Building a Game Around Cheaters

38 posts

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I believe that at this point, it is very clear that the game Kongai is being restricted from its full potential due to a number of cheaters.

Just as an example, Kongregate will not allow us to trade cards since people are expected to card farm on alternate accounts, and trade with their main.

However, Kongai is just one case which most can relate to.

What I’m really trying to get at is:

“Should a game’s development be limited and catered to prevent cheating, or should the cheating be expected, and the game should advance into further development?”

I personally believe that a game should just move on. Currently, plenty of cheating occurs in Kongai. Allowing for a feature such as card trading may provide another exploit, however, this wouldn’t be the only way to cheat. What I’m trying to get at is that cheaters will always cheat, so why not just realize that it can’t be prevented, move on, and make more people happy? Besides, cheaters are losers in my eyes.

Please understand that this is not a rant on Kongai (I just used Kongai as an example), and I am fine with the game as-is and respect the views and visions of the Kongregate staff.

However, I would like to see the views of other gamers and how they feel about the dilemma (not Kongai specific).

 
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I’m not sure why no one has posted here…

I think it should be catered to prevent cheating to a certain extent, but there are ways to prevent it.

I mean, on your example, why couldn’t they limit it to only trading while the other user is online? You could do it from another computer, but that would be an inconvenience…

 
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If you are saying that we should ignore cheating, take a look at Stick Arena</a href>. Nearly half the people who play hack in some way, and the developers have done nothing to fix the problem. It’s basically unplayable now, with all the cheaters.

 
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Dude…. Card trading isn’t allowed because, at the beginning, there was no point…. Everybody had all the cards everybody else had and more…. Unless people really wanted to trade away, say, their Tafari’s for an extra blood vial, you couldn’t gain anything from trading. Now with randomly given cards, trading might be useful, but it still isn’t really effective at helping people and leads to exploits.

 
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To me, cheating and hacking are different. Hacking would involve rearranging some sort of code, I would guess, and cheating is exploiting a feature/option in a way you aren’t permitted to.

I have played Stick Arena a couple of times, and quit once the wave of hackers started to come. How they do it, I really don’t know, perhaps a program or something?

Anyway, if they use a program to hack, or even if they hack the game manually, they are manipulating something in the system through an exploit in security. Through cheating, one would be exploiting a feature, and to an extent, kindness.

Restricting hackers requires patching the security, so the game can’t be breached, and restricting cheaters requires changing rules around, and usually, if you’re going to restrict cheaters that way, you are also keeping the general community held back, and to me, that presents a problem.

I hope I’ve cleared up my definition of “cheaters” and made my point more clear.

EDIT: Milskidasith, I remember reading a thread where it was explicitly stated that card trading was not implemented due to the number of cheaters that would take advantage of it, so you are right about how it would lead to exploits, but the problem is, nobody should be exploiting, so why should we cater the game to those that do?? I understand that through text, I may sound ignorant, however, I believe my actual thoughts are valid, so if someone needs further explaining, I’ll try to go deeper into it.

 
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So you beleive that we SHOULD be able to constantly play against a single opponent in private matches, and that opponent should be allowed to continue forfeiting after two seconds?

It wouldn’t be that hard to build a feature to stop that… perhaps limit the amount of matches you can play against the same person in a row, or the amount of forfeit wins you can get from the same person daily, or something.

 
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Hacking in Stick Arena involves messing around with the packets sent and received by the server.

My point was the fact that Xgen did not attempt to patch up security or fix the exploit. If cheating was not dealt with in some way in Kongai, it would lead to many people having every card, which defeats the purpose of collecting them. Hacking and Cheating have the same outcome, they are just done in different ways.

Edit:
bq. Why should we cater to those that do?

Allowing cheaters to trade cards would be catering to them, not the opposite.

Nobody should be exploiting

If everyone believed that exploiting is wrong, we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with.

It’s like saying, “No one should be stealing, so why should we lock our doors?”

 
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So you beleive that we SHOULD be able to constantly play against a single opponent in private matches, and that opponent should be allowed to continue forfeiting after two seconds?

