Should Exploiters be...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Xee, Apr 13, 2020.

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Should Exploiters be Banned or other?

  1. Ban them

    42.2%
  2. Temp long term ban/roll back

    19.5%
  3. Roll back

    11.7%
  4. Reset / Roll back of stolen xp.

    29.9%
  5. Other

    27.9%
  6. Publish character names that exploit allowing players and markets to deal with them.

    16.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Dhanas

    Dhanas Avatar

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    It is clear that exploiting is taking advantage of a game mechanic bugged or unintended, and with taking advantage we mean using it other than the first time that you discover it and report.

    What happens when a player uses an exploit : he start to use something that is not intended by the game and gain something, other players don't know about this mechanic because it isn't an official feature or something intended, so they do not use it, devs notice it ( usualy after a long time cause the guy didn't report the bug and used it at his advantage) and go to fix the bug/game mechanic, other players that didn't use the exploit have something less than the exploiter. At the end of the day the guy that played fair without abusing game mechanics is disadvantaged compared to the exploiter and the only solution is always roll back what the exploiter did and removing him the advantage that he has to the other players that didn't exploit.

    Best solution for me is temporany ban of the exploiter ( based on severity of what he did) and ROLL BACK everything, leaving exploiter unpunished, like it happened for the most til now, just encourages other to do the same since they know there isn't any punishment and they will keep their advantages got exploiting.

    There is an endless list of unpunished exploit, all of which generated permanent conseguences to the game and to other players, I try to name some of those:
    - Back in those time when we didn't have major enchants and masterworks someone was able to create item with double +6 stats enchant/mw due to a bug, the bug got fixed, the exploiters didn't get banned and those items generated with that bug stayed and are still in game, so there were some players wearing item with more stats and other couldn't get those kind of stats ( totaly ruining PVP balance)
    - Almost 1 years ago for 1 day you could sell home crafted by player for cotos, many players abused of it, generating a crazy amount of cotos, but just one got banned, and the cotos generated with this exploit didn't get deleted, nor the money got by people that sold their cotos to the various coto's vendors.
    - When getting crafting xp was much harder than now you could craft tabletop catapults using different kind of materials and everytime you got xp as like you were crafting it for the first times, one day devs realized it was a bug and fixed it, many took advantage of it and had much more crafting xp than those one that didn't do it, cause not aware or simply thinking it was a game mechanic so taking their time to do it and not in rush, in this case too xp didn't get rolled back, and those people who took advantage of it ended with more and easier crafting xp than those ones not doing it.
    - When they added new skills to agriculture people started to place planting beds in vertical without having space between the one and the other, stacking in 1 only lot much more planting beds than what the space was and gaining a crazy amount of nightshade/garlic and so on, after a while devs said it wasn't intedend, they didn't ban anyone even if people continued to do it even once they said it was a bug, but, most important, they didn't roll back anything, so those people still had a realy crazy quantity of nightshade and garlic, dropping all the price and making life impossible to legit farmers.
    -When crafting got reworked last time, you were able to enchant/mw again stuffs with the same mw/enchant, example if you had a staff with already 25% death ray power ( old enchant) you could add even 50% death ray power ( new heavyweight enchant ) having in a result a staff with 75% death ray power, you couldn't do it unless you already have a staff with the old enchant in, so just a few people got those crazy weapons ruining again combat balance in pvp and pve, weapon are still around, no rollback again.

    Situations are endless but i have to stop or I will never finish to type, said that, best solution is ALWAYS ROLLBACK, ALWAYS REMOVE THE ADVANTAGE GOT EXPLOITING, regardless if the player is legit or not, if he spent money or not, if he did one or infinite times, it doesn't matter, important part is removing advantage he got.
    Of course as a dev I would have reduced my work spent rolling back what exploiters did and focus on something else, so simply BAN seriously, not just threatening, all the player who used it, maybe use different punishment, if one player did it just one time ban for 1 day, if he's recidive ban for more or permaban but give a punishment or everyone will do it at a certain point.

    P.S.
    I am always against any public shame, witch's hunt is ended around 400 years ago and we now are much more mature people, I do not care at all to know who is the exploiter, i just want to know that he has not any advantage for what he did but maybe a punishment, if not the only punishment is for those one who do not use exploits.

    P.S.S.
    Giving rewards to those ones who report legit bugs and do not take advantage of it might reduce number of exploiters too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  2. Sulaene Moon

    Sulaene Moon Avatar

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    My favorite part of all of this? Developers allowed an exploit in their code. Players used it to their advantage. Devs say this is why we can't have nice things, even though they were the ones who allowed it to become an exploit in the first place. Yet the players are the bad guys, go figure.
     
