Discussion 1.50 - GTA Online Research - Soft Patch Notes

TheWhiteStar

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SOFT PATCH NOTES

Grand Theft Auto Online can be modified using a range of cloud files, which were designed to configure the game without the need to release a title update. One of these elements were created for hotfixing exploits, bugs or other urgent changes using DDS (Dynamic Downloadable Scripting).

This list does not include modifications made through tunables or other cloud files as they are published already by other sources.

Please feel free to ask questions about the changes listed here.

14th Janaury 2020:

  • Amended casino ban threshold; preventing a player from winning the maximum payout on a slot machine continuously using memory editing. PC ONLY
  • Applied a hard save trigger to Spin the Wheel; preventing a player from leaving GTA Online and returning to change the outcome.
  • Applied a fix; correcting an issue with a cut-scene from the Diamond Casino Heist causing a player's model to default.
  • Applied a fix; correcting an issue with a cut-scene from the Diamond Casino Heist causing a player to become stuck on a loading screen.
  • Amended casino ban; players can now be banned from casino activities for a period of 1 day, 3 days and 7 days respectively.
  • Amended casino ban threshold; preventing instances of legitimate payout activity penalizing a player.

Hard Save Explanation: Game functionality which is a high-risk for exploitation, for example vehicle selling, is protected using a special save trigger. This will ensure that if the session is ended suddenly or the connection is terminated, the data can still be submitted to Rockstar Game Services later on. It will remain in encrypted cache until synchronization is completed.

There is a slight increase in the number of tools available, which are offered as an alternative to a standard mod menu, using offsets rather than natives to make unfair changes to the game environment. Rockstar have shown attention, due to a recent hotfix targeting players attempting to win continuously at the Diamond Casino.

Whilst their attention will be focused on GTA$, RP and Casino, it is not recommended to use these tools. It cannot be detected in the same manner as a mod menu, however options of the following nature are high-risk for a ban or suspension:

  • RP
  • GTA$
  • Casino
  • Tunables
  • Unlocks & Statistics
  • Player Inventory & Game Catalog Data


20th Janaury 2020:
  • Script amendment; matchmaking change to prevent a Bad Sport player from launching The Diamond Casino Heist with a clean player.


23rd Janaury 2020:
  • Applied a fix; correcting an issue causing a player to be spawned back outside of Premium Deluxe Motorspot during a heist preparation mission when other players are in close proximity.
  • Applied a fix; correcting an issue causing a player to become stuck on the entrance camera of their Arcade.
  • Script amendment; corrected a syntax error on a tunable variable for a newly released DLC item.
  • Applied a fix; correcting an issue causing Inside Track to freeze when a player is on-call for a mission.
Prohibited Interior Teleport Explanation: Areas of Grand Theft Auto Online which are not intended to be accessed in Freemode are disabled. The game is currently programmed to spawn the player back within the permitted perimeter or (for certain locations) force the player to suicide.


28th Janaury 2020:
  • Applied a fix; correcting an unidentified issue with the Albany V-STR.
    • Additional Notes:
      • Released by Rockstar on 30th January.
 
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chrisPtune

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I like this. I think this should be a permanent thing bening updated on patch notes!!
Agree with this. Really cool to see what they change, regardless of how insignificant some things may seem. Love seeing this, thanks OP
 

BobbyMan

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i want a bit of clarification
by "Casino Activities" do you mean the heist or the games inside the casino itself
 

TheWhiteStar

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I like this. I think this should be a permanent thing bening updated on patch notes!!
Rockstar have learnt to maintain silence on such matters. I believe it is rare for them to even include exploit corrections on normal patch notes, whereas originally they were routinely included. I assume this is to evade attention being raised to them, especially during the soft-patch phase, where exploits can only be blocked to a certain extent.
 

SuckmyNONgodmodeD

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Rockstar implement soft changes to the game using their RGS-based script without needing to release a title update. This is often used for inhibiting exploits or correcting certain bugs.

It will be updated on each instance.

