August 05, 2005

To All Game Authors: QUIT BEING MORONS!!!!

Alright people... I wish to vent. Feel free to direct this to /dev/null and move along if you don't care to listen.

If you are a game developer for Windows, STOP using tools like PunkBuster... or at the very least boycott their idiocy.

I am SICK AND TIRED of being kicked from servers on the RARE chance I actually go online and play, simply because I run with least privilege and will NOT, as their FAQ suggests run as admin. Here is a snippet from their site:

I keep getting kicked by PunkBuster for "Blocked O/S Privileges"?

Please temporarily disable other security type programs you have running such as anti-virus, process guard, SDProtector, etc. to find out which of them is blocking PB's access to resources on your computer. You either need to run PB without the blocking program(s) or play on non-PB servers. Also make sure you run the game under an Administrator or equivalent account under Windows. If you do have access an admin account, you can right click on the application you want to run and select "Run As". This will allow you to give admin access to that program and should allow you to play with a limited user.

You are insane if you think I am going to allow a remote download of maps and executable content as administrator on custom servers. You are nuts. And there is NO REASON IN HELL to NEED it. Quit being lazy, and write the games properly.

Thank you for your cooperation.

P.S> I fully understand the need to balance the playing field and make games fair. I don't mind the idea of Punk Buster... just the fact you want me to sacrifice security for no good reason. About a year ago I blogged about how "Least Privileges + Games = Microsoft Achilles Heel?". You can read more about my thoughts on the whole thing there.

Posted by SilverStr at August 5, 2005 08:29 PM | TrackBack

Punk Buster definately is super lame. I understand their reasoning for only 1 small edge case:

What if your aimhax0r bawt is running as administrator but your game is running as you? Since PB running as a LUA will only find stuff your LUA has access to, you absolutely NEED it to check for the admin level stuff.

Then again I think, but Admin is a completely different context and it's damn near impossible for even an Administrator's executable to inject code into a LUA (or any other account for that matter). I believe SP2 has something against that very idea.

So yea, I don't trust PB much at all. Anyone who says they absolutely NEED admin priveledges is usually lying or on the ignorant side. Until PB can give a more reasonable answer I'll think they suck. They were fine without it just a year or so ago and unless there's some concrete evidence proving it's needed (like an actual example of this happening) I'd say they might be bluffing.

The sad part is because game companies are so focused on just making the game, they'll probably accept just about anything regardless of what it does to our computers. As long as it doesn't interrupt our game and increase costs for the company they could probably care less.

Posted by: Jeremy Brayton at August 5, 2005 11:07 PM

Tell us how you really feel. ;-)

It will be interesting to see how Vista will force these vendors to think about running as non-admin.

Good post. Keep fighting the good fight.

Posted by: Some Dude from Canada at August 6, 2005 08:37 AM

Good greif! People actually put up with a system that requires them to grant admin privs to a remote server?

I'm glad I don't play computer games. I had no idea this was par for the course in that universe.

Posted by: Bryan at August 6, 2005 12:23 PM

I didn't understand till yet what do you mean by remote server.

Posted by: Harry at August 9, 2005 09:24 PM

I didn't understand till yet what do you mean by remote server. Harry

Posted by: Harry at August 9, 2005 09:25 PM

I don't have much more intrest in games.But i enjoyed reading you're article.You write such a nice article.
John Carter

Posted by: Carter at August 11, 2005 02:30 AM

I played these type of games in my childhood. We enjoyed lots of these games.But now only work no games ,no fun.I like you're article.

Posted by: william at August 12, 2005 02:35 AM