Well, no. Besides that’s a completely different situation. That’s asking whether I think cheating is alright, which I don’t.

It wouldn’t be that hard to build a feature to stop that… perhaps limit the amount of matches you can play against the same person in a row, or the amount of forfeit wins you can get from the same person daily, or something.

This involves limiting the experience to the general non-cheating public. I don’t believe that should happen.

It really is an all or nothing approach. Either reduce cheaters and limit features, or expand features, but create more exploits. The community does need to be trusted, which is the problem.

The only solution to a problem like this is people investigating into other people’s accounts, which for the most part is what is happening for the forfeit problem. However, it is nearly impossible to maintain this at as an effective means of rule regulation, so it just makes the problem more complicated.

Allowing cheaters to trade cards would be catering to them, not the opposite.

Sorry, I worded my statement wrong. I meant “…why should we cater the game to those that do?”

 
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>This involves limiting the experience to the general non-cheating public. I don’t believe that should happen.

Yes, because we all know that normal people forfeit to the same person 200 times in a row or wind up in the same matchup 10 times in five minutes.

>It really is an all or nothing approach. Either reduce cheaters and limit features, or expand features, but create more exploits. The community does need to be trusted, which is the problem.

No, it’s you being completly blind to reality and how simple most of the exploits could be patched without hurting people. If it would hurt people to not be able to play the same person 10 times in five minutes, explain how.

>The only solution to a problem like this is people investigating into other people’s accounts, which for the most part is what is happening for the forfeit problem. However, it is nearly impossible to maintain this at as an effective means of rule regulation, so it just makes the problem more complicated.

Hahahahaha….. Kong has a PROGRAM investigating accounts like that. It doesn’t take any manpower to maintain. I think that lowering the cheating with restrictions that would be almost impossible for a legitimate player to break would be great, but the current program, at the very least, kills cheaters in their tracks after a while.

 
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No, it’s you being completly blind to reality and how simple most of the exploits could be patched without hurting people. If it would hurt people to not be able to play the same person 10 times in five minutes, explain how.

That can easily be avoided, though. All they have to do is slow down their pace. It’s still cheating, regardless of how fast they’re doing it. Sure it may slow down cheating, but it never will eliminate it.

Also, I kind of forgot about that program they have, but again cheating can happen over time, and the program could probably be tricked.

Besides, any cheater who farms wins at 2 wins per minute must be stupid for thinking they’re not going to get caught.

 
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>That can easily be avoided, though. All they have to do is slow down their pace. It’s still cheating, regardless of how fast they’re doing it. Sure it may slow down cheating, but it never will eliminate it.

Let’s see…. We have a program that tracks insane streaks of wins and forfeits anyway, so that still wouldn’t work. The difference is, they couldn’t cause as much damage over time. Anyway, the only way to elude my program and one that tracks suspicious win loss activity to save time together is to play at the same pace as a normal game and play against tons of different alts you log on and off on a different computer. Basically, you would play slower than you would to actually play otherwise, save if you were so awful at the game you couldn’t ever win.

>Also, I kind of forgot about that program they have, but again cheating can happen over time, and the program could probably be tricked.

Yes…. But as I’ve pointed out, with those combined, they would be cheating SLOWER than playing legitimatly. It’s like using a hack in stick arena to make yourself die to everybody else repeatedly.

>Besides, any cheater who farms wins at 2 wins per minute must be stupid for thinking they’re not going to get caught.

And any cheater who is smart enough to realize that playing really slowly against a lot of different alts of various levels with different badges and any other thing a good program could check, all to avoid getting caught, would realize that he could be playing faster legitimatly.

Jon, you don’t get the point. My ideas have proven you WRONG. They would monitor any of the benefits you get of cheating, and, at the very least, force it to be slow, methodical, and unrewarding to actually cheat. It would be almost, if not entirely, as slow as playing legitimatly, once you factor in alt creation and log in/log off time. And they would NEVER affect non-cheaters.

 
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Kongai, like a huge amount of MMO’s, should be server sided, hence unhackable unless you are t3h 1337 hacker from Live Free or Die Hard.