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  3. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    The point of this is that I am a market in the game, I work hard for my levels and for my market town. If there are exploiters that are gaining on my market causing me a loss and are repeatedly exploiting for gains that cost others and myself why would I want to continue to invest and play knowing that this will happen again and again? It costs players a lot. Every mmo I have been in banned exploiters and each exploiter who thought they were wrongly done then had to plea to support to get reinstated. a handful do not outweigh the numbers that are very not happy with this.
     
  4. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    Thanks Dhanas, I had rewritten my post above a few times and decided on a simple response but this sums it up nicely.
     
  5. Restless

    Restless Avatar

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    I agree with necro in his thought that if you banned every bug user, the game would be empty. There are plenty of unavoidable bugs from average gameplay.

    The determining factor should be intent. Is the player intending to gain an advantage or simply trying to play legit and a bug is repeating itself?

    I am not a fan of Bandaiding problems. Fix the cause, fix the problem. This game is not officially in alpha or beta but having the lead developer come in game and ask all players to stop playing half the game (crafting) screams alpha / beta status. Patches and released need to be tested by developers not players.
     
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  6. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    I agree fully on this that you can't just ban people on every bug. Exploits though are usually very noticeable. An average player on this type of exploit probably would not take a large investment and spend hours on hours doing it. Where those intending on taking advantage knowing its for sure something that should not be would probably be dumping a lot of coin to ensure they maximize the time spend on this. I am sure the logs will show the top users of these follow that pattern.
     
  7. kaeshiva

    kaeshiva Avatar

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    It really matters what the nature of the exploit is and whether or not the behavior was premeditated.

    What I mean by this is, there's a difference between:

    a) someone who stumbles across either a bug, or more often than not, poorly implemented functionality where potential abuses of such were not anticipated, and benefits from it
    b) someone who goes on QA server, finds something nefarious, says nothing, waits till it gets pushed to live, then rides it til the wheels fall off
    c) someone who sets out, with use of third party utilities or other means, to deliberately cheat, create wealth, etc.

    You also have to consider the amount of damage done to the integrity of the game, the economy, and overall fairness.

    In the case of B & C, I'm all for outright ban. Its premeditated, its deliberate, and should be punished accordingly.

    Where we end up with a grey area are the things in category A.

    I'll give examples.
    Years ago, when the first 'double experience weekends' began to appear, and this double experience applied to quests, it was not uncommon for players to spend the week stocking up on quest items, such as elven wine bottles, heirlooms, catalysts, etc. and wait until double was enabled to turn them in. Exploiting? Not really - opportunistically taking advantage of poorly implemented content? Absolutely. The player still had to earn/farm all the stuff, the only thing they were doing that was 'questionable' was waiting for the double to be on to turn it in, which well, was actually pretty smart, really. I consider this 'opportunism' rather than 'exploitation'. Its a bit dodgy, sure, but not actually using any mechanics that weren't working as intended - it was just the design that was poor by having those quests be insta-repeatable (not all quests are) or allowing player to carry multiple of the quest items (not all quest items allow this, either, you get 1, and another wont drop). So the tech existed to prevent this, but was never implemented.

    Same thing with the "first time crafter exp" and the catapults. I know a lot of people got rankled about this one, but players were simply using the system as it was implemented and according to established rules of that implementation, to make 216 variants of a catapult using different wood/binding/board types to get first time bonus for each variant which created a nice nest egg of experience. Because this was an extremely cheap, and high level recipe, the gains were significant. This is another case where the recipe was implemented without whoever designed the recipe considering the implications of it, and players absolutely take advantage of this.

    You cannot punish players for playing the game and taking advantage of poorly designed mechanics - its an oopsy on the devs' part, and they usually get fixed once they realize.

    Ramping it up, there was once a time when the treasure chests in a few scenes were functioning like ATM machines. Open chest, get loot. Close chest. Immediately open chest, get more loot. This one's trickier. The player wasn't doing anything that the game wasn't allowing them to do, but they were absolutely abusing a bug and it should have fairly obvious that what they were doing was wrong. For this I'd look at severity - someone loots the chest 10 times and goes about their business, wrist slap. Someone multi logs 8 accounts and strategically places them at chests and sets up a macro to open/close box for several hours - more severe punishment is needed. Same thing with this recent "shared exp" mass character deletion thing. Someone decides this is a good time to make an alt to get all that glorious exp? Fair enough. Someone makes, and deletes, 20 characters solely for this purpose, is crossing a line.

