This post is in regards to Reports that Cheaters could alter your save.
With the release of MHW PC, there have been cheaters. That much is unsurprising. But there is also fear mongering that these cheaters could ruin your save via Cheat Engine or other tools. In response to this I went to search for answers. Namely is it possible, has it been definitively confirmed that it is possible and has it been done. I hope I can calm people down or at least provide some information.
The following are my findings on the internet as an individual, the sources and individuals where I pulled answers from will not be disclosed for their safety. The tests conducted are between two parties, myself and my sister, with consent.
Note: I wrote this on Steam in reply to a post. Mind the similarities, I will do my best to reformat this as an individual post.
Cheaters that could alter your save is not actually proven to be possible at this moment. While there are reports of Cheating such as one-shoting monsters. There has only been one case of someone supposedly being effected by a Cheater. This person, on Steam, claims that he came back from a hunt, only to find that most items in his material box was stacked at 8888. For those that don't know, its this post on Reddit his friend made which has been Deleted.
Note: that I do not know if it's OK to post deleted posts.
For myself on Steam, I provided a counter scenario. As to me the image provided, conflicted with information I currently know.
"I don't know. I saw your friends post on Reddit and it's images. I have to say though, with the stack numbers at 8888. Which is something that FLiNG trainer does, when an option is activated any items highlighted by the mouse (when the mouse hovers over the item) will be changed to a stack of 8888.
Now I'm not definitively claiming that this is the case as I do not have full-hind sight. But I feel that it should be put out there. It could be that you could have downloaded the trainer, activated the code and run your mouse through your inventory box.Then went on Steam in order to create an image of being a victim of a hack. If I look at the images in imgur and run my mouse through your items, there is a consistency.
All 8888 item stacks or greater, are next to other 8888 item stacks, be it top, down, left, right, or diagonally adjacent. Disconnected 8888 item stacks are also next to the borders of the box. Where the mouse can mod those stacks while skipping a few items between them. Again I may be wrong, as I don't know exactly what happened. But this to me is what I got out of what I just saw and what I know."
Others in the Reddit post above have also provided a counter scenario, albeit in a harsher tone.
OK so now we move on to findings.
The answer is still not definitive. The people that do cheat could not confirm if it is possible as they have no intention of harming others to begin with and have no work done for that end. They did however mention the following.
They mention that "CE, to overly simplify it, modifies the RAM on your machine. Things like stamina and items are handled by the user's machine. Unless it's something affecting the monster, you wouldn't have affected his hunt in any way." So In regard to online play this is where one shoting monster play in. Because your character is modified to deal high damage, which is something your RAM handles to my understanding.
The other issue is Peer to Peer, and Monster Hunter's sync structure. In 3DS MH "stuff that affected a single hunter didn't sync." Meaning that you couldn't mess with another hunter's data, because their data are not synced since it is an individual case unlike a monster which can affect multiple players. So if they keep the old structure, it should still be implausible.
The other mention would be Peer to Peer. "If your game uses peer-to-peer, each user should validate the others to prevent the host from having full control of the game state which would allow them to cheat or bypass restrictions." Meaning that if this was using a Peer to Peer struture, it should still not be possible to have full control. You could cheat and bypass restrictions for your side, but not others.
Ok so lets go to one hypothetical scenario and the tests.
Lets say that it is possible to hack other's HR. Lets say that someone did set your HR back to 1. The moment you complete a quest, your HR goes back to it's initial value. That's because HR runs on a total XP system. Your HR could be 1, but since your total XP exceeds that, you will instantly level back to where you were at. Tested by setting my HR to 1 from 70. The only other way that could set your HR down permanently is if someone edited your total XP. As of the time of this post however, there is no tool that can do that nor is there ability to multiply HR XP gain.
But lets go deeper in the name of science! For this test, me and my sister will kill a Great Jaggeras. I will host a session and a quest and use a tool to cheat rewards that will give 99 stacks of materials and fill up the reward box, while my sister will play cheat-less. Which would be the most optimal situation of a trolling cheater.
What ended up happening was that I received 99 materials of quest related items, Great Jaggeres parts, and a full reward box. While my sister at quest end only got a normal amount of materials, so stuff in the 1s and 2s or 3s as well as a not full reward box. So only I was affected with the cheat and no other party.
One other test I did was a mantle cool-down and duration test. I am able to effectively use mantles infinity with no duration, eg Gillie mantle will not explode even if hit or if time runs out. This did not effect my sister, as her mantle still has cool-downs and explodes when she is hit or attacks. It did however produced a funny visual glitch on my end where here mantle is constantly exploding leaves.
I did one last test, which is to see if I could in any way modify my sisters character. So I decided to target something simple like money. Again I am still the host of this test, so I should by theory have more power. In the end however I could not alter my sister's Zenni even when searching for the exact value of Zenni she has, I could not find the values for her character, this may be due to user error, or if the findings are to be believed, because they don't exists on my side. I could however find and alter my value just fine so HR 999 or max Zeni and Research, etc.
So the tools that exists now and is obtainable by any cheater, is not able to adversely affect your characters in anyway.
Again there is no definitive proof of people capable of altering your save. Only a rumor and a single report of the said character altering hacks happening, but the circumstance surrounding that in itself is suspicious and could have been falsified.
© Post "Hacks and Cheats: Tests and findings in regards altering other players Characters." for game Monster Hunter World.
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