 
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Jon, you don’t get the point. My ideas have proven you WRONG. They would monitor any of the benefits you get of cheating, and, at the very least, force it to be slow, methodical, and unrewarding to actually cheat. It would be almost, if not entirely, as slow as playing legitimatly, once you factor in alt creation and log in/log off time. And they would NEVER affect non-cheaters.

Fair enough, if it works that perfectly, let’s have card trading now, please.

BTW, here is a quote from Greg in response to the quote “-Ability to TRADE CARDS!!! It’s a CARD game, and in what card game where people have different cards CAN’T you trade?!” :

No. People would just farm cards on alt accounts and trade those for cards on their main accounts.

If that’s his reason, the program must not be able to prevent that, so the only way to prevent that is to limit cheaters and non-cheaters alike.

 
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If you allow players to cheat easily, most people will. It’s like putting 1000 dollars on the sidewalk. Most people would steal it, even though they normally don’t go out of their way to steal things.

 
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>Fair enough, if it works that perfectly, let’s have card trading now, please.

So… where does this relate to card trading?

>BTW, here is a quote from Greg in response to the quote “-Ability to TRADE CARDS!!! It’s a CARD game, and in what card game where people have different cards CAN’T you trade?!”

Oh yes, a Greg quote. So? We don’t have the program implemented, but it couldn’t be that hard to do, really.

>If that’s his reason, the program must not be able to prevent that, so the only way to prevent that is to limit cheaters and non-cheaters alike.

Or maybe because they haven’t implemented a program like that? Kongregate also doesn’t give points for forum posts, not because we can’t handle spammers, but because it would create more spammers. The same with cheating: Even if it’s preventable, why add in a fairly useless feature (card trading) that encourages it?

 
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If you allow players to cheat easily, most people will. It’s like putting 1000 dollars on the sidewalk. Most people would steal it, even though they normally don’t go out of their way to steal things.

Nobody is allowing them to cheat, though.

You could easily walk up to someone and kill them for no reason other than the fact that you wanted to. Are you permitted to do so by law? No, not in any country that I know of. Are there negative consequences for doing so? Usually, if you get caught.

Just don’t confuse what one is able to do with what one is allowed to do.

EDIT:

So… where does this relate to card trading?

Well, you have to realize that you are only focusing on one aspect, what already exists within the game. You haven’t addressed the expansion of the game as a whole.

Oh yes, a Greg quote. So? We don’t have the program implemented, but it couldn’t be that hard to do, really.

Then why do they choose not to implement the program? If it’s as easy to make as you make it seem, and it’s the one thing keeping the staff from making a card trading feature, why not just make it? Many people are wanting to trade cards, and personally, I do not see the feature as useless. How could receiving a card you want for a card you don’t want in a mutual agreement be considered useless? I think it would be a powerful asset to newer players. Milskidasith, you have nearly all, if not all, of the cards available. Of course trading isn’t going to be too helpful to you, nor is it useful to myself, but we’re not the only people playing Kongai.

 
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I think it would be a powerful asset to newer players.

It would be, if the cards were distributed randomly. Since everyone gets the same card every week, new players could not trade it for something better, as everyone would already have it.

 
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It would be, if the cards were distributed randomly. Since everyone gets the same card every week, new players could not trade it for something better, as everyone would already have it.

First off, people are constantly joining Kongregate. Maybe the majority of the site will have the card from “Week X”, but those who have joined the week after “Week X” will have a much harder time getting the card, especially since it is likely it won’t be offered in a challenge any time soon. Also, There will be people dissatisfied with the card from “Week X”, so they may feel compelled to trade it for a card that a new player has earned, but doesn’t care for. I see a win-win situation that doesn’t dramatically affect gameplay, since a card is only as good as the player makes it.

Also, Some people feel they could play Helene better than Pheobe, and some people feel they could play Pheobe better than Helene. Assume two people, each with the opposite dilemma of the other, both had the card they didn’t want, but not the card they want. Allowing these people to trade will make everyone happy. Besides, it won’t make the game unfair, because again, a card is only as good as the player makes it.

