Cheating in multiplayer games is a scourge that has plagued gamers for as long as multiplayer games have existed. These cheats can range from giving you information over your opponents to automating certain player actions. "Dota 2" is no stranger to this issue. Gosu.ai discovered that 12 percent of "Dota 2" matches have at least one cheater in them a mere few days ago. Here’s Gosu.ai again with information specifying what Heroes are used to cheat with the most. Let’s look at the numbers and try to find some explanations for them.

Arc Warden – 3.86 percent are cheaters

Arc Warden is a hero capable of creating a clone of himself with all his skills and items (with some exceptions), so there’s a potential of 18 abilities that need to be used to maximize efficiency with the hero.

Include the need to properly position both units during fights and remain aware of your surroundings, and you have a fairly challenging hero to play. As such, it makes sense that cheaters would see an opportunity to script certain actions. Arc Warden's flexibility means that he is capable of carrying games by himself if played optimally.

Another common trend among most of the heroes with high cheating rates is that many seem to have very low mobility or are vulnerable when caught off-guard.

The negative aspects of these heroes can be mitigated with the use of zoom hacks or map hacks. These types of cheats give the users additional visibility of the battlefield in ways that normally wouldn't be possible. This means that the cheater is always a few steps ahead of regular Players in terms of the information they can gather.

Visage – 4.26 percent are cheaters

Here's another predictable statistic.

Visage is another hero that requires a significant amount of micro-management skill from the player to control the main hero as well as his familiars. With so much to think about at any given time, scripts to control the birds would make it easy to utilize Visage’s latent potential. There is also the fact that Visage’s abilities all have miniscule casting times, meaning that automating his scripted skill usage won’t hinder the player’s manual inputs.

Visage faces similar issues of being susceptible to surprise attacks by the enemy, so he would also benefit greatly from the use of vision-based cheats.

Skywrath Mage – 6.19 percent are cheaters

The first two were obvious candidates for scripting due to their incredible potential but ridiculous mechanical skill requirements from the player. But if that’s the qualification for scripting, then why would Skywrath Mage, one of the simplest heroes in "Dota 2," see such enormous representation among cheaters?

The reason goes back to the concept of low cast points, similar to Visage. Every one of Skywrath Mage’s abilities has almost no delay between inputting the command and the skill activating. This means the script can use every ability and instantly demolish the enemy before they can even react. I suppose it would be pretty easy to win games when you can kill your opponents just by being within 950 units of them.

This study was conducted before Valve sent out a wave of permanent bans on April 5, so it's hard to say what the state of cheating in "Dota 2" is currently. Regardless, it’s still important to see what trends hackers and scripters tend to follow so that we can adapt and catch them more efficiently in the future. Valve has been taking several actions to improve the "Dota 2" experience for the average player. Just last year, Valve cracked down on the issue of "smurfs" in the ranked matchmaking system. These have both been effective steps to prune the toxic parts of the "Dota 2" community and I'm excited to see what will come next.

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