Friday, December 2nd 2016

Watch Dogs 2 Wants to Monitor Your System, But You Need Not Let It Do So

We've earlier reported about the implementation of EasyAntiCheat on Watch Dogs 2 - and how the Ubisoft game installs a driver in kernel mode and a service that monitors your systems' operating files (when Watch Dogs 2 is running). In that piece, we said that "This mechanism is also running even when you're in single-player-only - and even offline - modes, meaning that you're not getting out of its crosshairs no matter how you are playing the game". Now, there seems to be a way to bypass the system monitoring altogether and enjoy the game in single-player. The way to do so, however, varies whether you're running the game on Steam or on Uplay.
If you're a Steam user, right-click the Watch Dogs 2 game on your library, hit "Properties", "Launch options", and input "-eac_launcher" like in the below picture.
If you're using Ubisoft's Uplay system, you select Watch Dogs 2, "Properties", "Game launch arguments", and input the same "-eac_launcher" in the pop-up command window, as shown below:
Once you've done so in your game platform of choice, start the game. If you did everything correctly, a splash screen should appear, warning you that "EasyAntiCheat is not installed and multiplayer will be disabled", prompting you to reinstall it in order to resume online activities (though all you really have to do is remove the command-line parameter and you're back on multi-player):
Now you can rest easy, playing the game the way it's meant to be played: with you as the proverbial watchdog, without having to worry of prying eyes or unwanted potential privacy violations and undesired anti-cheat measures. At least now you have the choice whether to use or not to use the game's intrusive anti-cheat mechanism, even if you do have to make do without multi-player modes. But there's always a bright-side, and in this case, there are two of them: not only have you stopped the evil corporation from spying on you (taking a leaf from the game itself), but now you also have popular overlay applications such as MSI's Afterburner or streaming apps like OBS working again. Knock yourselves out.
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32 Comments on Watch Dogs 2 Wants to Monitor Your System, But You Need Not Let It Do So

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Seems kind of ironic from a game where the protagonist is fighting to stop a big corporation from spying on people...
Posted on Reply
#2
Raevenlord
News Editor
newtekie1
Seems kind of ironic from a game where the protagonist is fighting to stop a big corporation from spying on people...
I think maybe the joke got lost somewhere along the corporate ladder on that...
Posted on Reply
#4
DeathtoGnomes
Spyware is spyware, putting a fancy name like EasyAntiCheat is just another smokescreen.

Just say No to this game.
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#5
Xzibit
The least they could do is leave tokens/gold for micro-transactions
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#7
Divide Overflow
I'll vote with my wallet and skip this game completely.
Posted on Reply
#8
Melvis
Well the game is called Watch Dogs :roll:
Posted on Reply
#9
ZoneDymo
newtekie1
Seems kind of ironic from a game where the protagonist is fighting to stop a big corporation from spying on people...
nah yo, this was all the plan, it shows us how we must also be vigilant, how easy we just give in to dangerous corporation dude
Posted on Reply
#10
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Great article Raevenlord. I'm not actually interested in playing this game, but this is still useful to know that other games with garbage like this embedded in them can have it disabled.
Divide Overflow
I'll vote with my wallet and skip this game completely.
Just boycott them - I like this suggestion. Ultimately all companies are beholden to their customers for survival. :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#11
Tomgang
I have no problems to say no to Ubisoft and watch dog 2. I quit Ubisoft a long time a go. I am so tired of there release after release of unfinished games that just ruins your gaming. Far Cry 4 where SLI nightmare and ghosting came an go + FPS drops al over the place And So many other games have been som optimized crap like assasiens creed unity and the first watch dog game.