Also, this thread going a bit off topic. I didn’t intend for the thread to host a discussion on how useful card trading would be in Kongai.

 
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>First off, people are constantly joining Kongregate. Maybe the majority of the site will have the card from “Week X”, but those who have joined the week after “Week X” will have a much harder time getting the card, especially since it is likely it won’t be offered in a challenge any time soon. Also, There will be people dissatisfied with the card from “Week X”, so they may feel compelled to trade it for a card that a new player has earned, but doesn’t care for. I see a win-win situation that doesn’t dramatically affect gameplay, since a card is only as good as the player makes it.

Jon… You forgot one thing… The player who has Week X’s card will also have all cards down the line, so trading with somebody else would be largely useless because you would get a copy of a card, which is rarely useful. The only slightly useful copies are probably blood vials and pimp cups (mindreader’s chalice’s, for those who aren’t Kongai savvy).

>Also, Some people feel they could play Helene better than Pheobe, and some people feel they could play Pheobe better than Helene. Assume two people, each with the opposite dilemma of the other, both had the card they didn’t want, but not the card they want. Allowing these people to trade will make everyone happy. Besides, it won’t make the game unfair, because again, a card is only as good as the player makes it.

Except that whichever of the two came out first would have BOTH cards, so trading would be worthless. Jon, you really don’t think things through, do you?

>Also, this thread going a bit off topic. I didn’t intend for the thread to host a discussion on how useful card trading would be in Kongai.

Yes, you just intended to criticize any means of stopping cheaters, no matter how little they affected players. I would also like to remind you that YOU brought up trading as a point against me with anti cheating software.

As to why they haven’t implemented the programs to limit cheating: It’s not an effective use of their time. They have bugs to fix and they already have a working program that notifies them of any suspicious card farming like behavior, and nobody knows quite how it works, so it’s still holding off card farmers from negativly impacting the game. If they didn’t have anything better to do, I’m sure they would make a point to prevent cheating in a logical way.

 
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This is a well discussed topic in game design theory.

I am of the school that believes games should be designed in a way that accepts the inevitability of cheating, and makes it impossible for degenerate strategy to adversely effect the fun-factor of legitimate players. There should also be effects to balance cheating on a global scale (As with MMOs, offsetting the economy to account for dupe/hacked item sales) so that cheaters only have a loss of experience, not a gain of power. This dismantles the power of the cheater, allowing the circle of trust to remain between the game system and the player.

 
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Jon… You forgot one thing… The player who has Week X’s card will also have all cards down the line, so trading with somebody else would be largely useless because you would get a copy of a card, which is rarely useful. The only slightly useful copies are probably blood vials and pimp cups (mindreader’s chalice’s, for those who aren’t Kongai savvy).

So? It would help in the short-term of things. Sometimes having to wait a long time for a card that you want just isn’t appealing, besides, it’s not like they’re getting it for free.

Except that whichever of the two came out first would have BOTH cards, so trading would be worthless. Jon, you really don’t think things through, do you?

I don’t know about you, but I happen to win cards that I didn’t get from challenges via winning Kongai games. You must not have thought it through too well, so before making personal attacks, make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Just one possible case: 2 players joined on “week X” and picked the same starters (none were Pheobe or Helene), and played the challenge (which also didn’t offer Helene or Pheobe). Both earned 3 “K” cards upon meeting each other. One earned Amaya, Rumiko, and Helene. The other earned Amaya, Rumiko, and Pheobe. They both want the Pheobe/Helene they didn’t have before, so they exchange them. It’s as simple as that.

Yes, you just intended to criticize any means of stopping cheaters, no matter how little they affected players. I would also like to remind you that YOU brought up trading as a point against me with anti cheating software.

Yes, I understand I brought it up, but my intentions were just to make you realize that you’re not focusing on future development, only what there is now.

EDIT:

I am of the school that believes games should be designed in a way that accepts the inevitability of cheating, and makes it impossible for degenerate strategy to adversely effect the fun-factor of legitimate players. There should also be effects to balance cheating on a global scale (As with MMOs, offsetting the economy to account for dupe/hacked item sales) so that cheaters only have a loss of experience, not a gain of power. This dismantles the power of the cheater, allowing the circle of trust to remain between the game system and the player.

