Why the separation between online and offline characters?

I feel like it would be a nice feature if characters created online could also be played offline, and vice versa. I have been playing online, but if there is a day when my internet is bad or I am competing for bandwidth with other members of my family, it would be great just to be able to take it offline for a while rather than put up with lag, even if it meant the game would need to resynch when I next played online. Is there some technical limitation that makes the separation of online and offline characters necessary?

Its a safety feature/integrity feature.

So you think that the devolopers want to send a character bundle to your pc, letting unknowning amounts of time pass, then taking those files back? After you have been able to do what to them?

Offline characters are saved locally, which is why they work without internet, this means you can tamper with the files. This means if you let the two cross communicate, you will potentially let cheaters into the online space.

Or potentially have to filter bad files that people have put into the bundle to try and hack into your servers. Even if you just look at the files and make the changes to the online version, you potentially end up with either cheated items, or corrupt characters. etc.

its just overall not worth it, it costs resources, adds risk, and hurts the integrity of leaderboards.

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There was a huge stink a couple of years back about some of the content creators using edited items in their builds/build guides. This is what the devs probably want to avoid coming into the online version, and effecting the integrity of the game.

I make it easy so people can follow :). Let’s say my lvl 100 online toon runs 3k corruption and only if I find levels with beneficial mods. My offline toon is able to run corupption 3648623 if I want to. Puting this offline toon online might be a bad thing given this toon is only 2h old and has T98 gear in every slot and and 24LP items.

People can tinker with offline files like crazy and everyone knows this. Online server sided save files are more secure by default and for example leaderboards make more sense in a controlled enviourment when 1st place isn’t 300k stages ahead of the second place because people can’t tinker with files they can’t get to.

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Thank you for the replies. It seems like I am getting replies from other players and not from the game devs themselves, so, while I appreciate the responses, what you are offering me is speculation, rather than information.

I am well aware that cheaters will try to find ways to alter game data, and I suspect you are correct that concerns about data integrity are the reason they would not want offline characters to be saved as online characters and then possibly figure into game leaderboards, PVP, in-game trading, etc. (There would be no need to copy files from the local machine to a host server, so I am guessing this is about data integrity, not server security.)

It would be nice, though, to hear from the devs themselves. In a perfect world there would have been no distinction between online and offline characters, so I am assuming there were some specific reasons that they accepted that limitation. There are methods for securing data files and validating data integrity such as encryption, checksum algorithms, delta snapshotting, etc., that could make it virtually impossible to tamper with game data. But those methods come at a cost in development time and expense, code complexity and maintainability, and in processing overhead. It may be that the cost was too high to justify for what is obviously a “nice to have” feature rather than a “must have” feature. Or it may be that the devs concluded that the tools available to data hackers would be able to defeat the most sophisticated data security that they could afford to implement and the risk was unacceptable.

Or it may be that it was simply a time constraint and they actually could deliver the functionality I described in my original comment but are reserving that as a possible future enhancement should there be enough players asking for it. So, I asked for it.

The devs would say the same thing. Would require an astronomer to tell you that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west?

It’s not speculation.

Yes, the ones given above.

If a developer can concieve of it and implement it, eventually someone else will be able to reverse engineer it.

Which is absolutely fair enough, but the answer to your question is the reasons and examples given above.

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Aren’t checksum invalid the moment the file is modified? I’m not sure how that kind of validation would work with passing savegame files from different modes, where the file would be altered by one or the other or both. Unless I’m completely missing something…

Also, how would any validation protocol know if the changes made to the save files in the Offline env were made by the game, or an editor, or a combination of both (trainers)?

If you know the formula that calculates the checksum you just give the edited file a new (valid) one. Hence my comment about reverse engineering a thing.

Precisely.

While I agree with everything you said, this seems to be a bad argument.

Why would we use encrypted chats at all if it the decription would be easy? A developer implemented it so it should be easy to reverse engineer, shouldn’t it? :stuck_out_tongue:

Encryption is often based on something like public/private key which only allows to generate encrypted messages but not decrypt them. The algorithm is simple but you would need a lot of compute power for every single public/private key combination which is used and thus you will rarely be able to bruteforce the decription (at least for “normal beaings”).

But I agree that protecting files shared between modes with and without “online protection” seems very challenging. I mean only protecting by game access wouldn’t be enough. You could just alter the game to change tha save file as you want it to be…

And when your (modified) client tells the server that you absolutely have 10 trillion HP & have oneshot t4 Julra before you’ve even finished loading in, the server compares the data it has & tells your client to go #### itself and stop being silly. This is the benefit of LR being server authoritative.

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The comments in my prior post related to both data security and data integrity. Both of these would be challenges if characters could be run either online or offline, and the costs of ensuring either or both might have affected the decision to separate online and offline characters.

Checksums would potentially be applicable to validating data integrity during the transfer of updated game data between the local machine and the host server. They are used to ensure that the data received at the transfer destination is identical to the data sent from the source location. They are typically calculated on the fly as the data is being transferred and are not saved as part of the content of the data file itself. Having knowledge of the checksum algorithm used to validate data transfers would not benefit a cheater trying to tamper with game data files.

Data security would likely require some form of encryption. Encryption is very widely used to secure sensitive data. And it works, which is why even extremely resource-rich entities like the US government would rather get the cooperation of software providers to gain access to their encrypted data files than try to hack into them. But there is going to be a cost to using it.

Again, I would just like the devs to consider eliminating the separation between online and offline characters as a future enhancement to the game. If there are development or design considerations that render that enhancement impractical, it would be nice to hear what they are from somebody who has direct knowledge of those considerations.

Barring some sort of insane technological leap that rewrites the rules, offline playable characters will never be able to be moved to the online environment.

This is one of those features that would be awesome if it were possible. It’s not a matter of us figuring it out. It’s not going to happen. I very rarely will be so firm on an answer like this but it’s just not something we can do. You’d have to have some way to have the data protect itself and yet still be manipulated. Maintaining the integrity of that manipulation is not feasible.

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Thank you for the information, Mike. It would be an awesome feature, as you say, but if the data security challenges mean it isn’t feasible, I understand the decision to keep the two modes completely separate. Offline play is still a great option to have. From what I’ve seen so far, the rest of the game is very impressive, as well. Kudos to you and the whole EHG team.

Speculation??? No its not.

What has been said here aboit cheating dupping and so one

Is excatly what the devs would tell.

Its far far far to risky to allow characters to switch between online and offline. Even with all the protective software man can buy.

Its far more secure locking characters to either offline or online.

That being said, and maybe you can help me out on this, but wasn’t a very very long time ago planned or atleast “considered” / “looked” into the other way around, that we might be able to “download” our online-characters as a backup. I mean that’s not a dealbreaker for me(unlike if you would’ve cutted proper offline-mode entirely) if it’s off the table, though it still would be a nice feature though, even if it’s more a backup plan “if” (hopefully not happening though) the servers might shutted down at a point, so the effort, time and work put into online-characters aren’t wasted. (Might also encourage some people to put more playtime into online then).

That being said i agree with other people here and devs on that stance. Online should be properly secured and not be able to “upload” offline saves… And i don’t mind to play on both ends. That’s as someone who hates that online-only nonsense these days and kills quite some games cause of that a small sacrifice to me. So i’m happy that EHG still stick to their promise to give us a proper true offline mode.