    Lastly, there's when the player is manipulating the game either via bug abuse or third party software to deliberately do/create an effect that was not intended, does not happen unless intentionally made to happen. Example of this was a few years ago when people were force-crashing the client with precision timing during masterwork/enchant process to get infinite free re-rolls. This is not using intended or existing mechanics but rather creating a set of circumstances to achieve a desired effect. It goes beyond "opportunism" and again, becomes premeditated, deliberate abnse.

    Ultimately, its up to the devs to gauge where to draw the line, and I think they've been pretty reasonable and in my personal opinion, far too lenient in some cases. But at the end of the day, the game is a business, and players are customers, and the last thing you want to do is perma- ban customers who are contributing to the game's revenue, even if they do 'deserve' it. But being too lenient sends the message "cheat early, cheat often" and basically says to players who don't do this sort of thing, that they just 'miss out' because the perpetrators will not be punished. This either causes disgruntlement for players who aren't cheaters, or encourages them to become cheaters, neither of which is desirable.

    At the very least, in the cases of b) and c) above, all ill-gotten gain should be removed. In severe cases, or in cases where players are deliberately trying to harm/damage the game, then yes, absolutely ban. If the game loses its integrity, if what players spend years earning can be cheated/hacked/exploited into existence, then the game's appeal and retention go straight into the toilet.
     
  8. Violet Ronso

    Violet Ronso Avatar

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    And I think this is where people also draw the line about exploiting in this thread (at least the majority who are for bans/public shaming). When I think about a bug/exploit, I think about something that is easily traceable as one. In the case of the catapults, I think everyone who knew about it, and even those who discovered it from an actual GUIDE that was written on the forums thought it was actual game mechanics. Now when we talk about those chests that were farmable, the crafted house that sold for cotos, or the Create/Delete alt for questing exp bugs, those ones were obviously exploits, and those who spent all the time they could abusing it, those are the ones who deserve the ban/punishment. I would never tell someone who created alts in all the alt slots they had and did the quests on those that they were in the wrong, because you could do quests on each alt you had, but those who rapidly deleted the alts after doing the quest only to rush it again and rinse & repeat, they 100% knew what the were doing, and I doubt anyone could convince me otherwise!

    So to anyone telling us (or at least me) that there is a line, Yes, we all know there is one, but the ones who go out of their way to abuse these exploits 100% know what they are doing and should get punished...
     
  9. macnlos

    macnlos Avatar

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    You have two options: 1) Roll it back. 2) Fix it and move on.

    Now, why did the exploit occur? Poor design, poor coding, poor testing, or some mixture of those three. < - - - - - Chris, you're CEO of Portnip... It is your responsibility. Don't get mad when people discover a problem with your product. Kind of harsh but those are the big boy pants you put on as CEO.

    And if you feel that someone abused the system of your exploit then think of it this way. They did Testing in Production because you didn't do it right in Development. So you paid them in XP, Items, Gold, COTOs or what ever it is they benefited.
     
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  10. Violet Ronso

    Violet Ronso Avatar

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    True, but once they discovered it, did they report it? If they reported it and kept using it after IN CASE it was a feature, fine, they can get a pass.

    BUT if they did not report it, and exploited it to the best that they could, can you explain to me how they are "testing"? I would not call that testing, because they did not report it, the simply EXPLOITED it while they could, thinking they would not get caught.

    Like I said, report it and you are already showing some good faith, don't report it, and you know 100% what you are doing, and these people are even worse for the health of the game than the population decrease done by getting rid of them.
     
  11. Illiaro

    Illiaro Avatar

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    mac, you haven't written a lot of software. Side effects and mistakes happen in complex code.

    Why does this poll look like an ad campaign to help justify exploiters not getting banned? There are really too many options to make this a useful survey.
     
  12. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    Actually using QA and testing systems and asking for feedback would have helped many of these issues from appearing on the Live server in the first place.....
     
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  13. macnlos

    macnlos Avatar

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    And I didn't a
    I hear what you are saying but I believe everyone is combining two different things here. There are Bugs. There are Exploits.

    BUG: The system is functioning as designed/programmed but the results are not what the user or the development team wanted. Example: Portnip made a mistake and left if so Player Crafted Houses could be sold for COTOs.

    EXPLOIT: Some is doing something outside of the system to achieve something not attainable within the system. Example: I inspect the packets of data that are sent to the servers and modify them to get something I wanted.

    If the person is truly doing an exploit, really hacking things, then yeah... Ban them. Otherwise it is a case of functions-as-designed and the that is on Portnips hands. Don't want people to take advantage of Bugs, then design, code and test better.
     
