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Easy Anti-Cheat not as simple as expected for Proton and Steam Deck

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Even though Epic Games announced recently how they expanded support for Easy Anti-Cheat to have full support of native Linux, plus Wine / Proton (and so the Steam Deck), it seems it's not as easy as we hoped.

In the original announcement, Epic mentioned how it can be enabled with "a few clicks in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal" but the situation is never that simple. A developer of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 has written a post on Steam to explain, noting that there are two versions of EAC. There's the original and the newer version used via Epic Online Services. The majority of games are likely still with the old version, since the newer one needs SDK upgrades and newer integrations.

We already knew that developers needed the latest SDK from the original announcement, but this makes it simpler for us all to understand.

Here's what they said:

So we have looked in to this. It's far more complex than first suspected -- EAC has two versions. Non-EOS and EOS (Epic Online Services). Most games historically use Non-EOS EAC. It's the one Vermintide 2 uses as well. Epic only added Proton support for the EOS version of EAC. Therefor in order to implement proton support for Vermintide 2, a huge amount of reworking of the EAC implementation would be required, which may also require all players to authenticate with Epic Online Services as well -- perhaps even logging in to the Epic environment (to be confirmed, however).

So the "just a few clicks" statement made in the original announcement wasn't entirely accurate, and would only apply to titles using the EOS version of EAC, which simply hasn't been many games aside from either pretty new ones, and likely predominantly Epic exclusive titles.

We are still looking at what is or isn't going to be possible, but it's not as easy as it was made out to be -- far from it in fact.

There may be other solutions or workarounds, but ripping out the old EAC and rewriting everything to implement "NuEAC" and potentially asking our entire playerbase to connect through and sign through EOS for an honestly tiny market share that was (and would remain) unsupported from the get go might be a deal breaker.

Time will tell.

One part we already know not to be true, is a requirement of Epic Online Services authentication, as the developers of Brawlhalla showed in their own testing with the new integration which worked without users touching Epic's services directly.  The other point remains though, as developers won't upgrade from the older implementation to the newer without a good reason, due to extra work involved when the older one is still getting the latest EAC updates as normal (as confirmed in a later post). Although, there may come a time Epic force EOS for it, but it stands to reason they haven't currently as it would have been a big upheaval for so many developers using it and likely caused plenty of developer backlash there.

Tripwire Interactive also hinted towards the exact same thing, when asked about hooking up support for
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, a developer noted back in September 2021, "The version of EAC used on RS 2 is not the version that is advertised in this, and it is not something that will work for RS 2 players.".

Hopefully the actual work involved in moving from old EAC to new isn't too much, but it's a reason why we've yet to see any really look to do it. Once the Steam Deck is out though, it should improve, if enough players ask developers to get it sorted, otherwise players may have to resort to a manual install of Windows on the Steam Deck instead of SteamOS 3 to play some of the most popular multiplayer titles.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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52 comments
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Common sense would have told us that it wouldn’t be as simple as “flipping a switch”. There will be significant development AND testing effort to make EAC work, it is unavoidable if devs want their game to work properly. You’d think we’d have learned from the “just click export in Unity” crap that lead to some awful game ports for a lot of years but apparently not.
skinnyraf 9 Jan
Honestly, I found it quite unlikely that it was just a few clicks away. Nothing is just a few clicks away in software development, or, perhaps, if something is, then it is just for very specific, standard cases.

Still a pity though.
pete910 9 Jan
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QuoteEpic only added Proton support for the EOS version of EAC

And there's the catch
kuhpunkt 9 Jan
Epic is really just a bunch of scumbags.
Yeah, this very much sounds like it's just scummy behaviour by Epic.

If I were them I would not bother doing the work to integrate a completely different version of EAC. Sounds like they might as well just drop EAC and switch to a different solution like BattlEye.

Quotefor an honestly tiny market share that was (and would remain) unsupported from the get go

Do they not realize that this is for the Steam Deck? Thinking of it simply as "Linux" is kicking themselves in the balls. Although suddenly requiring their entire base to authenticate via Epic is not something I would want for my users. They should insist Epic fix this or not do it at all.


Last edited by rustybroomhandle on 9 January 2022 at 9:45 am UTC
Quoting: rustybroomhandleAlthough suddenly requiring their entire base to authenticate via Epic is not something I would want for my users. They should insist Epic fix this or not do it at all.
EAC with EOS that is the new version talked in this article doesn't require any login at all for the users.
Quoting: master94ga
Quoting: rustybroomhandleAlthough suddenly requiring their entire base to authenticate via Epic is not something I would want for my users. They should insist Epic fix this or not do it at all.
EAC with EOS that is the new version talked in this article doesn't require any login at all for the users.

So the devs here may be talking out their butts? Either way, we should probably not expect too many older games that use EAC to switch over.

I also still do not see what the point is of sticking to older anticheat solutions because surely that's the one thing you need to be up to date.
Liam Dawe 9 Jan
Quoting: rustybroomhandleSo the devs here may be talking out their butts? Either way, we should probably not expect too many older games that use EAC to switch over.
They said they needed to confirm that. However, as we said in the article, it does not for Brawlhalla.

Quoting: rustybroomhandleI also still do not see what the point is of sticking to older anticheat solutions because surely that's the one thing you need to be up to date.
Again, as mentioned in the article, it is kept up to date.
I'm not sure if I understand this correctly. So supposedly just updating the EAC version , will automagically enable proton support? or even with the up-to-date version you still have to enable proton support manually?


Last edited by Koopacabras on 9 January 2022 at 10:13 am UTC
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: rustybroomhandleSo the devs here may be talking out their butts? Either way, we should probably not expect too many older games that use EAC to switch over.
They said they needed to confirm that. However, as we said in the article, it does not for Brawlhalla.
Is well written in the documentation of the SDK that all the service are optional, EOS is just a package that now includes EAC, nothing is dependent from another.
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