bundled with the game) are proof of that.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

What makes this worse is that people warned them about doing this and what the outcome would be, but they ignored it as it was far easier and cost effective.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah at this point it’s basically a Frankenstein’s monster of a Fallout game that they’re trying to make work.

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rafael12104

Yeah. This has been going for a bit. It makes my stomach turn… I can’t say anymore with getting emotional…

TheDarthStomper
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TheDarthStomper

I knew Bethesda didn’t do any kind of QA worth speaking of, but damn, this is just about straight up malpractice with a side order of computer fraud at this stage.

Oh, they can steal stuff bought in the cash shop with this exploit.

Bought. With real money. In the cash shop.

Yeah, I’m starting to wonder if anyone at Bethesda’s home office is actually paying attention to this rolling fustercluck Bethesda Austin is perpetrating.

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cursedseishi

To be fair? Bethesda’s main house IS the one responsible for this. They bought out a studio, gave them a mandate to create a multiplayer game out of their horribly aged and under-maintained Embryo engine and a bunch of faulty Fallout 4 assets, and all within a space of time they honestly couldn’t do anything under aside from desperately try and fit all the blocks they could together.

I’m all for trashing a studio for horrid practices, but let’s not unjustly attack a studio for what they can’t help.

Obsidian got flack before regarding some of their games, like Alpha Protocol or Star Wars: KoToR 2… Or, fittingly, Fallout: New Vegas. But those games were victims of underfunding and honestly abusive timelines from publishers. Give them the proper time? You get Outer Worlds or Pillars of Eternity.

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Sorenthaz

I thought this was using the Creation engine, not the Embryo one.

And eh, Outer Worlds from the getgo wasn’t designed to be a AAA experience compared to games like Alpha Protocol/Kotor 2/New Vegas. The devs repeatedly stated that it was a AA experience and tried to keep expectations within a realistic scope. To me it definitely shows because I was hoping it’d have like Alpha Protocol levels of dynamic dialogue/etc., but in the end it feels like they played it safe and didn’t go as far as they could have.

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cursedseishi

The shift from the Embryo to Creation engine was more a rebranding than anything. It’s why modders transitioned so easily from Oblivion/Fallout 3 era Embryo to Skyrim when they ‘debuted’ the Creation Engine. It’s also why a lot of the same issues and glitches transitioned too. As well as why even what didn’t necessarily follow 1:1 from the change was still found there–such as mechanics being tied to FPS, or strange physics issues.

And true, but it was less a point of ‘experience’ than it was about proper time and funding. Alpha Protocol is meant to play like some Spy thriller flick so the dynamism and flair in that wouldn’t transfer to a game that was, in part, built like a true successor to Fallout–especially when much of the marketing played towards it being by the creators of the original Fallout.

Something to the wilder extent of Alpha Protocol won’t come about without a proper AAA publisher supporting them. Microsoft owns them now though, so we very well could see a game to that extent come about.

After all, Anthem was meant to serve as a ‘AAA’ title, but Bioware had a similar issue that Fallout 76’s main deveopment team had. A rushed development schedule, and an engine that wasn’t built to support what was being done on it.

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styopa

At this point it’s almost interesting to see what MORE things can go wrong on this project. Almost.

I don’t like to go after anyone’s livelihood, but I have to say that whoever was running Fallout76 really shouldn’t ever be involved in any more major software development.

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Danny Smith

It can also removed your pip boy so you have no UI at all. You can just pick things up and use the weapon already equipped. Its literally just the dev command for altering npc’s inventory’s from skyrim. Once again showing that this entire game is just one of the worst total conversion mods known to man.

I would say Bethesda should be ashamed but this is a AAA game publisher. They got your money and thats all they care about until the shareholders start making demands.

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McGuffn

So they can take all your stuff and take your UI? good lord this company is incompetent.

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Schmidt.Capela

… I’m trying to remember if there was ever any always online game where a player could steal another character’s UI and, in this way, basically make it unplayable until rescued by customer service, but I keep drawing blanks. I mean, there were plenty of games where it was possible to grief someone to the point the character was effectively unplayable — like in UO when you lure newbies to a desert island they can’t leave without help — but stealing the UI is something I’ve never heard before.

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Hikari Kenzaki

lol, literally just posted this in another article.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

I am so ticked Elder Scrolls: Legends got put into maintenance mode and this pile of steamy bantha poodoo gets to keep chugging along.

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rafael12104

Legends is a fun game. A little time and effort and it would do better than 76.