Forums Tyrant

[To Devs] Action Requested on Account Sharing (locked)

152 posts

Flag Post

Over the past few months we have had multiple threads which have referred to account sharing being rife in the game. Below is just one example:


http://www.kongregate.com/forums/65-tyrant/topics/303443-synapticon-please-read-this?page=1


Within prior historic threads (http://www.kongregate.com/forums/65-tyrant/topics/169247?page=1) Synapticon has stated:


Originally posted by synapticon:

With regard to alts:
Alts are allowed as long as they do not produce an unfair advantage at the expense of others – for example, using multiple alts in the same faction. This is ultimately at our discretion. Because of the ambiguity, we will issue warnings against alts that are viewed as exploitative before further action is taken.



In fact the user agreement for tyrant (http://tyrantonline.com/TyrantUserAgreement.htm) was amended after this thread to contain the following:

  • You may not use scripts, bots, or any other automated method to play the game. Any player using such methods may be immediately banned from the Service.
  • You may not share accounts or authentication data. Any players using such methods may be immediately banned from the Service.
  • In the event that you become aware of any exploit or method of circumventing the Rules, you will immediately notify SGI of such exploit by sending an e-mail to support@synapse-games.com. Any user knowingly using an exploit may be immediately banned from the Service.
  • If you engage in activity in violation of the Rules, you may be banned from the Service, regardless of whether you have purchased War Bonds or have received War Bonds in connection with the game. If you are banned or your access to the Service is otherwise terminated, we will have no obligation to refund any amount, in connection with War Bonds or otherwise.


    I would like to formally request a response from the Dev community, why Synapticons own terms of reference are not being enforced.


  • Currently we in my opinion have a vicious circle developing:
    • No faction who does not account share can match the activity of those who do.
    • This means more and more factions will be drawn into this activity which is against the Terms of Service
    • This will unless stamped out soon will be almost impossible to reduce to tolerable levels.


  • I would like to set the following parameters for this thread:
    • Players also feel free to respond ON TOPIC to this post to give your thoughts.
    • This is intended to be a serious discussion around a problem I feel is impacting the gameplay and longevity of the game, so I will try and weed out any troll posts!
 
Flag Post

Serious answer:
It’s all about the money.
Nothing more to say.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by AlyssiaBenar:

Serious answer:
It’s all about the money.
Nothing more to say.

Unfortunately I suspect that may be the case, which is why I have attempted to get the Developers to respond publicly to this issue rather than keeping it hidden as it has been for a long time.


If your hypothesis is correct I would expect no response to this thread, which would be a tacit admission that account sharing is in fact accepted and even encouraged and the Terms of Service are not being enforced and are nothing but words.


This has some significant implications for the game, and may even on a purely financial basis be more detrimental in the mid term for the income the Devs receive from the game, as players who do not WANT to account share leave the game.


Either way I would like clarity.

 
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\scans the horizon, waiting for a wild Rudgutter to appear/

 
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We started an open letter to devs that should have been signed by many top 20 factions; the project stopped right after getting the contacts, because there was no contribution.

If anyone is interested, we could restart it, but now I have lightly less time to work on the project, sorry

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by Kaeel:

We started an open letter to devs that should have been signed by many top 20 factions; the project stopped right after getting the contacts, because there was no contribution.

If anyone is interested, we could restart it, but now I have lightly less time to work on the project, sorry

Unfortunately at the present time that may not be the best way to approach this; however it is a good idea in principle!

 
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Flag Post

The policies say that you may be banned. Not to mention, a ban would require explicit proof that you violated the agreement which, due to how the platform works, is extremely non-trivial.

Multiple accounts being used from the same IP, browser and MAC address is actually a legitmate use case. So is back-to-back logins and plays.

The drama caused by letting people have alt accounts is a lot less harmful than the drama caused by people claiming they were banned incorrectly.

 
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Flag Post
Originally posted by MrHen:

The policies say that you may be banned. Not to mention, a ban would require explicit proof that you violated the agreement which, due to how the platform works, is extremely non-trivial.

Multiple accounts being used from the same IP, browser and MAC address is actually a legitmate use case. So is back-to-back logins and plays.

The drama caused by letting people have alt accounts is a lot less harmful than the drama caused by people claiming they were banned incorrectly.

So effectively what you are saying is that you think its perfectly ok for whole factions to blatantly disregard the ‘rules’ of the game and lets call it what it is, cheat, which actually drives away players who like to play for ‘fun’.


Taking your argument to logical conclusion, it is not worth trying to catch criminals (albeit antisocial behaviour) as it is less harmful for them to commit crimes than try and deal with the odd mistrial of justice. Can you REALLY support this argument?


I do agree there are cases where you have ‘brothers’ at the same IP address which may or may not be the case. Those situations are difficult to resolve but not impossible.


What is easier to resolve are accounts which are consistently shared over multiple IP addresses in one faction, especially if those IP addresses can be resolved to very different geographical locations. This if tracked and analysed could easily indicate multiple people sharing login details to multiple accounts.


This is probably the primary problem as it can massively skew faction activity and give a hugely unfair advantage to that faction.

 
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Flag Post

So effectively what you are saying is that you think its perfectly ok for whole factions to blatantly disregard the ‘rules’ of the game and lets call it what it is, cheat, which actually drives away players who like to play for ‘fun’.

The issue is not whether it is okay but whether they can do anything about it. An unenforcable rule is useless and the problem here is the technical challenge in detecting cheaters using this particular platform. It is a non-trivial issue.

