[S4] The Hackmania Sphere

After permanently quitting S4League (for the 12th time) and returning one week later (also for the 12th time, coincidentally), it came to my attention that the Netsphere had undergone a small name change in the period I was gone. Luckily, there was a notice waiting for me when I logged in that quickly updated me on the situation:

Due to the recent arrival of a batch of unbelievably skilled players the Netsphere is henceforth known as the Hackmania Sphere. Please continue to enjoy your stay.


You have probably seen them. The kind of guys that have command over ultra secret pro techniques which enable them to run at lightning speed. They also have an amazing proficiency with weapons, as they can fire about 20x as fast as normal players. Not to mention, they possess otherworldly aim qualities that kill you in one hit. These players are known as the descendants of G himself — they are immortal and normal eSpers are no match for them.

Such are the players who are welcome in the new S4League.
Other players are not as welcome and receive the following when playing legit:

Before indulging oneself in the e-world and all of its present day affairs, it would be wise to pause for a moment and take a walk down the memory lane, just for old time’s sake. On that note, I would like to say that November 2013 has been an interesting month for me. First, I learned that the concepts behind terms such as “charity” and “generosity” are on the way out. As it turns out, the event we know as Thanksgiving now is apparently an occasion where the players show their appreciation for GameOn instead of the other way around. After all, who needs their community anyway. The idea itself is simple and we are all too familiar with it: give them money and get .. well, not so much in return. A slap in the face, at most. But, since GameOn does not want to rob you completely blind, there’s still something to be had. Those who upload enough AP for this month’s server upkeep will get to dress up like a Space Cowboy or Indian drag for a while in return. It’s not much, but remember: symbolic gifts are the best.

Some time after this there was yet another S4L database security breach. Between all cover-ups and smoke screens, rumours are bound to spread at one point or another. The latest reports seem to suggest that there is a Russian S4 hacking syndicate that got into a disagreement with one of GameOn’s staff members and retaliated with a full-scale assault, led by a team of the world’s most renowned hackers, against the S4League database. They made off with numerous accounts and the security of many others has been compromised, but no biggie. These guys got this, and we can all sleep sound tonight. On that note, I really hope you don’t use the same password you use on S4 at a lot of other places.

Yet some time later this I pressed the “Update” button for one of our plugins, JetPack. You all saw how well this went, as the blog came back online only a few hours ago after being completely inaccessible for about two weeks. Finally, there apparently is yet another rapidly escalating hacker outbreak going on which has left the Netsphere in turmoil once again. Which also happens to be the subject of today’s article.

What Causes a Hacker Outbreak?

“Encountering hackers in S4 is very much like playing a game of poker: you always get four of a kind and more than often a full house.” -ProtoStyle

Why do all these hackers continue to find their ways into the game and, even worse, our very own rooms? S4 Forumer Katakarat offers the following explanation:

Shortly, the game files are encrypted but, the key for decryption is ‘hidden’ neatly in resource.s4hd.
So someone who is experienced or semi-experienced at reverse-engineering will have that key for free abuse in matter of hour.
Penta/whatever added an extra layer of security about 4-5 months after the first resource modding outbreak and that was reversed in matter of a week.

All this was the result of 4 minutes of efficient googling so no point hiding or removing this message as the tools and guides for breaking S4 apart are everywhere.

So let’s build on this. S4 is a popular game. The files are easily accessible and just as easily edited. Result: the founding of S4 hacking communities, where the “Be like a GOD!”™ tools are distributed like hot candy. To make things worse, these hacks are frequently patched by their wicked creators to bypass the latest XCrap or FailShield security layers.

Part of the problem also lies with GameOn / Alaplaya. They simply do not care enough. The ToS / CoC state that hacking is prohibited, and participating in such activities allows the company to sue you. But this all just talk and no walk. Even if doing this once would set a good public example to scare off the other hackers and scriptkiddies, they won’t do it for the sole reason that there is no profit in it. “Execute one man to warn a hundred” the saying goes.

The community, too, has their share of the pie. The absent-mindedness and lack of care that it is renowned for is part of the reason why things keep on going the way they are. Even if the game is infested by hackers, even if playing is downright impossible: people will keep on to uploading and buy GC. Supporting the game? All this does is tell GameOn the following: “It’s ok guys, we don’t mind the hackers”. GameOn, in turn, thinks the following: “the sales are still going strong, priority #1 is secured. Ignore the hackers, it’ll die out — instead, let us direct our attention towards the next milking event for our lovely S4 Farm.” If you are bothered by the way things are and want them to change, there is no better way to make a statement than to hit them where it hurts: their wallet.

Dealing with a Hacker Outbreak

After all depressing and gloomy business, it is time to show you guys my optimist side. After a lot of research, I can proudly say I have found some solutions to hackers. Here are 6 things you can do when you encounter a hacker:

1. Explain your concerns to them

Language removes barriers between people. Try to reason with a hacker. Tell him about the issues you have with what he is doing in his own language, and he will understand and cease his activities.

2. Stick with Friends

Play matches with your friends as you watch the Netsphere burn. It is their concern, not yours, as you are enjoying legit and thriving matches with some of your best companions.

3. Lose your Temper

Show your anger by insulting the hacker in all ways possible. He will be afraid of the negative emotion he has awoken in you and others, and will flee from the room in fear.