I done with Ubisoft.
Posted on Reply
#12
R-T-B
Tomgang
I done with Ubisoft.
I've been done with them since they killed Silent Hunter.
Posted on Reply
#13
RejZoR
I'm done with Ubisoft since introduction of their bullshit Always Connected DRM. That you were getting booted out of the game because game lost connection to their shitty, always overloaded servers was simply unacceptable and I haven't forgiven them since. And UPlay is just a stupid clone of Steam that's garbage and annoying with none of the benefits and convenience Steam gives me despite it being a DRM by itself as well.
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#14
ZoneDymo
I am actually not done with Ubisoft, I have become wise enough to know not to be an early adopter, I wait years and then get stuff on a deal.
Although the DLC does make that rather hard these days, making the price nto worth it
Posted on Reply
#15
Tomgang
R-T-B
I've been done with them since they killed Silent Hunter.
Havent tried that game, but what they can make is utter crap now a days and that is something i can and will not support.
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#16
Ahhzz
Reason 936 I don't play Ubi games....
Posted on Reply
#17
R-T-B
Tomgang
Havent tried that game, but what they can make is utter crap now a days and that is something i can and will not support.
Silent Hunter was a good series, as well as an Ubisoft original. It was a game that required thought and patience. Nothing like the crap they make now.

The last iteration of it they made was incomplete hell (they were given 6 months to work on it, no more), and filled with over the top DRM. And they concluded based on it's poor sales that the genre was dead, not that it was their fault in the least... just that the market didn't want that anymore. :shadedshu:

So they were once capable of making good games, but they've completely lost that ability once they went "big"
Posted on Reply
#18
Prima.Vera
For me Ubisoft is Little Big Adventure (1+2) , first FarCry, and the Assassin's Creed games up to the IIIrd, the unofficial last game of the series. Everything released after is just money grab, the stories are pure junk and all...
No more getting money from me too.
Posted on Reply
#19
bug
RejZoR
I'm done with Ubisoft since introduction of their bullshit Always Connected DRM. That you were getting booted out of the game because game lost connection to their shitty, always overloaded servers was simply unacceptable and I haven't forgiven them since. And UPlay is just a stupid clone of Steam that's garbage and annoying with none of the benefits and convenience Steam gives me despite it being a DRM by itself as well.
Hear, hear!
There's tons of great games to play even if you pass on all Ubisoft or EA crap titles. Not to mention you'd be supporting the right kind of developers.
Posted on Reply
#20
Recon-UK
Well Dog Watch 1 was crap from what i know.,.. watched my bro play it.. GTA IV trounces it in every way even if it was a code mess.
Posted on Reply
#21
Prima.Vera
Recon-UK
Well Dog Watch 1 was crap from what i know.,.. watched my bro play it.. GTA IV trounces it in every way even if it was a code mess.
Story wise yes, maybe only the last 2 Assassin's Creeds can beat it in boringness and flatness... The concept was nice though.
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#22
arterius2
well cheaters ruin the gaming community more-so than anti-cheats, so I support this.
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#23
deemon
arterius2
well cheaters ruin the gaming community more-so than anti-cheats, so I support this.
Anti-cheating should be implemented by some other means. This is just wrong. Even when I considered buying Watch Dogs 2 previously, I definately will not now.
Posted on Reply
#24
bug
arterius2
well cheaters ruin the gaming community more-so than anti-cheats, so I support this.
Theft is even worse. So next time you buy a sofa, make sure you give the keys to your house to the seller so they can check your house from time to time to make sure no one has stolen your furniture. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#25
Jism
deemon
Anti-cheating should be implemented by some other means. This is just wrong. Even when I considered buying Watch Dogs 2 previously, I definately will not now.
Technically, they 'need' a kernel based driver in order to detect certain cheats. Cheat-writers are getting more and more sophisticated in what they do, and it's becoming harder and harder to detect someone cheating lose from the human eye.

These cheats are becoming more like malware. They nestle themself outside the OS, simply unable to be detected by any regular anticheat / anti-virus and all.

There are many cheat writers who code these stuff up for a living. Some of them made serious money with many cheats, wallhacks and all that stuff.

Back in the days, i used to work on anticheat for a certain game as well. We where able to view anyone's processes in XP or any other OS. But the moment they started to hook on a game outside the game itself, it was pretty much done, and nothing much we could do back then since the game itself was very limited. It was just a demo version of some game with just one map. There was a decent community for it every day tho.

Mostly a anticheat looks for is:

- File checksum (modded files)
- Memory checksum (modded memory parts of the game)
- Make screenshots and uploads it at random intervals
- Some more relevant stuff, such as proces viewing, which programs you are running with proberly a checksum as well

It can be updated as simular to a antivirus, that checks for certain *known* files. If anticheat is smart, it simply brings in map who cheats currently, and start some huge banning within a period of time.
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