Taking your argument to logical conclusion, it is not worth trying to catch criminals (albeit antisocial behaviour) as it is less harmful for them to commit crimes than try and deal with the odd mistrial of justice. Can you REALLY support this argument?

That isn’t the logical conclusion of my argument at all.

I do agree there are cases where you have ‘brothers’ at the same IP address which may or may not be the case. Those situations are difficult to resolve but not impossible.

Right, this is the heart of the real problem. “Difficult” is difficult enough that it becomes non-trivial.

What is easier to resolve are accounts which are consistently shared over multiple IP addresses in one faction, especially if those IP addresses can be resolved to very different geographical locations. This if tracked and analysed could easily indicate multiple people sharing login details to multiple accounts.

It could certainly be used to red flag accounts suspected of cheating. But then what? Is odd IP behavior enough proof? The question for Synapticon is what they feel is enough evidence for a ban. This is also a non-trivial ethics question in addition to the technical challenge of actually collecting the evidence.

This is probably the primary problem as it can massively skew faction activity and give a hugely unfair advantage to that faction.

Yes, and it is the source of all this drama. But a false ban — in my opinion — would be significantly worse for Synapticon’s reputation.

 
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@ MrHen

To avoid quotes within quotes. It is certainly NOT a non-trivial issue as Developers from other games have and do monitor the use of multiple accounts by using IP data.

I do also agree that it does depend on what the developers consider enough to be a ban; however as this issue is becoming rife and I am not aware of ANY bans of high level players something is definitely fishy. Basically it seems to me that no-one is even bothering to check, as was and is the case with bots.

As for whether it is drama, you may consider it drama, but it is a serious issue with game play. By trying to downplay this as mere drama suggests to me that you are one of the many that tacitly approves of the current status quo and do not WANT the developers to investigate this issue. This is an interesting fact in itself!

As for the developers reputation, is it better to have a reputation to allow cheaters, or try, as far as possible to run a clean game? I know which reputation I would prefer!

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by MrHen:

It could certainly be used to red flag accounts suspected of cheating. But then what? Is odd IP behavior enough proof? The question for Synapticon is what they feel is enough evidence for a ban. This is also a non-trivial ethics question in addition to the technical challenge of actually collecting the evidence.

Originally posted by MrHen:

But a false ban — in my opinion — would be significantly worse for Synapticon’s reputation.

I think this sums it up, after all, could they keep ECB banned?

 
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Originally posted by gjw666:

As for the developers reputation, is it better to have a reputation to allow cheaters, or try, as far as possible to run a clean game? I know which reputation I would prefer!

You are asking about the dev’s reputation, when it was already outlined for you right at the beginning?

Originally posted by AlyssiaBenar:

Serious answer:
It’s all about the money.
Nothing more to say.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by Xyrus_G:
Originally posted by MrHen:

But a false ban — in my opinion — would be significantly worse for Synapticon’s reputation.

I think this sums it up, after all, could they keep dnaimagery banned?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by Shadowhopeful:
Originally posted by gjw666:

As for the developers reputation, is it better to have a reputation to allow cheaters, or try, as far as possible to run a clean game? I know which reputation I would prefer!

You are asking about the dev’s reputation, when it was already outlined for you right at the beginning?

Originally posted by AlyssiaBenar:

Serious answer:
It’s all about the money.
Nothing more to say.

I do agree that there is a common perception amongst the player base that the Devs only care about the money and not the game.


Personally it is my belief that although some of the decisions may not make sense to the player base at large, once you have hindsight some of them are actually part of a plan (of course there are other elements that just make NO sense whatsoever however!).


What I would say is, that like the attempt to reduce bots with the 300 stamina implementation, this could be a VERY good opportunity for the Development team to start to repair their image with the player base, which of course, would have the happy co-incidence of getting more people to recommend the game to people they know and help increase the player base again, leading to more profits!


On the flip side, it is rumoured that the Devs are primarily focusing on new opportunities within other games. Again if this is the case, then this game will be ignored and matters will not improve, leading to a slow downfall into obscurity and eventual death of the game, which is likely to be at some point next year.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by gjw666:

On the flip side, it is rumoured that the Devs are primarily focusing on new opportunities within other games. Again if this is the case, then this game will be ignored and matters will not improve, leading to a slow downfall into obscurity and eventual death of the game, which is likely to be at some point next year.

Redshift nevered recovered after Pesc got his hands on it, and as for Skyshard Heroes… well… who actually plays that one?

Tyrant is the main money maker for these guys.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by Shadowhopeful:
Originally posted by gjw666:

On the flip side, it is rumoured that the Devs are primarily focusing on new opportunities within other games. Again if this is the case, then this game will be ignored and matters will not improve, leading to a slow downfall into obscurity and eventual death of the game, which is likely to be at some point next year.

Redshift nevered recovered after Pesc got his hands on it, and as for Skyshard Heroes… well… who actually plays that one?

Tyrant is the main money maker for these guys.

If that is the case, then if it was your game, would you want to stop that golden egg going rotten at the core? I know I would.

Any game that gets a reputation for being impossible to play unless you cheat, is never going to continue to be successful…

 
Flag Post

As for whether it is drama, you may consider it drama, but it is a serious issue with game play. By trying to downplay this as mere drama suggests to me that you are one of the many that tacitly approves of the current status quo and do not WANT the developers to investigate this issue. This is an interesting fact in itself!

I don’t want them to investigate this issue because I would rather have them spend time on more missions, cards and achievements. I am not remotely relevant to what you consider the core of Tyrant — which is actually its minority. By definition, most people who play Tyrant are not in the top factions and are extremely unlikely to encounter the issues you are worried about at a frequency where it would matter.