swjr-swis

KSP 1.8 - No analytics, no game?

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, R-T-B said:

I have feelings about that

KSP, never less than 94% positive user-reviews in its Steam lifetime, was review-bombed like hell when the new spyware and EULA were announced.  Yeah, it is no more surprising than it is welcome.  Take Two's also the reason I will not be paying USD $60 for KSP 2

Edited by Pecan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as much as it sucks, im officially going to wait for KSP2 to be released and tested b4 i even consider buying it (i would have preordered had they not had this analytics trash in KSP1 that is now nolonger able to be removed or game wont work).  Ill prolly get it on sale or something, and if it does come with analytics just not bother with multiplayer (im pretty sure we will still be able to do everything KSP1 could do offline aside from interacting with other earth meatbags).

 

Hear this T2:  you have just lost a customer because of your anti-consumer tactics.  Privacy DOES matter for me (and apparently quite a few others judging by posts here), so consider that b4 you go and use cheap tactics like this to alienate your source of income...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not buying the game on day 1 isn't really an option for me because I'll immediately be trying to find out how bad the telemetry is and how to break it.

Heh.  I know, I'm feeding the beast, but hopefully someday the beast gets a message.  Plus hopefully it helps other day 1 buyers.

Edited by R-T-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

Following the KSP tradition, it would be wise to start buying it only after 2.1, lol.

 

Edited by kerbiloid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Following the KSP tradition, it would be wise to start buying it only after 2.1, lol.

Oh, for most people sure.  I'd actually advise that.

For me there's nothing better than a flawed, broken toy with tons of potential.  I'll probably love it no matter what lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you delete the analytics dll and the game running, that means, the game not using it while running. so deleting is unnecessary.

If the Game use it actively, then the game link to the dll and use the API from this DLL in the game code. In this case the game can no longer start, is common sense.

Analytics must be activate for the project, is not active by default.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, runner78 said:

If you delete the analytics dll and the game running, that means, the game not using it while running. so deleting is unnecessary.

If the Game use it actively, then the game link to the dll and use the API from this DLL in the game code. In this case the game can no longer start, is common sense.

Analytics must be activate for the project, is not active by default.

Me and a few others have been wiresharking KSP.  There's certainly some telemetry in 1.7 forward, dll or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If no service active (by the game or some other parts/libraries) and Hardware stats is turned of, nothing should is send to unity's servers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have issues with software calling home (aka gathering analytics) then use a decent firewall. log outbound calls and block them.

Or use  a VM with net access to use for application that need access (mail and web comes to mind).

It's not that hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Curveball Anders said:

If you have issues with software calling home (aka gathering analytics) then use a decent firewall. log outbound calls and block them.

Or use  a VM with net access to use for application that need access (mail and web comes to mind).

It's not that hard.

No, it's not, and I've advocated for this in the past.

It is however beyond the ken of the average muggle, and something that we wouldn't have to do were it not for unity [snip].

My interest in having this muzzled at the source is threefold:
Firewalls rules and hosts files are not something many gamers, especially the younger crowd, are familiar with. They do not deserve to be spied upon for their ignorance.
Unity may change the domains they contact at any time without warning, switch to DoH, etc. and we will have to be eternally vigilant in checking and updating our blocklists. Firewalling KSP entirely breaks many harmless mods.
Spying on your users without their knowledge or consent is evil, on principle. Sure I can block it, but driving a stake through it's heart is better than building a bunker. Having to rely on third-party tools to control the bad behaviour of an application I paid for also infuriates me, again on principle.

Edited by Starhawk
Redacted by moderator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Pecan said:

Take Two Interactive introduced it to KSP 1 when they bought it.  Why would they leave it out of their new cash-cow?

Because leaving it in reduces the cash the cow generates.

In other words, I’m just saying that I am not buying KSP2. 

I never thought that game publishers would be the ones to convince me to give up gaming. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, runner78 said:

If no service active (by the game or some other parts/libraries) and Hardware stats is turned of, nothing should is send to unity's servers.

Hardware stats and game length.  That's exactly what seems to be sent no matter what opt-out status as far as I can tell.

 

For whatever reason, it probes my vjoy virtual joystick driver on my windows box pretty obsesively.  I have no idea why.

Edited by R-T-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2019 at 3:21 PM, swjr-swis said:

I have no insider info, so just based on the filenames used, these ones are almost certainly related:


Unity.Analytics.DataPrivacy.dll
Unity.Analytics.StandardEvents.dll
Unity.Analytics.Tracker.dll
UnityEngine.CrashReportingModule.dll
UnityEngine.PerformanceReportingModule.dll
UnityEngine.UnityAnalyticsModule.dll

Of which the crash reporting is the one I least object to, if it would allow me an acceptable method to opt in.

