Concerns Regarding EAC | Answers

Hey Everyone,

With 4.3 we will be implementing EasyAntiCheat into SMITE. We have seen that you guys have had some major concerns and we wanted to take time to address these concerns. Specifically, we want to address the major concerns from this thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/Smite/comments/5wjdtd/tomorrow_is_patch_day_and_the_first_day_eac_will/) which we felt summarized most users feelings towards EAC.

"EAC has done nothing so far in the PTS to prevent speedhacking: the only form of hacking prevalent in Smite."

During PTS we did not turn on full banning system, we only logged incidents and have been reviewing them to see what was caught and make sure that all the cases caught were valid. We plan to continue this for the first few days EAC is live in 4.3 and go through all the logs it generates. Once we feel comfortable we are only catching legitimate people we will gradually turn on enforcement and continue to review bans. Our goal is to make sure we don’t accidentally ban innocent people with this new tech so we are being extra cautious.

"EAC is regarded as weak and ineffective"

We have experience with using EAC in Paladins and in that environment we saw a drastic reductions of reported cheats there. While no Anti-cheat software is perfect, it adds layers of protection that block a very large number of free cheats and makes the barrier for entry for would-be hackers much higher.

Additionally, EAC allows us to address hackers more efficiently. Previously, hacking in SMITE has been largely unnoticed by the community because we had older internal anti-cheat technology and a dedicated team on top of it, but this takes away resources from other Platform (Server/Client/Backend Programmers) projects and is not as efficient as an external team dedicated to updating and tackling the latest hacks. This should allow for better protection for users while also giving us more resources internally to tackle different problems.

"EAC requires you to have Driver Signature Enforcement enabled"

As of now, this is necessary to avoid some class of hacks which user kernel mode in bogus/altered drivers to bypass anti-cheat. EAC already white-lists common controller software from XPadder and x360CE. If there are other popular and legitimate controller drivers we can get them white-listed also. Many controller drivers have updated versions which are signed as well. We will monitor this situation closely as we do the roll out.

For users using unsigned drivers, you will not be banned. EAC won’t allow SMITE to launch with unsigned drivers, which will allow you to begin seeing which driver is causing a conflict and resolve it. You should then be able to get into SMITE no problems.

"EAC is well known to be spyware and intrusive (in Counter Strike)"

Any form of Anti-cheat on your computer will be somewhat intrusive. It needs to be to find cheats that are running on your machine. This includes other forms of Anti-cheat that are not EAC.

There is no screenshot or key logging functionality at all in EAC for Hirez Games. That is simply not the case for our distribution. It is only with Counter-Strike tournaments, and details are found here: https://support.easyanticheat.net/kb/privacy/?lr=en-us. As mentioned there, there is no disk scanning as well by EAC. EAC is on the very low side of intrusiveness overall.

"EAC will not review your ban"

We will work with EAC on any ban that we believe is in error. Again, our goal is to not ban anyone innocent, and quickly fix anyone who may have been caught in a false positive. We have reversed EAC bans in Paladins after investigation so this IS something we can do. However, EAC in Paladins had a very low false positive rate.

"EAC will not tell you why you were banned"

This matches our current policy. When our system detected a hack, we would not disclose what we detected that resulted in the ban. All we would do is re-verify that the system caught a valid case and re-affirm the ban.

In Closing

As a whole, we currently ban anywhere from 300 to 600 accounts every day for hacking currently. To say there is no cheating in SMITE is not true, but we are proud that most users feel like they have not experienced any hackers. This is largely because we catch them early on in their life and they can never make it to higher levels.

EAC will improve our recognition of these hackers and allow for quicker responses, often stopping them before they can even get into a game. This should drastically improve the quality of life for new users coming to SMITE who often see a false representation of what higher levels would bring.

In short, we are very cautious with how we are implementing EAC. We are monitoring logs of detected cases and will only slowly turn on enforcement. We will work with EAC to revert any false bans as we have already done with Paladins. We would also not be implementing this if we didn’t believe it to benefit our end users in multiple ways, and in cases where it could negatively impact our users we are keeping a close eye on that impact.

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