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Two answers here have involved tweaks to Mass Effect 3's ini files, and in particular Coalesced.bin. I've seen some unsubstantiated rumors that EA will ban players who use a tweaked .bin file in multiplayer, since they could potentially use it to cheat.

I don't want to test this out myself to see if I end up banned, as I happen to enjoy multiplayer. Is there any official word from EA (or firsthand experience) that if I implement a tweak such as the FOV tweak, I will be banned if I forget to revert back to the original file before playing multiplayer?

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It's easy to encapsulate the md5 and unlock everything, lots of people do it and it's 100% undetectable. The packs aren't worth the money since they keep disappearing anyway. –  user21348 Mar 12 '12 at 0:14
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@Cliff where does 100% undetectable come from? Their software is running on your PC and connecting to their servers. They can check and verify every running process, every game file and most other files on your machine too, and they can compare these against what the server thinks they should be. –  GAThrawn Mar 20 '12 at 14:09

2 Answers 2

If you are modding to steal EA's revenue, I am sure you will be dealt with at some point. Getting credits is a prime example because EA sells BioWare points to purchase the same items as credit points are used for. You have a high risk of getting reported when you publicly strut your stuff in public rooms. Other REAL players will not appreciate being robbed of credit points. Finishing gold match after gold match solo could easily get you noticed and booted. So, to make a long story short, if you paint yourself to be a target, you deserve to be banned. I have been running mods over a month and knock on wood I have not been banned. I also buy BioWare points to get packs and almost never finish matches. If you must Mod then my advice is keep it real. There is no guarantee you will not be banned.

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This story shows a user who got banned for joining a multiplayer game in which the host was using modified game files. The player got illegitimate credits and spent them, resulting in the ban.

To quote a user on the BioWare forums:

Why does EA bother to ban people for using tweaks ? Simple. If those tweaks provide access to credits (that are being used to buy packs) or even worse gear, they will ban them outright, since their purpose is to make people want to purchase the packs, for real money/Bioware points.

I would say, better safe than sorry. Keep a backup of the original bin file and swap it for multiplayer. One of the simplest ways of detecting modified game files is for the executable to do a checksum of all support files. The checksum comparison routine is simply a pass/fail if the file has been tampered with, so there is no sorting out the innocent from the guilty.

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I definitely agree with "better safe than sorry", which is exactly what I said when I discussed tweaking it here. It would be nice to know for certain though. In particular, it'd be good to know if people are being banned for even harmless video tweaks. –  Sterno Mar 9 '12 at 18:05
    
It's going to be pretty hard proving it doesn't happen, unless EA comes forward and says what they'll ban people for. However, I would imagine video tweaks are much more prevalent than multiplayer credit cheating, so if they did it would be big news. Hopefully EA will realize was dumb it was to hide config files like that and change it in a future patch, but I'm not holding my breath. –  kotekzot Mar 9 '12 at 18:12
    
@kotekzot I agree that it's hard to prove a negative. On the other hand, if someone using the FOV tweak hops on and says "Yeah, I've been using it in multiplayer for 3 days and I'm not banned", I'd call that good enough proof for me. I'd seen the story in the answer before asking the question, but getting millions of credits may have been what they detected, rather than the tweaked file itself. –  Sterno Mar 9 '12 at 18:19
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I've been using it in multiplayer for 3 days and I'm not banned It's a very common practice in games to use ban waves; hackers think they are safe, and then once a month they all get banned at once. –  orlp Mar 9 '12 at 18:35
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Sorry, Resorath, but that's not quite true. You didn't look far enough in that thread. !http://i.imgur.com/ZqU8x.png –  Rare Candy Mar 11 '12 at 19:34

protected by LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 8 '12 at 19:05

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