4. Feign Insanity

Pretend that the unfair situation has turned you insane. The hacker will be shocked by this unintended side effect and flee the room immediately.

5. Start Hacking Yourself

Fight fire with fire. Get your S4 trainers out and show them who the real boss in town is.
Together till ban doth us part.


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Until the next time,


This entry was posted in Netsphere Daily, S4League and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to [S4] The Hackmania Sphere

  1. NiuWang says:

    Hacking Outbreak Solution #5:

    Most definitely, haha I did that on one of my old accounts. If people stopped buying AP then that might fix everything, then again, the lazy fucks probably won’t do anything.

  2. the_dead_one says:

    I think some peopel buy AP to survive longer against hackers as well, althought rarely that does any help at all. Alaplaya wants our money so hackers doing the job are fine for use. Meanwhile the players want the hackers out of the game so they give Alaplaya money to see if something is done about it. In the end they only care about or money.
    Now about solution number 6, please tell me you didn’t press the “Ja” button.

    • .ProtoStyle says:

      I am inclined to disagree: People buy AP to feel superior, strong, powerful. But even a full-premium player can’t match a hacker. That would stop them from buying AP if anything, going with a logical conclusion.

      And to answer your question: Fare Thee Well.
      (No, I didn’t.)

  3. Asemu says:

    That is just a reality and future of this game if nothing changes. Developers are really laid back like MAIET Entertainment. I expect S4 end up like GunZ , but sometimes I think it is already in same state as mentioned game.

    One very irritating thing is that there was so much of denial that they didn’t get dozens of attacks. It’s just pathetic because denying that server isn’t under attack despite horrible state of it and whole portal being not accessible without decent reason is practically bullshit. Are they thinking that we are fools and don’t know how it looks like or that no one reads newspapers, which not long ago had dozens of decent descriptions about what happens when even government portals get under attack?

    How many times I mentioned that they really need better security measures.. Blast it, everything was ignored as better security costs ”too much”. No wonder they had to make such emergency password resets out of nowhere.

    Thanks for such ignorance to actual problems I personally stopped wasting my time on playing any of their games months ago and current enjoy relatively decent game (http://i45.tinypic.com/347tob8.jpg , won’t deny it has issues too, but not like S4, which is unplayable for me). Now just look at last few week! My call wasn’t a mistake as I subconsciously predicted something similar might happen.

    Having that in mind 6th solution worked out the best for me. Other five is something I would never go for it while my pride wouldn’t let me go as low as those retards are and act like an immature brat.

    Game needs to change right now or it is going to go down in full speed quite fast. If devs and host stop being ignorant and arrogant at least for a bit, they would see what sort of mess their product has become and start taking care of situation with urge. Without that we will keep getting ridiculed for spending anything on such trash quality game.

    My personal suggestion for anyone sane enough to realize that things probably won’t ever change to a better side permanently is this:
    ”Quit before you get addicted and find something worth your time and most importantly cash (which you might spend).

  4. Hella_Hell says:

    Haha… what is next? You will tell everyone how to download hack and use it?
    On which side are you again Proto? If you don’t like S4 just leave. QQing and moaning about won’t fix it. Took me 4 years to realize that so I m just telling it to you. You are not helping.

    • .ProtoStyle says:

      I thought I made it clear to you that you are not forced to read my entries if you do not enjoy them, yet here you are again.

      I am on no one’s side, Hella. Writing is my hobby, Sarcasm is my attitude. I combine those two and share my views with anyone who wants to read them. That is all.

      I may not be helping, but the people ‘supporting’ S4 are not helping either.

      – Uploading AP will only show GameOn can keep throwing shit as us and not fix the game. There is no motivation to fix anything because the profits remains high.

      – Being on the Staff means you are only being a buffer to take the hatred of the community instead of the red guys. They are the evil ones, but you quell and surpress the community in their stead. Just so that they don’t have to bother with us and can keep on promoting their marketing schemes and focus on maximizing their profits.

      My entries here are both my hobby and my silent protest.

      • Hella_Hell says:

        Oh, sorry. I thought you need more readers so I decided to make an exception but as you wish.

        Anyways, it makes sense but ppl won’t stop buying ap regardless how much they b*tching and moaning about balance, security etc. Ppl just like to be hypocrites.

      • .ProtoStyle says:

        And what I do is play on that hypocrisy, among the other aspects one finds in S4, and apply my sense of sarcasm / black humour to everything.


        – ‘Road to Corruption’ -> Plays on the overall bad elitist attitude.
        – ‘Space Cowboys’ -> Plays on the way the current ‘rookies’ or fake pros are.
        – ‘The tale of Smash monkeys etc.’ -> Plays on the lack of originality in the game and how everyone more or less does the same.

        I bear no dislike or hatred towards you. What I told you is that I don’t see a reason in reading my entries if you don’t like them, simple as, but I don’t mean to tell you to stay away. Maybe the wrong implication was derived from the way I wrote it, my apologies.

        Appreciate your checking of the blog, and I’m always in for conversating & exchanging ideas in a serious manner, even if we don’t agree on some things.

  5. dunklerengel00 says:

    gj like always proto xDD i really enjoyed :D

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