Alongside the above, there's also a whole list of dlls in there that one can question how or why they are required for KSP, like connect, webrequest, and streaming :huh:. Probably a case of either lazy inclusions or Unity being a dingbat and forcing their inclusion through some other totally unrelated function that KSP does actually need.

All these files can be found in the /KSP_x64_Data/Managed directory.

 

 

For what its worth, I've done some testing and found that you can remove the following DLLs and still get the game to load and run (at least as far as the main menus):


Unity.Analytics.DataPrivacy.dll
Unity.Analytics.Tracker.dll
UnityEngine.CrashReportingModule.dll
UnityEngine.CrashReportingModule.dll.mdb
UnityEngine.PerformanceReportingModule.dll
UnityEngine.PerformanceReportingModule.dll.mdb

 

Looks like it does require these 2 DLLs to load up and run, though:

Unity.Analytics.StandardEvents.dll
UnityEngine.UnityAnalyticsModule.dll

ETA: I think combining this with host file blocking/DNS redirecting should keep your game pretty well locked down, even for the most analytically paranoid among us (myself included).

Edited by Johnny Wishbone
additional info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 8:28 AM, runner78 said:

Tell them SQUAD to deactivate it for the next Update.

It's a Unity bug as best I can tell.  Squad is setting the flags as they should, Unity just doesn't care for those traits.

On 10/24/2019 at 9:52 AM, Johnny Wishbone said:

For what its worth, I've done some testing and found that you can remove the following DLLs and still get the game to load and run (at least as far as the main menus):


Unity.Analytics.DataPrivacy.dll
Unity.Analytics.Tracker.dll
UnityEngine.CrashReportingModule.dll
UnityEngine.CrashReportingModule.dll.mdb
UnityEngine.PerformanceReportingModule.dll
UnityEngine.PerformanceReportingModule.dll.mdb

 

Looks like it does require these 2 DLLs to load up and run, though:

Unity.Analytics.StandardEvents.dll
UnityEngine.UnityAnalyticsModule.dll

ETA: I think combining this with host file blocking/DNS redirecting should keep your game pretty well locked down, even for the most analytically paranoid among us (myself included).

That does work, but it's hardly "clean"

Really, if you are locking down your hosts file, just don't bother deleting dlls, nothing is getting out anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/25/2019 at 10:28 PM, R-T-B said:

It's a Unity bug as best I can tell.  Squad is setting the flags as they should, Unity just doesn't care for those traits.

That does work, but it's hardly "clean"

Really, if you are locking down your hosts file, just don't bother deleting dlls, nothing is getting out anyways.

I never claimed it to be "clean". However, as other people have pointed out, "locking down your hosts file" only works as long as they don't change the servers they are phoning home to. By also removing the DLLs, you're gaining some additional protection by not allowing them to even run in the first place (assuming they contain the "phone home" code).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Johnny Wishbone said:

I never claimed it to be "clean". However, as other people have pointed out, "locking down your hosts file" only works as long as they don't change the servers they are phoning home to. By also removing the DLLs, you're gaining some additional protection by not allowing them to even run in the first place (assuming they contain the "phone home" code).

You have truth on both claims (I'd reccomend practicing "checks" at each patch for that reason, you'll need to do the same kind of thing for deleting dlls anyways), which is why I conquered this an entirely different way.  But I can't really talk about that.

My only point was I don't like removing the dlls because if any code references them, it will generate an exception, which can be expensive.  No idea how much an impact that honestly has, but I don't like the idea personally. YMMV.

Edited by R-T-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 12:22 PM, Curveball Anders said:

If you have issues with software calling home (aka gathering analytics) then use a decent firewall. log outbound calls and block them.

Or use  a VM with net access to use for application that need access (mail and web comes to mind).

It's not that hard.

A VM's problematic for gaming. But I think katateochi's studies a few pages back were instructive. Many have focussed on what KSP is sending, he studied what it is reading. Nothing concerning when he tested, but that for me is the real privacy concern - that KSP might, by accident or design, send information from my computer that's totally unrelated to the game.

Sandboxing an application to prevent that shouldn't be hard conceptually, but I don't know any particular tools to do it. KSP should be a fairly easy one - it only needs to read its install folder (though it writes to some other locations too) as far as I know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, cantab said:

that KSP might, by accident or design, send information from my computer that's totally unrelated to the game.

