This guide to finding cheaters is largely irrelevant today, for finding cheaters isn't as important or as easy to do as it was in the past. There really aren't any more bugs in the game that people can readily exploit and I might as well have placed this guide under the "Old School" section, but it's always possible that a new breed of cheaters will be born in the future. Of course, there never was a foolproof way of determining whether or not a person was cheating or had simply possessed cheated goods, but there were many signs that indicated that a person wasn't being an honest player.
Past Methods of Detecting Cheaters
When it was still possible for people to peer other characters without actually having to pay Opals, finding a cheater was easy for anyone who knew how to look for signs that indicated that a person may have been cheating. It's no surprise that peering was one of the most effective ways of finding dishonest players, for it revealed the stats of any character to anyone who was curious enough to know it. By looking at the character's stats and weapons, one could determine whether or not they warranted some suspicion.
A person who had high stats but was equipped with weak weapons was thought to be a cheater, seeing that the person should've been capable of acquiring far stronger weapons. For instance, a person who had 900 combined stats but only had a Steel Sword and a Full Plate equipped was more than likely to be a cheater. And to a lesser degree, anyone who was using a non-existent weapon, such as the Global Terror weapon that a certain hacker had distributed to various people (including me) a few years ago, was a person who was using a cheated weapon.
Another way of telling if a person was cheating was if the person had more than 600 combined stats that were closely similar and was also equipped with rudimentary weapons. It was made even more obvious if the person hadn't filled out his or her character description in addition to having satisfied the above criteria. After all, characters back then didn't have the option of clearing their description and it was highly unlikely that such a developed character wouldn't have filled it out after playing for such a long time.
People who stats had drastically increased over a short period of time were widely considered to be people who had either cheated their stats by using programs (such as the Cheat-o-matic) or had used thousands of cheated Mandrake Roots in an effort to boost their stats quickly.
Referring to the Top 24 listings was also another way for people to find cheaters although most the people on these lists probably weren't cheaters but simply people who had cheated goods in their possession. Still, it didn't matter all that much to anti-cheating enthusiasts who argued that a person who carried cheated goods was still a cheater for intentionally harboring them. People believed that any character who had 2.1 billion marks must've been a cheater or a person who possessed cheated marks, seeing that items didn't sell for a lot of marks back then and a person would have to sell every single weapon and item that he or she gained through questing for at least 7 years (821,918 marks per day) just to make that many marks legitimately.
When the top 24 list for Age still existed, anyone who was currently at the age of 2000 was considered to be a person who had used cheated Aging Elixirs to increase their age. The previous age limit to the top 24 list was at 1000, and as soon as it was changed to 2000, numerous people began to use cheated Aging Elixirs to increase their age to 2000.
Some people considered characters whose levels were above 30 or had more than 30 guild skills were cheaters, seeing that they must've tithed with cheated marks to get to that level unless the person had played the game for at least 2 years consecutively. After all, leveling up was much harder to do in the past than it is today as illustrated by the Old Level Raising Guide. Those who had combined stats in excess of 3000 were also considered to have cheated by using thousands of cheated Mandrake Roots to improve their stats unless they were veterans of the game.
Trading Post Cap
Back in 2002, a group of individuals who were tired of seeing cheated goods that were being exchanged at the Trading Post forum decided to confront the problem by placing sanctions to limit the amount of these cheated goods. They believed that people who had acquired their items in a legitimate manner would have a greater chance of winning bids. Some of these people also offered to trade their items for cheated goods with the intention of dumping these cheated goods as soon as they received them in the mail.
When these sanctions were in place, traders weren't allowed to exchange a certain amount of an item. Traders who placed bids in excess of 10,000 of any item that weren't Marks or Food were thought to be people who possessed cheated goods, and people who made bids offering hundreds or even thousands of Kookies and Rocks were clearly people who possessed cheated goods. Those who were foolish enough to bid above the cap quickly earned themselves a bad name at the Trading Post and were promptly investigated by certain players.
The sanctions were still in place when I left Dragon Court in December 2002. It appears that these sanctions have since been lifted, and I'm guessing that they didn't work too well because people wouldn't have admitted that they were carrying cheated goods. That, and it was kind of balanced in favor of those who possessed cheated goods because it allowed them to win bids with much less items. 4 years have passed since people had placed these sanctions, and many cheated goods are still being circulated at the Trading Post forum today. Will cheated goods always be a part of this game when it comes to trading?
Possible Cheater 2
Possible Cheater 3