I agree with this paragraph. It is a very well stated sum of what I also believe should be what all multiplayer games offer.

 
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>Just one possible case: 2 players joined on “week X” and picked the same starters (none were Pheobe or Helene), and played the challenge (which also didn’t offer Helene or Pheobe). Both earned 3 “K” cards upon meeting each other. One earned Amaya, Rumiko, and Helene. The other earned Amaya, Rumiko, and Pheobe. They both want the Pheobe/Helene they didn’t have before, so they exchange them. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s see… Even if both players just signed up and had only 3 cards each, that situation is exceedingly improbable. Especially when you factor in that most players who don’t know what they are doing won’t know what cards they will play well. You can earn cards on Kongai… but that isn’t the example you gave, and winning cards STILL isn’t a very big part of the game. I mean, Anex is getting a super buff in the next patch, and she is the only card I don’t have, and I really don’t feel that I would trade a card for her, because I can just win her.

The thing is, it’s so easy to win cards in this system that there is no POINT to trading, but trading would greatly increase the amount of card farmers, which is not good, even if they can be negated. I’m all for features that encourage win farming if they legitimatly benefit the game, like winning cards… but I just don’t see where trading cards would be useful…. I mean, at best, it’s just a bunch of noobs trading cards they have for cards they don’t without any real clue which would be better for them.

 
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Let’s see… Even if both players just signed up and had only 3 cards each, that situation is exceedingly improbable. Especially when you factor in that most players who don’t know what they are doing won’t know what cards they will play well. You can earn cards on Kongai… but that isn’t the example you gave, and winning cards STILL isn’t a very big part of the game. I mean, Anex is getting a super buff in the next patch, and she is the only card I don’t have, and I really don’t feel that I would trade a card for her, because I can just win her.

I don’t believe it is too improbable. Maybe my situation as a whole is extremely improbable (including same starters and winning the same cards (6 out of 7 matching cards)), but not the fact that one person can earn a Pheobe, the other a Helene, meet and trade.

The thing is, it’s so easy to win cards in this system that there is no POINT to trading, but trading would greatly increase the amount of card farmers, which is not good, even if they can be negated. I’m all for features that encourage win farming if they legitimatly benefit the game, like winning cards… but I just don’t see where trading cards would be useful…. I mean, at best, it’s just a bunch of noobs trading cards they have for cards they don’t without any real clue which would be better for them.

What’s wrong with allowing noobs to experiment with cards? If they make a stupid trade based off of speculation (or boob size) and no experience, that’s their own problem.

Also, What did you mean by this?
bq. You can earn cards on Kongai… but that isn’t the example you gave, and winning cards STILL isn’t a very big part of the game.

 
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>I don’t believe it is too improbable. Maybe my situation as a whole is extremely improbable (including same starters and winning the same cards (6 out of 7 matching cards)), but not the fact that one person can earn a Pheobe, the other a Helene, meet and trade.

The situation that they would meet, both know what cards they needed to complete their deck yet still be total noobs, and trade is pretty rare. If you wanted a specific Phoebe for Helene trade, even if the two people were the only people playing, it would still be a one in 43*43 chance of that specific trade going off from the random cards.

>What’s wrong with allowing noobs to experiment with cards? If they make a stupid trade based off of speculation (or boob size) and no experience, that’s their own problem.

Your entire point was that it would benefit the community… A bunch of noobs getting scammed by higher ups into buying, say, Anex’s, Zina’s, and Ashi’s wouldn’t help the community.

>Also, What did you mean by this?

You kept mentioning how if one person won a card on week X and then the other won another weekly challenge, that would be good for trades… which was an incorrect example.

 
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… there’s so much bad game design in this thread, now that I read it. Tomorrow I’ll analyze and explain what would actually be healthy, and proficient for kongai. Not that this should be restricted to kongai, since it’s already got 900 threads elsewhere. I’m kind of sick of it, really.