Mass outrage as VrChat introduces Epic Game’s Easy anti-cheat to block all mods including ones required for people with accessibility needs.

 

Summary

 

The developers of VrChat, Are introducing Epic game’s Easy Anti-Cheat in hopes to solve the issue of user harassment, account theft and malicious attacks caused by modded clients. Since the announcement the steam page has been badly reviewed by 12k users due to the removal of mods that improved the overall games functionality, accessibility, and adaptability.  
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Malicious attacks
“Malicious modified clients allow users to attack and harass others, causing a huge amount of moderation issues.”
“Every month, thousands of users have their accounts stolen, often due to running a modified client that is silently logging their keystrokes as well as other information. These users – often without even realizing it! – run the risk of losing their account, or having their computers become part of a larger botnet.” – VRChat team [5]

 

  • “It does not solve ripping or crasher avatars. It probably won’t stop malicious mods, as they’re way smaller and can evade anti-cheat easier. Nor do they open source their code, meaning you never really know what you are running, and risk getting your account stolen, or worse.  However, it prevents you from having unlimited avatar favourites. It prevents you from using anti-crash mods. It prevents you from using all other mod features you’ve come to enjoy. It prevents you from using safe, open-source mods that never made anyone’s experience worse.” -emmVRC team [1]

 

 

  • “Some of VRChat’s problems (avatar ripping, crashing) have nothing to do with client mods. It’s exceedingly easy to do both without mods. In fact, wholesome mods are used to prevent crashing and make ripping harder. All EAC does in this case is make people crash more due to lack of protections.” -Leading feedback post on Vrchats website [2]

 

  • “For VRChat, this means that malicious mods will still exist and be used to annoy people in publics. Closed source mods can circumvent anti-cheat without the exploit being detected, while open-source mods can’t play the cat-and-mouse game due to the source-code being publicly available, which in effect will ban wholesome mods and allow malicious mods.” -VRCMG (VRChat modding group) [3]

 

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Future of VRChat
“Finally, we’re aware that many legitimate users install modifications to add features they wish VRChat had natively. We’re very aware of the popularity of these modifications, and we’re aware that EAC means those modifications are gone, too. As such, we’ve been working towards native implementations of features like a main menu that’s usable even when you’re lying down, a portable mirror that you can use to calibrate your full-body tracking (or provide a face-cam), and more – all planned for upcoming releases. “ VRChat team [5]

 

  • “VRChat has been historically slow at adding features. You promise mod features “soon” but people can have them now, via mods. It’s very likely that “soon” in this case will be either “years”,  or “never” for more niche features or features that don’t align with your team’s grand vision. To this day IK2 is far from perfect (people still use you-know-what), avatar favorites are pitifully limited, and most mod features are not even mentioned anywhere, with their canny posts lying forgotten and buried.” -Leading feedback post on Vrchats website [2]

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts

There are so many issues with with implementation
the mods:
-optimise the game making it able to run on most systems.
-add linux support

-adds support for devices like face tracking, haptic vests, haptic gloves, xbox Kinect full body tracking and accessibility devices.
-text to speach for the deaf

-reducing the audable distance of players for the hard of hearing.
-prevent malicious attacks

 

Users are complaining that the mods actually reduce the malicious attacks by blocking avatars that are made to crash the game.
Vrchat are saying that they are going to add some features back to the game, but knowing there track record this may take years or even never happen.


Sources
[1]emmVRC team comment:
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[2]Most trending feedback form on vrc’s feedback page:
https://feedback.vrchat.com/open-beta/p/eac-in-a-social-vr-game-creates-more-problems-than-it-solves

[3]VRCMG’s response document:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tpF-zAvLCCPnmpMcmEUvHe_47M1F8ZLYSI3W4II0Z2s/edit

 

[4]Most helpful steam review:
https://steamcommunity.com/id/Zullfix/recommended/438100/

 

[5]VRChat blog on the security update: (Has Been modified as of recent)

https://hello.vrchat.com/blog/vrchat-security-update
 

Steam page for reviews:


Update:
VRC Team have released a new discord announcement addressing the feedback

“Let’s follow that up with the hard part: we are going to be releasing this update, and we do not have plans or intent to revert or roll it back.”
“Our first priority for these changes is addressing several accessibility concerns in VRChat. We’ve got an internal list of improvements we can implement quickly and are fast-tracking it through our production and implementation process. We will be posting more information about those changes tomorrow.” -VRChat Team

Seems like they understand the accessibility concerns yet are continuing to release the update anyway. Even if they put all the efforts towards “fast tracking” It seems like a waste of efforts considering its already been made by someone else. Its also hard to believe that they will be able to replicate all the mods and will probably only tackle the main ones leaving some people in the dark still.

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