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[Game Design] Cheaters, to deal with or to Ban


Bane_Star

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((I could not find a Game design forum to put this in.. so.. Mods can move it..))

This is not a thread about coding, or mods or how to deal with cheaters in real life, so much as how does a cheater affect the game design itself?

I've sen alot of games that deal with multiple accounts by banning them, which, unfortunately, sometimes bans legit players who play too well.

I've seen some games which have some strict systems to deal with cheaters, but it usually spoils the original intention of the game..

Is it worth spending hours, days and weeks, making games, and then spend years of countering cheating.. I'd rather play or make something else..

Personally, I design the game to allow cheating, but make it that the act of cheating, is detrimental to their accounts.. What do you guys think?

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Never design a game to be cheated it's pointless, and people will get pissy. I use random script checks every x amount of minuites or x amount of actions

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I always liked the idea of blocking interaction from users with the same IP. But have the potential idea of having to request the transaction through some support/admin member. This generally makes most "cheaters" not want to do it because most people don't like human interaction.

But with this, especially in text based environments. How do you tell a multi from a multi without having a massive tracking system for every user?

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I don't see the problem with any Multiple Accounts UNTILL they interact in any way.

I have always done admin approval this way..

Blocking main same IP on the register page, With a notice to email the Owner @ email_address to get a second account approved. Once approved users are under very strict instructions, They cannot attack each other for IP, Cannot Buy each others items/crystals/whatever to help progress any same IP based account.

In my last project I simply recorded all SAME IP accounts, However don't let everyone have a second account, You have to make the game fair, Always remember that.

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Thanks SRB,

I know that IP banning can be a complex process, Same people in different locations, vs same locations different people, Brothers both playing games from home, vs account sharing Its very very hard to have something that doesn't need to be constantly monitored.. and whats the point of making a web-game if you have to monitor it 24/7,

 

BUT, the question is/was not How to STOP it, its how to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

When a criminal breaks the law, we throw them in gaol, we spend millions on goals, guards, police, camera's laws, legal systems. Its a DRAIN of resources.

But what we don;t seem to do, is address the problem, why did they break the law, and how can we understand how to stop them from needing to in the first place.

 

Lets take this more to the topic.. If you make a game that gives the player 100coins a turn, and other players can take a % of these coins, as an action, the obvious way to play is to make sure, your online when the game gives you the 100 coins, and spend them, (or save them or something) and to do that 24/7, .. but since no-one can be online 24/7, players get their friends to log into their accounts and spend for them.. they are cheaters..

The game effectively demands that to be competetive, you have to cheat..

SO.. Given that we have the dynamic, that the game requires you to cheat to be the most competetive.. HOW as games designers can we look at ways to stop this..

The obvious choice (goal system) is IP tracking, banning players who cheat.. etc .. but thats the costly system, which we already know is a drain of resources..

So.. Thinkiing outside the box..How would YOU solve the problem?

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I know this may not be the answer to multi's but was wondering...

Can you set it where the user needs to confirm their IP and when that IP differs each time they sign in it would say something along the lines "Sorry your IP is different then before, please confirm it now." then provide a link, then it updates the system and also sends the admin the update in a mail or event.

Then if the IP is constantly changing daily it would be the person is cheating, and you can ban him/her. Maybe this is not the answer, but I have thought about that, and also putting restrictions on the amount of money and items that can be sent to an individual player per week.

The restriction can help by giving time to investigate the wrongful behavior of multis,and they can be stopped sooner before they ruin anything in the game such as sending multiple items to their main account, and cash also.

Edited by lucky3809
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Lets face it there is no real solution and how uptight do you really want to be.

Oh a player has two accounts and is sending their daily x amount from what ever you give away to themselves.

1. It aint that much of a big deal.

2. If you convert that player into a paying player then its something you can live with.

3 If the player really needs to have more than one account to get their daily x of whatever then they should really get out more!!

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It can be a big deal. Even if they are a paying player, it is still no reason to let them cheat. You have to look at the rest of your players, and they certainly would not be happy that you are letting someone get away with cheating simply because "they are a paying player". The majority of your players aren't going to be paying players most of the time (unless you're a really lucky game owner) so you have to take them into consideration.