  14. Girlsname

    Girlsname Avatar

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    I love you Elania, but couldn’t you also,
    “exploit a bug?” Kno’wat’ey’ean?
     
  15. devilcult

    devilcult Avatar

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    This is probably the most non sense thread i have seen in this forum for a while. First none of us should decide what the company do, its irrespectuous in many way. Secondo who are you to judge players when i know that half of you are also exploiters/did abuse bug in the past and now you are trying to get other exploiter banned, maybe for your own benefit (like staying at the top).

    Pathethic.
     
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  16. macnlos

    macnlos Avatar

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    Hey @devilcult ... I cannot recall a time, ever, that I exploited the game or took advantage of a bug. I never even ran a macro to get water buckets. The closest thing I can think of is when they setup that Kobold Camp and the spawn was ridiculous. Literally I could group 20+ Kobolds, kill a few, and then Corpse Explode the lot of them. I was literally exploring after a release and I think I was the first one that found this area and how crazy it was. For a bit it became the new Monkey Room. They did eventually scale it back so the Kobolds would rubber band and you couldn't lure them around. Was that an exploit? Was that a bug? I have no idea but I did let people know.
     
  17. devilcult

    devilcult Avatar

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    Im not gonna point anyone in particular but i do know alot of history of this game and players and i have a very good memory and i can say at least half of this people talking here ever did abuse one way or another so yeah. Now i wont start defining what is an exploit or not cause thats another debate on internet since many years. Only thing i can say is banning any player for this is worthless. They will try to find other way to log in the game by abusing even more and now that you got an angry players against you it just cant be better, since you also dont know anymore who they are. Like i said in my other post, there always the choice of having them around so you can then see what they do since you know how they act, and get thing fixed faster than waiting a report from any player. Its well know that bug abuser work like this: If no one know about it but just you, you wont report it. And will abuse it until someone know, then you will report it to block that other guy from doing it so only you can profit. This is the hypocrite prime world and will always be.

    Thats why i stay with my idea that chris did exactly what he had to do, not banning anyone, reverting the exp since it was clearly an abuse and he could actually revert it, now that he know what to deal with and who did that, he can keep an eye on it. Nothing to be jealous of since abuser got reverted in exp and probably lost a ton of gold buying mats to do that abuse, and no medieval witch hunt started.
     
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  18. Katu

    Katu Avatar

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    You got it wrong, like many in this thread. Exploiting has nothing to do with the method of action.
    Exploiting, in common speech, means that you are taking an advantage of someone or something.
    - Case1: You notice that beans from npc shop costs 1gp and you can sell em back for 5gp immediately. Its a bug and if you continue to use it, you are exploiting that bug.
    - Case2: You sit on a ledge of control point, right in certain spot, that mobs can't target you. Its a bug and if you continue to use it, you are exploiting that bug.
    - Case3: You notice that creating new character and doing some quest, gives you more xp than any other method ever in game and you create new characters in mass. It's a miss calculated feature and you are exploiting it to get an advantage.

    I am a professional software dev and while I like to think I'm good at it, I certainly know, that I have never ever written even one line of code, that is exploit safe.

    Two things everyone needs to know about code:
    1: Its impossible to code idiot prove code, users are stupid
    2: Its impossible to code 100% exploit free code.

    Both can reach quite high coverage, but reaching 100% is like accelerating towards speed of light.

    There is responsibility on the coders ofc. But not all holes can be blocked. If you find one and use it, you are exploiting it.
    (It can be anything. Miss placed price on items, spot on world where you can kill mobs freely, method to instantly kill something anything)

    --
     
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  19. Asclepius

    Asclepius Avatar

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    A thought for dealing with exploits/exploiters
    First offence: simple rollback (lose all illegally gained XP) and a warning. This is no big deal, and should not be too onerous even for an innocent player accidentally caught up in an exploitable situation.
    Second offence: Rollback as above, plus an equivalent amount of decay.
    Third offence: Rollback as above, plus double decay!
    Fourth offence: Permaban.

    The punishment now fits the crime IMHO, with steadily increasing pain for those who do not want to play within the rules and spirit of the game. No need to flag or name players, just hit them in the XP pool where it hurts. Banning should be a last resort for flagrant and repetitive exploiters who cannot be dealt with any other way.

    @Chris @Elgarion
     
  20. Illiaro

    Illiaro Avatar

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    If a game gets damaged by widespread cheats, people will leave and the game won't be able to attract new players. Look at all the games that are gone because they couldn't control cheaters.
     
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