 

I haven't seen any evidence of that being possible or even plausible, can you give an example?  From what I've observed it only has code to log in game actions.

17 hours ago, cantab said:

but I don't know any particular tools to do it.

 

Windows 10 build 1903 can install an optional Sandbox tool that does that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, R-T-B said:

I haven't seen any evidence of that being possible or even plausible, can you give an example?  From what I've observed it only has code to log in game actions.

Unity Analytics, as far as I know, only covers in-game actions. But a future KSP update (or, speaking more generally, other games) could include something more snoopy. Anti-cheat software for multiplayer games is invariably quite intrusive (it has to be to work), and I can easily imagine Squad carelessly putting something like that in KSP even though it's single-player.

EDIT: I know it's a bit hypothetical, maybe bordering on paranoid. But I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think I would prefer a generic approach that can limit what a program can "phone home", rather than something that's very specifically tailored and could easily be rendered useless by an update.

Edited by cantab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we sure that KSP is not sending back vital information?

While it may appear to only send back innocent data about KSP itself, has anyone checked the timing of its connections?  It may be sending back data of a completely innocent nature, but opening and closing connections timed to be readable as morse code transmissions of whatever data might be in your computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, razark said:

Are we sure that KSP is not sending back vital information?

While it may appear to only send back innocent data about KSP itself, has anyone checked the timing of its connections?  It may be sending back data of a completely innocent nature, but opening and closing connections timed to be readable as morse code transmissions of whatever data might be in your computer.

I havent bothered trying to decompile any of the analytics data, but my point still stands, ANY data being sent PERIOD is wrong in my book, especially if the user specifically desires to opt out of any sort of tracking.  Unity's solution is also stupid, forcing you to register on some website for it to honor your request to not track you.  There is NO method to verify that it even honoring that, and possibly whats worse, is that it requires you to give them detailed info about the installation to have that even work (i havent done it myself, but im pretty sure it needs some unique install code or serial to work at all). 

 

its a sad fact that our society seems to have more or less jumped on the facebook/social media bandwagon and doesnt give 2 craps about privacy, but there NEEDS to be a way to completely cut all analytics out of any singleplayer game without resorting to firewalls or any other outside method.  Id be fine with deleting a file to make the issue go away, but even that should not be needed, just have a damn config setting that is honored by the program, if its set to not send data, then dont send squat period ever!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, razark said:

Are we sure that KSP is not sending back vital information?

While it may appear to only send back innocent data about KSP itself, has anyone checked the timing of its connections?  It may be sending back data of a completely innocent nature, but opening and closing connections timed to be readable as morse code transmissions of whatever data might be in your computer.

There are absolutely no classes in the dlls to suggest this.

2 hours ago, panzer1b said:

I havent bothered trying to decompile any of the analytics data, but my point still stands, ANY data being sent PERIOD is wrong in my book, especially if the user specifically desires to opt out of any sort of tracking.  Unity's solution is also stupid, forcing you to register on some website for it to honor your request to not track you.  There is NO method to verify that it even honoring that, and possibly whats worse, is that it requires you to give them detailed info about the installation to have that even work (i havent done it myself, but im pretty sure it needs some unique install code or serial to work at all). 

 

its a sad fact that our society seems to have more or less jumped on the facebook/social media bandwagon and doesnt give 2 craps about privacy, but there NEEDS to be a way to completely cut all analytics out of any singleplayer game without resorting to firewalls or any other outside method.  Id be fine with deleting a file to make the issue go away, but even that should not be needed, just have a damn config setting that is honored by the program, if its set to not send data, then dont send squat period ever!

This is the real issue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, razark said:

has anyone checked the timing of its connections?

I'm formulating a theory that KSP is nothing but a crowd control experiment, whereby the public is distracted by a concept of building-block rockets to ensure they don't notice what's going on right around them. Some initial tests I've done have shown a distraction level of frankly disconcerting proportions. I have seen indications it can even extend to areas of basic life functions, with extreme examples even ending up in food going cold and bladders not being emptied at the required moments.

More on this as I investigate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, swjr-swis said:

I'm formulating a theory that KSP is nothing but a crowd control experiment, whereby the public is distracted by a concept of building-block rockets to ensure they don't notice what's going on right around them. Some initial tests I've done have shown a distraction level of frankly disconcerting proportions. I have seen indications it can even extend to areas of basic life functions, with extreme examples even ending up in food going cold and bladders not being emptied at the required moments.

More on this as I investigate.

pb51943e62.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.