What Constitutes as Cheating

Bye now we all know every pvper is a cheater and FDevs doesn't care ~Joke

But really , I use button mapping software in Elite(and other games) , so i can use all 20 Buttons on my glorious RGB gaming mouse that ED wont naturally let me use, am i an unwitting hacker? and if not now, will i be?
Based on the forums, anything that a vocal minority of hardcore PvPers doesn’t like is considered cheating. Even if they use it themselves (like the old Engineering exploit).
IMHO, cheating is manipulation of code, or network traffic. So, trainers and combat logging, or traffic shaping.
That's just the hacking subset of cheating.

Cheating is violating the rules to provide advantage.

So... when I used the button-mapping feature of my keyboard to automatically sell 250t of biowaste 1t at a time with a single keypress, when testing to see if this was actually a broken aspect of the BGS or not (which it was; target faction lost 30% influence overnight)... that was legit right? :D

Corollary: Context and intent matters a lot, not just the capability involved.
I'd definitely consider that cheating, and it's likely that Frontier would as well.

Sensitivity slopes, pip macros, or using something like voice attack to implement simple commands are one thing.

Automating complex or extended interactions is quite another.

In your opinion....
In Frontier's opinion as well, if it's used to any in-game advantage.

I believe Frontier always called it an exploit. So the ultimate (but pointless) question is if you consider cheating and exploiting to be the same thing.
Anything that gives an unfair and unintended advantage is a cheat, by definition. Exploits, in this sense, would certainly qualify.
Using a PC is cheating.
I take exception to that. Maybe you meant having a keyboard?

It's been tradition, especially when gaming from the early 80's were all stand alone solo games running on PC's (before consoles) with the code exposed and written in programming languages we all understood, and learned from to become programmers, to alter our solo games with code programming then called "mods". These "mods" on stand-alone games were just improvements to the game play for your benefit only, on a solo run game.

Now, when online gaming started up, these "mods" slowly began to change the game dynamics and in games like Skyrim and others, were adopted by game developers and actually promoted by the game developer as approved, and for Skyrim and others, were included as "player submitted modifications". In all of Skyrim's games, you can "mod" it to your hearts content, and never be called a "cheater".

So, Frontier for example, allows you to "mod" your GUI and HUD. The difference in changing your HUD colors is a simple text edit with tools built in and available on the system or OS via a Frontier exposed and open xml file, which gives you no game advantage, other than maybe your eyesight.

Someone injecting code with hackers tools not available on the system or OS directly into memory addresses giving themselves a game advantage you don't get or have is more than just degrees, its a game changer and miles apart.

To say that someone offering a "mod" for a game is offering some kind of cheat, which uses game developer output files or open code which can be read by a simple text editor available on the system or OS, left open by the developer of a game, is just wrong. Game "mods" enhance game-play without giving anyone an advantage, and are not directly fed back into the MMO as changed game code data.

As with anything in computer programming, you can use the tools available and the code exposed for the benefit of all, or the detriment of all. It's the person using the tools in a detrimental way to give "themselves" an advantage you don't get, is called a "cheater". Applications like VoiceAttack, EDMC, HUD Editors, and Journal Readers with their associated websites, without exception, use text files left exposed by Frontier, to grovel and present data for everyone's benefit and are called, for lack of a better term, "Mods" to the game.

When you break into code, which was not exposed by the developer of a game, and change that "game code" which is not available to you without a sophisticated development or programming tool, which is used for "building code" with a mindset of "taking advantage for your own benefit, which is denied to others", then you are CHEATING.

As a white-hat hacker, one who taught cyber warfare, who has made suggestions to Frontier on addressing script and bot cheaters, and who participates in securing corporate assets from hackers on HackerOne.Com, I can say that anyone taking advantage of an MMO driven game with programming tools which alter compiled developer game code not exposed and which cannot be read with a simple text editor, is a "hacker" and a "cheater" and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of civil "Copyright and IP Law".

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I would not see mapping an in game control to a device as cheating. You are not changing the game in some way that was not intended.

Changing the game in an unintended way is cheating. Scripting to change statistics is cheating. Using an exploit to circumvent the normal game functions (like the 5/1 engineering exploit) is cheating.
it is an interesting one this... my 1st reaction is, of course its NOT cheating!!! but then OTOH I have seen players in competitive FPSers call for other players to be banned for using macros for super fast firing in weapons which were balanced by the fact of how fast the player could physically shoot whilst aiming at the same time and in that instance i would say that IS cheating, .... but technically it is the same thing i think.

I am not a competitive player so am probably not a good yardstick for what is cheating but in elite, i would say it is not cheating in elite to use macros to do <most> things which the game does not support that is done in the interests of immersion and NOT for gaining an advantage, but i respect that it is a grey area and would not argue with those who feel different. I am biased here of course because it just so happens i use voice attack for that very reason... not to be "better" but just because it is cool to order the ship into hyperspace, and to request docking and to target next enemy or to select next route etc etc.

I would consider botting to be cheating, but, botting does not alter the code in anyway. also apps which autofire hit scan weapons when they enter your cross hair <as i understand it, i am no pro here> does not alter the games code but i would consider that cheapting too.
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If I bash the powerplant of a conda to bellow 0% and it still flies, boosts and fires back at me, then the NPC is cheating.
When an NPC drops from hyperspace and immediately tries to interdict me, then he is cheating.
When I boost, FA-OFF and turn 180º and boost again, I'm cheating, cause no pilot could survive that G shock in a ship that reaches max speed >500m/s. (around 37 gs)
When you use synthesis to create more stuff, you're cheating, because materials occupy no space in-game, and so allow you to have more ammo/heatsinks/chaffs etc.. by science-magic.
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