Thursday, 12 December 2013

Interview with DExUS

With UAC3 shutting down in less than 3 weeks time, it's time to have a chat with the founder of it all, a person who has put a lot of effort into keeping the SWAT community (and other games) as clean as possible. Lads and gents, interview with {USSP}DExUS:

1 Tell us about the history of UAC - what inspired you to make it, the changes and developments (UAC4SWAT, UAC2 and 3). Initially, did you plan it just for SWAT4 or was it always in your thoughts to cover a range of games?

I was annoyed by the amount of cheaters in SWAT4 and since our team was one of the TOP 3 European SWAT 4 teams at the time and the fact that we competed in the Electronics Sports League (ESL), the situation with new cheating teams was very bad. So I decided to do something to prevent cheating at league level.   That is where SW4TCH was born.  The design and functions were very poor and it was dismissed by the community. However league admins did like the idea.

So later I put together UAC4SWAT with the help of Snipes who was ClanBase admin at the time. I was also ESL admin at the time of UAC4SWAT creation so we put our heads together and added all info and stuff that might be needed for league admins.  Even though UAC4SWAT initially had no security or protection whatsoever we managed to catch large amount of cheaters.  Since I got tons of requests to create CoD2 and CS version of UAC4SWAT, we decided to create a whole new product that would be capable of supporting any game, and thus the "modern era" UAC (UAC2) was born.

2 Give us an insight into the work you had to undertake (e.g checking screens and matches, solving queries on forum, rolling out new updates, etc). Coupled with the loss of time and money, running UAC will have been far from easy for you. Did you have many regrets/difficulties?

Well, even if you or someone else has LEAGUE ADMIN status at UAC pages they can see only about 30% of what I can see and do.  All error reports that happen to players - even those that are minor and have no impact on UAC functioning - are sent to UAC pages where they get reviewed. There are about 6000-12000+ error reports generated per day. It depends on the amount of matches.  The errors are minor, but sometimes it is needed to check some of them if they are repeating for a certain player and evaluate if there is a way to fix the issue and if the effort is worth it.
Also there is a ton of hidden screens to check,  around 100-500 per day.  Not to mention answering e-mails and helping users who submitted a ticket in the Help&Faq section.  Moreover, all bans are done by me; the system does not ban by itself. It is like this because I want to avoid false detections which are very rare, but still occasionally occur.  I know it sounds like much work, and it is. All done only by me.

3 Tell us a bit about yourself. You are seen using {USSP} tag - was this your old clan in-game? What was your preferred game mode, did you play in any tournaments, do you still play these days?

Well, I was dedicated SWAT3 player, though only at LAN level.  Once SWAT4 came I jumped right at it. True, SWAT4 was not as good but hey, it was fun.  So I started a team called USSP (United Slovak SWAT Players). We had excellent players, two servers (match/public) at that time back in 2005 and we started to play in the ESL.

USSP had switched to CoD4 right after it came out in 2007, the lineup had changed and we continued to play CoD and MW2 etc.   After that our players had other new interests and our pages faded away from existence in 2012.  A fragment of our old pages from 2010 are still accessible to some extent here:

Nowadays I like to play BF3, BF4 and Company of Heroes 2.

4 You mentioned that when UAC ends on 01/14, you will continue to support SWAT4 through a new anti-cheat. Many of us are eagerly waiting for more info regarding this. How will it work, what is the expected ETA for launch, will it be reliable?

Maybe I was over enthusiastic about the embedded anti-cheat that I intended to implement in SWAT4 SBA.  At the current state I don't think that will be possible because everyone wants screenshots and page like UAC and that is something I can't provide. I am sorry.

5 How do you see the future for SWAT4? The closure of GameSpy last year coupled with UAC3 closing now will hurt the already-dwindling community. Do you think there is still potential for it to continue thriving as we enter the 9th year since its release?

I watch over SWAT4 servers from time to time (due to SWAT4 SBA) and I see that there is about 150+ players of that great game and servers are still active so I guess SWAT4 will live for another 1 maybe 2 years.  If there will be any SWAT5 I will jump right in.

To round off, a big thank you for your work from the SWAT4 community. People know you as the person behind UAC, but forget that you also made other useful programs such as S4CTG and the replacement Server Browser. Cheers

Oh and hopefully, the idea of an embedded AC can still come to fruition (even if it uses basic detection methods) as this would help the community greatly!