Just some ideas off the top of my head that might be possible(I don’t know enough about the inner workings). These might not be a good fit for MITM and might be done on client side:
- Show guild mates/friends names floating in the direction they are on screen
- Guild ranking by prestige. Something that would collect all beacons, see what guild they belong to and calculate total prestige.
- Show on the boundless map website what regions belong to what guilds.
- Meteorite hunt simplifying tools. For example know when a region is “dried up” or what is the possible tier for next meteorite. Ideally tools that would render platform speed farming irrelevant.
- Player inspection.
- Wealth calculator.
- Storage helper. Like search for “seeds” and arrows appear on your screen that point to your storage blocks that contain “seeds”.
- Crafting assistance.
- This is probably most complicated and from what I got PMed violates ToS. But assuming you get portal info (from and to coordinates) and tracked coordinates you want to visit. Then you can solve what is known as a graph problem. Specifically what most if not all CS students are familiar with as Dijkstra’s algorithm or shortest path first. This one fascinates me because portals add another dimension to a common problem. This would make visiting places a lot easier for new players. Instead of jumping hoops and crossing fingers you fumble into the right portal, you could just have an arrow that points where to run and what portals to take.
When it comes to negatives. MITM is just an exploratory tool mostly. I’m assuming packet forging does not work and there is server-side validation. It’s not smart to validate everything so with a lot of digging you might find things that are client validated. Like in what order your items are in storage. But it probably wouldn’t be too exciting. Worst case which i really doubt. You can give yourself infinite coins, cubits, plots and resources. Destroy an entire planet (“lie” to a server and say hey I just mined millions of blocks at once). Login as admin. But like 99.9999% if devs here know how to do MMO networking, they know not to make those trade-offs.
If you are a baddie, there are a lot of easier ways to gain an edge. With games like these, they usually find duping and moving exploits with 0 lines of code. Make a peat farming bot or whatever. I’m not a security/reverse engineer type of person professionally so it’s kind of out of my sphere. You might be able to make maybe an XRAY kind of tool that shows where closest diamond is but I feel like that’s probably easier to do client side with no need for MITM.
Packet FORGING is detectable and opens doors to malicious stuff. Packet SNIFFING is I think undetectable and just enables more technically skilled people to understand how the game works and gather info to create tools.
Point is. You can not stop a malicious actor. Especially in today’s ecosystem where a program has so many dependencies each a vector. It’s a waste of money. Especially imo with Boundless. This game has no RWT. This game has no tourneys or competitions. This game has no ranking ladder. This game has no PvP. MMO companies know this and whenever there is a “Ban the baddies!” campaign, it is just to appease the public and they pick the low hanging fruit. For example Runescape, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2. Public sees bots and thinks that is the most someone is ahead of them. People are happy. Devs are happy. The malicious hackers worth their salt are unaffected. Or maybe a community is outraged because of people being elitist and using 3rd party DPS meter. So they beat the creator, ban the users and appease the crowd. While the guy controlling entire markets goes under the radar and community splinters.
Sorry if the end bit came off as a rant but it’s just a reality of doing what you love. You can try making tools that people enjoy and love just to have it all turned on it’s head the next day. Reason I made this post is to first know if there have been people trying and second to gauge community sentiment. If people want PS4 and PC to be an even playing field I can’t imagine what outrage there would be if PC had mods/tools that for example told you what portals to go through to get to a shop with lowest selling price. Which is a bit ironic because in reality it would level the playing field with people who have been trading since launch.