14th Janaury 2019:

  • Implemented measures to hinder repetition of an exploit allowing players to win the maximum payout on a slot machine using memory editing. PC ONLY
  • Implemented a *hard save* upon completion of Spin the Wheel, correcting an exploit allowing players to abruptly leave GTA Online and return to change the prize outcome.
  • Implemented a fix which caused a player's character to load as a generic model during a cut-scene for the Diamond Casino Heist.
  • Implemented a fix which caused a player to become stuck on a black screen following a cut-scene for the Diamond Casino Heist.
  • The cooldown from Casino activities is now set for a period of 24 hours, 72 hours or one week respectively.
  • Various tweaks to ensure that players are not disabled from using Casino activities for legitimate payout activity.

*Hard Save* - Similar to how the original vehicle sale exploit was patched, a hard save will force the game to upload player data, despite exiting from GTA Online suddenly or disconnecting from Rockstar Game Services. For high-risk game features which are known for being abused, the player data associated with a feature cooldown or limit is retained in encrypted cache offline and sent to the server upon starting Grand Theft Auto Online again.

There appears to be an increase in the number of external tools for PC which edit the game memory. Rockstar are seemingly taking notice due to their recent efforts to halt Casino abuse, however without a title update to throttle this activity, their current focus would be on those seeking to exploit GTA$, RP and Chips as opposed to general modifications such as God Mode. Whilst external tools are not detectable in the same way as an injected or hooked mod menu, any changes to memory which exploit monitored game functionality will significantly increase the risk of being suspended or banned. The general advice is to avoid using these tools, however if doing so, please refrain from the following:

  • Increasing RP
  • Dropping Cash
  • Statistics Manipulation
  • Casino Payout Modification
  • Bypassing Vehicle Sell Limit & Cooldown --- Unexpected Transaction will be blocked, but attempts recorded.
  • Changing Tunable Variables --- Emphasis on variables associated to or directly control GTA$, RP, LSC or Casino.
  • Storing or Selling Vehicles Fraudulently Upgraded
  • Modifying Game Catalog --- Transaction will be blocked, but attempts recorded.


If you have questions regarding these changes, I would be happy to answer them.
Surely a hard save into encrypted cache can be bypassed by clearing cache before loading back online? I realise on PC they maybe able to save somewhere other than usual place but on console a cache clear is a cache clear right? R* has no access to save anywhere but in its own area.

Add. At some point they also fixed the ability for vehicles stored in the arcade garage to be used in heists. Saw my furia and lifeguard among others appear in heist vehicle select screen for the first time since update dropped.
 

TheWhiteStar

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Surely a hard save into encrypted cache can be bypassed by clearing cache before loading back online? I realise on PC they maybe able to save somewhere other than usual place but on console a cache clear is a cache clear right? R* has no access to save anywhere but in its own area.

Add. At some point they also fixed the ability for vehicles stored in the arcade garage to be used in heists. Saw my furia and lifeguard among others appear in heist vehicle select screen for the first time since update dropped.
Which vehicles are permitted in a mission is dependent on parameters in the heist's JSON file rather than their hotfixing script.

There is a file among SP save data, therefore it would not be affected by cache clearance. It is termed as cache, because once connection is re-established, the local version is wiped after being uploaded to the cloud.
 

SuckmyNONgodmodeD

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Which vehicles are permitted in a mission is dependent on parameters in the heist's JSON file rather than their hotfixing script.

There is a file among SP save data, therefore it would not be affected by cache clearance. It is termed as cache, because once connection is re-established, the local version is wiped after being uploaded to the cloud.
Ahh OK well the heist thing got changed sometime. However they did it. But hmm the SP saves get cleared on xbox anyway when we clear cache. So this wouldn't bypass? Wouldn't such a fix you have described put an end to bogdan repeats? A hard save that heist has been completed? Or that isn't a high risk thing?

Either way man I really like this thread. Please keep it updated!
 
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TheWhiteStar

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Ahh OK well the heist thing got changed sometime. However they did it. But hmm the SP saves get cleared on xbox anyway when we clear cache. So this wouldn't bypass? Wouldn't such a fix you have described put an end to bogdan repeats? A hard save that heist has been completed? Or that isn't a high risk thing?