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How can it be a "big deal"....define the term big deal.

Personally I have bigger and better things to do then check logs to see if someone is transferring 50 crystals from one account to another.

I see it as it comes down to how the game is set up on a bigger picture.

For example:

If player A signs up creates player B account and then sends 50 crystals to their main account player A. Then uses them to train in the gym at a cost of 10 crystals per train. They in effect get 5 trains more than a person not cheating but depending on how the training is setup is the extra gain significant? if your answer is no then you already have your solution to the problem. The gain is not significant enough and therefore defeats the objective of the player creating another account.

Obviously to make it worthwhile the player would have to make players b,c,d,e,f,g,h..... which would stand out like a sore thumb and you delete them regardless if they are paying or not and pocket the cash.

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So you are going to ban all AOL users?

AOL, the last I knew, along with multiple other ISP's, still had a small amount of IP's and don't offer static or personal IP's, which means that multiple accounts use "IP Pools" which means at any point in time, thousands of people across the world, will be using a single IP, which would change frequently.

End result: A lot of IP's used and also, a lot on the same, over time.

Look at Torn a few years back -- banned a whole country because the country owned a whole 2 IP's to connect through! 1 being government use, the other people for the public.

Not precisely what i meant, I am not talking about the same IP, I'm talking about one player using multiple IP connections through proxy in 1 day.

Edited by lucky3809
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Thing is same IP would you ban players for it without asking?

I own my game. I have 3 boys who play my game so they are all on the same IP. Now I know thats ok as I am a mean SOB and dont help them out lol but if it was your game would ban all 3 of them even though they are legit players?

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Can you not stop this by simply removing any of the "send" options, as well as putting a cap (low/high) on your "sell" prices in any of your player markets?

And if by chance player A wants to send a gift of 100 crystals to player B they need admin permission to do so.

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Seriously if you have to ask admin permission to do something every time you wish to do something its going to get old real quick.

ruler ... where did I say you have to ask admin every time you wish to do something. I only said you have to ask if you want to send a gift ... that's a big difference.

Nor does it answer whether or not the other options that I suggested are viable or not.

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There is no way to stop multiple accounts, but there are ways to keep it at a minimal, like I have stated. And no it would not effect AOL users just by having them confirm their IP, the confirmation has nothing to do with same IP, but the use of multiple IP's within an hour to 24 hours. Most multiple accounts uses proxies, yes I know AOL uses proxy to connect however a normal user is not signing off their AOL service every minute to get a new IP to create a multiple account.

Same IP should not matter, if you have put restrictions on your send-able items,and cash. It's when a user is using multiple IP's to send those that needs watching.

I would not ban a player with the same IP, if I have restrictions that apply. Such as you cant send stuff to the same IP address. Most players in another country that has the same IP as the person down the street would not care about the restrictions of such.

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Newttster so player A is only going to send player B 100 crystals once and will never wish to do so again? and it doesnt make any difference if its a gift or not.

Your statement says they will need permission so every time they wish to send they will need admin to allow it (basically do it for them). Multiply that by how many players which could possibly need to do it. Now tell me its a good idea or not.

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Newttster so player A is only going to send player B 100 crystals once and will never wish to do so again? and it doesnt make any difference if its a gift or not.

Your statement says they will need permission so every time they wish to send they will need admin to allow it (basically do it for them). Multiply that by how many players which could possibly need to do it. Now tell me its a good idea or not.

ruler ... I didn't say whether I think it's a good idea or not ... I put it forth as an option. Think of it this way though ... you have player A who has maxed account and has huge resources available to them due to their level, good planning, whatever ... then comes along player B who just started the game and has nothing ... then player A gives player B all kinds of resources to become an "uber" player without having done anything on their own to accomplish that ... how is that a good idea or not? How is that fair to any other new sign up?

Either way you look at it ... it is always going to be a balancing act between what is considered cheating and what is not ... from your perspective as the owner and the players perspective.

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