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By: Stephen 'WaterDog' Waits [05.09.01]

May 9, 2001 - Asus

Another week, another bitch. This week it's those wiley boys over at Asus causing a stir, and I don't like what I see. What's the beef? Cheat enabled drivers, again, you think they would have learned after the last episode, but apparently not. This pains me even more because I actually like Asus in general, always been satisfied with their products, hell, I have one of their video cards sitting in my box.

Cheating Drivers?

How do you cheat with a driver? It's simple really, well, sorta. The drivers Asus is providing allow you to run games in wireframe mode, and also with added transparencies. What this basically equates to is being able to see through walls and know where your opponents are before they have a chance to even see you.

In games like Counter-Strike, where some weapons shoot through walls, this is a huge deal because not only does someone using these drivers know where you are, they can kill you before you know what's going on.

"There's really no legitimate use for these drivers. All those 'benefits' Asus touts are crap, and we all know it."

I'm not a programmer, I don't know exactly what they did to implement these 'features' in their drivers, but for the life of me I can't see why they'd want to do something like this, again.

History repeating

Yes, that's right, again. A while back, almost a year ago, Asus released its first set of cheating drivers. The drivers basically did the same kinds of things that the newer revision does, they let you cheat by seeing through walls. We all know how vocal bitchy people can be, and there was a lot of complaining about the new drivers from the gaming community. I mean really, did Asus expect gamers to support this kind of thing?

In any case, Asus backed away a bit and decided to put things to a poll. They buttered up their drivers with the following rationalizations, and let the community vote.

- To help novice players to have a faster learning curve in playing 3D games 
- To let skilled players to have a chance to test their skills with a new challenge 
- To help users become familiar with 3D graphics rendering 
- To save the time of developers for developing and fixing 3D graphics

I look at that list and see nothing of value, but maybe that's just me. Help novice players? I don't think novices need to be pampered anymore, games are perhaps too novice-friendly now anyway, but that's a whole other bitch.

Offering skilled players a challenge? Well, actually, it's sort of forcing this 'challenge' upon skilled players. It's not like you know who is using the cheat (though it becomes apparent when you keep getting killed through walls that someone is), so really the challenge isn't one you choose. If I want a challenge I'll play drunk, or one handed, or with my eyes closed, I don't consider playing against people who are cheating an enjoyable challenge.

Help users become familiar with 3D graphics rendering? As if there weren't already a million resources on the web for this as it is. Furthermore, there are plenty of in-game console commands that people can use to check out neat little rendering bits that aren't considered cheating.

Save developer time? Umm, I don't recall any developers coming out and asking for this feature, if they did they were sure as hell silent when these drivers were first released last year.

No recount necessary

The results of the vote were pretty clear cut with over 85% of people saying NO to the new drivers. So, in accordance with the community's demands, Asus yanked the drivers and promised to never again release them.

Ok, so what the hell's going on now? The drivers are available again, Asus quietly slipped them out the door. These aren't even the old drivers, they're new drivers that have had the see through bits put into them, so much for Asus listening to the community.

I mean if you're going to put things to a vote, you might as well abide by the decision of the voters. It's not like the NO side just squeaked by with a victory either, this was more than a landslide. Do they think we're stupid? That we've forgotten? That we wouldn't notice the new feature in their latest drivers? Apparently so.

But what about the cheaters

Yeah, I'm doing a lot of bitching about Asus, but it's the cheaters that are using these drivers right? Shouldn't I be bitching about them? Just because the Asus drivers facilitate cheating, doesn't mean that they should be blamed for the cheating that's going on?


Besides the fact that these new drivers has Asus going back on their word to abide by the wishes of the gaming community, there's really no legitimate use for these drivers. All those 'benefits' Asus touts are crap, and we all know it.

I haven't checked out the new drivers, though I did have a chance to see the old ones in action a while back, and truth be told, they weren't that impressive. Sure you could see through walls, but the games looked like ass, and things looked like a pretty hacked job. I don't know if this new set has improved things any, or how it looks, but the fact that it exists is a slap in the face for all of us.

Asus is going to have some serious ass kissing to do if it wants to get back in the good books of the gaming community after this one. I mean they do make decent video cards, and their motherboard tend to be top notch. Why they're shooting themselves in the foot, again, I have no idea. Did they not learn their lesson the first time? Is someone high up in their organization so inept at Counter-Strike that this feature was demanded? Did they think that thsy could just slip this one past us and we wouldn't notice? It doesn't matter why, really, Asus is still a bitch.

A thread and poll have been started in the forum on this topic, join the discussion!

Now what do I do? Well you could:

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