Either way man I really like this thread. Please keep it updated!
If it clears that particular folder, then it could of course bypass it. However, it would seem more hassle than it is worth unless an exploit reaped an excellent reward each time. They will apply the hard save to anything that has been exploited and save evasion being the method - like the vehicle selling exploit or Spin the Wheel. Ultimately, if something hasn't been fixed with this long-term then I doubt it is a priority for them.
 

NotMyPSNgt

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I saw a message today that said so-n-so was detected cheating and has been removed from the session. Is this part of the update or someone with a custom message on a mod menu? On PC..

 

TheWhiteStar

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I saw a message today that said so-n-so was detected cheating and has been removed from the session. Is this part of the update or someone with a custom message on a mod menu? On PC..

I would need to look into it further to provide clarification, but I believe that particular message has been around for some time. That being said, it is not currently implemented by their network script.

I would assume that a patched network script event could be identified as cheating, although it would need to be something involving RGS, in order to instruct the game to remove the player and push the notification. This could be dropping cash, changing other players' stats or anything else that is actively synchronized with ROS in real-time. Changes such as God Mode are in effect under a P2P environment and is the reason that such abuse is much harder for Rockstar to prevent and detect as opposed to things that are consistently tracked by RGS. It is possible that an element of the anti-cheat is performed under P2P triggering that message although there is no evidence to support this theory.
 
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TheWhiteStar

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Can you clarify how in hand cash is tracked as opposed to direct deposits into the bank?
All transactions involving cash being withdrawn from or deposited to a player wallet or bank balance must register with RGS. You will notice in the right-hand corner of the screen a "Transaction Pending" indicator when cash is being earned or spent. There is also a short delay when purchasing in-game items, depending on connection speed. This means that the game is sending a request for authorization before completing the transaction. There are a few in-game items which are exempt from this process, but 95% require online authorization.

This means that RGS has a full history of your game transactions, regardless of whether or not it was banked. Those who cheat cash into their wallet without banking it are taking the same risk as someone who makes a deposit into their bank account. This is because their system can determine the total amount of cash earned and from where, irrespective of where you store it. It takes into account the transactions stored on their database for your Rockstar ID, in addition to the standard statistics which last generation were reliant on.
 

Always1Shot

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All transactions involving cash being withdrawn from or deposited to a player wallet or bank balance must register with RGS. You will notice in the right-hand corner of the screen a "Transaction Pending" indicator when cash is being earned or spent. There is also a short delay when purchasing in-game items, depending on connection speed. This means that the game is sending a request for authorization before completing the transaction. There are a few in-game items which are exempt from this process, but 95% require online authorization.

This means that RGS has a full history of your game transactions, regardless of whether or not it was banked. Those who cheat cash into their wallet without banking it are taking the same risk as someone who makes a deposit into their bank account. This is because their system can determine the total amount of cash earned and from where, irrespective of where you store it. It takes into account the transactions stored on their database for your Rockstar ID, in addition to the standard statistics which last generation were reliant on.
So, theoretically speaking, if a glitch deposits in game money into your active cash and not the bank, if you don’t transfer it to your bank it will go unaccounted for in tracking?

What happens if you do the same thing on a second character, bank it, and delete the character. Are previous character accounts stored? Can they check character 1 and see where the extra came from if where it came from has been deleted?
 

TheWhiteStar

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So, theoretically speaking, if a glitch deposits in game money into your active cash and not the bank, if you don’t transfer it to your bank it will go unaccounted for in tracking?

What happens if you do the same thing on a second character, bank it, and delete the character. Are previous character accounts stored? Can they check character 1 and see where the extra came from if where it came from has been deleted?
You may have misinterpreted me, so I’ll phrase it a different way.

It doesn’t matter where on the game that cash is stored; whether characters are deleted after banking or remained in wallet, the original transaction of where that cash came from is stored on Rockstar’s external database and so can use this data to target cheaters.

The only exception to this rule is if the cash originated from one of the minority game functions that do not adopt network transactions and it was exploitable. Even in this case, although more stealthy than cash registered with the network, in-built statistics such as the High Earner flag can contribute to the detection of cheating, but once again less effective hence the introduction of a real-life banking style transaction system.
 
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