Ten Years Later (A History of Cheating)
Sometime this year will mark the 10 year anniversary of my involvement in RuneScape and the cheating that has been a part of my life (in varying degrees) since. Needless to say, the shitty 2D sprites of RSC are very near to my heart. For any of you that are interested, this is a history of RuneScape cheating as I remember it. My history at the beginning is a bit fuzzy, so feel free to look up a copy of The Black Book of RS Cheating by EvilCowGod (I’m sure you’ve never heard of him) for some correlation.
As I, BenLand100, remember it, everything began very simply with some coordinates and a clicking program (Nick Sherlock, you are not forgotten). Macro recording was all there was, you clicked a pattern, and it repeated it. Then Jagex got smart and made the minimap shift a little bit randomly and eventually added in the dreaded sleeping which had to be done to continue doing anything and required a captcha challenge to proceed. Kaitnieks developed the two of the great programs, AutoRune and SleepWalker. AutoRune was a packet bot, and Jagex was insecure. Full 99s were completely possible very quickly. SleepWalker took a screenshot of your captcha and let real people solve it, so they could gain credits and get others to solve for them. Wonderful example of people coming together to accomplish a common goal.
Jagex took a swipe at the packet bots by encrypting and changing communications, resulting in one of the first massive bans. Cheating was pronounced dead, for the first time. And then we cheaters closed the bank doors and killed all the bankers. Someone discovered the first ever dupe-bug in the Client, and proceeded to make so many party hats that even today the prices reflect the proportions duplicated and not the amount created by Jagex. At some point in all of this, the major cheating forums were attacked by Jagex and the community moved onto IRC (I, at the time, did not follow). Rumor has it that some of the original client hackers created their own RuneScape clients and had a merry time fucking with Jagex. I popped back in with the arrival of Kaitnieks’ new creation, SCAR (Shite Compared to AutoRune) which was the first of the color based bots. The community migrated the the best of all the old forums, kaitnieks.com, and SCAR was great. It also seemed completely unstoppable, even then. Sure, they could change the color of things (and that started happening dynamically) but things were always fixable. Jagex couldn’t break SCAR without making the game completely unplayable by the masses.
RuneScape 2, RS2, or as you all know it, RuneScape, was the hot new thing at this time. And everyone wanted to find a new way to cheat on it. Of course, SCAR was there faster than anything else, and stayed king for a very long time. StarBlaster100 was notable in these times for have some of the best and most stable scripts. Props to him. This was the age of the include wars (much like the time wars) of which I was a part of. I had the market cornered on mouse control and math functions from this point forward. Various adept programmers were competing over who could create the best collection of helper methods and get the most powerful scripts. Randoms were introduced, and we created random solving includes. I had an included, merged with Squig, merged with others, died off, resurged, and this happened everywhere. Sometime in this fray WT-Fakawi joined the forums and was, if memory serves, asking for help to make an Falador Guard Killer. I politely called him a noob and said he should start out smaller, but he went for it and got it pretty well. Eventually Fawki, as I and others nicknamed him, got into the Include Wars and started the project he called SRL on a private forum. I tried to retire, but Fakawi invited me to join SRL and bring my mouse magic with me. Fakawi successfully united the major programmers at the time, got them working together, and out came SRL, the best include. The include wars were over and things were good.
Life moved on, Kaitnieks was soon to be a father, and cheating kept thriving. The heyday of RuneScape cheating was now, a stable community, great people, lots of learning, and lots of cheating. Then Regex and company, with proper gusto, spawned a new age of cheating, the likes of which rivaled AutoRune, with the aptly named Aryan. Aryan was an edited client refactored with regular expressions. Decompiled, edited, recompiled. Massive cheating ensued. Threats were made by Jagex, Kaitnieks figured he had had his fill, and the forums closed down. The mass bans proceeded as expected, but people could auto so easily and so quickly that no one cared about bans anymore. Cheating sort of started to die off. Eventually, however, Jagex managed to properly obfuscate their compiled code, and Aryan broke. There were many attempts to emulate Aryan functionality with bytecode injection bots such as ARGA, ARES, and others, but none of them really had the impact of Aryan.
Of course, at some point the SRL Forums became semi public, and history proceeded. SCAR continued to lose its user base, due mostly to people getting older and disinterested. Kaitnieks handed over the source code of SCAR to Freddy1990 to maintain, and the metallic shine of SCAR has slowly become cheap and plasticy. SCAR needed a bit of a boost, and that boost came to me, one day, in the guise of Solarwind (who, really, wasn’t a horribly bad guy, just misguided and with a temper to boot) who wanted to create a bot like Aryan but use SCAR as the scripting platform. Wonderful idea, he just couldn’t do it alone. At this point I had tried to retire many times, but seemed to, so I helped him. REFLECTION is my contribution, my gift, to the Runescape cheating community. As a joke, we called it the “kick your ass bot” or KYAB. Needless to say it was cool, but badly received by the color community, but still, great idea. Its main flaw was Solarwind, who had a horrible reputation. But SCAR chugged on, randoms were solved, new more advanced color methods were created, and things stayed basically the same.
In the other chains of events that I was not involved with, Java based bots went their own way, many noobs followed, and the SCAR and SRL communities stagnated. There is of course MoparScape, a client capable of connecting to private servers, and Moparisthebest’s forums which are worth mentioning as a replacement to kaitnieks.com. sythe.org also remained as the dregs of the cheating community. I wanted to retire, again, but was convinced by persons unnamed to tackle one of SCAR’s greatest flaws in the face of other bots, the takeover of the computer mouse and screen to run a script. Many days and a lack-of-sleep induced rage later, the beginnings of SMART were created, and (at least as I would like to believe) served to slightly revive SCAR cheating. Eventually I made another attempt with introducing reflection to the color community by adding it to SMART and it seems to have taken some hold. Jagex took a major swipe at Runescape cheating by removing free trade, making cheating almost pointless for any reasons we previously had. There was at some point RSDemon which we all assumed was an AutoRune like bot, or maybe even an encapsulated client, but never knew for sure. RSBot, one of the java bots, was attacked by Jagex and nearly killed, but life moved on.
Today OpenSource has become the new hot phrase in the cheating community. A wonderful opensource alternative to SCAR, aptly named Simba, has a very promising future (yes, Wizzup, promising). SRL is still alive and well, though its father resides in legend. Very few of the old guard remain, but new people keep showing up, and the new guard is strong. I released the source to SMART, which I had previously guarded with my life. Jagex might even reinstate free trade again (we will know soon). People are out there that know the Runescape client up and down (*cough* pplsuqbawlz), color cheating can’t be killed, and java cheating is too stubborn to die, so I think cheating is in a pretty good way for being nearly 10 years old.
SO, Cheers to 10 years of cheating on RuneScape!
I personally think it’s time I retire and get the hell off the internet.