Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Where I am most likely to cheat

I have Cheat Engine installed on my computer. That is a program that looks for the occurrence of a number in a running program. So if you have a game running that uses numerical values for something, let's say the xp of your character, you can search for that value. You'll find lots of hits, but if then in the game you gain 100 xp and you search for the new xp value among the previous hits, sooner or later you'll find the address of where those xp are stored. And then you can edit it.

Now I am relatively unlikely to use Cheat Engine for xp. Yes, you can turn your level 1 character into a max level character, but then the game just becomes boring as hell, because you are still in that level 1 zone. There are quite a lot of games on which I never used Cheat Engine at all, because I found the game fun and balanced as is, and didn't feel the need to modify it.

The one value I am most likely to modify in a typical RPG is my gold, or whatever other currency there is. Because by the conventions of the genre, you are supposed to collect junk loot while adventuring, sell that junk to traders in town, and earn much of your gold that way. I never liked that game mechanic, and I am certainly not using that in my D&D campaigns. In computer games, it depends on how it is implemented. I especially hated Fallout 3 for this, because there were literally hundreds of containers to open in any locations, and most of them contained junk of very low value, so you really had to haul quite a lot of junk to earn currency, and spend half of the time in game opening drawers and boxes. I prefer loot systems like Diablo, where relatively little loot is coming from the archetypical barrel, and a lot of the stuff you sell is armor and weapons from enemies. You take the best stuff for yourself, and sell the rest. My dislike of junk also depends on how restrictive the inventory management is: After playing some Larian Studios games with horrible inventories, I appreciate in Wasteland 3 that there is absolutely no limitation to the number or weight of the stuff you carry around; not so much of a hassle to sell junk if it doesn't block valuable space in your inventory, and there is a "sell all junk" button too!

But when I get to the point in an RPG where my characters are overloaded with vendor trash and I am supposed to travel back and forth just for the gold, I am likely to pull out Cheat Engine instead. Leave the junk armor on the corpse, and POKE myself some gold. I want to play heroes, not trash collectors!

I very rarely cheat because it's a slippery slope. Once you compromise your character... You're more prone to keep cheating. But sometimes the game is so restrictive that a little cheat is a huge quality of life. I am currently playing (and loving to death) Grim Dawn. In this game you can easily respec your talents in seconds (almost) for free. But you can't respec the main class and the second class. So if you start as a Soldier you will be able to refund its talent points but you can't switch to another class. By "cheating" I managed to reset and play another class, which is nice to save a lot of time.
When I was a child, I was cheating in nearly all games possibles - cheat code were very common at the time :
- infinite money in RTS game
- infinit ammo or life in FPS
I was not ( still true) very good at games, but played those to enjoy a power rush - being the super hero in the story.
I am very sad that cheat code is no longer part of the gaming culture. :-(

What has replaced it is Mod ( for those that support it) and sometimes microtransaction.

A interesting case for me is Cities Skyline : the game propose to play with unlimited money ( rendering the game far easier) but I also add the traffic manager mode that allow a far more complex traffic gameplay. Cheat/mod allow to focus your game on the gameplay you prefer.

@Rugus : agree with you, in some games, cheating create a peak of pleasure ( finally getting rid of some constraint) but stop me for playing the game. I now try to decrease my use of it.
I used to cheat as a kid. Mostly because, like Ettesiun, I wasn't very good at games back then. I got stuck in the later levels of Warcraft 3, Starcraft or Age of Kings. Cheating made sure that I could continue playing. Replayed those games years later and and I could finish them without cheating.

Do I still cheat today? Rarely. I lost my boat in Valheim on an island, half an hour from my home base. So I used the cheat codes to summon the nails so I could build a new boat. It was either that or restart the game and loose twenty hours of progress.

But overall, I'm rarely using cheat codes. Maybe look up some solutions in adventure games if I'm stuck sure.
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