I was dreading the second I saw your initial and follow up post. I know you are trying to help, but what's going to happen now is that some people are going to do some digging to see what they can find out. I was already suspicious when we learned we could see our opponents gold. This thread will lead to suspicion that people are using mods that give them an unfair advantage. And because this post is so vague, people will jump to their own conclusion as to what the mod is. This will end up in the wild before any sort of fix or attempt to fix it is made. And even if SD decided to disable UI mods (which would really suck, btw, as UI mods are the only mods that the community can consistently use at this point), it would be quite some time before we saw that fix go into a build and get released. So, now yet another shitty thing happens with Demigod.
This brings our list of ways to cheat to this (crossed out items that have been resolved): host disconnect exploit, desyncs, fighting AI for experience in pantheon, quitting just before a game ends to keep exp, and a magical, mysterious ui mod that impacts gameplay that doesn't trigger a desync and gives individuals with the mod some sort of unfair advantage. The only bannable offense appears to be getting caught triggering a desync.
Your call on how you want to handle this now. Spill the beans if you want and many will cheat, but some of us will make quite a bit of noise until people exploting are banned. I don't even know what to look for at this point to spot this type of cheating.
Believe me, I thought a lot about this. ( I actually spent around an hour deciding how to handle it. ) It is a very sticky situation, and the lack of response is a bit surprising. I have been considering just putting it out there so that people can try and self police a bit, and hopefully this would help get GPG/SD moving faster. However, I don't want to put them in this situation, or hurt DG multiplayer more than it already is. This is why I am trying to give absolutely no hint of any kind, because as you mentioned, many people are probably trying to dig it up.
For now, I wouldnt worry too awfully much about it being used in MP. While it does give an advantage, its definately no invincibility or anything. I probably couldnt beat you even with it for example:)
As for UI only mods being removed, I really dont want to see it go either. I thought it was a great idea...it is just extremely flawed. The entire game is run by lua, even the way mods themselves are handled. Very little is actually handled outside the lua. In theory, you could probably make a UI only mod, that would reload the entire game into a mod folder, and do just about anything you want ( of course, this would still be limited to stuff that does not desync the game, as this is one of those things handled outside the lua. ) This would be a massive undertaking to remod probably, and is not the exploit i mention, just an example of the ui-only being taken to the extreme.
Something that would be helpful to the modding community, would be mod sharing. If you try to connect to me, and you dont have the mod...my game would transfer the files over. This would fix many of the current problems...but it brings up its own. If any of the code is able to interact with anything outside of demigod, this could allow the spread of viruses through DG.
For now, I will continue to remain relatively silent, cross my fingers, and await an official response.
I also wish to reassure everyone, that while it definately gives a gameplay advantage outside of just information, it is not a major change ( that I have been able to do. Like I said, I have not fully explored the potential of it yet.) So, if you got WTFPWNed, it wasn't cause they used this exploit..its cause you got WTFPWNed. If it was a close fight, sure, it coulda made the difference....but a close fight is usually a fun one, and thus the game still performed its duty fine:)
Oh, and as for a detection mod: Interesting idea. I'm on holiday break atm, so I will be slowing down on the work I put into DG modding, but I will look into it. Also, even if I found a way to detect it, I can't release that mod until this exploit has become public knowledge, as it would definately allow other to trace back and create the exploit.